Immigration & Diversity news headlines – September 3, 2013


The Conservatives immigration bind (Tasha Kheiriddin, iPolitics)
While its true the Tories have concentrated more on economic immigrants, theyll never slam the door on family-class immigration not unless they want to lose every seat they hold in the 905. How will this report go over with the Conservative government? Like a lead balloon. For a decade now, Jason Kenney the former immigration minister who is still deeply involved in the governments immigration policy in his new role as minister of Employment, Social Development and Multiculturalism has courted and converted New Canadians from the Liberal to the Conservative fold. While its true the Tories have concentrated more on economic immigrants (sometimes too much, as the controversy over banks hiring temporary foreign workers revealed earlier this year), theyll never slam the door on family-class immigration not unless they want to lose every seat they hold in the 905.

Ontario government consults immigrants on new poverty reduction strategy (Sacha Devoretz, Canadian Immigrant)
Ontario is consulting with immigrants and newcomer settlement program providers on how the government and communities can continue to work together to break the cycle of poverty. Immigrants and newcomer settlement program providers attended a roundtable consultation in Toronto to provide their input into Ontarios next Poverty Reduction Strategy. All Ontarians have the opportunity to host gatherings and provide the province with feedback until Oct. 4, 2013.

Increasing Diversity on Arts Boards (Ontario Arts Council)
DiverseCity is founded on the belief that a diverse leadership strengthens an organizations capacity and, by extension, society. Launched in 2008, the mandate of the Maytree Foundation initiative is to change the face of leadership in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and reflect its multicultural demographics. In many fields, visible minorities and new Canadians are under-represented, and the arts are no exception. The DiverseCity onBoard portal connects highly qualified candidates from visible-minority and immigrant communities with governance positions in agencies, boards, commissions and not-for-profit organizations across the GTA. It provides an opportunity for public and not-for-profit organizations to advertise vacancies and browse through an online roster to find suitable candidates. The site also allows individuals to create a profile to connect with interested companies. To date, more than 67 appointments to arts and culture organizations have been facilitated by this initiative. And there are approximately 800 people on the roster who have indicated an interest in arts and culture.

Mr. Landry, I beg to differ (Celine Cooper, Montreal Gazette)
In an interview with the Canadian Press last week, former Quebec premier Bernard Landry lashed out at English-language media in the rest of Canada for its pathetic and unfair coverage of the Parti Québécoiss plan to introduce a Charter of Quebec Values. He said a few things that I think are worth responding to. First, Mr. Landry indicated that its pathetic to go and say that Quebec is xenophobic and racist when from the start of our national adventure we intermingled with Amerindians.

Marois plays a masterful game of identity politics (Konrad Yakabuski, Globe and Mail)
Three years ago, a group of left-leaning Québécois academics and opinion-makers published a manifesto (yes, another one) calling for a secular and pluralist Quebec. It advocated the states strict religious neutrality as the guarantor of an authentically pluralistic society. The neutrality of the state is expressed in the image of neutrality given by its representatives, the manifesto said. The latter must therefore avoid displaying their religious, philosophical or political affiliations.

Ban on religious gear racist pure and simple (Luisa D’Amato, Waterloo Region Record)
Like many Muslim women, she also wore a hijab the scarf that covers the hair and neck, but not the face. Now, I ask you to imagine a world in which this woman is forbidden from working as a hospital nurse, as a college teacher, or as a specialist in a water treatment plant simply because of that head covering. It would be unthinkable. It would be un-Canadian. Yet the ruling party in Quebec is considering just these kinds of restrictions for public-service employees. And sadly, most Quebecers are behind it.

One Canada vs. the multicultural mosaic (Kevin Hampson, PA Herald)
Kings famous speech was a forceful articulation of the classical liberal philosophy that Canadas 13th prime minister, John Diefenbaker, passionately believed in. Society must be colour-blind. A person must be seen as a unique individual first — not as a member of a group. It was that belief that led Diefenbaker to support blocking apartheid South Africa from the Commonwealth; to remove racial discrimination from Canadas immigration policy; and to give aboriginals the right to vote.

Yes, racism exists, but we can change it for next generation (Calvin Duong, Markham Economist & Sun)
Racism. Its an age-old issue that is, unfortunately, still very much apparent today in York Region. Yes, some may think prejudice and discrimination are exclusive to the United States. Or, you might say, its the 21st century and there is no such thing as racism anymore. Wrong.

Muslim conference cancelled after ‘security review’ (Benjamin Shingler, Metro News)
A Muslim youth conference in Montreal, which had drawn criticism from the Parti Quebecois government, has been cancelled by the convention centre where it was supposed to be held. The Palais des congres, the citys largest convention centre, announced Saturday it wont hold next weekends event for security reasons. The decision was made after a security review, the Palais des congres said in a brief statement. No specifics were offered about the finding of the review.

