Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 15, 2013


Citizenship and Immigration Canada would like you to participate in future Immigration Planning! (ERIEC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada would like to invite you to participate in an online consultation on immigration levels planning.The purpose of this consultation is to seek your feedback on immigration to Canada, specifically on the total number of new permanent residents Canada should welcome and how this overall total should be distributed among immigration categories.

Canadian air force mechanics parents denied visa from India to visit ailing grandson (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Deepak Sharma has fought for Canada in Afghanistan and Libya, but the air force veteran just cannot beat Canadian immigration officials. The 33-year-old corporal, based at CFB Trenton in eastern Ontario, has been unsuccessful in obtaining a visa for his parents in India to visit their two-year-old grandson, Akarsh, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder. Twice, in March and May, Sharma applied to invite his father, Ashok Kumar, and mother Renu, both in their late 50s, to visit Canada. In rejecting the applications, the visa office in Chandigarh, India, cited his parents lack of travel history abroad, family ties in Canada and purpose of visit as reasons to believe they would not leave the country after their visit. A Citizenship and Immigration spokesperson said she couldnt discuss details, because the required consent form from the family was incomplete. Sharma, a father of three who has served in the Canadian military for 10 years, called the situation depressing.

Chinese tourist may have scammed seniors (CBC)
Immigration officials say a Chinese citizen, who travelled to Canada on a tourists visa, may have spent his time in this country scamming seniors. Huo Youjin and four women were detained at Vancouvers airport last month as they tried to return to China. Canada Border Services Agency say they were carrying $148,000 in cash between them, as well as a large amount of jewelry. The cash was concealed between the pages of magazines, in the lining of suitcases and inserted inside feminine hygiene products.

Is U.S. the worlds most religiously diverse nation? Check out Canada. (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
Readers can see from the chart below that, compared to the U.S., Canada has more than twice as many members per capita of non-Christian religions at almost nine per cent of the total population. Canada also has far more who say theyre non-religious, which could be argued is another form of diversity.

Solicitor-client privilege, Federal Court diversity to be debated by lawyers (Tobi Cohen,
Meanwhile, another resolution to be debated would call on the government to step up efforts to address gender and ethnic diversity in Federal Court appointments. As of April of this year, just 31 per cent of all federally appointed judges were women, said B.C. lawyer Linda Robertson, adding her province hadnt seen female appointee for two years. After some poking and prodding by the local bar association, that changed in June when four women were finally appointed, she said, adding the ethnic make-up of the court is less clear. The judges who sit on these cases bring with them their own life experiences and different perspectives that different groups have. Women bring a different perspective than men to the bench. Someone whos Indo-Canadian has a different life experience, she said.

Delayed Citizenship Applications Canada’s Bulwark Against Freeloading Immigrants (SB Wire)
Old codgers (at least those who require medical treatment) at times rail against the tendency of those immigrants, usually male, who immigrate to Canada, settle their family in Canada and then leave Canada, sometimes returning to the foreign job they had prior to obtaining their Canadian permanent visa. The codgers view (sometimes found among the profoundly racist comments to on-line immigration articles), enforced by the immigration department, is that Canadas permanent resident visa is a backup for those immigrants working in politically unstable places, where low or no-taxes are payable and earnings high; immigrants in this scenario use a Canadian permanent visa as a backup in the event that their work terminates due to the arbitrary political and business climate in places such as the Persian Gulf city states and other parts of Asia. Ordinarily, they work outside of Canada and then comfortably retire in Canada availing themselves of Canadas health-care system during their retirement until they die.

International Post-Graduates Category now a permanent part of British Columbia PNP (South Asian Generation Next)
The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) announced that the International Post-Graduate (IPG) pilot project will become a permanent fixture in the provinces PNP program. The IPG pilot project was created in 2010 and scheduled to run for a three-year trial period. It is intended to attract and retain international graduates who gained masters of doctoral degrees in the natural, applied or health sciences from a British Columbia institution.

Immigration policy is complex and multi-faceted (Divya Kaeley, South Asian Generation Next)
The complexity of the immigration policy may be unfair to some people who cannot navigate it. However I think immigration policy is not a monolith that we can stick a single label on. Canada has many priorities in immigration, some of which compete against each other. Trying to balance all the priorities and interests as well as the politics is not an easy task for any government. Elsy J. Chakkalakal


A legal information training for ESL teachers and support staff across Ontario (FCJ Refugee Centre)
The trainings are for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and support staff, to better equip them to respond to issues related to immigration and human rights, including the refugee process. As a result, migrant populations studying English will gain greater access to legal information and resources as they navigate Canadian systems.

Summer Working Group meetings, 6 – 7 September 2013 (CCR)
The CCRs three Working Groups provide the forum for CCR members and other refugee and immigrant rights advocates to exchange information, network and develop policy positions in particular areas of concern. Each Working Group is responsible for preparing resolutions, following up on action items, and planning workshops for the consultations, as well as for advising the CCR Executive on policy. The Working Group meetings are closed to representatives of government and the media. The CCR Working Groups meet four times a year. Two of these meetings take place during the consultations (see above). The other two series of working group meetings take place in February (in Toronto) and in September (in Montreal).


