Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 7, 2013


Re-doubling our Efforts on Leadership Diversity (Ratna Omidvar, Maytree)
Does the diversity gap in leadership matter to people on the street? What do they see as the benefits of leadership that reflects the population? And what can we do about it? On May 22, pollster Nik Nanos and DiverseCity released a report that set out to answer those questions. What we found should hearten and encourage us all. Yes! Residents in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) do care about diversity in leadership. What’s more, they think we should take action to make it happen.

Webinar Recording: Oslo Extra Large: Measuring Up, Making Diversity Count (Cities of Migration)
Join Toralv Moe, Senior Advisor, Business Development and Diversity with the City of Oslo, for an update on the city’s ambitious plan to be ‘A City for All’. Learn how Oslo is putting intercultural policy to the test and raising its diversity and integration index by measuring the city’s progress on equality, opportunity and inclusion since the 2001 launch of its Oslo Extra Large campaign. In conversation with: Irena Guidikova, Intercultural Cities, Council of Europe.

Canada attempts to lure foreigners away from Silicon Valley with start-up visa (Globe and Mail)
A bold new billboard looms over U.S. 101, the highway that runs through the heart of the global technology industry. “H-1b problem?” it reads. “Pivot to Canada.” That sassy invitation is directed at the thousands of foreigners having trouble getting temporary visas, known as H-1b’s, to work in the United States. Canada’s new so-called startup visa offers them the prospect of permanent residency and with it, the country’s relatively low business taxes and public health insurance.

Countries Seek Entrepreneurs From Silicon Valley (Somini Sengupta, New York Times)
A bold new billboard looms over U.S. 101, the highway that runs through the heart of the global technology industry. “H-1b problems?” it reads. “Pivot to Canada.” That sassy invitation is directed at the thousands of foreigners having trouble getting temporary visas, known as H-1b’s, to work in the United States. Canada’s new so-called start-up visa offers them the prospect of permanent residency and with it, the country’s relatively low business taxes and public health insurance.

Canada’s Tories show GOP how to win immigrant votes (Shikha Dalmia, Washington Examiner)
Canadian Conservatives were in the exact same boat as the GOP in the 1990s. Rapid immigration from Asia and elsewhere had allowed Liberals to cobble together a seemingly invincible block of French-speaking Quebecers plus immigrants in Toronto and Vancouver for three consecutive electoral wins. Conservatives were viewed as a scary “anti-immigrant, rural white man’s party.” In 2000, 70 percent of all identifiable minorities voted for the Liberal Party. That was then.

Survey reveals the world’s most racist countries (The Sun UK)
The World Values Survey asked people in more than 80 countries what type of people they did NOT want as neighbours. More than 40 per cent of those quizzed in India, Jordan and Hong Kong said they didn’t want a neighbour of a different race. Brits were among the most tolerant, along with the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. People in Latin American countries also said they would not mind neighbours of another race.

Think racism is old? Think again. (Verna Murphy, Forc McMurray Today)
I had a few conversations over the last month or so that have really got me thinking about racism. From an early age I have always been fascinated with different cultures, and the more I learned about people from other countries, the more I realized I know so very little. But growing up, I thought through my high school years, especially that I knew quite a bit about other races, and different cultures, including our own Canadian Aboriginal culture. And I will readily say it was not until four years ago I finally realized I did not know anything. And I will tell you why. Four years ago our little girl entered our life, and our family grew, and we became a “mixed” family. As a foster family we always say that our family grows and contracts on any given week, and we never know what we will learn about next. Well, four years ago we started to learn that racism is alive and well, and the places that I notice it the most will make your hair curl.

Diversity in Canada: an overview (Lisa Evans, Canadian Immigrant)
Diversity has played an important role in Canada’s formative history. Today, Canada boasts the highest percentage of foreign-born citizens than any other G8 country. In 2012, Canada welcomed a record number of immigrants for its seventh consecutive year, with 257,515 newcomers entering the country. In opening its doors to immigration, Canada has created a society of mixed languages, cultures and religions.

