Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 29, 2013


Operational Bulletin 525 June 21, 2013 – Changes in Appeal Rights to the Immigration Appeal Division as a Result of Bill C-43 the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act (CIC)
On June 19, 2013, Bill C-43, the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act came into force. The Bill amends subsection 64(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) which specifies the circumstances under which a foreign national, a sponsor or a permanent resident has no right of appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board. These instructions apply upon the coming into force of Bill C-43.

Open letter to David Suzuki: Canada’s immigration policy is ‘disgusting’ but not because Canada is ‘full’ (Syed Hussan, rabble)
So when I read that you think our immigration policy is disgusting — I was overjoyed. For too long, environmental and social justice issues have remained separated and there are few better places to build those bridges from within the environmental movement than you. Canadas immigration policy is indeed disgusting: it is premised on the exploitation of humans, it suggests that people are nothing but inputs into corporations for profit and it tears families apart. The immigration system turns away refugees while declaring itself as humanitarian and locks up thousands of people in immigration detention including children. There isn’t even a stream for so-called climate migrants. Most immigrants that arrive in Canada, do so as temporary workers, without full rights. We pay taxes but cannot access basic services, and we live in fear, knowing that a single ‘wrong’ move could mean deportation or worse.

Legal assistance funding cuts threaten most at-risk (with video) (Craig Pearson, Windsor Star)
Were afraid that theyre going to close independent clinics, said Overholt, noting that the government might try to consolidate some of the 77 legal clinics across Ontario. Im not sure what theyre going to do with this. I dont know if theyre going to look at cutting back services or reducing hours. Legal Assistance of Windsor, which has nine full-time employees, operates on a little more than $800,000 a year. With the help of University of Windsor law and social work student volunteers, the agency manages a caseload of a 400-plus at any one time, plus phone calls. The help covers such issues as social assistance, disabilities, employment insurance, refugee/immigration work, landlord-tenant disputes, and human trafficking, for which the Windsor office has been recognized as a leader in Canada. More than half the people on social assistance have mental-health issues.

New episodes (CBC Intersections)
Mating and Dating: Episode 4
Most young Canadians are busy flirting and courting, but thats a big no-no in some cultures. And it’s not just dating, cultural expectations can add new meaning to “happily ever after”. We explore how culture affects the way we date and mate in Canada.

Spending and Lending: Episode 5
Where we come from can influence how we lend, spend and save. And “giving” can take on a whole other meaning. We’ll explore how cultural perceptions of money affect our relationships.

Law and Order: Episode 6
Do you revere or sneer at police officers and judges? It might have to do with your cultural background. We explore the complex relationships we have the people who serve and protect us.

Ex-immigration board judge appeals conviction on sex bribes (Michele Mandel, Toronto Sun)
Kudos to each of the venerable judges on Ontarios Court of Appeal for keeping a straight face. Steve Ellis, the disgraced former immigration board judge, is appealing his conviction and sentence for trying to extort sexual favours from a Korean refugee claimant in exchange for a positive ruling at her hearing. Despite a damning video of his smarmy proposition surreptitiously recorded by the womans boyfriend at a downtown coffee shop, his lawyer says Ellis should never have been convicted in the first place because he wasnt after sex just friendship.

Richard Marceau: Dont let a dead Canadian breathe life into neo-Nazi hatred (Richard Marceau, National Post)
Harry Robert McCorkell was a Canadian coin collector who amassed a substantial amount of money. He died in 2004, with an estate that included ancient Greek and Roman coins, some in gold. The McCorkell collection is considered important enough to have been displayed at the University of Saskatchewan Museum of Antiquities. McCorkell was also a neo-Nazi, an anti-semite and a racist who bequeathed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the National Alliance, a white supremacist group in the United States.

Justin Trudeau has the wrong idea on immigration (Lorne Gunter, Ottawa Sun)
If you need another example of how mindlessly sentimental Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is, how shallow and impulsive his policies are, how much his ideology is driven by platitudes and whim, consider his proposal to reform Canadas immigration system. Pandering to a crowd of Indo-Canadian voters in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey on Wednesday evening, Trudeau promised that were he to become prime minister, his Liberal government would reverse the Tory crackdown on family class immigration. Under former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, the Harper government made some minor, but welcome, changes to the practice of immigrants sponsoring their elderly parents and grandparents to come to Canada. The problem with this practice is seniors are among the largest consumers of Canadas generous social benefits, namely pensions and health care.

