Immigration & Diversity news headlines – May 6, 2013


Toronto to wade into providing health care without OHIP debate (Don Peat, Toronto Sun)
Toronto city council will wade into the debate over providing health care to those without OHIP coverage next week. The volatile debate comes to council from the health board, who voted earlier this week to urge the province to boost funding for community health centres that provide care to uninsured residents and fund essential health care for uninsured children and youth. Along with echoing the board of health’s request to the province, city council is being asked to reaffirm its support to rescind cuts to the interim federal health program.

CERIS celebrates 17 years of dialogue & groundbreaking immigration research collaboration (CERIS)
Continuing our tradition to get key players talking across institutional boundaries, last month (April 19, 2013) CERIS brought together the immigration and settlement sector in a full day research symposium. Over 150 researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and students from across Ontario convened to celebrate the history of CERIS and to seriously discuss today’s critical issues affecting everyone in the network, the field, and working within the sector. At Toronto’s Central YMCA, CERIS senior scholar and former director Anneke Rummens of the University of Toronto began the day in a panel by highlighting CERIS’ historic achievements as a unique multi-sector collaborative network.

Video: Introducing Toronto
Meet Dr. Sivakumar Gulasingam: a Canadian immigrant and a resident physician who’s passionate about practising medicine in his new home, Toronto!

The Museum of Canadian History and the Great White-Only North (Rachel Decoste, Huffington Post)
Canada is boxed into a stereotype of snow, lumberjacks and igloos. No wonder foreigners think we’re so boring! When I travel abroad, no one ever guesses I am as Canadian as poutine and beavertails. The quintessential Canadian sentence-punctuator, “eh,” is a dead give-away over the phone, yet something about my appearance screams “un-Canadian” to them. The Great White North notion is so ingrained, so indelible that their minds won’t even entertain any alternative. While Molson Corp has just awoken to the real face of Canada, vehicles via their viral ad, it is high time the establishment embrace the colourful mosaic. The new Museum of Canadian history is the ideal venue to showcase all of Canada’s past, and to cherry-pick from every class of historical tree.

Toronto Board of Health report supporting Access Without Fear comes before City Council. Let’s make sure it passes. (Health for All)
On May 7, Toronto City Hall is voting to keep its promise of solidarity city and move one step further in the area of health by adopting the recommendations made by the Toronto Board of Health. Many Councillors will be deciding which way to vote on the day itself. That means we need you, and 99 of your best friends, sitting in City Hall letting them know they are being watched.

Citizenship: A Pathway to Economic Recovery (Noel A. Poyo, Huffington Post)
Too often, advocates for comprehensive immigration reform fail to make the strongest argument for bipartisan legislative action — an economic argument. Too much emphasis has been put on immigration reform as a social policy that will benefit immigrants, and not enough has been done to highlight the positive economic impact that immigration reform will have on entire cities and regions. Immigrant workers and entrepreneurs are engines of economic growth and the time to pass comprehensive immigration reform is now.

Shaming corporate Canada’s old boys’ club (Theresa Tedesco, Financial Post)
ompared to its international peers, corporate Canada is apparently still dominated by the old boys’ club. Tired of the old platitudes about gender diversity on corporate boards, the Ontario government plans to force companies to walk the talk and give women more seats at the boardroom table. Tucked inside that province’s budget, tabled Thursday, is a warning that the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynn plans to launch initiatives to generate “broader gender diversity” on boards of directors and in senior management ranks of major businesses, not-for-profit firms, and presumably, government organizations.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Announces New Funding for Immigrant Settlement (CICS News)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced it would provide $2.6 million to the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Program on Wednesday, saying that the funding will help new immigrants integrate more quickly after arriving in Canada.

A newcomer’s take on Canadian media (Yaldaz Sadakova, New Canadian Media)
As a newcomer to Canada, I’m having a hard time reading big-name papers like The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. I’m getting the feeling that when they cover stories, these publications don’t keep new Canadians in mind. In my limited experience, Canadian outlets for the most part are failing a growing chunk of the country’s audience: immigrants and particularly newcomers. I guess they’re not interested in targeting, along with the majority, the very group which drives this country’s population growth: immigrants.

