Immigration & Diversity news headlines – Nov 4, 2013


After the roundtable: A morning at the OSC (Pamela Jeffery ,Founder, Canadian Board Diversity Council)
While I share in my colleagues desire for change around the table, I wondered to myself, is this not too short-sighted? How do we keep this issue moving forward and keep it from being a fad that falls to the wayside? Some of the panelists suggested that perhaps the draft regulation was enough since it was catalyzing change. However this causes me to ask, if the government doesn’t follow through on legislation, will we see behaviours revert back once the pressure is off? I wonder if this impact is enough to create a systemic change in the way our largest organizations are run. The pace of change on the Canadian corporate boards is glacially slow. Ive said it once and Ill say it again: gender parity on corporate boards wont be achieved for another three quarters of a century: By 2097 we’re all dead. Our children are all dead”. That just isnt fast enough!

Survey: Minorities, women, natives in military suffer more harassment (
Women, aboriginals and visible minorities in the Canadian Forces say they experience higher rates of sexual and personal harassment than their peers in the military, according to a survey that found many dont bother reporting it for fear of being labelled troublemakers. The Canadian Forces Workplace Harassment Survey found that over a 12-month period, 16 per cent of Canadian Forces members who took part in the research experienced personal harassment, which could include offensive comments relating to race, religion, sex or physical traits.

Photographer paints diverse portrait of Toronto, one immigrant at a time (Debra Black,
Colin Boyd Shafer, a 30-year-old photographer and teacher, wants to demonstrate how diverse and multicultural Toronto is, one photograph at a time. He is snapping portraits of people from 190 countries that now make Toronto their home. His project, called Cosmopolis Toronto, has its own website and is available for viewing through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Funded by crowdsourcing on Indiegogo, the photography project is tentatively scheduled to be on display at the Toronto Centre for the Arts in North York for a month, starting in January. There are also plans to publish the photographs in a book.

Ysh (Philippines) (
Ysh is still trying to figure out what exactly a Torontonian is. He arrived here, with his mother who came to Canada as a Caregiver looking to get their family out of debt. While Canada may be more economically and politically stable then the Philippines, he says life here is a bitter subterfuge. He questions whether his place of birth has ceased to be his home, saying that Toronto is home as that is where he is now. Despite these questions, he believes that the strongest identity that we who call Toronto home share is the collective commitment to build a future together. Today, Ysh works as a graphics designer and is also an active advocate of Filipino migrant rights and welfare.

Paivastun (Afghanistan) (
Paivastuns family left Afghanistan at the beginning of the war, fleeing to Uzbekistan. Paivastun went on to live in Uzbekistan for 23 years, with the status of refugee, never as citizen. He explains that he never had a chance to go anywhere else until arriving in Canada in 2012 through UNDPs refugee program with his two brothers. Since fleeing Afghanistan as a baby he has not been back but he says he loves his country and feels like because of his familys influence he has not lost his culture. In Toronto there are a lot of Afghan restaurants and places that make him feel comfortable. Currently Paivastun is studying English at the City Adult Learning Centre and he plans on working as an international lawyer when he is finished.

Valeria (Argentina) (
Valeria followed her heart to Canada. As much as she misses her family back home, her happiest moments, as well as her most difficult challenges in her adult life all happened here. She says it would be hard to picture her life anywhere else, after all, this is where she brought her son into the world. She calls that moment the most extraordinary gift of all and it is what made Toronto truly feel like home. Currently Valeria works as a Cultural Advisor in an ESL school.

Need for English language programs on the rise in Durham (Parvaneh Pessian,
ESL classes for adults are funded by the Ontario government and range from basic literacy to advanced English, including conversation and pronunciation. The Durham District School Board and Durham Catholic District School Board offer part-time, full-time, evening or Saturday classes to help immigrants improve their English. Classes are offered in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax and Pickering. The programs are growing exponentially as more newcomers come to Durham Region, says Cathy Condarcuri-Sain, co-ordinator for the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program at the Durham Catholic District School Board.

