Immigration & Diversity news headlines – September 10, 2013


What the 2011 census, and its controversial sidekick, have shown us so far (Heather Scoffield, Medicine Hat News)
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, multi-racial, and well-educated. We often dont have any children living at home either because we didnt have any to begin with or because theyve grown up and moved away. Younger parents, however, have been bucking the trends and fostering a surprise mini-baby boom of their own. Were very diverse and our diversity is growing even more as time goes by, said Marc Hamel, census chief for Statistics Canada.

Weekend assault sheds light on ‘racist’ treatment of Hamilton cabbies (CBC)
This past weekend’s attack on a Hamilton cabbie was the third in less than two months, once again drawing attention to the dangers some face driving a taxi for a living. At around 3:15 a.m. Saturday, police say, an off-duty taxi driver was sprayed with gas from a fuel pump after he refused a man a ride. Though the 50-year-old cabbie was not injured in the attack, he was also subjected to an indignity he may not so easily be able to wash away, police say. The assailant, said police spokesman Mark Cox, spouted insults about “the immigrant population of Canada” at the driver. For that reason, police are treating the assault as a possible hate/bias crime.

NOVA SCOTIA A-Z: Upbringing not lost on her (Chronicle Herald)
Patricia Wilson vibrates with energy, both from within and that which she collects from the spirit guides she says have watched over her since she was a little girl going hungry in Jamaica. Right now, though, life is fabulously, gorgeously OK, something that can be credited to her wells of positivity as much to her existence itself. Wilson is a woman who laughs about the explosion when she sends a glass to the floor. In my culture, when you break a glass, its a good sign, she explains. So its all good its a really good sign. Im just releasing all my stress. Wilson has cut some of the more stressful ties from her past, but the roots of childhood run deep, entwining, sometimes, around the foot of the adult. While the Bedford woman talks about her future and her ability to sense that of others, she shares first what has happened to her already and what led her to Canada.

Saguenay non-Muslims rally in support of local mosque (CBC)
About 20 Christians and other non-Muslims gathered before Friday prayers outside the Saguenay mosque that was vandalized last weekend, to show their support for the Quebec city’s small Muslim community and its place of worship. Last weekend, someone threw what was claimed to be pig’s blood on the building and left behind an angry tract, denouncing Islam and demanding followers “assimilate or go home.” The demonstration “is a base for building bridges between different faiths within the community to find a common ground on which to talk to each other, exchange ideas and also support each other when something like this happens,” said Christian Bélanger, one of the organizers of the event.

Quebecs intolerance isnt the racial kind (Dan Delmar, National Post)
If some Quebecers are growing tired of the polarizing debate surrounding the forthcoming Charter of Values the Parti Québécois ethnocentric brand of state secularism its because weve had this debate before: During the 2007 provincial election, the Action démocratique du Québec (ADQ) benefited from a quick and unsustained rise in popularity with the reasonable accommodation debate. But to truly understand Quebecs values vis-à-vis secularism, The Hart Affair of 1807 is also an important point of reference.

The Politics of Quebec’s Charter of Values (CBC The Current)
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois’ plans for a Charter of Values may center on secularism but some think the real point is the politics that she’s creating a wedge issue to benefit the PQ’s future. Today we discuss the politics behind the proposal.

“Gypsies” reference on Ezra Levant’s show violated broadcasters’ code (Tamara Baluja, J-Source)
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) released its decision concerning comments made about Gypsies on Sun News Network. During his program The Source, Ezra Levant made negative comments about that ethnic group. The CBSC found the broadcast in violation of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code. The Source is a public affairs program on which host Ezra Levant offers his opinions on current events. His opening monologue on the September 5, 2012 episode was about the arrests of a number of individuals involved in a theft ring, all of whom appeared to be of Gypsy ethnicity. Levant made numerous comments, alleging that all Gypsies are criminals because it is part of their culture.

Negative Generalizations about Ethnic Group Violate Codes, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC))
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning comments made about Gypsies on Sun News Network. During his program The Source, Ezra Levant made negative comments about that ethnic group. The CBSC found the broadcast in violation of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code. The Source is a public affairs program on which host Ezra Levant offers his opinions on current events. His opening monologue on the September 5, 2012 episode was about the arrests of a number of individuals involved in a theft ring, all of whom appeared to be of Gypsy ethnicity. Levant made numerous comments, alleging that all Gypsies are criminals because it is part of their culture.

Know your rights (Ralph Haddad, McGill Daily)
Equality, dignity, respect, pluralism, opened Shirley Sarna, the Education-Cooperation coordinator for the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission. The venue: Atwater Library & Computer Centre. The topic: Quebec, Minorities, and Human Rights. The ominous cloud floating over the panel was the imminent Charter of Values proposed by the Parti Québécois (PQ) earlier this month. The event was organized by The Silk Road Institute, in collaboration with the Political Science Students Association of Concordia.

