Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 22, 2013


Citizenship oath: Let’s pledge to Canada, not to Her Majesty (Ratna Omidvar, Globe and Mail)
Naysayers use the argument that if we don’t like it here, we should stay away. This only serves to draw the lines between us more deeply. I like to invoke the image that new immigrants make Canada their home and in time have the right, nay, the obligation, to rearrange the metaphorical furniture in our new home as part of an engaged citizenry. But there is middle ground. Let the royalists keep the symbols, the portraits of the Queen, and insert the word “Royal” in front of Canadian institutions such as the Air Force. Let’s wave the Union Jack when a member of the Royal Family visits. Let’s go wild about the Duchess of Cambridge’s newest dress. But let’s change the oath of allegiance, much along the lines of Australia’s. This middle-ground approach can (and should) be imitated in Canada.

“New Guy” Alexander Replaces Controversial Kenney As Immigration Minister (R. Paul Dhillon, The Link)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the biggest change in this week’s cabinet shuffle aimed at reviving fast falling Conservative political fortunes by installing Chris Alexander as the new Minister of Immigration and Citizenship by replacing the power hungry Jason Kenney, who had been growing powerful in the ministry with growing Conservative party leadership aspirations. Harper wanted to curtail that power and put Kenney in his place, a move which might also signal change and a new start with Alexander as Kenney had began to piss off many in the ethnic communities with his radical policies which were nonetheless welcomed by the usual rightwing crowd, who want to curtail immigration and find new ways to get rid of the ones already here

What Honest Ed’s meant to my immigrant family (Marsha Lederman, Globe and Mail)
By the time I came along, my parents were far enough along in their immigrant experience that they had made the exodus up to a tidy bungalow in the suburbs. But every now and then, we would pile into the Pontiac LeMans for a pilgrimage – and some bargains – downtown. The drive down to Bathurst and Bloor was always accompanied by stories. In a mixture of English and Yiddish, my parents would talk about the good old days when they were new to Canada from Germany, living in the Annex, doing their shopping at Kensington Market and, for non-perishables, Honest Ed’s. They would line up outside on Saturday mornings to take advantage of the door-crasher special – whatever it was – and then stock up on insanely low-priced canned goods and household cleaners.

Honest Ed’s was a right of passage for many new Canadians in Toronto (Vidya Kauri, Globe and Mail)
When David Mirvish was 10 years old, he helped the cashiers at his father’s discount store put purchases into bags. And sometimes, the little boy would hide under the counters so his supervisor would have to look for him. All the time spent at the cash registers – and hiding – gave Mr. Mirvish the chance to listen as Torontonians from all over the city, and of every imaginable background, shopped and chatted. The employees too spoke many different languages, something his dad, the late Ed Mirvish, welcomed. “I think my father found it stimulating to work with the people he worked with,” Mr. Mirvish says now. “He just found people interesting.“

Woman’s long fight to be recognized as a Canadian citizen heads to court (Diana Mehta, Toronto Star)
Jackie Scott , 68, was raised in Ontario, paid her taxes and voted in elections. But a dizzying tangle of old laws has meant the government doesn’t consider her a Canadian.

Jason Kenney’s speech to Islamic Society of North America removed from government (and personal) websites (Michael Petrou, Maclean’s)
Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau has received sharp criticism for speaking last week to the Islamic Society of North America, an organization the secular Muslim Canadian Congress describes as “Canada’s leading Islamist group.” As it happens, former citizenship and immigration minister (and current employment and social development minister) Jason Kenney also spoke to the group in November 2008.

CIDI Newsletter: July 2013 (CIDI)
Community of Practice Events
Diversity Perspectives
CIDI Survey
CIDI in the News
Voices from the CIDI
Defining the Undefined

Killing of immigration inspector probed in new book by Gurpreet Singh (Charlie Smith,
Surrey writer and Radio India broadcaster Gurpreet Singh has written a new book highlighting connections between the 1914 murder of a high-ranking government official and the forced removal of a vessel carrying Indian immigrants from Vancouver’s harbour. In Why Mewa Singh Killed William Hopkinson: Revisiting the Murder of a Canadian Immigration Inspector (Chetna Parkashan), Gurpreet Singh describes how the Komagata Maru incident played a pivotal role in the killing, which was retaliation for an earlier murder of a leader in the local Sikh community.

Canadian officials remove tracking bracelet from Mohamed Harkat (Jim Bronskill, Toronto Star)
The wife of an Ottawa man accused of terrorist ties says border agents have removed an electronic tracking bracelet from his ankle. Canada Border Services Agency took the tracking device off late Wednesday as part of a court-ordered relaxation of Mohamed Harkat’s release conditions, Sophie Harkat said Thursday. It has been more than a decade since Harkat, a refugee from Algeria, was arrested under a national security certificate on suspicion of being an Al Qaeda sleeper agent — an accusation he denies. Harkat, 44, has essentially been living under house arrest with stringent conditions — including the tracking bracelet — for seven years.