Editorial: Would-be Canadian citizens need to live here (
Living in Canada is hardly an onerous requirement for anyone who wants to become a Canadian citizen. And while medical student Fatima Naveen sounds like the kind of productive, contributing citizen Canada should welcome, Federal Court Justice Peter Annis was right in upholding the residency rule in her case. Naveen, who was born in Pakistan, immigrated to Canada with her parents in 2004, but left almost immediately to continue her medical studies at Harvard University. Three years later, after spending a total of approximately 150 days in Canada far below the 1,095-day requirement specified in the Citizenship Act she applied for, and was granted, Canadian citizenship by a citizenship judge. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) appealed the judges ruling to the courts.

Domicile citizenship, human mobility and territoriality (Harald Bauder,
Formal citizenship often excludes migrants who were not born in the national territory in which they reside and/or were born to parents of foreign nationality. In this article, I explore how the domicile principle of citizenship can better accommodate migrants. Although this principle has a long history, it has only recently received significant attention among scholars. I examine the tensions between formal citizenship, mobility and territoriality, while developing a practical argument in support of domicile as an alternative configuration of territorial formal citizenship. Moreover, I highlight the capacity of domicile to include migrants at local and urban scales.

A fast-food lesson: Voting should be by residency, not citizenship (Doug Saunders,
What does it mean when people can live in a city for years, participate fully in its economic life (and tax system), raise a family there and sometimes transform its entire economy, yet are not allowed to participate in its civic life or elect their own representatives? This isnt just a 1970s German problem. Today, the United States has 11.1-million well-established residents who have no vote, property rights or ability to send their children to university because they have no pathway to citizenship. Canada is quickly approaching these numbers: This week, I attended a presentation by Chris Brillinger, the head of the city of Torontos social development, finance and administration department, who has determined that his city of 2.8-million has 485,000 adult residents who are unable to vote. Because Canadas temporary-permit immigrants now outnumber its permanent ones, this problem is likely to become worse.

Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy Embarks on Third Phase of Financial Literacy for Newcomers Project (
Phase 3 of the Canadian Centre for Financial Literacys (CCFL) Financial Literacy for Newcomers Project will focus on supporting 1,125 newcomers to integrate into society more quickly through financial literacy supports and services.

Racism Needs To Vanish (James Murray,
Racism is a subject that many people shy away from. I remember growing up as a child, and the prevailing attitude for many was Canadians are not racist. Watching the television news in the late 1960s and early 1970s and seeing what was happening in the United States, with the civil rights movement, you saw a sharp contrast between Canada and the United States. It was easier to be content that Canadians were just so much better than others. The truth, as we all know it, or as we all should know it is racism holds to no political boundaries.

At home in a ‘friendly environment’ (Richard Hutton,
Victor Yan has spent thousands of hours arranging the exchange of goods between his native China and his adopted home in Niagara Falls. But he saved his greatest trade for last Friday when the native of Shan Xi province when he became a Canadian citizen at a ceremony at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office on Portage Road. “Freedom,” said Yan of his reason to take out citizenship after coming to Canada six years ago.

Irish woman, 3 children being forced to leave Moncton (
An Irish woman who has called Moncton home for over a year is being forced to leave the country next week. Anna Graham says it would not have happened if the Department of Immigration call centre staff had better training and offered consistent advice. Her lawyer plans to appeal the decision to the immigration minister in Ottawa. Graham and her three children from a previous marriage have been living in Moncton as visitors with her Canadian husband, Shawn Graham.

Controversial Edmonton ads targeting Muslims wont be reviewed after being pulled (
A national advertising watchdog confirms it will not review controversial “honour killing” ads that were pulled off buses by Edmonton Transit this week. The controversial ads – paid for by the American Freedom Defence Initiative and Stop Islam of America – read: “Is your family threatening you? Is there a Fatwa on your Head?” The ad also featured seven photos of young women, some wearing hijabs. Smaller text read: “Muslim Girls’ Honor (sp.) Killed by Their Families.”

