Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 3, 2013


Launch of My Canada Includes All Families (OCASI)
On July 1, 2013, a coalition of community based organizations as well as immigrant and refugee rights advocates will launch a campaign to restore family values to Canada’s immigration policy, in response to the changes recently proposed by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to keep families apart by further restricting family class sponsorship. The campaign, “My Canada Includes All Families” seeks to halt the passing of new immigration regulations that will limit the sponsorship of dependent children to those under the age of 19, increase the income requirement of sponsorship to 30% above the Low Income Cut Off (LICO), and double the sponsorship period to 20 years. The Government will also impose a cap of 5,000 family sponsorship applications to be processed in 2014.

Recommendations for the Delivery of Services to Mandarin speaking Newcomers from Mainland China (Settlement AtWork)
Contracted by Ontario Settlement Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, RealWorld Systems has recently completed surveys on the needs/barriers of Mandarin speaking newcomers in Ontario. The data was compiled from interviews with both Mandarin speaking newcomers and service providers. CERIS was contracted to further address the issues faced by Mandarin speaking newcomers from Mainland China through an in-depth data/literature review.,_Ontario_Region_Settlement_Directorate_Response_to:_Recommendations_for_the_Delivery_of_Services_to_Mandarin_speaking_Newcomers_from_Mainland_China&diff=25447&oldid=prev

Summary of Information and Orientation Experts’ Meeting of March 13, 2013 (Settlement AtWork)
The third annual Information and Orientation Experts Meeting was held on Wednesday, March 13th, 2013, with 23 participants. This meeting was facilitated by the Information and Orientation Team of the Integration Branch at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (note: the opinions expressed in these notes do not necessarily reflect those of Citizenship and Immigration Canada or the Government of Canada).

Asian immigrants at risk of high blood pressure (Martin March,
A report shows that the longer people of Asian origin live in North America, the greater their risk of developing high blood pressure. When people migrate they may, in time, change their diet and lifestyle drastically. Researchers at Portland State University have been looking at Asian immigrants who have been living in Canada. They find that those who have been in their new home for four years, or fewer, have a prevalence of hypertension which is three per cent higher than those who did not migrate.

News Release — Special measures for temporary and permanent residents affected by the flooding in Southern Alberta (CIC)
Fees are being waived and status will be automatically extended or restored for those temporary and permanent residents affected by the massive flooding in Alberta, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. Special procedures have been put in place to help those temporary and permanent residents in Alberta who, because of the flood, need to apply for urgent immigration documents, extend their work or study permits, or replace destroyed immigration documents. The special measures will be in place until September 19, 2013.

Feds waive fees to replace documents destroyed by flooding in Alberta (Stephanie Levitz, Edmonton Journal)
People whose citizenship or other immigration documents were destroyed by flooding in Alberta are getting a break from the federal government. Fees to replace certain documents will be waived until Sept. 19 and those whose immigration status was set to expire will have it automatically extended or restored if they’re living in a flood-affected area. “As Canadians we come together to ensure that we do what we can to help people get through times like these and to help them get back to their employment and caring for their families,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said in a statement.

Multiculturalism: Harper government withholds earmarked money (Mia Omara, Agora Cosmopolitan)
The federal government is being accused of withholding funds which were supposed to go towards multiculturalism. In response to the money not being used, the government has now said they will slash the budget for multiculturalism spending, despite government records indicating there is still a need to commission multicultural projects. Cultural pluralism has always been an innately Canadian value, as we are a country of immigrants who have always encouraged members of different cultures to come and settle here, always with the understanding that they would be able to bring their cultures and values to Canada.

“Hate Speech Provision” of the Canadian Human Rights Act Repealed (Golnaz Nayerahmadi, CCLA)
The “hate speech provision” of the Canadian Human Rights Act was repealed last week following the Senate’s approval of Bill C-304. The broadly worded Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act made it a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to repeatedly communicate telephonically, by means of a computer, the Internet, or any similar means of communication “any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”

Man fired for making race complaint gets $70,000 (Sherly Smolkin, Toronto Star)
A company that did not diligently follow up on an employee’s complaint of racial discrimination and subsequently fired him has been ordered to pay the man $70,000. Ontario Human Rights Tribunal adjudicator Genviève Debané found there was no racial discrimination by furniture design and installation company Herman Miller Canada. But she ruled that the employee was entitled to 14 months of lost wages anyway. This was because of the loss of self-respect caused when he was fired as an act of reprisal for raising possible issues of harassment and threatening to sue the company.