Parade offers overwhelming sense of acceptance (Chronicle Herald)
Joseph Nyemah cradled his five-month-old son, Tweh, in his arms as the parade partied down Barrington Street. Originally from Liberia, Nyemah came to Canada in 2005 and now lives in Dartmouth. He brought the rest of his family to the parade because he wants them to appreciate the diversity the city has to offer. I think Halifax is rapidly changing and I think we need to embrace diversity in many ways and I think this event is great, he said. It shows that Halifax is truly a cosmopolitan city. Even though Tweh was a little too young to understand, Nyemah thought it was important for the baby to be present.

Record Number of Immigrants to Canada under Provincial Nominee Program (Peter Rosenthal, Globe and Mail)
The case of three permanent residents seeking the right to obtain Canadian citizenship without taking an oath to the Queen has generated much discussion both about the oath and the monarchy. Unfortunately, some of the discussion is based on misinformation. I am one of four counsel representing the residents. The case was argued in Ontarios Superior Court of Justice on July 12, at the conclusion of which Justice Edward Morgan reserved his decision. The case has generated much discussion about the oath and the monarchy. Unfortunately, some of it is based on misinformation.

How the Punjabi Post is joining the GTAs mainstream media (Dakshana Bascaramurty, Globe and Mail)
On the verdant, manicured grounds of 24 Sussex Drive, Jagdish Grewal was something of an outsider. Last month, he was at the journalists garden party the prime minister hosts annually at his residence. In the sea of mainstream reporters, he was the only member of the Punjabi press at the event. Mr. Grewal is the editor of the Canadian Punjabi Post, Canadas first Punjabi-language daily, with a distribution of 25,000, and he sees himself on the same level as mainstream reporters. And increasingly, the people he writes about agree.

That time anti-Semitism blighted Toronto (Chris Bateman, blogTO)
On a blazing hot summer’s day almost 80 years ago in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood, hundreds of members of the Balmy Beach Swastika Club painted nazi symbols on their shirts, daubed anti-semitic slogans on two-foot placards, and took to the streets in an attempt to intimidate Jewish members of their community. The Balmy Beach Canoe Club followed suit, prominently displaying a large outdoor swastika and painted “Heil Hitler.” Throughout the property, blue and red signs were nailed to stakes or pinned to doors, the Toronto Telegram reported.

Secrets of a Black Boy (CBC Metro Morning)
While working as a youth worker, Darren Anthony heard lots of stories from young black men. He’s turned those stories into a play — Secrets of a Black Boy. It takes to the stage tomorrow at Regent Park, which is also the backdrop for his play.
While working as a youth worker, Darren Anthony heard lots of stories from young black men. He’s turned those stories into a play — Secrets of a Black Boy. It takes to the stage tomorrow at Regent Park, which is also the backdrop for his play.

News Release Special measures for Canadian citizens and temporary and permanent residents affected by the tragedy in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec (CIC)
To help those directly affected by the tragic explosion and fire in Lac-Mégantic, the Government of Canada will automatically extend or restore the status of temporary residents, including those in Canada to work, study or visit, and provide free replacements of destroyed documents, such as immigration and citizenship status papers, permanent residency cards and Canadian passports, announced Canadas Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today.

B.C. cyclists spin diversity message (Vancouver Sun)
When Ken Herar was growing up in Mission, his mother encouraged him to play not only with kids in his own South Asian community but with those from all ethnic backgrounds. Now, when he walks down the streets of Abbotsford where he works, his head turns and he does a double take if he sees a white person walking with a South Asian. He senses the cultural divides have grown into vast chasms since his childhood. The breaking point came for the Safeway clerk in 2011 when he was told he couldnt attend a Christmas party in Surrey because of his race, and he decided he had to take action.

Syed Hussan on making T.O. a Sanctuary City (NOW Toronto)
I had to walk away from a hospital emergency room last year because they demanded $700 up front for treatment a consequence of the fact that I had lost my work permit and was waiting to get a study permit. Im just one of an estimated 400,000 people in Toronto who dont have all their immigration papers. We live here, we work here, we pay taxes, but we are denied or are too afraid to access many of the services our money pays for.

Human rights museum sparks debate over term genocide (CBC)
The debate over whether or not the word genocide should be used to describe the federal governments treatment of aboriginal people is heating up in Winnipeg. The yet-to-open Canadian Museum for Human Rights is embroiled in a controversy over how they will represent Canadas past treatment of aboriginal people. Fred Kelly is a residential school survivor and is among a group of First Nations people who believe the residential school system and other similar atrocities should be referred to as genocide.