Canada Border Services Agency slaps restrictions on documentary film shoot (Douglas Quan,
The Canada Border Services Agency has imposed restrictions on what a documentary film crew can shoot following heavy criticism it allowed cameras to roll during an immigration raid at a Vancouver construction site that ensnared several undocumented workers, newly released records show. Noting that there was a risk “negative public response may continue,” CBSA staff recommended to agency president Luc Portelance that he allow the production to resume but that he limit filming of inland enforcement activities — actions that take place away from the border — to situations involving individuals wanted for “serious criminality” or those featured on CBSA’s “most wanted” list.

India refuses to accept deportation of Ottawa-born man (Gary Dimmock, Ottawa Citizen)
The federal government’s fight to deport an Ottawa-born man to his parents’ homeland has been stalled because the Indian government refuses to authorize his travel documents. Deepan Budlakoti, a 23-year-old convicted drug dealer, was released from jail two weeks ago and is now living with his parents in Ottawa’s west end. He had been in jail since December on a deportation hold order. Budlakoti is being deported to India under a rarely-used section of the Citizenship Act that says that if your parents are foreign diplomats or under their employ at the time of birth, you are not considered a Canadian citizen.

Visible Minority Librarians of Canada (ViMLoC) Network (Stephen Abram, Stephen’s Lighthouse)
The network aims to:
Connect and represent visible minority librarians in Canada
Empower visible minority librarians of Canada by providing professional development support
Engage, collaborate and support research in the area of visible minority librarianship
Extend support to librarians working with multicultural users and collections

Bringing Sociology and Geography to Immigration (Ranjit Bhaskar, New Canadian Media)
Thanks to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, “Committing Sociology” has acquired a certain cachet. “Add Committing Geography to the mix,” says Harald Bauder, the academic director at the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement (RCIS). The professor is getting ready to bring together both these areas of study at this month’s 2013 RCIS conference to discuss the future of immigration and settlement across the world and in Canada. That the issues have been and will be precarious in the years to come was highlighted by just two news stories a day after talking to Bauder at his Ryerson University offices in the Department of Geography.

Manitoba goes to Southern Europe on recruitment mission: Spain and Greece on target! (The Zieglers blog)
A reader from Spain passed me the link to this information. From the Choose Manitoba web site, it reads: Southern Europe Recruitment Mission Representatives of the Manitoba government’s immigration program (the MPNP) will be in southern European in June to interview skilled workers for temporary and long-term employment opportunities in Canada.

Break immigration bottleneck (Scott Brison, Chronicle Herald)
Atlantic Canada’s declining and aging population is a demographic time bomb. The problem is even more acute in the region’s rural communities. But a proper immigration strategy could be incredibly important to address the situation and create economic growth and opportunity. No single solution will solve the problem, but building on success would be a start. In 1997, there were two wineries in Nova Scotia. Today there are over 15, and more are on the way. To put this in perspective, in 1995 there were 19 wineries in the Niagara region of Ontario, and today there are over 130.

Is political correctness in the eye of the beholder? (SCMP)
It’s tough for big corporations to launch advertising campaigns these days. If they are too tame, no one pays attention. Too edgy, and someone is bound to be offended. Companies run for cover at a whiff of controversy. So General Motors executives who approved politically incorrect lyrics in a worldwide marketing campaign for the carmaker’s new Chevrolet Trax SUV had to pull it from distribution. The company has received numerous complaints since it was broadcast in Canada. Some have found the lyrics racist against Chinese. Others think those who complain are just overly sensitive.

