Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 10, 2013


Visible minority: A misleading concept that ought to be retired (Frances Woolley, Globe and Mail)
In Canada, anyone who considers themself neither white nor aboriginal is classified by the government, for a number of purposes, as a visible minority. It is an artificial concept that has become unnecessary and counterproductive. Ultimately, the dividing line is arbitrary. For example, Arabic people from North Africa and the Middle East are counted as white in the U.S. Census. Yet anyone who ticks the Arab box on Canadas National Household Survey is counted as a visible minority unless they tick both the white box and the Arab box. Then theyre white. The same applies if you identify as both Hispanic and white; in the United States, that makes you a visible minority.

Time for action on corporate diversity, Status of Women Minister Ambrose says (Janet McFarland, Globe and Mail)
A federal committee developing proposals to get more women on boards of directors must draft action-oriented recommendations and not produce a lengthy report on an issue that has already been studied for years, says Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose. Ms. Ambrose, chairwoman of a new committee of business executives studying women on boards, said she has given her committee a broad mandate to consider legislative or other reforms that would help boost the number of women on corporate boards in Canada. The only caveat I gave to them is that I didnt want a study or necessarily a report, Ms. Ambrose said in an interview.

New Canadians help introduce sport to North (Benjamin Aubé, Timmins Press)
It was basically Timmins version of the Cricket World Cup. A ragtag, yet clearly talented team of local cricketers took on a slightly more experienced team visiting from North Bay at Fred Salvador Field. Though the scale of Saturday afternoons matchup was considerably smaller than the World Cup, there was an undeniable sense of excitement in the air, both on the field and in the stands. Fans cheered as a North Bay bowler tried to whip a small yellow ball past a Timmins batsman. The bowlers goal: Strike down the wickets being protected by said batsman. The game was jointly organized by the Timmins and North Bay District Multicultural Centres, as well as the Timmins Local Immigration Partnership, to celebrate Diversity Day in the city.

Q&A with Shawn MacKenzie on consumer racial profiling (Chronicle Herald)
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission recently released the first report in Canada on consumer racial profiling. It found that 77 per cent of the 1,219 Nova Scotians who participated reported differential treatment while shopping due to race or ethnicity. Shawn MacKenzie was doing a work term at the commission as part of his bachelor of social work degree when his supervisor Anne Divine approached him to research and write the report for the commission.

Video: Canada closing door to immigrants (Daniel Lak, Al Jazeera)
Canada is known to be one of the world’s most welcoming destinations for migrants and refugees, but there’s concern that’s all about to change. The government is modifying its immigration policy to make the country less open than it used to be.

How changing demographics change policing (Dakshana Bascaramurty, Globe and Mail)
So … whats 9-1-1? It wasnt a question cops in Brampton had to answer much 20 years ago, when Bramptons population was 256,000 and much of its northern region was still farmers fields. How times change. Following an immigration boom thats made Brampton more than twice as big as it was in the early nineties, that question is one of the new realities of policing in a city of more than half a million people, many of them newcomers.

Fil-Canadian to launch bamboo beer (Odette Montelibano, Global Nation)
His drive for innovation has led to the notable achievement of being the first Filipino-Canadian licensed brewer in North America and the inventor of the all-natural Bamboo Beer, classified as a premium lager by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Vincent Cruz Villanis, 29, is a Filipino migrant who aspires to more than reaping profits from his unique brew. He has a passion for innovation.

City of Toronto accepts Ontario Chinese Artists Association artworks (City of Toronto)
The donated artworks include a painting entitled, A Brilliant Landmark, CN Tower on Toronto Skyline by Jordon Wu and two calligraphy poems by Ken Kai-Ming Chui entitled, Life in the Mountains on an Autumn Evening and Ode to the Moon. They will be displayed in the Scarborough Civic Centre rotunda until July 31 and will later be installed in the Scarborough Civic Centre Council Chambers. These donated artworks are now part of the Citys official art collection.

Indo Canadian Award (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Raj Kothari. He is a Managing Partner with Price Waterhouse Coopers. Tomorrow night he is receiving an award as Male Professional of the Year from the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce.

Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce to honour 11 outstanding achievers (Globe and Mail)
On its 36 th annual Gala and Award night this weekend, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce members will honour the talents of Indo-Canadians in business, varied professions and philanthropy. As in previous years, they will recognize 11 outstanding people entrepreneurs, professionals, achievers in technology and young achievers at the June 8 event, that is expected to attract 1,200 attendees, including guest of honour Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne; a business delegation from the Indian state of Karnataka; and a veritable whos who from Bay Street.

Settlement.Org User Survey Results Now Available (Settlement.Org)
The 2013 Settlement.Org User survey is now complete and prize winners have been contacted. In total, 300 people filled out the survey and several lucky people won a prize. Your answers and comments were thoughtful and very valuable. They will help us to continue doing the things you like and try to improve the things you don’t like.

Focus on diversitys richness (Markham Economist & Sun)
In recent letters to the editor, articles and editorials, Ive noticed a disturbing trend that is leading me to question what it means to be Canadian. I grew up in a time where Canadians took pride in being the cultural mosaic in counterpart to the United States cultural melting pot. If you look up Canadian in the dictionary, it is defined as a person born, raised or living in Canada. To me, that means you are Canadian regardless of the colour of your skin, language you speak, holidays you celebrate or religious venue you attend. However, as more census statistics indicate the continued growth of visible minorities there appears to be a backlash against cultural groups that have not fully assimilated into Canada and retain their cultural identity, language and religion.

Funding changes underway (Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now)
Burnaby service providers who help immigrants and refugees are in the midst of a government-funding sea change. On Monday, Citizenship and Immigration Canada put a call out for settlement work funding proposals for April 2014 – that’s when the federal government takes back control of the millions that are normally transferred to the province. That money, more than $100 million this year, pays for language and settlement services, anti-racism initiatives and the provincial government’s Welcome B.C. program. Jody Johnson, project coordinator for the Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table, wasn’t sure what shape the new model would take.

Breaking barriers: Canadian-Muslim women and fitness (Lindsay Borthwick, Best Health Mag)
For the first time since she left the University of Torontos varsity squad and a regional league more than 10 years ago, Shireen Ahmed is playing competitive soccer again. Shes still a fierce player and just as swift, but her kit has changed ever so slightly: These days, she wears a headscarf, or hijab. She adopted it as a student, while attending a conference where wearing it was required. It was a very unprompted act, recalls Ahmed, an observant Muslim. It was always presented to me as a choice. After the conference, I was very hesitant to take it off. So I didnt. Her decision meant she had to hang up her cleats, at least until local soccer officials warmed to the idea that a footballer (as Ahmed calls herself) could wear a hijab.

Racist Quebec Soccer Federation Needs To Wake Up From Its Slumber Of Intolerance! (R. Paul Dhillon , The Link)
While the whole world, even the usually quiet-on-racism federal Conservatives, is saying that there is nothing wrong with turbaned kids playing soccer, the racist Quebec soccer federation continues to deny a fundamental right in society for all kids to play sport regardless of their religion or head covering. The Quebec federation, which actually has no right to ban turban-wearing children from playing, according to the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA), needs to wake up from its slumber of intolerance and change it mean spirited ways or there will be hell to pay.

Quebec Soccer Federation Defying The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms (Dr Raghbir Singh Bains, The Link)
Multiculturalism in Canada has a long history of vibrant diversity. The policy was officially adopted by the Canadian government during the 1970s and 1980s. In fact it was to celebrate the multitude of racial, religious and cultural backgrounds of people living in Canada. Before examination of the real problem, we must identify the centuries old history of Canada and its people. All of us know that Canada is a picturesque and peaceful country in the world. It is mostly inhabited by immigrants whether they are late migrants or early settlers from Europe, African countries, Asia, south Asia or other regions. Most of its citizens are either Aboriginals, immigrants or descendents from earlier immigrants.

Sikhs play soccer wearing turbans in protest of ban (CBC)
A group of young men assembled at the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh temple in LaSalle to play a pick-up game of soccer. It was in protest of a recent ruling by the Quebec Soccer Federation to maintain a ban on turbans on the field.

Diversity Diary 2.01 Play Ball (CIDI)
Welcome to the season two premier of The Diversity Diary, a vlog by Michael Bach, CCDP/AP Founder and CEO, Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion. Today Michael comments on the recent decision by the Quebec Soccer Federation to uphold a ban on Sikh players wearing their turban on the soccer pitch.

