Immigration & Diversity news headlines – May 3, 2013


The big social questions philanthropy must answer (Catherina Pharoah, Guardian UK)
Another big question is whether philanthropy contributes to social cohesion and inclusiveness. Recent research by the Centre for Charitable Giving Philanthropy, supported by Trust for London, shows how the UK overlooks the generosity of migrants and minorities who not only send money to needy communities overseas, but are also more likely to support the UK’s good causes. This often comes at considerable personal sacrifice, receiving few of the tax or other benefits which accrue to UK donors. On the other hand, important and innovative initiatives in community integration and rights depend on charitable funders, such as Barrow Cadbury’s Trust’s ongoing support for the fair treatment of migrants and asylum-seekers and its work with the Canadian Maytree Foundation in promoting integration globally in cities of migration. Organisations like Liberty, funded by charitable trusts, are crucial to championing the rights of migrants. Commentators like the US Mark Rosenman, of Caring to Change, argue that social justice and inclusion should be integral to all philanthropic effort, which should not confine its responsibilities to individual causes. So how strong is the role of philanthropy in promoting inclusion?

Webinar June 5: Big Ideas: Oslo Extra Large: Measuring Up, Making Diversity Count (Cities of Migration)
Join Toralv Moe, Senior Advisor, Business Development and Diversity with the City of Oslo, for an update on the citys ambitious plan to be A City for All. Learn how Oslo is putting intercultural policy to the test and raising its diversity and integration index by measuring the citys progress on equality, opportunity and inclusion since the 2001 launch of its Oslo Extra Large campaign. In conversation with: Irena Guidikova, Intercultural Cities, Council of Europe

Making Friends and Sharing Dreams: International Summer Youth Program (Cities of Migration)
When refugee families arrive in Boise, Idaho, from faraway places like Burma, Bhutan, Iraq or the Democratic Republic of Congo, they have great hopes for the future, not least of which is an education for their children. Many refugee parents are surprised to learn that schools in the United States take a three-month summer recess, leaving their kids with much idle time and the parents often wondering how they will continue to learn and settle in. From an academic standpoint, experience has shown that most students lose some of the knowledge gained in school because of the long break.

News Release Canadas new and improved Federal Skilled Worker Program opening to applicants (CIC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will be accepting applications to the new and improved Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) as of May 4, 2013. The governments number one priority remains jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity, said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. Our changes ensure not only that Canada can select the immigrants most needed by our economy, but that they are best positioned for success.

Statement Minister Kenney Commends RCMP for Citizenship Fraud Investigation (CIC)
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, made the following statement following news that the RCMP have arrested and charged a former citizenship judge, an immigration consultant, and the employee of an immigration consultant.

Evaluation of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) (Settlement AtWork)
This report presents the findings and recommendations from the evaluation of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) that was carried out from February 2012 to September 2012.

Tweed confident citizenship ceremonies will return (Jillian Austin, Brandon Sun)
The decision to stop holding citizenship ceremonies in Brandon will only be temporary, according to Brandon-Souris Conservative MP Merv Tweed. When contacted in Ottawa yesterday, Tweed said he hopes they will be back in the Wheat City by next year. I would say Im 99 per cent certain that Brandon will host future citizenship ceremonies, he said. It may not happen tomorrow or a week from now, but Im certainly convinced that they will.

Former judge charged after citizenship tests given to immigration consultant (CTV)
A former Citizenship and Immigration Canada judge is facing charges for allegedly passing copies of citizenship exams to a Toronto-area immigration consultant. The Mounties allege copies of the tests were used so that clients of a citizenship consultant could gain citizenship without meeting the proper requirements.

Police allege judge passed on copies of citizenship tests (CBC)

Former citizenship judge arrested on allegations he supplied copies of citizenship exam (Globe and Mail)

Ex-citizenship judge charged with theft of test papers (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)

At 11th hour, a little victory in immigration case (Jack Knox, Times Colonist)
Theres good news for Janilee Cadongonan. The 27-year-old Duncan woman was supposed to be on a plane to her native Philippines on Thursday, having been thrown out of Canada by immigration authorities. Instead, the Canadian Border Services Agency has granted her a 90-day reprieve. She hopes that will be enough time for Citizenship and Immigration Canada to hear her application to be allowed to stay here on compassionate grounds though that seems optimistic, given the excruciatingly slow pace at which the system proceeds. Those who have been following Cadongonans story know that after 61Ú2 years living here with permanent resident status, she was to be expelled for what Ottawa calls deliberate misrepresentation but she maintains was an innocent misunderstanding. This weeks last-minute call from CBSA was a huge relief.

