Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 27, 2013


Canada looks to put GPS bracelets on more migrants (Steven Chase, Globe and Mail)
The Canadian government is looking at whether to expand the use of satellite technology to monitor asylum seekers or potential immigrants who would otherwise be detained, and is upgrading the equipment that would allow it to do so. Ottawa served notice this week that it plans to sign a contract with the U.K. firm Buddi Ltd., used by police forces there to track criminals through electronic bracelet devices that the British media have dubbed “Chav Nav” tags. The technology provides real-time tracking using the same space-based Global Positioning System that drivers rely upon for in-car navigation. Right now the Canadian Border Services Agency says it is monitoring just four people via electronic bracelets. But it said it’s examining a broader use of the technology.

Profile – Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity, and Aboriginal Peoples for Canada, Provinces, Territories and Federal Electoral Districts (2003 Representation Order), National Household Survey, 2011 (
This table provides statistical information about people in Canada by their demographic, social and economic characteristics as well as provide information about the housing units in which they live.

Italian Internments (CBC Metro Morning)
Guest host Jane Hawtin spoke with Ninetta Ricci. She is an Italian-Canadian whose father was one of about 600 Italians taken away to internment camps during the Second World War.

How do I access credit? New Canadians face learning curve (New Bindian)
Every year, thousands of people immigrate to Canada in search of new opportunities and a better life. Today, Statistics Canada estimates that immigrants account for more than one-in-five Canadians and projects that by 2055 immigration will account for 90 per cent of the country’s population growth. But figuring out how things work in a new country can be challenging, from locating new schools and communities to navigating the banking system. According to a poll from TD Canada Trust, most newcomers said they did not know how to open a bank account (47%), apply for a credit card (58%) or mortgage (87%) or send money to family overseas (72%) in their first three months in Canada. The biggest surprise New Canadians encountered setting up their finances was the credit rating system (24%) and not having access to credit right away (23%).

Scarborough Museum celebrates Canadian Multiculturalism Day (City of Toronto)
Councillor Raymond Cho (Ward 42 Scarborough-Rouge River) will join the Scarborough Museum’s community and cultural partners to celebrate Toronto’s and Canada’s diversity on Canadian Multiculturalism Day.

Statement — Minister Kenney issues statement condemning vandalism against Surrey’s Hindus (CIC)
Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement to condemn the deplorable act of vandalism against the Hindu Mandir temple in Surrey, British Columbia, this past weekend.

A choice immigrant families should not have to make (Paula Kline, Rick Goldman, Montreal Gazette)
Every year countless Canadian parents go through the ritual of saying goodbye to their 19-year-old sons and daughters as they head off for college away from home. It is a bittersweet time, softened only slightly by promises from the young men and women to Skype weekly and to return home at breaks and holidays. Imagine how Canadian parents would feel if it were a permanent goodbye. That is the position in which Citizenship and Immigration Canada wants to place newcomers to Canada in the near future. Whether arriving here as skilled workers, refugees, live-in caregivers or under any other program, families with young adult children will have to choose between living in Canada and living with those children.

2011 National Household Survey: Education in Canada: Attainment, field of and location of study (Statistics Canada)
In 2011, immigrant adults aged 25 to 64 represented just under one-quarter (24.6%) of Canada’s total adult population but over one-third (34.3%) of adults with a university degree. About half (50.9%) of all STEM degrees were held by immigrants, including those who have lived in Canada for many years, as well as newcomers.

Immigrants more educated than average Canadian as women outpace men at post-secondary: StatsCan (Tobi Cohen, National Post)
Meanwhile, the Statistics Canada data suggests that immigrants comprise just one-quarter of Canada’s total adult population but account for more than one-third of all adults with a university degree. What’s more difficult to extrapolate from the 2011 National Household Survey, however, is whether immigrants and women with degrees are actually working in their respective fields, whether they’re climbing the corporate corporate ladder and whether they’re being compensated appropriately. Immigrants, despite often-high levels of education, face language barriers, credential recognition difficulties and high levels of under- and unemployment.

Work life in 2013 is a lot like it was 1960s Canada (John Ibbitson, Globe and Mail)
The 2013 federal budget announced major investments in labour training, to address the growing labour shortage in highly skilled occupations. But although immigrants represent 25 per cent of the work force (aged 25 to 64), immigrant adults account for 51 per cent of workers with STEM degrees. We’re not educating or training a highly skilled work force; we’re hiring it from offshore.

Second generation Canadians: Who Are We? (Angie Seth, CanIndia)
My parents came from India to Canada over 40 years ago. Like thousands of other families they came here with very little money but big dreams. Canada was “the” land of opportunity. A place to raise a family and provide a solid future for their children. My parents came here with my five-year-old sister. Six months later I was born. My sister and I, like thousands of others with a similar story, represent the second generation. We live in Canada, but are raised with the values and traditions from another country. Our lives are filled with a clash of cultures we try to sift through on a daily basis. We have juggled the western temptations of our friends and school life with the traditions and culture of home all our lives. Our parents are defined as immigrants. But who are we? It’s a big question with an ever changing answer.

