Immigration & Diversity news headlines – Oct 28, 2013


Announcement: 2014 Immigration Levels Plan (CIC)
Canadas Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander to announce immigration levels plan for 2014.

Ottawa should waive fee for Libyan deported to torture: Editorial (Editorials,
Talk about adding insult to injury. For five years, the Canadian government has jerked Adel Benhmuda and his family around. It refused them refugee status in Canada; it deported them back to Libya, where he was jailed and tortured; then it dithered on whether to allow them back into this country in a way condemned as unfair by a Federal Court judge. Finally, in January, federal immigration officials decided that the family could return to Canada after all from their place of exile in Malta. But now, in a cruel twist, they have imposed a condition. As reported by the Stars Sandro Contenta, the family has been told it must pay $6,000 the cost to the government of deporting them to Libya in 2008.

Holocaust Education Week about more than remembering (Dow Marmur, Toronto Star)
In the statement that introduces this years massive program of Torontos Holocaust Education Week starting next Sunday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper writes that by sharing the stories of the survivors we can remain vigilant in confronting those who propagate messages of hatred, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. When during the Second World War it was possible to help Jews to escape the Nazis, Canada stood idly by. However, its postwar effort to provide shelter for survivors has been commendable. Some 30,000 Jews who had lived through the ordeal in various European countries were brought to these shores and given opportunities to rebuild their lives. As they and their descendants remember the horrors by seeking to educate future generations, they also pay tribute to Canada.

The silent racism of post racial Canada (Donna Yawching, Toronto Star)
In a way, vile comments aside, I sympathize with these traditional Canadians. For the last 30 years, all attention has been turned toward the newcomers: their needs, their fears, their success or failure. At the other end of the time spectrum, the indigenous people also demand attention. Who speaks for those caught in the middle, neither new enough nor old enough nor poor enough to merit sympathy and social programs? In the old days, these people didnt have to pretend to like the multicultural onslaught; today, they do. The threat of the Human Rights Commission, not to mention social ostracism, hangs heavy in the air. A word out of place can bring ominous consequences. And so they seethe in silence, with periodic anonymous eruptions. It cant possibly be healthy for them, for the newcomers or for the society at large. Perhaps, rather than all the politically correct lip-service, we should seek out truth. Let people speak, let people answer. Educate rather than punish. Let communication take the place of hypocrisy. Im sure we would all feel better for it. And maybe we would even start liking each other a little bit more.

A Tour of the New Toronto South Detention Centre (Todd Aalgaard,
But in our current national context, with immigration raids becoming so commonplace as to be televised spectacles, its the looming role of the Toronto South Detention Centre (in partnership with Canadian Border Services) that rings most uncomfortably. Behind these walls, men and women swept up in the states immigration dragnet will be internedperhaps as long as it takes to kick them out of the country, perhaps longer.

News Release Puck Drops for New Citizens: Final Buzzer Sounds on Citizenship Week 2013 (CIC)
Canadas Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander joined 21 of Canadas newest citizens as they took the Oath of Citizenship in a special ceremony at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa prior to an Ottawa Senators hockey game this afternoon. Hockey has long been Canadas most popular sport, not to mention our countrys national winter sport, said Alexander. Welcoming new Canadians by involving them in one of countrys finest sporting traditions is a great way to make their moment of citizenship even more memorable.

Racism: Series opened the doors on discussion (Ros Guggi,
We knew this was a touchy subject. We knew we would likely offend people. And we knew we would be called racists. We were right. Over the last three weeks, we have had an outpouring of reaction from readers who thought we were calling the wrong people racist or stirring up a hornet’s nest when there isn’t a racism issue.

Op-Ed: We must stop child marriage (John Baird,
The simple principle that a woman should be able to choose whom and when to marry is an absolute given in this country. But the sad reality around the world is that millions of girls as young as eight or nine years of age are forced into marriage every year. Some suggest the number could be as high as 38,000 per day, which adds up to a staggering 9.5 million a year. This is utterly wrong, and we have a duty to say so. Our government has made it a priority to fight the scourge of child, early and forced marriage. You could see this in the speech from the throne when we outlined the priority that our government places on protecting the rights of all girls and helping them fulfil their potential. Not only is this in line with Canadian values, but we believe that it is ultimately in every nations self-interest to do so.

Chinese inter-ethnic marriage remains rare (Douglas Todd,
A new book about sex in China suggests fewer than one in 500 married couples in that country are between people of different ethnicities. With ethnic Chinese people making up 20 per cent of the Metro Vancouver population, it is an indicator there may be strong resistance to the gradual trend toward inter-ethnic marriage in Canada. In a society in which devotion to elders has been paramount, young people who want to marry outside their ethnicity are having to fight against their parents long-held belief that Chinese people should marry only Chinese people.