Toronto Star Reports On Government Efforts Against Marriage Fraud (CICS News)
The Toronto Star, the most widely circulated newspaper in Canada, published a story on Wednesday that describes the marriage sponsorship fraud that authorities are clamping down on and some of the obstacles the anti-abuse measures are imposing on Canadians seeking to sponsor foreign spouses. The article, by the Toronto Stars immigration reporter, Nicholas Keung, profiles Sarem Soomro, whose marriage sponsorship application was rejected by Canadian immigration officials due to the education and age gap between the younger, high-school educated, Soomro, and his Pakistani wife, who has a degree in economics.

Priority schools using funds to increase attendance, bridge language gaps (EMC Orleans)
Four of Ottawa’s urban schools are using innovative programs to increase attendance and bridge language gaps. Samuel-Genest Catholic, Notre Dame High, Rideau High and Ridgemont High schools are defined as high priority, receiving extra funding for programs like a breakfast club and after-school programming. The funding is meant to improve the quality of education in and out of the classroom – from forging better links with parents to improve attendance, to increasing the community police officer’s presence in the school to reduce crime and make students more comfortable with police.,%2Bbridge%2Blanguage%2Bgaps

Helping new Canadians make the Chilliwack connection (Alina Konevski, The Progress)
As immigrants continue to settle in Chilliwack, a local non-profit organization has taken the lead role in helping them feel at home. The Chilliwack Community Services recently received a $133,000 grant to further increase access to services for new Canadians in the city. CCS is also planning their immigrant business fair on Friday. Chilliwack’s agriculture and manufacturing sectors draw immigrants, as does the need to fill positions vacated by the ageing population. CCS doesn’t know how many immigrants settle here, because people have no obligation to check in. But approximately 200-250 people receive settlement support annually. According to 2006 Statistics Canada data, 14 per cent of Chilliwack’s residents are immigrants. And that figure is growing at a rate that is double the province’s average. There are 6,700 immigrants in the Fraser Valley.

GM pulls Twenties-themed ad featuring racist lyrics (Susan Krashinsky, Globe and Mail)
Romanticism for all things retro may have served the makers of hit TV shows such as Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire well. But advertisers are learning they must tread carefully when taking a trip down memory lane. General Motors Co. has apologized after an ad for the Chevrolet Trax, which has been in heavy rotation in Canada, attracted negative attention for racist lyrics in the music it used.

Three more advertisers forced to pull ‘insensitive’ commercials (Examiner)
When an organization calling itself the Black World Coalition denounced it as “arguably the most racist commercial in history,” parent company Pepsico cancelled the entire campaign which is slightly ironic when one considers that rapper Tyler, the Creator, who, well, created it is himself black. In the first commercial of the series, Felicia the Goat (whose voice Tyler based on his mother’s) beats up a (white) waitress for serving Mountain Dew. Why, nobody knows. In the second spot, the goat escapes and is pulled over for DewUI (Get it?). In the third, “most racist commercial in history,” the battered waitress is asked to pick out her assailant from a lineup comprising the goat and five black men.

Embracing diversity important in Northumberland (Northumberland News)
Canada as we know it today is built on diversity, and thanks to a new immigration portal launched by the County, newcomers can feel more at home as they settle down in Northumberland. After months of planning, Northumberland County finally launched its new online immigration portal Friday, April 26. Through the portal, Northumberland’s potential newcomers can hear the stories of new Canadians who have already made the county their home. The portal is a fresh idea to help those who may be feeling overwhelmed by the notion of relocating to a new country. Almost a dozen Northumberlanders originally from the Philippines, Columbia, Macau, United Kingdom, El Salvador, Korea, China, Afghanistan and other countries are featured in videos on the site, in which they share their own experiences, the successes and challenges.–embracing-diversity-important-in-northumberland

BC Religion Poll Finds Majority Of British Columbians Are Non-Religious (Huffington Post)
British Columbians have largely abandoned religion, says a poll released Monday by the B.C. Humanist Association. Initial results from the poll, conducted by Justason Marketing Intelligence, found that two-thirds of British Columbians are non-religious, while 30 per cent of respondents identified as atheist or agnostic.

