Immigration & Diversity news headlines – Sept 27, 2013


Two Toronto men receive diversity award for integration (Sahar Fatima, Globe and Mail)
Inspired by their experience helping their parents with ESL homework, two Toronto men launched an innovative approach to integrating immigrant adults into their community. Agazi Afewerki and Mohammed Shafique created Youth Empowering Parents (YEP) in 2010 to connect immigrant adults with youth who teach them the skills they need to become engaged in the community, including English-as-a-second-language tutoring. A year later, the group received an Intercultural Innovation Award, a joint initiative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the BMW Group that provides funding and support to 10 grassroots organizations a year that promote intercultural understanding. Of the past 20 winners, three were from Toronto. They were recognized Thursday at a lunch event at Regent Park.

New Video Series Celebrates Diversity in Canada (VOCM)
A new video series produced by Passages to Canada has been launched in St. John’s. VOCM’s Zaren Healey White was there. Students from Holy Heart and St. Bonaventure’s, Minister of Education Clyde Jackman, and members of the community gathered at the Rooms Theatre this afternoon for the launch of beCOMING Canada, a video series that tells the stories of newcomers to Canada from around the world as well as Canadians speaking on their experiences of multiculturalism and the building of identity.

Gateway’s art strategy about inclusion, diversity (Richmond News)
As a 30-year culture staple in Richmond, Gateway Theatre is now looking to evolve with the dynamic community it serves. In an unprecedented move, it presented a 15-year strategic plan to city council at Tuesday evening’s Parks, Recreation and Culture committee. Gateway 2028 plans to introduce inclusive and culturally diverse programming, divided into three phases, each spanning five years.

Outmigration figures provide fodder for Nova Scotia election campaign (Global Post)
New figures on outmigration provided ammunition on the campaign trail Thursday as Nova Scotia’s main party leaders clashed over how to kick-start the province’s economy to stop the flow of workers to Western Canada. The figures from Statistics Canada show that Nova Scotia’s population dropped by 900 from April 1 until July 1 of this year, leaving the province with 940,800 people. That is the largest population decrease for that time period since 1972.

John Baird to bring UN campaign against forced marriage home (Debra Black, Toronto Star)
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, buoyed from the success of his mission to launch an initiative to end child and forced marriage at the United Nations, now hopes to turn his attention to the problem at home. “This is all a part of promoting Canadian values,” Baird told the Star in a phone interview Thursday. “We want to be a key champion to ending this practice. We really want to put this issue on the table. It’s a topic people don’t want to discuss. It’s a difficult topic, but it’s finally come out of the shadows.”

Alberta sees huge growth spurt (James Wood, Calgary Herald)
Alberta’s population has roared past four million, with a strong economy attracting newcomers from across Canada and around the world. Population estimates from Statistics Canada released Thursday put the number of Alberta residents at 4,025,074 as of July 1. That represents a 3.5 per cent year-over-year increase — and the highest rate of growth since the early 1980s. For the 12 months ending in July, the province gained 52,677 residents from other provinces — nearly double the amount from the same period a year earlier — and 52,551 international immigrants.

RCMP look into B.C. Liberal ethnic vote plan (Dirk Meissner, Metro News)
The RCMP and a special prosecutor have been investigating whether any laws were broken as part of the B.C. Liberal government’s strategy to woo ethnic voters. NDP Leader Adrian Dix said Thursday the RCMP probe was prompted by a confidential letter from him. “I thought these issues were sufficiently serious as to warrant an investigation,” Dix said in a news release. “The RCMP has now undertaken one and a special prosecutor has been appointed.”

RCMP and prosecutor investigate Liberal ethnic vote plan (News 1130)
It’s the controversy that won’t go away for the Christy Clark government – the ethnic outreach scandal. The RCMP is investigating, after a complaint lodged by the leader of the NDP. Not only are the Mounties looking into possible Election Act irregularities, but a special prosecutor has been appointed. This follows a letter sent to police in early August by NDP Leader Adrian Dix.

Canada’s population surpasses 35 million (Toronto Star)
Canada’s population growth rate is at 1.2 per cent this year, unchanged from last year. Most of that growth comes from immigration.