Why We Should Use the Term Illegalized Immigrant – PDF (Harald Bauder, Ryerson Centre for Immigration & Settlement)
Language matters in public discourse and everyday exchange: terminology can imply causality, generate emotional responses, and transmit symbolic meanings. The term illegal immigrant, for example, implies that an immigrant has committed a crime, that she does not belong, and that someone else (often the speaker) has been wronged. These implied meanings and the emotional responses they elicit have real consequences, affecting the judgment and behavior of decision makers and voters, which can in turn inform policies and legislation. They also shape the way civic society, employers, and communities engage immigrants in everyday life. My suggestion to change this terminology follows other similar changes that have been recently adopted. For example, the terms race and racial minority are being increasingly replaced by the phrases racialized groups and racialized minorities, which convey that racial categorization is a social and political process rather than a naturally occurring condition. In a similar way, the term illegalized immigrant shifts the emphasis away from the individual and toward a societal process that situates immigrants in positions of precarity and illegality.

Canada: The Harmony Iftar Dinner a Ramadan Feast for Everyone (Ahlul Bayt News Agency)
Across the room a rabbi is in conversation with a bearded Muslim man. Nearby, Asian and South Asian women are chatting. Its a consistent scene at the Sala San Marco banquet hall in Ottawa on Friday night, where more than 200 people of different backgrounds and ethnicities gathered to break fast for Ramadan. Theyre all at the Harmony Iftar dinner, an event held each year to introduce non-Muslims to a long-standing Muslim tradition.


Unaccompanied child refugees pouring into Canada (CBC)
More than 300 unaccompanied minors are pouring into Canada seeking refugee status every year, a CBC News investigation has found. According to the Canada Border Services Agency, 1,937 children averaging 10 years old have arrived in Canada since 2008 with no parents and no documents, fleeing war, poverty and other adversity in their home countries. The biggest influx came in 2009 when 460 kids crossed the border. “These kids are of varying ages, varying sophistication, they’ve all had something terrible happen to them which is why they’re here,” said lawyer Christine Lonsdale, who leads the Unaccompanied Minors Project at law firm McCarthy Tetrault.

Canada: Salvadoran faces cruel, bizarre deportation (Robert Graham, Greenleft)
The Canadian government is forcing me to divorce my wife. With these words, Salvadoran refugee and long-time Canadian resident Jose Figueroa sums up the devastatingly cruel situation he and his family find themselves in. The human rights situation in El Salvador from the 1970s to the ’90s was dire. A vicious right-wing military dictatorship, supported financially and morally by the United States government. Widespread murder and torture of innocent people, often through the use of death squads, which were trained in the US.

War crimes and fellow travellers: the German experience (Adalbert Lallier, Montreal Gazette)
Michael Woodss article Supreme Court sets test for war crimes complicity (Gazette, July 20) reporting on the courts ruling that a persons association with a government that commits wars crimes does not automatically make him or her complicit, and should not exclude him or her from refugee status in Canada reminds me of the post-Second-World-War de-nazification process in West Germany. I am especially reminded of how German citizens were classified into one of five categories: major offenders (Hauptschuldige); activists and militants (Belsastete); less incriminated (Minderbelastete); fellow travellers (Mitläufer); and exonerated or non-incriminated (Entlastete).

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.


Hidden price of tax benefits (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
Canadians like cash benefits delivered through the tax system. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty likes dispensing them. Social activists are less enamoured of the tax credits and income supplements that have become a hallmark of federal budgets. They would prefer affordable housing, subsidized child care, decent pensions and reliable public services. Now an unlikely ally has weighed in on their side. The C.D. Howe Institute, financed primarily by business, has concluded after a thorough analysis of the tax system that Ottawa should switch back to investing in social programs.


Northwest forums on immigrant employment opportunity for employers to tap into skilled immigrant talent pool (IECBC)
Northern BC employers searching for qualified employees have the opportunity to take part in a free, solutions-focused forum on Attracting BC’s Skilled Immigrant Talent to the Northwest on August 21, 2013 in Kitimat and on August 22, 2013 at NorthWest Communtiy College in Prince Rupert. Growth and major projects, combined with baby boomer retirement means more than 6,000 jobs will open up in Northwest BC between 2012 and 2020. Where will all of that talent come from? Enhancing the capacity of employers in Northwest BC to attract, hire and integrate sklled talent will be essential to meeting the labour needs of the Northwest.

