Immigration & Diversity news headlines – Sept 9, 2013

Webinar Oct 30: Immigrants Wanted! Smart Strategies for Welcoming Communities and Regional Growth (Cities of Migration)
Join us to learn about smart strategies in St. Louis (US) and Botkyrka (Sweden) that aim to attract, recruit and integrate immigrants to jump start regional growth and secure a future of shared prosperity for all.
Digital Opportunity (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Violette Uwamutara. She left Toronto thirteen years ago to pursue a career giving back to her father’s home country, Rwanda. She’s now the Country Director of DOT Rwanda.Her organization hopes to see young people turn Rwanda into Africa’s information and communications technology hub. Violette also recently won the Anita Borg Institute Change Agent Award.The award honours young women who have been instrumental in leading others through information technology, community leadership, social impact and economic development.
New Cricket Pitch (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Nick Stefanoff. He is the Principal at Valley Park Middle School, and with Julie Dasoo, she sits on the school’s Parent Council. They are both involved in the Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field Project.
Carding Changes (CBC Metro Morning)
Carding, the practice of randomly stopping and questioning of individuals could be in line for a name change. Matt Galloway spoke with Peter Sloly . He is the Deputy Chief of the Toronto Police Service.
Jacques Parizeau, voice of reason (Yes, you read that right) (Jonathan Kay, National Post)
Former Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau, who presided over a Parti Quebecois government that nearly won a referendum to separate from Canada, says his former party’s proposed charter of values goes too far and will drive minorities toward federalist parties.  Parizeau, who was premier from September 1994 to January 1996, wrote a column for the French-language newspaper Le Journal Thursday that criticized the PQ under the leadership of Premier Pauline Marois for its proposed ban on public servants wearing overt religious symbols.
Newcomers given a hearty welcome for Thanksgiving (Richard Watts, Times Colonist)
When Victoria couple John Macdonald and Dagmar Wanke sit down for Thanksgiving supper, their table will be graced with something new — people they have never met.  Macdonald, a retired building supplies retailer, and Wanke, a therapist, will be taking part in Share Thanksgiving — a grassroots, national program to pair up families, new to Canada, with Canadian families who have spots at their tables.
Manitoba Welcomes You! Just Not the Gay Chinks. (Andrew Chung, Mainstream Outsider)
It’s in situations like this one when I think about the frivolous, surface-level and useless discussions corporate Canada and other organizations have around diversity. In our current, HR-focused discourse around diversity and inclusion, we all too often talk about the uncomfortable things we’re comfortable talking about. Things like giving women a fairer chance at advancing, integrating immigrants into the workforce, accessibility improvements etc. Now, I’m not trying to take away from these issues because they are indeed of utmost importance. But what of the deeper issues that cause even these problems to perpetuate? Hate is almost always ignored in our “diversity” conversations. If someone brings it up at a conference, someone else dismisses it as being “too academic and not pragmatic” towards solutions-building.  No offence to all those brilliant subject matter experts who have made a big buck off rambling about diversity but I think it’s time we start talking about the uncomfortable things we’re most uncomfortable talking about, why they happen and how we can move past them.
Second Moving Forward Community Consultation Conference 2013 (Settlement AtWork)
This year’s conference will examine and seek to address various socio-economic issues facing African Canadians in London and Area especially as we complete the Needs Assessments phase of the on-going Labour Market Partnership Program funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. This years conference is sponsored in part by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Belgian Immigrant Shares Journey of a Lifetime in “An Immigrant’s Quest” (Digital Journal)
Culture shock is defined as the anxiety and fear felt as the result of social and geographical changes. Author, Joseph De Prest experienced this phenomenon as a teenager when his family emigrated from Belgium to Canada after World War II.  The book, “An Immigrant’s Quest” is the heartwarming tale of the De Prest family’s move during the 1950’s. The family of 12 struggled to adjust to the harsh realities of their new Canadian home. They are able to find success and happiness by relying on each other.
Racism’s fine line (Ray Arnold, The Province)
While The Province’s new series on racism is long overdue, and I hope it will be successful in its goal to encourage more dialogue about this problem, I also feel that great care should be taken in the use and clarification of some of the more common language and concepts  that might be utilized in any dialogue that occurs.  For instance, I believe that racism is one of the outcomes of ethnocentricity, not the other way around. Ethnocentrism, “the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture” (Webster’s College Dictionary), is the a priori concept or belief system.