Markhams rapid change into Canadas most diverse city (Marcus Gee,
If you want to show visitors the miracle of Torontos diversity, dont take them downtown. Take them to Markham. The booming northeastern suburb is the most diverse place in Canada. Statistics Canadas National Household Survey showed that, as of 2011, 72.3 per cent of Markham residents were visible minorities. Places like this make nonsense of the term. Pale-skinned people are the ones that stick out here. Markham has a far bigger proportion of visible minority residents than the City of Toronto proper (49.1 per cent). It puts other famous immigrant magnets such as Brampton (66.4 per cent), Mississauga (53.7) and Richmond Hill (52.9) in the shade.

In Pictures: Markham’s new Canadians (Fred Lum, Globe and Mail)
Adrienne Clarkson joins local volunteers and students to welcome 46 new Canadians at a community citizenship ceremony at Seneca Colleges Markham campus

Oh, Canada! Ethnic marketing giving way to post-multiculturalism (Misty Harris, Calgary Herald)
Now that one in five Canadians are immigrants, and nearly as many are second-generation citizens, youd think the ethnic marketing of the last two decades would be reaching fever pitch. Instead, forecasters predict the opposite will soon be true, with growing emphasis on a post-multicultural nation. In other words, where once consumers were targeted based on where they came from, theyre increasingly being courted based on where and who they are now.

Jina (North Korea) (
Jina grew up and lived in the capital of North Korea, Pyongyang until, after her father was reported for criticizing the government, her family was forced to move outside of the city centre. Due to the poverty there, Jinas mother encouraged her to leave, saying it was the only way she could have a good future. With help from a friends aunt, and money given to her by her mother, the plan was set into motion. Jina left her identification with her family so that if questioned the family could say she was killed in a car crash and she braved the freezing December waters and swam to China. Through a Korean Church in China she met her husband and together they decided to go to Canada. Despite having no money or ID, she was given a Chinese passport and a flight. Jina states that I was very grateful, but I could not understand why a stranger would help me. If they ever discovered that I had actually escaped, my family would be in trouble. Jina feels safe in Toronto; she likes the social services as well as the equal opportunity for work regardless of ones age and/or gender. Currently Jina is working as an aesthetician at a spa, but dreams of one day being a nurse.

Jennifer (Ireland) (
While living in London, England Jennifer received the unexpected opportunity to move to Toronto. Although initially apprehensive about leaving a city she adored and the closer proximity to her family in Ireland the, nothing ventured, nothing gained spirit spurred her westward. Jennifer currently works as a writer and Communications Officer at the University of Toronto. She is also enjoying Ontarios seasons, the walkability of Toronto as well as its markets and many restaurants.

Amarachi (Nigeria) (
Amarachi grew up always knowing she would venture abroad for her post-secondary education. When deciding she chose Canada and McMaster University in Hamilton as it was more affordable and the social service programs were available to her. Her whole family moved to Hamilton in order to experience a better political and social situation. Amarachi likes the variety of activities available in the city and is involved regularly in meetups and couchsurfing. She looks forward to participating in hot yoga through a volunteer energy exchange program where she exchanges her time cleaning the facilities in exchange for complementary classes. Currently, Amarachi works as a business analyst at a large retail organization. She also writes and photographs for Aesir Republic.

The Winnipeg Foundation gives Immigrant Centre $50,000 to provide a warm welcome for all (Canadian Immigrant)
The Immigrant Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has, for 65 years, been delivering innovative Immigration and Settlement Services that allow immigrants to connect, integrate and fully participate in Canadian society. Recently, the Immigrant Centre was pleased to announce the receipt of a $50,000 grant from the the Winnipeg Foundation. This contribution will ensure continued funding for a full-time Immigrant Settlement Facilitator to work with all newcomers seeking settlement advice, regardless of their immigration status.

Expression of interest system is coming, says new Immigration Minister Chris Alexander (Canadian Immigrant)
It cant be easy to step into the shoes of someone who has made such an enormous impact in his field. But thats what new Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, a former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan, has had to do. At the time of the cabinet shuffle this past July, Minister Jason Kenney was the longest serving immigration minister in Canadian history, and arguably the most influential as well. Kenney now heads up the new Employment and Social Development department, but has also retained his role as minister of multiculturalism, keeping him closely connected to the immigration portfolio.

5 challenges to estimating global migration (Phillip Connor,
With recent reports of migrants risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean, Roma communities on the move throughout Europe and alleged abuses of migrant workers in the Middle East, one of the most frequently asked question is: How many migrants are there in the world? In 2013, the United Nations estimated there to be about 232 million international migrants in the world. Many may be surprised to know that this number represents slightly more than 3% of the worlds population a percentage that has remained rather steady for several decades. But if all the worlds migrants were in a single country, it would be the worlds fifth most populous country, falling between the populations of Indonesia and Brazil. The United States still attracts the largest number of migrants by far, with about one-in-five of the worlds migrants living in the country, or more than 40 million people. (These figures refer to the total number, or cumulative stocks, of migrants living around the world rather than to the annual rate of migration, or current flows.)