Richmond Hill approves policy to avoid number 4 (Kim Zarzour, York Region)
If you don’t like the number 4, you don’t have to live with it. That’s the decision of Richmond Hill councillors, who this week agreed that no new number 4s will be used in street addressing and those with a current 4 can apply to change it with a letter suffix such as 4B, with costs borne by the resident or business owner. The Chinese word for death sounds similar to the number 4. This has led to superstitions surrounding that digit (known as tetraphobia). In China, for example, floor numbers often skip the number 4.

Migrants’ global ties challenge Canada to make big-picture policy (Natalie Brender, Toronto Star)
The American writer Maya Angelou was referring to deep matters of the heart when she said, “You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.” The claim may resonate emotionally – but in the realm of global affairs, each of its assertions raises deeply fraught issues. The potential for immigrants to go home again, and the ways in which they maintain ties with their home countries, are often seen by Canadian politicians and media as not “all right” in the least. And in turn, those views are deeply at odds with current thinking among global experts in the field of migration.

Entrepreneur focus groups, new stats, Opening Doors reflections, and more… (Guelph Wellington Local Immigration Partnership)
In this issue:
Calling all self-employed immigrants!
Building community through better meetings
Statistics Canada releases 2011 census data
Personal reflections on Opening Doors Series
GW-LIP Meetings
Other Events
News Round-up

Immigration leading to greater differences between Canadian cities (Konrad Yakabuski, Globe and Mail)
(Note: Subscribers only) A new report from TD Economics underscores the extent to which Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver each depend on different sources of immigration. In Toronto, the main source of new immigrants is India; in Montreal, it’s Algeria; and in Vancouver, Chinese immigrants outnumbered those from India two to one between 2006 and 2011. This is changing not only the faces of these cities. It also changing their characters, too, as immigrants from different parts of the world tend to have different religions, politics and cultures. That, in turn, influences the Canadian-born populations in those cities, who are sensitized in different ways, depending on the countries that supply their immigrants.

Monitoring The Metros: A Much-Awaited 2011 Update – PDF (TD Economics)
The 2011 National Household Survey release on May 8 th provides a demographic and diversity update across Canada. This is the third of a three-part overview series by TD Economics, followingAboriginal and immigration in-depth articles. The focus in this publication is to survey developments at the metro level.


Engage! : April 2013 (Tamarack)
In this issue:
Re-Doubling Our Efforts On Leadership Diversity
Shifting From Scale To Reach
Evaluating Policy Advocacy
Sharing The Red People’s Teachings
Mobilizing For Youth Opportunities


Mentoring Improves Employment Outcomes for Skilled Immigrants (Peer Bulletin No. 225)
Mentoring has proven to be one of the most successful strategies to assist newcomers find suitable employment. The idea behind mentoring is a simple one—connecting an internationally-trained professional with his or her counterpart. It is effective in helping many newcomers overcome some of the most significant barriers that they may face as they try to enter the labour market. Specifically, mentors can help a newcomer connect with other professionals in their field, provide critical information about the profession in Canada, and enhance the mentoring partner’s knowledge of the Canadian workplace culture and norms. Recognizing the importance of mentoring as an effective program, ALLIES launched the National Mentoring Initiative in 2009 with the support of TD Bank. ALLIES provided funding, coaching and technical support, connections to national employers, and other program supports to twelve mentoring programs in seven Canadian provinces.

Filipina nanny tells B.C. human trafficking trial she was forced to work 16-hour days (Vivian Luk, Edmonton Journal)
A Filipina nanny’s voice tensed up with emotion Wednesday as she described the day she called police after one of her employers pushed her and doused her with a jug of water. Leticia Sarmiento, who is testifying at a human trafficking trial, said the physical altercation in June 2010 involved Oi Ling Nicole Huen. Sarmiento said she called police and finally escaped from the home where she had been working as a live-in nanny since 2008.