Sri Lankans can Benefit from Opportunities in Canada (Bandula Abeysinghe, The Sunday Leader)
Canada is not only a country blessed with natural beauty with places such as Niagara Falls, but also a peaceful, natural disaster free country where people from different races and religions live in harmony. However, probably the only thing that is missing in this highly developed country is enough skilled people to meet the high demand for such skills in the country. The Canadian prime minister has identified the skills shortage experienced by Canada as “the biggest challenge our country faces (Globe & Mail newspaper, 18.12.2012). Canada faces ongoing and long term skilled workforce problems forecast to run up to 2030’s or even beyond that. While the 2008 – 2012 global economic downturn brought many a big nation to its knees, Canada probably was the only nation that stood solid in almost all fronts. One big casualty of the high unemployment situations experienced in the developed world during this global economic downturn was would be migrants. However, while countries such as the UK or Australia virtually shut doors or made it practically harder for the migrants to enter their countries, Canada kept the same levels or even increased the number of immigrants taken in to the country even during this period.

OP 6-C – Federal Skilled Worker Class – Applications received on or after May 4, 2013 – PDF (CIC)
This chapter describes the processing of applications for permanent residence submitted by applicants in the Federal Skilled Worker Class, and received by the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia on or after May 4, 2013.

To serve and restrict: Beware of police diversity units that threaten rabbis (Sun News)
In Canada you have free speech – at least until the authorities say you don’t – and this week one such authority used his power to trample all over that fundamental freedom. A talk at a synagogue just north of Toronto had to be moved after a member of the “diversity unit” of the York Regional Police Force essentially threatened the rabbi in charge. The synagogue had been rented by a group called the Jewish Defence League so they could host free-speech advocate and anti-jihadist Pamela Geller. Insp. Ricky Veerappan, one of York Region’s finest, decided he didn’t like what Geller might say so he paid a visit to Rabbi Mendel Kaplan of the Chabad Flamingo synagogue.

It appears guest speakers at synagogues now have to register their opinions in advance (Sun News)
She’s an enormously popular speaker — partly because she’s an energetic doer, too. Which is why she was invited to speak in north Toronto next weekend, at a Jewish synagogue. But then Insp. Ricky Veerappan of the York Regional Police got wind of Geller’s speech. Veerappan is with something called the diversity, equity and inclusion bureau of that police force. You’d think he’d want to meet Geller, to learn about honour killings Geller’s a bit of an expert in that. But Veerappan didn’t want to meet Geller. Nor did he want anyone else to meet her. He contacted the rabbi at the synagogue, and told him to cancel Geller’s speech — and that if he didn’t, the rabbi would lose his position as a police chaplain. The rabbi caved.

The Bureau of Diversity Compliance (Mark Steyn, National Review)
On Thursday, I wrote here about a Canadian police department’s attempt to shut down a Pamela Geller speech in Toronto by threatening the rabbi hosting it. The Ottawa Citizen editorial on the matter begins: The York Regional Police department should be ashamed.

Statement From York Regional Police – PDF (YRP)
York Regional Police wishes to clarify information that has appeared in the media regarding the appearance of Ms. Pamela Geller at a York Region synagogue led by one of the York Regional Police chaplains. Rabbi Mendel Kaplan is one of eight volunteer chaplains at York Regional Police who serves the needs of our members and their families through religious and spiritual support. He is also the founder and spiritual leader of the Chabad synagogue in Thornhill. Free speech is the right of every citizen and York Regional Police recognizes that. However, some of Ms. Geller’s previous comments clearly conflict with the values of our organization and our continuous work to enhance relationships in all our diverse communities.

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 .

Deal would blunt China’s view of Canada as haven for criminals (Peter O’neil, Vancouver Sun)
Canada, which China considers a “paradise” for Chinese criminals trying to protect ill-gotten assets, is negotiating a deal with Beijing on the handling of fugitives’ money. The status of the negotiations were disclosed recently by the China Daily, the country’s largest-circulation English-language newspaper, based on an interview with Canadian Ambassador Guy Saint-Jacques.

Hundreds rally and march in Toronto for a Solidarity City (John Bonnar, rabble)
For seven years, thousands have marched through the streets of Toronto on May 1, demanding status for all, immigrant rights and worker rights. Supporting indigenous communities and environmental justice. Calling for an end to racism, ageism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. “And on February 21, Toronto City Council voted to reaffirm its promise to deliver services to every resident regardless of immigration status,” said Tings Chak, a member of No One is Illegal Toronto. “We will continue to build a solidarity city, where communities work together to ensure justice and dignity for all residents. The history of access without fear is a long one.”