Letter to Kenney Challenges His Attack on Suzuki (Dan Murray, Immigration Watch Canada)
I note your tweets regarding Dr. David Suzuki’s interview in L’Express. While I agree the media are often biased against conservatives I can’t agree that Suzuki’s opinions on immigration are “toxic & irresponsible” nor that they show him to be “stridently anti-immigration.” Perhaps you have not yet had a chance to read the whole interview. If you do, you will see that he praised how Canada integrates immigrants and noted that, unlike his parents’ generation when ethnic Japanese such as himself married only within the Japanese community, over 90% now marry outside of the community. He also declared that we have a duty to those in genuine need and that he was particularly proud to be a Canadian when we helped 50,000 Vietnamese boat people. These are hardly “extreme anti-immigration views”!

Are Canada’s doors closing? (Brandon Sun)
During the last couple of years, the Canadian government and its multiculturalism and immigration minister have been implementing a series of modifications to this country’s immigration policies and programs. The changes have led some to express that “Canada’s doors” are closing, making it more difficult, and for some, impossible to immigrate to the country or to reunify with loved ones. Also, the life of immigrants and refugees already settled in Canada is probably becoming harder due to the implementation of these new policies.

One church, many faiths (Brenda Suderman, Winnipeg Free Press)
They sing from the United Church hymnbook, practise communion according to Anglican traditions, organize themselves according to Mennonite sensibilities and are served by a Presbyterian minister. For half a century, the folks at Pinawa Christian Fellowship — PCF for short — have been happily multidenominational, and they have no plans to change their ecumenical ways.

Black man in Vancouver feels ‘racially profiled’ by some groups (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
In light of the racial profiling that led to the killing of black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, a Vancouver man has brought to my attention the fear he feels from some cohorts of Metro Vancouver residents. Luma Toumany is an African-Canadian who lives in the West End, where he is raising his daughter. He speaks four languages and works for a major company. He is a Muslim married to a Christian woman.

Somali grant (CBC Metro Morning)
By now, just about everyone knows about Crackstarter, the online fundraising campaign started by the website Gawker to buy a video that allegedly shows Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. The campaign raised 185-thousand dollars but Gawker’s team was never able to buy the alleged video.Instead, the money is being split among four groups. One of which is the Somali Canadian Association of Etobicoke. Helen spoke to Osman Ali. He is that group’s long-time executive director.


PRESS RELEASE: CARL welcomes Supreme Court of Canada decision bringing refugee exclusion law in line with international standards (CARL)
The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) welcomes the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Ezokola v. Canada, released today. The decision reverses a disturbing trend in Canadian refugee law and brings Canada in line with international standards on the exclusion of refugees.

Supreme Court to decide on war crime refugee case (Kady O’Malley, CBC)
The Supreme Court of Canada will issue a ruling Friday morning that could redefine how immigration officials decide if someone was complicit in war crimes. The case stems from a decision by the federal government to deny refugee status to Rachidi Ekanza Ezokola. He worked for the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for eight years, four of them as a prominent diplomat at the United Nations.

Supreme Court decision on Congolese refugee brings Canada in line with international standards (Vidya Kauri, Globe and Mail)
The Supreme Court of Canada has given its unanimous consent for an appeal by a high-level diplomat from the Democratic Republic of Congo in his refugee application to Canada. In doing so, the court has brought Canada in line with international standards on refugee exclusion. Having previously been denied in his refugee claim because of possible complicity in war crimes, Rachidi Ekanza Ezokola’s claim is being sent back to the Immigration and Refugee Board for reconsideration. In a case that has attracted the attention of major international rights groups, including Amnesty International, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, this decision will have an impact on how immigration officials decide if somebody has been complicit in war crimes.

CCLA applauds SCC decision in Ezokola (CCLA)
Today the Supreme Court of Canada released its judgment in Ezokola v Canada, available here The decision is a victory for refugee protection and international criminal responsibility as well as for Canadian principles of asylum, criminal law, and fundamental justice. CCLA applauds the decision for correctly recognizing, as CCLA argued in its intervention, that any decision to exclude an individual from asylum must be based upon “serious reasons for considering” that the individual did commit the crimes which permit exclusion pursuant to Article 1F(a) of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (“Refugee Convention”). It is not justifiable in Canadian law or in international law to exclude an individual merely because he or she was a member of a group guilty of war crimes — ‘guilt by association’ violates fundamental criminal law principles.

