Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 31, 2013


Diversity Day: Today and Every Day in Mannheim (Cities of Migration)
A flash mob may not be the usual way to celebrate diversity. Then again, what is the norm when you and your fellow Mannheimers are celebrating the countrys first ever Diversity Day? On June 11, 2013, Mannheim joined cities across Germany to promote diversity and inclusion. More than 360 events were organized in cities such as Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Dortmund to celebrate the positive factors and benefits of embracing diversity. Businesses, organizations, municipalities, community groups and ordinary people were all encouraged to be creative in celebrating diversity and to actively participate in this nation-wide event. In Mannheim, the mob flashed the question we all need to ask: What does diversity in the city of Mannheim mean to you?

Jason Kenney versus Justin Trudeau: The battle for the ethnic vote (Andy Radia, Yahoo! News)
If it hadn’t already, the battle for the ‘ethnic vote’ in the next federal election has begun. In 2011, it’s widely believed that the Conservatives, led by then-immigration minister Jason Kenney (aka Minister of ‘Curry in a hurry’), won that battle handily. From 2009 to 2011, Kenney criss-crossed the country with the sole purpose of wooing visible minority voters over to the Tory tent. And he was good at it. As explained by Postmedia News, Kenney’s office claims that the Tories captured “42 per cent of the ethnic vote and 24 of 25 suburban Toronto ridings.”

Study Shows Room – and Reasons – for Improvement in Gender Diversity in Canadian ICT Boards (Canada Newswire)
A study released by ITAC, the Information Technology Association of Canada, reveals that while Canadian information and communications technology companies are performing about as well as other sectors in terms of the engagement of women on their boards of directors, there are compelling strategic reasons to do better. The boards of the 10 largest Canadian ICT companies are 16.5% female compared with Spencer Stuart’s 2012 Board index of larger Canadian companies which average about 17%.

Universities: Immigration law hurts enrolment (Chronicle Herald)
Canadian universities say they are being hamstrung by a law that was intended to clamp down on immigration scammers. Bill C-35 was first titled the Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act. It banned unauthorized people from acting as immigration consultants to prey on people looking for a way into Canada. Though the bill was passed two years ago, it was only in May that universities received the final edict that it also applies to them. That means university staff cannot advise international students on matters like applying for a visa, work permit or permanent residence. They cant seek advice from the trusted advisers on campus who are very accustomed to giving them a basic level of Heres where you go, heres what you do, here are the requirements and here are the guidelines, said Mount Saint Vincent University president Ramona Lumpkin.

Human rights chief gives newcomers a break (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
The staff at the Ontario Human Rights Commission held a joking contest to see if anyone could come up with a job that genuinely requires Canadian experience. What about a Zamboni driver, someone asked. That was quickly laughed out of contention. There are ice rinks from Dubai to Durban. What about a regulator administering an arcane branch of Canadian law? Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall had a five-word answer: Knowledge of Canadian law required. As the game went on, the entries became far-fetched. What about an entomologist studying an indigenous beetle on a unique rock formation somewhere in the Canadian Shield? Everybody rolled their eyes. The contest ended without a winner.

The value of a degree earned in Canada vs. one earned abroad (Léo Charbonneau, University Affairs)
Statistics Canadas recent release of education data from the 2011 National Household Survey had many journalists, public policy analysts and others scrambling to interpret how the country is doing in this important area. Among the key findings: women are earning degrees in ever greater numbers, including in the STEM disciplines, while most apprenticeships are still held by men. There was also much analysis of unemployment rates by level of education. The story is a positive one: generally, the higher your level of education, the lower your chances of being unemployed. The lock-step nature of this relationship is quite remarkable.

International Childrens Games athletes struggle to get visas due to foreign service strike (Tobi Cohen,
Organizers of an international sporting event taking place next month in southwestern Ontario remain hopeful that young athletes from all 31 participating nations will be able to attend despite an ongoing strike by foreign service workers. Walt Metulynsky, a project manager with the International Childrens Games scheduled for Aug. 14-19 in Windsor, Ont., said no countries have officially backed out yet, however, securing the necessary visas is proving to be a challenge for some delegates, particularly those from India, China, Pakistan, Mexico and Russia.


Child Refugees Left at The Border Alone (CBC Here and Now)
Three hundred children found themselves at the Canadian border during the past year, to claim refugee status on their own. We heard some of their stories from Annie Poulin, the Radio-Canada reporter who broke this story.


