Immigration & Diversity news headlines – Oct 29, 2013


Planning for Success, Putting Canada First (CIC)
After tabling the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, Alexander said Canada plans to welcome 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents in 2014, with record admissions forecast in both the Canadian Experience Class and the Provincial Nominee Program. “While Canadians will continue to get the first crack at available jobs, getting the right people in the right places is key to addressing regional labour needs and fueling Canada’s long-term prosperity,” said Alexander. “We need newcomers willing to put their skills, ideas and energies to work.”

Ottawa’s 2014 immigration plan focuses on economic class (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Canada is set to launch its “Express of Interest System” (EOI) to let employers cherry-pick skilled immigrants from a pool of pre-screened candidates. In tabling his annual report to the Parliament Monday, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander also announced that Ottawa will admit between 240,000 and 265,000 permanent residents to Canada in 2014, the same level as this year. “While Canadians will continue to get the first crack at available jobs, getting the right people in the right places is key to addressing regional labour needs and fuelling Canada’s long-term prosperity,” Alexander said in Ottawa. The EOI system is to start on Jan. 1, 2015.

Canada aims to open doors to 265,000 immigrants in 2014 (Daniel Proussalidis,
The feds have set a goal of bringing in up to 265,000 immigrants to Canada next year. The new goal is in the immigration department’s 2013 annual report that Immigration Minister Chris Alexander tabled in the Commons on Monday.

Immigration dialectic: Imagining community, economy, and nation. By Harald Bauder (
In this book, Harald Bauder explores national identities in Canada and Germany through the lens of immigration. While he describes Canada as an example of a settler society consisting predominantly of immigrants and their descendants, Germany illustrates a country with a historical tradition as an ethnic nation recently challenged by immigration. The two categories, settler society and ethnic nation, provide the two conceptual models of national identity explored.

Margaret (New Zealand) (
Margaret has called Toronto home for nearly half a century. She has worked for the city’s Social Services and also as a kindergarten teacher. At the age of 45 Margaret married Brink, a Toronto native whom she met at a singles gathering in 1991. Together they established themselves in Don Mills, enjoyed cottage life at Lake of Bays and have had several trips ‘down under’ to visit her family. Even though she has embraced many things Canadian including citizenship, Margaret says she will always be a Kiwi at heart.

Ziphion (Hong Kong) (
Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 was a major worry for Ziphion and his family. In a visit to Canada shortly before this, Ziphion became interested in the wide variety of creative subjects taught in the public schools such as animation and graphic design. This inspired him to leave Hong Kong and complete High School in Toronto. After graduating he continued his studies at the University of Toronto and started his career as an Engineer. Ziphion appreciates the fact that there are four distinct seasons in Canada and that it “actually snows at Christmas.” With more than 10 winters spent in the snowy mountains skiing and snowboarding, he became a volunteer member of the Canadian Ski Patrol. For Ziphion there were many reasons for choosing Toronto. He believes that Hong Kong has long working hours, a society full of materialism, propaganda in the media, political instability, and less daily interaction with nature.

Hassan (Iran) (
Born in Iran, Hassan left due to socio-political problems and a feeling that he wasn’t accepted. Coming to Canada was like a new door opening for him, a chance for a new life and opportunities. He currently lives with his brother, is attending school to improve his English language skills and then he will pursue a career in Electrical Engineering.

Alleged trafficker sought job for woman, but visa applications stalled: witness (James Keller,
A wealthy Vancouver-area woman accused of illegally bringing a domestic servant into Canada asked her lawyer to prepare a work visa application for the alleged victim because she had found the young African woman a possible job, a human trafficking trial heard Monday. But the lawyer, who worked for Mumtaz Ladha, says the work permit application stalled and the job never materialized. Instead, he held onto the alleged victim’s passport for months after her visitor’s visa was due to expire.