Federal Court Decisions on Immigration or Refugee Status (Settlement AtWork)
A new section has been added to the Refugee Rights in Ontario website that discusses challenging a decision in Federal Court. This includes some basic information about the power of the Federal Court to review decisions on refugee status, relevant time limits, the difference between a judicial review and an appeal, and related topics. This section contains essential information for front-line workers helping refugee claimants

Webinar recording: Threats to Convention Refugee and Permanent Resident Status (Your Legal Rights)
The unqualified right of Convention Refugees to remain in Canada has been eroded by recent changes to the law. This webinar examines cessation and vacation proceedings where the Minister of Immigration applies to remove a person’s Protected Person status. It highlights the significance of the changes to the law and the importance of Convention Refugees and Permanent Residents applying for citizenship as soon as possible. Situations that could trigger cessation or vacation proceedings, as well as ways that service providers can offer support during the citizenship process, is also covered.

New section on challenging a decision in Federal Court added to (Your Legal Rights)
A new section has been added to the Refugee Rights in Ontario website that discusses challenging a decision in Federal Court. This includes some basic information about the power of the Federal Court to review decisions on refugee status, relevant time limits, the difference between a judicial review and an appeal, and related topics.

The boat smuggling mafia ( Shenali D Wadugek, Sri Lanka Guardian)
Be that as it may the fact that illegals in whatever form are today making up a nexus that is thriving in terms of the profits it generates is unlikely to see the stewardship of will to want to bring it to a close – like all vices those who find it a lucrative venture will ensure the business of boats and people remain unless the taxpayers of these nations make a noise and that is when the politicians start to wake up – Kevin Rudd in action is just one example yet to see similar actions by Canada and other countries is something that requires a more alert Canadian public.


Canadian Social Research Newsletter July 21, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Poorer Canadians more likely to die younger: Statistics Canada (Ottawa Citizen) – July 18(Ottawa Citizen)
2. Canada’s new cabinet — Who is in, who is out, who is shuffled (Ottawa Citizen) – July 15
3. The Dilemma of Housing in Alberta (Action to End Poverty in Alberta and Momentum) – July 15
4. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Consumer Price Index, June 2013 – July 19
— Employment Insurance, May 2013 – July 18
— Health Reports, July 2013 – July 17
— StatCan Blog: Tracking government finances, July 2013 – July 17
5. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Why Rural Philanthropy Must Mean More than Money (Max Rose, Nonprofit Quarterly)
In rural communities and small towns, philanthropy can take stands, create coalitions, and break down racial barriers that other institutions avoid. Philanthropy plays the role of professor, listener, pulse reader, dream interpreter, and community organizer.


Not all internships are bad (Margaret Eaton, Ratna Omidvar, Toronto Star)
While unpaid internships are problematic, they are not the only option. Recent discussions have given short shrift to internship that are not “free” but paid. These can last anywhere from four to 12 months, and are often brokered by not-for-profit organizations such as Career Edge, which works with recent graduates, immigrants and people with disabilities. The success rate of these internships is high, partly because all parties enter into the agreement with their eyes wide open. The internships are structured so that both sides know what their responsibilities are, and what they are — and are not — expected to do.

The Official Unemployment Rate Is Wrong, Says Guy Who Used To Calculate It (Mark Gongloff, Huffington Post)
You can’t believe the government’s numbers on employment. Take it from the guy who used to run the government’s numbers on employment. Keith Hall, the former head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which produces the federal government’s monthly jobs report, told New York Post columnist John Crudele that the official unemployment rate of 7.6 percent is wrong and might be too low by 3 percentage points, according to Crudele’s column on Thursday.

Premiers to face off against Ottawa over ‘flawed’ job program (Globe and Mail)
On Wednesday, Canada’s premiers will gather in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and try to kill the Canada Job Grant before it is born. That’s not the formal wording of the agenda at the annual meeting of the Council of the Federation. But shutting down the proposed new job-training program – of which Employment Minister Jason Kenney was put in charge last week – is a top provincial concern these days. “It’s one of the fundamental priorities of this council,” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, host of this week’s meeting, said in an interview on Sunday. “We really believe that the provincial governments are best placed to know where [job training] dollars need to be invested.”

New Canadian Immigration Program for Skilled Trades Opens (CICS News)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) officially launched the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) on Wednesday, and plans to admit up to 3,000 permanent residents through the program in 2013.


Salary Survey Report (2013) (Charity Village)
The only Canadian report to provide a detailed picture of salary and benefits packages exclusively in the nonprofit sector is now fully updated for 2013. In this brand new report, you’ll find comprehensive data, including a wide variety of tables, charts and graphs, in the Canadian nonprofit sector. The practical analysis allows you to quickly translate the data into important takeaways to immediately benefit your organization. CharityVillage’s Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary and Benefits Study is the only one of its kind in Canada, offering a complete and exhaustive survey of the Canadian nonprofit compensation landscape.

The following two tabs change content below.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

Shared 9 links. Honest Ed’s was a rite of passage for many new Canadians in Toronto - The Globe and...