Immigration & Diversity news headlines – May 13, 2013

10 myths about immigration (Hamilton Spectator)
A quarter of Hamilton’s current residents are born outside the country and Statistics Canada anticipates that figure will jump 3 per cent by 2031. But despite that large percentage, newcomers settling into their lives still encounter discrimination and social exclusion and don’t always feel welcome. There are common beliefs and assumptions about newcomers that make their integration more difficult. The Spectator asked local settlement workers, city staff and ethnic community leaders to highlight the top myths about immigrants they come across. We arrived at 10 common misconceptions and attitudes and looked to address them with recent research.
News Release — Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification on track to cut backlog in half (CIC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada will re-open the Parent and Grandparent (PGP) program for new applications on January 2, 2014, by which time the backlog and wait times in the program are expected to have been cut in half. “The Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification is on track to meet the goals of cutting in half the backlog and wait times in the Parent and Grandparent program,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “It is very important that we continue to make progress and not return to the old broken system with wait times as long as a decade—that would be unfair to families.”
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announces tighter regulations for family reunification program (Debra Black, Toronto Star)
The Conservative government has once more tightened the rules around immigration — this time changing the family reunification program to make it more difficult for parents and grandparents to be accepted. New applications to the parent and grandparent program had been temporarily suspended for two years to deal with a substantial backlog of applications. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Friday that applications will be accepted again starting Jan. 1, 2014.
Don’t bring parents here for welfare, Kenney says (Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC)
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced new criteria for sponsoring parents and grandparents to come to Canada today that are aimed at ensuring elderly immigrants don’t end up on welfare or in social housing. The changes are part of “phase 2” of the government’s overhaul of the family reunification category of immigration. New applications for the program have been on hold since 2011 in order to cut down on a massive backlog that resulted in wait times of eight years. Kenney said applications will resume Jan. 1, 2014, and will be limited to 5,000 per year. The applications will still take years to process because of the ongoing backlog. By the end of the year, the backlog is estimated to be around 80,000 applications.
Feds hike income threshold for people seeking to sponsor parents, grandparents (Stephanie Levitz, Brandon Sun)
People seeking to bring parents or grandparents to settle in Canada will have to have higher incomes and agree to financially support them longer starting next year. These changes come as part of a revamp of the family reunification program announced Friday by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. The program was overhauled as a result of a backlog of applications that had neared 165,000 with a wait time of almost eight years when the government stopped accepting new applications in 2011.
Welfare costs prompt tougher rules for immigrating parents (Steven Chase, Globe and Mail)
The Harper government is making it tougher for people to settle foreign parents or grandparents in Canada – hiking sponsorship qualifications to make it less likely newcomers will become a financial burden for taxpayers. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced more stringent requirements for Canadians or permanent residents wanting to bring their elders here under the family reunification program – new rules that will make sponsors financially responsible for these arrivals.
Federal government to lift moratorium on parent, grandparent immigration (Tobi Cohen,
Elderly immigrants are a burden on Canada’s health care, welfare and social housing programs, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Friday as he announced the reopening of the parent and grandparent immigration stream, albeit with tough new criteria for sponsors. A moratorium on new applications was introduced in the fall of 2011 to address growing backlogs and excessively long wait times.
Federal Court pilot project aims to fast-track simple immigration cases (Tobi Cohen, Montreal Gazette)
The Federal Court has launched a pilot project in Toronto to deal with often time-sensitive study, work and visitor permit cases more expeditiously. It could take as long as 200 days for somebody who wishes to contest the denial of a permit to enter Canada to get a court date after being granted leave, Federal Court spokeswoman Roula Eatrides said.
Infographic: Who will benefit from Canada’s new immigration rules? (Trevor Melanson, Canadian Business)
A new immigration points system kicked in this past Saturday. Originally announced in December by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, the changes to Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program aim to improve the economic suitability of new Canadians. The model immigrant is now younger and more fluent, but her CV may be a little shorter. Just like before, successful immigrants must score 67 points out of a possible 100, but language fluency and age now count for more, while points for work experience have been reduced. The biggest change is probably in the age category: 35 is now the oldest you can be before losing points—a big shift from 49.