Racism in BC : Discrimination simmers in our tolerant society (Cassidy Oliver, The Province)
The 33-year-old mother of two walked into the nail salon, located in Burnaby’s vibrant Heights shopping district, on a clear spring day hoping for a quick manicure and pedicure.  As a woman of mixed heritage, she says that she has, in the past, been mistaken for a variety of ethnicities, including Japanese and Egyptian. In reality, she’s part First Nations, part Caucasian, and looks, as so many now do, the very blend of colours and features that represents the shifting physical make-up that Canada so prides itself on.
Immigration Fuels New Agriculture Opportunity (Net News Ledger)
“Canada’s growing immigrant population is creating new opportunities for Canadian food producers and processors”, according to J.P. Gervais, Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) Chief Agricultural Economist. “As immigration patterns change, there are significant opportunities for Canadian agriculture to respond to the evolving needs of domestic customers,” commented Gervais, assessing the current and long-term impact of immigration on food consumption.  “The potential for catering to new Canadians exists for primary producers, processors and retailers.”
City probes publicly-funded mural critics say promotes holy war (Terry Davidson, Toronto Sun)
The City of Toronto is investigating a controversial publicly-funded mural which critics say promotes a holy war against non-Muslims.  The city-funded piece of art on the wall of a building housing the Al-Tawakal mosque on Gerrard St. E., near Greenwood Ave., incorporates a verse from the Qur’an, which is written in Arabic and scrawled in modern, urban-style graffiti.  Critics charge it is a jihadist battle-cry against the West — an assertion disputed by the artist and at least two Toronto academics.
Ottawa Writers and Performers Read Kafka’s The Trial in Conjunction with Supreme Court Challenge to Secret Trials (Homes Not Bombs)
A few short hours after the Supreme Court of Canada hears the public portion of a precedent-setting secret hearing on Thursday, October 10, a collection of Ottawa-area writers and performers will gather at St. Paul’s University at 7:30 pm, to read a staged adaptation of Kafka’s The Trial, the classic novel that begins, “Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning.”
Dexter defends government fight against orphanage lawsuit (CBC)
Premier Darrell Dexter is defending the government’s decision to ask the courts to dismiss affidavits from people who allege they were abused at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children.  Dexter says he sees nothing contradictory about the move while the government plans to set up an independent panel to review abuse accusations from former residents of the Halifax orphanage.
Event Oct 17: Socio-spatial inequality in Toronto: What’s racism got to do with it? (Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership)
Research shows that Toronto is becoming increasingly unequal. In 40 percent of Toronto’s neighbourhoods, incomes are steadily declining. In these neighbourhoods, members of racialized communities are strongly overrepresented. Government policies and the labour market play a major role. What is the role of racism and discrimination in employment, housing, education and justice? Why is racism rarely acknowledged in policy debates? What can we do to put it into the discussion? How is racism addressed in European cities? How can research, advocacy and services help to address racism and discrimination?
Living With Racism (JAY PHILLIPS AND SUSAN LAZARUK, The Province)
The B.C. hate crime was seen around the world.  Jay Phillips, a black man, was circled and eventually swarmed and beaten in a McDonald’s parking lot in Courtenay by three shirtless white men, one of them calling him a “f—ing n—–.”  The July 2009 event was caught on video and seen by four million viewers on YouTube.  “To be quite honest with you, it’s nothing new to me,” said Phillips, whose mother is white and late father black.  “I grew up like that (in Maple Ridge). Calling me paki and n—–and all sorts of things.”
A subtle blade still cuts (Susan Lazaruk, The Province)
What us, racist?  Despite Canada’s multicultural policy and our liberal immigration rules, you don’t have to look far to find examples of racism.  Ask Serge Rai, a Surrey construction company owner, who filed a complaint of racial discrimination against the Shark Club in Langley, alleging he, his wife and some of their South Asian friends were denied entry to the club one night in December 2011 because of their brown skin.  The club’s bouncers, one of whom pleaded guilty to assaulting Rai that night, and its lawyers denied the allegations during a recent humanrights tribunal hearing.  But the tribunal agreed with the three complainants, ordering the Shark Club to pay them $10,000 each for injury to their dignity and selfrespect.
Infographic: What’s new for refugees in Canada? (PDF) (CCR)
A one-page, illustrated overview of recent changes affecting refugees and refugee claimants in Canada. The ideal tool for your next public presentation.