TD Bank’s $750,000 donation to SFU will build community engagement centre in City Centre Library (Jacob Zinn, The Now Newspaper)
TD Bank Group announced Friday that it is donating $750,000 to SFU to create a community engagement centre for the university to facilitate a wide range of community programs. The SFU Surrey – TD Community Engagement Centre, to be located in the Surrey City Centre Library, will offer a bevy of new programs, including a digital communications course for immigrants, as well as existing courses and workshops. “The purpose of this centre…will be to support teaching, research and outreach in a way that strengthens the ties between the university and the community that surrounds it and sustains it,” said Frank McKenna, deputy chair of TD Bank Group.

New multiculturalism resources launched (Chelsea Howard, The MUSE)
The provincial government has officially launched new online resources for prospective immigrants and newcomers through the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism. The launch, which took place on March 25, revealed the development of a website as part of the “Going to Canada” web portal initiative, a federally funded national initiative aimed at enhancing Canadian web resources and aiding immigrants. “The main objective of this initiative is to make accurate, current, relevant, and consistent resources available online for people who want to move here from other countries,” said Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment.

Federal Skilled Worker Program will reopen with improvements (Debra Black, Toronto Star)
The controversial Federal Skilled Worker Program, which was temporarily put on hold by Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in July 2012, is once more up and running. The program, which was shut down to revamp the program and eliminate a backlog of about 280,000 people who had applied for permanent residency before Feb. 28, 2008, will reopen on May 4. The Conservative party’s controversial decision to wipe out the backlog sparked a challenge in Federal Court earlier this year. Lawyers asked the federal court to strike down the legislation that eliminated the backlogs because it breaches the Charter of Rights and the rule of law. The case was later dismissed.

Guest Post: Woman in Niqab Asking for it? (Farrah Khan, Shameless Magazine)
A consistently held myth is that women who are sexually assaulted “ask for it” by the way we dress or act. However, government reports and community organizations have demonstrated that this doesn’t matter. A woman of any age, physical type, or dress can be assaulted. Violence is violence, and believing in the myth that women “ask for it” is harmful. Not only does it absolve the perpetrators of violence, it also serves as a red herring that pulls the focus away from support for survivors and from strengthening resources that work to eradicate gender-based violence.

Changing the experience of live-in caregivers (Dana Yates, Ryerson University)
Research by Rupa Banerjee, a professor in the Ted Rogers School of Management, aims to bring about systemic changes for live-in caregivers who face multiple challenges after becoming permanent residents. It sounds like the ideal situation: a Canadian family hires a foreign worker to care for a young child, elderly parent or person with disabilities, and in exchange for 24 months of full-time domestic work within a four-year period, the caregiver can apply for permanent resident status. But how do participants in the federal Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) really fare after finishing their terms of employment? According to a Ryerson researcher, these immigrants face significant challenges in Canada.

Facing deportation with young child, despite having secure jobs with family business (Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News)
Ganimete Berisha’s eyes immediately well up with tears at the thought of having to take their young daughter from the only country she’s known to live in a nation where their future will be uncertain. Berisha, 29, and her husband Muhamet Bajraktari, 36, and daughter, Eliza Bajraktari, are facing deportation to Kosovo, formerly Serbia, in southeastern Europe. “It’s stressful,” she told The Chatham Daily News Sunday. Berisha said she’s been having trouble sleeping while worrying about having to go back to a country where her husband faces trouble and likely persecution.

Rights tribunal dismisses racism charge against PSAC (Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen)
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has dismissed a complaint of racial discrimination against the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Union of National Employees by a former union local president. Imma Adonice, a quality assurance officer at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in Ottawa, filed the complaint after the UNE, one of 17 components within the PSAC, suspended her membership for five years in 2012. The suspension followed an internal union investigation that concluded Adonice, a black woman of Haitian origin, had misappropriated union funds when she was president of one of UNE’s locals, according to a tribunal decision dated April 26.