Muslim Festival Celebrates Canadian Identity (Muneeb Nasir, OnIslam)
Marking ten years of success, a Toronto Muslim festival has attracted Muslims, politicians and artists, celebrating a diverse and proud Canadian Muslim community. Congratulations on celebrating the festivals 10th year, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a support message sent to MuslimFest and cited by This festival is an opportunity for Ontarians of all heritages to experience Muslim culture in all its vibrancy.

Spencer & Gellers AFDI/JDL Canadian Event: To Be Or Not To Be? (Sheila Musaji, The Americam Muslim)
Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are supposed to speak at more than one venue in Canada in mid September, the primary one in Toronto. They are posting lots of reminders about this event on their blogs. A local Canadian Muslim organization requested that the hotel where the Toronto event is being held reconsider, but the hotel has decided to allow the event to continue. Geller and Spencer are calling this a defeat for the fascists and objections to their talk are characterized as free speech jihad.

5 Things Nova Scotia can do to improve immigration (E. Wozniak)
Premier Dexter calls immigration policy a pressing issue of federal responsibility. Here is my Top-5 list of what the province can do to improve and promote immigration policy right on our doorstep.

OUR EXCLUSIVE LOOK: CUAIS Immigrant Services in the Bathurst-Finch Hub (North York Mirror)
As part of The North York Mirrors Exclusive Look series, we are focusing on organizations making up the Bathurst-Finch Community Hub and the services they offer to the community. The Mirror sat down with Ludmila Kolesnichenko, executive director of CUIAS Immigrant Services.

Immigrant process should rely more on private sector needs, pre-arranged contracts: Report (Canadian HR Reporter)
Canadas immigrant selection process should rely more on the employment needs of the private sector and pre-arranged contracts for work to ensure new immigrants will prosper and succeed economically, according to a report published today by the Fraser Institute. Immigrants who arrived in Canada since 1986 have been less successful economically than those who arrived before that time, said Herbert Grubel, Fraser Institute senior fellow, in his study Canadas Immigrant Selection Policies.

‘Canada’s Immigration Reform: What Did The US Senate’s Comprehensive Bill Borrow From Our Neighbors Up North’ (David Iaconangelo, Latin Times)
In the debate over immigration policy in the United States, much attention has been focused on Mexico, the country’s neighbor to the south. But in crafting a comprehensive immigration reform bill, the “Gang of Eight” senators reportedly looked northward to Canada in seeking out a model for what they were trying to accomplish. The United States’ northern neighbor began last month to receive immigrants approved for entry based on a mid-2010 series of immigration bills passed in Canada which established a revamped points system to evaluate who could come to work and live there. US senators say the point system which the Senate’s bill includes was an idea borrowed straight from Canada’s playbook.

Health promotion and care for newcomer children (
Children and youth new to Canada do not enjoy the same health status as their Canadian-born peers. We want to eliminate health disparities, so that no child is at a disadvantage because of their country of origin or family status.

OCASI 2013 Executive Directors Forum (Settlement AtWork)
Registration is limited. Please review the registration guidelines and detailed Forum information at All registration will be done online. After reviewing the registration guidelines and Forum program, please register at , and select OCASI Member Agency or Non-Member as your registration type. If you are the Executive Director and also presenting at the Forum, please choose Presenter or Speaker as your registration type. The deadline for registration is September 20, 2013.


Canada should accept more Syrian refugees: Trudeau (Windsor Star)
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says Canada should be doing more to admit refugees from the bloody conflict in Syria. Trudeau said Friday he was pleased to hear the Conservative government is not contemplating military intervention following an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime that the United States says killed at least 1,400 people. The death toll since the conflict began has topped 100,000 and the United Nations says more than six million Syrians have had to flee their homes.

One last chance: Hard-luck refugee mom desperate to stay in Canada (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
When she was nine, her family fled mayhem in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. They took shelter in a refugee camp in Kenya that locals torched, scattering many families, including hers. At 15, she was alone and fled to South Africa, already flooded with unwelcome refugees. By the time she was 28, she was a single parent of six and driven out again by locals who beat her husband until he fled and burned down their small shop. When Idil Timayare was reunited with her parents in Winnipeg in 2011, her troubles didn’t end. She was run down by a cab this past winter, days before a crucial refugee hearing. As luck would have it, the Immigration and Refugee Board member hearing her case had a track record of rejection — saying no to 180 refugee claimants out of 210 cases heard in 2011. With a busted foot and fuzzy on prescription painkillers, 31-year-old Timayare testified on behalf of herself and her six young kids and lost.

