Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 9, 2013


First black postman’s family inspired by legacy of courage (Dan Janisse, Windsor Star)
Christine Jackson contemplated the question a long time before responding. If she faced a similar situation to the one her great, great grandfather did in 1882, after the runaway African child slave had already braved the Underground Railroad to flee the American south to freedom in Canada only to face racism here and be forced to fight for his job as Toronto’s first black postman, would she have the same courage to persevere? “Our family is very strong,” she said, looking at the grainy black and white photograph of her ancestor, Albert Jackson.

Introducing: 30 More Masjids (Himy Syed, 30 Masjids)
30 Masjids (@30Masjids) began as HiMY SYeD‘s Journey around The Greater Toronto Area during the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan in 2011 & 2012. 2013 is the third year for 30 Masjids in 30 Days in the GTA, but this time God-Alone Willing, it’s 30 Masjids in 30 Days around Ontario, Canada as we’re going around The Province.

World Religions Tour (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Brian Carwana. He is director of the Encounter World Religions Centre.

Canada : Muslim Hand for Hamilton Poor in Ramadan (
Canadian Muslims on Thursday launched a campaign to feed the hungry in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, during the holy fasting month of Ramadan The ‘Give 30’ campaign, which started last year, asks Muslims and non-Muslims to give up $1 a day —$30 for the month — to help those in Toronto who are hungry. The funds raised will go to the Daily Bread Food Bank, a Toronto distribution center supplying other local food banks. The Neighbor 2 Neighbor Center welcomed the Muslim initiative to help those in need.

‘It’s a mess’: Effects of ongoing strike by Canadian diplomats widely felt and very costly (Joseph Brean, National Post)
Like thousands who rely on Canada’s striking foreign service, Peter Guindon, a Canadian living in Beijing, is in a bind. His Chinese wife’s application for permanent residency is gathering dust in a Canadian visa office, so when his own Chinese visa expires shortly, their Canadian daughter could see her family split between two countries. “It’s a mess,” he said. From university students unable to start class in September, to foreign fruit pickers unable to help with the coming harvest, to tourists whose summer travels in Canada have been cancelled, the effects of the three-month-old job action by Canadian diplomats are broad, deep and costly, pegged at nearly $300-million in lost tourism alone.

Multilingual Assistance Now Available at Canada’s Loblaws Stores (Bernadine Racoma, DayNews)
Loblaws, Canada’s top retailer is now providing multilingual assistance to facilitate customer service. “I Speak Program” is now implemented in 183 outlets. Multilingual assistance is now available to Loblaws shoppers. New Canadians will feel more welcome entering Loblaws outlets when there are staff members available who speak their native language. This year, Loblaws Ontario stores have launched the “I Speak Program.” Employees of Loblaws who have the ability to speak languages other than English will wear a nametag that signifies that language or languages they can converse in such as Spanish, Italian, French, Mandarin, Cantonese and Punjabi. They will wear such nametags signifying their availability to extend help to Loblaws customers.

Is religion a bump in the road for multiculturalism? (Natalie Brender, Toronto Star)
In her column last week, Susan Delacourt observed a few events raising the question of whether multiculturalism has “hit a bump in the road” – whether our understanding of Canada’s diversity is changing in some fundamental way. One of the events she notes is an impending cabinet shuffle that’s rumoured to be reassigning Jason Kenney, who’s been Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism since 2008. Kenney is universally acknowledged to have had an immense, perhaps unparalleled, influence as a minister in this portfolio. If he’s on his way out of this role, it’s worth considering which “bumps in the road” have been deliberately introduced into the national discussion of multiculturalism on his watch.

1,500 New Canadians Discover Canada aboard Via Rail Trains (Asian Pacific Post)
A collaboration between VIA Rail and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) has resulted in 1,500 new citizens travelling by train to explore Canada, their new home, in the last year. This collaboration offers members of the ICC’s Cultural Access Pass (CAP) program – a program exclusively offered to new citizens – 50 per cent off the lowest available fare, in any class, one way or round trip, with no blackout periods, for them and up to four of their children under the age of 18.


CCR responds to government announcement on resettlement of Syrian refugees (CCR)
The Canadian Council for Refugees welcomes the announcement by the federal government of a commitment to resettle some Syrian refugees. The scale of the crisis in Syria is overwhelming and the number of people forcibly displaced is expected to grow even larger in the coming months. In the context of such massive displacement, resettlement is not a viable solution for anything but a minority of the refugees. Nevertheless, resettlement is an important tool of protection for particularly vulnerable refugees. It is also very appropriate that Canada respond in some way to the many Syrian Canadians who are desperately looking to help family members at risk.