Video: Moving Towards Bias Free Hiring Practical Examples to Assess Candidates (Ratna Omidvar,
With the new Ontario Human Rights Commissions policy on removing the Canadian experience barrier Ratna Omidvar, President of Maytree, provides practical examples that employers can use to assess competencies of a potential candidate.

Video: Moving Towards Bias Free Hiring The Power of Policy (Ratna Omidvar,
With the new Ontario Human Rights Commissions policy on removing the Canadian experience barrier Ratna Omidvar, President of Maytree, talks about the larger role employers can play in ensuring bias free hiring practices.

Bringing out the Best in Your Immigrant Employees (
What can you do when you hire an internationally educated professional who has the right skills, degree, and workplace experience, but who under performs without explanation?

Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce that is Representative of the Wider Community – PDF (hireimmigrants ottawa)
To provide excellence in client service, improve customer satisfaction, and capture new markets, RBC seeks to leverage the talents of a diverse workforce that is representative of the wider Ottawa community, including Ottawas immigrant population. RBC benefits from the leadership and direction of a diversity Council chaired by CEO Gordon Nixon. Given the banks multi-locations and country-wide employee base, initiatives vary across the country. In Ottawa, RBC undertakes a broad range of diversity and inclusion practices.

LMIEC Update
In this issue:
City funding expands local Job Match Network
Ontario working with employers to identify labour market needs and job opportunities for all immigrants
New social media campaign to feature successful newcomers
Job Match Network attracting newcomers from within Ontario
LMIEC Mentorship highlighted as way to give back
Chamber of Commerce CEO recognized for proactive efforts
Attracting, Managing and Retaining Talent focus of seminar

Learning ‘soft skills’ comes through experience (Brantford Expositor)
While many immigrants face challenges when they find their foreign credentials aren’t recognized in Canada, some more fundamental needs are those not necessarily taught in a classroom, but rather picked up by being part of a culture. For many newcomers, English language skills and understanding of Canadian workplace practices and culture is just as important as their credentials. These are important skills that cannot really be learned without being in a community.

Pathways to Employment: Strengthening the Immigrant Connection (Workforce Planning Hamilton)
You are invited to our event to learn about recent Workforce Planning Hamilton (WPH) initiatives in aiding newcomers to discover pathways to employment, including the HIP and HIMP programs.

Foreign live-in caregiver fee to cost families $275 each (CBC)
Canadian families looking to hire nannies and caregivers from abroad will be financially stung by recent changes made to temporary foreign worker program, say opposition and industry critics alike. There is now a $275 processing fee for each temporary foreign worker position that an employer requests through a labour market opinion, which is usually required to prove the need to hire a temporary foreign worker over a Canadian one.

Western Canadian construction associations head to Ireland (Richard Gilbert, Daily Commerce News)
The B.C. Construction Association (BCCA) and the Saskatchewan Construction Association (SCA) are teaming up for a job expo in Ireland to help address skilled labour shortages in western Canada. We are not going to a job fair, where it is set up by an outside company and employers pay to attend, said Abigail Fulton, vice-president of the BCCA. We are doing all the organization ourselves, so it can be as affordable as it can possibly be for our employers. We are organizing our own fair to cut out the middleman. The associations are planning to take a delegation of about 50 companies on a trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland and Dublin, Ireland this fall for a construction-specific job expo.–western-canadian-construction-associations-head-to-ireland

Steelworkers Turn Up Heat on Toronto Plaza Hotel Strike (Canada Newswire)
Workers at the Toronto Plaza Hotel, a group of predominantly visible minority women, many of whom have worked for the hotel for over 20 years, have been on strike since May 30 in an attempt to protect their modest wages and conditions.

Ontarios skills gap is costing the province billions (James Stuckey And Daniel Munro, Globe and Mail)
Ontarios employers say they cant find the skilled workers they need. Recent graduates complain they cant find the jobs they want. The fact is, both are right and both have reason to be concerned. The gap between the skills employers need, and those that graduates have, costs the Ontario economy up to $24-billion annually, according to a recent study by the Conference Board of Canada. The report (The Need to Make Skills Work: The Cost of Ontarios Skills Gap) shows that some Ontarians have weak employment prospects, in part because they simply do not have the kinds of skills and education sought by employers.

Infographic: The Need to Make Skills Work: The Cost of Ontarios Skills Gap (Conference Board of Canada)
Full report: The Need to Make Skills Work: The Cost of Ontarios Skills Gap –

Employment and Social Development Canada announces further changes to the LMO process (Henry J. Chang, First Reference blog)
As previously discussed, on April 29, 2013, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that they would be introducing numerous changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), formerly known as HRSDC, has now announced changes to the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) application process, which are effective as of July 31, 2013. Each of these changes is described below.


Start with Sector Source to find targeted material for charities and nonprofits (Imagine Canada)
More and more were hearing our community say: I just need a place to go to understand if my organization has it all covered. Imagine Canadas new Sector Source is a website that helps answer questions like these and supports charity and nonprofit leaders in discovering important issues and relevant resources. Sector Source helps you build capacity in core organizational management areas, so that you can in turn focus on your cause.