For Vancouver’s Mennonite Maids, Strength in a Shared Home (Colleen Kimmett,
In Nov. 1937, a group of young immigrant women pooled their money and bought a two-storey house in South Vancouver. That they made this purchase at a time when the country was easing out of the Great Depression was no small feat. That they did so with money saved from their salaries as domestic maids, minus what was sent home to pay off family debts, was an even greater accomplishment. The house, at 6363 Windsor Street, was the Bethel Home. It was one of two “Girls’ Homes” in the city that served thousands of young Mennonite women who left home to work in upper and middle-class households in Vancouver from the 1930s to ’60s.

Prince Albert physician picked for national documentary (Jodi Schellenberg,
Dr. Lalita Malhotra and Michael Morein sit together before the Stonehaven documentary crew film an interview with the physician on Thursday morning. A documentary crew from Stonehaven Productions out of Montreal was in Prince Albert on Thursday to interview Dr. Lalita Malhotra as part of a documentary they are filming for the Canadian Museum of Immigration in Pier 21 in Halifax.

Immigrant Settlement Work in Canada: Limits and Possibilities for Professionalization (Adnan Türegün,
This paper portrays the emergence of Canadian settlement work with immigrants and explores its prospects as an occupation. Currently, settlement work includes three forms of practice: (1) a loose occupation; (2) a specialty of social work; and (3) an emerging profession. The paper argues that settlement work is likely to have a professional future. However, whether or not it will become an independent profession depends largely on the funding regime of the settlement service sector. If the existing federal and short-term funding regime continues, settlement work will still be trying to define itself in the broader field of social service work. If a provincial and long-term funding regime emerges, prospects for an independent professional settlement work will improve.


News: International Refugee Law Research Centre Launched in Australia (Eem,
On Wednesday 30 October 2013 the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law was launched at UNSW Law. As the world’s first research centre dedicated to international refugee law issues, it aims to bring a principled, human rights-based approach to the issue of refugee law and policy in Australia by feeding high-quality research into public policy debates and legislative reform.

Canada: Deportation Order for Israeli ‘Immigrants’ (
A mother and daughter, Russian citizens who lived in Israel for six years, were recently denied refugee status or fixed residency in Canada and given an order of deportation. Website Shalom Toronto has covered the story of the pair, Larissa Lagnin and her daughter Nicole, who arrived in Canada in 2006. According to the site, hundreds of requests for refugee status in Canada are submitted by Israeli citizens or residents.

WKFOR receives discouraging news (
The West Kootenay Friends of Refugees, (WKFoR) based in Rossland, BC received some discouraging news this week. WKFoR has been fundraising for two years to bring two families to Rossland. While still waiting for news of their arrival, the group received some unexpected information. Both of the families had fled from Burma to Malaysia. Due to the long delay in the Canadian immigration process, one family has now immigrated to the United States. Recent and escalating religious conflict between Muslims and Buddhists in Malaysia caused the other family to go into hiding. Unfortunately the Canadian Immigration office could not find them to continue the immigration process. WKFoRs Burmese contacts have since located them. The Rossland group hopes to bring the family to Rossland in 2014.

Hillfields conversation circle builds bridges for refugees (Teri Pecoskie,
When Hadeel Abdulraheem fled Iraq with her family, she could barely speak English. But now, just three years later, the 19-year-old exudes confidence when she talks. “I feel comfortable here,” says the Glendale high school student. “It’s like my home.” Abdulraheem isn’t talking about a place, but rather a unique English conversation circle for refugee youth. Now in its seventh year, the program matches newcomers from Somalia, Cambodia, Haiti and elsewhere with peer tutors from Hillfield Strathallan College (HSC). They meet at St. Peter’s HARRRP Community Centre every Tuesday to do homework, practise English even just talk.