How a terror suspect slipped through immigration’s cracks (Greg Weston, CBC)
Almost 20 years after Raed Jaser was ordered kicked out of Canada as a bogus refugee with a fake passport and a criminal past, he was still alive and well and living in Toronto last month when police charged him with plotting an alleged al-Qaeda-backed attack on a Via Rail passenger train. Far from being deported, Jaser had been pardoned for his previous crimes, while his illegal entry into Canada was equally forgiven with the ultimate immigration hug — permanent residency. While most Canadians were no doubt horrified by the alleged plot to derail a passenger train, Jaser’s stunning history of avoiding deportation has also raised fundamental questions about Canada’s immigration system, and what it takes to get kicked out of this country. Even Immigration Minister Jason Kenney confessed that the Jaser file gave him a holy cow moment, and prompted him to call a full investigation.

VisionTV Presents Extremism Exposed (Vision TV)
Fear. Hatred. Misconceptions. Lies. Distrust. Amongst our world’s rich kaleidoscope of cultures, ethnicities and faiths, these all factor in to why one group of human beings may revile and persecute another. VisionTV’s EXTREMISM EXPOSED is a series of hard-hitting, shocking, enlightening and ultimately hopeful documentaries exploring, exposing and shedding light on the dark corners of religion and ethnicity-based intolerance, hatred and violence.

Speaker’s Corner: CIC a tribunal, paralegals argue (Andrea Sesum, Law Times)
Last week, the Licenced Paralegals Association of Ontario and the Paralegal Society of Ontario addressed the question of the scope of paralegal practice in immigration matters at the Law Society of Upper Canada ahead of a motion considering the issue at its annual general meeting this week. Gerri Camus, chairman of the association’s governance committee, and I presented submissions along with the research and case law regarding the current scope of paralegal immigration practice. We were asking the law society to clarify Bylaw 4 in relation to the limitations on the scope of practice to work before the Immigration and Refugee Board only. The limitation on the scope of practice, however, does not derive from the bylaw itself that states paralegals can engage in work “before a tribunal established under an act of the legislature of Ontario or under an act of Parliament.”


A long, dangerous road: Refugees share their journeys from Africa to Manitoba (Winnipeg Free Press)
Winnipeg’s Anne Mahon borrowed from her experience as a volunteer to interview refugees from Africa about the horrors that ejected them from their homes. The often chilling accounts of loss, war, genocide, rape and violence compiled in this book are also profoundly inspiring. The book will be launched on Tuesday, May 7 at 7 p.m. at McNally Robinson Booksellers at Grant Park Shopping Centre.

Amplify: The social networks of refugees (Nancy White)
A research report on Social networks, social capital and refugee integration has just been published by the universities of Birmingham and Cardiff. The study was based on an analysis of The Survey of New Refugees (SNR), augmented with a short online survey.

Catholic hospitals footing the bill for refugee treatments (Michael Swan, Catholic Register)
Toronto’s two large, acute-care Catholic hospitals have written off more than $174,000 in treatment costs for more than 800 refugee patients no longer covered by federal health insurance, The Catholic Register has learned. As of June 30 last year Citizenship and Immigration Canada imposed new, far-reaching limits on the Interim Federal Health Plan, rendering many refugees and refugee applicants either ineligible for health coverage or insured for only a limited menu of services.


In wake of long-form census, Statcan braces for Wednesday release of survey data (Jennifer Ditchburn, Metro News)
To be sure, the results of the inaugural National Household Survey will still include detailed information about immigration, birthplace, aboriginal Canadians and visible minorities, among other categories. But the folks who develop policy and plan for items such as roads, hospitals, low-income housing, recreation centres and immigrant services across Canada are worried about how far they’ll be able to drill down into the numbers. “This information is important so each of the communities will be able to push the government on programs and benefits and actions that are needed to address disparities,” said Avvy Go, director of the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic. “It’s not just visible minorities as a category or women as a category, we need more detail within that category.”