Raising awareness for migrant prisoners (Eva Salinas,
Some have already spent years in legal limbo, caught between a country that wants to expel them and another that won’t take them. As punishment for not belonging, for not fitting into Canada’s definition of citizen, they languish in maximum security prisons among those convicted of crimes. This is the state of thousands of immigration detainees in Canada, costing the country upward of $50 million each year and leaving many undocumented people and their families with little recourse.

Canada considers while Australia acts on gender diversity (By Toronto-based Catalyst,
While Canadians debate whether regulators should mandate ways to get more women on boards, the Australian Securities Exchange is moving ahead with a proposal that would compel companies to disclose annually how they score on a range of gender diversity metrics. Instead of merely reporting the proportion of men and woman on the board, in management and across the organization, companies listed on the ASX would have to report gender equality indicators such as pay equality, and flexible working arrangements developed for employees with families, according to a note published Friday by Australian law firm Holding Redlich.

Shads Stylin should silence critics (
If anyone tries to knock Shad, they usually complain that he’s too nice. After all, who doesn’t love Shad? Born to Kenyan/Rwandan parents, raised in London, Ont., educated in Kitchener-Waterloo, and now calling Vancouver home, he’s dropped three albums full of intricate but clear wordplay, rocked stages with his winning charisma, and acted as a rap ambassador as a clean-cut, conscious alternative to audiences who didn’t think they liked hip-hop.

NOVA SCOTIA A-Z: Embracing Canadian culture (Hilary Beaumont,
Since Mohammed moved to Halifax a year and a half ago, he hasnt been able to celebrate Eid with his family. Doha is a 30-hour round trip from Halifax via Montreal unjustifiable for a three-day weekend. So this year, rather than celebrating Eid, he experienced his first Thanksgiving. Canadian friends invited him to eat turkey and mashed potatoes, and introduced him to the tradition of giving thanks. During Eid, Mohammed would say in the name of Allah before eating. Instead, he said he was thankful for his family and friends, and for doing well in school. Its the same in some ways (to Eid). Its about sharing and spending time with friends and family, being nice to others.

Statement Minister Alexander welcomes verdicts in SISO case (CIC)
I was pleased to see all three people involved in the SISO affair have been sentenced for their crimes. Those who attempt to defraud the government and divert taxpayers money for their own personal gain should be punished to the fullest possible extent.

Expression of Interest (EOI) immigration system (Tamara Miranda, Immigration Nation)
Under the EOI immigration system, the foreign national will submit an EOI to CIC electronically, and if approved, s/he would be placed into a pool of skilled immigrants, which could be accessed by Canadian employers to help address labour market needs across a wide range of occupations, skill levels, regions and sectors of the Canadian economy. Amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act introducing the EOI immigration system have been included in the October 2013 omnibus bill.

Calgary Entrepreneur Battles Slavery and Sex Trafficking (
Unlike victims of atrocities such as natural disasters, human trafficking is the intentional exploitation of vulnerable people, especially women and children, says Sara Dasko, President and CEO of Free Mind Learning Services and founder of Pieces for Change. This can be eradicated if we work together and become aware of the surreptitious malevolence that pervades our world, affecting neighbors near and far. Being informed and involved in the fight to stop human trafficking, we can restore human dignity and freedom to those whose place we could have just as easily been born into; indeed, we can free our minds and free their souls. Pieces for Change is an annual event that combines pieces of art and music to raise funds in support of IJM. The soirée features local artists such as Robert Scott, Karin Edwards, Mindy Edwards, Deanne Poschwatta and several others who have donated their work for sale in a silent auction. Local musical folk artists The Wellington Folk and I Am The Mountain will be entertaining guests at the Folk Festival Music Hall.

30 new Canadians sworn in (Alison Langley,
Friday was a good day for Amalia Gomez. “This is a wonderful day,” the St. Catharines woman said as she clutched her certificate of Canadian citizenship. Gomez was born in Columbia and had lived in the United States for ten years before coming to Canada in 2006. On Friday, Gomez and her 11-year-old son Anthony Mora were sworn in as Canadian citizens at a ceremony at the St. Ann Adult Learning Centre in Niagara Falls.

Muslims Help Ontarios Homeless (OnIslam)
Extending their helping hand across Canada, Muslim community has travelled to deliver donated food items to an isolated town in Kenora district in northern Ontario after declaring state of ’emergency’ there. It is part of being a Muslim, and they come and donate money or supplies, or part of their annual sacrificial meat so we can do this, Hussain Guisti, the spokesperson of Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, told Winnipeg Free Press.


