Immigration & Diversity news headlines – Sept 16, 2013

IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY

The business case for immigration (Rob Day, Northumberland Today)
According to the Conference Board of Canada by 2025 Canada will experience a critical shortage of 1.2 million skilled workers. The Canadian-born workforce is shrinking, while demand for labour continues to grow. Also, according to Statistics Canada, by 2031 immigration will account for net population growth in the country. In Northumberland County some of our communities have registered zero population growth according to the recent census. The implication of low replacement levels on our communities is serious. Economic prosperity is directly challenged when communities do not grow and remain stagnant economically and culturally.
http://t.co/Tbr88OBVIq

Politicians rally support for family facing deportation (Truro Daily)
Colchester County politicians are raising their voices in support of a Bass River family who is facing deportation. Sean, Angelica and Becky Platnauer have been living in Bass River for four years. They came from England and are now being told by Immigration Canada they have to leave the country. Municipal officials are offering support to the family.
http://www.trurodaily.com/News/Local/2013-09-13/article-3389418/Politicians-rally-support-for-family-facing-deportation/1

Grant helps Laurier researchers bring migration research to public (Daily Exchange)
Laurier Associate Professor Margaret Walton-Roberts has been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Knowledge Synthesis Grant to disseminate her work on migrant transition programs and its implication for labour market planning for the nursing sector. On Sept. 9, the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State for Science and Technology and Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, announced investments in 16 Knowledge Synthesis Grants to researchers at postsecondary institutions across Canada. With a focus on helping expand understanding of labour market issues in Canada, the goal of the grants is to combine or “synthesize” new and existing academic knowledge, and to make that information accessible to a broader audience.
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNGhqhKNSo-OcEk-mZV5nPLN0wJpNw&url=http://www.exchangemagazine.com/morningpost/2013/week37/Friday/13091308.htm

Have Your Say: How can we encourage – and strengthen – Canada’s cultural diversity? (Craig And Marc Kielburger, Globe and Mail)
While Canadian politicians wrestle with a proposed Quebec “secular charter” aimed, in part, at restricting the display of religious differences, a small art centre in New Brunswick plans more ways to let it all hang out. The artist-run Gallery Connexion in Fredericton organized a hugely popular Carnevale community dance party last February, blending Samba, Afro-beats, Latin music and live Punjabi dhol drums into a giant celebration of cultures. A similarly themed Dia de los muertos party is set for Nov. 2. The events are based on the premise that exposure to different cultures breaks down divisive stereotypes and prejudice, and brings a diverse community together.
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNEEiafrS59AXUotJN8A35tmt1Epog&url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/giving/have-your-say-how-can-we-encourage-and-strengthen-canadas-cultural-diversity/article14309097/

Poverty Myth Busters for Waterloo Region – PDF (Region of Waterloo)
Did you know that there are misconceptions about poverty that exist in our community? In speaking with regional staff and the community including people with lived experience, we heard that these myths can sometimes get in the way of poverty reduction. By designing these Myth Busters we are attempting to help change attitudes about poverty and encourage action because we all have a role to play in solving poverty. Poverty Myth Busters for Waterloo Region These Myth Busters highlight some of the popular myths about poverty and responses to these myths. Next time you hear any myths, help change attitudes about poverty by sharing the realities and busting the myths.
http://socialservices.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/communityPlanningPartnerships/resources/povertymythbusters_accessibleseptember52013.pdf

Event Oct 23: Are there ‘GOOD’ vs. ‘BAD’ Immigrants? (Newcomer Women)
Two years on since the 2011 election, immigration reform is the most active policy file with 2-3 regulatory changes a week. The recent policy changes have ushered in an increase in Temporary Foreign Workers; reductions in the number of government sponsored refugees; and a shift from family reunification. Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam of Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale will discuss these significant shifts in immigration policy, voting patterns of recent immigrants, and the impacts they have on shaping public opinion of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ immigrants.
http://www.newcomerwomen.org/features.html?utm_content=buffer133cf&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=linkedin&utm_campaign=Buffer

Lost in translation: A trial halts while lawyers search for an acceptable interpreter (Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun)
Justice is hard enough to get when everyone speaks the same language. But when they don’t, it’s fraught with peril. It’s so fraught that at times, like Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court, a trial needs to be stopped until everyone involved is satisfied that what is being said is perfectly understood and perfectly interpreted. For Mumtaz Ladha, it’s particularly crucial. She is accused of human trafficking, employing a foreign national without authorization and misrepresenting facts to both the Canadian High Commission in Tanzania and to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Lost+translation+trial+halts+while+lawyers+search+acceptable+interpreter/8907766/story.html