Immigrant seniors face added challenges accessing care (CBC)
Cultural traditions may cause additional challenges for immigrant seniors needing care in Waterloo Region, in everything from language issues to the gender of the service care provider. Venkat Ramachandran, who is caring for his mother, says long term care is often seen as a last resort. “That is not something that is part of our culture. And we try and accommodate what we need to do in the house,” says Ramachandran. His family bought a house with lots of space on the main floor so his mother can avoid climbing the stairs. It’s a cultural difference that Martina Rozsa, the senior director of Client Services at the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre, says they try to take into account when helping patients.

2013 Working Papers (Metropolis B.C.)
The Costs of Regulatory Federalism: Does provincial labour market regulation impede the integration of Canadian immigrants?
Pathways to Immigrant Employment in the Port-Logistics Sector
News Media Representations of Immigrants in the Canadian Criminal Justice System
Ethno-Linguistic and Gender Differences in High School Course Selection Patterns
Refugee Settlement and Religion in British Columbia
Immigrant Integration and Religious Transnationalism: the case of the �Highway to Heaven� in Richmond, BC

Calgary Flood Story Has Key Immigration Angle (John Meyer, Immigration Watch Canada)
As all of Canada has learned in the past week, very serious floods have struck Metro Calgary and many communities in southern Alberta. But, as many probably have not learned, the flood story reveals municipal failures to (1) resist developer pressure and (2) to stand up against senseless federal immigration policy.

For Canada Day : Repeal of 1952 Immigration Act, Multiculturalism, and End of European Canada (Ricardo Duchesne, Immigration Watch Canada)
Last year, Maclean’s (July 9) had a front cover story “How Canadian Are You? — bumptiously announcing that Canadians have earned the right to brag as a people with a great culture. It offered an endearing “Canada Day Special” quiz for readers to determine how Canadian they were. How much do you weigh? How many servings of veggies do you eat a day? How many times a week do you have sex? Should the NHL ban fighting? How many partial curl-ups do you do in one minute? If you scored between 20 and 25, you earned “bragging rights,” you are “a quintessential Canadian.” But if you scored between 5 and 9, you are lacking in “Canadian pride,” you are not in the right country. This is what contemporary Canadian identity has become after five decades of mass immigration combined with endless pageants to multiculturalism. The idea that Canada has no other identity than ethnic diversity has been encrypted into our brains starting with Pierre Trudeau’s announcement in Parliament in 1971.

After turban ban, a broader battle looms in Quebec identity debates (The Record)
If a turban ban stirred such passions, what will an even broader debate over religious accommodation lead to in Quebec this fall? It’s a question being asked as the Parti Quebecois government prepares to introduce its “Charter of Quebec Values” after the summer break. It’s expected the charter will put limits on religious accommodations, such as restricting Muslim headwear in public institutions. The recent ban on turbans on the soccer pitch — which was lifted by the Quebec Soccer Federation after external pressure — offered a glimpse of what could be in store.

Exploring food security and child feeding among refugee claimants and family class immigrants in Toronto – PDF (Laura Anderson and Daniel Sellen, CERIS)
This project investigated household and child food insecurity and caregiver conceptualizations of the relationship between food and health among Latin American and Sri Lankan Tamil newcomer mothers (refugee claimants and family class immigrants) living in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood. Thirty-two (16 Latin American and 16 Tamil) mothers of children age 5 and under participated in 2 or 3 indepth interviews. Reponses to semi-structured interviews indicated that all participants had qualitatively experienced household food insecurity at some point since arrival in Canada. Families struggle with household food insecurity due to very low incomes that restrict acquisition of adequate food for households. Caregivers think about and discuss the perceived relationship between health and diet using a mix of both traditional ideas and others influenced by processes of acculturation in Canada. Key recommendations include strengthening support for employment and social assistance to ensure the ability to meet minimum dietary needs for newcomer children. Furthermore, culturally appropriate tools to supplement Canada’s Food Guide may be useful for promoting healthy diets among newcomers from specific ethno-cultural groups.

