Immigration & Diversity news headlines – Sept 11, 2013


Americas Datafest – a multi-city hackathon on migration in the Americas
Do you write code? Work with data? Research migration issues? Work with migrants? Report migration news? You are invited to our Datafest on November 2-3. You can participate in-person or virtually. The event will focus on immigration to North America and Europe and human flows between and within countries in Latin America as well as on general population shifts within the United States and Canada. Let’s leverage the surge in mobile, social, computing power, data analytics and address the challenges and opportunities of migration in innovative ways!

NewToBC – the library link for newcomers
NewToBC unites 10 public library systems in Metro Vancouver to help connect newcomers with programs and services in their community.

Murdered woman ‘betrayed’ by Canadian immigration board, says sister (Michael Platt,
His rights, as a convicted drug trafficker ordered deported to Somalia, were deemed more important than the guaranteed safety of Canadian citizens. And so, despite warnings that Bashir Gaashaan was a flight risk who posed a danger to the public, Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board let him go — a freedom that lasted exactly one year and eight months. On June 15, 2011, RCMP in Alberta announced they had arrested Gaashaan, charging him with first-degree murder, unlawful confinement, offering an indignity to human remains, sexual assault and trafficking in cocaine.

Preventing and Reducing the Trafficking of Women and Girls Through Community Planning (Settlement AtWork)
The Womens Support Network of York Region is implementing a 30-month project to research and develop a community action plan to end human trafficking in the region of York. The project targets girls and young women who have been or are at risk of being trafficked. This includes young women aged 13 to 19 who, with the advent of the Internet and social media, are more exposed than ever to the risks of luring and sexual exploitation. The organization will consult a wide range of community partners, such as York Regional Police, local womens groups and social service agencies, to identify needs and promising approaches. The results of this research will inform the development of a comprehensive plan to address the problem of trafficking in the York region, led by the regions Anti Human Trafficking Committee.

Province to help new Canadians (Portage Daily Graphic)
Immigrants to Manitoba will have an easier time getting work in their chosen professions thanks to an initiative by the province. The Government of Manitoba has earmarked $1.4 million over two years to improve the recognition of foreign credentials by funding pilot programs designed to recognize professional qualifications in order to get immigrants into the workforce sooner.

Who we are: Canadians increasingly Western, urban, multiracial, well-educated (Heather Scoffield, Toronto Star)
If the reams of statistics released from the 2011 census and its controversial new cousin, the National Household Survey, teach us anything, its that there is no such thing as the quintessential Canadian. Now that Statistics Canada has published almost all of its findings, Canadians know their country is aging. But they also know the West holds a new allure, and that Canada is becoming increasingly urban, multiracial, and well-educated.

In the Field Newsletter Volume 15 (OCASI)
OCASI Celebrates 35 Years of Excellence
OCASI Training – Violence against Immigrant and Refugee Women
Executive Directors Forum 2013

Muslim Publics Share Concerns about Extremist Groups (Pew Global)
More than two years after the death of Osama bin Laden, concern about Islamic extremism remains widespread among Muslims from South Asia to the Middle East to sub-Saharan Africa. Across 11 Muslim publics surveyed by the Pew Research Center, a median of 67% say they are somewhat or very concerned about Islamic extremism. In five countries Pakistan, Jordan, Tunisia, Turkey and Indonesia Muslim worries about extremism have increased in the past year.

NewYouth Newsletter (OCASI)
NewYouth Has a New Look
Fall is Here!
Resources for Post-Secondary School

CERIS welcomes new Director to lead the transformation in the new phase (CERIS)
The CERIS Management Board is very pleased to announce that Dr. Adnan Türegün has been appointed as the new Director of CERIS.

There isn’t a word for depression: immigrants and mental health (CBC)
Tahany Gadalla, a University of Toronto researcher who carried out a nationwide study, measured the rate at which people use the mental health system. She found immigrants are less than half as likely to get professional help for depression compared to self-identified Canadians. Gadalla believes this is due to a lack of programs that have been adjusted to educate people from different cultures about mental health issues. Combine this lack of education with the fact that mental health is a predominantly Western notion, and properly diagnosing a condition becomes an even greater challenge.