Q essay: The cost of cutting refugee health care (CBC)
Last year, the federal government changed health care benefits for some refugees and cancelled coverage altogether for others. Jian commented in the wake of the change and has continued to follow the story until now. “A little more than a year later it appears these changes are having an effect and it would be hard to argue that it’s a positive one,” he said today’s opening Q essay.
Bringing Universities to Refugee Camps in Kenya (Ginanne Brownell, New York Times)
The idea of bringing university education into refugee camps grew from a long-term scholarship program run by the World University Service of Canada, or W.U.S.C., which has offered scholarships in Canadian universities to 1,350 refugees from around the world over the past 35 years.  “Time and again, W.U.S.C. scholarship students would speak to the fact that while it was fantastic to have this opportunity, so many of their siblings and peers remained in the camps,” said Jacqueline Strecker, an education specialist with the U.N. refugee agency.  “The amount of money to bring them to Canada could go a lot further if opportunities were made available within the camp itself.”
Canada deported man to torture in Sri Lanka: affidavit (Jonathan Woodward, CTV BC)
A Tamil man who was charged with organizing a ship that brought about 500 migrants to Canada from Sri Lanka was brutally tortured after he was deported, according to a document obtained by CTV News.  Sathyapavan “Sathi” Aseervatham said he was held for a year without charge in a Sri Lankan prison, beaten with plastic pipes, and forced to go without food and water, according to an affidavit arranged by his Canadian lawyer.
Suspected organizer of MV Sun Sea human smuggling operation believed killed in Sri Lanka (Stewart Bell, National Post)
A suspected organizer of the human smuggling operation that brought 492 asylum seekers to Canada three years ago aboard the MV Sun Sea has apparently been killed in northern Sri Lanka.
Ailing Pakistani refugee seeks sanctuary in church (Shuyee Lee, CJAD)
A 57-year-old Pakistani woman who arrived in Montreal as a refugee two years ago has now sought refuge in a Montreal-area church to avoid deportation back home where she says her life and that of her family would be threatened by Muslim extremists.  Khurshid Begum Awan arrived from Lahore in 2011 with her husband and grandson. Her daughter Tahira Malik came here first in 2000 to escape an abusive husband with ties to religious extremists.  After their refugee claim was refused, her husband was deported in April. Awan was to be deported in August but she chose instead to seek sanctuary in an Anglican church.
The Business Case for Supplier Diversity (Canadian Manufacturing)
Panel session description: Supplier diversity represents a proactive business process that helps provide Aboriginal, minority and women-owned suppliers equal access to bid opportunities. Large organizations in sectors such as automotive, banking and finance as well as technology have long realized the ROI of sourcing from diverse suppliers. Canada’s energy sector can also reap those benefits including increased flexibility, innovation leading to cost savings, improved access to an important and growing labour force, enhanced social license, amongst others.
Nearly 300 replaced by TFWs at oilsands site (Vincent McDermott, Fort McMurray Today)
It was unlike any Labour Day Ryan Louis had experienced.  As hundreds of pipefitters and welders arrived at Husky Energy’s Sunrise project for their weeks-long shifts, a company spokesperson told the crew of approximately 270 this would be their last.  Their replacements?  An equal number of temporary foreign workers brought in by Saipem, an Italian non-union contracting company specializing in the oil and gas industry.  Over the next 30 days, dozens of temporary foreign workers from Mexico, Ireland, Portugal and Italy were arriving at the site 60 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, waiting for turnover.
Dear Ryan: Canada Jobs Grant vs. Labour Market Agreement (Linda Leon, rabble)
Last month Canada’s territorial and provincial premiers met to discuss the Canada Jobs Grant (CJG), which the federal government wants to launch with their co-operation. The premiers are not happy.  The CJG is proposed as a replacement for the Labour Market Agreement (LMA) which was designed to “increase labour market participation of groups that are under-represented in Canada’s labour force and to enhance the employability and skills of the labour.” It was a bilateral agreement with up to $500 million in transfer payment support from the federal government. It was a way to devolve labour management to the provinces and territories and to increase the number of skilled workers in Canada. On the whole it worked, in large part because it could be tailored to the unique needs of each jurisdiction.
