Immigration and Diversity news headlines – February 3, 2014


The IQN Awards call for nomination is now underway.The IQN Awards recognize leadership in foreign qualification assessment and recognition in four areas: Workplace Integration | Innovation | Engagement|Overseas. The call for nominations is open until Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 11:59pm (Ottawa time).

A rare look inside the ‘black box’ of Canada immigration (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
McMaster University’s Vic Satzewich got access to Canada’s overseas visa posts to study how officials decide who deserves to come here.

Board of Trade, feds talk immigration (Daniel MacEachern, The Telegram)
St. John’s Board of Trade representatives met with federal ministers in Ottawa this week to push for increased immigration rates.

How has immigration changed Canada’s national character? (Lois Tuffin,
Canada’s rich history as a place for second chances will be put into a new perspective at a speech at Trent University on Thursday night.Human rights law professor Dr. Audrey Macklin will debate whether Canada is facing the end of immigration as a tool for nation building at the annual Margaret Laurence Lecture at 7:30 p.m. at Market Hall.

New Democrat MP Don Davies plans to table two private member’s bills to look at issue of rejection of visitor’s visas (Nicholas Keung,
MP Don Davies wants detailed explanation when applicants are denied a visitor’s visa and allow an appeal to the decision if applicant feels it’s erroneous.

Stella Maris S.S. breaks down language barriers (Kevin Connor,
Stella Maris Separate School rose in the ranks of this year’s Fraser Institute Elementary School Report Card, despite most students being new to Canada and speaking English as a second language.

Hijab wearer: ‘I am not oppressed and I am not stupid’ (Anne Sutherland,Ottawa Citizen)
As a young Muslim woman, Nadia Naqvi wears a traditional head scarf every day. “I made the decision to put this on after the Christmas break when I turned 15,” Naqvi said. “I’m 32 now and I have been wearing a hijab more than half of my life.” Despite what politicians and others promoting the proposed charter of secularism, Bill 60, claim, Naqvi said she is not the product of a society that makes women second-class citizens and dictates that they must cover their hair.

Study dispels stereotypes about Ontario women who wear niqabs (Chris Herhalt,
The majority of Muslim women in Ontario who wear the niqab chose to do so after arriving in Canada and without receiving any encouragement from family members, suggests a study regarding use of the cloth face-covering veil.

Canada’s Muslims: From detoxing radicalisation to citizenship (Steven Zhou, Aljazeera)
As long as Canadian Muslims fail to influence public opinion, the narrative of fear and suspicion will continue.

Canadian Centre for Diversity’s educational programs get new life (John Allemang, Globe and Mail)
When the Canadian Centre for Diversity (CCD) announced that it was winding down its educational programs last September, the decision seemed to mark the end of a once-powerful charity that began life in 1947 as the Canadian Council of Christian and Jews (CCCJ).But apparently there’s still room for diversity in the crowded charitable landscape. On Wednesday, the non-profit Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion (CIDI), which focuses on workplace issues, announced a joint operating relationship between the two bodies that will sustain the Centre for Diversity’s work in schools.

CBC ombudsman: The fiction of race (Esther Enkin, CBC Ombudsman)
The complainant, Chris Edwards, thought an Ideas exploration of the notions of race and identity violated CBC policy of balance and did not provide a wide enough range of views on an important issue. The panel was a follow up of the 2013 Massey Lectures delivered by Lawrence Hill. The panelists explored race and identity and accepted the scientific consensus that race has no biological diversity.

Law students challenged to champion diversity (
Seek diversity. Be inclusive. Defend each other’s rights. Work together.Those were some of the messages given to law students at a national conference held in Halifax this weekend.

Lloyds Sets Target For Women Executives (Mark Kleinman, Sky News)
Lloyds Banking Group is to break new ground in the debate about gender diversity in British business by pledging that 40% of its top 5,000 jobs will be occupied by women within six years.