Immigration fuels growth in Toronto’s Catholic Church (Michael Swan, Catholic Register)
Immigration hasn’t just transformed the Catholic Church in Toronto, it’s made the archdiocese of Toronto massively different from Catholic Canada outside the Greater Toronto Area. Two out of every five Catholics in Toronto were born outside the country, compared to just one in 10 Catholics who are immigrants in the rest of Canada. The newest numbers on religious affiliation and immigration were released by Statistics Canada May 8. They were gathered from the 2011 National Household Survey.
Elderly Vancouver Island aunt allowed to stay in Canada after five-year fight (Katherine Dedyna, The Province)
It’s going to be an especially happy Mother’s Day for Saanich resident Surjit Bhandal and the two nephews she raised since birth. Bhandal, 83, received word Friday that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will allow her to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds — ending five years of rejection. Surjit Bhandal, 83, received word Friday that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will allow her to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. (LYLE STAFFORD, Times Colonist)
Africa Day to be celebrated (Iryn Tushabe, Leader Post)
As Regina’s immigrant and refugee community grows, celebrations around the city are reflecting the change. According to the recent National Household Survey (NHS), there are approximately 1,200 more people of African descent in Regina today than there were seven years ago. Today, 10 African-Canadian communities including Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda will gather at the Association Canadienne-Francaise de Regina to celebrate Africa Day, the first such celebration in Regina.
Canada’s history of growth not entirely coincidence (Calgary Sun)
Immigration doesn’t create growth and economic prosperity but it can provide the fuel. In the early 1900s, Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier adopted an aggressive immigration recruitment program to realize his vision of Canada as the major power of the coming century. Immigrants populated Manitoba and Saskatchewan and worked in new industries that created a modern nation. Many came from eastern and southern Europe and spoke little or no English. In 1900, 13% of Canadians were foreign born. By 1910 the immigrant share was more than 20%. It stayed there until the Great Depression, when economic collapse shut off the immigrant pipeline.
Looking for diversity? New Westminster’s got it (Cayley Dobie, Royal City Record)
It’s been more than 11 years since the first New Westminster’s DiverseCity Multicultural Festival, and with a decade of celebrating the city’s diversity behind us it’s time to ask just how diverse is New Westminster? According to John Stark – senior social planner for city – it’s very diverse. “One of the stats which was most surprising to me was between 2001 and 2006, 79.1 per cent of the population growth was due to immigration,” he said. This growth has only continued. According to the 2011 Census, New Westminster’s population increased to 65,976.
‘Ordinary’ student was considered a security risk before becoming third man connected to alleged VIA Rail terror plot (Stewart Bell, Graeme Hamilton, National Post)
Ahmed Abassi could have had few complaints about the life Canada had given him. After arriving from Tunisia in 2010, he married and started working on a graduate degree in chemical engineering in Quebec City. But for reasons that so far remain elusive, he allegedly radicalized a fellow Quebec student, who is accused of going on to plot a terrorist attack on a VIA Rail train. He then made his way to New York City to recruit others into terror, according to authorities.
Surprising correlations between religion and ethnicity (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
The days are virtually gone in Canada when you could guess the religion of people by the colour of their skin or their ethnic origin. And nowhere is that more true than in immigrant-filled Metro Vancouver, where one out of three Christians are members of visible minorities, particularly with roots in East Asia. This is also a region of 2.3 million people, in which fewer than one in eight Muslims hail from Arab countries. And it’s a place where the ranks of the non-religious are strongly bolstered by those of Japanese origin.
Visible Minority (15), Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (11), Age Groups (10) and Sex (3) for the Population in Private Households of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2011 National Household Survey (Statistics Canada)
This table presents a cross-tabulation of data from the National Household Survey using selected characteristics of the following variables: Immigration, Citizenship, Place of birth, Ethnic origin, Visible minority, Religion and Language.
