Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 13, 2013


The new Canadian millionaires: Women and immigrants (Francine Kopun, Toronto Star)
Almost half of Canadas richest residents are new immigrants or first generation Canadians, according to research conducted for BMO. The survey found that two-thirds of Canadas millionaire respondents were self-made, with only 20 per cent attributing at least part of their wealth to an inheritance. And 48 per cent were either immigrants to Canada (24 per cent) or described themselves as first generation Canadians, with at least one parent born outside of Canada (24 per cent), according to the research.

An inside look at Canadas millionaires (Misty Harris,
Seeking the American dream? Come to Canada. In one of the most comprehensive studies of our nations affluent, analysts report that two-thirds of Canadas millionaires are self-made. Strikingly, almost half the nations high net-worth individuals are either immigrants or first-generation Canadians, compared to just one-third of millionaires in the U.S., and nearly seven in 10 of them generated their own riches. Canada has always been positioned as a place of opportunity; with this study, were able to validate that, said Yannick Archambault, vice-president and chief operating officer of BMO Harris Private Banking, which commissioned the study. (Immigrants) bring a strong work ethic, a lot of determination and entrepreneurship.

BMO Harris Private Banking Changing Face of Wealth Study: Diversity Reigns Among High-Net Worth Canadians (BMO)
The study found that two-thirds (67 per cent) are self-made millionaires, making their wealth on their own, while only one-in-five (20 per cent) attribute at least part of their wealth to an inheritance. Additionally, almost half (48 per cent) are either immigrants to Canada (24 per cent), or describe themselves as first generation Canadians with at least one parent born outside of Canada (24 per cent). Within this group of new Canadians, more than two-thirds (68 per cent) reported that their wealth was self-made. Interestingly, the study found that new Americans account for only one-third of the wealthy in the U.S.

Vancouver Sun: Immigration Costs Canada $20 Billion a Year (CICS)
In a special to the Vancouver Sun on Tuesday, a Simon Fraser University professor of economics, Herbert Grubel, argues that immigration costs Canadians up to $20 billion a year when all the costs and benefits are tallied. Grubel, who is also a senior research fellow at the Fraser Institute, goes through some of recent findings on the economic effects of immigration from studies in various countries to come to his estimate.

Non Citizen Vote (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Desmond Cole. He is an urban activist and a writer with Torontoist.

Giving non-citizens the right to vote in city elections: Your questions answered. (Rachel Mendleson, Toronto Star)
Toronto City Council is asking the province to allow permanent residents who aren’t yet citizens to vote in local elections. Heres what you need to know.

Council votes in favour of electoral reform measures (CBC)
Toronto city councillors voted on Monday in favour of extended voting rights, different balloting, and online voting that could be a groundbreaking step towards electoral reform in Canada’s biggest municipality. If adopted, a key part of the proposed new measures would mean voting would no longer be restricted to only Canadian citizens, but also the hundreds of thousands of permanent residents living in the city, said Coun. Joe Mihevc.

Council votes to allow permanent residents to cast ballots (Don Peat, Toronto Sun)
City council wants to give non-Canadian citizens the right to vote in Toronto municipal elections. After a heated debate Tuesday, councillors voted 21 to 20 to ask the province to amend legislation to allow permanent residents the right to vote in local races. While Mayor Rob Ford voted against the idea, Councillor Anthony Perruzza the newest member of Fords executive committee cast what turned out to be the deciding vote in favour of giving permanent residents a vote at the municipal level.

City council backs electoral reform (Sunny Dhillon, Globe and Mail)
Toronto city council has voted in favour of electoral reform and will ask the province to amend legislation so it can use ranked choice balloting in municipal elections and allow permanent residents to vote. Council debated the issue for several hours Tuesday before voting in favour of the changes. Councillors also voted to form a working group to implement Internet voting for people with disabilities in time for the 2014 municipal election, and to monitor developments in Internet voting to determine if it should be adopted city-wide in 2018.

Giving non-citizens a vote is simply wrong-headed (Marcus Gee, Globe and Mail)
Should people who are not citizens of Canada be given the right to vote in City of Toronto elections? City council thinks so. Councillors voted 21-20 on Tuesday to ask the provincial government to change the rules, drop the citizenship requirement and allow permanent residents to cast ballots. Those who support this thoroughly backward idea argue that it would encourage newcomers to take part in the civic life of their new home, fostering a sense of belonging. It is more likely do just the opposite. The best path to full belonging is to become a citizen, and letting non-citizens vote removes an important incentive to take out citizenship. In the words of Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, it devalues, degrades and erodes what Canadian citizenship means.

Torontos plea to let non-citizens vote is wrong-headed (Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star)
Either Canadian citizenship means something or it does not. If it does not if it means nothing then Ontarios government should change the law to let non-citizen permanent residents vote in municipal elections, as Toronto city council requested Tuesday. But if citizenship means something . . . At first blush, the argument for extending the franchise to non-citizens might seem compelling.

