Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 28, 2013


The Maytree Newsletter : June 2013 (Maytree)
In this issue:
• The problem with bad apples
• Leading examples of inclusive boards: Awards recognize four GTA-based organizations
• Preparing newcomers for employment and investing in their long-term success
• The training wheels are off: A closer look at the Canada Job Grant
• New diversity conversation on Twitter
• What’s in a name? Possibly your future prosperity
• #coveringmigration: Improving the global media narrative about immigration
• Remembering two important community builders: Tony Coombes and Betsy Martin
• News You Can Use

Cities of Migration: June 2013 newsletter (Cities of Migration)
In this issue:
• Dublin’s Transport Links, Racism Divides
• Investing in Character: Calgary’s Immigrant Access Fund
• Why Loans for Immigrants Make a Difference
• Rachel Steinhardt: Promoting Economic Prosperity
• Vancouver Dialogues: Where the Gold Mountain Meets Turtle Island
• Celebrating Good Ideas for World Refugee Day
• #coveringmigration: Improving the Global Media Narrative about Immigration
• Good Ideas in the News

India, Chinese immigration falling: TD Economics (South Asian Generation Next)
New sources such as the Philippines are emerging as feeder countries to Canada’s fast-growing population of foreign-born residents, according to a new study released Wednesday by TD Economics. Based on data collected in the 2011 federal National Household Survey, first-generation Canadians or those born outside the country number 6.8 million, or 21 per cent of the population – the highest share among G8 nations, the TD report said.

Minister Kenney issues statement to celebrate Multiculturalism Day (CIC)
Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement to celebrate Canadian Multiculturalism Day.

Canada Day: Let’s Celebrate diverse Cultures (Tom Mulcair, South Asian Generation Next)
Canada Day is an opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate the many diverse cultures and traditions that have come together to build this great country we call home. We are privileged that so many have chosen to call Canada home and we are all the better for it. Canadians of South Asian descent have been a part of this country’s fabric since the late 1800s and have become leaders in business, academia and culture.

Tuskegee Airmen to meet Chinese Canadian counterparts in historic summit (Lisa Fuller-Magee, AZFamily)
This weekend in Vancouver , Canada a historic meeting will happen between a group of Chinese Canadian veterans and the Tuskegee Airmen. The two groups — the Dragon Tales and the Red Tails — will share how they overcame racial prejudice to serve their countries. “Both groups’ military contributions were instrumental to helping the Allies win the war and also to changing societal attitudes in their home countries,” according to the Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society, one of the organizations behind this first-of-its-kind summit.

Civilization museum’s Nishga Girl decision ‘regrettable,’ says Jason Kenney (Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen)
The museum, which is being rebranded as the Canadian Museum of History, removed the Nishga Girl earlier this year, saying it didn’t fit within a new narrative exhibit showcasing key events and personalities in Canadian history. Because it was built by celebrated Japanese Canadian boat-builder Judo “Jack” Tasaka, the museum’s decision sparked anger within the Japanese Canadian community. It also offended First Nations, given that it was donated 15 years ago by Nisga’a Chief Harry Nyce and his wife, Deanna, the boat’s former owners. In his letter to O’Neill, Kenney points out that the Nishga Girl has “great symbolic importance. It represents gill net boats seized from Canadian fishermen of Japanese origin during the Second World War and the arrival in Canada by boat of the first Japanese immigrants.

Day of multiculturalism hailed (Jeff Bolichowski, St Catharines Standard)
Mary Vongboutdy won’t have to take the long, difficult path to a life of peace. The baby girl’s road to a safe, serene homeland won’t be like the one father Vixiane Vongboutdy took in 1980, when he fled Laos as a lone young man seeking a better life. Now 52, Vixiane, who has three children born in Laos, is welcoming his first child born in Canada. “I’m happy for her here,” he said. “I hope it’s more opportunity for her.” The Vongboutdy family were among those celebrating the crossroads of immigration ending in Canada Thursday, on Canadian Multiculturalism Day. Residents from a range of backgrounds planted flags before the Folk Arts building downtown to mark the occasion.

My 47 years in Canada (Salim Sachedina, National Post)
On July 16, I will be celebrating 47 years in Canada. I could delay writing this article, in anticipation of a rounder figure — say, half a century. But at my somewhat advanced age, it is better to act in the present. I was among the first wave of immigrants to arrive in Canada after 1962, when the government abolished the previous, racist immigration policies with a more balanced merit-based approach.

Record attendance at 3rd Annual Scotiabank Career Education and Settlement Fair (India Times)
More than 1500 newcomers and internationally trained professionals flocked to the 3rd Annual Scotiabank Career, Education and Settlement Fair which took place at Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Tuesday, June 25 2013. The event, which was presented by Scotiabank in association with Centennial College, saw record attendance by new immigrants who were assisted by more than 60 settlement agencies, educational institutes, employers and recruiters.–2Bg

Race-based police study begins in Ottawa (New Canadian Media)
The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) began its Traffic Stop Race Data Collection Project today, under which officers will, “by their observation only,” record the race – or their perception of the race – of a driver at all traffic stops. The project is the largest of its kind in Canada and stems from a May 2012 settlement agreement between the Ottawa Police Services Board and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) following a complaint by Chad Aiken, an African-Canadian.

