Immigration & Diversity news headlines – May 2, 2013


Shark Club bouncer says Indo-Canadians turned away because they threatened him and called him a racist (Susan Lazaruk, Vancouver Desi)
A Langley Shark Club bouncer accused of refusing to admit a group of Indo-Canadians because of their brown skin said he turned them away because they threatened him and called him a racist. Andrew Schmah told a B.C. human rights tribunal he was not biased against any visible minority group, which he estimated made up about 30 to 40 per cent of the clubs clientele. Some of my best friends are Indo-Canadian, said Andrew Schmah, who was working the door on Dec. 9, 2011, when a group of Indo-Canadians was denied entry at the club. Three of them, Serge Rai and married couple Manjinder and Manjit Gill, all in their 40s, have each filed a complaint of race discrimination against the club. The complaints are being heard together by the tribunal.

Still no answers for two U of R students facing deportation (Kerry Benjoe, Leader Post)
More than 10 months have passed since two University of Regina international students, facing deportation, took refuge in a Regina church. Monday marked the last day of classes at the U of R, and supporters of the two students raised the issue with the government. Kay Adebogun, who’s representing Victoria Ordu and Ihuoma Favour Amadi, said the students have missed an entire year of classes because their case has yet to be resolved.

Pardoned terror suspect has immigration Minister reviewing Canada’s deportation rules (680 News)
The latest twist in an alleged terrorism plot involving a Via Rail train has Immigration Minister Jason Kenney reviewing Canadas deportation rules. Earlier this week, it was revealed that one of the two suspects, Raed Jaser, was supposed to be deported in 2004 but managed to stay in Canada because he is considered a stateless Palestinian. Authorities couldnt deport him because he had no home country, and he received a pardon.

News Release Minister Kenney announces funding for newcomer integration through HIPPY Program (CIC)
Newcomers who participate in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Program will benefit from $2.6 million in new funding over the next three years, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced yesterday at a reception hosted by the United States Ambassador David Jacobson. Though programs like HIPPY, our government is giving newcomers the best chance possible to integrate into Canada and contribute to a prosperous society, said Minister Kenney. The government has had a strong affiliation with the HIPPY Program for many years and is proud to help immigrant parents in their vital role as their childs first and most important teacher.

News Release Minister Kenney Announces Citizenship Judge Appointment for the Montreal Area (CIC)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today the appointment of Farid Osmane as a full-time citizenship judge for the Montreal area. Prior to his appointment, Farid Osmane served as a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, presiding over quasi-judicial hearings, adjudicating refugee matters and evaluating permanent residence requests for the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

News Release Minister Kenney Announces Four Citizenship Judge Appointments for the Greater Toronto Area (CIC)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today the appointment of four citizenship judges for the Greater Toronto Area. Prior to her appointment, Karen J. McMillan was a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada for six years and presided over quasi-judicial hearings and adjudicated refugee matters. She is active in the community as a Canadian National Institute for the Blind volunteer, Ontario Basketball Association Manager and Rotary Club member.

I have a social responsibility towards newcomers (South Asian Generation Next)
Kanta Arora came to Canada along with her husband in 1969 from India. She is a community activist, social worker, dynamic public speaker and a television talk show Host. In 1985, she was the first Indian woman, appointed to Ontario Social Assistance Review Board (SARB). She is founder & President of Arco International Languages, which provides translation and Interpretation services in over 145 languages.

Man accused of spitting on Muslim woman (Chris Doucette, Toronto Sun)
Toronto Police are appealing for help from the public identifying this man, a suspect in an allegedly hate motivated assault. (Toronto Police handout) The hunt is on for a man who allegedly spit on a Muslim woman at a Don Mills plaza earlier this week. Toronto Police say the spitting incident occurred April 22 at the Peanut Plaza, near Don Mills Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E., and it is being investigated as a hate motivated assault. The woman, who was wearing a hijab, walked into a commercial business and as she entered, she passed a man, Det.-Sgt. Jim Gotell, of 33 Division, said Tuesday. As the man walked by he spit on her.

Immigration Update @ Gowlings (Gowlings)
On April 29, the Canadian government announced major changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Some reforms were expected based on an announcement in the recent Economic Action Plan 2013. However, changes have been introduced sooner than expected in response to recent criticisms of the TFWP, and the reforms appear to be more significant than anticipated.