Kenney pledges ‘flexibility’ for small business on Canada Jobs Grant (Adrian Morrow And Bill Curry, Globe and Mail)
Ottawa is offering to make it easier for small businesses to take part in its proposed Canada Job Grant by allowing “mom-and-pop” firms to pay less money than larger ones to access the program.  Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney announced this detail of the grant at a lunch-hour speech Tuesday in Toronto’s financial district, as he promised more “flexibility” to get reluctant provinces onside with the program. He also challenged provinces to show some flexibility on their end as he prepares to meet his provincial colleagues one-on-one over the coming weeks, ahead of a group meeting on the grant in early November.
New study shows who is working for minimum wage (Workers’ Action Centre)
The Wellesley Institute released a new report today highlighting who is earning minimum or low wages in the province.   The numbers reflect what we see in our phone-line every day. Women, racialized workers and recent immigrants are more likely to be earning minimum wage. Minimum wage work is increasing across the board for adult workers, who now make up almost 40% of minimum wage earners.
International Report Shows Canadians are Adapting to the Digital Skills Era (Canada Newswire)
A major international study released today by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that Canadians are increasingly embracing information and communications technologies (ICT) and are well positioned for the society and economy of the 21st century.
Number of Ontario workers making minimum wage doubled over 8 years: study (CTV Toronto)
Major shifts in the economy have pushed more of Ontario’s workforce into minimum-wage jobs — more than double the share from nearly a decade ago, a new study shows.  Nine per cent of Ontario workers earned the minimum wage in 2011, up from 4.3 per cent in 2003, a Toronto policy research organization said in a report released Tuesday.  “When we think back to what happened in the economy between 2003 and 2011, there’s been a lot of big changes,” said the report’s author, Sheila Block.
Ontario minimum wage workers on the rise, study finds (Laurie Monsebraaten, Toronto Star)
The share of Ontario workers toiling for minimum wage has more than doubled from 4.3 per cent to 9 per cent since 2003, according to new research being released Tuesday. And those $10.25-per-hour workers are more likely to be women, visible minorities and immigrants, says the study by the Wellesley Institute. The research, based on Statistics Canada data from 2003 to 2011, shows that young workers are more likely to be earning minimum wage. But almost 40 per cent, or 183,000 of them, are 25 or older, the study shows.
Oct 18: Five Good Ideas about how to Grow as a Leader and Engage Your Staff in an Environment of Constant Change (Maytree)
There comes a point in our career when the best way to figure out how we are doing as leaders is to step back and ask ourselves a few key questions. Having all the answers is less important than knowing what to ask. This session will engage you to reflect on how you lead, and think about how you would like to grow as a leader. You will also hear ideas to develop the next generation of leaders and talent during times of constant change and shifting job descriptions. 
ABLE Conference 2013 (Financial Futures Calgary)
ABLE is a national conference for all stakeholders interested in fostering financial empowerment for people who live on low incomes.  This year’s conference will feature a range of innovative financial empowerment initiatives, a closer look at the role of financial institutions and emerging research and policy.
National Household Survey – the third kind of lie (Tim Stacey, Brock Press)
In any attempt to seriously convince a person of something, it is vital that the proposal be backed up with numbers. Any claim can’t be backed up by math, expressed in a simple fraction or per cent simply won’t be as convincing. Whether it be in political races, abstinence campaigns or toothpaste advertising, statistics are used at every opportunity to sway the opinions of the uninformed.
October News (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
Reviving Reciprocity: All My Relations Gathering
Announcing The Kathleen Laing Memorial Scholarships
Ontario Government Supports Social Enterprise
Food Business Boot Camp for entrepreneurs promoting healthy, local and sustainable food
Community Foundations of Canada Releases Vital Signs Report
Spotlight on new grants
Insight: Rankling* Neighbourhoods (Martin Prosperity Institute)
On August 14, 2013 Toronto Life released their August issue which included a ranking of Toronto’s neighbourhoods, found in: The Best Places to Live in the City: A (Mostly) Scientific Ranking of All 140 Neighbourhoods in Toronto. The article presented an overall score for each neighbourhood within the City and ranked them accordingly, while providing a detailed scorecard for each neighbourhood. The Martin Prosperity Institute contributed to this article by collecting the data and defining the methodology for scoring and ranking the neighbourhoods. Data was gathered from a variety of sources including Statistics Canada, City of Toronto statistical research, Toronto Police Service, the Centre for Research on Inner City Health and the Fraser Institute. As expected, the neighbourhood rankings generated discussion throughout the city in regards to the results. This Insight will provide an explanation of the metrics and data used for the Best Places to Live in the City ranking.
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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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