Art experiment aims uses Tamil arrival to provoke discussion on race (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
In August 2010, the mass arrival of 492 Tamils in British Columbia in a cargo ship led to concerns some would say hysteria over the integrity of Canadas border and prompted Ottawa to toughen laws against human smuggling. In an experiment to explore Canadas reception of the passengers on the MV Sun Sea, five Toronto artists re-enacted the Tamils arrival in downtown Toronto, but with a twist loading a 40-metre boat made of fabric and wood with Caucasian passengers in white T-shirts. The result is a community gallery installation titled Mass Arrival that runs Sept. 5-30 at the Whippersnapper Gallery on Dundas St. The exhibit marks the third anniversary of the arrival of the Tamil boat people.

Encore Presentation: The Outsiders (Lama Nicolas, Global News)
From a secret location, Tomas Miko describes how he spent his first six months in Canada. We went down in the basement and there wasall over mattresses on the floor. Sometimes we worked at two in the morning. We worked every day and it doesnt matter if youre sick or something happened. You have to work. Tomas came to Canada claiming he was a refugee from Hungary. He was recruited into a work scheme by a Roma woman in his hometown of Papa.


Survey: Immigrant Entrepreneurs (Conference Board of Canada)
You have been invited to participate in a survey that examines the experiences of immigrant entrepreneurs. The survey will ask questions about your experience on various issues related to starting a business in Canada. This research is supported by the Conference Board’s Leaders’ Roundtable on Immigration. By participating in this research you will help decision-makers understand the challenges and opportunities immigrants face in starting a business and evaluate the impact immigrant entrepreneurs have on the Canadian economy. A report based on the findings will be published and available on the Leaders’ Roundtable on Immigration website.

Purge of Canadian experience barrier brings hope to skilled immigrants (Danilo Barba, CUP Wire)
Canada was the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy in 1971. But more than 40 years later, international students and immigrants still turn to unpaid work such as volunteering, internships or low-skilled survival jobs to meet the requirements for Canadian experience. Ontario attracts highly-skilled immigrants from all over the world, said the Ontario Human Rights Commissions (OHRC) chief commissioner Barbara Hall. But if they have to meet a requirement for Canadian experience, they cant get a job without Canadian experience and they cant get experience without a job. In most cases, that is discrimination under Ontarios Human Rights Code.

New foreign worker fees could hurt clubs and arts promoters (CBC)
Music promoters worry that processing fees for temporary foreign workers may make it too expensive for up and coming international acts to tour Canada. Federal rules that came into effect on July 31 require an employer to pay a $275 for each foreign worker they want to hire. The fee covers the costs of obtaining a labour market opinion and must be paid for foreign musicians and their touring staff for each venue they play. Edmonton music agent Steve Derpack from JCL Productions says the fees will be a financial burden for smaller clubs.

Sexually aggressive migrant workers affecting life in Leamington (With video) (Trevor Wilhelm, Windsor Star)
Some women in town say catcalls and stalking from sexually aggressive migrant workers have become so pervasive that theyve changed the way they act and appear in public. Linda Tessier said she stopped going out at night when large groups of workers gather around town. They sometimes ask me if Im free or single, if I want to go home with them, said Tessier. I get nervous, I refuse to go shopping Friday nights. When Im on my bike, I catch them following me. In the summertime, Im nervous about being around by myself. Its scary. When you cant feel free to walk around in your own town, theres something wrong. It changes the way you dress, the way you live, the way you talk, everything.

Leamington mayor wants ‘lewd’ Jamaican behaviour to end (CBC)
Leamington’s mayor wants police to crack down on what he calls lewd behaviour by Jamaican migrant workers living in the town. John Paterson said some of their comments make life unpleasant for women in his town. Recently, some of those comments hit home. One of the latest alleged incidents took place in uptown Leamington about a month ago. While she was walking to meet her father at a restaurant, Paterson’s daughter crossed paths with what the mayor believes to be a group of Jamaican migrant workers. He didn’t like what they had to say to her.

Moving to Canada: Trending jobs for Canadian immigrants in 2013 (Lisa Evans, Canadian Immigrant)
Youve made the choice to relocate to Canada, but the hardest decisions are still to come. Identifying employment prospects and evaluating the lifestyle they can afford you and your family are the most important steps toward achieving success and stability in your new country. Canada is a vast country with many opportunities available in each of its provinces and territories. Daisy Wright, career adviser and author of the book No Canadian Experience, Eh?, advises newcomers to research job prospects in all of Canadas regions. The competition for jobs in the larger cities is fierce. Looking at other areas around the country can reveal greater opportunities, says Wright, pointing to the federal governments Working in Canada online tool as an excellent resource that allows jobseekers to identify wages, qualifications and educational requirements for various professions. It also allows you to compare how much you could earn in your chosen profession in different provinces.