TTC gives new start to Russian transit expert (Tess Kalinowski, Toronto Star)
In a city of newcomers, miracles arent altogether rare. But Michael Sosedovs life had fairy-tale elements long before he arrived eight years ago in Toronto without a word of English. Recently Sosedov fulfilled an immigrants dream, launching a new career at the TTC that allows him to draw on the expertise he built up in Russia. But his account begins even before he was born. Sosedovs mother, Helena, had lost five sons and a husband during the Second World War. When the war ended, she travelled from Moscow to the smaller city of Smolensk to visit the graves of her dead children.

First-time condo buyers squeezed by new mortgage rules (Metro News)
Brampton realtor Jaspal Cheema, whos been helping Devid in her search, says first-time buyers are being squeezed out of the market, because they typically have a smaller down-payment. Its hard to balance between emotions and pocketbook, he says, noting the urge to buy is especially strong among immigrants. Toronto mortgage broker Joe Walsh believes there are still lots and lots of people who want to buy.

Black Mentors (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Vidoll Regisford. He is the director of community partnerships at George Brown College, and one of the speakers who will be giving guidance to hundreds of boys in Grades 7 and 8 at the annual “Stand Up Young Men’s Conference”. In studio also was Dido Dilenga. He was one of the first young people to take part in the conference back in 2010.

Faith And Domestic Violence (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Rabia Khedr. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the Third Annual Impact of Family Violence: A South Asian Perspective Conference. It will be held later today and tomorrow at Sheridan College.

Canada Recruits Immigrants to Win Race for Skilled Labor (Meera Louis, Bloomberg)
When a recruiter called last year about a position as a mechanic in British Columbia, Paul Thomas said he could hardly believe it. Thomass annual income had dropped to $40,000 a year from $100,000 as business slowed at the Atlanta auto dealership where he worked. Hed filed for bankruptcy, his house was in foreclosure and other jobs were hard to find even with his resume posted online. Starting a new life in Canada sounded appealing. The recruiter sent Thomas an e-mail loaded with video links describing the company, the owners charity projects and the city of Prince George, dubbed the Northern Capital of British Columbia. My wife and I were excited, Thomas, 45, said. Auto mechanics dont get approached by recruiters, so it was sort of nice being catered to.

English allows immigrants to enjoy Canada (Lai Ha Li, Richmond Review)
My mother tongue is Cantonese but I was sent to a colonial English school. By the time I came to Canada in 1982, I was able to enjoy English prose and poetry. I had looked forward to settling down here where I could function using my English skills. During these 30 years I gathered much information concerning life in Canada and Canadian mentality. I even studied my sons literature books and other North American creative writing series.

Four Citizenship Judge Appointments Announced for the Greater Toronto Area (Settlement AtWork)
Four citizenship judges have been appointed for the Greater Toronto Area. Prior to her appointment, Karen J. McMillan was a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada for six years and presided over quasi-judicial hearings and adjudicated refugee matters. She is active in the community as a Canadian National Institute for the Blind volunteer, Ontario Basketball Association Manager and Rotary Club member.


World Refugee Day June 20, 2013 (UNHCR)
In 1 minute, a family can be forced to give up everything. If your family had just 1 minute to flee, what would you take? Would it be an item essential to your survival, a sentimental object, a beloved pet? Tell us what your one thing would be below, then share it with family and friends to spread the word about World Refugee Day.


Media advisory – First results from 2011 National Household Survey (Canada Newswire)
Canadians will learn much more about their country next week as Statistics Canada releases the first data from the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS). The results will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time on May 8, 2013, on Statistics Canada’s website ( The NHS was the largest survey ever conducted by Statistics Canada, with some 4.5 million households invited to take part. The voluntary survey included questions on such topics as place of birth, citizenship and immigration, ethnic origin, Aboriginal identity, language of work, education, labour market activity, income and housing.

Housing Opens Doors website launches (Your Legal Rights)
The Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association’s (ONPHA) campaign, Housing Opens Doors, has launched. Visit the website, ring the bell, and help raise awareness of affordable housing.

John McKnight: A Celebration (Paul Born, Seeking Community)
We want to celebrate John McKnight, the renowned community organizer and founder of the famed Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute, who will soon be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Waterloo. This honour recognizes John for his lifelong work championing an approach to community-building that incorporates the gifts of marginalized people and celebrates the power of neighbourhoods. I will be reading his citation at this event.