Poverty the Greatest Barrier to Good Health, Canadians tell CMA Consultation (Canada Newswire)
Poverty kills. That’s the key message in What Makes us Sick, a report released today by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) based on what Canadians said during a series of town hall meetings and an online consultation held earlier this year. The national dialogue with Canadians asked them about their experiences with the social determinants of health – the factors that cause people to suffer poor health in the first place.

What Makes Us Sick? A Report By The Canadian Medical Association (Emily Wong, Wellesley Institute)
What makes us sick is more than access to and quality of health care. The social determinants of health play a significant role. Today, the Canadian Medical Association released a report titled, Health Care in Canada: What Makes Us Sick?, based on its national dialogue gathered from a series of six public town halls across the nation on the social factors that cause poor health. The message from approximately one thousand Canadians was clear: poverty is the main issue and the biggest barrier to good health.

What makes Canadians sick? Poverty, says a report from the Canadian Medical Association (Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen)
Poverty is making Canadians sick, says a report released Tuesday by the Canadian Medical Association. The report, based on public consultations at six town halls in cities across the country last winter and spring, said factors such as poor housing, lack of access to healthy food and early childhood programs all affect health. We heard that the biggest barrier to good health is poverty, says CMA president Dr. Anna Reid, a Yellowknife emergency room physician who says federal, provincial and territorial governments must give top priority to developing an action plan to eliminate poverty.

Skip to Poverty sickens Canadians: report (CBC)
Poverty kills, according to a national, Canadian Medical Association-sponsored discussion into the factors that cause people to fall sick. The CMA released its report, “What Makes us Sick,” today in Ottawa, based on a series of town hall meetings with 1,000 people across the country and a online consultation. “What Canadians told us is that poverty is the recurring theme that underpins most of these social determinants of health,” CMA president Dr. Anna Reid told reporters. “It really hit me in a visceral way when we did those town halls.”

An Advocate Says Poverty Among Torontos Elderly Should Be Top of Mind (Jennifer Hough, Torontoist)
Toronto’s elderly are at risk, according to the executive director of a seniors’ charity. The issue of poverty among elderly Toronto residents isnt being paid enough attention, says the executive director of a seniors charity. According to Thom Burger, of Silver Circle West Toronto Services for Seniors, a range of problemsfrom an inability to leave home, to health and financial issuescan combine to negatively affect the well-being of vulnerable older people. WTSS assists 4,800 elderly people in a swath of the citys west end. About half of those live alone, Burger said.

Infographic: The Distribution of Canada’s Immigration Settlement Money (FW Canada)
Ever wondered how Canada’s immigration settlement money is allocated among its provinces and territories? Learn about each of their different industries and funding allocations.

Video: Guelph Wellington Immigration Portal


Skilled labour gap looms (Liz Bernier, The Observer)
One of their solutions is attracting skilled immigrants. The Immigrant Mentorship Program launched this spring as a collaborative project between the SLWDB, the Local Immigration Partnership and the YMCA is one of the ways Sarnia-Lambton is looking to do that. Julie Allen, whos the co-ordinator with the program funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation said it aims to match new immigrants with a career mentor in the local community.

CFIB sets the record straight on Temporary Foreign Workers (CMEC)
Concerned about the effect federal government changes will have on the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) program, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has sent MPs a report that shows first-hand how small businesses depend on it. Earlier this year the program was assailed when RBC used it to outsource jobs already done by Canadians to foreign workers. The federal government responded by announcing several changes to the program, among them: an application fee for a labour market opinion (LMO); an increase to the price of the work permit; and a suspension of the accelerated process for an LMO.

Offshoring and the IT worker – where are we at? (Gilda Villaran, Lexology)
As we reported in May, Canadas Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has been under fire in recent months. Receiving much attention from the Prime Minister, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the media is the use of the TFWP to facilitate offshoring arrangements. The immediate reaction of the government was to put a hold on all the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) applications that concerned Information Technology (IT) workers. Although the LMO freezing measures have been relaxed since, there is still a lot of confusion.

$23k fines for monkey slur (HRM Online)
The vulnerability of migrant workers allows employers to get away with discrimination because employees fear repercussions of standing up for their rights, according to a Human Rights Tribunal decision. Ontario tomato farm Double Diamond Acres and owner Benji Mastronadi must pay a former worker $23,500 after the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal found he and a farm manager referred to the workers as monkeys.

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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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