Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 5, 2013


Webinar July 23: Dialogue Circles: Building Intercultural Understanding between Immigrant and Indigenous Communities (Cities of Migration)
Join us to learn about groundbreaking initiatives in Wellington, New Zealand, and Vancouver, Canada, that are bringing new immigrant and indigenous communities together for intercultural learning and meaningful exchange as an essential part of newcomer settlement and welcome in these multicultural societies.

Star overdid ‘Somali’ references in first report of drug dealers peddling Rob Ford crack video: Public Editor (Kathy English, Toronto Star)
Members of Toronto’s Somali community were understandably distressed by the many mentions of “Somali” drug dealers in the Star’s first report of Rob Ford crack video allegations.

When You Commit a Crime, Your Race Matters (Rachel Decoste, Huffington Post)
The curious case of Canucks who suddenly morph from Canadian to foreigner when their behaviour causes discomfort. The “Ben Johnson syndrome” was first documented when the famous athlete ran the 100m dash in a record 9.79 seconds at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Until that point, Ben Johnson was a Canadian darling, draped in the maple leaf. The next day, news broke that he got caught cheating. He suddenly became “a Jamaican sprinter.” The cycle has repeated itself in various forms.

Feds to Quebec soccer officials: Let the children with turbans play (Sidhartha Banerjee, Winnipeg Free Press)
A decision to ban turban-wearing Sikh kids from Quebec soccer fields was loudly condemned Tuesday by the federal government. Conservative ministers weighed in on a provincial sports-association decision that has attracted coverage from some major international media. They criticized the Quebec Soccer Federation’s decision to uphold its ban and demanded that the association let turban-wearing kids play. The federation has stood pat on its decision, and dismissed criticism that the move was racist and intolerant. It said the policy was based on concern for player safety. But the country’s actual public safety minister wasn’t buying it.

Community Outraged by Cuts to South Asian Edition – OMNI News (SALCO, CASSA, ASAAP, SAWC)
South Asian Women’s Centre (SAWC), the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP), the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO) and the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) expressed their shock and outrage to the Rogers Communications’ recent announcement about the cuts to multicultural and local news programming on OMNI, particularly to the cuts to South Asian Edition of OMNI News.

A Century of Chinese Cinema Exhibition (TIFF)
80 Films. Major Exhibitions. Special Guests.

“Brownlisted” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with comedian Sabrina Jalees. She starts her Canada wide tour on Friday June 14, at Innis Town Hall (related –

Should the government allow do-overs for people who fail the citizenship test? (Andy Radia, Yahoo! News)
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney Immigrants who fail their citizenship tests will now be afforded a do-over. Postmedia News is reporting that Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will announce the new citizenship guidelines on Monday. “Applicants who fail will be told so immediately and be given the opportunity to schedule a rewrite within four to eight weeks,” notes the article.

Sydney LeRoux Took Racial Abuse on Twitter for Months, Prompting Goal-Scoring Celebration vs Canada (Mike Cardillo, The Big Lead)
Athletes getting abused by anonymous “fans” is one of the downsides to Twitter. Some of the racist, sexist, homophobic and offensive things people are willing to type behind the curtain of the Internet is baffling. Usually it goes unchecked. Sunday, in the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 3-0 win over Canada in Toronto, American forward Sydney LeRoux paid back her online ‘haters’ by celebrating her stoppage time goal with a shush, while ‘popping’ the U.S. crest on her jersey. It didn’t sit well with the Canadian broadcast, or the 22,000+ at BMO Field.

Chadwick helps daughter Sydney Leroux through racial abuse (Marty Hastings, Kamloops This Week)
Ray Chadwick is being forced to watch from the sidelines in pain as his daughter deals with racial persecution and personal attacks. “She called me in tears that night, she called me in tears yesterday and I just talked to her this morning and she’s better,” Chadwick, head coach of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack baseball team, said on Tuesday, June 4.

Blog: In Canada, Racism in Sport is Nothing New (Kolby Solinsk, BC Local News)
Canadians are often viewed as the country without the kind of violent, earth-shattering racial conflict that ripped apart the American South or the rest of that country below the 49th for hundreds of years. We don’t have historical sports figures like Jackie Robinson or Muhammad Ali, and we certainly haven’t had a Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, or even a Maya Angelou. We’ve had individual crusaders who have fought for many societal shifts and stood their ground in important cultural conversations, but we’ve never truly confronted racism the way the United States has – or even as England, Germany, Europe, or the rest of the world we live around and collide with has.

Filipino students adjust to new parents — their own (: Louise Brown, Toronto Star)
Toronto’s Forest Hill Collegiate trying to help students who struggle after being separated for years from their parents.