The Québec Charter of Values : Five Propositions

Much has been written, here are a number of articles worth perusing:

Québec Values Infographic

Quebec seeks to ban public workers from wearing religious symbols

Scoring political points with Québec’s secularism charter

The PQs not racist just running scared

New online poll claims 66% support in Quebec for values charter

New survey suggests growing support for Quebec secular charter

Ontario Liberal speaks out against Quebec charter to restrict religious symbols

Chris Selley: Quebec values charter is as stupid and divisive as we feared

Charter of Quebec values would ban religious symbols for civil servants

Quebec can be perfectly secular without an offensive Charter

Charter of Values hints that Quebec having second thoughts over mad dash for immigrants

Religious minorities face fight-or-flight choice

John Ivison: Federal leaders forced to reluctantly condemn Orwellian Quebec charter

Quebecs secular code cuts off the province from its roots of tolerance

Ontario Liberal speaks out against Quebec charter to restrict religious symbols

Ottawa prepared to challenge Quebec values charter in court: Kenney

Tories gear up for constitutional fight as parties unite against PQs charter

And, of course, already some satire:

Steve Murray imagines a few more things banned by the Quebec Values Charter

PQ: La Charte des valeurs québécoises (Partie 1)

PQ: La Charte des valeurs québécoises


Legal Aid Ontario to Fund Certificate for Refugees at Risk of Losing Their Status (Settlement AtWork)
Beginning September 3, 2013, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) will issue certificates for 16 hours, plus attendance, to eligible refugee claimants at risk of losing their status as Convention refugees or people who are in need of protection.

Summer Newsletter 2013 – PDF (FCJ Refugee Centre)
Settlement Program:: walking together
Coming events: Street Party
Primary Health Clinic
The Great Hall: a new recreational space
Diverse Residents One Community.
Youth Voices
Refugee Protection Program
Popular Education Program
Anti-Human Trafficking Program
Announcements and events

Egale Canada asks for more to be done for Russian LGBT refugees (
The following open letter was written and signed by Helen Kennedy, executive director of the national LGBT human rights organization Egale Canada.


Company Raising Alarm Over Foreign Workers (VOCM)
A local company is raising the alarm with Service Canada about the use of temporary foreign workers when qualified local workers are available to do the job. Jim Hynes, a director with Sea Force Hyperbaric is upset that the company was shut out of the bidding process for Hyperbaric Reception Facility services for the province’s offshore by Subsea 7, an international company overseeing the work. Hynes says Sea Force was not given the opportunity to provide a quote and was told instead that Subsea 7 was going with its own equipment and foreign workers to operate the facility. Seaforce has brought its concerns to Service Canada and Hynes has been told they’re taking the matter seriously.

Untangling the Temporary Foreign Worker Knot (Stephen Elliott-Buckley, Politics Respun)
Temporary foreign workers have become a lightning-rod topic in Canadian labour in recent months with the high-profile news of the Royal Bank of Canada replacing staff with TFWs. But the issue is not about RBC, which is merely the latest flashpoint. The temporary foreign worker issue is wrapped up in a number of intersecting topics, including minimum and living wages, the role of the market in setting wages, immigration and job training. Despite some of the spin we are seeing, the TFW controversy is not an issue of jobs for Canadians versus foreigners, and it is not hard to see all that is going on and what labour in Canada should be doing about it.

Ontario Human Rights Tribunal opening the door to duplicative litigation? (First Reference Talks)
Since the Supreme Court decision in British Columbia (Workers Compensation Board) v. Figliola (Figliola), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the Tribunal) has taken a more narrow approach to its jurisdiction to hear applications where another tribunal has dealt with the same or similar issues. However, recent case law suggests that the Tribunal is moving away from the more narrow Interpretation of its jurisdiction that was laid out in Figliola. Under section 45.1 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Tribunal may dismiss an application in whole or in part if the substance of the application has been appropriately dealt with in another proceeding.

Mayor of Leamington, Ontario, says sexual harassment from migrant workers a cancer on the town (Sarah Boesveld, National Post)
Every year, between five and six thousand migrant workers arrive in Leamington, Ont., to help the tomato and greenhouse capital of Canada live up to its name. The lions share come from Mexico, 20% from Jamaica and the eastern Caribbean. Others are Filipino, Mexican Mennonite, or from various parts of Asia. And every year, according to Leamington Mayor John Paterson, local women in the rural, lakeside town of about 28,000 have complained of sexual harassment on the part of the seasonal labourers unwelcome sexual invitations, persistent queries about relationship status, comments about physical appearance. Some women even reported workers grabbing their genitals and making lewd gestures at them.

