Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 4, 2013


Call for Proposals for Settlement Services in British Columbia (Canada News Centre)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has issued a Call for Proposals for the delivery of settlement services in British Columbia (B.C.), which assist newcomers to succeed in their new lives in the province. The Call for Proposals will be open for a period of five weeks, beginning today and ending July 8, 2013. Following a review of all received proposals, CIC will determine which organizations or individuals will receive funding to provide settlement services in B.C, starting in April 2014, when the Government of Canada resumes management of federally-funded settlement programs in the province.

21,000 Jamaicans migrated to Canada in last decade (Stabroek)
Redwood left for Canada with his family, five years after applying for permanent residency in that country. He had resigned from the Senate after serving just over 16 months as president — a move that has earned him much criticism and labels of unpatriotism, particularly from the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party. But statistics from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) show that a total of 21,265 Jamaicans have traded the black, green and gold for the red-and-white maple-leaf flag between 2002 and 2011. This number averages about 2,126 Jamaicans annually, and represents only a fraction of the number of locales who send applications to the CIC yearly for permanent residency in underpopulated Canada, which shares border with the United States and regarded year after year as one of Earth’s best places to live.

Leroux takes aim at prior racist abuse (Bonnie D. Ford, ESPN)
U.S. forward Sydney Leroux, whose dual citizenship has made her a lightning rod for Canadian soccer fans’ abuse, has released a statement saying that she has been the target of racial taunts in the past but not at Sunday’s match against Canada in Toronto.

Canadian-born U.S. soccer player Sydney Leroux said she was victim of racial slurs in Vancouver (Neil Davidson, The Province)
Sydney Leroux showed some love for Toronto after an emotional 24 hours that saw the Canadian-born U.S. soccer international inflame passions with a cheeky goal celebration and a tweet about racial slurs. But while calling the atmosphere at Sunday’s Canada-U.S. game in Toronto a “positive step forward for women’s soccer,” Leroux revealed she had been racially abused in her birthplace of Vancouver during last year’s Olympic qualifying tournament.

USWNT’ Sydney Leroux Tweets Racist Chants Accusations Against Canadian Soccer Supporters (Phil Naegely,
Racism has been a serious issue in the sports world, especially in international soccer action for many decades, and it is still an issue we are unfortunately facing. Many are calling for stricter consequences to help combat racist and sexist comments, chants and actions, but for now it is still a pressing issue. On Sunday, Alex Morgan scored twice and led the U.S. Women’s National Team over Canada, but the focus of the game has now turned to racism today. Forward Sydney Leroux took to twitter this morning and accused Canadian supporters of chanting distasteful words about her family and herself.

‘Market failure’ in Canada’s gender board diversity (Beata Caranci, Financial Post)
Canadian business leaders recognize the value of a diverse workforce and senior management team. Indeed, for many, the ability to attract, retain and champion those with wide-ranging perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds is a strategic imperative. These efforts extend to women, who represent almost half of the country’s total labour force. However, almost three-quarter of the firms traded on the S&P/TSX Composite Index have no female directors, or just one representative. This startling fact suggests that the importance of gender diversity is not recognized widely enough in Canada’s boardrooms.

LAST CHANCE – with special guests (Elizabeth Mclachlan, blogTO)
An intimate look into the turbulent journeys of five people who flee their native countries to escape homophobic violence. This screening is in celebration of Pride Week in Toronto and will feature special guests.

A family remains apart, waiting on Immigration to reunite them (Hugh Adami, Ottawa Citizen)
A really stupid thing happened on Jan. 11, the day after The Public Citizen recounted the story of Mohammed Abdalmajid, a husband and father who was deported last October to the West Bank. Citizenship and Immigration Canada sent Abdalmajid a letter, through his Ottawa immigration lawyer, requesting he appear for an interview on Jan. 25 regarding his wife’s application to sponsor him as a permanent resident. Saly Rasheed submitted the application early last summer after Immigration rejected her husband’s claim for refugee status.

