Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 29, 2013


The Maytree Newsletter : August 2013 (Maytree)
In this issue:
Maytree’s summer reads
Toronto Ombudsman Fiona Crean: Five Good Ideas on why you should welcome complaints
Immigrants: a liability or an asset?
The “royal we”
Anonymous job applications: The next step towards bias-free hiring
School4Civics – Pulling back the curtain on political engagement
A social innovator’s guide to systems thinking
Have dinner with a poet and other literary adventures
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News You Can Use

Immigrant selection process should make better use of private-sector employment needs to ensure new immigrants can succeed economically (Herbert Grubel, Fraser Institute)
Canadas immigrant selection process should rely more on the employment needs of the private sector and pre-arranged contracts for work to ensure new immigrants will prosper and succeed economically, concludes a new report published today by the Fraser Institute. Immigrants who arrived in Canada since 1986 have been less successful economically than those who arrived before that time, Herbert Grubel, Fraser Institute senior fellow, writes in his new study, Canadas Immigrant Selection Policies. Recent immigrants who arrived since 1986 earn less and pay less tax than they receive in benefits from government spending. As a result, they are costing Canadian taxpayers about $20 billion annually, he said.

Fraser Institute report recommends radical changes to immigration in Canada (Vancouver Sun)
The Harper government has taken steps to deal with the fiscal burden imposed by Canadas immigrants and refugees, but the reforms will only make a minor dent in the estimated $20-billion-a-year cost on society imposed by newcomers, according to a provocative report to be published today. So Ottawa should take more radical steps, says Herb Grubel, an economist at the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute, a conservative think-tank. He suggests phasing out the sponsorship of parents and grandparents, and bringing in an employer-driven system to attract economic immigrants.

Think-tank calls for immigration reform (Adrian Wyld, Ottawa Citizen)
But Grubel said Canadians should be allowed to debate the broader question of just how many new Canadians are needed in coming years. A broad public policy debate involving politicians, academics and interest groups, whether it results in lower or higher immigrants, would at least ensure there is a better informed and more rational Canadian immigration policy, he concluded. Grubel argued that large-scale immigration intake since the late 1980s has raised serious concerns over effects on Canadian culture, religious tolerance and national security.

Statement by The Honourable Michael Coteau Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on Religious Symbols and Coverings in Places that Receive Public Funding (MCI)
Today, Michael Coteau, Ontarios Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, released the following statement about prohibition of religious symbols and coverings in government offices and any other places that receive public funding: The Ontario government greatly values the people living in our province and the social, cultural and economic contributions that they have made to help build our province and make us thrive as a society. We are committed to an Ontario where all people are respected while celebrating the differences of our diversity.

Deadline looms as thousands of forgotten would-be immigrants await decision (Tobi Cohen,
The federal government remains confident that the majority of so-called forgotten Buffalo immigration applications will be completed by the end of the season as promised even though new figures suggest nearly 40 per cent of the files have yet to be processed. With just a month to go before summer draws to an end, 3,568 applications remain in the queue, according to the figures obtained by Postmedia News and considered up-to-date as of Aug. 20. Most of the files that were transferred from Buffalo to the Ottawa processing office will be completed by the end of summer 2013, Citizenship and Immigration spokeswoman Sonia Lesage said in an email.

PQs monotonic insistence on uniformity a hazard of Quebecs nationalism (Andrew Coyne, National Post)
Even sovereigntists are starting to distance themselves from the Parti Québécoiss ill-starred Charter of Quebec Values. The proposed ban on the wearing of religious symbols in public institutions, in particular, has come under fire from none other than Josée Legault, the redoubtable columnist and sometime PQ strategist. Admittedly her main point seemed to be the spectacular inconsistency of forbidding yarmulkas and hijabs even as a large crucifix remains pinned to the wall of the provincial legislature, but still it rather undercuts the emerging Péquiste talking point, to the effect that the whole controversy was something got up by the English media (these are just the sorts of accusations of intolerance weve come to expect from you people).

English media pathetic in coverage of PQ secularism plan, says former premier (Martin Ouellet, National Post)
The media of English Canada are to blame for pathetic, unfair coverage of the Parti Quebecois controversial minorities plan, according to prominent Pequistes. A former premier called the coverage pitiful. And a current cabinet minister took to Twitter to condemn it Tuesday. The complaints about the Anglo fourth estate came amid a furor over an impending plan by the PQ government to restrict public employees right to wear religious clothing. In an interview with The Canadian Press, ex-premier Bernard Landry said he cant accept some of the complaints directed at the Quebecois. I take pity on some of Canadas English newspapers, Landry said.