The Pan Am Path: Proposal Unveiled for an 80 Kilometre Multi-Use Trail (Humutal Doltan, Torontoist)
Five of the six founding members of Friends of the Pan Am Path came out of DiverseCity, a non-partisan project working at improving the diversity in Toronto’s leadership; the sixth is Devon Ostrom, a Toronto artist and community organizer (among other things, he co-founded Manifesto and the Beautiful City billboard campaign). They’ve been holding discussions with City staff, councillors, the mayor’s office, and the Pan Am Games about the project for months, and are optimistic it will find the support it needs at council.

Attracting newcomers requires a team approach, says DeFehr (Dave Stewart, PEI Guardian)
One of the country’s more well known immigration activists says encouraging newcomers to come to P.E.I. and stay is a team approach. Art DeFehr was the guest speaker at Wednesday’s Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce annual president’s luncheon.,-says-DeFehr/1


Health cuts tell refugees they aren’t welcome (Ritika Goel, Toronto Star)
It is outrageous that in a rich country like Canada with a universal health-care system, we would deny health care to any person in need. Unfortunately, even before the refugee health cuts, Canada had an estimated half a million people without health coverage. The uninsured include new immigrants forced to undergo unnecessary waiting periods for provincial health insurance, people who are undocumented and now, refugee claimants from certain “designated countries of origin.”

Syrian-Montrealers ask Canada to help bring families over (CBC)
Syrian-Montrealers held a protest Wednesday in front of some federal offices, demanding the Canadian government help bring their relatives in the war-torn country to Canada. Maria Mourani, the MP for Ahuntsic, said current government policies force Syrian-Canadians to choose between separating from their families or risking their lives to stay together. “It’s impossible to think that they would leave the child there and come to Canada. So this is disgusting,” Mourani said.

Reflections on Relocation, Resettlement, and Respect (Petra Molnar Diop, New Scholars Network)
“Migrants are heroes.” This is a sentiment that I heard in passing at a conference not too long ago, but one that has stayed with me as I continue my work in forced migration research and refugee settlement in Canada. I think it is an interesting conceptualization because migrants and refugees are often reduced to simplistic tropes: they are either hapless victims of violence who must flee their native lands and seek asylum and hand-outs somewhere in the Global North; or else they are construed to be scam artists and bogus claimants, out to fleece the so-called benevolent immigration and refugee determination systems of rich and powerful Western countries.

Canada to resettle 1,000 Bhutanese refugees (South Asian Focus)
As part of its commitment to resettling refugees, Canada is set to resettle 1,000 Bhutanese refugees over the next two years. To mark World Refugee Day, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney also participated in a roundtable with refugees hosted by the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary. The Government of Canada has resettled almost 16,000 refugees to date and is on track to meet its commitment of resettling 20,000 Iraqis by 2015, Kenney added on the occasion.


The problem with bad apples (Alan Broadbent, Maytree)
They say a bad apple will spoil the barrel. If we look at press and newscast accounts of the City of Toronto and the Canadian Senate these days, it certainly seems to be the case. Government in Toronto is deemed “a mess” and the Senate is judged so broken that it should be altered or abandoned. But is it true? Has the barrel been spoiled in Toronto or in the Senate? In the popular depiction, the bad apples are clear. In Toronto it is said to be the mayor, no stranger to headlines. In the Senate it is Senators Duffy and Wallin who seem to have trouble knowing where they live and keeping their receipts straight.

Knowledge Exchange for Mental Health (Sherri Torjman and Anne Makhoul, Caledon Institute)
This report on provincial and territorial mental health strategies was written by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy at the request of the Graham Boeckh Foundation. The Foundation aims to improve mental health care in Canada by strategically leading and funding projects. The majority of jurisdictions in Canada have introduced formal mental health strategies. While each province and territory states its objectives in unique ways, these can be summarized as several distinct, but related, goals. They all seek to enhance the mental health of the overall population, intervene early for people considered to be at risk of mental health problems, improve the quality and quantity of mental health treatment services, and ensure the availability of adequate community supports.

Understanding Political Socialization: a daunting puzzle (Brodie Conley, Samara Canada)
In my last post I addressed a few reasons why young Canadians deserve consideration as political citizens. This was a good starting point, but it still leaves unanswered the question of how, exactly, young Canadians are socialized into the political system. As I mentioned, youth have typically been viewed as outside the scope of political citizenship and as a result, political socialization research has been relegated to a small subfield of political science. One thing we know with certainty, however, is the current generation of youth is uniquely disengaged from the political system. This provides a good starting point, from which we might ask, “What explains this unique disengagement?” As with most things, the answer is complex. To simplify the discussion, I’ll begin by describing some of the broad approaches taken in studying political socialization, and then conclude with a short discussion of the Canadian case.