‘Good tsunami’ of newcomers coming: pollsters (Brandon Sun)
A wave of new immigrants is altering the political, economic and cultural dynamic in Canada, and Manitoba is one of the provinces that stands to benefit, according to two prominent Canadian pollsters. “A tsunami is heading towards you… and it’s a good tsunami,” John Wright, senior vice-president and managing director of Ipsos Public Affairs’ public opinion polling division, said in an interview. Wright said a growing number of skilled immigrants are moving to Canada because of its international reputation as a safe and desirable place to live. And when they look at where they want to settle in Canada, more and more of them are looking to go where there is a growing, vibrant economy, Wright said.
http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.brandonsun.com/breaking-news/good-tsunami-of-newcomers-coming-pollsters-223586021.html%3Fthx%3Dy&ct=ga&cd=MjI1NjcwNjc5NTQzMjgwMzU0MQ&cad=CAEYAg&usg=AFQjCNGiDi15oREQuuQJ7o0p-TwVNovzYQ

A bridge to peace built in Toronto (Joe Fiorito, Toronto Star)
As the summer ended, a handful of bright young doctors from Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Canada ate lunch and chatted in a comfortable uptown backyard. The setting was sunny and sylvan, the talk was easy and the menu included two kinds of pesto. Under normal circumstances, given the intricate and painful history of their countries, these doctors would never have met each other, let alone worked and played and dined together. They are friends now.
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/09/16/a_bridge_to_peace_built_in_toronto_fiorito.html

Some newcomers are ruining the very programs meant to help them (Welcome to Canada)
PS. You think you know everything about newcomers, eh? Not sure, then read the following stories to know the other side of the coin.
http://deartotoronto.blogspot.ca/2013/09/some-newcomers-are-ruining-very.html

Mexico ‘really mad’ at Canada over imposed travel visa (CP 24)
The Mexican ambassador to Canada says his country is “really mad” at the Harper government for the continued imposition of a visa on its travellers here. Ambassador Francisco Suarez told The Canadian Press in an exclusive interview that Mexico is so upset that if the issue isn’t resolved by next year, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto might have to postpone a planned visit to Canada. That would cast a shadow over the festivities that Mexico and Canada are planning for 2014 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations. “We’re now saying it’s a major irritant,” said Suarez, who assumed his new post in Ottawa three months ago.
http://t.co/sJ2fw1hxRX

Immigrants lagging economically in Quebec: Statscan (South Asia Mail)
Quebec lags behind the rest of Canada when it comes to the economic integration of immigrants, new data from Statistics Canada’s National Household Survey suggest. More newcomers live below the low-income threshold in Quebec than in any other province except Prince Edward Island (which has just 146,000 residents), an analysis of 2011 Census results by the Montreal-based Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration shows. The poverty gap between immigrants and non-immigrants is also greater in Quebec than elsewhere in Canada, with the exception of P.E.I., it reveals.
http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=111950

Muslim leaders worried about ‘hate’ message (Paola Loriggio, MSN)
A Canadian Muslim organization is calling on Ottawa to spell out how it decides whether to allow controversial foreign speakers into the country ahead of a planned appearance by two conservative American bloggers. The National Council of Canadian Muslims worries Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer will spread “hate and misinformation” about the Islamic faith when they speak at a Toronto-area hotel Tuesday evening, the group’s executive director said. Though it disagrees with their message, the group isn’t seeking to have the pair turned away at the border, Ihsaan Gardee said. But it would like to know how, exactly, that decision is made.
http://news.ca.msn.com/canada/muslim-leaders-worried-about-hate-message

New Initiative to Document History of Canada’s Greek Immigrants (Anastasios Papapostolou, Greek Reporter)
The Greek Canadian History Project (GCHP) is an initiative designed and committed to identifying, acquiring, digitizing, preserving, and providing access to primary source materials which reflect the experiences of Canada’s Greek immigrants and their descendants. The collected sources, currently in the hands of private individuals and organizations in the Greek-Canadian community, will be placed in the care of the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections of York University Libraries. The Project’s stewards are Dr. Athanasios (Sakis) Gekas, HHF Chair in Modern Greek History at York University, and Christopher Grafos, Ph.D. Candidate in History, York University.
http://canada.greekreporter.com/2013/09/13/new-initiative-to-document-history-of-canadas-greek-immigrants/