New book examines the links between media representations of Arab-Canadians and state policy (Bruce Gillespie,
In Jenna Hennebry and Bessma Momani’s new book Targeted Transnationals: The State, the Media and Arab Canadians, they argue that Arab-Canadians have been become “targeted transnationals” following 9/11, through state security and immigration policies that have eroded many personal and citizenship rights. The collection discusses the ways in which racialized media discourses present Arab-Canadians as a homogenous group and have reinforced discriminatory attitudes toward Arab-Canadians. The work also points to sites of resistance against institutional racism in Canada and ends with a reflection on the various challenges to integration that Arab-Canadians face, as well as on the issue of multiculturalism in the context of transnationalism and globalization.

Immigrant mental health compounded by language and cultural barriers (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
For almost 25 years, since the onset of her schizophrenic symptoms, Kim Ngan Nguyen did not know why she heard voices and saw things that other people did not. The 62-year-old Vietnamese immigrant says she had no idea what “schizophrenia” was when her psychiatrist in Toronto handed her the diagnosis in 1983, two years after she moved here with her husband. She never spoke about her mental illness with her friends and family, not even to her husband when he passed away a decade ago.

How racism impacts health (
The 2013 Toronto Public Health’s annual Charles Hastings lecture will focus on Race and Health, a Healthy Future for All. This year the keynote speaker is Dr. David R. Williams, an internationally recognized health equity expert and Harvard University professor. The panel discussion will include two respondents who will focus these issues into a Toronto context, Uzma Shakir, Director of Diversity and Human Rights for the City of Toronto and Naki Osutei, Director of Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.

Rightswatch (CCLA)
The libel trial of outspoken commentator Ezra Levant in the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice was postponed earlier this month, until January 2014. This most recent delay adds to the lengthy timeline involving claims of defamation against Mr. Levant by the plaintiff Mr. Khurrum Awan. According to Mr. Awan’s statement of claim (filed with the Court in September 2009) while residing in Alberta, Mr. Levant published numerous alleged defamatory statements on his blog that caused the plaintiff to suffer “mental distress, humiliation and loss of reputation.” The document describes the blog as a forum where Mr. Levant “attacks individuals … and seeks to belittle and humiliate them.” In particular Mr. Awan alleges that he was described as “’Khurrum Awan the liar’, ‘stupid’, a ‘fool’, ‘a serial, malicious, money-grubbing liar’, and [Mr. Levant] unequivocally implied that he was an anti-Semite and a perjurer.”

Meet the godfather of ethnic grocery in Canada (
Some call Kam Choi the “godfather of ethnic grocery” in Canada. Indeed, the former T&T exec is considered a trailblazer, having taken the ethnic supermarket into shopping malls. His latest project, as the ethnic director at Overwaitea Food Group, is to literally make East meet West at the independent retailer’s PriceSmart stores. Two outlets have been converted to a layout in which half the store is Asian (with a red colour scheme), while the other side (blue) features more mainstream, western food.

Start-Up Visa Program Expanded To Include Business Incubators (
Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced a new visa stream to attract foreign entrepreneurs to Canada.”As part of our government’s focus on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, itis critical for Canada to attract the best entrepreneurs and innovators fromaround the world,” said Alexander. “This new stream will partner Canada’s worldclass business incubators with immigrant entrepreneurs, driving economic growth and placing Canada ahead of its competitors in the global economy of the 21st century.”The launch of a new Business Incubator stream under the Start-up Visa (SUV) Program to recruit dynamic foreign entrepreneurs will complement existing venture capital and angel investor streams.

New report shows immigrants in Toronto are struggling to survive (Canindia News Wire,
This week a study that is receiving a lot of attention is one titled, Shadow Economies: Economic Survival Strategies Of Toronto Immigrant Communities. The study commissioned by The Wellesley Institute found that among new Canadians a shocking 3 per cent of them worked in their own field, the rest work in other un-related fields or very junior positions. In an exclusive interview with Can-India, Dianne Dyson, a co-author of the study said that the study was done over two years and newcomers were often being underpaid and exploited by business owners from their own company. “Newcomers told us they had no choice but to work for $4 an hour because no one else would hire them. One business owner told us he was doing them a favor and that the newcomer was often not as good as his regular employees.