Journey from ordeal to freedom (Lezlie Lowe,
Navid stood fidgeting in the passport line in northwestern Iran, staring at the hulking metal door that opened into Turkey. I was telling myself if I could just cross that door, I will not die. As the immigration officer scrutinized the weary border crossers ahead, Navid pictured what might lie at the front of the line for him. I was thinking I was going to be arrested. My family would find out about everything. They might rape me there, the police.Maybe I will be sent back and executed. She looked at Navids passport. She looked at Navid. She looked again. She let him through.

Goods are freer to move; people are not (Tom Denton,
Whether human migration difficulties lie in entrance strictures such as Canada’s or departure obstacles in non-democratic states, it is ironic that increasing prosperity, at least for some, from freer trade seems to be happening at the same time as a tightening of national borders to the movement of people.


Jobs in Canada: Where, What and For Whom? (
An analysis by TD of vacancy, wage and unemployment rates in the country finds no proof of an imminent skills crisis. The report also addresses the barriers that skilled immigrants face integrating into the Canadian workforce.

Prince George Online Job Fair to connect local employers with skilled new Canadians living in Metro Vancouver (
Initiatives Prince George (IPG) to host its second Prince George Online Job Fair on November 19, 2013 to connect local employers with skilled new Canadians who are living in Metro Vancouver and are willing to move for work. Access to skilled workers and a diversified workforce has been identified as a significant issue faced by growing Prince George companies.

2014 Employer Excellence Awards: Call for Entries (
Hire Immigrants Ottawa is accepting entries for the 2014 Employer Excellence Awards from employers in the National Capital Region. The awards recognize local employers for their innovative and /or exemplary human resource policies and practices in the recruitment, inclusion and engagement of skilled immigrants into their organizations.

Canadian job experience an immigrants dilemma (Frank Valeriote,
For new immigrants, arrival in Canada is always accompanied with hopeful and noble aspirations, most of them for the well-being of their children. Coming to Canada means new jobs, prosperity, access to education and ultimately security for their family’s future. Our country has been greatly enriched by the contributions of new immigrants. The reality is, however, that the promise of jobs is quickly met with the cold, hard fact that such expectations of job opportunities were overstated, a detail left out of the brochures and government ads circulated in other countries.

Skilled workers needed for BC’s resource sector (
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) is committed to helping to meet the labour demand, in the North, as well as across BC. ITA works with partners in industry, training, government, and labour to provide programs that offer the right training, in the right places, at the right time. One such program is the Industry Training Authoritys Immigrants in Trades Training (ITT) initiative. ITT helps skilled New Canadians who are unemployed or employed in low-skilled jobs overcome barriers to entering the trades. The initiative supports New Canadians who already have technical skills from their home countries, but need Canadian certification. This program helps us provide support to underrepresented groups in trades, who have the desire, background, and skills to do the job and who can be a key part of a strategy to meet the demand, says Erin Johnston, Director of Training Delivery, ITA.

Migrant workers give the local economy a boost (
The harvest is wrapping up across our region, thanks to all the help of thousands of migrant workers. And as they head back to their families, theyre not going back empty handed. Trinidad native Rick Sookhoo has spent the past 7 months working as a field hand in the Holland Marsh. Its a great opportunity to work and save money and Canada is a wonderful place.


Canadian Social Research Newsletter : November 3, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Koch foundation donated again to Fraser Institute in 2011, U.S. tax records show (Vancouver Observer) – October 31
2. Top 10 howlers in Stephen Harpers convention keynote (PressProgress) – November 2
3. Fourteen Components of Fascism (Canadian Dimension) – February 8, 2012
4. Five Things You Should Know About Poverty in British Columbia (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition) – October 2013
5. Canada Child Tax Benefit Guideline Table : July 2013 to June 2014 (Canada Revenue Agency)
6. New from Finance Canada:
— 2011-12 Public Accounts Of Canada Tabled – October 30
— Release of The Fiscal Monitor for August 2013 – October 27
7. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics
— Payroll employment, earnings and hours, August 2013 – October 31
— Foreign control in the Canadian economy, 2011 – October 30
8. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Poverty is behind societys most serious issues (Dennis Smith,
Barb Chilwell was once a successful businesswoman, with a special needs daughter in private school. After Chilwell had a heart attack, she has known worries like not having enough money for bread and milk. It has been a difficult, stressful and unbelievable experience, said the Halton resident. I never imagined being in this situation. Chilwells story moved the audience at the Halton Poverty Roundtable business breakfast Wednesday (Oct. 30).