Photos: Toronto Peer Leaders Forum 2013 (Canadian Centre for Diversity)
Peer Leaders Forum, a youth conference for safe, inclusive and accepting schools, organized by the Canadian Centre for Diversity. April 23, 2013

Why Diversity Matters (Women of Influence)
A snapshot of insights and learnings from the Women of Influence 2012 Canadian Diversity Champions.


Torn From Home: My Life as a Refugee (Waterloo Region Museum)
Opens Saturday, June 1 through Monday, September 2 Torn From Home: My Life as a Refugee gives young visitors and others an opportunity to gain a firsthand look into the often challenging realities faced by refugee children and their families, and yet experience the personal triumphs of rebuilding their lives in a new land. It showcases seven exhibit areas: Home, Losing Home, Registration, Refugee Camp, Medical Clinic and Going Home.

Thematic Focus: Children (Forced Migration Current Awareness blog)
A service highlighting web research and information relating to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other forced migrants; provided by Elisa Mason.

Refugee Advocacy Video Competition (CFMS)
Congratulations to the University of Saskatchewan! Their video was selected both by the judges and the public as the most overall informative, creative, and engaging video. All of the videos were great, and we’d like to echo the words of Dr. Rashid in his judgement: “each group has had very creative entries. All those that were involved should be commended for doing an excellent job. Both Philip and I really enjoyed watching them.” Don’t stop sharing now that the competition is over – we still need to get the word out to as many people as possible and keep fighting for the health of Canada’s refugees and refugee claimants.


Politicians call for changes to Municipal Elections Act (CP24)
Politicians from dozens of communities across Ontario are endorsing a campaign that is pushing for changes to the provinces Municipal Elections Act. In an attempt to generate more interest and participation in elections, the Local Choice campaign is urging provincial lawmakers to amend the legislation to give municipalities the authority to customize their local elections, if they choose to do so. Local Choice isnt advocating for any specific measures of reform, but the group is citing runoff voting, municipal parties, online voting, weekend voting and neighbourhood borough councils as examples of potential changes.

Symposium takes on topic of child poverty (Cambridge Times)
Eighty-seven children lived at the local shelter in 2012. Its an issue no one wants to talk about, because acknowledging its existence means admitting a failure to protect societys most precious resource children. Child poverty issues dont make for eye-catching headlines and arent fodder for coffee-time chat. And promises to create a better life for impoverished children are routinely unveiled by governments, however, those pledges all too often fall through the bottom of political platforms during times of hope or economic despair.–symposium-takes-on-topic-of-child-poverty

Engage Apeil 2013 – PDF (Tamarack)
In this Issue…
CCI 2013 Thought Leader: Tom Kelly
John McKnight: A Celebration
Getting Primed to Reduce Poverty
Accelerating Social Innovation

Tamaracks 2013 Communities Collaborating Institute Is Open for Registration (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
This premier week-long learning event provides an opportunity to join a community of practitioners engaged in new ways of leading community transformation.

I commit sociology, and I don’t intend to stop (Michael Adams, Globe and Mail)
Ive been committing sociology since my early youth. My parents and even my parish priest failed to detect early signs of trouble, even though I read the daily newspaper voraciously (a common warning signal among teenagers in the 1960s). Father Breen may have sensed the growing danger of my curiosity about society. In reply to one of my many questions about how the world was unfolding, he fired back: Do you think God is stupid? But even this rhetorical rebuke was not sufficient to curb my interest in what made people think what they thought and do what they did.

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.


2013 Ontario Budget

Budget reactions:

Daily Bread Foodbank


Ontario NDP

Ontario PC

Green Party of Ontario

Wellesley Institute



Workers’ Action Centre

Ontario Home Builders Association

Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario

Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA)



Council of Ontario Universities





Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Ontario CMHA



Conference Board of Canada

Ontario Budget 2013: Long-Awaited Improvements to Social Assistance


ALLIES Newsletter April 2013 (ALLIES)
In this issue:
People with Jobs – Jobs with People
Mentoring delivers the goods!
Celebrating Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians 2013
Recognizing diverse workplaces
Councils @Work
Policy Update

People with Jobs Jobs with People (Ratna Omidvar, Maytree)
The recent and relentless coverage of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program has focused national attention on an issue that has silently crept up on us. The truth is that the program has grown at a rapid and exponential rate over the last few years without much public dialogue or consultation. At the same time as employers are looking overseas for talent that they believe they cannot find at home in Canada, we know that there are many thousands of immigrants, refugees and other Canadians who cannot find a job suitable to their skills and experience. As Rick Miner noted in his landmark 2010 study (PDF), it is the classic conundrum of People Without Jobs; Jobs Without People. The changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program that the federal government announced on April 29 will make it more difficult and more expensive for Canadian employers to overlook talent on the ground. This presents both an opportunity and a challenge for the ALLIES community.