Council Wants to Strengthen Supports for Medically Uninsured Residents (Desmond Cole, Torontoist)
Toronto city council wants to improve health care for medically uninsured residents, especially those who avoid treatment because they lack immigration status in Canada. They can’t do it all directly, but on Thursday night, councillors voted 21-7 to ask the provincial government to strengthen access to basic health care programs for residents ineligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Many refugees, undocumented residents, people who have lost their identification, and even permanent residents of Canada do not qualify for OHIP benefits. Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, says that expanding health care access is both humanitarian and practical. “Early intervention is almost always less costly than dealing with a more advanced illness later in its course,” he told council.
Larger portion of Canadians denying religious affiliation (Jason Fekete, National Post)
A growing number of Canadians are identifying themselves as having no religious affiliation, although more than two-thirds of the country’s population says they’re Christian. Statistics Canada’s voluntary National Household Survey (NHS) released Wednesday also shows immigration is contributing to the growth of non-Christian religions, including Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist. The NHS shows nearly one-quarter (about 7.85 million people) of the Canadian population had no religious affiliation — a sizeable increase from 16.5% a decade earlier.
It’s official. Canada has a mini India (Hindustan Times)
At nearly 4% of its population, Canada hosts the highest percentage of residents of Indian origin in the Western world, according to data published on Wednesday by Statistics Canada based on the country’s 2011 National Household Survey. Significantly, for the first time, those who identified themselves as being of East Indian origin crossed the one million mark, with the number reaching 11,65,145. This is an increase of over 21% in the category compared to figures for the 2006 Census.
The RCMP has a long way to go (Colin Kenny, Ottawa Citizen)
So the RCMP, our battered national police service, has seen the light. According to Dr. Anna Gray-Henschel, a senior RCMP civilian officer who specializes in smart policing, the Mounties have vastly improved their interface with Canada’s minority communities. This story got some media attention recently. And so it should have. Gray-Henschel was effusive in her praise: “There’s been a huge evolution (in the RCMP’s outreach to minority communities) … there was a deep need to rebuild relationships.”
Distinct character of Quebec is alive and well (Chantal Hébert, Toronto Star)
Based on the latest Statistics Canada census snapshot, Quebec need not fear that immigration will dilute its distinct character. If anything, the National Household Survey released on Wednesday suggests that it is making the province more different than the rest of Canada. How different? Enough that someone totally unfamiliar with the political geography of the northern half of the American continent could be tempted — on the basis of the StatsCan numbers — to conclude that he or she is looking at the immigration streams of two different countries.
Influx of Christian and Muslim immigrants changing Canada’s religious makeup (The Record)
Lonely, depressed and missing her family in the Philippines, Cosette Pena looked to God in hopes of finding comfort in her new adoptive country. Now, 20 years after it was founded in 1992, the tiny evangelical church in Montreal where Pena forged vital links to the Filipino community in Canada is bursting at the seams with new members and searching for a new, larger building to call home.–influx-of-christian-and-muslim-immigrants-changing-canada-s-religious-makeup
2013 National Immigration Law Conference (Stewart Sharma Harsanyi Immigration Blog)
This is probably the fourth or fifth National Immigration Law Conference that I’ve attended. I missed the last couple; no particular reason, just got busy with the pract ice of law. It’s good to see familiar and new faces including immigration lawyers from Calgary. I’ve live-blogged the Conference in the past, and will do so once again. The Opening Plenary: The Making of Immigration Law is interesting, with a panel that includes Lorne Waldman.
Immigration reform: Why aren’t we building a fence across the Canadian border? (Gary Wolfram, Detroit News)
I propose an amendment that would require the federal government to build a fence 18 feet high across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. After all, Canadians could come across the border anywhere by landing boats along the Lake Superior shoreline. Think of all the jobs that would be created during construction—creating a boom in places like Two Heart. Why should we let Arizona have all the federal construction money? Don’t we want to keep out all those Canadians who would otherwise be streaming over our borders? Why we are so concerned about illegal immigration across our southern border and not our northern border?