News Release – Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias: Resetting Citizenship and Multiculturalism (Multicultural Meanderings)
Canada is internationally known for its successful citizenship and multiculturalism policies. In 2007, the Conservative Government met unexpected resistance from the Public Service as it began altering longstanding citizenship and multiculturalism policies under Minister Jason Kenney. In Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, Andrew Griffith, retired Director General of Citizenship and Multiculturalism, examines whether the resistance was driven by an arrogant sense of the Public Service “knowing better”, or their innocent bias for conventional wisdom in the face of transformative change.
http://multiculturalmeanderings.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/news-release-policy-arrogance-or-innocent-bias-resetting-citizenship-and-multiculturalism/

QUEBEC CHARTER OF VALUES

Quebecers, Canadians split on proposed Charter of Values (Angus Reid)
Two-thirds Quebecers support a proposed ban on religious clothing and symbols at work, more than half of the rest of Canadians oppose it.
http://www.angusreidglobal.com/polls/48821/quebecers-canadians-split-on-proposed-charter-of-values/

About one third of Canadians want PQ’s proposed ban on religious garb extended to include private sector: poll (Jake Edmiston, National Post)
About one third of Quebecers want to see the Parti Québécois’s proposed ban on religious symbols for public sector employees extended to the private sector, according to a new public opinion poll probing attitudes toward multiculturalism and the PQ’s charter of values. The Forum Research poll for the National Post found that plans for the charter have split public opinion almost exactly down the middle, with 45% supporting the proposal, 49% disapproving and 6% undecided.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/09/16/about-one-third-of-canadians-want-pqs-proposed-ban-on-religious-garb-extended-to-include-private-sector-poll/

Quebec proposal: Your headscarf or your job? (Benjamin Shingler, Al Jazeera America)
Samira Lebali could soon be facing a difficult choice between her religious faith and her job. The province of Quebec wants to ban public employees from wearing “conspicuous” religious symbols, including the hijab, turban, kippa and large crosses. The rule would apply to every government worker, including teachers, doctors and police as part of the Parti Quebecois government’s proposed “Charter of Quebec Values” announced this week.
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/14/quebec-proposal-yourheadscarforyourjob.html

West Quebec institutions undecided on ‘opting out’ of Charter of Values (Don Butler, Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen)
Leaders of municipal governments, health and educational institutions in West Quebec are still not ready to say whether they plan to opt out of the Charter of Quebec Values. The Parti Québécois proposal would give cities, hospitals, universities and cégeps the right to opt out of the ban on religious dress for their employees. This exemption would last for five years. At Gatineau City Hall, Mayor Marc Bureau told reporters that the issue is “very sensitive,” and compared it to a political issue over languages.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/touch/story.html?id=8899012

Quebec economy burns while Parti Québécois fiddles with ethnic divisions (Graeme Hamilton, National Post)
Businesspeople here are confronting an added obstacle these days. Michel Leblanc, president of the Montreal Board of Trade, said he has heard from many members that before they can talk business with potential investors or clients from outside the province, they are forced to explain what the government’s proposed Charter of Quebec Values is all about. “They spend half of their time when they are in meetings explaining Quebec, explaining what’s going on, partly defending the type of society that we are,” Mr. Leblanc said. “That’s perceived by the business community as not very conducive to business. It’s a distraction from what they want to achieve.”
http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/09/13/quebec-economy-burns-while-parti-quebecois-fiddles-with-ethnic-divisions/

Bernard Drainville Dear Diary: Bacon poutine is in, Hello Kitty tattoos are out (Tristin Hopper, National Post)
The National Post re-imagines a week in the life of a newsmaker. Today, Tristin Hopper looks at the week through the eyes of Bernard Drainville, PQ Minister of Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship.
http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/canada/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/2013/09/13/bernard-drainville-dear-diary-bacon-poutine-is-in-hello-kitty-tattoos-are-out

CCLA Writes an Open Letter to Quebec Premier Pauline Marois (CCLA)
http://ccla.org/2013/09/13/ccla-writes-an-open-letter-to-quebec-premier-pauline-marois/

Manitoba minorities alarmed, ‘devastated’ by proposed Quebec ban (Carol Sanders, Brandon Sun)
“We are all devastated by what is happening in Quebec,” said Amarjeet Warraich, co-chairman of Winnipeg’s Punjab Cultural Centre. The community just opened the Punjab Cultural Centre in Winnipeg with a seniors centre and Manitoba’s first Sikh school that teaches the Manitoba curriculum and courses in Punjabi, Hindi and Sikh studies. “I hope at some point the present Quebec government comes to their senses and realizes we live in a country which is built on multiculturalism,” said the businessman. “They should be learning more about different cultures rather than telling people, ‘If you don’t like it, leave,’ ” he said. “Who wants to be insulted in that manner? It’s a very sad day when you hear those kinds of things.”
http://www.brandonsun.com/breaking-news/manitoba-minorities-alarmed-223585451.html?thx=y