TESL Ontario Names Winners of ESL Creativity Contest (Marketwire)
The Teachers of English as a Second Language Association of Ontario (TESL Ontario) recently announced the winners of its popular province-wide, multi-category creativity contest to celebrate ESL education and learning. Grand Prize winners are Yael Padawer, Toronto, of the Toronto District School Board for an Essay entry in the Instructor Division; and Edna Pisciotti, Bolton, of Caledon Community Services for a Video entry in the Learner Division.

Survey: Empezar de Nuevo – Spanish Version of the Fresh Start Guidebook (YWCA Canada)
YWCA Canada with the Support of Canadian Auto Workers and its Social Justice fund; have developed a project to translate Fresh Start – a guidebook for women who have or are living in violent situations. Your support is crucial to make this translation culturally relevant with key information in order to support women from the Spanish-speaking communities. Fresh Start is a 100-page guidebook which works as an intervention tool to support women in their decision to leave abusive relationships, to understand what to expect while leaving the abuse, and to access their options. Acknowledging that abuse occurs in every race, culture, religion, social class and it does not distinguish age or social level while recognizing that every woman has her own story; we have identified that it is necessary to involve women from the community as well as Service Providers in order to achieve the goal of the project.

Quick Tips for Talking Immigration Issues (Opportunity Agenda)
1. Contribute to a Bigger Story A Shared Narrative
2. Continue to Emphatically Push for a Roadmap to Citizenship
3. Highlight Due Process as a Core American Value
4. Tap into Audiences Concerns About Racial Profiling
5. Dont Overlook Particular Issues Posed by Gender

Connect Legal Fall 2013 Newsletter
We are so proud to announce that we’ve helped over a 1,000 small business owners through our probono and workshop programs. Thank you to all our volunteer lawyers and community partners for tremendous support in achieving this significant milestone! Meet Bram Abramson, a Volunteer Lawyer from McCarthy Tétrault who recently facilitated our workshop “Legal Issues for Small Businesses”.

Immigration, diversity, and economic prosperity (Vox EU)
With ageing populations in the rich nations and booming labour forces in poor nations, immigration is sure to be a critical policy issue for decades. This column presents research that casts new light on the issue, showing that diversity of immigrants origin matters along with their numbers and skill levels. Europeans need to start thinking about immigration as a major, long-term economic policy question that deserves a long-term policy approach. They should move away from the Band-Aid approach that sees policy driven by current events.

Design of the new Canadian ePassport (Passport Canada)
Canadas ePassport is full of iconic images that make Canadian passports more attractive and more secure. These images showcase Canadas history and the building of our great nation. Canada’s ePassport has been available to all Canadians since July 1, 2013.

Foreign service job action threatens Canadas annual immigration target (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Permanent residency applicants appear to be taking the biggest hit from ongoing job action by foreign affairs officers, prompting concerns about whether Ottawas 2013 immigration target can be met. According to government data obtained by the Star, the number of immigrant visas granted from May to July of this year has dropped 7.5 per cent, to 60,416 individuals. That compares to 65,255 in the same period last year and a whopping 22 per cent drop from the same three-month period in 2010.

Diversified group of agencies have filled SISO void (Mark McNeil, Hamilton Spectator)
After SISO went bankrupt in January 2011, newcomer services in Hamilton went into a tailspin. That bankruptcy morphed into a major scandal as two former bosses of SISO were charged and eventually convicted last week in a series of uttering and fraud charges. The Settlement and Integration Services Organization was a kind of one-stop shopping for newcomers. But what’s emerged in its place over the past 2 ½ years is a more diverse system, with the YMCA as the dominant player, but not nearly as dominant as SISO was.


Career Bridge Internships a Win-Win for St. Michaels Hospital (Cities of Migration)
When Mehmet Bahar started as a Career Bridge intern at Torontos St. Michaels Hospital, he had no idea it would result in a job offer six months later. A recent immigrant from Turkey with a Master of Engineering degree and project management certification, Mr. Bahar redesigned the hospitals environmental auditing process, which measures hospital cleanliness from wards to kitchens to surgeries. The result? Improved communication between the hospital supervisors performing the audits and the employees responsible for cleaning the different areas. In three short months, the average audit score improved by 15%.

Access to Justice for Migrant Workers in British Columbia – PDF (West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association)
Given the growing demand for legal access in migrant worker communities, WCDWA engaged in a research project to document the types of problems semi-skilled temporary foreign workers encounter with the aim of promoting greater understanding about access to justice issues within migrant worker communities. The research report is intended to provide guidance to WCDWA and other stakeholders about how to better serve the needs of migrant workers under the TFWP. The report aims to provide a first-hand perspective of the successes and flaws of the TFWP within the British Columbian context.