Canadian Soccer Association steps in on Quebec turban ban (Ryan Remiorz, Calgary Herald)
The Canadian Soccer Association says a provincial association has no right to ban turban-wearing children from playing. The organization is wading into a controversy over the Quebec Soccer Federations decision to restrict turban-wearing Sikhs from the pitch. The Ottawa-based organization says it is currently discussing the matter with the provincial body, as a top priority, and it expects the position to be revised. (This) is the governing body for the sport in the country, a Canadian association official, requesting anonymity, said Friday. The Quebec Soccer Federation falls under our supervision. So they would apply the regulations the way we mandate them to.

The blatant racism and homophobia on this Canadian MMA reality show is ridiculous (MiddleEasy)
Oh Canada, what happened to that polished social veneer you guys put on whenever a foreigner visits your country? Oh, so you’re telling me that all of that overabundant kindness is just fake? My God, you guys are turning more American by the day. Airing on Canada’s ‘Super Channel’ is an MMA reality show that pits Brazilians against Canadians called ‘Fight Xchange.’ That’s right folks, the show is so cool that it doesn’t even need the ‘e.’ It just doesn’t have time to properly be spelled. It’s too busy skipping class and smoking underneath the bleachers.

My husband has abused me and threatens to have me deported if I report him (Your Legal Rights)
No. Your spouse or partner might threaten to have you deported from Canada if you report his abusive behaviour. He might say he has this right because he sponsored you. He does not have this right. Only federal immigration authorities make the decision to deport someone. But there are new rules about sponsorship of a spouse or common-law partner. In most cases, if you have permanent resident status, you cannot lose that status or be removed from Canada only because you have left an abusive relationship. This is true even if your abusive partner is your sponsor. However, if your partner reports to immigration that your relationship was not genuine or that it was fraudulent, immigration officials may conduct an investigation which could result in your permanent residence status being taken away.

What Canada Teaches Us About Immigration and Politics (Reihan Salam, National Review)
Shikha Dalmia observes that the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) has fared well among foreign-born voters. She draws on this experience to make the following argument: Republicans will be able to win national elections not by brandishing their limited government ideals but promising free goodies to minorities. But Republicans need simply look north to realize that such defeatist thinking represents a failure of imagination.

Local women feted for years of service to Cornwall area newcomers (Cornwall Seaway News)
The recipe for success in any new country includes one part fortune and two parts determination – and both Chris Francis and Sarala Gill embody that sentiment in spades. The pair were both honoured at the Eastern Ontario Training Board’s annual general meeting, where they were presented with awards that will bear their names in the years to come for others who make a significant contribution to the lives of local newcomers, or who have beaten long odds in making a life for themselves after moving here from another country.

Religious patterns mold Metro Vancouver neighbourhoods (maps) (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
Birds of a feather flock together and so do humans of the same religious and philosophical world views. The Vancouver Suns Chad Skelton has created a geographic mapping tool that reveals many Metro residents are choosing to live among people who share their religious beliefs or secular outlook. This region of 2.3 million is peppered with neighbourhoods in which Catholics, Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, evangelicals, United Church members and the non-religious live in clusters.

Is there a technological fix for racism? These scientists say yes. (
Playing videogame or virtual reality avatars whose race is different from yours could reduce your racial biases, according to a new study. Now, scientists are using this insight to explore how technology could help build empathy and reduce tension between different groups of people. In recent years, numerous studies have shown just how easy it is to trick your brain into taking ownership of a physical or virtual body not your own. For example, a couple years ago researchers found they could make people believe they had a third arm by doing little more than placing a rubber, human-looking arm right next to their real arms. And in 2008, scientists demonstrated the body-swapping illusion, where study participants felt as though they were in the body of a mannequin or another person.


Ontario hospitals absorb health costs to treat refugees (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
A year after Ottawa cut health funding for refugees, Ontario hospitals are absorbing the costs or pursuing those patients for unpaid medical bills. Hospitals in Greater Toronto are hardest hit by the changes, made effective by the federal government last June, since the majority of refugees are destined for this province. The University Health Network which includes Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret hospitals, along with the Toronto Rehab Institute expects to foot a total $800,000 bill this year for services delivered to the uninsured in its emergency rooms alone.

