Immigration & Diversity news headlines – Sept 26. 2013


Enhancing gender diversity in leadership positions is a good start, we can do more (Ratna Omidvar, Alan Broadbent, Maytree)
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is consulting the public on a proposal to require some companies to disclose the number of women on their boards and in senior management. Efforts to encourage and increase the number of qualified women on corporate boards and senior management are welcome and needed. But they are not enough. Read Maytree’s response and submit your own written comments to the OSC by . The OSC will post all comments on its website.

Newsletter Wednesday, September 25, 2013 (Cities of Migration)
In this issue:
• New Report! Good Ideas on Economic Inclusion: Access to Banking
• Omar Khan: On Financial Inclusion
• Offenbach: Fit for Finance
• Toronto: Why the Integrating Cities Charter Matters
• Ghent: The Youth Ambassador Project
• The Perspective from the Ghent Integration Office
• Looking beyond the Charter of Quebec Values: The City Charter
• Building Inclusive Communities: A Cities of Migration Event in London
• Good Ideas in the News

Jazz: cultural glue that binds diverse communities (Maytree)
No other form of music has generated such a variety of subgenres, influenced and adapted by a variety of communities creating many distinctive styles. From New Orleans Dixieland, big band style and swing to a variety of Latin, Afro-Cuban, jazz fusion and acid jazz, further influenced by funk and hip hop, the popularity and creativity of jazz has spread throughout the world. There is no better place to celebrate the diversity of jazz than right here in Toronto. Starting next month, JAZZ.FM91 takes you on a cultural journey, with Toronto at its centre, profiling seven jazz musicians from around the world who decided to make Canada their home.

Fighting Human Trafficking (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Marissa Kokkoros, she’s head of the non-profit organization Aura Freedom International. The organization is hosting a fundraising event this Sunday to save girls who’ve been sold into sexual slavery. The event features Anuradha Koiralafrom Nepal, she’s been recognized around the world for her work fighting human trafficking.

Vancouver council apologizes to Japanese-Canadians for 1942 support of internment (Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun)
When Mary Kitagawa was a little girl, she and her family were removed from their Saltspring Island home when Ottawa interned all B.C. residents of Japanese descent in the months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She remembers watching an RCMP officer with a gun manhandle her farmer father onto a truck in 1942 — leading her to believe he was being taken away to be shot. The Kitagawas, with many others, were held in the smelly horse barns of Hastings Park before being transported to points east. The horse and cow barns at the park were used to house female internees, while the men were confined to the Forum.

Visible minority candidates seek to better reflect face of Montreal (CTV Montreal)
A 34-year-old native Quebecer of Scottish-Italian and Pakistani origin, Sameer Zuberi wants to be the new face of city council for the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough. “I think we need good people involved in city government and that’s why I’m presenting myself,” said the Projet Montreal candidate. People from 54 different cultural communities live in the A Ma Baie-Cloverdale area he hopes to represent. A look at the current Montreal city council, however, and it’s almost as if areas like A Ma Baie don’t exist.

Pinoys react to study saying immigrants a burden to Canada (Rowena Papasin, ABS-CBN News)
A Filipino group in Victoria, British Columbia hits back at The Fraser Institute for releasing a study that shows immigrants as a burden to Canada. An overhaul of the immigrant selection process is being pushed by The Fraser Institute in a study that analyzes the income disparity between immigrants and Canadians. Author, Professor Herbert Grubel said immigrants who came to Canada from 1986 to date make only about 70 percent of the income earned by Canadians, pay about 50 percent less taxes, but get more from the government in terms of benefits.

Ottawa to take a closer look at forced marriage issues (Debra Black, Toronto Star)
Ottawa will review a set of recommendations on forced marriage made in a recent groundbreaking study by the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. The report, released last week, found 219 reported cases of forced marriage in Ontario between 2010 and 2012. Some 97 per cent of the reported victims were women. The majority of the cases unearthed in the study, 81 per cent, involved victims 16 to 34 years old. Most were forcibly removed from Canada and married abroad.