Chambers of Commerce clarify views on temporary foreign worker legislation (Tim Kalinowski, Medicine Hat News)
Provincial delegates to the Alberta Chambers of Commerce AGM clarified their position over the weekend on the proposed federal changes to the Temporary Foreign worker (TFW) program. Members reiterated their strong opposition to three main points of the proposed changes to TFW legislation.

Product Profile – vol. 2, issue 1: Citizenship and Immigration Canada Permanent Residents Rounded Count Research Data Cube (Community Data)
The Permanent Residents Rounded Count Research Data Cube (referred to here as the CIC Data Cube, or simply “Cube”) is a Citizenship and Immigration Canada dataset that counts the number of permanent resident landings at any given Census geography down to the Census Subdivision. The “cube” means that you can drill down to more specific characteristics of permanent residents, like age, years of education, mother tongue, immigrant class, and occupation. But before we muddle you more, let’s start with some basics about the dataset itself.

News Release — Improving the Citizenship Application Process (CIC)
Citizenship applicants who fail their first citizenship test will now have the opportunity to rewrite the test rather than wait for an appointment with a citizenship judge, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. “The Government of Canada remains committed to maintaining Canada’s tradition of high numbers of permanent residents taking up full citizenship, and this is one of many recent improvements that have been made to the citizenship process to ensure the timely welcoming of new citizens,” said Minister Kenney. “Since 2006, Canada has welcomed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history. Accordingly, the demand for citizenship has increased by 30 percent, with Canada averaging approximately 200,000 new citizens each year.”

Visible minorities feel mistreated by retailers: Nova Scotia study (Marketingmag)
When visible minorities in Nova Scotia go shopping, they are more often the targets of offensive language or treated as potential thieves compared with the experiences of white people, a new report says. The report by the province’s Human Rights Commission is touted as the first survey of its kind in Canada and will be used by the commission’s director, David Shannon, to broaden the discussion on racial profiling with the business community and the public.

Language classes link newcomers with confidence (Fannie Sunshine, North York Mirror)
Chandra Kafle was taught English while growing up in Nepal, but found communicating challenging when she moved to Toronto one year ago. “The slang, the idioms,” she said, “I felt uncomfortable communicating.” The 29-year-old, who worked as a nurse in Nepal, began taking Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) courses in Scarborough in September, and it has helped to improve her language skills and understanding of Canadian culture, she said.

Indian newspaper Daily Ajit finds a Canadian home base in Brampton (San Grewal, Toronto Star)
Over lunch, Brampton-based newspaper journalist Satpaul Singh Johal asks if Rob Ford will retire. He’s already written one news story about the Toronto mayor’s video scandal and has just penned an analysis piece for his readers — in Punjab, India. Every day Johal and two colleagues, who are also based in Brampton, file stories to their editors 12,000 kilometres away in the city of Jalandhar. That’s where Daily Ajit, the world’s largest Punjabi-language newspaper, is based.

A country in flux (Hinton Parklander)
Canada is an immigrant nation. When we look at numbers from Statistics Canada’s National Household Survey released last month, we see that 95.7 per cent of the population is not aboriginal. For the vast majority of us, if we ourselves didn’t travel to this new land in search of a new life, somebody in our family tree did. NHS analysts report that Canada is becoming increasingly reliant on immigration. If current trends continue, by 2031 immigration will account for 80 per cent of population growth, compared to 67 per cent in 2011. This is despite a drop in the number of new immigrants since the 20th century.

What exactly is a Sanctuary City? (Solidarity City Network)
Provincial and Federal services are not yet fully available to you. Depending on your immigration status, these include employment insurance, some workers’ compensation, full health care, public housing, Ontario works, welfare and more. We are organizing to change that. If you want be part of this work get in touch with us!

