Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 30, 2013


Building New Working Lives (Cities of Migration)
A paediatrician. A civil engineer who has spent a decade building roads and bridges. A teacher who speaks three languages. All are accomplished and dedicated professionals, and all are refugees. But for many, the search for work that uses their skills and experience ends in disappointment. Finding a good job requires confidence and an understanding of how the local labour market works, as well as employers who are receptive to the contribution they can make. And with the stakes made higher by hostile public debate about the impact of immigration on employment levels in the UK, refugees often find themselves up against a brick wall.

Canadian premiers call for scaled up caps in nominee program (DCNONL)
During the recent Council of the Federation meeting, Canadas premiers called on the federal government to scale up the caps on immigration levels within the Provincial and Territorial Nominee Programs. The premiers noted that the Provincial and Territorial Nominee Programs, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Worker Program can provide an effective path for these workers to become Canadian citizens. They called on the federal government to expedite the processing of visas as these delays are impacting jobs and access for foreign students and said the government should reconsider the closing of visa offices.–canadian-premiers-call-for-scaled-up-caps-in-nominee-program

Application deadline for Lilian To Bursary for Immigrants extended until Aug. 31 (Canadian Immigrant)
The deadline for this years Lilian To Bursaries for Immigrants at Ashton College has been extended until Aug. 31, 2013. Vancouver-based Ashton College is offering four full-time tuition bursaries, worth up to $8,000, to new immigrants, sponsored by magazine. The bursaries will be awarded to four outstanding students and cover full-time tuition for a range of Ashton College programs, which include everything from diplomas in immigration consultancy to human resources to accounting and more. Applicants must have immigrated in 2008 or later.

OSC proposes gender equity policy for boards (Globe and Mail)
Canadian companies will be asked to disclose the proportion of women they have on their boards and in senior management as part of a new policy being proposed by Canadas largest securities market regulator. The Ontario Securities Commission will unveil a consultation paper Tuesday suggesting that companies be required to develop and disclose policies to improve their boardroom gender diversity, or else explain why they have opted not to have a policy. The proposal, which will be open for public comment until Sept. 27, would apply to large, publicly traded companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, which is based in Ontario. It would not cover investment funds or smaller companies listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Canada gets human rights failing grade from Amnesty International (Olivia Ward, Toronto Star)
For Canadas international human rights standing, 2012 was an annus horribilis. This year three UN expert committees rated the countrys performance on meeting rights commitments and returned a failing grade. These mandatory reviews are carried out every four or five years, and it just happened that this year Canada was the focus of three, said Alex Neve, who heads Amnesty International Canada. Its a wake-up call that although we have things to be proud of, there are many fronts where we have long-standing issues that need to be addressed.

Diplomat strike risks ‘severe’ economic impact (Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada said all visa offices remain open and are providing service. The department has hired temporary staff to process applications. It is training existing staff from the department on an urgent basis so they can work on visas and some staff are working overtime. “CIC is also shifting more work to Canada and to overseas offices that have additional capacity,” a spokeswoman for immigration minister Chris Alexander said. The department is urging people who need a visa to apply as early as possible.

Where are immigrants residing now? PDF (Rural Ontario Institute)
By 2030, Canadas population will grow only via the arrival of immigrants1 . The presence of an immigrant community provides a core of individuals who have experienced the challenge of immigrating and who could contribute to the welcoming of new immigrants. The presence of immigrants in a community is an advantage for communities wishing to attract more immigrants. An immigrant is a person born outside Canada and who is now or who has ever been a landed immigrant / permanent resident.

How the Trayvon Martin Tragedy Would Have Looked in Canada (Anthony Morgan, Huffington Post)
In the wake of the July 12 verdict exonerating George Zimmerman of the murder of unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin, I’ve read, overheard, and been directly confronted with adamant assertions that a tragedy like this could never happen in Canada. “Forget the Stand Your Ground laws and the not guilty verdict,” I’ve heard many say, “Because Canada is not as racist as America, a killing like this wouldn’t ever happen here in the first place.” Are race relations in Canada so much further advanced than in the US that the Trayvon Martin tragedy would never happen here? I’m not so sure. While I’m of the firm belief that, in general, it is much better to be a Black male in Canada than it is in the US, Canada does in fact have a long and continued history of exonerating White people who have brutalized, shot and/or killed a Black person, especially males in the context of policing.

Videos of the 2013 RCIS Conference “Immigration & Settlement: Precarious Futures?” now available for viewing (RCIS)


Child Refugees (CBC Metro Morning)
It’s daunting for any newcomer to arrive in Canada, seeking asylum. But when you’re a child – and you’re alone – it’s even more frightening. Francisco Rico-Martinez, the co-director of FCJ Refugee Centre, spoke with Matt on this subject.