Canadian Social Research Newsletter : May 5, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. 2012 Ontario Budget – May 2, 2013 : links to Ontario Budget documents and media coverage PLUS analysis and critique of the budget measures from the following:
—The Income Security Advocacy Centre
— The 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction
— The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
— Ontario Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
— Canadian Union of Public Employees – Ontario
— Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction
— TD Bank Economics – Federal and Provincial Budgets
2. The Welfarization of Disability Programs (John Stapleton presentation to the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg) – March 23, 2012
3. Update from the Basic Income Canada Network – May 2
4. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Update – May 3
5. [Ontario] Social Assistance, Pension and Tax Credit Rates, April – June 2013 (Ministry of Community and Social Services)
6. Canadians’ consumer tax burden is not as onerous as it sounds (Andrew Jackson in the Globe and Mail) – May 1
7. British Columbia Election Debate Infographic – April 30
8. New from the Caledon Institute of Social Policy in April:
— Ensuring the Welfare of ‘Welfare Incomes’
— A Filmflam [Federal] Budget
9. 2013 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada – April 30
10. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Payroll employment, earnings and hours, February 2013 – April 25
— Payment patterns of child and spousal support – April 24
— Data Inventory Project, 2012 – April 22
11. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

“For The People Of Ontario” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about the Ontario budget with Ontario’s Finance Minister, Charles Sousa.

Sociology: I Can’t Quit You (Behind the numbers)
True confession time, people. I commit sociology. And not just as a one-off. You might say—all right, I will say it—that I’m a repeat offender. In fact, I’m practically addicted. Scarcely a minute can go by without my synapses looking for their next fix. That might not be a politically correct admission. After all, this is tough-on-crime Canada, where such wanton disregard for Father-Knows-Best-ology and doing the “right” thing (and not in that perilously-close-to-committing-sociology Spike Lee kind of way) seems almost, well, unpatriotic.

May 2013 E-bulletin (CCLA)
In This Issue
CCLA Reacts to Montreal’s Crackdown on Protests
Case for Exceptional Terrorism Provisions Remains Unconvincing
CCLA Testifies at the Senate, Advocates for Stricter Limits On and Greater Transparency Around Emergency Wiretaps
From Local to International: Challenging Canada’s Human Rights Record at the UN

Guest column: New 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 fulltime 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.

Ontario Supporting Small Urban Municipalities (Gov of Ontario news)
The new Ontario government unveiled a series of new initiatives intended to help small urban municipalities create jobs and grow their economies, which will also help people in their everyday lives. Ontario’s Budget 2013 also commits a dedicated fund for municipal roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure in small, rural and Northern municipalities.

Do the Conservatives want to change Canada’s history? (Colin Horgan, iPolitics)
The question, really, is why? Why would a Commons committee undertake a study of something that isn’t really under its jurisdiction? This is essentially what the Heritage committee is about to do, after it decided it would launch a “thorough and comprehensive review of significant aspects in Canadian history,” which will include “a breakdown and comparison of relevant standards and courses of study offered in primary and post-secondary institutions in each of the provinces and territories.” Online reaction to a Postmedia story Thursday night on the committee’s decision was resoundingly negative — and in the House of Commons on Friday it didn’t get much better.

Searchable Information on Government Spending is now Just a Click Away (Treasury Board)
The Expenditure Database fulfills a commitment made by the Government to Parliamentarians for a more accessible financial reporting system. The online portal was one of the recommendations to come out of a Report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates which looked to strengthen Parliamentary scrutiny of the Estimates process. The database allows users to search for spending information in three categories: by Authorities and Expenditures, which compares the amount of funding that was authorized to what was actually spent, by Standard Object, which details itemized government spending, and by Program. By clicking on any value presented in the database, users can obtain government-wide totals and make comparisons of the data.


Reflecting the City: Employment Equity at Work – City of Saskatoon (
Building a workforce that is representative of a newly diverse population through community outreach, partnerships and pre-employment coaching. (This article was originally published by The Cities of Migration.)

Changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program do not address the vulnerability of migrant workers in Canada (KAIROS Canada)
On Monday, April 29 the Government of Canada introduced changes to the temporary foreign workers program (TFWP). The announcement came a few weeks after news of the Royal Bank of Canada’s decision to displace Canadian workers by outsourcing contracts to overseas companies generated a public outcry that was swift and largely critical of the bank. The resulting public debate, which revolved around how migrants are taking jobs away from Canadians, was intensified by media reports that a wide range of companies were engaged in similar labour recruitment practices.