Let them call P.E.I. home (Jonathan Charlton, Chronicle Herald)
On March 28, the Guardian newspaper reported on the largest-ever swearing-in in Prince Edward Island’s history. One hundred immigrants from 34 countries became citizens that snowy day. Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allen Roach told the paper better immigrant retention rates were key to having the labour necessary to expand the economy. Aside from a stubbornly high unemployment rate suggesting there aren’t enough jobs for the people who already live on the Island, Roach glossed over another group of labourers that slip through the cracks.

Men seen as impediments to shaking up boardrooms (Theresa Tedesco, The Province)
Efforts to increase board diversity and improve corporate performance at public companies are complicated by lengthy directorship tenures held by men, says a report from U.S.-based research firm GMI Ratings. According to findings released Tuesday, over one-quarter of boards seats in the U.S. are held by men with at least ten years’ tenure. And that represents a formidable impediment to increased diversity because “it is difficult to add more women (or members of other under-represented groups) to boards if there are few open seats to begin with,” GMI noted. To wit, since 2001, the proportion of directorships on the boards of 1,500 companies listed on the S&P 500 has risen fewer than five percentage points.

Halal Festival Shows Canada Diversity (OnIslam)
The first-ever halal food festival in Canada has drawn record-breaking crowds, showing the diversity of the marketplace in a major North American city. “Halal Food Fest TO is dedicated to the halal food scene, and hopes to showcase the variety and diversity that makes Toronto what it is,” Salima Jivraj, Marketing Director of the Halal Food Fest, told “We’re hoping that the food festival inspires and encourages more businesses to look into halal alternatives – it’s also a way for us to educate the general public about halal food.”

New Edition of A Guide to Programs and Services for Seniors in Ontario (Settlement AtWork)
The government has released a new edition of the “Guide to Programs and Services for Seniors in Ontario,” which features up-to-date information on provincial and federal services available to seniors, in a smaller, easier to handle format. The guide is now available in 16 languages – nine more than before – in recognition of Ontario’s diverse communities.

Visa system tripping up foreigners looking to visit Canadian family, MPs say (Michelle Zilio, iPolitics)
(Note: registration required for full article) MPs with ridings home to large populations of ethnic minorities say constituents with family members hoping to visit Canada for important family events are having troubles navigating the system. The concerns were raised at the Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration Tuesday morning, where the committee began a study on temporary resident visas (TRVs) for visitors.

Join us for the launch of our new policy on Removing the “Canadian experience” barrier (Ontario Human Rights Commission)
The Ontario Human Rights Commission and KPMG Invite you to the launch of the OHRC’s policy on Removing the “Canadian experience” barrier.

Applications for our Pluralism Grants for community projects are now open! (Inspirit Foundation)
The Inspirit Foundation today announced its call for applications for the Pluralism Grants – Community Impact program. Formerly known as the Inspirit Bridge Building Grants, this pilot program supports projects that bring together young adults (aged 18-30) of different spiritual, religious and secular beliefs to work toward common goals that make our communities better places to live. “Issues related to the intersection of culture, beliefs and youth engagement have recently been at the forefront of public debate,” said Andrea Nemtin, President and CEO, Inspirit Foundation. “We believe that by collaborating with others of different backgrounds and beliefs to create positive change, young people will build relationships and feel more connected to our communities.”

Scarborough Film Fest brings films beyond downtown core (Yonge Street)
Over the course of the next five days, the inaugural Scarborough Film Festival will screen 17 films from more than 10 countries. The festival boasts a diverse array of programming, featuring a mix of shorts and features, Canadian content and international. The only overarching theme, says Petrov is “great film.” “Right from the beginning we knew Toronto, and Scarborough in particular, is really diverse — one of the most diverse areas in the globe. So we wanted to bring something that was interesting to residents of Toronto and Scarborough…people can come out and watch not just their culture but also some other countries and learn about other countries and cultures.”

One in five people identifies as a visible minority: National Household Survey (Times of India)
In 2011, 19.1 per cent of Canada’s population identified themselves as a member of a visible minority group, when filling out a questionnaire for the National Household Survey. The results of the NHS, which were released earlier this May, show those 6,264,800 individuals represent about one out of every five people in Canada’s total population. This is an increase from the 2006 Census which recorded 16.2 per cent of the total population as identifying with a visible minority group.

Micro-loan program helps immigrants upgrade their foreign credentials (Times of India)
The New Brunswick Multicultural Council has developed a new micro-loan program to assist immigrants financially in upgrading their educational credentials. The program is designed to help pay for tuition, textbooks, certification fees and the like. “Many highly skilled immigrants are working in a low-profile position, getting minimum wage,” said Aaron Cao, project co-ordinator of the program.