OCASI Media Release: Voluntary National Household Survey does not capture true state of Canada (OCASI)
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants is deeply concerned that the Statistics Canada Voluntary Household Survey released today does not capture the full reality of Canada’s populations, such as racialized residents, and foreign-born individuals. The Voluntary Household Survey notes that foreign-born residents were one-fifth, or 20.6% of the Canadian population in 2011. It notes that recent immigrants (2006-2011) represented 3.5% of the total population and 17.2% of the foreign-born population.
Generation Emigration (Ciara Kenny, Irish Times)
When Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney came here last October, he was the first member of cabinet to travel abroad to recruit foreign workers in more than 40 years. With its English-speaking, highly educated workforce, Ireland could provide Canada with people to fill acute labour shortages in the construction, IT, healthcare and service sectors while offering underemployed Irish people “opportunity and prosperity”, he told Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show .
Diversity in ADR: unfamiliar doesn’t mean inferior (Jennifer Brown, Canadian Lawyer)
In-house counsel may be developing diverse internal departments and asking their external firms to staff with diversity in mind but when it comes to mediation or arbitration, diversity seems not to be on their radar.
Toronto’s burgeoning ethnic press caters to a new wave of immigrants looking for news from ‘back home’ (Peter Kuitenbrouwer, National Post)
Jaspal Singh Shetra’s newspaper, now called Daily Panj Pani, has become one of three Punjabi-language daily newspapers in Toronto, part of an explosion of ethnic newspapers. Peter Kuitenbrouwer/National Post After a successful career as a journalist in India, including a stint at the Hindustan Times, Jaspal Singh Shetra moved to Toronto 12 years ago. He bought a little Punjabi-language newspaper in Mississauga. A few years later, he noticed that 65% of his costs went to his printing bill.
‘Diversity’ and ‘affordable’ (Thomas Sowell, Toronto Sun)
If there is ever a contest for words that substitute for thought, “diversity” should be recognized as the undisputed world champion. You don’t need a speck of evidence, or a single step of logic, when you rhapsodize about the supposed benefits of diversity. The very idea of testing this wonderful, magical word against something as ugly as reality seems almost sordid. To ask whether institutions that promote diversity 24/7 end up with better or worse relations between the races than institutions that pay no attention to it is only to get yourself regarded as a bad person. To cite hard evidence that places obsessed with diversity have worse race relations is to risk getting yourself labeled an incorrigible racist. Free thinking is not free.
Torn From Home: My Life as a Refugee traveling exhibit will visit the Waterloo Region Museum (Exchange Magazine)
A traveling exhibition on the world’s refugees takes school-age children and visitors of all ages on an inspiring, hands-on journey into the challenging lives of millions of children who are forced to flee their homes in conflict regions throughout the world. Torn From Home: My Life as a Refugee is on exhibit at the Waterloo Region Museum from June 1 to Sept. 2, 2013.
Webinar: New Directions in Resettlement: Implications for refugees and the settlement sector (CCR)
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 – 4pm
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is proposing important changes in how refugees are selected for resettlement to Canada. This will affect the refugees seen by refugee-serving organizations. Those selected may not be chosen based on need for protection and it may be more difficult to reunite refugee families through resettlement. Attend this webinar to understand more about the planned changes, and how they might concern us.
If you’ve got a solid footing, you can reach for the sky (Luisa D’Amato, The Record)
Some people grow up with ugliness all around them, and yet they still make the world a more beautiful place. Arkani is one of these people. He left Burma when he was 13, in 1984. He escaped to Bangladesh and Thailand before coming to Canada about eight years ago. He believes he was the first person of Burma’s ethnic Rohingya background to settle in Kitchener. He got a post-secondary education and now works in information technology for the Waterloo high-tech company, Descartes. He also became an interpreter for his tiny ethnic community, now at about 250 people in Kitchener. In that role, he helped Rohingya parents communicate with their children’s teachers, and saw that the children weren’t doing well in school. Not surprising, since Rohingya children in Burma were not allowed to go to school, and so almost everyone was illiterate. “It made me realize there was a big need,” he said. “Education is so important.”–d-amato-if-you-ve-got-a-solid-footing-you-can-reach-for-the-sky
Discrepancies hurt couple’s refugee claim (Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News)
Conflicting stories of facing danger in Kosovo and previous refugee applications in three other countries are behind the decision by the Canadian government to deport a couple wanting to stay in Chatham. The Chatham Daily News reported on Monday concerns Muhamet Barjarktari, 36, and Ganimete Berisha, 29, have about being sent back to their homeland.
