Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 8, 2013


Osler named leader in diversity (Brampton Guardian)
William Osler Health System has been named a leader in the Greater Toronto Area for embracing diversity and making it a priority to recruit board members from diverse backgrounds. The organization, which runs Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General hospitals, was honoured with the 2013 Diversity in Governance Award recently as part of the DiverseCity onBoard initiative. When inclusion and equity is represented and demonstrated at the highest level, employees, patients and families are empowered and strive to live these values each and every day, said Kay Blair, Osler board of directors chair. This is an outstanding achievement for Osler and a testament to our innovation in diversity and inclusion, as well as our commitment to full integration within our organization.

A Country of Immigrants Should Know How to Integrate Them (Murtaza Haider, Huffington Post)
Canada should have gotten it right by now. A 146-year-old country of immigrants should know how to integrate them. The recent census data however suggests that not to be the case. While Canadians celebrated the 146th birthday of their country, many recent immigrants, however, had little to celebrate in their adopted homeland where their unemployment rate was 75 per cent higher than that of the native-born Canadians.

Tweeting, Muslim, policy-wonk mayor wins over ‘cow town’ Calgary (David Agren, Christian Science Monitor)
In Canadian eyes, Calgary has not exactly been synonymous with cosmopolitanism. Located some 200 miles north of Montana, the western city has long been condescended to by eastern elites in metropolitan cities like Toronto and Montreal, who cringed at its cowboy heritage, oil corporations, and conservative politics. But these days, with Toronto’s mayor stumbling through scandal and the now ex-mayor of Montreal facing corruption charges, many in the east look with envy at the wildly popular Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, a Harvard Kennedy School graduate, the first Muslim mayor of a major North American metropolis, and symbol of a city moving from cow-town stereotypes to something more cosmopolitan. Probably people who didnt even vote for Mr. Nenshi love the idea that Toronto is now looking at Calgary covetously, says Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial in Calgary. We just cant get enough of this.

Has multiculturalism hit a bump in the road? (Susan Delacourt, Toronto Star)
In the past couple of weeks, weve had Canada Day and Multiculturalism Day. If Canada is truly a multicultural country in the 21st century, why do we need both? The question is perhaps a bit provocative, but its another way to get at the ongoing debate over whether multiculturalism in Canada is about us or them. Do all citizens see themselves as multicultural, or is that just a term we use to describe people who dont fit into the old idea of Canada as the (mostly white) English-French establishment or First Nations? There were signs in the past week that multiculturalism has hit a bump in the road, 40-plus years since it became official government policy and three decades since it was enshrined in the Constitution.

In Toronto, losers are winners (Christopher Hume, Toronto Star)
Ah, Toronto, City of Diversity, Multicultural Metropolis, big, varied and generous enough to embrace people from every other country on Earth and at least two nations, Ford and Leaf. The last two may be more failed states than genuine nations, but that hardly matters in these parts. Indeed, in a place steeped in the self-inflicted joys of loser culture, nothing succeeds more than failure. So accustomed are we to the pleasure of pain, most of us can no longer tell the difference between the two.

How Afrofest evolved into Torontos largest celebration of African culture (Nick Krewen, Toronto Star)
It was as good an omen as any. Michael Stohr recalls that 25 years ago at Queens Park during the debut of Afrofest, a downpour threatened to dampen the celebrations of those attendees waiting patiently for South African trumpet superstar Hugh Masekela to take to the stage for his headlining set. At exactly the time he started, the clouds parted, and the sun shone, remembers Stohr, who has since become president of Music Africa, the non-profit organization runs the annual event, Torontos largest celebration of African culture. That was quite a remarkable birthing moment.

Intersections (CBC)
Intersections explores how cultures in Canada mix and clash in everyday relationships with our families, colleagues and neighbours. Host Niru Kumar gives us a glimpse into who we are and exposes some uncomfortable truths along the way.

Video – Engaging Diversity: Interview with Ana Ashby from IFYC (Inspirit Foundation)
We sat down with Ana Ashby from the IFYC to talk about the importance of engaging with those of different beliefs, the potential for young people to be agents of change, and the difference between Canada and America.