Harper Government Supports Job Creation with Three-Year Freeze of Employment Insurance Premium Rates (Finance Canada)
The Harper Government announced today that it will freeze the Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate for employees at the 2013 level of $1.88 per $100 of insurable earnings for 2014, and additionally that the rate will be set no higher than $1.88 for 2015 and 2016. While Canada has seen steady job creation since the end of the global recession with over one million net new jobs, significant challenges remain in the global economy. Our Government is freezing EI rates and leaving $660 million in the pockets of job creators and Canadian workers in 2014 alone which will help provide the certainty and flexibility employers, especially small businesses, need to keep growing, said the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, at an event hosted by Ottawa Camping Trailers Ltd. This tax relief will help support Canadas continued economic recovery and sustained, business-led, long-term growth.

EI Premium Freeze Leaves Unemployed Canadians in the Cold (Behind the Numbers)
I posted the following on the PEF blog yesterday. It is quoted in The Globe and Mail (A3), National Post (FP4), Toronto Star (B1) and other newspapers via Canadian Press and Postmedia: Finance minister Jim Flaherty announced a three-year freeze on Employment Insurance (EI) premiums, ostensibly because a stronger job market has alleviated the need for additional premium revenue.

Webinar: Managing your Internationally Trained Professionals (Work and Culture)
Join our webinar overview of the Work and Culture Online modules to learn how to effectively integrate your Internationally Trained Professionals, maximize productivity and improve intercultural communication at work!


Upcoming Learning Opportunities (Tamarack)
Tele-Learning: Enjoying One Another with Jim Diers
2013 Communities Collaborating Institute: Accelerating Impact

“Crash Course For Good” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Julia Howell. She is the founder of Cause School, a pilot program that offers expertise and mentorship to local non-profit startups.

September News (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
Canada Hosts Social Enterprise World Forum
Federal Government Joins Innoweave
Cities for People: Art for Resilience
SVX Launches September 19th
Foundation Hosts Summer Interns
other news

Build your Capacity this fall with workshops from the Social Economy Centre (OISE)
Fall Workshops
Human Resource Management In Nonprofit Organizations – Sept 27 & October 4: Kunle Akingbola
Strategic Fundraising: Securing The Resources You Need Oct 11th: Suzanne Gibson
Winter Workshops.
Financial Management In Community Organizations Jan 10th: Eric Plato
Managing Compensation In Nonprofits – Feb 17th: Kunle Akingbola
Social Media In Nonprofit Oraganizations – March 7th: Sherida Ryan
Marketing In Non-Profit And Other Social Purpose Organizations March 28th: Trish Krause
Overcoming The Greatest Threats To Nonprofit Board Effectiveness April 18th: Ann Armstrong
Effective Change Management In Nonprofit Organizations May 30th: Kunle Akingbola


2011 National Household Survey: Income of Canadians (Stats Can)
New data from the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) show that more than 95% of the approximately 27.3 million Canadians aged 15 and over received some form of income in 2010, totalling $1.1 trillion.

2011 National Household Survey: Homeownership and shelter costs in Canada (Stats Can)
New data from the National Household Survey show almost 7 out of 10 Canadian households, or 9.2 million out of a total of 13.3 million households, owned their dwellings in 2011.

Study: Caregivers in Canada, 2012 (Stats Can)
In 2012, about 8.1 million individuals, or 28% of Canadians aged 15 years and older, provided care to a family member or friend with a long-term health condition, disability or aging needs. New data from the 2012 General Social Survey showed that women represented the slight majority of caregivers at 54%. The survey also found that caregiving responsibilities most often fell to those aged 45 to 64, with 44% of caregivers in this age category. Ailing parents were the most common recipients of care, with 39% of caregivers looking after the needs of their own parents and another 9% doing so for their parents-in-law. The least common were spouses, at 8%, and children, at 5%.

Statistics Canada: 28 per cent of Canadians are caregivers (Theresa Boyle, Toronto Star)
Every day, Denyse Lynch goes into the Woodhaven Long Term Care Residence in Markham to help care for her 96-year-old father. She helps feed him, shave him and most importantly, she gives him companionship. She is among 28 per cent of Canadians age 15 and older who provide care to family members or friends with long-term health conditions, disability needs or aging needs, according to a Statistics Canada report released Tuesday.

