Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 16, 2013


Canadians Demand CRTC Hearings on OMNI TV Cuts (Broadcaster Magazine)
A broad range of Canada’s multicultural communities has backed a call to the CRTC to hold public hearings on OMNI TV’s cuts to multicultural programming. “The multicultural protections guaranteed by the Broadcasting Act oblige the CRTC to act. Rogers’ cuts to its five OMNI stations have affected news programs and others in Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Tamil, Ukrainian, Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi,” says Peter Murdoch, Vice-President Media for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Canada’s Media Union. “That so many organizations representing millions of Canadians have intervened sends a clear message to the CRTC that the cuts have been devastating. Canada’s broadcast industry cannot simply give up on accommodating diversity and it is up the CRTC to assure that it doesn’t.”

Has Multiculturalism in Canada Lost Its Way? (Omar Alghabra, Huffington Post)
Now that multiculturalism has become a popular concept, it is time for us to add more meat to the bone and expand on what it means to Canada to be a multicultural society. While most Canadians highlight our multicultural character as a virtue, it continues to mean different things to different people. Multiculturalism is the recognition that while Canadians share equal rights and responsibilities, they come with diverse cultural backgrounds where each is entitled to practice their faith freely and take pride in their heritage.

Teaching Our Kids What Equality Really Means (Huffington Post)
Do your children know what equality means? Even young children have a sense of fairness. In celebration of the contribution young people make to our society, The Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust (CCLET) and TVO Parents want to help them develop that sense even further. We invite you to tell your children today’s story on the Civics for Kids website and then find out what your children think. There are no rules except to be open to everyone’s ideas — and remember there are NO right answers. Ask your children if they can figure out how to treat everyone in the stories fairly. You might be surprised by what they say.

Reverse racism? (Juliana Laskowska, Surrey Leader)
I believe it is time to address the fact that Caucasians are being treated as second-class citizens, whether that be in applying for a job, receiving customer service in various businesses, or attempting to have a conversation with non-Caucasian neighbors. The issue of who is racist, and who is not, no longer pertains to the old-school notion that Caucasians and only Caucasians are full-fledged racists. Perhaps reverse racism does not exist at all. Perhaps it is just racism.

‘Practicing Muslim’ CBSA officer detains MCC president at US-Canada border (Muslim Canadian Congress)
The Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) has asked the Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney and the head of Canada’s Border Security Agency, Luc Portelance to investigate an incident at the Niagara Falls border crossing where a CBSA officer describing himself as a ‘practicing Muslim’, detained and harassed the president of the MCC and his family including a 4-year old child. “It appears I was specifically targeted by this Muslim officer because I and the MCC have been at the forefront of exposing the Islamist agenda in Canada and the USA,” said Mumtaz Khan in his letter to Minister Blaney and CBSA president Luc Portelance.

Racist graffiti on Saskatoon bench ignites controversy (CBC)
A piece of graffiti in Saskatoon has stirred up a lot of controversy in the city. A racist slur was painted on a bench along the river, near the University of Saskatchewan. The graffiti was painted over on Thursday and police are investigating the matter. Dusty Rose said she found the racist message on Tuesday night. Rose took a photo and posted it online. The photo was shared more than 160 times on social media.

SISO trial continues (CHCH)
A computer technician who brought two hard drives to police with alleged damning information about his bosses was on the stand today, in the case concerning the collapse of an organization that, for years, helped refugees and immigrants settle in Hamilton. Settlement and Integration Services Organization, or SISO, went bankrupt in 2011 after it’s main source of funds, citizenship and immigration Canada, became concerned about a financial audit.


Canada Offers Refugee Status to LGBT Russians seeking a Safe Haven (Passport Magazine)
Russians suffering under Putin’s anti-gay law may be able to seek refuge in Canada. On Monday, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said that Russia has embarked on the wrong path in restricting the rights of the LGBT community. He said that any Russian gay refugee whose claims are “related to this particular issue will of course be looked at very seriously by our very generous system.” Attorney Rob Hughes who currently represents two Russian gay men who are seeking asylum in Canada said that the decision made by the Canadian government is “quite encouraging.”


ALLIES Newsletter August 2013
In this issue:
• Removing the “Canadian Experience” Barrier
• Anonymous Job Applications: The Next Step Towards Bias-Free Hiring
• Right in your Back Yard: Sourcing Immigrant Talent Faster
• Unlocking Potential: From Underperformer to Asset
• Career Bridge Internships a Win-Win for St. Michael’s Hospital
• Not all Internships Are Bad
• Ontario Award for Leadership in Immigrant Employment
• Councils
• Policy Update
• Resources

New Webinar: Bias-free Hiring and Assessment: Removing the “Canadian Experience” Barrier (
In this webinar, you will hear from Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on the new policy. Immigration expert, Ratna Omidvar will moderate a discussion with two employers – the international law firm Denton’s and the Ottawa based IT company Pythian on how they assess the qualifications and competencies of new employees. We will provide practical examples on how you can implement effective hiring practices that discounts “Canadian experience”.

Video: Community Connections (Rogers TV)
Host Michelle Baldwin talks to some representatives from a local immigration partnerships.

Part 2:

Business leaders lobby Ottawa on Temporary Foreign Worker Program (Whistler Question)
“If you’re going to hire a foreign worker and go through all the brain damage you have to go through as an employer to get that approval — we do it for a living and it’s a lot of work — you’re going to spend the $275. The person is worth it,” he said. “(Whistler employers) are not doing it because it’s easier than finding a Canadian, they’re doing it because they have to.” Ottawa first announced program reforms in May after relenting to public pressure in the wake of a CBC report that revealed The Royal Bank had been using the process to replace dozens of domestic staff with temporary foreign workers in a cost-saving effort. Until those changes, the program allowed for employers to pay foreign workers up to 15 per cent less than Canadians doing the same job. The additional processing fee, which went into effect July 31, has left Girodo feeling “conflicted,” he said.