No longer a place of refuge (Joshua Wales, Meb Rashid, Canadian Family Physician)
Also included in Bill C-31 is a controversial provision for mandatory detention of those refugee claimants designated by the Minister of Public Safety as “irregular.” This designation includes those for whom determining identities in a timely manner would be difficult, those suspected of criminality, or those suspected of having been smuggled into Canada. Mandatory detention poses a serious threat to the health of refugee claimants, and such policies, which punish some of the world’s most vulnerable populations, are worrisome. Primary care physicians are frequently the first points of health care access for new immigrants and refugees. It is therefore important that we have a strong understanding of the negative effects of detainment, both to improve care for our patients, and to advocate for more responsible policies.

Cuts to refugee health insurance dangerous, inhumane, doctors say (Gemma Karstens-Smith, National Post)
Looming cuts to refugee health benefits are inhumane, unethical and won’t save the government money, say some Ottawa doctors. A program providing temporary health insurance to refugee applicants who aren’t eligible for provincial or territorial coverage will be pared back starting June 30, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney announced last month. The Interim Federal Health Program will no longer include vision, dental or supplemental health benefits for current and future asylum seekers. Most pharmaceutical benefits will also dry up.


Community Building (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Niambi Martin-John. She is the coordinator of “Malton United”.

Political Engagement (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Alison Loat. She is the Executive Director of Samara, a Toronto organization which aims to improve political participation.

Lightweights (Samara Canada)
Volunteering and donating to charitable causes are considered important parts of being Canadian, rightfully celebrated and encouraged as a means to improve this country. However, when it comes to strengthening our country through political life, many Canadians are opting out. This stands in stark contrast to the power of politics: after all, it is through politics that we allocate vast amounts of public dollars, and ultimately, how Canadians decide to live together. To take one high-profile example, 50 years ago nearly 80% of Canadians voted in federal elections. Today voter turnout is at about 60%, and provincial and municipal turnouts are often far lower. The most dramatic declines have occurred within the last 25 years. While turnout is well researched, what’s less regularly examined is how Canadians participate in politics beyond the ballot box, and what this might signal about the vitality of political life in Canada.

Omega Foundation’s SmartSaver Pilot a Success (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
Omega Foundation wrapped up its SmartSAVER Toronto pilot—an initiative that seeks to improve the reach of the Canada Learning Bond to seed real savings for lower-income kids—and it surpassed all expectations.


Development of Alternate Career Information for Internationally Educated Medical Laboratory Technicians (Settlement AtWork)
The CSMLS (Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science) is continually devoted to the assessment and recognition of international applicants to the profession in Canada. Approximately 200 internationally educated applicants apply to CSMLS each year to have their credentials assessed. In most cases (90% of all assessments), internationally educated practitioners do not meet Canadian standards immediately.

Webinar Training on the Policy on Competing Human Rights (Settlement AtWork)
The Ontario Human Rights Commission invites you to a: Webinar Training on the Policy on Competing Human Rights.

Accommodating Different Faiths Begins from Within (Nancy Mark, Ottawa Busines Journal)
As we become more and more diverse as a city, and the customs, traditions and values of our mosaic of cultures make their way into our workplaces, it is important to accommodate people’s faiths. Employees have both a human and legal right to this accommodation, even though for us at the other end, we may not know how best to make that happen. In trying to accommodate, we usually miss a step — the education piece. If people understand the backbone of a faith (albeit the 101 version), they will understand the behaviours, traditions and practices of their fellow employees.

TRIEC is hiring. We’re looking for a Manager, Employer Relations. Deadline – July 17th (TRIEC)
The Manager, Employer Relations, is responsible for working with the stakeholder relations team to influence employer culture to build immigrant-inclusive workplaces. The Manager, Employer Relations works to grow and deepen TRIEC’s relationships with employers by connecting them to resources and solutions, including the TRIEC Mentoring Partnership, TRIEC Campus, Professional Immigrant Networks and other partner programs. The Manager, Employer Relations will be expected to engage with mid and senior level decision makers, including the C-suite, for employers in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.


Innoweave Update (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
Innoweave, an initiative of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Social Innovation Generation and partners, is helping community organizations learn about and implement innovative new approaches. “The Innoweave process has been thorough and the quality of the coaching and materials topnotch.” says Seana Irvine of Evergreen, a participant in the Impact and Strategic Clarity module. Innoweave now has seven modules including Social Enterprise, Social Finance, Developmental Evaluation, Cloud Computing, Impact & Strategic Clarity, and the recently launched Collective Impact and Outcomes Finance modules. Each module includes web information, workshops, and coaching.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

Shared Alan Cross - A Journal of Musical Things - Clever Black Sabbath Billboard. Shared 6 links. Here and There...