Social well-being in Canada: how do the provinces measure up? (Jennifer Mason, Broadbent Institute)
The indicators that Wilkinson and Pickett use to measure well-being are: life expectancy, student achievement, infant mortality, homicides, incarceration, teenage pregnancy, trust in others, social mobility, mental health, and obesity. This report by the Broadbent Institute replicates Wilkinson and Picketts study for the Canadian provinces using data from Human Resources and Skills Development Canadas Indicators of Well-being website and Statistics Canada.

Canada ranks 6th in global happiness survey (CBC)
Canada has some of the happiest people on the planet because of long life expectancy, high average income and robust social ties, according to a survey sponsored by the United Nations in which Canada ranked sixth. And it appears our cold, harsh winters make us merrier, not morose, since the only people who say they feel happier than Canadians are citizens of fellow northern nations, in order: Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands and Sweden.

A fascinating map of the worlds happiest and least happy countries (Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post)
Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands are the happiest countries in the world, according to the U.N.-sponsored World Happiness Report released Monday by Columbia Universitys Earth Institute. The report infers happiness using a number of social and economic metrics, measured using data from 2010 to 2012. The very least happy countries, all in sub-Saharan Africa, are Togo, Benin, Central African Republic, Burundi and Rwanda. Syria also falls within the bottom 10. The United States ranks 17th of the 156 ranked countries, behind Mexico (16) and Panama (15).

IMFG Releases Two New Papers (IMFG)
The second paper examines some of the most important but least understood parts of local government: ABCs. Everywhere we turn, from transit agencies to housing corporations, conservation authorities to police service boards, we encounter ABCs. They provide critical services, spend large sums of money, and raise serious questions about democratic accountability.

September 16-23: Canada’s Democracy Week (Jennifer Phillips, Samara Canada)
Canada’s Democracy Week launches next week! The third annual civic education initiative organized by Elections Canada will actually span nearly two weeks this year with events across the country until September 28th. This year’s theme is “connect”, which Elections Canada describes as “connecting with people, places and information that help broaden your understanding of why democracy and voting are so important.

Shaping the Conversation on Poverty Reduction in Ontario (Debbie Douglas, OCASI)
It was about five years ago that then Premier McGuinty announced Ontarios 25 in 5 campaign. The pledge was to reduce poverty by 25% in 5 years. Well the time has come and gone and depending on what social research you read or who you talk to, the growing consensus is that poverty is more entrenched than ever. While our governments and some of our economists trumpet the end of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, congratulating themselves for Canadas relative downturn compared to the rest of the G8 Countries, those of us working on the ground in communities know that the struggle to make ends meet, to find good jobs continue to be a challenge for many individuals and communities.

Income gap issues worsen (Jordon Cooper, Star Phoenix)
The Conference Board of Canada says that income inequality in the country has become worse over the past two decades. While our problem is nowhere as big as that of the United States, where almost 20 per cent of income accrues to one per cent of the population, it is a big enough concern that the conference board says it’s hurting our economy. How big of an economic threat is it? In 2012, the World Economic Forum surveyed 469 experts from industry, government and academia on what risk they were most worried about. “Severe income inequality” was at the top of the list. Income inequality is driven largely by market forces. Technology has changed the job market, and globalization has moved markets overseas or driven down wages. It’s also driven by actions of governments. They have tried to weaken organized labour for decades, which hurts the workers unions represent. Other institutional factors include stagnating minimum wage rates that hurt those at the bottom, while decreasing marginal tax rates are credited for the increases of top wage earners.

Budget Changes to Social Assistance Began September 1 (Your Legal Rights)
The 2013 Ontario budget included a number of changes to social assistance, most of which kicked in as of September 1, 2013. ISAC has prepared several fact sheets on these changes to provide information to people receiving support from Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and the people who work with them.

Close the Housing Gap enters new phase (Yonge Street)
Earlier this summer, Yonge Street wrote on the social housing campaign launched by City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing (TCH): Close the Housing Gap. The posters are a key component of the the Close the Housing Gap initiative, a campaign to raise awareness about the precarious social housing situation in Toronto, and to lobby for increased funding from the federal and provincial governments “Today, we are boldly expanding the visibility and reach of Close the Housing Gap,” said campaign co-chair Councilor Ana Bailão (Ward 18 Davenport) at last week’s press conference.

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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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