Economists unite. You have nothing to lose but data (Armine Yalnizyan, Globe and Mail)
Back in September, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney noted that the Harper governments decision to scrap the mandatory census long-form questionnaire would impact the Banks ability to assess how the economy is faring. He left unspoken how that might affect monetary policy. Alice Nakamura past president of the Canadian Economics Association and professor of economics in the department of finance and statistical analysis at University of Albertas School of Business recently raised another alarm: Mr. Harpers census decision affects how the CPI (Consumer Price Index) is measured. She spelled out how that might affect fiscal policy, and more.

Working to alleviate poverty issues in Halton (Inside Halton)
Living in Poverty: A Special Report is a four-part Metroland Halton Division series examining the complex issue of poverty in the affluent regions communities. The series examines those who find themselves struggling to survive and who face deprivation, exclusion and isolation as a result. It looks at povertys multiple dimensions, those who deal with it on a daily basis, contributing factors and barriers, possible solutions and resources that can offer assistance.–working-to-alleviate-poverty-issues-in-halton


Canada Workers Compensation Board Honored (
The WCB strives to have our workforce reflect the cultural makeup of the province we serve, stated Katherine Wyrostok, director of Human Resources. We support diversity through a number of ongoing projects, such as holding cultural awareness workshops, a Diversity Committee, and having a dedicated Diversity Specialist on staff. In an effort to stand out among other workers compensation boards, the WCB has undertaken several measures that support the goal of having an open-minded and diverse workforce. This includes having established a diversity committee who meet regularly to discuss non-discriminatory employment practices and develop recruitment strategies to attract applicants from all walks of life.

Canada Recruits Immigrants to Win Race for Skilled Labor: Jobs (Meera Louis, Business Week)
When a recruiter called last year about a position as a mechanic in British Columbia, Paul Thomas said he could hardly believe it. Thomass annual income had dropped to $40,000 a year from $100,000 as business slowed at the Atlanta auto dealership where he worked. Hed filed for bankruptcy, his house was in foreclosure and other jobs were hard to find even with his resume posted online. Starting a new life in Canada sounded appealing.

CLC Says Changes to TFWP Require Enforcement (Digital Journal)
The president of the Canadian Labour Congress acknowledges changes that the Conservative government has made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) but says those changes highlight the consequences of the government’s failure to properly consult and listen to stakeholders when developing policy and legislation in the first place. Ken Georgetti was responding to an announcement made on April 29. “First with Employment Insurance and now with the TFWP, this government has had to back peddle to fix problems they’ve created because they have failed to listen to the warnings of those with experience and expertise on these issues,” Georgetti says.

Employers must take proactive approach to integrating immigrants (Margaret Eaton,
Access to great talent can set a region apart and be the key to success for businesses and the communities they serve. Global electronic manufacturing services provider SMTC is a perfect example of this talent advantage. While other manufacturers may have moved offshore, SMTC chooses to maintain its headquarters in Markham, just outside Toronto, because of the regions talent. The regions large immigrant population offers SMTC something that other cities like Chicago and New York cant highly skilled, diverse and international people.

Why B.C.’s lower-wage workers are struggling: The case for stronger employment standards (David Fairey, rabble)
B.C. has acquired the “distinction” of being home to Canada’s largest income gap, highest poverty rate, and second-highest child poverty rate. It also has greater employment insecurity and lower wages than the national average, even though B.C. is the province with the highest cost of living in Canada. How has this occurred in such a rich province?

Foreign workers face a changing landscape (Catherine Solyom, Montreal Gazette)
Anyone whos been to downtown St-Rémi on a Thursday night in the summer has seen how the population swells with labourers from Mexico and Guatemala, hired to pick the fruits and vegetables a job that most Quebecers wont do. Even the grocery clerks at the local IGA in this town south of Montreal are learning Spanish.

Diversity + Inclusion Tool (Diversity in the Workplace)
ASAE has released an online, diagnostic tool that evaluates diversity and inclusion policies, philosophies and practices by focusing on 5 key elements: Mission and Focus, Roles and Leadership Accountability, Resources, Operations, and Communication and Culture. The tool allows its member associations to benchmark their practices and provide stakeholders with critical data to direct their time and funds in meaningful ways.

May Day: Celebrating and struggling for workers’ rights in Canada (PovNet)
On this International Workers’ Day, we have put together some recent stories on the struggles and victories for workers’ rights in Canada.

