Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 23, 2013


The Quebec religious symbols ban: CCLA discusses the risks (CCLA)
News broke this week that Quebec’s Parti Quebecois government has proposed a ban on religious symbols in all government buildings. This would include hospitals, schools, and publicly funded offices. As a highly-respected voice on rights and freedoms in Canada, CCLA shared its views on the issue with the national media. Cara Zwibel, Director of CCLA’s Fundamental Freedoms program, spoke to CTV News yesterday afternoon, explaining the risks of a religious symbols ban. Click here to watch the full interview.

How the Parti Quebecois got to where it is now on minority rights (Andy Blatchford, Montreal Gazette)
This week, the now-governing PQ launched the province’s latest debate on minority accommodation after a newspaper reported that public employees in schools, hospitals and other government offices will be barred from wearing religious clothing in the workplace. Past polls have suggested such a plan would be popular in Quebec, but the newly leaked details have drawn a furious reaction from some pundits, members of affected minority groups, and a small number of federal politicians. The details of the PQ’s so-called “Charter of Quebec Values” were not entirely surprising — the Marois government had previously promised to put forward such a plan in its last election platform and in its subsequent inaugural speech in the legislature. It was a different story in 2007.

Canadian Jewish groups in bid to quash white supremacist’s will (Jerusalem Post)
Canadian Jewish organizations are joining the effort to overturn a will that leaves $250,000 in ancient artifacts and investments to an American neo-Nazi group. B’nai Brith Canada and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, or CIJA, will attempt to convince a court in the Canadian province of New Brunswick to quash the will of Robert McCorkill, who died in 2004 and bequeathed the items to the National Alliance, a white supremacist group in the United States. Along with the province’s attorney general, the groups will argue next month that the bequest will reinvigorate the flagging far-right group, especially at a time when neo-Nazi beliefs are on the rise in Europe. The groups were permitted to intervene at a court hearing in New Brunswick.

Can I get the bill, please? (Jean-Christophe Dumont, World Bank)
In the 2013 edition of the OECD flagship publication on migration, the International Migration Outlook, we present new evidence on this issue for all European OECD countries, plus Australia, Canada and the United States. We show that although the fiscal impact of immigration cannot be pinned down to a single and undisputable figure – as its measurement depends on many assumptions – the impact of the cumulative waves of migration that arrived over the past fifty years in OECD countries is on average close to zero, rarely exceeding 0.5% of GDP in either positive or negative terms. Immigrants are thus neither a burden to the public purse nor are they a panacea for addressing fiscal challenges. They have a positive net direct fiscal position in most countries, except in those with a large share of older migrants. This means that they contribute to the financing of public infrastructures although admittedly to a lesser extent than the native-born. Contrary to public belief, low–educated immigrants have a better fiscal position than their native-born peers. And where immigrants have a less favourable fiscal position, this is not driven by a greater dependence on social benefits, but rather by the fact that they often have lower wages and thus tend to contribute less.

Private schools fear reforms may hit revenues (Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun)
Hundreds of private career-training institutions and ESL schools are on tenterhooks, wondering if a federal crackdown on fraud in the international student program next year will deprive them of a key source of income. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has proposed regulatory reforms to address long-standing complaints that some foreigners, with help from certain schools, are entering the country on student visas with no intention of studying. Also troubling are the shady operators that take advantage of genuine students by selling lowquality programs.

Chinese-Canadian refugee admits laundering $12m in four years (The Province)
A Chinese-Canadian man admitted laundering more than HK$95 million (about $12.8 million) over four years through bank accounts he had opened using three different passports. Xie Jing-feng, also known as David Chow, 56, pleaded guilty in the Hong Kong District Court to one count of money laundering, the South China Morning Post reported. Prosecutor Leslie Parry told the court that Xie was born on the Chinese mainland. He entered Canada in 1997 as a refugee and was granted citizenship after five years. Xie and his wife, Zhu Li-chang, both hold Canadian passports, the paper said.


Refugee advocates raise concerns about ‘inhumane’ deportations (Tobi Cohen,
The federal government has already removed more than 7,500 failed asylum claimants this year, 60 per cent of them to countries listed as “safe” under new legislation aimed at cracking down on so-called bogus refugees. The deportations come amid growing concern from refugee advocates over the unprecedented zeal they say immigration enforcement officers have brought to the job ever since the Conservatives won a majority two years ago, and particularly over the last eight months since the new asylum system was implemented.

Calgary Immigration Lawyer discusses the new refugee system (Bjorn Harsanyi)
Video: The refugee process in Canada has dramatically changed. This video applies to those that have already applied or are thinking of applying. Time frames have dramatically shortened. Upon making an application, your hearing will be scheduled. You bear the onus to establish your refugee claim. Do not underestimate the importance of providing corroborating your claim. Its tougher than ever to succeed. Do not assume that you can do this yourself. Seek out a good, experienced immigration lawyer.


Raising a child is cheap and cheerful, as long as mom stays at home (Steve Barnes, Wellesley Institute)
A new report released by the Fraser Institute claims that it is possible to raise a child on about $3,000-$4,000 per year. The catch is that, apparently, child care is a ‘frill’. Their approach is that expenses associated with having a child, like clothing, food, and education, can be separated from other household expenses. Expenses that households would incur regardless of whether they have children, like housing, transportation, furnishings, and TVs, weren’t counted.

Mowat News : Summer 2013 : Canada Job Grant, Senate Reform, Energy Planning and our Annual Report (Mowat Centre)
Our Annual Report
Update from the Council of the Great Lakes Region
The Canada Job Grant – Bad Policy, Bad Process
Ottawa Should Drop the Canada Job Grant
Abolish the Senate? Not Likely. But There is a Way to Change the Senate
Mowat Publications

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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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