MORNING CHAT: Are firms overly dependent on temporary foreign workers? (CBC)
Every time you hit the drive-thru for your favourite coffee or drive by a construction site, chances are you’ll see a temporary foreign worker. But a list recently obtained by the CBC shows a large number of Saskatchewan companies are filling their vacancies with short-term workers from elsewhere. The list contains the names of more than 3,000 employers who say they can’t fill their jobs with locals. Those companies then got permission to hire overseas. While that list contains many restaurants, farms and hotels, it also contains a handful of Crown corporations, universities and school divisions.

Lots of Sask. firms hiring temporary foreign workers (CBC)
The list of Saskatchewan companies applying to bring in temporary foreign workers continues to grow. Federal documents obtained by CBC News through an Access to Information request show there are now more than 3,000 companies in Saskatchewan that have asked for and received permission to hire foreign workers. For example, temporary foreign workers have been hired at 430 Saskatchewan restaurants. The program was intended to help employers fill labour shortages in the short term, when there were no qualified Canadians.

Skills Mismatches and the Economic Impact in Ontario Webinar (Conference Board of Canada)
The Conference Board of Canada is pleased to present Skills Mismatches and the Economic Impact in Ontario. This special webinar presents findings from a report that outlines the challenge of skills gaps and mismatches in Ontario and provides motivation and strategies to act immediately to secure Ontario’s future prosperity. The Need to Make Skills Work: The Cost of Ontario’s Skills Gap was released in June 2013. The report received much media attention and has been read by over 1,000 executives from across the country.

Labour, business duel over temporary worker program (Will Chabun, Leader-Post)
The CEO of the provinces largest business organizations concedes his members are feeling a little beleaguered by constant criticism of the federal governments foreign worker program.Steve McLellan, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, says that despite this, employers know there isnt a pool of work-ready people out there at any wage. But his counterpart of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour stands by its criticism of the program, arguing its veered well way from its original goal of bringing in small numbers of highly skilled personnel or seasonal agricultural workers.



Toronto District School Board census 2011: Unsettling picture of inequality revealed (Diane Dyson, Belonging Community)
Close to 90,000 parents, or sixty-five per cent, of elementary school parents answered the Toronto District School Boards census sent home last fall. The results are coming out now and reveal the unequal opportunities which children of different family backgrounds enjoy. A recent TDSB research report presents a startling picture of class and racial inequality among our youngest city residents.

Is there a magic number? (Dave Mabell, Lethbridge Herald)
As Lethbridge continues to grow, McDaniel believes that same kind of visionary thinking is needed to address todays urban realities. City council, city officials and business leaders should be recognizing their communitys changing demographics. Lethbridge becomes home to more seniors, more immigrants and more students every year, she points out. So civic leaders should start rethinking the citys transportation strategy, its shopping locations and its approaches to many other services. Residents need public transportation to every part of the city, she adds some neighbourhoods still have little or none. And McDaniel cautions it must be reasonably priced. Like many cities, Lethbridge has put most of its transportation dollars into improved bridges and roadways. Car owners dont pay a toll.

Research that makes a difference in the lives of women in Canada (CCPA)
We are proud to introduce CCPAs exciting new initiative: Making Women Countresearch that makes a difference in the lives of women in Canada. Headed by CCPA Research Associate, Kate McInturff, this project will help us to produce essential research and analysis of the barriers to achieving gender equality and the public policy solutions that will create a more inclusive Canada.

Maintaining ignorance: the political economy of Ontarios media (Behind the Numbers)
In the recently released study, Buried Voices: Media Coverage of Aboriginal Issues in Ontario, Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) look at 171 Ontario-based print and online news sources over the past 3 years to shine some useful light into yet another dark corner of Indigenous relations in our province. What the study found is that the media generally doesnt cover Indigenous news, but when it does, it mostly has to be bad news. Between 2010 and 2013, those media generated 2,141,573 stories, of which 6,032 or 0.28%, centered on Indigenous people, culture or issues.

Census shows increasing diversity among Canadians (Chronicle Herald)
On Wednesday, the agency will release the final piece of the demographics puzzle: income. From there, it will become clear whether our rich heritage translates into actual riches whether Canadas widespread diversity also means widespread prosperity. The third and final instalment of the National Household Survey will illustrate how many Canadians live below the poverty line, how affordable their homes are, how pervasive government transfers are, where the rich and the poor tend to congregate, and whether young people are struggling. From there, analysts will grab the data and run, crunching the numbers to eventually determine the gap between rich and poor, to figure out whether the middle class has stagnated, and whether the super-rich are amassing further wealth.


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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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