New Office of the Worker Adviser Website Launched (Settlement AtWork)
With a modern and simplified design, the new Office of the Worker Adviser website has been reorganized to better reflect our expanded mandate, with separate sections covering workplace insurance and health and safety reprisals in Ontario. The new design focuses on user friendliness and accessibility, allowing more efficient access to helpful information. Containing over 30 updated pages, including 16 pages with new content or major revisions, the site continues to be a key source of information for workers in both English and French. Workers can find answers in a significantly expanded and reorganized list of the most frequently asked questions heard from our clients. A featured Spotlight section also gives the OWA space to highlight important news and events, allowing the agency to give voice to the issues affecting workers and network with the community of groups assisting injured workers and promoting health and safety in the workplace.

IRPP releases the report of the 2nd Canada-Australia roundtable on foreign qualification recognition (Quinn Albaugh and F. Leslie Seidle, IRPP)
The report summarizes presentations and discussion at the 2nd Canada-Australia Roundtable on Foreign Qualification Recognition, held in Vancouver on March 20-22, 2013. The event, which was organized by the IRPP, with support from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Australian High Commission to Canada, brought together some 70 Canadians and Australians representing governments, professional regulatory authorities immigrant-serving organizations and academics. It built on the initial Australia-Canada roundtable, held in Melbourne, Australia, in 2011.

Changes Made to Canadas Temporary Foreign Worker Program (CICS News)
Amid controversy and criticism over a series of incidents involving temporary foreign workers (TFWs) in recent months, including a story that emerged last month of Canadian workers losing their jobs to foreign workers at the Royal Canadian Bank, the federal government has announced several immediate and upcoming changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

New B.C. government should promote a living wage (Michael McCarthy Flynn, The Province)
One of the main issues of the B.C. election campaign is how to deal with the high levels of child poverty in our province. The newly updated living wage calculations for Metro Vancouver at $19.62, Greater Victoria at $18.73 and the Fraser Valley at $16.37 provide a clear picture of the extent of the affordability gap in B.C. A living wage is the hourly wage rate at which a family with two full-time earners and two young children (the most common family unit in B.C.) can meet its basic needs once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies have been taken into account. The living wage allows parents to pay for necessities, support the healthy development of their children, stay out of poverty and participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of their communities.


Newsstand: May 2, 2013 (Brendan Ross, Torontoist)
At long last, it’s budget day. Only a few hours from now, the finance minister will ride through town showering us all with coins. In the meantime, here’s some news: the Leafs get rocked, the mayor gets in hot water, the city gets its delayed casino meeting, and shark fins get un-banned.


Six Reasons to Love Grant Connect (Grant Seeker Monthly)
Several years ago Imagine Canada set out to transform the Canadian Directory to Foundations & Corporations into the ultimate prospecting tool. Our mission? Provide charities with a way to use best practises in their fundraising regardless of their budget. Armed with financing from the Muttart Foundation and an advisory panel featuring stellar individuals from organizations such as JUMP Math, Canada Helps, and Seeds of Diversity we began a journey that culminated in the launch of Grant Connect in December 2012. More than a re-branding of the Directory, this was a complete tear down and rebuild.

The Value of Big Data Isn’t the Data (Kristian J. Hammond, HBR)
It is clear that a new age is upon us. Evidence-based decision-making (aka Big Data) is not just the latest fad, it’s the future of how we are going to guide and grow business. But let’s be very clear: There is a huge distinction to be made between “evidence” and “data.” The former is the end game for understanding where your business has been and where it needs to go. The latter is the instrument that lets us get to that end game. Data itself isn’t the solution. It’s just part of the path to that solution. The confusion here is understandable. In an effort to move from the Wild West world of shoot-from-the-hip decision making to a more evidence-based model, companies realized that they would need data. As a result, organizations started metering and monitoring every aspect of their businesses. Sales, manufacturing, shipping, costs and whatever else could be captured were all tracked and turned into well-controlled (or not so well-controlled) data.

Calgary community foundation receives $117-million gift from Doc Seaman’s estate (Kathryn Blaze Carlson, Globe and Mail)
The money has been quietly trickling in for a few years, discreetly accumulating at the behest of a larger-than-life character who asked that the magnitude of his generosity remain private upon his death. But on Wednesday, the Calgary Foundation announced Daryl Doc Seamans $117-million donation believed to be the largest gift to a community fund and the second-largest cash donation in Canadian history.

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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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You & your family have just 1 minute to flee…What would you take?

This is the idea behind a great new UNHCR campaign to mark World Refugee Day 2013. The theme of World...