Lets Not Forget Our Local Global Talent! (ERIEC)
We applaud the author for bringing attention to a widely discussed and very important issue lately: the shortage of skilled workers in Canada and the struggle of Canadian employers to find solutions to improve this situation. Mr. Denhams study is timely in that it brings to light some possible solutions and strategies to address some of the labour market shortage issues. It may have been implied but from an ERIEC perspective we would remind employers that a part of the solution may include the maximization of the global talent that exists right here in the City and in the Province. For example, how about an internationally trained journeyman from a country with similar standards in welding, pipefitting, etc.? The new immigration policy is and will be focused on the trades in the months and years to come. Another suggestion that could expedite recruitment of certain skills would be to evaluate, assess, test and certify those trades people prior to arrival into Canada. It could be both an effective and low-cost way to address at least a part of the problem.

Temporary foreign worker flood to continue (Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star)
The government sets absolute targets for the number of permanent immigrants per year and also refugees, yet theres still no limit on temporary foreign workers, notes Naomi Alboim of Queens University, an immigration expert. Notice also how theres no change in the programs most reviled feature the mass importing of foreign temps by restaurants and others in the service sector, even though the scheme was ostensibly designed mainly to ease high-skill shortages. Notice, too, theres not a word about improving the working conditions of the temporary workers, who are subject to much abuse, especially in the agricultural sector.

Diversity champ Gobinder Gill on the benefits of hiring immigrants (Canadian Immigrant)
As a young boy, Gobinder Gills idol was American singer and actress Cher. I used to watch her on the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, he recalls. She was so beautiful, so poised, so talented and I was certain she was Indian, just like me! Gill eventually realized Chers Indian ancestry referred to possible Cherokee lineage on her mothers side, while his own background is from India. As a child, though, he believed the Hollywood star knew exactly what I was going through; she was different, too, so she understood what it felt like to be me.


Torontos Urbanism Headlines: Thursday (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Transit, Rob Ford, Toronto Casino and Other News.

Newsstand: May 3, 2013 (Terri Coles, Torontoist)
Friday is even more pleasant when the sun is out. In the news: defibrillators could be better placed to save lives in Toronto, the fight over David Dunlap Observatory ends peacefully, one Toronto councillor wants a passing rule for cars and bikes, and Ontario has a new budget.

Taking on the Ford brothers new favourite tax study (Matt Elliott, Metro News)
Yes, thats a decline youre seeing over the last decade. Meaning that according to the Fraser Institutes own numbers, total tax paid by their average Canadian family as a percentage of income is the same in 2012 as it was in 1974. Its also fallen about three percentage points over the last 10 years. But that didnt make the headlines, and its not a stat that weve heard from the Fords. I can only speculate as to why.


Funding available for projects promoting economic security for women (Charity Village)
Status of Women Canada is launching a call for proposals for projects that will both increase economic security and promote prosperity for women in communities across Canada. All projects will include a number of predetermined elements, which organizations must address in their proposals.

Learning and Connecting at the Women in Social Business Forum (Michelle Guevara, Social finance)
On May 6, I’m attending the Women in Social Business Forum at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario. The purpose of this forum is to is to grow the field of social finance by bringing together women from across the sector (corporate leaders, small businesses, social entrepreneurs, community innovators and non-profits) so that they can be introduced to a larger community that will support them in reaching their potential. Hosted by the Women in Leadership Foundation, this forum will bring together the strongest female leaders in social finance, and host workshops that will equip participants with applicable leadership skills and finance knowledge.

Workshop: Editing Health Information for Not-For-Profits (
High reading levels in health information can be a barrier for Canadians accessing services and programs, as well as acting on health information. As writers and editors, improving health-related information for those with low health literacy means using plain language, specifically with an awareness of ESL challenges. Our goal is to highlight best practices for written communications in the area of health and healthcare for an audience with low health literacy and limited English.

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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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