Does Settling in Ethnic Enclaves within Major Cities Help Immigrant Integration? (Settlement AtWork)
This research addresses whether the tendency of immigrants to settle in big Canadian cities and in enclaves within these cities help their integration into Canadian society. The researcher found that many new immigrants to Canada, especially in Toronto and Vancouver, prefer to settle in the suburbs. They do so because their ethnic groups already have established communities there. For example, in Toronto the existing Chinese community in suburban Markham has drawn many Chinese immigrants. He also found that immigrants are willing to sacrifice the job opportunities and economic benefits of smaller Canadian cities for a sense of belonging and cultural identity that is found in the ethnic enclaves of bigger city suburbs.

Alberta A Preferred Destination for Newcomers (ERIEC)
The shifting geographic flow of immigrants has an impact on the quality of settlement services provided. The workload of settlement workers increases and the overall settlement funding decreases because of the federal and provincial budget cuts. It raises some serious concerns about the funding for settlement services in Edmonton as our city becomes a home to the vast majority of foreign-born residents and many of them have higher needs. There is a need for dialogue and a visionary approach to services provided to newcomers, so that there are better connections between the available opportunities and the labour market reality in our province.

Multiculturalism – Reality or Illusion (Huffington Post UK)
By contrast, multiculturalism has not come under the same level of criticism in Canada. In 2010, Naheed Nenshi, a Harvard-educated Muslim of Indian descent, was elected as the mayor of Calgary, Canada’s conservative bastion. His victory is one of many examples of Canada’s commitment to multiculturalism that has encouraged immigrants to preserve their ethnic roots while embracing their Canadian identity. The last two Governors General of Canada were born in Hong Kong and Haiti respectively. In Canada, well-integrated immigrants at the pinnacle of success in public and private life are increasingly and refreshingly commonplace.

Whats Fueling Growth In The Fragmented World Of Messaging Apps? Immigrants. (Kim-Mail Cutler, Techcrunch)
Even though it might seem intuitive that one messaging app will rule them all, WeChat, Line, WhatsApp and others are proving that messaging remains a stubbornly fragmented category with many geographic regions of the world seeing different leaders. KakaoTalk rules in South Korea, while WeChat dominates in China, while Line rules in Japan and the U.S. has no overwhelming leader. One thing thats interesting to note is how these apps are growing outside of their home markets. They are, in fact, spreading through immigrants, according to app tracking company Onavo. So immigrants arent just bringing their languages and cultures to new countries; theyre bringing apps too.

Governments wage war against their own human rights laws (John Swaigen, Toronto Star)
When award-winning writer Varda Burstyn complained to the Canadian Human Rights Commission about her treatment by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the last thing she expected was to be caught in the crossfire of a war between these government agencies.

Canada (and Vancouver) tops the world for travelling Brazilian students (Marcel Chaves,
You have probably already met, seen, or will meet a Brazilian here in Vancouver. Thats because Canada is once again Brazilians first choice in where to go to study English, followed by the U.S. and the United Kingdom (this is according to the Brazilian Educational and Language Travel Association, after surveying 89 Brazilian travel agencies). In addition, Brazils consul general to Vancouver, Sergio Florencio, confirmed in an interview in his office that Vancouver, among all Canadian cities, is Brazilians first choice as a place to study English abroad for both short or long periods. This is the fifth year in a row that Canada has led the world in this category, as far as Brazilians are concerned. According to UBC political-science PhD candidate and Liu Institute scholar Deborah Barros Leal Farias, the reasons include: relatively easy access to Canadian visas; cheap program prices; and fewer culture clashes when compared to the U.S., among other reasons.;jsessionid=A095F77485E0FE89CA9F5E897E13EEBB?s=60&fid=22&a=389711&f=latest&sp=true

June 2013 E-bulletin (CCLA)
In this issue:
CCLA Celebrates its 3rd Annual Gala
Surveillance Methods Cannot Compromise Fundamental Rights
The Ashley Smith Inquest: Segregation on trial
Ending Discrimination against international students
CCLA Welcomes Ontario Anti-SLAPP Bill
RightsWatch 2013

Diversity key in boardroom (Irene A. Seiferling, Star Phoenix)
Diversity refers to the different, valuable talents that individuals contribute to a team. Just as a hockey team needs a diversity of talent ranging from forwards and defencemen to goalies and coaches, a board needs the talents contributed by individual directors as well. Well-designed, richly diverse boards consist of high-quality directors who represent a range of skills and experience relevant to the particular company or organization, along with a variety of personal characteristics such as mixed gender. Other variables, such as ethnicity, age, geography and socio-economic status, may also be valuable in specific situations.