West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association report urges B.C. to protect its foreign workers (Carlito Pablo,
Even though Canada’s temporary-foreign-worker program comes under federal jurisdiction, provinces have the power to protect labourers, a B.C. lawyer says. Ai Li Lim is the executive director of the West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association. On August 10, her group presented a report on temporary foreign workers at a well-attended forum at SFU Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver. “Yes, it’s a federal immigration program, but once the workers are here in B.C., they have to be—or they are, in theory—supported by B.C. employment standards,” Lim told the Straight during a break at the forum.

New ‘nanny fee’ hard on families, says critic (Denise Ryan, Vancouver Sun)
A hike in processing fees for families that want foreign nannies or live-in caregivers will hurt ordinary, middle-class families already struggling to make ends meet, says Manuela Gruber Hersch, president of the Association of Caregiver and Nanny Agencies Canada. “The misconception is that only wealthy families hire nannies,” said Hersch. “This is wrong. Single parents who do shift work hire nannies, and middle-class families. It’s definitely going to be more difficult.”

A Joint Venture with CAPP: Career possibilities lure new talent (Financial Post)
Job opportunities in Canada’s oil and natural gas sector are attracting university students and people from abroad. Darren Smylie is a third-year geography and environment student at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. He doesn’t yet know which career to choose, but he knows he wants to make a difference.

Internationally Educated Nurses: An Employer’s Guide (Ontario Hospital Association)
Recognizing the value of these professionals and the challenges they face, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and the Nursing Health Services Research Unit (NHSRU), McMaster site, have created this web-based guide to help employers hire, retain, and integrate IENs into the workplace. Internationally Educated Nurses: An Employer’s Guide was funded by the Government of Ontario. This guide contains a wealth of information about issues related to workforce diversity, regulatory environment, bridging programs for foreign-educated nurses, as well as practical advice on orientation and recruitment.


Globe Public editor: How government tries to define the news agenda (Sylvia Stead, Globe and Mail)
If you haven’t read this great behind the scenes look at a government trying to control the media, I encourage you to do so. Written by investigative reporter and former Queen’s Park correspondent Karen Howlett, it lifts a veil on how governing parties try to throw up roadblocks to keep reporters away from negative coverage. And in this great multimedia look by editor Stuart Thompson at the more than 1,300 emails from Ontario Liberal staffers concerning the closing of two power plants, you can see in the narrative section the efforts made to divert attention.

Why Canada still needs census in age of data mining (Shenaz Kermalli, CBC)
Could data mining ever replace the national household survey census? It’s a question prompted by this week’s stalled release of data from the 2011 national household survey, over what Statistics Canada admitted were “serious errors.” Those errors, along with rising survey costs ($652 million so far — about 15 per cent more than the 2006 long-form census) and a considerably lower response rate (68 per cent in 2011 versus 93 per cent in 2006) have raised doubts among critics about the credibility of the current census and whether it’s even necessary in the modern age of data mining.

Canada’s job numbers don’t tell the real story (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
For two solid years, Jim Flaherty has been insisting that all the jobs lost in the 2008-2009 recession are back. Even last week, as Statistics Canada reported an unexpected drop of 39,400 jobshe was bullish about the direction of the labour market. Private employers are still hiring, the finance minister pointed out brightly. (The public sector lost 74,000 jobs; the private sector gained 34,600.) But Flaherty’s words — and the statistics he uses to back them up — don’t match what’s happening in workers’ lives. They haven’t recovered from the recession. They were hurled straight from the economic meltdown into a harsh new reality: a Canada of chronic job insecurity, uneven growth and deteriorating living standards. To explain this paradox, Citizens for Public Justice, a faith-based social action organization, has produced a primer on labour market trends. It is one of the most sophisticated pieces of research to come out of the anti-poverty movement. It tracks the job market since 2008, tapping into data Statistics Canada doesn’t normally publish.

Taking the long view on Labour Trends and Poverty (Brad Wassink, Citizens for Public Justice)
Last Friday, Statistics Canada released its Labour Force Survey, reporting on employment figures for the month of July. Since June, it reports, the Canadian economy has lost 39,000 jobs, a far cry from the 17,000 it was expected to gain. While this isn’t good news, it’s important to keep in mind that these monthly surveys provide us with only a short-term view of the changes in the Canadian employment rolls, something that can be highly variable from month to month. As BMO economist Doug Porter told CBC News, “Do the wild gyrations in monthly jobs actually mean anything for the economy? Not really.” We should avoid reading too much into these monthly reports, whether negative or positive, like in May 2013, when the Canadian economy gained 95,000 jobs.

Momentum Growing for Poverty Reduction in Canada (Vibrant Communities Canada)
Across the country the momentum is growing for poverty reduction! How do we know? Well in 2002 when Vibrant Communities began its grand experiment to look at a new way of reducing poverty in Canadian communities would work, there was one city in Canada actively working at reducing poverty. In time that grew to 6 and then 13 Vibrant Communities with multi-sector leadership roundtables emerged. Now as we scale up as Vibrant Communities Canada – Cities Reducing Poverty we have knowledge of over 100 cities, regions and communities who are all actively using a multi-sector, comprehensive approach to reducing poverty in their cities. While all of this was percolating at the local, municipal level a new language was being spoken at the provincial level. It was a language of poverty reduction. First Quebec developed their provincial poverty reduction strategy, and then Newfoundland and Labrador, and then New Brunswick. And now we find ourselves at a point in history where only 2 provinces do not have a Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy – British Columbia and Saskatchewan.


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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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