London builds a better internship (Craig Gilbert, London Community News)
The term internship usually invokes images of young aspiring professionals fetching lattes and answering phones, probably for free. That wont be the case for the new graduates, new Canadians and persons with disabilities who will be taking part in a new paid internship program at the City of London. Its not about getting coffee, its not about filing, Pat Foto, manager of employee and client relations in the CAOs office. We want them to have meaningful work. We want it to be work that will have an impact on the corporation and give the intern the opportunity to do some real hands-on stuff.

Saskatchewan faces shortage of skilled tradespeople (Alan Thomarat, Edmonton Journal)
Another opportunity that will allow our province to continue to thrive is the net in-migration of foreign workers but more particularly, skilled foreign workers. Even with a focus on immigration of skilled workers, we must be certain to effectively integrate new Canadians into the new Saskatchewan economy. There are many programs that offer training courses to introduce best practices to employers and workers who are new to the residential construction industry. While the ideal situation would be to have a team of skilled and experienced workers on staff, this is no longer a possibility. Training new and existing employees ensures the longevity of a business and is the first step in rebuilding the province’s skilled labour pool.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program Slavery in Canada? (Allan Marston, Beacon News)
As temporary foreign worker numbers swell in Canada there is deep concern that the program is being abused by employers. There are now 330,000 temporary workers in Canada and 68,319 of them are in Alberta to help with labour shortages caused by the resource boom. Last year there were over 200 complaints to the provincial government about labour standard violations according to the Alberta Federation of Labour. 47 percent of the complaints investigated were found to be legitimate contraventions.

Opinion: Ripping off vulnerable foreign workers (Gil Mcgowan, Edmonton Journal)
Last year, provincial inspectors conducted 133 initial investigations and 66 followup investigations of Alberta workplaces where temporary foreign workers were employed. These investigations uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars that had been withheld from workers, stemming from unpaid hours, unpaid vacation time, hourly wages below the minimum wage, and theft of overtime. According to the governments summary of its investigations, the amount of money withheld added up to a combined total of $443,401.

Too many cooks? In Toronto restaurants, there arent enough (Gayle Macdonald, Globe and Mail)
The trouble is not the Food Network, Mr. Heinrich says, but the restaurant boom. The reason that its hard to find good, hard workers here is because there are so many restaurants and the talent pool is so thin. The federal government has recognized the shortage. This week, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada revealed that cooks are among the leading categories of temporary foreign workers in Canada. In 2011, more than 6,000 cooks and chefs received permission to work in Canada, almost a third of all the foreign workers to get permits that year.

Canada Job Grant a constructive way to address skills gap (Toronto Sun)
Anyone who has considered the challenges our economy is facing today, whether by reading about it in the news or experiencing it firsthand, knows that a significant skills gap exists in our country. As new technologies revolutionize many sectors of our economy, employers find themselves lacking the skilled labour they need to make their businesses successful. At the same time, in many parts of Canada we have a well-educated yet underemployed workforce. This is a problem that costs Canada substantially. For example, the Conference Board of Canada released a report last month that found the skills gap in Ontario alone costs the province $24 billion in lost economic activity. A further $4.1 billion is lost through Ontarians who are underemployed working in jobs that do not make use of the skills they have.

Where are these many jobs without people Mr. Kenney? (Sabrina Almeida, CanIndia)
Whichever you look at it, professionals in Canada seem to be getting the short end of the stick. Those that lose their jobs are being shunted to anything that may come their way in a bid to keep them of the EI rolls. Immigrants on the other hand are being asked to commit professional suicide by adopting a new line of work or wait endlessly for opportunities that do not exist. In the meanwhile they can try to put food on the table courtesy a job at KFC, a home improvement store or at the mall. As for the new graduates Im told (by several of them) it takes an average of two years before they can even think about paying back those student loans. So when the Honourable Mr. Kenney (the new Minister of Employment and Social Development) tells us that that there are too many jobs without people I am not sure what he is talking about. Maybe he is referring to the trades, retail or the hospitality industry (if you want to give a Burger King or McDonalds job a dignified name). There too, the many who are out of work wont agree with him. It seems to be getting harder to find employment no matter which field or industry you are part of.

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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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