FCJ Refugee Centre received Pioners for Change Award (FCJ Centre)
During the ceremony they highlighted that access to information means access to justice; access to knowledge and the tools necessary to mobilize that knowledge and lead to integration; in only one kind of integration and is called successful integration. It means access to equity; access to civil society, wherever is defined by them; access to social services and diverse arenas of support; access to fair and sustainable housing; access to healthcare. And despite the progress that has been made in the past, avenues to access have become increasingly narrowed, particularly with the disturbing changes that have taken place over the past year.

This immigrants tale should be seen by all (Joe Belanger, London Free Press)
When Anatolia Speaks, Canadians should listen. The new play by fringe regular Kenneth Brown, staring Candice Fiorentino, explains why this country has always needed, and should always welcome, the refugees who arrive here to build new lives. The one-woman show is brilliant, Fiorentinos performance at the Grand Theatres McManus Studio is surely one of the best in this years London Fringe festival.

Petition started to fight Chatham couple’s deportation (Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News)
A couple facing deportation is hoping the court of public opinion can help bolster their case for staying in Canada. Muhamet Bajraktari, 36, and his wife Ganimete Berisha, 29, were ordered back to their homeland of Kosovo, along with their four-year-old daughter, Eliza Bajraktari, who was born in Chatham. Their work visas expired and they have been turned down as refugee claimants. The couple, along with Berisha’s uncle Naser Berisha, owner of Pizza Tonite, where they have worked since arriving in Canada in 2007, have launched a petition to gather support.


Canadian Social Research Newsletter : June 9, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Accidentally Green & Inadvertently Poor? The strange case of the District of Scarborough Ontario (John Stapleton, Open Policy) – June 7
2. I Stand Alone : Why I resigned from the Conservative caucus (Brent Rathgeber, M.P. for Edmonton-St. Albert) – June 6
3. Launch of the Canadian Observatory On Homelessness (Wellesley Institute) – June 6
4. Canadas First National Conference on Ending Homelessness, (Ottawa) October 28-30, 2013 (Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness)
5. Brigit’s Notes — Le Bloc-notes de Brigit (Canadian Women’s Health Network) – June 2013 issue
6. Media and Policy News for June 7, 2013 (By Jennefer Laidley, Income Security Advocacy Centre)
7. My two cents’ worth regarding the $90K cheque from the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff to shamed Senator Duffy
8. Hey, Stephen Harper : What have you got against Aboriginal people??
— Aboriginal groups shocked by federal fund cuts – June 6
— An obsessively partisan Stephen Harper slips into his Richard Nixon mode – June 6
— Government went too far in surveillance of First Nations advocate: report – May 28
— Harper government withheld documents in indigenous human-rights case – May 17
9. SPARmonitor – Monitoring Toronto’s Social Change [SPAR = Social Policy Analysis & Research, City of Toronto] – May 22 and June 5
10. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Labour Force Survey, May 2013 – June 7
— Summary elementary and secondary school indicators for Canada, the provinces and territories, 2001 to 2011 (final) – June 7
11. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Get back to evidence-based policy: let government scientists off the leash (WSIC)
Citizens need to know the rationale for government policy. For example, if our government says that more jails will reduce crime, and says the science supports that, we ought to know whether scientists employed by the government are advising against such a policy. Under the current rules, the media would need to request access, and the scientist would need to submit all questions and answers to the Ministry for pre-approval. If the Ministry does not want information to be released, the media request may not be approved.

Engage! to create Vibrant Communities May 2013 – PDF (Tamarack)
In this Issue…
Navigating Collective Impact
The Way of Innovation
Changing the Equation: Measuring Financial Vulnerability
Sacred Fundraising: Reframing Philanthropy

Study of Income Inequality in CanadaWhat Can Be Done (East York Housing Help)
CCPA Senior Economist Armine Yalnizyan testified in House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, on the study of Income Inequality in Canada. This resource is a transcript of that hearing. Along with the written transcript they have also made the video of the hearing available as well.