Labour Day: Immigrant workers hit harder by tough economic times (
Immigrants come to Canada to secure a future for themselves and their families. Yet a recent study undertaken by Ryerson University has painted a gloomy picture of the long lasting impact that the 2008 recession has had on immigrant workers. The study followed hundreds of former employees of Progressive Mould Products (PMP) over a five year period to determine whether or not they were able to achieve any semblance of a middle class life after their plant declared bankruptcy in 2008. Sadly those interviewed reported that they were much worse off now as compared to when they arrived in Canada. The reported entitled “An Immigrant All Over Again? Recession, Plant Closures, and Older racialized immigrant workers: A case study of the workers of Progressive Moulded Products” profiles the experiences of immigrant workers who arrived in Canada in the ’70s and ’80s.

EI, Self-Insurance or Three-Card Monte? (Behind the Numbers)
Monte Solberg, the former Conservative cabinet minister responsible for Employment Insurance, proposed to eliminate the program in a recent Sun Media column: An alternative would be to self-insure. Employee and employer premiums would accumulate in an account in each workers name. Including interest, anyone who managed to stay employed through their lifetime earning even a modest income would stand to collect several hundred thousand dollars at retirement. The concept of insurance is that pooling premiums from many people provides enough money to compensate only those who suffer losses. It makes no sense to assume that saving up each individuals premiums could compensate if he or she actually suffers a loss.

FWCanada Comments on Canada’s New Federal Skilled Trades Program (Digital Journal)
This month, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) welcomed the first permanent residents under its Federal Skilled Trades Program(FSTP) opened for application since January this year. This program is designed to swiftly respond to labour shortages in parts of Canada that are undergoing drastic economic growth, and offers immigration to those who are trained and experienced in certain in-demand trades, informs FWCanada, a Montreal-based immigration law firm.

Operational Bulletin 547 August 30, 2013 – Extension of Haiti Special Measures for Work Permits (CIC)
This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides instructions for processing applications from Haitian nationals for work permits from within Canada. This OB extends the Haiti Special Measures (HSM) on work permits that were set to expire on September 1, 2013. This OB replaces Operational Bulletin 468, dated September 1, 2012.


Welfare reform minister commits to changing system (Laurie Monsebraaten, Toronto Star)
There was no rest this summer for the man tasked with reforming Ontarios $8.3-billion welfare system. In the past four months, provincial Community and Social Services Minister Ted McMeekin met with some 147 groups to discuss how to make the maddeningly complex system more coherent and compassionate for about 900,000 adults and children who rely on it. Last falls sweeping report by the provinces welfare review commission is guiding his work.

Canadian Social Research Newsletter : September 1, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Bringing it all back Home : Inflation, Poverty Lines and Social Assistance Rates (John Stapleton, Open Policy) – August 29
2. The Fiscal Monitor: June 2013 (Finance Canada) – August 30
3. Labour Day: celebrating our role as workers (Canadian Union of Public Employees) – August 30
4. Hennessy’s Index : Unions (Trish Hennessy, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – August 2013
5. Canadian Mental Health National Conference (Ottawa) – October 17-18, 2013
6. Poverty impairs cognitive function (Science Journal) – August 29
7. SPARmonitor – Monitoring Toronto’s Social Change – August 28 issue [SPAR =
Social Policy Analysis & Research, City of Toronto]
8. [Ontario] Here we go again: Consultation on poverty reduction going nowhere – (Hamilton Spectator) – August 26
9. Harper Government Providing Families With Back-to-School Tax Relief (Finance Canada) – August 27
10. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics
— Canadian economic accounts, second quarter 2013 and June 2013 – August 30
— Payroll employment, earnings and hours, June 2013 – August 28
11. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation to hold public sessions to renew poverty reduction plan (Sackville Tribune Post)
A series of public dialogue sessions will be held this autumn by the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation, leading to a renewal of Overcoming Poverty Together The New Brunswick Poverty Reduction Plan. The announcement was made this week by Léo-Paul Pinet, president of the corporation, accompanied by the four co-chairs of the corporation’s board of directors. Sessions which will take place in 12 communities are considered an important phase of the public engagement process leading to the renewal of the poverty reduction plan.


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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.

One Response to “Immigration & Diversity news headlines – September 3, 2013”

  1. […] Immigration & Diversity news headlines – September 3, 2013 IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY The Conservatives immigration bind (Tasha Kheiriddin, iPolitics)… […]

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