Social entrepreneur awarded $834,600 Trillium Future Grant (Laurie Monsebraaten, Toronto Star)
Governments must stop talking about creating opportunities for youth and get out of the way, says Hamoon Ekhtiari. Young people will create their own opportunities if we give them the chance, says the 26-year-old, with a knowing smile. The immigrant from Iran has been creating opportunities for himself and others since he arrived in Toronto with his family as a teen. Last month, Ekhtiaris online collaborative venture, CatalystsX, was one of seven youth-focused social enterprises awarded $4.2 million in Ontario Trillium Foundation Future Fund grants.

Bill C-35 comes into force on June 30 and new immigration consultants regulator announced (Canadian Immigrant)
Legislation cracking down on crooked immigration consultants will come into force on June 30, 2011, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. A newly created Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) was also announced at the media conference in Mississauga. The Government of Canada has promised to crack down on crooked immigration consultants and their shady practices, and with Bill C-35, we now have the tools, Minister Kenney said.

“Stop Carding” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Barbara Hall. She is the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Learning From The Best (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about cricket, with Gayan Ferdinands, he is part of the 2013 CIMA Mayor’s cricket team which is heading to London later this month, and with Ranil Mendis. He is the organizer of the Mayor’s Cup Cricket Tournament.

Misconceptions about credit persist among new immigrants (CanIndia)
Six-in-ten newcomers (60 per cent) who arrived in Canada in the past year say that they lack financial knowledge, including how to establish and build credit during their first year living in Canada, according to the RBC Newcomer Financial Attitudes Poll. Among those who have lived in Canada between two and five years, 92 percent of newer Canadians found their financial literacy about borrowing options improved. We have an opportunity to improve financial understanding for newcomers to Canada when they first arrive and we have a role to play in making sure that they are getting the right advice from day one, said Paul Sy, director, Multicultural Markets, RBC. Building a strong credit score is important to helping you get established in Canada, particularly when the time comes to buy a car or a family home. During the first year in their new home country, few newcomers believed that using a credit card would help them establish a credit rating (nine per cent) or make life more convenient (12 per cent). But over time, these newcomers pick up financial knowledge quickly, as they integrate into their communities and learn to use credit responsibly. For immigrants who have lived in Canada for two to five years, they were now more likely to agree that credit cards make life more convenient (59 per cent) and that its easy to use a credit card to help establish a Canadian credit rating (54 per cent). Economically and socially, it is in Canadas best interest for its consumers to be financially literate and practice good financial habits, said Sy.

Kathleen Wynne pays tribute to Pakistani diaspora (South Asian Generation Next)
The Canada-Pakistan Business Council (CPBC) celebrated its 30th Anniversary Gala and Awards Night. As chief guest at the gala, the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario recognized the role of the CPBC in opening up new markets and generating new wealth. And as she confirmed the provinces commitment to continue working closely with the business council, she also looked to the CPBC and the thriving community of Pakistani-Canadians to carve out new paths going forward.

Canada has a diversity of diversities (Medhat Mahdy, South Asian Generation Next)
Medhat has an extensive background in nonprofit leadership and strategy as well as a 35-year relationship with the Y, as a member, volunteer, and leader. In a conversation with Generation Next, Medhat talks about diversity and YMCAs work towards the uplift of the youth.

Gabor Szilasi uses his outsider lens to document Canadas margins (Globe and Mail)
One of the leaders of this pack is the Hungarian-born Montreal photographer Gabor Szilasi, now 85. His is a classic immigrant story. With his camera in hand, Szilasi witnessed the violent insurrection in 1956 in his home town of Budapest, a rupture that propelled his family to Canada, where he lived first in Halifax and then (after a stint in a tuberculosis sanatorium) in Montreal. The current touring show of his pictures, which has landed at the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto for the summer, gives us glimpses of the life he left behind in Hungary including some haunting images of the traumatic days of the revolution as well as a body of work reflecting the new life he discovered here, pictures that examined the texture of Quebecs vernacular culture with the sharp eye of the outsider.