Vivienne Poy launches book on Chinese immigration to Canada (Times of India)
The Hon. Vivienne Poy launched her latest book, Passage to Promise Land: Voices of Chinese Immigrant Women to Canada, at York University as part of this year’s Asian Heritage Month Festival celebration. Spanning six decades, Passage to Promise Land is a revealing study of Chinese immigration to Canada from the end of the Second World War to present day. By tracing the evolution of immigration policy through the stories of Chinese immigrant women of all ages and educational backgrounds, Poy captures the social, political and ethnic tensions these women faced, along with their spirited resilience against patriarchy and discrimination.

Ottawa to change immigration age limit of dependant children to under 19 (Times of India)
Older children of immigrants will be prevented from joining their parents and siblings in Canada under a new federal government plan to restrict the definition of “dependent child.” The change, which takes effect Jan. 1, will narrow the definition of a dependent child to someone younger than 19, rather than the current 22, and remove an exception for older children who study full time. The new rules could make roughly 7,000 immigrants a year ineligible to come to Canada. According to an outline of the plan obtained by the Star, the changes reflect the government’s immigration goals: to fuel economic prosperity, transition to a fast and flexible economic immigration system and target those with the skills to meet labour needs.

Settling in Canada (Times of India)
Special section in Times of India with articles related to immigrant settlement in Canada.

The Truth about Pierre Trudeau and Immigration (Maclean’s)
In his new book The Truth About Trudeau, Bob Plamondon, a policy consultant and historian in Ottawa, takes an unvarnished look at Pierre Trudeau’s time in office, from his cozy ties to Communists and gutting of the military to his dubious environmental record and the damage done to national unity. In this excerpt, Plamondon tackles the myths surrounding Trudeau’s immigration policies, and argues the former prime minister politicized immigration and multiculturalism and raised ethnic vote targeting to an art form.

Minority suppliers making headway in industry (Dave Hall, Windsor Star)
Dorrington said that while diversity in Canada’s supply chain is improving, there needs to be an added impetus from three levels of government which are among the largest customers of supply chain products in the nation. “The emphasis used to be on automotive, but now we’re growing in ICT, telecommunications, food processing and many other industries,” said Dorrington. Steve Rodgers, president of the APMA, said that the Detroit Three have always recognized the importance of employing minority suppliers.

PNP intermediary transferred millions offshore, owes millions in taxes (Teresa Wright, Guardian PEI)
A firm that brokered immigrant investments in P.E.I.’s Provincial Nominee Program transferred $10 million to an offshore account and now owes over $3.2 million in unpaid taxes, according to documents filed in federal court by the Canada Revenue Agency. The CRA was granted a jeopardy order last Friday by a federal judge, authorizing it to take action to collect the only remaining assets of P.E.I. Equity Alliance Ltd.

Racist and intolerant (Barry Morgan, CJAD)
When asked if the turban ban was racist, the group said it disagreed with the question. Why not say it was a ridiculous question, that they have the best interests of the kids, and others, who wear a turban at heart? When asked if it was intolerant, the only response was ‘no comment.’ I spoke tonight with Mukhbir Singh, the World Sikh Organization of Canada’s vice-president for Quebec and Atlantic Canada. He didn’t buy the safety excuse, either. And neither did most callers to the show.

DiverseCity winners honoured (Surrey Now)
DiverseCity Community Resources Society recently honoured the winners of its annual Cultural DiverseCity Awards at an event in Coquitlam. There were five categories: Keywest Asphalt Ltd. won the Business award; Canada Safeway Ltd. won Corporate; Vancouver International Film Festival won in Not-for-Profit; Surrey RCMP won in Public Institutional and Sangha’s Learning Centre won the Youth Entrepreneur award.


CCR Chronicle Vol. 8 no. 3, 4 June 2013 (CCR)
In this issue:
New report cards evaluate protections for migrant workers across Canada
Wear and share buttons to show you are Proud to Protect Refugees on World Refugee Day (20 June)
Temporary Residence Permits (TRPs) for Trafficked Persons: New report and webinar
Alert: Changes to definition of family and rules for family sponsorship
Conclusions from CCR Spring Consultation Promoting Security and a Warm Welcome

Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers Testify Before Commons Committee on Bill C-43 (CARL)
In their appearance before the Citizenship and Immigration Committee of the House of Commons today, two expert witnesses for the Canadian Association for Refugee Lawyers (CARL) Lorne Waldman and Angus Grant offered clear, trenchant criticisms of Bill C-43, The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act. Their testimony focused on a two significant failings of Bill C-43:
Permanent residents of Canada, upon being convicted of relatively minor crimes, can now be deported without any right of appeal or consideration of their personal circumstances.
Innocent people, found to be inadmissible to Canada because of ludicrously broad security laws, will no longer be able to remain in Canada for exceptional or humanitarian reasons.