Canada’s total population estimates, 2013 (Statistics Canada)
Estimates in this release are based on 2011 Census counts adjusted for census net undercoverage and incompletely enumerated Indian reserves to which is added the estimated demographic growth from May 10, 2011, to June 30, 2013. The 2011 Census population counts were released on February 8, 2012. Population estimates based on the 2011 Census counts, adjusted for census net undercoverage and incompletely enumerated Indian reserves, will be available in February 2014 for sub-provincial areas. This release mainly focuses on preliminary postcensal total population estimates as of July 1, 2013. The estimates presented in this release are subject to revision. Future updates could affect the analysis of trends. Unless otherwise stated, historical comparisons in this analysis relate to the period between July 1, 1971, and July 1, 2013, the period covered by the current system of demographic accounts.

What is Diversity? – Part 1: Race and Gender Diversity: “Beating a Dead Horse”? (Mary-Frances Winters, Inclusion Solution)
In three separate meetings with different clients this week I heard some variation of the following: “Racial diversity is beating a dead horse. We have to deemphasize race and focus on inclusion.” “When we meet with the senior team next month I don’t want them to leave with the idea that this is about race and gender. We have to emphasize the broader definition of diversity.” “We can’t win if we focus on race and gender. White men do not want to hear about race and gender anymore.”

Michael Ignatieff and the Political Wisdom of Cab Drivers (Very Ethnic)
In his new memoir, the disgraced Liberal leader captures perfectly the preternatural life wisdom that can only be acquired from inside a taxi cab: As I got into his cab, he pulled his rear-view mirror to get a closer look. “Are you who I think you are?” “I am,” I said. “I voted for you.” “I’m glad somebody did.” Then he shrugged and said, “It’s politics.” It was if he was saying, “Look, this is how the world is. You did not know it before. You know it now.” As we talked, I learned that he was from Lebanon and had been in Canada for 20 years. He combined a cabbie’s shrewd grasp of the democratic politics of his new country and a sardonic memory of the brutal confessional politics of Lebanon. I began to see that “politics” was the word he used for the baffling combination of will and chance that determines the shape of life. The way taxi medallions are awarded in a city, for example, was politics. The way dictators continue to rule poor countries was politics, the way Lebanon was carved up by the civil war was politics and, he was saying, the way well-meaning innocents get beaten was politics. When I paid my fare and left him, I wanted more than anything to write about this politics, this brutal game, this dramatic encounter between fate and will, malignity and nobility that fascinated him as much as it fascinated me.

Record Ontario Communities Proclaim ESL Week October 20 – 26, 2013 (Digital Journal)
To date, a record number of 45 Ontario communities have proclaimed English as a Second Language (ESL) Week for October 20 – 26 this year. The annual celebration of ESL education and learning will take place throughout the province at this time. Created by TESL Ontario (Teachers of English as a Second Language), ESL Week involves Ontario communities, thousands of ESL professionals, students of all ages, and many learning institutions and school boards.

Why Teach Multicultural Literature? (Bhakti Shringarpure, Huffington Post)
I have taught literature at the college level for almost a decade and at as many as six different campuses. These have mainly been classes that were focused on non-western writing. One semester, I had assigned Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and only a week earlier her TED talk, Danger of a Single Story had started to circulate on the web. I sent the link to my students and thought we could incorporate it into our discussion on colonialism, multiculturalism, issues of race and of course, the novel itself. Little did I know that this simple talk would elicit the intensely disproportionate response that landed in my inbox the next morning. A young male student had found the video very offensive. While this letter was an extreme example, it was an iteration of the reactions to non-western writing, which tend to plague these classrooms, not just mine but in humanities disciplines across the board.

Muslim extremism: That’s just calling it like it is | Toronto Sun (Andrew Griffith, Multicultural Meanderings)
A number of columns by critics of Islam and Muslims (Michael Coren, Farzana Hassan), who focus on the extremists among them, without recognizing that all religions have their fundamentalists, conservatives and extremists, as well as the majority who are more moderate believers. The issue is more how extremism manifests itself; unfortunately, in the case of Muslims, it manifests itself in terrorism and blowing people up. And that is the problem, unlike most other communities where it is more internal to how people live their lives (e.g., the choices made by conservative Jews, Christians, Sikhs and the like), although there are also issues from an integration perspective.