Defence lawyer picks apart nanny’s story at human trafficking trial (James Keller, Ottawa Citizen)
A nanny who claims she was forced into servitude in a Vancouver-area household was in reality treated as “member of the family,” often invited along for nice meals and even feted with birthday celebrations, a lawyer for the couple told their human trafficking trial Thursday — a stark contrast to the oppressive, prison-like existence the caregiver has described. Defence lawyer Nicholas Preovolos picked apart much of Leticia Sarmiento’s story as he cross-examined her Thursday, rejecting her claims that she was forbidden from making phone calls to her family back in the Philippines and suggesting it was actually her idea to move with the family to Canada from Hong Kong in the first place.

Op-ed column devalues role of foreign domestic workers (Cenen Bagon, Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights, The Province)
Martin Collacott started his op-ed as if he understands the plight of foreign domestic workers and foreign live-in caregivers in Canada. But, in fact, his article is an attack on valued, caregiving work and the women who do it. First and foremost, foreign live-in caregivers come to Canada because Canadians need them to do the work Canadians do not want to do – to care for our young, our elderly and our disabled family members – because the pay is low and almost always without benefits. The Canadian government needs them because it’s not a priority to provide its citizens with universal, affordable and quality childcare, or affordable home care for elders and persons with disabilities.

Temporary foreign worker reforms raise concerns with CCA (Richard Gilbert, Daily Commerce News)
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.–temporary-foreign-worker-reforms-raise-concerns-with-cca&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgAIAAoATAAOABAxPvFjQVIAlAAWABiBWVuLUNB&cd=SFDBoi2AGAg&usg=AFQjCNEF31PaOzBkWT6bT__ZvbjXhTsRuQ

The visible (minority) face of Canada’s labour movement (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
I was struck by how many visible minorities were profiled in an excellent feature on the emerging labour movement by former Vancouver Sun editorial writer Richard Littlemore. The Report on Business feature, headlined Do unions have a future?,” offered one of the best summaries I’ve seen in a while of Canada’s changing labour movement. A century ago it was mostly British, Italian and French immigrants who were pushing for greater labour rights in Canada. Now the new activists seem to come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. That includes the young Haitian-born man who opens the piece.


Aga Khan Foundation Seminar on Community Philanthropy in Action (Bronwyn Oatley,
On Tuesday evening, was pleased to cover the fourth event in the Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s series of Seminars on Innovative Financing for Development. The seminar, Local Assets for Local Needs: Community Philanthropy in Action, was held in Ottawa, but was also available by webinar.

The Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund for Social Enterprises now accepting applications (CharityVillage)
The application process for the $600k Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund is now open. The four-in-one application allows you to apply to the Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund as well as three other acceleration opportunities. The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), in partnership with the Province of Ontario, TD Bank, Microsoft Canada, Alterna Savings, KPMG and Social Capital Partners, is proud to announce a new social finance initiative for social entrepreneurs. The Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund will make between 15 and 25 investments in early stage social enterprises (nonprofit and for-profit) that are tenants or Community Members of CSI; will provide low interest loans of $5,000 – $25,000 to eligible social enterprises; and will provide a range of support to enable the social enterprises to succeed. Applications are due by Friday, July 12, 2013.

Ontario is One Step Closer to Proclamation of the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (Settlement AtWork)
Ontario is one step closer to proclaiming the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 (ONCA) – legislation that will increase accountability and transparency for not-for-profit corporations and that will make it easier for them to operate and do business in today’s marketplace.

Federal Government Releases Report on Social Finance (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
The federal government recently issued a report entitled Harnessing the Power of Social Finance: Canadians Respond to the National Call for Concepts in Social Finance. The Foundation was pleased to see that a proposal it submitted with Aboriginal Savings Corporation — for financing new home construction on Aboriginal reserves — was among 15 highlighted in the report, along with those of several partners and grantees, including Pathways to Education, YMCA Canada, Boys and Girls Clubs Canada, Maytree Foundation, the Omega Foundation and the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation. Foundation grantees The Centre for Impact Investing and the Chantier de l’economie sociale have played an important role in developing the field of social finance in Canada and Quebec respectively.

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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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