Pauline Marois disgraces herself by supporting Quebec Soccer Federation ban on turbans (Charlie Smith,
Quebec premier Pauline Marois backed an organization that banned kids with turbans from playing soccer. There’s always been an undercurrent of xenophobia within the Quebec separatist movement. Not every sovereignist is racist, of course. Far from it. But several people I respect who’ve lived in Quebec have told me that they’ve felt the vibe of racism on occasion. Racism isn’t exclusive to Quebec. It’s on display in every part of Canada. But it’s less frequently espoused by political leaders elsewhere, because they know there’s a high political price to pay in an increasingly diverse country.

I was a Sikh kid and I loved the game. Rescind the ban (Japreet Lahal, Globe and Mail)
The decision by the Quebec Soccer Federation (QSF) to ban players from playing the game of soccer is not only discriminatory, but an affront to all Canadians across this country who believe in the beauty of Canadas multicultural spirit and its Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Canadian Soccer Associations recent suspension of the QSF may certainly help in pressuring the provincial soccer federation to remove its turban ban. The form of discriminatory bullying carried out by QSF both segregates and ostracizes turbaned children who simply want to play the game of soccer.

Pettiness, hypocrisy and vacillation of Quebec soccer ban a microcosm of Canadian federalism (Andrew Coyne, National Post)
The thing we can all agree on is that nobody should impose their values on anyone else. The Quebec Soccer Federation should not impose its values on Sikh children and others whose religion commands them to wear a turban while playing. The Canadian Soccer Association should not impose its values on the QSF. And FIFA should not impose its values, whatever these might happen to be, on the CSA. Have I left anyone out? I dont know about you, but it seems to me that the one group that is least in danger of imposing its values on anyone else are the couple of hundred Sikh kids in the middle of all this, who would just like to get in a little soccer in the five minutes or so we have left before winter returns. Yet we are asked to take seriously the arguments of those who would prevent them from doing so, though they have resolutely refused to provide any serious arguments themselves.

Could Our Immigration System Be Even More Irrational? Sadly, Yes (John Hinderaker, Powerlineblog)
The U.S. has a terrible immigration system, which was designed largely by Ted Kennedy for the purpose of increasing diversity, without giving any thought to American interests. If we would simply adopt the Canadian system, it would be a vast improvement. Unfortunately, the Gang of Eights bill does not move in the right direction, i.e., an immigration policy that is designed to serve the best interests of the United States. Rather, it would make our immigration system even more irrational and destructive than it is currently.

Public Citizen: Letter 10 months in the making delays Kanata couples adoption of Haitian boy further (Hugh Adami, Ottawa Citizen)
Sarah Currie could not believe her ears the other day when Citizenship and Immigration called to tell her why the department could not get back to her sooner. It apparently took Citizenship and Immigration more than 10 months to draft a letter to Currie and her husband Michael, explaining why a little Haitian boy they are adopting would have to be sponsored to be allowed into the country. The couple had hoped Smith, a 21-month-old toddler, could have been brought in as a Canadian citizen after the department told Currie on two occasions last summer to go ahead with a citizenship application.

Feminisms double standard: Me and Beyoncé are out of the club (Denise Balkissoon, Globe and Mail)
To truly be meaningful to all 3.5 billion women on earth, feminism must, by definition, consider how sex and gender interplay with ability, class, race and the rest of it. The clunky but well-meaning term intersectionality has been coined to express that complex tangle. Ideally, whats supposed to happen is any woman worrying how her gender might be working against her is also supposed to think about how her education, good health, or infusions of parental cash might be working for her, too. Instead, when high-profile feminists are accused of framing womens issues through a limited, narcissistic lens, the response is either a meek apology (but no change in behaviour) or a full-out attack.

The Diversity Diary: 2.02 Visible Minority (Michael Bach, CIDI)
Welcome to The Diversity Diary, a vlog by Michael Bach, Founder and CEO of the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion. Today Michael comments on the term visible minority and the need for change in the dialogue.

Swiss Seminar Outcomes and #CoveringMigration Campaign Seek Improved Migration Coverage (UNAOC)
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) has just launched a social media campaign, #coveringmigration, to continue discussions on how to best cover migration in the media following the release of the outcomes [ EN, FR, DE] of a Swiss seminar in May 2013 in Berne. The campaign will run through mid-July and cover the following themes:
What are best practices for covering migration?
What helps journalists establish context?
What resources are available for journalists?
What work is still needed to improve coverage?