Temporary Foreign Workers In Alberta: Report Shows Flood Of TFW As Jobs Disappear, Wages Fall (Huffington Post)
What was intended to be a tool aimed at preventing economic retreat and loss of revenue due to labour shortages, has become a go-to solution for companies to artificially keep labour costs down, according to a new report. The Temporary Foreign Workers Program has evolved into an effective tool used by corporations to increase their profit margins. Alberta opponents of the TFWP claim it does so on the backs of foreign and Canadian workers, and say the province is ground zero for the worst offences, abuses and misuses of the controversial program.

Temporary Foreign Workers: Abuse, Exploitation Could Be Solved With Immigration Fix, Experts Say (Huffington Post)
The problems caused by the federal Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program could be fixed easily if low-skilled workers were given easier access to citizenship, several stakeholders told The Huffington Post Canada. While some argued the foreign workers program is necessary to respond to employers’ needs, others said the TFW Program is so flawed the only solution is to scrap it. Any low-skilled labour needs should be filled by immigrants already in the country or by an increased number of new refugees, one stakeholder said.

Industry reacts to foreign worker program changes (Journal of Commerce)
Canadian union leaders say reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program highlight the need for full involvement of all stakeholders in the consultation process, but some are concerned the changes will harm the construction industry. “We met with the government about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in 2012 and warned them that it was open to abuse,” said Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. “At the time they accused us of fear mongering, but now they are making some of the changes that we suggested.”–industry-reacts-to-foreign-worker-program-changes&ct=ga&cad=CAEQARgAIAAoATAAOABA9vyXjAVIAlAAWABiBWVuLVVT&cd=oSVaUm5mD3U&usg=AFQjCNEdoRkEgtstAecahaJvneTWQjZhiA

McMaster University conference aims to educate community on issues facing migrant workers (Hamilton Spectator)
When Josephine Eric came to Hamilton as a migrant worker in 1990, she would have to walk all the way from Dundas to Jackson Square just to meet another Filipina woman. There were just three or four of them — young Filipina nannies — in town then, she said. Today, the number of migrant workers in Hamilton (and Ontario, Canada) has exploded. According to a Workforce Planning Hamilton Report in 2011 there were more than 300,000 temporary foreign workers in Canada, with 2,220 in Hamilton alone.–mcmaster-university-conference-aims-to-educate-community-on-issues-facing-migrant-workers

Fish plant struggling to bring in needed foreign workers (Jim Day, Guardian PEI)
The co-owner of a fish plant in western P.E.I. is blaming red tape for hampering efforts to bring in much-needed foreign workers. Dewis Cooke, of South Shore Seafoods in Rosebank, says he has about 300 workers offshore waiting to come to work at his fish plant but Citizenship and Immigration Canada is slow in clearing the way. “We’re frustrated,’’ he said. “We’re not getting any help.’’

#May1TO – A photo essay (Toronto Media Co-op)
For seven years, you have marched on May Day to celebrate and invigorate migrant justice struggles in Toronto. On International Workers Day, we march to build a Solidarity City. Solidarity City is a unified struggle for: Respect for Indigenous Sovereignty, Status for All, an End to Imperialism and Environmental Destruction, an End to Austerity and Attacks on the Poor and Working class, continued resistance against Patriarchy, Racism, Ableism and Homophobia and Transphobia.

Trent Henry – Ernst & Young LLP Canada (Diversity Journal)
In the global economy, growth, innovation, and talent can come from anywhere. I am proud to have been part of every stage of Ernst & Young’s ongoing journey to create a culture that is, and feels, inclusive, building on the unique attributes of each person. I remember clearly “the early days” when we formally embedded our “People First” approach into our values. As I lead industry discussions on diversity and talent management, I have pursued a style of personal leadership that reflects my belief that organizations thrive best when they activate the full range of perspectives and strengths of their people. At EY, this approach enriches our competitive advantage and leads to bold ideas to help clients—making the most of Canada’s multicultural population and interdependence on global markets.