Welcoming Ottawa Week (WOW) (Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP))
OLIP partners are very excited about the launch of the first ever Welcoming Ottawa Week! June 25th to 30th, 2013 will be proclaimed as a Welcoming Ottawa Week (WOW) by the Mayor of Ottawa, his Worship Jim Watson. Through a week-long series of events that include public lectures and workshops, the Ottawa Immigration Forum, music and arts performances, film screenings and team athletic challenges, Ottawa will reflect on its diversity and extend a warm welcome to new and prospective immigrants.

Canadian Immigrant Magazine names Top 25 Canadian Immigrants (Larissa Chute, Vancouver Desi)
Like many new immigrants, Anar Popatia came to Canada for a better education and a better life. She travelled from Kenya to Ontario, where she enrolled as an international student at Brock University to study business and economics. Now, twenty-seven-years later, Popatia is a successful business woman — a partner in a family wealth management practice under Assante Wealth Management. She credits her success to focusing on the positives instead of the inevitable struggles immigrants face in a new country.

Toronto’s 2013 Pride offers distinctly Latin flavour (Melinda Maldonado, Toronto Star)
They’re Latin American, they’re queer, and they’re making a big splash at this year’s Pride. Latin American immigration and community activism have bolstered Latino queer visibility over the last few decades, especially in the past 10 years, with the influx of a young and social media-savvy set. Add to that escape from the region’s machismo and Catholicism and you have a recipe for a 2013 Pride with a distinctly Latin flavour.

Daytona Bitch fired as official TD Pride drag queen over ‘blackface’ (Andrea Houston, Daily Xtra)
Toronto drag artist Daytona Bitch has been fired as the TD Canada Trust Pride drag queen following a recent performance in which she wore what some are calling “blackface.” Bitch says she received the news in an email on June 26 that said she will not be performing on the Pride Toronto (PT) stages after PT’s director of development, Ben Freeman, placed a call to the marketing company that booked her gig. The email from Diamond Integrated Marketing states that Bitch’s recent performance was “not at all well received by the LGBT community” and is contrary to TD’s “longstanding commitment to diversity.”

A timeline of South Asian Canadian History (Badri Murali, South Asian Generation Next)
For over a hundred years, South Asians have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into this country. We have had a long and important presence in Canada since the turn of the century. What was once a hostile and discriminatory environment for any minority, is now a land that welcomes everyone. The policy of multiculturalism has changed the makeup of the country. As the world’s second largest country celebrates 146 years of independence, here is a timeline of a few important milestones in South Asian Canadian history, celebrating and remembering the red, the white, and the brown.

World Sikh Organization of Canada concludes national annual human rights events in Surrey (South Asian Generation Next)
The World Sikh Organization of Canada concluded its annual series of national human rights events with its annual inter-community dinner in Surrey last Sunday night. Several hundred guests were in attendance including several MLAs and representatives from Simon Fraser University, Fraser Health Authority, RCMP amongst others.

Shalini Konanur: Rallying for the racialized (Divya Kaeley, South Asian Generation Next)
Shalini Konanur was born and raised in Toronto to parents of South Asian descent. Her parents immigrated to Canada from Bangalore and Mysore, India with the hope of better prospects for themselves and for her and her sister. Having worked her entire career in Ontario’s legal aid clinic system including working in both rural and urban settings (Renfrew, Mississauga, and now throughout the GTA) with low-income Ontarians, Shalini considers herself lucky to be the current Executive Director and a Barrister & Solicitor at the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO). SALCO is a free legal aid clinic that serves low-income South Asians in the Greater Toronto Area and provides services in various areas of poverty law, including immigration, disability, human rights, employment law, social assistance, and old age security.


Health cuts tell refugees they aren’t welcome (Ritika Goel, Toronto Star)
What do you say to a pregnant woman who fled her home country in fear to seek asylum in Canada only to discover that she will not have health coverage for the delivery of her unborn child? I have had many such difficult conversations since Jason Kenney announced the cuts to refugee health care last year. This policy, which cannot be justified from an economic or ethical perspective, has led to an unprecedented mobilization of health-care workers in Canada with demonstrations in 19 cities across the country last week. As a physician who works with refugees, I have joined in the fury, but also noticed a growing trend of denial of health care to migrants in Canada and worrisome immigration policies.

Video: Why the Roma? (Roma Community Centre)
A Panel Discussion introduced by Rabbi Dow Marmur, Rabbi Emeritus of Holy Blossom Temple, and moderated by Mary Joe Leddy, 2011 recipient of the Gunther Plaut Humanitarian award and founder of Romero House.