Child and family poverty explored in Cambridge (The Record)
The Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries is hosting its 8th annual poverty symposium. The daylong theme is how to end child and family poverty. Organizers want to determine what’s holding the community back from mustering the political will to halt the sad cycle. “It’s been on our radar for decades,” Butcher said. “Somehow, we’ve been missing the mark.”–child-and-family-poverty-explored-in-cambridge
IMFG Graduate Fellowship Awards for 2013 (IMFG)
IMFG is now accepting applications for two graduate fellowships being offered in 2013-14. The IMFG Graduate Fellowship and the Blanche and Sandy Van Ginkel Graduate Fellowship in Municipal Finance and Governance are each valued at $5,000. Students must be pursuing studies and/or research related to municipal finance or governance, and registered at a doctoral or master’s level on a full-time basis. Research in these areas must be part of the student’s graduate program. The holder of each award is required to do a presentation on his/her research at a seminar organized by the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance.
Latest Media and Policy News: 9 May 2013 (ISAC)
A round up of policy and povert news from across the country.
Canadian Social Research Newsletter : May 5, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. New From Statistics Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey (May 8):
— Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: First Nations People, Métis and Inuit
— Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada
2. Conservatives’ reputation as the ‘Nasty Party’ is well-deserved (Andrew Coyne, Postmedia News) – May 10
3. SPARmonitor – Monitoring Toronto’s Social Change (City of Toronto, Social Policy Analysis & Research) – May 8, 2013
4. British Columbia 2013 Election – May 14, 2013
5. Working for a Living Wage 2013 : Making Paid Work Meet Basic Family Needs in Metro Vancouver (BC Office – Canadien Centre for Policy Alternatives) – May 2
6. [Ontario] Media and Policy News for 9 May 2013 (Income Security Advocacy Centre)
7. Hugh Segal : Senate debate on the second reading of Bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations (Senate Debates – Hansard) – February 2013
8. Ontario] A Legal Rights Handbook [for women experiencing abuse] (Community Legal Education Ontario) – February 2013
9. Once-in-a-generation chance to modernize [Ontario] welfare lost (Carol Goar, Toronto Star) – May 6
10. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Labour Force Survey, April 2013 – May 10
— 2011 National Household Survey (May 8):
—– Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: First Nations People, Métis and Inuit
—– Immigration, place of birth, citizenship, ethnic origin, visible minorities, language and religion
11. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit
Is wealth too powerful in Canada? (CCPA)
Thursday evening at the Canadian War Museum, in a debate presented by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and moderated by historian Jack Granatstein, CCPA Senior Economist Armine Yalnizyan and economist William Watson debated the motion, “Wealth has too much power in Canada.”
Mowat News : Spring 2013 : Fiscal Federalism & the Launch of the Council of the Great Lakes Region (Mowat Centre)
Filling the Gap: Measuring Ontarians’ Balance with the Federal Government
CGLR Launched, Establishing First Projects and Setting Organizational Agenda
Mowat Opinions
Temporary ain’t what it used to be (Editorial, Winnipeg Free Press)
Rule No. 1 of Canada’s immigration policy is: You can’t come here because you might take a job from a Canadian. This is followed by a dense, scarcely penetrable jungle of rules by which you might come here and work if you are hired as a nanny or a tomato harvester or if you are a refugee from political oppression or if your close relatives who live here will sponsor you or a wide range of other special cases. Each of these has an administrative structure to keep most of the people out. The final rule is that all the rules are mutable if the minister is in political hot water. In the nature of immigration, the minister is in hot water most of the time because heart-rending tales surface every day where faithful application of the rules produces inhumane results. Consequently, the rules are in constant flux, new rules are written in response to last week’s scandal and only full-time professional immigration consultants can tell employers and prospective migrants what is permitted on any given day.