Bill McFarland – PwC Canada (Diversity Journal)
Making a difference to the success of our clients, people, and communities starts with an ability to see and relate to different perspectives. Canada is one of the most diverse nations in the world and reflecting that diversity and being inclusive in the way we do business is not only the right thing to do but also good business.

Deborah Newman – Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (Diversity Journal)
I am proud to lead the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) and, more broadly, to be a Deputy Minister in the Ontario Public Service, an organization that actively promotes diversity and inclusion. I believe that creating a culture of belonging that accepts, values, and acknowledges the contributions of all employees is vital. I also strongly believe that our workplace benefits from attracting talented employees who represent the diverse society in Ontario.

Gordon M. Nixon – RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) (Diversity Journal)
I am often asked why diversity matters to me. Simply put, it’s both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. It simply makes good business sense. Why do I say that? First, talent is diverse. Attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent is essential to the success of any business. I also know that diversity is a source of strength.

‘Antiquated’ apprentice rules starving economy of skilled workers: report (Globe and Mail)
Overly restrictive and “antiquated” provincial regulations are contributing to a shortage of young apprentices and starving the economy of badly needed skilled workers, according to a C.D. Howe Institute study. Ottawa and the provinces offer a range of grants and tax incentives to encourage workers to become apprentice electricians, carpenters, welders and the like. And the country’s roughly two million skilled tradespeople typically earn much higher incomes.

We should give thanks for low-skilled immigrants (Troy Media)
The immigration debate, whether it occurs in Saudi Arabia, the United States or even Canada, really boils down to answering a simple question: Do we want to import workers or goods? Like money, workers go (when able) to the place that treats them best. Often times this is where real wages are highest. Real in this sense means cost-adjusted, so that a worker making a low wage in a low-cost country (say Mexico) may actually have a higher standard of living than one working at a high wage job in a high-cost country (perhaps Switzerland). There is an enduring tendency for profits to equalize across all businesses as entrepreneurs move to exploit opportunities. The same holds true for real wages. As workers move from lower to higher real wage areas, there is the same equilibrating tendency. The relative removal of supply from the low wage country will place upward pressure on the wages of the remaining workers. The influx of new workers to the higher wage country functions in the opposite direction – wages begin to depress as a result of the increase in relative labour supply.


Toronto’s Urbanism Headlines: Friday (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Transit, Biking and Other News.

SPT Member Forum – Knowing Your Community: Wellbeing Toronto and Other Great Resources (Social Planning Toronto)
Register now for SPT’s June 5 forum! Students, journalists, researchers, community groups, and almost any other individuals require access to data, whether it is for personal or professional use. Unfortunately, how to access this data is not always clear. In 2013 the City of Toronto released the second version of Wellbeing Toronto, a website and mapping system chock-full of data about Toronto neighbourhoods. Join us as City of Toronto staff provide step-by-step training on Wellbeing Toronto, including its exciting new features, and share other excellent resources available to you and your community.


Why Toronto is saying goodbye to galas (Gayle Macdonald, Globe and Mail)
Toronto’s elite may have been surprised to find an email pop up in their inbox last week from flamboyant society fixture Salah Bachir, declaring: “You ARE NOT invited to a long, formal evening of so-so food, questionable entertainment, and uncomfortable shoes” to raise money for St. Joseph’s Health Centre, where he’s been undergoing dialysis treatment the past four months. Instead, the veteran philanthropist, whose nickname is “Gala Salah,” simply asked his friends to donate. Given his 24-karat Rolodex, he expected a response, but he was unprepared for the outpouring from across the country, and as far away as Lebanon. “Several friends have even offered me a kidney in addition to cash,” he says demurely. “I was very flattered, of course.”

OUR EXCLUSIVE LOOK: North York Community House (Inside Toronto)
As part of the newspapers’s Exclusive Look series, we are focusing on the organizations that make up the Bathurst-Finch Community Hub and the services they offer to the community. The Mirror sat down with Shelley Zuckerman, executive director of North York Community House.

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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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