“Mentoring around the World” Series (ERIEC)
In a previous blog we started to explore ‘best practices’ in mentoring programs from around the world. In today’s blog we would like to introduce to you some interesting research work by Mikael Hellstrom and Patrick von Maravic from the University of Alberta. In their paper “Why has integration in the labour market worked better in Canada than in Sweden and Germany?” they argue that it’s not the size of funding that makes the difference but how the public sector itself is organized.

Are B.C. employers among those addicted to temporary foreign workers? (Vivian Luk, Globe and Mail)
Dave Kaiser owns and operates McDonald’s restaurants in Cranbrook, B.C., and Fernie, near the Alberta border – two towns less than an hour’s drive from each other, but with workforce challenges that stand a world apart. In Cranbrook, Kaiser has no trouble finding local staff. But in Fernie, home to about 5,000 people and five coal mines, Kaiser said he’s so desperate for workers he would “hire virtually anybody who comes in my door, if they’ve got a pulse.”

Man convicted of human trafficking in B.C. Filipino nanny case (Montreal Gazette)
A B.C. Supreme Court jury found a Vancouver man guilty of human trafficking Wednesday night, which Franco Yiu Kwan Orr`s lawyer says is a first in Canada. Orr was also found guilty of employing a foreign national, specifically his Filipinio nanny Leticia Sarmiento, illegally and making a misrepresentation that could induce an error in the administration of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. However, the jury acquitted his partner, Oi Ling Nicole Huen, of human trafficking and employing a foreign national illegally.

Skilled Worker Programs are Still Open; Clock Ticking for Applicants (CICS News)
Intake caps and impending changes have applicants to Canada’s popular Federal and Quebec Skilled Worker programs working hard to ensure that their applications are submitted in a timely fashion. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canada’s biggest immigration program, has begun reporting on the numbers of applications received for the first time since its reopening in May 2013. Meanwhile, Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) applicants are under pressure to submit before July 31st, after which Quebec’s current immigration rules are set to expire.

From Nurses to Nannies: Filipina Women and Canada’s Live-in Caregiver Program (
The job market saturation of nurses in the Philippines’ healthcare industry has meant that about 200 000 experienced nurses cannot find jobs in their profession; while an additional 80 000 new nurses are trained each year. Temporary domestic programs that send new nurses to work in the country’s rural areas still leaves hundreds of thousands of nurses seeking work elsewhere. Canada, in the meantime, would appear to be a prime destination for this surplus pool of skilled labour. Provincial healthcare administrators have been asking the federal government to address the current nursing labour shortage that has affected hospital and long-term care services throughout the country. Homegrown nursing skills training cannot keep up with the pace of the healthcare system’s needs in addition to the current rate of retirement of older nurses. Understaffing has led to burnout and unsatisfactory service in hospitals across Canada. Though the solution to both the Philippines’ nursing labour surplus and Canada’s nursing shortage seems pretty straightforward, little has been done to ease the difficult migration process.

Immigrant Job Seeking (CBC Metro Morning)
Guest host Jane Hawtin spoke with Aline Ayoub. She is an HR consultant who works primarily with newcomers.

Temporary foreign worker program – Minimum National Advertising Standards (
As of January 1, 2009, “Minimum National Advertising Standards” were adopted by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (“HRSDC”) and Service Canada (“SC”). On May 2010, HRSDC and SC published a further notification indicating that all occupations based on the National Occupational Classification (“NOC”) system, skill levels 0, A, B, C and D, are subject to the Minimum National Advertising Standards. Failure to comply with the requirements will result in the application for a Labour Market Opinion being denied.


Endeavour is accepting applications for pro-bono consulting from nonprofits – deadline July 7th (Charity Village)
Endeavour is now accepting applications from qualified Canadian nonprofit organizations for their pro-bono consulting work. Applications are due July 7th, 2013. Eligibility requirements, their service and approach to consulting, and application forms can be found on the Endeavour website.

Scaling Impact : Canadian Experiences Part 2 (Sara Bartolomeo, Social Finance)
My first post summarized the recent Pathways to Growth report by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, which identifies the key activities undertaken by non-profits that are successfully scaling impact, and also the key grantmaker practices that support non-profits’ efforts to achieve this impact. While the report referenced two Canadian organizations (Roots of Empathy and JUMP Math) as part of its case studies, little is otherwise mentioned about the status of Canadian high-performing non-profits and the grantmakers that support them. As such, I decided to investigate further into how Canadian non-profits are faring in terms of scaling their impact and the challenges that they face.

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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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