New Issues of FMR and JRS (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
A service highlighting web research and information relating to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other forced migrants; provided by Elisa Mason.

Thematic Focus: Urban Refugees (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
A service highlighting web research and information relating to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other forced migrants; provided by Elisa Mason.


Fixing Income Inequality in Canada (David Miller, Huffington Post)
The economic collapse of 2008 changed much in our world, and it had a devastating impact on many people at home and abroad. But one of the few silver linings is the spotlight that it put on an economic trend that was poised to create lasting damage in Canada: income inequality. The impact of the recession hit just about everyone, but those on the lower end of the income scale were hit the hardest, with job losses in the trades and services sectors as people stopped spending. In addition, many lower-income individuals borrowed against inflated assets to keep up, or dipped into their savings only to find half of it disappear when markets tanked. As we all know, the recession shattered the lives of many.

Caledon Institute of Social Policy: Federal Policy Monitor May 2013 – PDF (Caledon)
The Caledon Institute ( regularly scans for the release of federal government policies that impact areas of interest, including income security, disabilities, health, housing, poverty reduction, recreation, seniors and youth.

Caledon Institute of Social Policy: Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitor May 2013 – PDF (Caledon)
The Caledon Institute of Social Policy ( regularly scans provincial and territorial government websites in order to follow policy developments related to our core work and interests. A partial list includes: disability, education, health, housing, income security, poverty reduction, recreation, seniors and youth. This tracking is intended to inform our analysis of policy trends.


Government of Manitoba, Canada, launches initiative for Greek job seekers (
Representatives of the Manitoba government’s immigration program are visiting Greece from June 8-12 to interview Greek nationals, qualified skilled workers interested in temporary and long-term employment, for prearranged jobs in industry, business, service, trades and other skilled occupations in Manitoba, Canada. To participate in the Job Fair being held from June 8-12 in Athens, apply for a scheduled interview.

Foreign worker reforms raise concern (Richard Gilbert, Journal of Commerce)
The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is concerned about changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program, especially in Alberta where the new policy is being implemented without consideration of its unique labour market conditions. “I think the most serious and offensive change was the temporary suspension of the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (ALMO),” said Michael Atkinson, president of the CCA.–foreign-worker-reforms-raise-concern

Alberta documentary Oil Calling focuses on immigrant experience in oilpatch (Jamie Hall, Edmonton Journal)
Edmonton filmmaker Brandy Yanchyk took the money she had put aside for a down payment on a house and instead invested it into finding a broadcaster for her documentary about new immigrants trying to find work in Alberta’s oilpatch. It paid off. Oil Calling will make its debut Friday on CBC’s Documentary Channel, which will run it again the following Monday and Tuesday.

Winning with newcomers (Times of India)
At the recent 10th Annual Internationally Educated Professionals Conference, hosted by the Progress and Career Planning Institute (PCPI) in Toronto on April 5, the issue of workplace integration of new Canadians was a hot topic. With recent reports indicating that Canada is facing a growing deficit of workers, there is an increased urgency for innovative inclusion strategies when it come to hiring newcomers.

Fear mutes some caregivers’ tales of abuse (Elaine O’Connor, The Province)
What would you do if your boss monitored your every move with hidden cameras all over the office – even in the bathroom? Many of B.C.’s foreign nannies brought in through Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Program would do nothing. Vancouver labour lawyer Ai Li Lim has dealt with cases of workers who allege they have been spied on, hit, verbally abused, denied pay and breaks, even physically or sexually assaulted. But they are often too scared to speak out.

Foreign nannies, caregivers shouldn’t necessarily get permanent residency in Canada (Martin Collacott, The Province)
Your recent reports on the abuse suffered by live-in caregivers from overseas, and in particular the case of Leticia Sarmiento, underlines the need to protect the rights and ensure decent working conditions for such workers. The live-in caregiver program itself, however, also requires a thorough review and overhaul in view of the questionable premises on which it is based. Live-in caregivers are, in fact, the only temporary foreign workers who are virtually guaranteed permanent residence in Canada if they can stick it out for two years here in the jobs for which they are hired. In effect, the program ensures that the caregiver will be able to stay here permanently and bring in their family members without having to meet the usual requirements for those coming here as members of the economic class.

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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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