Booted Bloc MP says immigrants don’t feel welcome in sovereigntist movement (Giuseppe Valiante, Canoe.ca)
Montreal federal MP Maria Mourani is not leaving the Bloc Quebecois quietly — lambasting her old party for alienating immigrants and minorities in the Quebec sovereigntist movement. Mourani was dismissed from the Bloc caucus on Thursday after criticizing the Parti Quebecois’ proposed values charter. She told reporters Friday that the PQ’s policies divided people who live in urban areas from the rest of the province.
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2013/09/13/21120741.html

In apparent jab against Quebec values charter, Jason Kenney dons Sikh head scarf in Twitter picture (National Post)
Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has updated his Twitter profile picture with one showing him wearing a Sikh head scarf. This comes just days after he said the federal government is ready to go to court over Quebec’s proposed charter of values. The photo was apparently taken when Kenney visited the Golden Shrine temple in Amritsar, India in January.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/09/13/jason-kenney-updates-twitter-profile-with-picture-of-himself-with-sikh-head-scarf/

Who is calling the kettle black over Quebec values? (André Schutten, Ottawa Citizen)
As the state grows, the discrimination in employment practices by the state becomes all the more alarming. But the lack of accommodation for religious clothing and symbols, religious practices and rituals, and religious doctrines and teachings spills out well beyond the public service. I hope that the Rest of Canada can do some introspection. Are we guilty, even just a little, of hypocritically trying to take the speck out of Quebec’s eye when we’re blind to the plank in our own? Admittedly, Quebec’s speck is looking a whole lot more like a plank, but the only real difference between Quebec and the Rest of Canada, on this issue, is that Quebec is being bold and forthright about its intentions.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/op-ed/calling+kettle+black+over+Quebec+values/8905505/story.html

Manifesto for an inclusive Quebec (Translating the printemps érable)
We are a collective from the fields of law, philosophy and journalism that citizens of all orientations and origins have sought to join. Among us are separatists, federalists and “agnostics” with regards to the constitutional future of Quebec. It iw with great concern that we commit these words to denounce the Quebec Charter of Values ​​(formerly the Charter of Secularism ) project, announced by the Parti Québécois government. The main focal points of this project were announced during the last election campaign and reiterated by carefully orchestrated leaks to the media, before being officially announced by Minister Bernard Drainville. The Charter would seek to define “clear” guidelines governing requests for religious accommodation, to guarantee the neutrality of the state by banning employees from wearing “conspicuous” religious symbols, and to do no less than to restore “social peace”.
http://translatingtheprintempserable.tumblr.com/post/60955036892/manifesto-for-an-inclusive-quebec-quebecinclusif-org?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer6ea2a&utm_medium=twitter

VIDEO : Thousands march in Montreal to protest Quebec values charter (Canada.com)
Loud and proud, protesters in the thousands marched peacefully through Montreal’s downtown core Saturday afternoon to voice a single demand — withdrawal of the proposed Charter of Quebec Values by the Parti Québécois minority government. Organizers said the event drew at least 40,000.
http://o.canada.com/2013/09/14/more-than-a-thousand-march-in-montreal-to-protest-quebec-values-charter/?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer0d4e3&utm_medium=twitter

Quebec values charter will become law ‘over my dead body’: Couillard (Benjamin Shingler, Melanie Marquis, Vancouver Sun)
The leader of the Quebec Liberals appears prepared to do everything he can to stop the Parti Quebecois government’s proposed charter of values — including fight an election over the issue. Philippe Couillard says he’s against any law that leads to employment discrimination, and that Muslim women who wear a veil will always be welcome in his own party. The PQ plan will become law “over my dead body,” Couillard said Sunday at a party meeting on women’s issues in Montreal.
http://news.google.ca/news/url?sa=t&ct3=MAA4AEgCUABgAWoCY2F6AW7YAQE&usg=AFQjCNE6ar64DwBtk5-oBrMVEQAmBDNF9A&rt=SECTION&url=http://www.vancouversun.com/news/national/Values%2Bcharter%2Bform%2Bemployment%2Bdiscrimination%2BQuebec/8914669/story.html&ei=0F02UqirCcf38AHDWw

