Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 7, 2013


School4Civics – pulling back the curtain on political engagement (Alejandra Bravo, Maytree)
When we put out a call in April to be part of our upcoming series of School4Civics boot camps, workshops and networking events, we were pleased to see the broad interest in getting involved in political life. How did we judge who was a good fit for the program? Rather than have a cumbersome application process, we figured that the people in the room are the right people, because they were willing to show up on a Saturday in the summer and participate in political training. We now have a group of 60 who committed to give up some of their weekends and evenings. It’s inspiring to meet people from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) who are this committed and interested in making their communities better. While they come from different places, politically, when they come together, they see that the political spectrum in Canada isn’t actually that wide.

Minister revoked citizenships before being shuffled out (Daniel Proussalidis, Toronto Sun)
In one of his last acts before being shuffled out as immigration minister, Jason Kenney ordered that several people be stripped of their Canadian citizenship. A government order went out on Kenney’s recommendation June 12 to revoke citizenships of people who had obtained them “by false representation or fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances.” But we don’t know who the fakers were or where they were deported.

Who is considered Canadian? B.C. woman pushes to overhaul citizenship laws (Kim Nursall, The Province)
Canadian citizenship laws may need to be overhauled if a so-called “lost Canadian” wins her legal battle. Jackie Scott, 68, was refused citizenship even though she came to Canada with her British mother and Canadian father at the age of two. A judicial review of that refusal was scheduled for July, but Scott put it on hold so she and her lawyers could broaden the court action. Documents filed Friday in Federal Court in Vancouver show Scott is petitioning for “declarations” from the court that could have serious ramifications for Canadian citizenship, including whether Parliament has total control over who is considered Canadian.

Canada Muslims Await `Eid Festival (OnIslam)
As the clock ticks towards the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a national grassroots Muslim group is planning special celebrations and prayers marking `Eid al-fit in Kitchener, Ontario. “Eid is a celebration of the holiest month of the Islamic calendar.,” Ghada Al-Shurafa of Waterloo, a member of the local chapter of the Muslim Association of Canada, told The Record. “It’s the exchange of gifts and presents, enjoying food and celebrating with family and friends.”

Ritu Bhasin on Social Change and Diversity in Toronto (South Asian Generation Next)
What disappoints me is that despite our diversity numbers, we lack diversity in leadership ranks across all sectors and industries in Toronto. And the disparity is significant. So while we are diverse as a city, we MUST do a better job of integrating and leveraging the diversity in our midst. Otherwise we’re neglecting the best part of our city.

Program serves moms-to-be, their partners and new Canadians (Larissa Cahute, The Province)
Fraser Health’s latest maternity program is all about building communities – especially for its vulnerable and marginalized women. JPOCSC launched its Community Birth Program last spring, the second of its kind in B.C. following Vancouver’s South Community Birth Program. Rather than one-on-one appointments with patient and physician, the program takes a community-based approach, where 10 expecting mothers and their partners meet for group-care with nurses, nurse practitioners, midwives, doulas and physicians. Not only do they undergo health assessments at each session, but they also have an education program with a new topic each month. With new Canadians, immigrants and refugees across the Fraser Health area, the community approach is especially beneficial.

Trans-Atlantic poll shows Canadians have much to learn about immigration (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
Canada is one of the few developed countries where immigration is not one of the hot elements on the political stove. Even though Canada has among the highest proportion of immigrants of any country, a recent cross-Atlantic opinion poll of eight countries found Canadians are most satisfied with how they’re integrating immigrants. However, the sweeping poll of most of the biggest countries in Europe and North America may stimulate a more sophisticated discussion of immigration among Canadians, who admit they tend not to closely follow the issue.

Canada’s ban on Pakistani adoptions baffles parents, clerics (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Canada has stopped adoptions from Pakistan, citing a conflict with the Islamic law over adoption and guardianship. The abrupt move, which took effect in July, has left Canadian adoptive parents heartsick and religious leaders baffled. “I was shocked, upset and depressed,” says GTA resident Shafiq Rehman, who had been hoping with his wife to adopt a child from Pakistan. At issue, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is the Islamic practice of kafala, or guardianship, which is common in most of the world’s 49 Muslim-majority countries like Pakistan.