Aug 14th Day of Action : Send a message to Kathleen Wynne! (Workers’ Action Centre)
Today is our day of action for a $14 minimum wage. Let’s get as many emails to her as possible! Please send this email to 10 friends and get them to send a message too! Together we can make our voices heard!

Anti-poverty group calls for minimum wage increase to $14 an hour (Laura Armstrong, Ottawa Citizen)
Anti-poverty activists rallied outside MPP Madeleine Meilleurs Montreal Road office Wednesday to protest Ontarios minimum wage freeze. Members of ACORN Ottawa say almost 20 per cent of Ontario workers were forced below the poverty line in the three years since the provincial Liberals froze minimum wage at $10.25. ACORNs provincewide campaign is calling for the rate to be immediately increased to $14, reflecting the rise in inflation since 2010. I have two children. Theyre 30 and 28. At that age, my income was better, I was living better than they are now. Theres something wrong with the system, for you not to be able to have a decent life, said Diane Rochon, an ACORN Ottawa board member.

Wealth, Religion and Inequality (Livio Di Matteo, Wortwhile blog)
The top 1% of wealth holders in Ontario in 1892 and 1902 held about 25 percent of total wealth. Compare this to other parts of the world as shown in Figure 2 and it can be seen that Ontario seems to stand out as not being as unequal as other parts of the world when it came to wealth. Compared to the United States, Britain or even new settler economies such as Australia, Ontario seems curiously bereft of larger supercharged estates more characteristic of the Age of the Robber Barons. Why Ontario (and maybe by extension Canada) is not as unequal in its wealth distribution as other parts of the world during this time is a question I have been trying to find answers to.

In from the margins, Part II: Reducing Barriers to Social Inclusion and Social Cohesion (Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology)
In November 2011, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology received an order of reference from the Senate to examine and report on social inclusion and cohesion in Canada. Continuing from its earlier study on social conditions in Canadian cities, the committee built upon the testimony from more than 170 witnesses, who contributed to the earlier report, In from the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness, tabled in December 2009. With testimony from more than 65 witnesses over two Parliaments, the committee has now completed its second report, entitled In from the Margins, Part II: Reducing Barriers to Social Inclusion and Social Cohesion. Includes commentary from Ratna and Maytree mentions.

Quebec’s movements for social transformation: An interview with historian Sean Mills (Stefan Christoff, rabble)
Quebec’s 2012 student uprising highlights a long history of social activism that continues to shape politics in both Quebec and Canada. Beyond simplistic nationalist notions, grassroots movements in Quebec have long organized with an internationalist spirit rooted in decolonization and social transformation. Sean Mills is the author of The Empire Within: Postcolonial Thought and Political Activism in Sixties Montreal, an inspiring book that details social movements of generations past. Given the growing political distance between Quebec and Canada today at an official level and the major focus on Quebec activism due to the recent student strike, I sent Sean a series of questions on Quebec history of social activism and how it relates to our contemporary context. – Stefan Christoff

Seeker Journal (Tamarack)
In this issue:
Having Fun… In the East Coast
Featured Blogs
One Thousand Conversations
Resources About Neighbours
A Blogging Challenge
Upcoming Events

True democracy starts with the municipal (Preston Manning, Globe and Mail)
In Canada, attention to the importance and role of municipal government is on the rise fuelled by public and media interest in the corruption inquiry in Montreal, the trials and tribulations of the Rob Ford regime in Toronto, and the role of local government in disaster relief in Calgary and Lac-Mégantic. Greater public attention to the importance of municipal government in Canada is long overdue. In many respects, local government is the level of government closest to the people, and the state of democracy in the country as a whole is closely related to the state of democracy at the local level. The fact that voter participation in local elections has declined to abysmal levels is a symptom of the so-called democracy deficit that has now spread to the provincial and federal levels.

How to Measure Poverty (Ordinary times on politics and culture)
Let me be clear that I like the sentiment behind this. Having a low income sucks, and lifting up peoples incomes is a good thing. Some ethical questions are complicated, but this is not one of them. Sean and I might disagree on how we achieve this, but if the goal is make the poor better off, than sign me up. My point of disagreement is on the specific idea of getting rid of poverty. My objection to that phrase isnt ideological, but rather technical. At its core, what I do for a living is measure things. Because of this, Im very sensitive to vaguely-worded goals. And this isnt just a personal tick, if you dont specify your goals properly, you have little to no chance of actually achieving them. The reason your government is still in Iraq is because it didnt bother to specify its objectives in entering Iraq clearly enough, and now anything short of Iraq becoming a European country will look like a defeat, so they have to stay in to ward off final judgment. Make no mistake vagueness kills, and the more important a policy goal is the more you need to be sure you have defined it properly, for without definition there can be no success. It is not mean pedantry that leads me to criticize the idea of getting rid of poverty, but rather the concern that unless were clear about what we mean by poverty.


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 24 links. Asylum claims down by more than half in 2013 | Revised Skilled Worker Program Feminists on...