Spurning Quebec’s proud Catholic roots (Conrad Black, National Post)
The controversy over the Quebec Charter of Values (or, as it also is called in French by the government of Quebec, the Charter of laïcité) has thus far bypassed the greatest issues raised by this authoritarian legislation. Of course, as others have discussed, the legislation would threaten the freedom to dress as one wishes (as long as standards of public decency are not affronted); and might incite hostility against unexceptionable groups in society. But the legislation also raises the specter of a state abusing its jurisdiction: There is nothing, no statute, or legitimized precedent, that empowers the government of Quebec (or any other jurisdiction in this country or in any other country that recognizes elemental standards of human rights) to tell people what indications of adherence or belief they may display on their own persons.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/09/14/conrad-black-spurning-quebecs-proud-catholic-roots/

The Montreal/heartland gap widens (Céline Cooper, Calgary Herald)
With the official release of the Parti Québécois’s proposed Charter of Quebec Values last week, the gulf between Montreal and the rest of Quebec got a little wider. First came the unanimous rejection of the charter by Montreal Island’s 15 municipalities, which means that if the charter becomes law, every single Montreal municipality intends to opt out. This comes on the heels of Montreal city council voting against endorsing the secularism charter back in late August. Hampstead Councillor Jack Edery, an orthodox Jew who wears a kippah that would be prohibited under the proposed legislation, referred to it a “racist law.” Côte-St-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather called it an “intolerable attack on the freedom of religion.”
http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/Charter+of+Quebec+Values++The+Montreal/heartland+widens/8914582/story.html

Ontario politician trying to lure Quebec doctors affected by values charter (Sahar Fatima, Globe and Mail)
A Richmond Hill, Ont., politician is calling out to Quebec doctors looking to relocate due to the province’s proposed ban on religious clothing and symbols for public-sector workers. Councillor Carmine Perrelli plans to mail out letters to at least 200 Sikh, Muslim, Jewish or Catholic doctors who might consider moving out of province after the Parti Québécois revealed its charter of values which, if adopted, would ban turbans, head scarves, face veils, kippas and large crosses. Small crosses or other small religious symbols in the form of jewellery are fine, according to a graphic released by the government Tuesday.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-politician-trying-to-lure-quebec-doctors-affected-by-charter/article14325703/?cmpid=rss1

5 things Quebec’s values charter would do, and 5 it wouldn’t (CBC)
The Quebec government has released its proposals and rationale for a controversial charter of Quebec values, a key element of the Parti Québécois’s election platform last fall. Citing the “obligation to remain independent of religious authority,” the draft documents say the government will legislate, for the first time, a firm separation of religion and state and will curtail “religious accommodations.” But there are several measures the government is not proposing, which has fuelled critics who say the PQ is using the language of inclusiveness and equality to couch an attack on immigrants and non-Catholics.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/5-things-quebec-s-values-charter-would-do-and-5-it-wouldn-t-1.1699316

Is Quebec’s secular charter constitutional? Nine legal experts weigh in (Globe and Mail)
Sean Fine, The Globe and Mail’s justice writer, asked nine distinguished lawyers to form an expert panel and give their opinions on the constitutionality of Quebec’s proposed prohibitions on religious clothing and symbols in public-sector workplaces. The panel was chosen for regional balance – to reflect the composition of the Supreme Court of Canada, including three members from Quebec. Two advocates from Quebec – law professor and former Bloc Québécois MP and Parti Québécois MNA Daniel Turp and human-rights lawyer Julius Grey – presented the arguments, for and against, and their arguments were distributed to the panel. The panel, drawn mostly from law schools across Canada, was resoundingly opposed to the new ‘charter of values’ by a count of 9-0 – though with an asterisk on one of the nine.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/is-quebecs-secular-charter-constitutional-nine-legal-experts-weigh-in/article14324825/

Whose Values? On Nationalism in English Canada and in Québec (Media Co-op)
Since the details of the PQ’s proposed Charter of Québec Values were first leaked to the media a few weeks ago, there has been a firestorm of condemnation across the Rest of Canada (ROC). The corporate media’s universal denunciations on the matter are matched only by the many petitions circulating on social media calling for an end to this display of racism in Québec. It’s an auspicious moment indeed when stories in the National Post and the Globe & Mail sound very much like the ones penned by activists on social media. Many of the stories about racism in Québec are coming from people who would never dare use such language in any other context (except, perhaps, for the spurious and illogical notion of “reverse” racism). Some of the same people who dare not speak of the changes to immigration, refugee, and migrant worker policies in Canada as what they are – xenophobic and racist displays of Canadian nationalism fuelled by a logic of multiculturalism that severely limits our ability to speak about and see racism – have gleefully used the unspeakable “r” word and its corollaries en masse since the announcement.
http://www.mediacoop.ca/story/whose-values-nationalism-english-canada-and-qu%C3%A9bec/18877