Are foreign workers the problem or employment insurance? (William Watson, Financial Post)
Dont say academic economists never work on topical subjects. The winner of this years John Vanderkamp prize for best paper in the flagship policy journal Canadian Public Policy, awarded last weekend in Montreal at the annual meetings of the Canadian Economics Association, was for work on the effects of Ottawas Temporary Foreign Worker program. Ripped from the headlines, as they used to say in the Law and Order promos. You may recall that before we all became obsessed with where Senator Mike Duffy lives, there was a minor kerfuffle about the Royal Bank having hired temporary workers to help move back-office work to India, something it has since solemnly sworn as part of a new Bank Local movement never to do again.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program works for Canada (Garth Whyte, Financial Post)
Much in the news recently, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW) has been recipient of a wide range of accusations, ranging from the assertion certain organizations are using it to replace employed Canadians, the presence of overseas staff is depressing salaries and wages in this country particularly in lower-skilled occupations and that unscrupulous employers are abusing program participants. The initiative is currently under review by the federal government and our organization, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, fully supports the thorough investigation of all claimed abuses. Our association also completely supports the primary objective of the TFW program: permit the use of foreign workers only when Canadians are not available to fill the job. We want the program to emerge from the government review with a strengthened sense of purpose and integrity, and an enhanced reputation.

Foreign worker recruitment programs need streamlining (
Lets face it, its not easy work. As the Canadian Cattlemens Association said in a recent note on the CCA Action News website, there is widespread recognition that traditional Canadian sources for agriculture labour are proving inadequate. Simply put, few Canadian-born workers aspire to work in livestock production and meat processing jobs, particularly due to the tendency of such positions being in remote or rural locations, said the note. This is one of many reasons behind the need for an additional 50,900 non-seasonal and 38,800 seasonal workers, according to a Canadian Agriculture Human Resource Council (CAHRC) Labour Market Information on Recruitment and Retention Report (2009).

Activists Demand Real Change to Temporary Foreign Worker Program (USW)
Labour, community and immigrants’ rights activists will converge on Conservative MP Joe Oliver’s office Monday to demand an end to the Harper government’s low-wage economic strategy and abuse of temporary foreign workers. “The Conservatives say they’re reforming their wage-suppressing Temporary Foreign Worker Program, but with the public sector being gutted, there will be no real oversight,” said Ken Neumann, Canadian director of the United Steelworkers (USW).

Dialogue on Diversity… People Experiencing Poverty and Precarious Employment (Immigration Waterloo Region)
Waterloo Region will be a better place to live, work and play if we foster a community where individuals feel a sense of belonging and are able to achieve their full potential a community where no one is left behind. The Region of Waterloo in partnership with several community organizations have partnered to host a Dialogue on Diversity that will focus on issues faced by People experiencing poverty and precarious employment.

Nanny denies defence’s suggestions (Keith Fraser, The Province)
A lawyer for a Vancouver couple accused of enslaving a Filipino nanny has suggested that the nanny was motivated by financial gain by filing a civil lawsuit against his clients. Nicholas Preovolos, who is representing Oi Ling Nicole Huen and Franco Yiu Kwan Orr, noted in criminal court Friday that in October 2011, Leticia Sarmiento had filed suit against the couple seeking damages. The suit, filed in B.C. Supreme Court, contains many of the allegations of domestic servitude now being heard in the criminal trial.

Come together right now: Organizing for good jobs, resisting attacks on workers rights (Social Planning Toronto)
Join us! Tuesday, June 25 at the Scarborough Civic Centre, Committee Room 2 from 6 8:30 PM. Refreshments 6 PM. Panel 6:30-8:30 PM. Panel: Regi David, West Scarborough Community Legal Services, John Cartwright, Toronto and York Region Labour Council, speaker from the Raise the Minimum Wage Campaign and Cammie Peirce, CAW Canada

Vancouver nanny motivated by money, not human rights, couples lawyer argues (Jonathan Hayward, The Province)
A lawyer for a Vancouver couple accused of enslaving a Filipino nanny has suggested that the nanny was motivated by financial gain by filing a civil lawsuit against his clients. Nicholas Preovolos, who is representing Oi Ling Nicole Huen and Franco Yiu Kwan Orr, noted in criminal court Friday that October 2011, Leticia Sarmiento had filed suit against the couple seeking damages. The suit, filed in B.C. Supreme Court, contains many of the allegations of domestic servitude now being heard in the criminal trial.


Innoweave Workshops, Coaching and Grants (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
The Foundations Innoweave program is pleased to announce a new round of Innoweave Implementation Grants, which support organizations in obtaining the coaching required to implement new management tools. Applications open this month and close on July 2nd. In related news, Innoweave recently announced the formation of a Coaching Pool. To learn more about becoming an Innoweave coach, click here.

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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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