Hospital coms leader heads up Arab institute (Grant Lafleche,
In many ways, Brady Wood’s appointment to the chairmanship of the Canadian Arab Institute reflects the Canadian value of diversity. Wood, the chief of communications for the Niagara Health System, isn’t an Arab. So far as he knows, his family tree doesn’t include anyone of Arab descent. Nevertheless, he proudly took the post.

Chief Planner Roundtable – Arrival City: The Suburbs as Global City Landing Spot (City of Toronto)
Join Doug Saunders and other industry experts to learn about the important role that Toronto’s suburbs play in assisting newcomers in the process of “arrival”, opening vast opportunities for the creation of economic development and social capital. This Roundtable will broaden our understanding of how well Toronto is functioning for newcomers through examining the changing notions of community, available social services, and opportunities for economic development.


Competing for talent: The global struggle for the world’s most valuable resource (IECBC)
A talent gap of global significance is emerging and will widen in the coming decades according to a paper from the German Bertelsmann Foundation, “The Big Picture on Global Talent – How to better compete for, and grow talent.” The paper cites that in order to sustain economic growth,”by 2030 the United States will need to add more than 25 million workers and Western Europe will need to add more than 45 million employees.” In other words, in less than two decades, Western Europe will need to attract a workforce that is equivalent to the entire current labour force of countries such as the Phillipines, Vietnam or Mexico.

Foreign worker admissions spike in 2013 (
Canada ramped up its admissions of temporary foreign workers through the first half of this year even as the government was promising to clamp down to ensure Canadians get first crack at available jobs. The number of temporary foreign workers admitted from January to June rose nearly 5 per cent compared to the same period in 2012 and nearly 20 per cent over 2011, according to preliminary estimates from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Slightly more than 125,000 temporary foreign workers entered Canada through the end of June, compared to 119,000 in 2012 and 100,000 to 105,000 from 2008 to 2011, a period affected by the 2008 recession.

Where are we going with LMOs? Here’s what Jason Kenney has to say (
While at the centre of all things immigration, including being credited in large part for helping to win a majority government due to his political acuity and doggedness, he led an unprecedented era of change in immigration. In particular, the ALMO stream which was introduced to create deficiencies in the foreign worker realm. Previously, LMOs had taken upwards of 4 months to process. The ALMO program curtailed this to 2 weeks and sometimes quicker. There had also been changes announced to the force of the program, including an employer “blacklist”, but as of the spring when the media criticized the program, we have not seen any particular enforcement action being taken.


New Innoweave Webinars: Developmental Evaluation, Scaling Impact, and Cloud Computing (Innoweave)
If you organization is in interested in exploring new tools and approaches to enhance your impact, you may be interested in an upcoming Innoweave webinar on Cloud Computing, Developmental Evaluation, or Scaling Impact. Each session will provide a basic overview of the topic and examples of how it being used.


PressProgress launches (Broadbent Institute,
The Broadbent Institute today announced the launch of PressProgress, a new project to advance progressive solutions for Canada with hard-hitting news and analysis. cuts through the day’s political spin with facts and an informed point of view. From punchy blog posts to a daily web roundup of progressive news and views, PressProgress is a must-read to spur positive change. “As the policy debate heats up in advance of the 2015 federal election, PressProgress will be one of the ways the Institute contributes to that debate,” said Broadbent Institute Executive Director Rick Smith.

United Way hubs offer vital services to inner suburbs (Donovan Vincent, Toronto Star)
Most downtowners don’t know about them, but community hubs backed by the United Way have turned into bustling, vibrant focal points in Toronto’s inner suburbs. The seven centres, completed over the last three-and-a-half years offer a multitude of community-oriented social and health services: everything from primary care, pre-school preparation for moms and tots, settlement counselling for new immigrants, computer literacy, nutrition guidance, diabetes education, dental aid, and outreach programs for at-risk youth. (An eighth hub in Scarborough’s Steeles-L’Amoureaux neighbourhood is planned for the future.) It’s all under one roof, although not all the hubs offer the same services.

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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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