Rest of Canada afraid of secular values debate, PQ minister says (Yahoo! News)
The PQ minister responsible for promoting Quebec’s “Charter of Values” says politicians in the rest of Canada of being too timid to do what his government is doing. Bernard Drainville said many Canadians would agree with similar measures in other provinces but, he said, their politicians do not have the courage to take the issue on. “I think the rest of Canada is probably eager to have the same kind of debate we’re having in Quebec, but unfortunately political representatives of any party have not been too courageous to have this debate,” said Drainville in an interview on CBC Radio’s The House that will air Saturday morning.
http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/rest-canada-afraid-secular-values-debate-pq-minister-020054330.html

What Is Human Rights Risk? Should My Company Be Concerned about It? (Conference Board of Canada)
Explore what human rights risk is, why companies should care, and how they can incorporate human rights due diligence into their business processes.
http://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/abstract.aspx?did=5756&utm_source=feedly

REFUGEES

Bringing Marwa Home (Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now)
Wissam Nassar hasn’t seen his fiancé, Marwa, in two years. He left her behind in Syria, after a former Burnaby pastor and his wife sponsored the Nassars as refugees. Now, they are working to sponsor her as well, and reunite the young couple in Burnaby. Wissam Nassar, 26, watches his former home go up in flames on a flat screen monitor in his Burnaby apartment.
http://www.burnabynow.com/news/bringing-marwa-home-1.407325

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Will Anonymous Job Applications End Hiring Discrimination in Canada? (Catherine Skrzypinski, SHRM)
The head of a Toronto-based nonprofit is encouraging Canadian companies to consider anonymous job applications to pave the way toward bias-free hiring. This decision comes on the heels of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) launching a policy throughout the province in July 2013 that states that requiring “Canadian experience” from a job applicant is a form of discrimination. Ratna Omidvar—president of Maytree Foundation, an organization advocating for reducing poverty in Canada, workplace diversity and leadership development—told SHRM Online that the OHRC’s initiative will motivate Canadian employers to look for better ways to identify and employ talent.
http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/global/articles/pages/lanonymous-job-applications-canada.aspx

Ontario Human Rights Commission eases way for foreign professionals in Canada (Sheryl Smolkin, Toronto Star)
Al Sabery was faced with the classic immigrant dilemma. He needed Canadian experience to upgrade his qualifications, but no one would hire him without Canadian experience. “We come with very rich experience,” says Al Sabery, who is president of the Canadian Network of Iraqi Engineers and Architects. “Simply requiring Canadian experience is an excuse for not taking the time to evaluate international credentials and expertise.”
http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2013/09/15/ontario_human_rights_commission_eases_way_for_foreign_professionals_in_canada.html

Workplaces need diversity to drive innovation (Rana Florida, Globe and Mail)
Diversity is the key to a successful collaboration. Bringing together a creative mix of backgrounds sparks new innovations and discoveries. When I asked Dr. (John) Noseworthy about the Mayo Clinic’s take on diversity, he said, “Bringing together great minds from a spectrum of backgrounds has always been crucial to our mission. Our diversity allows us to accelerate innovation and solve problems faster. Ultimately, it fuels the medical discoveries that lead to better care for our patients and people around the world.
http://t.co/yvNLfaZhZh

Small businesses balk at changes to foreign workers program (Jacob Serebrin, Globe and Mail)
“Small businesses will pay the price” of recent changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program, says the president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The updates, which went into effect on July 31, were intended to protect jobs and prevent the program from being used as an outsourcing tool by employers. But recent news that the changes led to higher costs for bars and restaurants featuring touring bands and other entertainers from outside the country highlights some new challenges introduced to the process. “It’s basically a statement on the whole program,” Dan Kelly says. “It’s less responsive to employer needs.”
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-money/cash-flow/small-businesses-balk-at-changes-to-foreign-workers-program/article14279209/

Event Oct 24: Pushing Back Against Precarity: The Cost of Precarious Employment to Community Well-Being (Toronto Workforce Innovation Group )
The combination of low pay and new forms of insecure employment has short-term and long-term implications for labour market integration/mobility, household and community well-being, and citizen participation in local economies. It’s More Than Poverty, a report released by the Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario (PEPSO) research group identified that in the City of Toronto 19.4% of those in paid employment are experiencing precarious employment. In the Toronto CMA the number of people who describe their job as temporary has increased by 40% since 1997. Join us to learn and engage further about the impact of precarious employment confronting Toronto’s economy, workforce and community.
http://www.workforceinnovation.ca/newsletter/toronto-workforce-innovation-group-newsletter-15