A long, long way from Rwanda (Bradley Crawford,
With a bag of books strapped to his shoulders, and tattered running shoes on his feet, caked in the red dust of Rwandan dirt, Yves Sikubwabo would run 11 kilometres to school every morning, only to run back home in the afternoon. With no other form of transportation, the Guelph Gryphon cross country and track star ran up and down the hills of his native Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, for three years to get to high school.


Migrants group in Canada calls for better protection for migrant workers (Janess Ann J. Ellao,
Filipino migrants group Migrante-Alberta is urging Canadian employers to ensure the safety of foreign workers in their respective work places, after two recent incidents that left two Filipino workers injured. Foreign workers have a lot of adjustments to make. They adjust to the climate, the language, the homesickness, food and transportation, and the local norms, while making sure that they perform their duties in their workplaces, said Marco Luciano, Migrante-Alberta spokesperson. He added that migrant workers willingly take the risk because of their need for job security.

Canadas skills gap continues to widen (Jamie Anderson,
According to the findings of the study conducted by Hays PLC, a global recruiting firm, Canada ranks ninth in the developed world for the shortage of skilled workers, a drop from the scores posted last year. Japan, the United States, Germany and Sweden are other countries that face the problem of skilled worker shortage, the report highlighted. With no changes in the immigration polices and the aging Canadian work force, the situation in Canada is sure to get worse, Hays chief executive Alistair Cox, said

Operational Bulletin 555 October 28, 2013 Work Permits for Start-up Business Class Permanent Resident Visa Applicants (CIC)
Effective October 26, 2013, qualifying foreign nationals who have received a Commitment Certificate/Letter of Support issued by a designated entity may be considered for a short-term Work Permit (WP) in order to facilitate their early entry to Canada if the designated entity supports the request for a WP. In addition, business incubators have been included in the list of designated entities.

Wordsmithing 80,000 Jobs (Erin Weir, Behind the Numbers)
The recent federal throne speech stated, The Government will soon complete negotiations on a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union [CETA]. This agreement has the potential to create 80,000 new Canadian jobs. There has since been a subtle but important shift in the governments wording around that figure, as I pointed out in the following letter in Thursdays Ottawa Citizen (page A10) and Saturdays Montreal Gazette (page B6).


Ontario nonprofits encouraged to participate in new ONN purchasing survey (
The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN), in partnership with Round Table Procurement Services (RTPS), is surveying the sector on its current approach to managing purchasing (or “procurement”) activities. Their goal is to help the sector better understand the potential issues, opportunities and needs of nonprofits in Ontario. A summary report of findings will be shared with all participants. Anyone who is involved with your purchasing activities – managing or supporting the buying, receiving of or payment for goods and services is encouraged to participate in the survey, which takes about 20 – 30 minutes to complete. All surveys should be completed by November 15, 2013. Particpants will have the chance to win one of two free registrations to ONN Conference 2014, or an iPad mini.


Canadian Social Research Newsletter : October 27, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. [Ontario] Poverty patchwork : Can the grassroots trust the Wynne government after missing targets? (Now Toronto) – October 2013
2. Social Assistance in Canada (Conference Notes by Nick Falvo) – October 24
3. Vibrant Communities Canada : Cities Connect October 2013 updates
4. Ten Things You Might Not Know About Poverty In Canada (CBC) – October 17
5. Harper Government on Track for Balanced Budget in 2015 (Finance Canada) – October 2013
6. Harper Government Focused on Job Creation and Economic Growth with Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2 (Finance Canada) – October 22
7. Bank of Canada Inflation Calculator and Investment Calculator (updated links)
8. [Ontario] Social Assistance, Pension and Tax Credit Rates, October to December 2013 (Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services) – October 2013
9. [Ontario] Submission to the Cabinet Committee on Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion (Ottawa Poverty Reduction Network) – October 2013
10. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Employment Insurance, August 2013 – October 24
— Job vacancies in brief, three-month average ending in July 2013 – October 22
— Population estimates by census subdivision, 2011 and 2012 – October 22
11. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Address the root causes of poverty (Gael Gilbert, Supportive Housing of Waterloo)
Kudos to Cameron Dearlove for succinctly explaining how one’s income and socio-economic reality can so negatively impact the social determinants of health which address those issues, including education, housing, health care, access to food and employment. For most of us, these are the very basic supports required to enable stability, but for many in Waterloo Region the effects of childhood poverty can lead to a lifetime of marginalization; for others, unemployment becomes an avenue to hopelessness.

Halton Poverty Roundtable business breakfast (
The Halton Poverty Roundtable will hold a business breakfast event titled Driving Community Investment Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the DeGroote School of Business, 4350 South Service Rd., in Burlington. The 7:30-10 a.m. breakfast will feature speakers Hugh Segal, senator for Kingston Frontenac-Leeds, and Mark Chamberlain, Trivaris LTD president and CEO.

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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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