Audio: Black Lego (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Lego artist Ekow Nimako External Site.
Listen audio (runs 5:59)

Silent emotions ( Lise Diebel, Hamilton Spectator)
Young filmmakers’ movie offers a glimpse of life as a newcomer to Canada

Market Gallery profiles the Ontario Black History Society (City of Toronto)
The City of Toronto’s Market Gallery will present an exhibition on the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) beginning February 1 and continuing through April 19.

New Country/New Life: Promising Strategies to Promote Newcomer Mental Health Conference (
Toronto Public Health in partnership with the Toronto Newcomer Office invites you to New Country/New Life: Promising Strategies to Promote Newcomer Mental Health Conference.

Second Roundatable: Building Collaboration to Combat Human Trafficking in the City of Toronto (Alliance Against Modern Slavery)
The second of a series of roundtables aiming to facilitate the dialogue between multi‐sector stakeholders to address the issue of human trafficking in the City of Toronto will take place on Thursday, February 20.It will feature presentations by multi‐sector stakeholders who dedicate their work to counter human trafficking followed by working group discussions.


Woman fights order to leave Canada without her baby (
Local human rights advocates are crying foul after a Mexican woman denied refugee status was ordered to leave the country without the right to take her Canadian-born baby.

Woman who died in CBSA custody feared returning to domestic trouble in Mexico (Andrea Woo,
The Mexican woman who died by suicide while in the custody of the Canada Border Services Agency was fearful of being deported due to a “domestic situation” at home, according to the Mexican consulate in Vancouver.

When a CBSA detainee dies, questions linger (Josh Labove, Simon Fraser University)
I was interviewed on several media outlets (News 1130, Global BC1, CKNW) as news broke that a foreign national detained by Canada Border Services Agency at Vancouver International Airport died while in the Agency’s custody last month. In particular, I ask whether or not the border is a Charter-free zone, and to what extent transparency and due process can be part of immigration enforcement programs.

Syrian-Montrealer brings help, hope to refugee children (
As a week of peace talks on Syria’s civil war ended in deadlock in Geneva, a Montreal man vowed to go back to Syrian refugee camps to help the maimed and orphaned children he says have been all but abandoned there.

The Missing Piece (Laura Madokoro, Indo-Chinese Refugee Movement and Canadian Sponsorship Blog)
There are currently 2.2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey. Despite repeated appeals from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (the UNHCR), assistance and attention to the plight of Syrian refugees has been lacklustre, at best. For its part, the Canadian government has committed to resettling 200 “extremely vulnerable” refugees, as identified by the UNHCR, and setting aside 100 spaces for Syrians in Lebanon and Jordan to be privately sponsored this year and up to 1,000 more next year. In the face of the ongoing crisis and the UNHCR’s growing projections for resettlement needs, this commitment is completely inadequate. Canadians have the capacity to do so much more. All that is missing is federal leadership.


If the minimum wage rises, will the sky fall? (Globe and Mail)
Can raising the minimum wage reduce poverty? Many voices on the left say that it can and that business, particularly big business, should have no difficulty offering slightly higher pay. Many on the right say that a higher minimum wage, or any minimum wage for that matter, is a job killer. The price of raising it, they say, will be paid for by workers themselves, in the form of fewer jobs and fewer hours.

Ontario’s minimum-wage plan flawed but useful (Thomas Walkom,
Premier Kathleen Wynne has taken a political stand against the low-wage economy. It’s a signal that at least one government in Canada is willing to interfere with the race to the bottom.

Both sides have it wrong on the minimum wage (
A sudden media storm has blown up over whether to raise the minimum wage. Ontario’s Liberal government now plans legislation to increase the province’s minimum wage by 75 cents to $11 an hour. In the US, President Barack Obama made higher minimum wages a central theme of his State of the Union pledge to reduce economic inequality, saying “it is time to give Americans a raise.” The debate extends beyond North America: higher minimum wages are now being hotly debated in countries from Britain to Bangladesh.