Minister wants TFW program streamlined (Scott Larson, Star Phoenix)
Saskatchewan Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan says the province would like the temporary foreign worker program streamlined to allow those businesses in need of workers the opportunity to find them abroad. “We want to make sure that temporary foreign workers do not displace Canadians, but we want to be able to streamline the process so that we are able to have temporary foreign workers come into provinces that need to have additional labour,” Morgan said Friday in Saskatoon.
http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.thestarphoenix.com/Minister%2Bwants%2Bprogram%2Bstreamlined/8910901/story.html&ct=ga&cd=MTM2NTk5MzcwOTM3Nzk4OTY5OTg&cad=CAEYAA&usg=AFQjCNH3-YWmlmBoW8kKzs9v-CHjWfJH1Q

Give minimum-wage workers a fighting chance (Jerry Dias, Ottawa Citizen)
Minimum-wage jobs are not only for the after-school crowd of kids looking for spending money, but also an entry into the workforce for immigrants, recent graduates and many others who can only find part-time work and need to hold down two or three jobs to survive. The most recent Statistics Canada job market figures say 70 per cent of the province’s 44,000 new jobs created in August are part-time and mostly filled by older workers. It’s also a safe bet they are mostly paid at minimum wage.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/op-ed/Give+minimum+wage+workers+fighting+chance/8914950/story.html

Street parties publicize call for $14 minimum wage — just enough to break poverty line (Laurie Monsebraaten, Toronto Star)
Toronto meat packer Gyula Horvath has to work a gruelling 50 to 60 hours a week to survive on his wages of just $10.25 an hour. “It’s no good,” the 22-year-old Hungarian immigrant, who is also supporting a wife on his meagre minimum wage earnings, said Saturday. “It’s very hard to pay rent.” Call centre worker Jenny Kasmalee, 38, can rarely afford new clothing or other personal things on her $10.25 per hour. “I have always worked for minimum wage,” she said. “It’s not much.”
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/09/14/street_parties_publicize_call_for_14_minimum_wage_just_enough_to_break_poverty_line.html

Toronto protesters call for higher minimum wage (CBC)
Protesters gathered in Toronto’s west end today to rally in support of raising Ontario’s minimum wage. About 100 people were outside Dufferin Mall Saturday afternoon. Many were holding red balloons and wearing t-shirts reading “Fair Wages Now.” They were calling on the province to raise the legal minimum wage to $14 per hour. It’s currently at $10.25, where it’s been frozen since 2010. Organizers of Saturday’s rally say the current rate leaves many workers below the poverty line, even if they have a full-time job. “Someone making $10.25 right now is almost 20 per cent below the poverty line,” said Sonia Singh from the Workers’ Action Centre. “We’re talking about around $19,000 a year.”
http://t.co/5F8wVP54ZQ

Temporary Foreign Worker Program still has problems, provinces say (Josh Wingrove, Globe and Mail)
Canada’s Labour Minister is pledging to consider further changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, with her provincial counterparts saying the revised system still leaves them in the dark over many details. Labour Minister Kellie Leitch met with provincial ministers Thursday and Friday in Saskatoon, six weeks after changes to the TFW program came into effect. The program allows employers to bring in foreign staff for up to four years if they can’t find Canadian labour.
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNHqi_8VX7v-05yCx8-no8hAQeu7mw&url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/temporary-foreign-worker-program-under-review-again/article14324528/

Internship Partnership a win-win-win program (Mississauga.com)
Employers in Canada are constantly looking for skilled employees. Luckily for those employers, many newcomers to Canada have those skills but don’t always have the means to connect with those companies in need. The Newcomer Centre of Peel (NCP), with help from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, recognizes the advantages of connecting skilled employees with established companies, and is embarking on a program that will see it bring together Internationally Trained Individuals (ITIs) and employers. NCP brings skilled employees to the table that have the language skills, experience and education needed for the Canadian job market. The NCP screens the employees and offers specific industry trained employees to client businesses.
http://m.mississauga.com/shopping-story/4076262-internship-partnership-a-win-win-win-program/?utm_content=bufferdf0c6&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

SOCIAL INNOVATION / NONPROFITS

PwC now accepting submissions for Leadership Grants Program (Charity Village)
As of today, the PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada Foundation is now accepting submissions for the Leadership Grants Program, which provides up to $225,000 in grants to small to medium-sized registered charities in Canada. The grants help to fund professional development opportunities for leaders in the charitable sector. Submissions for 2013 will be accepted from September 16, 2013 until October 25, 2013.
https://charityvillage.com/Content.aspx?topic=PwC_now_accepting_submissions_for_Leadership_Grants_Program