Is Bias Fixable? (Nilofer Merchant, Harvard Business Review)
Black / white. Masculine/feminine. Rich/poor. Immigrant/ native. Gay/straight. Southern/northern. Young/old. Each of us can be described in a series of overlapping identities and roles. And we could spend time talking about the biological and sociological programming that causes humans to form personal identity around group structures. But the bottom line is this: we as a society don’t see each other. You are not seen for who you really are, though each of us is a distinct constellation of interests, passions, histories, visions and hopes. And you do not see others. As David Burkus recently wrote, innovation isn’t an idea problem, but rather a recognition problem; a lack of noticing the good ideas already there. To see and be seen is essential to finding solutions for all of us. Now “noticing” doesn’t seem like an especially hard thing to do, but let’s be real it is. That’s because of bias. Bias is shaped by broader culture something is perceived as “true” and thus it prevents you from neutrally seeing. Recognizing bias is simply recognizing that you are not impartial you prescreen by seeing what you expect to see.

Super Visa popularity – a good thing for Canada? (LoonLounge)
According to the CIC, The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa program is an overwhelming success. More than 1,000 visas a month are now being granted under this program. The Super Visa is a multiple entry visa that is valid for up to ten years, offering holders the option of staying in Canada for up to two years at a time. This reduces the need for frequent visitors to renew their status during an extended family visit. But is this success a good thing? One thing the program does not offer is a path to permanent residence for parents and grandparents. Family reunification is one of the foundations of Canadian immigration programs, yet this category of immigrant has been cut off for over two years while a huge backlog of applications has been cut down. The program starts up again in 2014, but at that time, only 5,000 applications a year will be accepted.

Community Integration Network (CIN) (Settlement AtWork)
The Community Integration Network (CIN) is a service from the Catholic Centre for Immigrants (CCI) funded by CIC. In consultation with CIC and in collaboration with the Service Providers, CIN will work towards standards, tools, resources and program coordination that support the effective delivery of services under the Community Connections stream. This includes Community Connections programs and activities, Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) and Library Settlement Partnerships (LSP).

A News Wave of Immigration (Asian Pacific Post)
Vancouver could be facing a new wave of immigration from Hong Kong amid growing discontent since Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying took office, according to a democracy activist based in the Lower Mainland. Henry Chau, chairman of the Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement, said Hongkongers increasingly felt they were being pushed out of their own city by mainlanders and that they were looking for alternatives, reported the South China Morning Post. However, Labour Party lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan believes that although the pan-democratic camp has issues with the chief executive and his government, Chau has no hard facts to back up his claims, the paper said.

India Rainbow receives highest accreditation award (South Asian Generation Next)
The Board of Directors of India Rainbow is proud to announce that India Rainbow Community Services of Peel has earned the CARF International (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) Accreditation for a period of three years from June 2013 to June 2016. After a long two year journey leading up to the final accreditation survey in June of this year, the award is an indication of the organizations dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of persons served.

Intersections with Niru Kumar (CBC)
Intersections produced 10 shows over the summer. Available to listen to online: It’s happening in office towers, restaurant kitchens, even in our own living rooms. Some call it a “clash of cultures”. We call it “Intersections”. It’s a show about how we connect – or not – in our ever-changing Canada. Host Niru Kumar speaks with spouses, colleagues, neighbours and friends about cultural tensions in their relationships. She unearths unexpected, funny and poignant stories that tell us more about who we are and where we’re heading, exposing some uncomfortable truths along the way.

Immigration won’t bar Muslim preachers (CJAD)
Canadian Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney says he is not prepared at this time to stop some Muslim preachers from coming to Canada to speak at a conference. Quebec’s Status of Women Minister, Agnes Maltais, and the Jewish human rights group B’Nai Brith asked Blaney to stop the European preachers from coming to Montreal.


CCR Youth Ambassadors: Call for Applications (CCR)
The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) is a network of organizations across Canada committed to the rights and protection of refugees in Canada and around the world and to the settlement of refugees and immigrants in Canada. As part of the CCR, the Youth Network (YN) gives youth and youth allies a voice to address challenges faced by newcomer youth and a space to share ideas. CCR Youth Ambassadors will act as liaisons (or connectors) between their region and the CCR Youth Network and will preferably be supported by a local CCR member organization.