Majority of newcomers to Canada not confident in their financial knowledge: RBC poll (WSJ)
Six-in-10 newcomers (60 per cent) who arrived in Canada in the past year say that they lack financial knowledge, including how to establish and build credit during their first year living in Canada, according to the RBC Newcomer Financial Attitudes Poll. Among those who have lived in Canada between two and five years, 92 percent of newer Canadians found their financial literacy about borrowing options improved.

He was born in Canada, but now the government wants him deported (Globe and Mail)
Canadian-born Deepan Budlakoti lives a bizarre, almost-Kafkaesque existence. He lives in fear that, any day, government agents could knock on his parents door in Ottawa, haul him away and put him on a one-way flight to India. In government-speak, he is removal ready. Except he has no place to go. He was born in Canada.

The economic benefits of free trade in people (Linda Nazareth, Globe and Mail)
The study, by Julian de Giovanini, Andre Levchenko and Francesco Ortega (and discussed by Mr. de Giovanini in a piece for the World Economic Forum) examines the economic impact of the migration by looking immigration to and emigration from countries. For the former, they examined the impact on population and average income per person in the host country with and without immigration (they adjust for the latter by basically removing the immigrants from population and income estimates and adding them to the country of origin). For the latter, they look at the effect on population, but also tally immigrant remittances into the country from those who leave (i.e. sending money home).


Conservative Refugee Reforms Put Party At Odds With Jewish Group (Huffington Post)
The federal government has found itself at odds with an unlikely adversary: a Jewish group. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has courted the Jewish community and considers it an important ally on his foreign policy agenda, but a new Jewish group is questioning the governments commitment to human rights one year after the passage of controversial legislation on refugees. The bill made it much more difficult for refugee claimants from certain designated countries those in which the immigration minister believes there are few bona fide cases of persecution to seek asylum in Canada.

JRAN: Standing Up For Human Dignity In Canada (Huffington Post)
As a result of what many in the refugee advocacy community believe to be a time of social cruelty here in Canada, government policy in our country has turned its back on those from other lands who face mortal discrimination in trying to find a safe harbour in Canada. Not since the days immediately prior to World War II when Canada became infamous for a refugee policy that purposely excluded Jews fleeing Eastern Europe have we seen such a state of affairs. Canadian historians, Irving Abella and Hesh Troper documented our government’s dark refusal to admit Jews as an antisemitic policy. Indeed an unnamed bureaucrat when asked in 1938 how many Jews should Canada allow into the country replied “None is too many”.

A place she calls heaven (Chronical Herald)
From places like Afghanistan and China; Egypt and Bhutan, a tiny Himalayan kingdom touted as the happiest place on earth but for some, not that happy at all. Some have escaped deep struggles and danger to find safety in Halifax or smaller Nova Scotia communities. Others come to connect with distant family. For education. Or business. Or work they couldnt find at home. Some are excelling. Others are still striving. Today, we start telling their stories, the first in a 26-article series that highlights the diversity and resiliency of our residents. Shamsuddins story starts in a dusty, poor neighbourhood of Kabul and detours to orphanages in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, a refugee camp outside Moscow and finally, to this quiet residential street in Halifax, a place she calls heaven. Sometimes I share my own experience, what we all go through, she says with a slight accent, sitting on her living room couch, wearing a beaded bracelet she learned how to make in one of those faraway facilities for poor or parentless children.

Lets end the nasty fight on refugee health care (Dr. Meb Rashid Dr. Philip Berger, Toronto Star)
It is a serious matter when a Minister of the Crown is in deep conflict with the health professions of Canada. Jason Kenney, minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, has engaged in an ongoing and increasingly nasty fight with doctors since May of 2012, shortly after cuts to health care for refugee claimants and privately sponsored refugees under the Interim Federal Health Program were announced that April.