Quebec’s values charter: A doctor’s perspective (Dr. Samir Gupta)
My initial reaction was to scoff at the notion that, for example, receiving my Quebec driver’s licence from a licence bureau employee wearing a kippa is somehow state-sponsored Judaism and a violation of my religious freedom. After all, what aspect of such a man’s job and function could be influenced by his revealed religious affiliation in such a way as to impose on my freedoms? However, these proposed rules extend to health-care institutions and workers as well. And as a physician practising in both Quebec and Ontario, I am being asked to consider the validity of this very question in the unique and complex context of health care. Doctors play an integral role in some of the most intimate and difficult moments in people’s lives. Moments such as learning that one has an incurable chronic condition, or worse, a terminal disease. Indeed, moments when a person will often turn to religion.


CARL Quarterly – PDF (Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers)
In this Issue:
CARL’s 5th National Conference
Student Corner
CARL in the Courts
Litigation Update
Supreme Court ruling in Ezokola
BCSC Ruling in smuggling case Appulonappa
FEATURE: Ongoing Challenge to IFHP Cuts
Federal Court challenge update
Overview: June 17th National Day of Action
Peter Showler’s June 17th speech on IFHP cuts
CARL in the Media


Vancity wins SFU Nancy McKinstry Corporate Diversity award (SFU)
Vancity is this year’s winner of the Simon Fraser University Nancy McKinstry Award for Leadership in Diversity. The award from SFU’s Beedie School of Business recognizes organizations that exemplify the values of diversity in the workplace. Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, is honoured for its commitment to diversity, in particular its extensive community efforts, and its well-rounded approach to addressing the needs of different identity groups.

Immigrants still find it tough to get work in Hamilton: study (Steve Arnold, Hamilton Spectator)
A new study concludes language — and the demand for “Canadian experience” — remain major hurdles to immigrants working toward their piece of the national dream. Those traditional barriers, however, can be cleared with a helping hand from a local mentor. The research on more than 300 Hamilton employers, by Workforce Planning Hamilton, the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council and Francophone Immigration Network, concluded they are open to hiring immigrants — as long as they’re the best applicant for the job — but few make specific efforts to hire newcomers. It also found that generally, immigrants remain frozen out of the informal hiring streams of word-of-mouth job advertising, which fills most positions.

Center for Talent Innovation research reveals vast majority of companies are losing out on innovation (Marketwatch)
The vast majority of white-collar employees in the United States, 78 percent, work for companies that fail to realize their full innovative potential because their leadership lacks the inclusive behaviors needed to effectively “unlock” the innovative potential of an inherently diverse workforce. These findings are part of the “Innovation, Diversity and Market Growth” report, the first national survey that quantifies the correlation between diverse companies and market outcomes, and were released today by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), a leading global talent think tank.

Microloans for foreign credential recognition (SRDC)
Employment and Social Development Canada launched the Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Loans Pilot in 2012. The program aims to reduce the financial barriers in the FCR process and improve employment prospects for internationally-trained workers (ITWs) through loans provided by community organizations and financial institutions. SRDC has been retained to design a research framework that will guide the collection of evidence on what works in the different models implemented by community organizations and, more broadly, on the financial and other barriers faced by ITWs in Canada.


Economics minister hops on social enterprise wave (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
With scant help from Queen’s Park and less from Ottawa, 10,000 social enterprises have sprung up in Ontario. These business-charity hybrids make money to do good. They build affordable housing, create jobs for people who are normally excluded from the workforce, and produce everything from clean power to micronutrients for kids in the world’s countries. They don’t qualify for tax deductions because they are profit-making organizations. They can’t borrow from banks because they don’t adhere to traditional market principles. Yet they have survived — in many cases, httpthrived — because of the talent and ingenuity of a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Are you ready for the ONCA? Tell us what you need! (Your Legal Rights)
Get Ready for the ONCA is a CLEO project that supports nonprofit organizations as they prepare for the ONCA. CLEO produces clear, accurate, and practical legal information to help people understand and exercise their legal rights. Get Ready for the ONCA will:
share existing resources about the ONCA
produce helpful new tools and checklists
develop webinars and other educational events


A Note from the Caledon Institute on Poverty Reduction in Ontario (Michael Mendelson, Caledon Institute)
The Caledon Institute of Social Policy congratulates Ontario on the serious consultation it is undertaking to renew its poverty reduction strategy. Ontario has made significant strides in poverty reduction through its initiatives in early childhood education and the Ontario Child Benefit. However, there is only so much that a province can accomplish on its own. The federal government is responsible for the largest part of the income security system and much of the tax system. Provinces and all Canadians concerned about poverty must continue to call on Ottawa for a national poverty reduction strategy. Any poverty reduction strategy also must recognize that an economy with many jobs paying poverty-level wages will always leave many families in poverty. We therefore urge that attention focus not only on government benefits, but also on measures such as minimum wage, and training and education. Finally, we comment on the need for further consideration of some of the recommendations of the recent Social Assistance Commission, in particular the proposal to integrate disability benefits into the general assistance program.