Mina Mawani: From Refugee to CivicAction Leader (Samuel Getachew, Huffington Post)
Mina Mawani is an exemplary civic leader based in Toronto. She has been an avid volunteer in the community and an exceptional leader for many local and international organizations. I recently spoke to Mawani about her early years as a refugee and how she learned to become more resilient as a result.

The only words left to say to Syrias refugees (Shannon Gormley, Ottawa Citizen)
Canadians earn five times more than Lebanese people, and Canadas land mass is almost a thousand times greater than Lebanons. We have both the money and the space to help. We need to do more the Lebanese are doing a lot more with a lot less. Resettlement is a woefully insufficient solution to a humanitarian disaster of this scale. There may be no solution to the calamity that has scorched Syria and inflamed the Middle East. But boasting about resettling a thousand refugees, when a country of remarkably smaller size and means settles hundreds of thousands? Thats far worse than insufficient. Its insulting. And its inhumane.

Border officials slammed for arresting woman in hospital emergency room (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
A Pakistani grandmother recovering from a heart attack was arrested at a Montreal hospital by border officers and told she would be deported from Canada the next day. Although Khurshid Begum Awans removal on Wednesday was eventually cancelled following protest by her cardiologist, refugee advocates criticized the Canada Border Services Agency for its actions. There is no reason for this kind of belligerent and intimidating tactics, said Rosalind Wong of Solidarity Across Borders, who was with the woman at the Montreal General Hospital when the arrest occurred Tuesday.


Canada not so good on poverty, after all (Rick Goldman, National Post)
In his column last week, Andrew Coyne used a statistical sleight of hand to portray Canada as a champion in reducing poverty. He takes the lowest point of an economic downturn (1996), compares it to today and says, Voilà, amazing progress has been made! The percentage of people below the Low-Income Cut-off has been nearly halved, from 15.5% to 8.8 %! Its been almost a month since Statistics Canada released its latest report on poverty in Canada (Income of Canadians, June 27). Since then Ive been watching to see whether somebody, anybody would write about it. You would think somebody would. It is a well-established principle of social justice that a society should make its first priority improving the lot of the worst off among it, and is to be judged by how well it does in this regard. What is more, the news on this front is remarkable, even extraordinary.

Social assistance numbers in Ontario: classic convergence or something else? (John Stapleton)
Some years ago, we reached the point where ODSP families exceeded the number of Ontario Works families. But it looks like it wont be long (maybe a year or two) before the number of men, women and children receiving ODSP benefits will exceed Ontario Works numbers for the first time in the long history of the programs, fundamentally changing (in my view) the social assistance narrative and the social assistance paradigm.


Have you Fired your Talent? (
Canadian employers share a problem: You hire an internationally educated professional who has the right skills, degree, and workplace experience, but who under performs without explanation. This is where Business Edge, a bridging program at the University of Torontos Rotman School of Mangement, enables and empowers skilled immigrants to move back into jobs where they can fully utilize their skills, education and professional experience.

Where are the good jobs? (Yogendra B. Shakya, Axelle Janczur, Toronto Star)
In the name of free market policies, Canada has seen a downward push on wages and a rise in unstable, temporary and unsafe jobs. These types of jobs are broadly referred to as precarious work or non-standard employment since they are marked by limited or no stability, benefits and protection. Several studies have documented that precarious, non-standard jobs are rapidly growing in Canada, and that this trend negatively affects a substantial proportion of Canadians.

Canada Jobs Grant: a mystery program with few fans (Dan Leger, The Guardian PEI)
Governments in Canada, federal and provincial, have come up with some strange approaches to job creation over the years but the latest one from Ottawa really takes the cake. The federal Canada Job Grant program has almost a billion dollars in funding, but no one is using it. The Job Grant was announced in the spring budget and the Harper government is already spending substantial money on advertising to promote it, but no one seems to know what it is, how it works or who is supposed to benefit. Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter called it a mystery program.

Adrian Monrose, Migrant Worker, To Receive $23,500 In Damages For Slur (Huffington Post)
A St. Lucian migrant worker who was called “a monkey” while working at a farm in Ontario and fired after he complained about it has been awarded $23,500 by the province’s human rights tribunal. Adrian Monrose, 38, came to Canada to help support his mother, two children, 16 siblings and numerous nieces and nephews. He arrived in Leamington, Ont., in 2009 for a second stint at Double Diamond Acres Ltd. under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program.

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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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