B.C.’s ethnic diversity boosts economy (Krishna Pendakur, Vancouver Sun)
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois believes that multiculturalism is a failed experiment. She looked across the pond and saw inequality and nascent terrorism in Great Britain and more favourable outcomes from France’s path of codifying dress norms and restricting religious displays. So, her Parti Quebecois government is looking to France to light its path to intercultural harmony. (Perhaps she hasn’t noticed the cars on fire in the suburbs of Paris). Interestingly, she did not notice that a big experiment in multiculturalism has been going on in B.C. for some decades now, and it has yielded surprisingly little terror. British Columbia has a long history of ethnic diversity. From Aboriginal origins to white settlers and colonists, to Asian immigrants in the 19th century and vast migration from East and South Asia in the last 40 years. It wasn’t always nice. Until the 1950s only white people could vote, and immigration policy was explicitly racist until 1968. But since 1968, British Columbia has been the destination of choice for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from outside Europe, especially Asia. According to Statistics Canada, by 2017 Vancouver will be a “majority minority” city.

How One Broadcaster Shortens The Space Between Canada and India (Samuel Getachew, South Asian Generation Next)
It was Prime Minister Stephen Harper who expressed the importance of Canada-India bilateral relations. Upon visiting the South Asian nation a year ago, he described how he hopes the “Canada-India relationship follows a typical Bollywood movie script: two lovers survive ups and downs to eventually live happily ever after.” But it’s not just country to country relations that matter. So, too, do the relationships between various cultures within Canada.

Changes to Alberta Programs Create Greater Opportunities for Applicants (CICS News)
On Friday, September 13th, the Province of Alberta announced a number of changes to its Provincial Nominee Program. These changes will help make immigration to the province more accessible for many prospective applicants.

Immigrant Women’s Centre marks 25 years (CHCH)
Thousands of immigrants make the move to Hamilton every year, and they slowly become part of the community, but it isn’t always a smooth transition. The Immigrant Women’s Centre has long been part of the reason why many newcomers fall in love with the city and choose to make it their permanent home. This week the centre is celebrating its 25th anniversary.


Tories’ lead Quebec minister on PQ values plan: Nothing about it upsets me (Andrew Griffith, Multicultural Meanderints)
Mixed messages are never a good communications strategy.

Scowl or shrug? Federal ministers react differently on Quebec values charter (Jennifer Ditchburn, Maclean’s)
The Conservative cabinet appears to have two different sets of talking points on the controversial Quebec charter — some typed up in boldface, and others in a tiny footnote font. Over the last two weeks, federal ministers have been asked to react to the Parti Quebecois’ proposal to limit conspicuous signs of religion in the public sector, including Sikh turbans or the hijabs that Muslim women wear. The core response has been that Ottawa will study the final product, and determine whether it violates the constitutional right to freedom of religion. Beyond that, however, the answers have been curiously distinct. While initially more cautious, Employment Minister Jason Kenney — whose new Twitter profile picture features him, head covered, outside a Sikh temple in India — has used progressively sharper language to describe the charter.


Scarborough doctor speaks on changes to federal refugee rules (Mike Adler, City Centre Mirror)
The stories of people who sought free medical help in Scarborough since federal rules on refugee health coverage changed last June are now part of a bid to strike the changes down in federal court. The challenge brought by Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care and others under Canada’s Charter of Rights is scheduled to be heard in December. On Wednesday, Sept. 25, Dr. Paul Caulford, a member of the group, was cross-examined by the government on his testimony on more than a dozen cases of refugees he says were harmed by cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program.