The two worlds of humanitarian innovation (Louise Bloom, Dr Alexander Betts, RSC)
There has been a gradual shift in the humanitarian world to considering the role that innovation can play in addressing endemic challenges of inefficiency, unsustainability and dependency. Within this humanitarian turn, the dominant approaches have been top-down, mainly focusing on finding ways to improve organisational responses. Alongside side this, though, there has been the emergence of an alternative discourse of bottom-up innovation. This approach has not yet been integrated into the current world of innovation practice within the typical humanitarian community. However, as this paper argues, it offers a potential way to engage the skills, talents and aspirations of so-called beneficiary populations, and thereby nurture self-reliance and sustainability. In order to develop a basic framework for thinking about bottom-up innovation, this paper draws on three relevant pre-existing bodies of literature: innovation theory, design theory and ideas on participatory approaches to development. Drawing upon the ideas and gaps in these literatures, the paper sets out a research framework capable of advancing the recognition and nurturing of existing local adaptation and innovation capacities within beneficiary communities as a source of sustainable humanitarian solutions.


Understanding the Ontario Human Rights Commission Policy on Removing the Canadian Experience Barrier (Hireimmigrants)
Requiring Canadian experience could violate the Ontario Human Rights Code according to the new Ontario Human Rights Commission policy. Basing hiring and accreditation decisions on whether a person has Canadian experience is not a reliable way to assess a persons skills or abilities. Employers and regulatory bodies should ask about all of the candidates relevant trade, professional or other qualifications and prior experience regardless of where they obtained it from. In this video, Cherie Robertson, Senior Policy Analyst at OHRC, provides an overview of the new policy.

Are you an Immigrant Entrepreneur with a business idea and looking at how to start a new business? (ERIEC)
The Immigrant Entrepreneurship Training program might be what you need! This is a twelve weeks program supported by Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN) and Wildman Institute. Wildman Institute is a non- profit, small business support facility in Edmonton which offers entrepreneurial training programs for a variety of client groups such as immigrant entrepreneurs. They also provide individual coaching, group facilitation and business consulting for entrepreneurial clients. In addition they do workshops and capacity building programs for not-for-profit organizations.

Mentoring, coaching and sponsorship: Whats the difference? (Shawn Mintz, HR Review)
The lines are often blurred as mentors jump into the coach and sponsor role. One of the top questions that Im often asked is: What is the difference between mentoring, coaching and sponsorship? Honestly, it a tough question because the answer is not always in black and white. This is because, the roles are interchangeable and they cross over all time. This means that your mentor can be your coach and your coach can be your sponsor.


Opening Doors: A Public Legal Education and Information Forum (PovNet)
A public legal education forum for public legal education providers, advocates, funders, intermediaries and individuals.



Poverty linked to multiple health problems in new mothers (Troy Media)
As a health equity researcher, part of my job is to measure the relationship between social conditions and health outcomes. That is, I and other researchers like me, try and link one social condition, such as income, to one health outcome, such as diabetes, low birth weight or mental illness the list goes on. Using this approach, we are able to demonstrate when low income is associated with a higher risk of having a specific problem. What we dont generally measure, however, is the overall impact of low income on physical and mental health. So what happens when we try?

Rethinking microfinance’s role in fight against poverty (Jean-Marc Debricon,
Much has been said about microfinance. Heralded once as the ultimate tool for alleviating poverty worldwide, it was badly hit by accusations of illegal and immoral practices in Indias Andhra Pradesh in 2010-2011 and, since then, has lost some of its shine. Can we still look at microfinance as the ultimate tool in the fight against poverty or should we agree with its detractors that it is useless? I believe that the middle ground is closer to the truth. This opinion was forged through Green Shoots Foundations own experience with microfinance and explains why we eventually changed our mission and the way we look at microfinance.

Liveability ranking (Economist)
AFTER a disappointing performance in the London Olympics, Australia should be cheered by a set of triumphs in a more testing environment: the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest liveability ranking. For the second year in a row, Melbourne has been adjudged the worlds most liveable city, ahead of Vienna and Vancouver, whose slip from the top of the list last year, after almost a decade, riled many western Canadians. Three other Australian cities make it into the top ten, with Adelaide rising from ninth to equal fifth in 12 months.

Next Stop Health: Transit Access and Health Inequities in Toronto – PDF (Toronto Public Health)
This report talks about public transit use in Toronto and the health impact of limited access to transit for low income residents and strategies to improve access to public transit for low income residents.


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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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