Canada Against the World: Attracting Talent (Jacqueline Bart, Who’s Who Legal)
Canada’s efforts to counteract an ageing population and the need for young skilled workers has led to a re-evaluation of the Federal Skilled Worker programme and the introduction of new immigration rules by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The FSW programme has been in suspension since 1 July 2012 while changes were being effected to the programme, and the new legislation related to Federal Skilled Workers was published on 19 December 2012. These new regulations set out a three-pronged approach to attract needed talent to Canada. CIC’s amendments reinstate an amended Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSW), create a new Federal Skilled Trades Class (FST) and reduce the Canadian experience requirement under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). In the case of FST and CEC, the new regulations took effect from 2 January 2013. For FSW, the regulations will take effect as of 4 May 2013, at which time the programme will reopen for applications.
Indian IT companies set to be hit as Canada tightens visa norms for foreign workers (The Hindu Business Line)
Canada has joined the US in tightening the visa regime for foreign workers, a move that could be detrimental for Indian IT service companies with operations in that country. Seen by experts as a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to the recent controversy surrounding iGate and Canadian bank Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the move is set to increase the time and costs associated with procuring a temporary work permit. The Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (ALMO) programme, a fast-track immigration programme to secure a temporary work permit in two weeks, has also been suspended.–Ik6hQ5e9AMXb_A
Reforming the Temporary Foreign Worker program (Phil McColeman, Paris Star Online)
Recently, Canadians have raised concerns about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program being used by some employers to replace Canadians with foreign workers. Our government’s priority is to ensure that Canadians get first crack at available jobs in their area. Our responsibility is to Canadians. That is why we launched a review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program as per our commitment made to taxpayers in Economic Action Plan 2013. We moved quickly to identify and correct any problems that may prevent qualified Canadian workers from getting jobs and are taking action to ensure Canadians are given first chance at available jobs.
Foreign worker program changes concern the CCA (Kelly Lapointe, Journal of Commerce)
Changes to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) program will “significantly impair” the construction industry’s ability to fill the increased demand for construction services across the country, says the Canadian Construction Association (CCA). The temporary suspension of the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (ALMO) program is particularly concerning to the CCA.–foreign-worker-program-changes-concern-the-cca&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgAIAAoATAAOABAhqe3jAVIAlAAWABiBWVuLVVT&cd=VM0hBOeIFXk&usg=AFQjCNEpIugbn8KUz38QhGnbgevox0oTOA
Labour congress warns of foreign worker ‘exploitation’ (CBC)
Saskatchewan may be creating thousands of new jobs, but most are held by migrant workers according to a recent study by the Canadian Labour Congress. Between 2008 and 2011, 65 per cent of “net new jobs created” were held by temporary foreign workers, the CLC said Friday, citing data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. CLC president Ken Georgetti said he wants those workers “placed in the permanent immigration stream, not exploited in temporary migration schemes.”
RBC Career Bridge Associate Host Program (Sydney Helland, Career Edge)
RBC Royal Bank has further enhanced its partnership with Career Edge Organization by developing the RBC Career Bridge Associate Host Program. This unique program is designed to support RBC’s small and medium-sized GTA-based business clients in connecting with high-potential, internationally qualified candidates to fit their employment needs. The primary benefit to RBC’s business clients is that the cost of hiring a candidate under this program is covered for the first four months entirely by RBC Royal Bank. This significant subsidy allows for small and medium-sized organizations to grow their business while realizing the benefits of hiring highly skilled, internationally qualified professionals.
B.C. Chamber condemns changes to foreign worker program (Phil Melnychuk, Maple Ridge News)
Jay Sekhon, who operates the Subway on 224th Street in Maple Ridge, hasn’t yet had to hire any temporary foreign workers. So far, he has only one foreign student working an allowable number of hours, while the rest of the seven or eight on staff are Canadian. “My first priority is local people first,” he says. While several long-time staff work at his shop, there could come a time when he would need temporary foreign workers. “Sometimes we don’t have skilled workers here.”