Immigrant Says She Was Duped Into Servitude (Courthouse News Service)
Owners of a furniture store duped lured an Indonesian woman to Canada for a housekeeping job, then held her in servitude for three years and paid her less than $200 a month, she claims in court. Masnurrita sued Orbit Trade Center dba House of Chippendale and three people, in British Columbia Supreme Court. Masnurrita, who apparently uses just one name, claims defendants Sandra Linny Lie and Hee Jeaw Chang offered her a live-in nanny and housekeeping job in 2006 at their home in the sprawling Vancouver suburb of Surrey. Lie and Chang told her the job involved light housekeeping and offered her a monthly salary of 1.5 million Indonesian rupiah, about 158 Canadian dollars at the time, according to the complaint.


MDs planning nationwide protests against cuts in refugee care (Patrick Sullivan, CMA)
It is almost a year since the federal government cut the health care coverage Canada provided to refugees under the Interim Federal Health Program, but a physicians’ group is determined to remind Canadians – and the government – of the impact that decision has had. Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care (CDRC), a group that was vocal in opposing the cuts a year ago, is organizing a National Day of Action on June 17 that will include demonstrations across the country. By May 13, protests had been planned for Vancouver, Saskatoon, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

Family of pastor faces deportation, putting church in jeopardy (CBC)
The family of a pastor who leads an east Hamilton church is set to be deported on June 15 — leaving the minister little choice but to leave his flock and follow his loved ones back to the Czech Republic. Jaroslav Mitac is the minister at the Hamilton Gypsy Church, an evangelical Christian congregation that consists of Czech Roma who have sought refuge in Canada, citing violence and discrimination in their home country. Mitac came to Canada in 2009. The Canadian government granted him protected person status, allowing him to stay in the country.

Health care for refugees is good public policy (Immigrant Lawyer blog)
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s reforms to Canada’s refugee system include eliminating ‘incentives’ to those that come to Canada and make a false refugee claim. Late last year we were approached by a woman in a truly difficult situation. Having made a refugee claim, she was deemed to have abandoned it when she advised Citizenship and Immigration of her address change, but not the Immigration and Refugee Board. A simple error, but one with significant consequences. After her refugee claim in Calgary was deemed abandoned, she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer; unfortunately diagnosed late because the cancer went undetected by Canadian doctors on a prior exam. Adding insult to injury, she learned that she was not eligible for health care to deal with the missed cancer.


Bold Calgary plan aims to cut poverty in half (Andre Picard, Globe and Mail)
Ottawa and the provinces have all the money and all the power, but it is cash-strapped municipalities and their partners in the non-profit sector that are tackling the tough issues in health care. Case in point: the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative. Earlier this week, Calgary city council, at the urging of dynamic mayor Naheed Nenshi, adopted a resolution that commits it to cut poverty in the city by 50 per cent over the next decade.

Sharing the dream of a Calgary without poverty (Cathy Williams and Steve Allan, co-chairs of the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative Stewardship Group)
For a year, we have been talking to people in Calgary about poverty. Many think we dealt with the issue when the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness was launched five years ago. While that is a great initiative, homelessness is the tip of an iceberg. Poverty is its underpinning, and costs Calgarians greatly in terms of human and financial capital. Now that the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative’s strategy has been unanimously passed by city council and the United Way board, we want to share the dream of a more connected and supportive city, which we will all realize through working together over the next several years. The strategy is based on a principle of challenging the way we view people living in poverty. We’re good at charitable giving, and this is to be lauded. But if charity worked, we would see the number of people needing assistance going down.

Can Toronto Cut Poverty By 50% In Ten Years Too? (Wellesley Institute)
Calgary City Council adopted a resolution on May 27 that commits it to cutting poverty in the city by 50 percent over the next decade. While social policy is generally considered the primary responsibility of the provincial, territorial and federal governments under Canada’s Constitution, municipalities across the country have increasingly been forced to deal with community-level effects of growing poverty and inequality, including the impact on population health.