Canadian Social Research Newsletter : Junly 7, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Lessons from Ontarios campaign to cut child poverty (Toronto Star) – July 3
2. Brigit’s Notes — Le Bloc-notes de Brigit : Summer 2013 issue (Canadian Women’s Health Network) – July 3
3. SPARmonitor – Monitoring Toronto’s Social Change [SPAR = Social
Policy Analysis & Research, City of Toronto] – July 3
4. SoundBites e-Bulletin (Social Planning Toronto) – July 3
5. Quebec’s controversial new welfare rules go into effect (CBC News) – July 1
6. Québec Handy Numbers, 2013 Edition (Institut de la statistique du Québec) – April 2013
7. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Labour Force Survey, June 2013 – July 5
— Study: Changing labour market conditions for young Canadians – July 4
— What has changed for young people in Canada? – July 4
8. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit


Webinar July 24th Right in your Back Yard: Sourcing Immigrant Talent Faster (
While organizations may understand the benefits of a diverse workforce, finding immigrant talent often can be a challenge. In this webinar you will learn about the Ottawa Job Match Network and Hire Immigrants Ottawa on how they support employers sourcing skilled immigrants. You will hear first-hand from an employer that has used the Job Match Network successfully and how you can find similar resources in your city.

Video: ERIEC (Shaw TV Edmonton)
We take a look at a local organization that’s doing their part to help find new immigrants employment.

Solving the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Dilemma (Bobbi-Sue Menard, Edmonton Commerce News)
In Alberta, Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) are used responsibly by employers as a tool for keeping businesses competitive while Canadians catch up to labour market skills needs its not about foreigners taking Canadian jobs. This is the story of most employers in Alberta, and the message the Edmonton Chamber Board of Directors delivered to a delegation of high profile MPs last Thursday at World Trade Centre Edmonton.

Workers needed for post-flood rebuild: Redford (James Wood, Calgary Herald)
Premier Alison Redford says Alberta needs more workers in the aftermath of devastating flooding last month and that could mean revisiting changes to the temporary foreign workers program. Redford said Friday at the start of the Stampede parade that she wants to talk to Prime Minister Stephen Harper about immigration issues while he’s in Calgary for the event. “We need to think about what it’s going to take, in terms of labour and workforce, to rebuild southern Alberta and we’ll talk a little bit about that,” she told reporters.

Redford wants to talk to Harper about more temporary workers for flood rebuild (Vancouver Sun)
“I think we need to think about what it’s going to take in terms of labour and workforce to rebuild southern Alberta and we’ll talk a little bit about that,” Redford said to reporters before the start of the annual Stampede parade. She was asked if that meant for temporary workers. “It might. We’re going to have to talk about that because you can see from communities across Calgary and southern Alberta that there’s a lot of people working,” she said. “We want to make sure there’s everyone here that we need to rebuild the province and make sure the economy continues to thrive.” More than 330,000 workers live and work in Canada as part of the federal temporary foreign worker program. That number has nearly tripled over the last 10 years, with the bulk of those job seekers going west in search of work.

Culture on the Job: Episode 3 (CBC Intersections)
Millions of Canadians from different cultural backgrounds rub shoulders every day on the job. And sometimes it can create a bit of friction when youre trying to get a job, navigate the job, and get promoted.

I couldnt let her suffer any more of this… (Prince George Citizen)
Eaton had hired the aide after unsuccessfully looking for a Canadian care-worker. Using an international employment agency, the Brazilian (who claimed to be qualified there as a nurse) was moved to Prince George to be Stumpf’s primary caretaker in the home they all shared. The aide had already done such contracts in England, Alaska and California, according to the agency. “I didn’t check into her nursing credentials, but I wasn’t hiring her to be a nurse,” Eaton said. The conduct caught on video gave Eaton reason to wonder if she was indeed medically trained, but it was the Canadian government’s conduct following the aide’s firing that upset Eaton most. The aide was not sent back to Brazil or even prevented from holding another similar care job in Canada. Eaton is now worried that someone else’s elderly loved one is getting the same treatment.

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.

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

Shared 12 links. SISO no longer haunts immigration services: report - Hamilton | Metro Morning | "Stop Carding" The...