All levels of government and stakeholders must work together (Ratna Omidvar, Maytree)
One cannot have a conversation about skills and training in Canada without talking about jurisdiction. Schools, colleges and universities are the purview of the provinces. Labour market policy and training is shared between the federal and the provincial governments. And once you throw immigrants into the mix, things get even more complex. Consider the players: CIC and HRSDC, both with significant interest in this file, all ten provinces and the territories, multiple ministries in these provinces, regulatory bodies in each province (each a law unto themselves) and their national associations, universities and colleges, the many immigrant-serving organizations in the country, the growing number of diversity consultants, employer-led or business-led associations, private training institutions, think tanks, researchers and academics, and so on. It becomes difficult to determine who should do what to whom, who is responsible and who is accountable.

Bias-Free Assessment and Hiring: Measuring a Candidate’s Ability to Succeed in the Workplace (
The new Ontario Human Rights Commission policy states that requiring Canadian experience could violate the Ontario Human Rights Code. In our latest webinar, Dentons Canada and Pythian highlighted some effective practices that look past a candidate’s lack of “Canadian experience.”

ERIEC Smart Connections: an Eye Opener! (ERIEC)
If you are a Canadian born and you graduated from NAIT’s Accounting program, you are probably taking it for granted to get a job as an Accountant. But for the internationally trained professionals (ITPs) in Accounting and Finance this opportunity is out of reach. Credentials are not recognized, there is always a lack of Canadian experience and most importantly ITPs do not have connections. Most of them have over 10 years of experience in their countries of origin and succeeded in various supervising roles, many managed branches and departments with over 100 staff. They know that in Canada they need to start all over again, unfortunately they have difficulties in getting any entry level positions in the accounting or finance field.

New Online Directory for Canadian SMEs (Profit Guide)
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), with the support of Interac Association, has launched a national online directory for small businesses. was built to help Canadian small business owners connect with consumers and other businesses looking for local deals. “Public opinion polls show that Canadians have enormous respect for small business owners and their contributions to society,” stated CFIB president Dan Kelly. “However, on a weekend visit to the local big box mall or trip to shop in the U.S., we may inadvertently pass by hundreds of locally-owned and operated small firms. is designed to help give Canadians exposure to some of the fantastic products, services and deals offered by small businesses.”


What Nonprofits Need to Know about Crowdfunding (Christopher Charlesworth, CSI)
With the recent introduction of US crowdfunding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo into the Canadian marketplace interest in the sector is higher than ever. With an increasing number of organizations testing the waters, such as the ambitious Ubuntu ‘Edge’ campaign or community based efforts such as the Toronto Tool Library, there is a growing need for clear and practicable information on the space. In this article I’ll cover some of the key information that nonprofits need to know about crowdfunding. To begin it’s important to recognize that there is a wide array of available platforms, with over 800+ globally at last count. With so many options it’s important to understand the value proposition that each platform is bringing to market.


No better time for an economics debate (Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Post)
The federal electoral riding of Toronto Centre is a world-class case study in income inequality. The northern part of the riding takes in Rosedale, where the larger mansions routinely sell for over $5 million. But below Bloor Street, a few minutes walk to the south, Toronto Centre swallows up some of the poorest and most densely populated neighborhoods in the city, including St. James Town, Regent Park and Moss Park. The area centered on Parliament, Sherbourne, Gerrard and Queen Streets, in particular, is one of the few places in all of Canada where distressed, emaciated drug addicts are an overt and constant presence.

Predistribution: the neglected side of the inequality debate (Andrew Jackson, Broadbent Institute)
The high-profile Toronto Centre federal by-election features two well-known opposition candidates who agree that soaring income inequality, especially the fast-rising income share of the top 1% with all of its well-documented negative effects, is the defining political issue of our times. At issue is what we should be doing about it, through changes to public policy. In thinking about this question, it is useful to distinguish between policies that affect the distribution of income by the market (called predistribution) and policies that make incomes after taxes and transfers more equal than market incomes (redistribution).

The following two tabs change content below.


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.

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

Shared 3 links. Canada needs to take advantage of being 'Diaspora Nation’ | Toronto Star Twitter Blocks Multiple Terrorist Al...