Working Poverty: Defining a Measure for the Community Data Program (CCSD)
The CDP team is working hard to draft our custom data orders for the National Household Survey and other surveys. The Urban Poverty Tables are always a key component of our order. In the past, we have requested poverty data by employment status and age. This year we would like to review past practice and open up a conversation about the most useful measure of working poverty to include. Several different definitions of working poverty have been used in recent years, including John Stapleton’s work for the Metcalf Foundation in Toronto. We would like to ask you for your thoughts on the pros and cons of different approaches and the relative importance of selecting a single measure.

Growth of inequality in Canada cannot be denied (Jordan Brennan Jim Stanford, Toronto Star)
In a famous 2011 article in Vanity Fair, Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, first warned that our economic policies were increasingly dominated by the richest 1 per cent. Then the Occupy Wall Street movement electrified the concept with political urgency. Now Statistics Canada has turned its attention to the problem, too. The agency’s National Household Survey has documented the stark differences in personal income between the richest 1 per cent and the rest of us. The data are less precise than would have been attained from the former long-form census (which was cancelled by the data-phobic Conservative government). But despite its flaws, the report confirms that the gap between rich and poor in Canada has become enormous.

Canadian launch of global agency celebrates history and potential of CHCs (International Federation of Community Health Centres)
Delegates attending a national conference hosted by the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres (CACHC) were officially introduced today to the newly-formed International Federation of Community Health Centres. The IFCHC is a joint effort of several global partners whose objective is to engage Community Health Centres and their associations around the world in realizing the World Health Organization’s vision of access to equitable primary health care for all. Today’s IFCHC launch in Canada builds on the legacy of the country’s publicly-funded and publicly-administered health system, Medicare, and the growing role of Community Health Centres in meeting local health needs across Canada.

Kenora groups host poverty survey workshops (Your Legal Rights)
The Northwest Community Legal Clinic and Women’s Place Kenora want to make sure local voices are heard on how to reduce poverty in Ontario. The legal clinic is circulating a 14-point survey to solicit public input for submission to the provincial government consultations into preparation of its second five-year Poverty Reduction Strategy. The survey is posted on its website at “Poverty is a great concern, especially here in Kenora where vacancy rates for affordable housing are extremely low and subsidized housing wait lists are years long,” community legal worker Fay Clark stated in a news release. “It’s critical that the government hears about the reality of poverty in Kenora and the ideas we have on how to help reduce poverty across the entire province.”

Shifting Populations, Shifting Economies (Livio Di Matteo, WorthWhile Canadian Initiative)
Statistics Canada just released its total population estimates for 2013 and the picture shows declining shares of population not just for Quebec and the Atlantic region, but also for parts of the west. While the population share of the western provinces has grown over the period 1983 to 2013, this increase is due to Alberta and British Columbia. The population shares of Manitoba and Saskatchewan have also declined. This is quite interesting particularly in the case of Saskatchewan which has also enjoyed a robust economy due to its resource endowments. It would appear that even with a booming economy, Saskatchewan is still not able to attract population as quickly as its two far western counterparts.

Learning What Works, September 2013 (Social Research and Demonstration Corporation)
In this newsletter:
Our new website
British Columbia Centre for Employment Excellence completes first year
Microloans for foreign credential recognition
SRDC helping to “raise the grade”
Performance-based funding: Can it improve essential skills outcomes?
Innovative approach to increase employment among long-term welfare recipients
Promoting youth mental health in the transition to post-secondary education
SRDC studies featured at Student Financial Aid conference
Surveys can only do so much
SRDC focuses on education issues at 2013 Canadian Economics Association Meetings
Paris Colloquium on Active Labour Market Policies
New home for SRDC’s Toronto office

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

Shared 7 links. Actively Passive » Immigration & Diversity news headlines – Sept 25, 2013 Canada needs to take advantage...