Solving Canada’s Skills Gap Challenges: What Businesses Can Do Now—Graphic (Accenture)
Canada is moving to address a national problem—inadequate supplies of the talent needed to secure Canadian businesses’ competitiveness as well as the
country’s overall prosperity.

There are enough jobs so both Canadians and immigrants can be employed (Windsor Star)
Immigration to Canada is very common and is the main reason why Canada is so distinct in terms of multiculturalism. Every year, at least 200,000 people immigrate to Canada. After all, why wouldn’t they? Canada provides several new opportunities such as excellent working conditions, a high standard of living, and a health care system that is ranked one of the best in the world. Nevertheless, not all immigrants are allowed into Canada and their foreign qualifications are not all recognized. To prevent immigrants from immigrating to Canada, the government in the past has made a few immigration policies which have changed the way the government conceives against immigrants.

New report gives voice to migrant workers in Manitoba (CCPA)
A new report from CCPA-Manitoba draws on a research project undertaken by The Migrant Worker’s Solidarity Network (MWSN), a group that interacts with and advocates for these workers. Migrant Voices: Stories of Agricultural Migrant Workers in Manitoba combines the voices of the men with whom the MWSN interacts with background information about the SAWP—and explains how globalization and free trade agreements end up producing a two-tiered labour force in Canada.

Canadian court allows Chinese miners with temporary work visas to stay (
The Federal Court of Canada has ruled that a company that employed 200 Chinese miners under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) in 2012 was acting lawfully. Two Canadian unions had challenged the decision by the Canadian government to allow HD Mining, a 55% Chinese-owned company, to employ Chinese workers in its operations in British Columbia when there were unemployed Canadian miners who could have done the job.

Job scams on the rise (Workers’ Action Centre)
Have you been asked to pay a fee to get a job? Over the last few months, we have heard a number of complaints about job scams targeting job seekers. Recruiters make cold calls to people seeking work based on their online profiles on LinkedIn and other sites. The recruiter promises employment opportunities and sets up an appointment.

Skilled Immigrant Labour (Gil Mcgowan, Alberta Prime Time)
The matter of educating and training new immigrants for available jobs is on the minds of many; while Alberta is seeing a rise in immigration and a need for skilled labourers, are we doing enough to ensure that those most qualified for the jobs are getting them?

Announcement of new project: Mentoring program for internationally trained professionals (Workforce Planning Hamilton)
Workforce Planning Hamilton is please to announce that we have received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to develop and deliver a two year mentoring program for internationally trained professionals (ITPs) in Hamilton. The program will match mentors from local Hamilton businesses with mentees who are ITPs in a related field. WPH is in the process of hiring an ITP Mentoring Coordinator who will engage employment services and other stakeholders to develop and implement the program. Employment services organizations will help to identify ITPs who will benefit from this opportunity.–Mentoring-program-for-internationally-trained-professionals-.html?soid=1103731747523&aid=aEv0-kmfYz0&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mentoring-program-for-skilled-immigrants-launches-in-hamilton

People Without Jobs — Jobs Without People: Decoding Canada’s ‘Skills Crisis’ (hireimmigrants)
Canada has 1.33 million unemployed workers, yet business hired 338,000 temporary foreign workers last year, citing shortages in low-skilled jobs.


Community heros lifting above their weight: The story of a community hub in Hamilton (Diane Dyson, Belonging Community)
Heroic as these efforts were, the visit to this re-purposed school highlighted two key lessons, at the micro-level and the macro-levels. At the micro-level is the importance of taking action. Asked how he had accomplished this, MacVicar softly explained “If I join a committee, and they’re not doing anything within three months, I quietly move on.” The second lesson, though, is broader. This good work needs to move beyond the efforts of small groups. Community hubs, such as these, should be supported at the system level because relying on local heroes to make this happen shouldn’t be a record-breaking event.

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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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