Considering Affordable Homeownership in Toronto (
Over the past 30 years, 95% of new housing built has been for the purpose of ownership (City of Toronto, 2009). Unfortunately, the number of affordable ownership units being developed is low. Supporting mixed income neighbourhoods through affordable ownership housing policies enhances the health and wellbeing of neighbourhoods. Effective and targeted housing policies have the potential to reverse income polarization and lessen social segregation that is distinctly dividing Toronto. It gives more people the option to live close to where they work, having both social and environmental benefits and contributing to the success of communities.

Another kind of poverty (Justin Joschko, Nicole Letourneau,
More than one in seven Canadian children currently lives in poverty. That number has climbed steadily since the 1990s and comes with very real consequences — both social and economic. Children raised in poverty suffer from a disproportionate amount of health problems, have less education and are more likely to live in poverty as adults. This in turn hurts our economy in higher rates of crime and joblessness, steeper health-care costs, fewer income taxes and a sagging social safety net. All told, poverty has been calculated to cost Canada up to $84 billion a year.

Canadian Wage Gap: Largest Difference Ever Between West, Maritimes (
Theres a different kind of income inequality growing in Canada, and where you rank on the ladder depends on where you live. On one side are Alberta, Saskatchewan and, yes, Newfoundland, where resource extraction industries are fuelling wage gains. On the other side is the rest of the country, which is seeing its wages fall further behind the oil-producing regions. Hourly wages in Alberta are now $6 higher per hour, on average, than wages in Atlantic Canada, an all-time record difference, BMO economist Robert Kavcic reports.

Fifteen Tory motions to know about from the convention (Josh Wingrove,
Gathering in Calgary, Conservative delegates passed a series of motions aimed at carrying the party through the next election. The policies were accepted or spiked on Saturday, the final of three days that the country’s major players met in Calgary. The policies tackled a range of subjects, and could or could not ultimately steer the Conservative government. Here’s a look at what passed and one that didn’t.

The international student fluency gap (Ken Macqueen,
The adjustment to university life is tough enough for Canadians, but imagine the difficulty of the growing cohort of international students who must cope with a new country, a different culture and high-level studies in a foreign language. Its a challenge that post-secondary institutions are working to meetwith mixed resultsas foreign enrolment surges to unprecedented levels. More than 100,000 international students enrolled in Canadian schools in 2012 alone, a 60 per cent increase from 2004. Last year, a federal advisory panel on international-education strategy, headed by University of Western Ontario President Amit Chakma, proposed doubling the total population of 239,000 quality international students studying here in the next decade.

Poverty activists demand affordable Internet (Jennifer Moreau,
Internet is an essential service, it needs to be more affordable for all residents. Our kids need Internet to do homework, and because many parents cant afford it, they have to do homework at the library. This is just one example of how low-income families have a financial barrier to digital participation, said ACORN Canada president Kay Bisnath in a press release.

Stephen Harpers new employment insurance rules whack Ontario hard (Thomas Walkom,
When Stephen Harpers government announced last year that it was tightening the rules for employment insurance, the move seemed to be aimed at seasonal workers particularly Atlantic fishermen. Seasonal benefits have long been a controversial part of EI. The rap against Atlantic fishermen (not entirely justified) is that many work for only a few weeks each season and then collect pogey for the rest of the year. Certainly, the four Atlantic premiers argued that Finance Minister Jim Flahertys reforms were targeting their region.

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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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