Webinar: Legal Training on Temporary Resident Permits for Trafficked Persons (CCR)
In this webinar, Cathy Kolar and Loly Rico will provide a legal training on Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs) for trafficked non-citizens. It includes an overview of the permit, the interview process, strengths and shortcomings of the permit and other avenues to regularization for internationally trafficked persons. This webinar is intended for lawyers, services providers and other working on or interested in trafficking issues. Wednesday, June 26th, 1-2 pm (Eastern time)

Journey from refugee camp ends at University of Toronto graduation (Valerie Hauch, Toronto Star)
Its a long way from the dusty Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to the University of Torontos Convocation Hall where degrees have been handed out to students in the traditional cap and gown for more than a century. But Sudan-born Yak Deng is proof that such long journeys are possible as he ascends the stage Wednesday afternoon to get his bachelor of science in applied microbiology, after four years of full-scholarship education at the Scarborough campus. The 24-year-old is the eldest of four sisters and three brothers, and the only one to graduate from university . . . and also from high school, he says with a soft laugh.


First Prince George Online Job Fair for New Canadians a Success (IECBC)
Almost 2,000 people visited the web portal created for the first Prince George Online Job Fair held on June 4, 2013 and viewed the pages of participating employers about 12,800 times, making the event a success. Of the participants, 40 per cent were from Vancouver, 32 per cent were from other communities in Metro Vancouver and 28 per cent were from Prince George.

When Hiring a Temporary Foreign Worker Can Lead to Human Trafficking Charges (James Plett,
Temporary Foreign Workers fill a valuable and essential gap in the Canadian economy. They serve your food and they pump your gas. But they also run your IT department and patch you up in the Emergency Room. While the TFW program may need to be revised somewhat, we also need to rethink the way we educate our youth and how we hire and train them. When jobs go wanting across Canada while the unemployment rate remains high, its not hard to see that we have a serious labour problem in Canada.

The TFWP and Harper’s smokescreen (Espe Currie, THIS Magazine)
In their report on the change, the Globe and Mail interviewed Richard Kurland, an immigration lawyer practicing in Vancouver. This is a civil liberties grab, Kurland said to the paper. Its a tough call: both the wage change and the new policing policies are arguably beneficial for temporary foreign workers, and will prevent at least some of the worst aspects of the previous policysystemic (and often encouraged) exploitation that benefits business at the expense of poorly paid imported labour with very few rights in this country.

Towards a new model for worker organizing: The Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal (Scott Neigh, rabble)
On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, organizer Mostafa Henaway talks about his years of work with the Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal. Though it is not yet as intense as in the United States, and there have been important victories as well, in the last few decades the membership and strength of trade unions in Canada has been gradually declining. As well, the ways in which work and employment are organized have shifted drastically towards things like greater precarity for more and more workers, and an increasing role for forms of work mediated by things like placement agencies and programs for temporary foreign workers. One of the ways that organizers have been responding to these changes is through increasing use of organizational forms outside of mainstream unions, including workers centres. Heneway talks about what the IWC does, the strengths and challenges of the worker centre model, and the importance of centering the experiences of precarious workers and workers who are immigrants to Canada.

Video: Corneliu Chisu on Foreign Credential Recognition for Immigrants (FAQMP)

Warrantless workplace searches raise concerns from businesses (Steven Chase, Richard Blackwell And Tavia Grant, Globe and Mail)
Canadas largest business group says its disturbed by new warrantless search and seizure powers the Harper government has given federal officials to inspect thousands of workplaces as part of a tightening of the controversial foreign temporary worker program. Changes to immigration and refugee protection regulations, published just days ago, give Human Resources and Skills Development Canada officials or Citizenship and Immigration Canada officers the right to walk in on businesses as part of a random audit or because they suspect fraud.


Spur Vancouver: Global Power Shift (Vancouver Observer)
Spur is Canadas first national festival of politics, art and ideas. Spur is produced by Diaspora Dialogues and the Literary Review of Canada. Designed to engage Canadians in a feisty, nation-wide search for ways forward on the most current of issues, Spur is multi-partisan, forward-looking and solutions-orientedspurring ideas into action. With editions in Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver in 2013, and an eventual roll-out from coast-to-coast-to-coast, Spur is a modern-day railroad, linking communities across Canada in conversation that is both national in scope and local in nuance. Much like the CP historically connected Canadians to one another, and provided the means of transporting people, goods and ideas across our country, Spur lays tracks between Canadians of all backgrounds, building a broad public forum accessible to all.

Can we please stop getting creamed on messaging? (Jason Mogus, Communicopia)
While many progressive ideas tend to succeed in the long run, (I’m talking a 30 year time horizon) as a movement we’re not half as effective as our opposition at creating messaging that wins hearts and minds today. There’s a lot of suffering that takes place in those 30 years. Whether it’s the failure of the climate movement to maintain traction, US Republicans turning “energy independence” into a rallying cry for “drill baby drill”, or more locally to me the completely unexpected progressive party’s (NDP) loss in the British Columbia election last month, the social change movement has a lot to be humbled by in our communications work. Here’s why I think right wing parties and monied interests resisting social change tend to run circles around us in messaging.

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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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