Audio: Minimum Wage Increase (CBC Metro Morning)
Yesterday the Liberals announced plans to introduce an increase to the minimum wage. Depending on who you ask, it’s either a threat to small business, or an incremental gesture that doesn’t go far enough to tackle poverty. Matt Galloway spoke with the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne.
Listen audio (runs 10:10)

Audio: Making Ends Meet (CBC Metro Morning)
The minimum wage in Ontario is going up. That’s the first increase in four years, and follows months of rallies by labour activists.The CBC’s Mary Wiens met a grocery clerk who attends minimum wage rallies on her days off.
Listen audio (runs 6:22)

Video: Minimum Wage Hike (Lang and O’Leary Exchange, CBC)
Lang & O’Leary Big Picture panel weighs in on the impact of raising Ontario’s minimum wage

How about a government paycheque, for everyone? (Barrie McKenna, Globe and Mail)
This week, as U.S. President Barack Obama raised the minimum wage for some federal workers and Ontario did the same for everyone, pundits wondered what good the increases would really accomplish – least of all the working poor. At the same time, debate has been rekindled around another apparent miracle poverty-ending scheme: the guaranteed annual income.

Life at a minimum: A look at the lives of three people on the bottom rung of the wage ladder (Robert Bostelaar,
But as the three subjects of a Citizen examination of minimum-wage life will attest, such jobs rarely come with regular schedules. The hours will vary from day to day, week to week, as the low-margin employers that pay minimum wage react to the business pressures that spur them to keep the workforce lean.

Putting a face to the struggle for better pay (Irene Thomaidis, Toronto Sun)
It was difficult for Christian Ho to break up with his girlfriend.While he admittedly still loves the woman, Ho insisted it was the right thing to do.The Toronto man and his ex are in their 30s. They’re full-time students holding down part-time jobs, which pay $11 an hour.Caught in dire straits, Ho justifies his break up, saying he doesn’t believe they could afford a bright future.–struggle-for-better-pay

Minimum wage rising in Nova Scotia (HR Reporter)
Rate goes up 10 cents an hour on April 1

Overcoming Canada’s skilled-tradesperson shortage (Sarah Watts-rynard,
When it comes to the question of whether Canada is developing enough skilled tradespeople, the perspectives are more diverse than one might imagine. In conversations across the country, I hear a variety of explanations for why there are not enough.

ICT Sector Needs Access to the Global Talent Pool (
With an unemployment rate of two percent and an aging workforce, the information and communications technology (ICT) industry needs access to the global technology labour market in order to maintain its growth rate and competitiveness. Access to the global talent the industry needs has been made more difficult due to changes in regulations made by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) in 2013. In a white paper released today, ITAC, the Information Technology Association of Canada, and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) outlined the importance of global workers in the Canadian ICT labour and made recommendations to ESDC and Citizenship and Immigration Canada for reforms.

Businesses feeling pain of temporary foreign workers crackdown (LEE-ANNE GOODMAN, THE CANADIAN PRESS, Calgary Herald)
Some businesses have been forced to move projects out of Canada because of the federal government’s ongoing crackdown on temporary foreign workers, says a new survey.

Canada’s worst red tape offenders named: Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Multi-Material British Columbia joint winners of first annual Paperweight Award (CFIB)
From foreign worker runaround to recycling cash grab, red tape nightmares plague small business

‘Ghosts’ Exploit Canada’s Foreign Temp Worker Program (Jeremy J. Nuttall, Today,
Federal fixes can’t reach fraudsters cheating applicants of life savings, admit officials.

Temporary foreign workers face challenges in Canada (Cem Ertekin, McGill Daily)
Organizations push for rights of migrant workers

The Best Cities In Canada To Move For Work (
Western Canada reigns supreme in a new ranking of the most attractive labour markets in Canada, but there are some surprises on the list as well.

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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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