Refugee’s fiance trapped in Syria (Wanda Chow, Burnaby News Leader)
Her contacts told her about the Nassars, and their being part of a particularly targeted community, that of Palestinians in Iraq, and asked her to help, Jamie said. Ian and Heather Macdonald did just that, enlisting the help of Westminster Presbytery of the United Church and the Burnaby-based B.C. Muslim Association to co-sponsor the family. In 2011, the Nassars arrived in Canada, settling in Burnaby’s Edmonds area, with nothing but the clothes on their backs. “Their first four days their only word was ‘dictionary,” Jamie said, recalling how they would constantly consult their Arabic-English dictionary. After a few months, his English improved and he was comfortable enough that he told Heather about Marwa. Before he knew it, Heather was on the case and working to bring her to Canada too.

IFH program cuts hurt patient care (OMA)
On June 17th doctors across the country spoke out against cuts that the federal government made to the Interim Federal Health (IFH) program for refugees. Physicians gathered on Parliament Hill, and in communities throughout Ontario, to remind the government that refugee health cuts are having a negative impact on patient care and the health-care system. Last year, the federal government announced they would no longer cover health care for certain refugee categories, even in circumstances when the patient is in urgent need of care. No patient is turned away by an Emergency Department, but with the federal government no longer covering the cost of treatment for refugees, it is up to the patient, hospital, or province to pay the bill.


Juma’s Journey: The plight of temporary foreign workers in Canada (CBC)
Canadians may think of their country as a land of immigrants. But since 2011, Canada opened the doors to more temporary foreign workers than immigrants. According to Statistics Canada figures released this week, there are more than 330,000 temporary foreign workers in Canada today. That number has nearly tripled in the past decade. And it’s also 50,000 more than the number of immigrants allowed in. Critics say these “temporary” foreign workers are becoming a permanent part of the workforce. And one study suggests they’re vulnerable to abuse by employers, because Canada’s laws offer so little protection.

Father’s Day activism launches “Migrant Workers Are Parents Too” campaign (UFCW)
Migrant agriculture workers, UFCW Canada and AWA activists, and community allies gathered to celebrate the Father’s Day weekend, and to also send a message to the Harper government that Migrant Workers Are Parents Too. The Father’s Day festivities at the AWA centres in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec included good food, music, and a warm and an appreciative break for workers thousands away from their homes and families. The gatherings also marked the launch of a UFCW Canada and AWA national grassroots and online campaign to fight back against the Harper government’s latest attack on migrant workers: cutting their access to Parental Leave EI benefits in spite of the fact that migrant agriculture workers pay over $25 million in EI premiums a year.

Rising poverty among immigrants a ‘tinderbox,’ study warns (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
The rising number of new immigrants who are living in poverty in Canada is a “tinderbox” that could explode into an “inferno,” a new study warns. More than 36 per cent of immigrants who have been in the country for less than five years live in poverty, according to the latest Canadian Labour Market Report. That compares to 25 per cent in the 1980s. “Increasing (immigrant) poverty is a tinderbox that can ultimately (descend) into social discontent,” write Peter Dungan of the University of Toronto, Tony Fang of York University and Morley Gunderson of the University of Toronto.

B.C. moves to prevent exploitation of live-in caregivers (CBC)
The B.C. government plans to fund legal education to prevent exploitation of live-in caregivers. The move comes after Franco Orr was found guilty of human trafficking and enslaving the family’s Filipina nanny, who they brought to Canada from Hong Kong. The B.C. government has posted notice of intent to award a $70,000 contract to the West Coast Domestic Workers Association to develop legal education sessions for live-in caregivers to prevent exploitation and human trafficking. The sessions will be delivered in 14 communities around B.C.

Human-trafficking conviction in nanny’s case hailed as precedent-setting (Andrea Woo, Globe and Mail)
Authorities and domestic worker advocacy groups across Canada are applauding this week’s landmark human-trafficking conviction in British Columbia, calling it a precedent-setting victory in the fight against a crime that has seen fewer than 50 guilty verdicts in Canadian history. Franco Orr, who was accused of keeping Filipina nanny Leticia Sarmiento in domestic servitude in B.C. for nearly two years, was convicted Wednesday of human trafficking, employing a foreign national illegally and misrepresenting facts that could induce an error.


2013 Partnership Project Progress Report Now Available (Settlement AtWork)
The Partnership Project is an initiative to strengthen the relationship between the Ontario government and the province’s 45,000 not-for-profit organizations. The 2013 Partnership Project Progress Report highlights progress made over the last two years in strengthening this relationship. The Partnership Project began in 2010 with an eight-month consultation with the not-for-profit sector to find ways to strengthen its partnership with the government.

Kickstarter Coming to Canada This Summer (Knowlton Thomas, TechVibes)
Kickstarter is almost everyone’s favourite crowdfunding site, at least among those living in the US. Unfortunately, Canadians haven’t been able to launch projects on the site without convoluted workarounds.

July News (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
In this issue:
CSL Awards Winners Announced!
Innoweave Update
Culture Days 1st Annual Congress
Community News

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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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