Accessibility and costs of health care for refugee claimants following changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (St. Michael’s Hospital)
On June 30, 2012, the federal government drastically reduced the scope of the Interim Federal Health Program (IFH) that previously covered medical services and medications for all refugee claimants and resettled refugees. Over the next 3.5 years, we will work with partners including the Hospital for Sick Children, Montreal Children’s Hospital and McGill University to assess the impact of these changes on both health status and access to health care for refugees in Toronto and Montreal. We will also explore the impact on the health care system itself.

Ottawa’s crackdown on Roma refugees has Hungarians seeking asylum elsewhere (Valentina Jovanovski, Globe and Mail)
The federal government’s push to reduce the number of Roma refugees from Hungary appears to be working, with a drop of hundreds to only dozens of Hungarians filing for asylum since the crackdown late last year. Hungarians, who claimed asylum in Canada more than any other nationality from 2010 to 2012, are now being deported back to their home country where many Roma say they face poverty, stigmatization and intimidation by extremist groups. The number of Hungarian asylum seekers declined to just 33 between January and March this year, compared with 724 for the same period last year.

Toronto program offers training for North Korean defectors (CTV)
Seong-Min Lee is training to be a future leader of North Korea. After a dangerous and challenging escape from his home country, a Toronto-based human rights organization is building his leadership skills with the intention that he will one day return. Lee’s journey to Toronto has been a long one. He left decades of famine and fear behind when he left North Korea in December 2009, heading through China to the South Korean embassy in Laos. “We went through some very dangerous situations in China,” he recalled, speaking to CTV’s Canada AM on Tuesday.

Syrian-Canadians cope with ‘constant stress’ of war back home (Yahoo! News)
It’s been over a week since Mississauga, Ont. resident Marwa Tayara has spoken with family in Homs, Syria, one of the cities hardest hit by the two-year-old revolution. So when the ring of a Skype call echoes through the Tayara household, the 28-year-old Syrian-Canadian quickly excuses herself from the dining room to grab her iPad. She calls her father, Fariz, over and sets the tablet up on the coffee table in the living room. They both lean in closer to the iPad as her aunt begins to speak on the other end of the crackling line. “Yesterday, a bullet came right through her garden, and she went out to see what went on. She touched the bullet and it was so hot, she could not even pick it up,” Tayara translates. Fariz listens intently, showing no facial expression. His eyes are fixed on the ground, one hand cupping his forehead. “It’s hard for him to hear his sister is going through all of this while he is here listening,” Tayara tells me.


Operational Bulletin 539 – August 6, 2013 – Yukon Temporary Foreign Worker Annex Pilot Projects – Labour Market Opinion-Exempt Work Permits for Occupations Destined to the Oil, Gas, Mineral Exploration and Mining Industry or Tourism/Hospitality Industry (CIC)
The purpose of this Operational Bulletin (OB) is to advise officers of pilot projects being implemented under Annex B – Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) of the Agreement for Canada-Yukon Cooperation on Immigration, which provides Yukon with mechanisms to facilitate the entry of TFWs to meet its economic priorities and labour market objectives.

Benefits of mentorship programs (Canadian HR Reporter)
Christian Codrington, senior manager with the British Columbia Human Resources Management Association (BC HRMA), met with Canadian HR Reporter TV in Vancouver to discuss the organization’s mentorship program.
– See more at:

Ontario to recognize immigration employment leaders (Kelly Lapointe, Daily Commercial News)
The Ontario government has launched a new award recognizing leadership in immigration employment in hopes of raising the profile of newcomers working in the province. “We want to get out there and let people know that hiring a newcomer can be a very positive experience for a company,” said Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Michael Coteau in an interview with the Daily Commercial News. “Research does suggest that hiring a newcomer does make companies more innovative and help their bottom line, makes them more profitable.”–ontario-to-recognize-immigration-employment-leaders

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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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