Migrant Workers Account for Most New Jobs (Marketwatch)
New research conducted by the Canadian Labour Congress shows that in recent years migrant workers are filling most of the new jobs created in the Canadian economy. “Roughly 75% of the new jobs created in Canada in 2010 and 2011 were filled by temporary foreign workers despite the fact that 1.4 million Canadian residents were unemployed,” says Ken CLC President Ken Georgetti. The CLC research used numbers from the Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey and from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Watch for an end to cozy deals over temporary workers (Peter Loewen, Ottawa Citizen)
What did the Royal Bank of Canada expect when it recently outsourced some technology management to an offshore firm? Surely nothing but cost savings. After all, finding alternative service suppliers is a regular business practice, even if the firms winning new work might employ temporary foreign workers. The reality was much different. Many Canadians were offended that this venerable institution would trade Canadians for foreigners holding temporary permits. It did not help RBC’s case that the employment in question was not back-breaking manual labour. Instead, the jobs being traded off were prized high-tech positions.
Canada’s growing wine industry turns to seasonal foreign workers (Cronkite News Online)
It’s nearly spring in Ontario, Canada. Outside you can feel it. It’s still chilly, but there’s a sense that the worst of winter is over. There’s a thin layer of melting snow, pooling in shallow ground and mixing with the dirt to create a thick layer of mud – making it hard to walk through the grass. For an outsider, you can tell spring is coming from the noise. Sounds from dozens of different birds, back from their southern vacations, fill the air. But for Jane Andres, a lifelong resident of southern Ontario, the real sign of spring comes from the town’s other returning residents – seasonal farm workers, all the way from the Caribbean.
Canada’s job skills training program is ‘broken’: Flaherty (CTV)
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the need for proper skills training is the most important issue facing Canada’s economy and one that needs to be addressed by the federal government. In his 2013 federal budget, Flaherty unveiled a new job grant program that will provide up to $5,000 per person for job training, but only if it is matched by provinces, territories and employers. Speaking to CTV’s Question Period, Flaherty told host Kevin Newman the current skills training program is in need of an overhaul.
Job strategy needs balance (Star Phoenix)
A CBC report on Friday, quoting a study by the Canadian Labour Congress, provides further food for thought about the job numbers in Saskatchewan. According to the CLC research, 65 per cent of the net new jobs created in the province between 2008 and 2011 are held by temporary foreign workers – a figure that’s bound to be higher today, given the steady increase in the number of migrant workers allowed into Canada. It may be the case, as Ms. Braun-Pollon suggests, that Saskatchewan needs to hurry up with its labour law reforms to provide employers with the freedom to offer flexible working hours and other conditions they say are needed to attract and retain young workers.
Toronto’s Urbanism Headlines: Friday (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Transit and Other News.
Newsstand: May 13, 2013 (Terri Coles, Torontoist)
There was a frost alert last night. A frost alert! In May! We’re indignant. In the news: watch out if you’re crossing one of these top-10 unsafe intersections, Chris Hadfield heads back to earth, 20K run the Sporting LIfe 10K, and the Leafs take a must-win game at home.
CivicAction & York Region Elected Officials Stand Together to Support Transportation Investment (CivicAction)
CivicAction and Mayors and Councillors from Vaughan, Markham and Richmond Hill will join together on Monday, May 13 to pledge support for new ways to fund increased transportation service and infrastructure so people and goods can move across the region more easily. The event will bring together politicians from across York Region, who represent a population of over 1 million.
World’s most intelligent communities to share stories in Toronto (Candice So, IT Business)
A conference exploring the success stories of the world’s most technologically advanced hotspots is coming to Toronto in June. The Seven Habits of Highly Intelligent Communities Summit, organized by i-Canada, will run from June 3 to 4. Held at George Brown College’s Waterfront campus, this year’s summit will explore why smaller cities like Oulu in Finland, Tallinn in Estonia and Canada’s own Stratford, Ont. made the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) list of the top seven most intelligent cities in the world.


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Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

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