B.C. Muslims feel ‘ill’ as search begins for terror plot answers (Jeff Nagel – Surrey North Delta Leader)
Who are they and why did they allegedly want to kill Canada Day revellers in Victoria? That’s the biggest unanswered question after police announced the arrest of a Surrey man and woman on terrorism-related charges in a plot to detonate pressure cooker bombs outside the Legislature July 1. Early attention focused on music purportedly posted online by John Stewart Nuttall, including death-metal rock songs titled “In League With Satan” and “The End of the World.”

Canada’s Top Immigrants Honoured in Vancouver (Asian Pacific Post)
Choreographer Wen Wei Wang, and physician Izzeldin Abuelaish are among the winners of the fifth annual 2013 RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant awards. The awards are presented by Canadian Immigrant Magazine. The awards celebrate the inspiring stories and achievements of immigrants to Canada. Over 600 nominations were received in just two months, from which 75 finalists were shortlisted by a panel of judges comprised of past winners and dignitaries. More than 30,000 votes were cast online, the highest number received in the award’s history. The Top 25 winners will be honoured at awards ceremonies on June 20 in Toronto and on June 26 in Vancouver. The program is proudly supported by title sponsor RBC Royal Bank and associate sponsor Chevrolet.


CCR urges government to drop plans to break up families (CCR)
The Canadian Council for Refugees today called on the government to abandon proposed changes to the immigration regulations that would undermine families. Background documents reveal that the government’s purely economic rationale for breaking up families is very weak. “Newcomers have always relied heavily on their families to get ahead in their adopted country,” said Loly Rico, President. “We are asking the government to recognize refugees and immigrants as members of families, not just individual economic units. We believe Canada is stronger when families are valued and supported.”

Ottawa urged to speed up Syrian refugee process (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
As the humanitarian crisis in Syria continues, Syrian Canadians are pleading with Ottawa to speed up their family reunification applications to get their loved ones out of harms’ way. A coalition of community groups recently met with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in Ottawa, asking the federal government to do what it has done for victims of the 2004 tsunami in South Asia and 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Although the Syria crisis is man-made, the coalition said they all have family members caught up in the chaos in need of protection.


Video: Closing the Skills Gap, Immigrant Employment Council of BC at the BC Chamber Annual General Meeting (IECBC)
Kelly Pollack, Executive Director of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC speaks to delegates at the 65th annual BC Chamber of Commerce AGM about the skills crisis in BC and the role immigrant employment can play.

Stephen Harper’s Small Thinking Doesn’t Engage Canadians (Deborah Coyne, Huffington Post)
Canada is failing at training Canadians, especially our young people, for the skills that are actually in demand and lead to meaningful jobs. Why? The Harper government controversially tinkers with EI instead of sitting down with all the provincial governments, educational institutions, and private sector players to coordinate the provision of extensive apprenticeship and training, as in Germany. And then counterproductive tinkering in one area leads to more counterproductive tinkering in another area. So we are served up immigration reforms and programs like the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to fill the skills gap faced by employers, which in turn create more problems than solutions.

Probe dropped of B.C. businessman in foreign workers case (Peter O’Neil, Vancouver Sun)
The Canada Border Services Agency has closed its investigation of a B.C. businessman alleged to have attempted to illegally charge two Chinese nationals to work at his fast-food outlets. “Following interviews with the (businessman), and noting that the foreign nationals had returned to China, there was insufficient evidence available to support charges” under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the CBSA said in a statement. “As such, the CBSA’s criminal file on this client has been closed.” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney asked for the investigation in December in response to a story published in The Vancouver Sun.

Migrant worker advocates call for changes in coroner’s inquests (PovNet)
There has never been an inquest into the death of a migrant worker under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program in Canada. In Ontario the Coroners Act provides for mandatory inquests for certain types of workers, but excludes others, including migrant workers. In 2005 the family of a migrant worker from Jamaica who was killed while working as a farmworker in Ontario, complained to the Ontario Human Rights Commission that this violates the Ontario Human Rights Code and has an “adverse impact” on migrant workers.

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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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