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION / POLICY

Canadian Social Research Newsletter : September 15, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Caledon Institute of Social Policy Launches Data Rescue Campaign – September 12
2. Government of Canada Moving Forward With Its Plan for Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity (Finance Canada) – September 13
3. Canadian Mental Health Association 2013 National Conference (Ottawa) update – September 13
4. Fact Sheets : 2013-2018 Renewal of New Brunswick Poverty Reduction Plan (New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice) – September 13
5. Degrees of Uncertainty : Navigating the changing terrain of university finance (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – September 11
6. Making Women Count : Research that makes a difference in the lives of women in Canada (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – September 9
7. Behind the Numbers (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives blog) – September 13
8. Media and Policy News for September 12 (Jennefer Laidley, Income Security Advocacy Centre)
9. SPARmonitor – Monitoring Toronto’s Social Change [SPAR = Social Policy Analysis
& Research, City of Toronto] – September 11 issue
10. Social well-being in Canada: how do the provinces measure up? (The Broadbent Institute) – September 9
11. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— University tuition fees, 2013/2014 – September 12
— 2011 National Household Survey: Income of Canadians – September 11
— 2011 National Household Survey: Homeownership and shelter costs in Canada – September 11
— New StatCan products and studies (links to 29 National Household Survey tables) – September 11
— Study: Caregivers in Canada, 2012 – September 10
12. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/personal/news150913.htm

Inequality: is this the Canada we want? (Rick Smith, Broadbent Institute)
A snap shot of Canada’s unequal society. As I wrote yesterday in the Toronto Star, that’s what Statistics Canada’s National Household Survey release provides. No, the new data does not allow us to study what has changed over time. But it tells us enough to seriously question whether we’re comfortable with the way things are. Let’s make it clear to our governments that this is not the Canada we want. If you agree, share this infographic.
https://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/en/blog/inequality-canada-we-want

On the Radar: New rules for income assistance programs in Ontario (Your Legal Rights)
Calling them the first steps towards reforming Ontario’s social assistance programs, the government has changed some of the rules about getting income assistance from Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program. This month’s On the Radar looks at the new time limits for appeals and internal reviews and some of the new rules about working while on social assistance.
http://yourlegalrights.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=baf0e648ac997f3cf9e7fa232&id=e635c09f64&e=aa9dba01b1

Pay It Forward! Be a Maker Faire Supporter (Celina Agaton, Maker Faire Toronto)
In Canada, the latest figures show that women make up less than 10 per cent of university students enrolled in science and engineering and only 22 per cent of the science and engineering workforce. And in the U.S. only 7 per cent of blacks and latinos make up the science, engineering, technology and mathematics workforce. The Conference Board of Canada’s 2013 Innovation Report sees Canada slipping to 13th in innovation among 16 peer countries, underlining the need to strengthen our creativity, invention and entrepreneurship skills. Pay it forward and help donate the cost of a ticket for as little as $4 and up to a school bus rental for $345. Help more people experience Maker Faire.
http://makerfairetoronto.com/2013/09/11/pay-it-forward-be-a-maker-faire-supporter/

National Household Survey: Canadians pay dearly for housing (Toronto Star)
Home may be where the heart is, but a significant number of Canadians are paying dearly for that love. New data from Statistics Canada show one-quarter of all households in the country — or about 3.3 million — paid 30 per cent or more of their income toward shelter costs. The National Household Survey, which replaced the mandatory long-form census, says 58.6 per cent of those strained households carried a mortgage. People with mortgages carried a slightly heavier monthly burden than those who rent; not surprisingly, Toronto had the highest shelter costs, and Trois Rivières, Que., the lowest.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/09/11/national_household_survey_canadians_pay_dearly_for_housing.html

Why Women Need This Minimum Household Income Before Giving Birth (Patricia Ocampo, Huffington Post)
As health equity researchers, it’s part of our job to measure the relationship between social conditions and health outcomes. Often, we try and link one social condition, like income, to one health outcome, like 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 don’t generally measure, however, is the overall impact of low income on physical and mental health. So what happens when we try? At the Centre for Research on Inner City Health, we analyzed health survey data representative of more than 75,000 Canadian women who had recently given birth. We looked at the relationship between low income and the risk of experiencing three to five of these health conditions at the same time: adverse birth outcomes, postpartum depression, serious abuse, hospitalization during pregnancy and frequent stressful life events.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/patricia-oacampo/health-care-new-mothers_b_3915101.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

 

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marco

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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