Immigration and Diversity news headlines – February 7, 2014

Strengthening and Modernizing the Citizenship Act (
Today, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander unveiled the first comprehensive reforms to the Citizenship Act since 1977. Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, will protect the value of Canadian citizenship for those who have it while creating a faster and more efficient process for those applying to get it.

Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act: Reinforcing the value of Canadian citizenship (
Canadian citizenship comes with rights and responsibilities. Bill C-24 proposes a number of amendments to the Citizenship Act to reinforce the value of Canadian citizenship. The amendments support the government’s commitment to the successful integration of new citizens into our labour market and our communities, ensuring that they are better prepared to assume the responsibilities of citizenship and have a strong attachment to Canada.

Graphic: Strengthening Canadian Citizenship—Reducing Canada’s Citizenship Backlog (

Citizenship changes will mean longer wait to become Canadian (Debra Black, Toronto Star)
The Conservative government is proposing sweeping changes to the Citizenship Act, such as increasing eligibility requirements for immigrants who want to become Canadians and stripping terrorists and spies of citizenship.

Ottawa to consult with provinces on dealing with “birth tourism” (Debra Black, Toronto Star)
Citizenship reforms don’t deal with the phenomenon where a mother comes here to give birth to obtain Canadian citizenship for her child.

Citizenship reform hurts good immigrants, newcomers say (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Ottawa’s proposed citizenship reform will punish good immigrants, many of them say, by putting more hurdles for them to become full-fledged members of society

Canadian citizenship: 5 key ways the rules are changing (Toronto Star)
The Harper government is calling the proposed overhaul of the Citizenship Act the first comprehensive reform to it since 1977.Here are five important proposed changes:

Citizenship bill tightens rules for new citizens, takes aim at fraud (Josh Wingrove And Joe Friesen,
Canada is overhauling its citizenship laws, raising the bar for people to apply to become Canadian and increasing penalties for those who scam the system.

Ottawa proposes sweeping new citizenship rules to crack down on fraud, better define national identity (Joe Friesen, The Globe and Mail)
The Conservative government’s proposed changes to Canada’s citizenship laws include such dramatic gestures as stripping terrorists of their citizenship and requiring applicants to declare their intent to live in Canada.

Ten ways Ottawa is changing how to become a Canadian citizen (Josh Wingrove, The Globe and Mail)
The federal government has tabled changes to Canada’s citizenship law, billed as the first overhaul in a generation.The rules make it tougher to get citizenship but also pledge to tackle the backlog of
applications. Here are some of the major changes.

Chris Alexander’s flawed overhaul of citizenship law (Editorial –
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has proposed a sweeping overhaul of Canada’s immigration policy that captures both the best and worst tendencies of the Harper government. Many of the changes tabled on Thursday address the most stubborn problems plaguing Canada’s immigration system. But the act is also sprinkled with small, illogical gestures that seem to serve no other function than to play to the biases of a narrow part of the Conservative base.

New citizenship rules target fraud, foreign terrorism (Susana Mas,
The Canadian government is proposing sweeping changes today in what is being called "the first comprehensive reform to the Citizenship Act in more than a generation?."

Govt to create longer wait to become Canadian, strip citizenship from terrorists (Diana Mehta,

The Conservative government has proposed sweeping changes to the Citizenship Act that include beefing up eligibility requirements for immigrants who want to become Canadians and stripping citizenship from terrorists and those who take up arms against Canada.

New citizenship bill will make it harder to become Canadian (Tobi Cohen,
The federal government has tabled sweeping legislation that will triple the cost of citizenship, make it harder to become a Canadian citizen, toughen the penalties for fraud and regulate the citizenship consultant profession.

Would-be Canadians to wait longer for citizenship as Tories toughen language and knowledge rules (Stewart Bell,
Immigrants will have to wait four years, rather than the current three, before applying for citizenship under reforms unveiled Thursday that also increase the fees and language and knowledge requirements for would-be Canadians.

Citizenship changes recognize high value of being Canadian (Kelly McParland, National Post)
A persistent theme of Stephen Harper’s years in power is his determination to promote the country as a place not to be taken lightly; a proud country that fully understands its unique attraction and is no longer willing to undersell itself.

Multiculturalism encourages a new type of immigrant who shares our wealth but not our values (George Jonas,
It’s easy to agree with Chris Alexander, Canada’s minister of citizenship and immigration, that citizenship should not be simply a passport of convenience. It’s harder to say what his proposed Bill C-24 does about it, if anything. Four years instead of three before one can apply? Big deal. It used to be five years 50 years ago.

Proposed law aims for stricter Canadian citizenship requirements (Daniel Proussalidis,
Immigrants will have to spend more time in Canada and more of them will be forced to prove they know at least one official language to become Canadian citizens under a new law proposed by the Conservative government.

Chris Alexander defies a Tory legend (Nick Taylor-Vaisey, Macleans)
This is a big week for first-time reformers. Pierre Poilievre, the Democratic Reform Minister, kicked things off with his bold attempt to reshape Canadian elections. Yesterday, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander went arguably even bigger, proposing comprehensive changes to Canada’s citizenship rules for the first time since 1977. He wants permanent residents to live in Canada longer before they’re eligible for citizenship. He wants to crack down on fraud. And he wants to revoke citizenship from convicted terrorists.

Citizenship changes will mean longer wait to become Canadian (OurWindsor.Ca)
The federal government is introducing a series of sweeping reforms to the Citizenship Act that are designed to reduce processing times, tighten residency requirements and crack down on fraud — measures that will make it tougher for many to become Canadian.

The sponsorship program goes Phhht ! (Richard Cleroux, Orleans Star)
With elections coming up soon, the Conservative government decided last year it should let in 5,000 more immigrants in 2014 through its parent sponsorship program. There’s nothing like re-uniting families, especially before a general election.

Elections bill could be amended to prohibit veiled voting (Elizabeth Thompson,
The Conservative government’s election reform bill could be amended at committee to require those who wear Muslim face veils to show their faces before they are allowed to vote, says cabinet minister Jason Kenney.

Statscan takes a (small) step in telling immigrants’ work force story (Sam Boshra,
While perhaps somewhat more muted than elsewhere, research shows immigrants to Canada suffer hidden and not-so-hidden socio-economic barriers that are exacerbated during times of economic hardship. Unfortunately, as in many other areas, the research available on this has taken a hit in recent years.

Provincial crackdown on bogus student visas too costly: B.C. post-secondary schools (Nick Procaylo Nick,

The provincial government announced tougher accreditation rules Thursday for post-secondary institutions attended by international students.

Canada May Have Some Lessons on Immigration for U.S. (Don Curren,
The U.S. is facing some deep-seated economic challenges. One of the most important is unemployment, and a key aspect of that problem is the mismatch between the labor needs of employers and the pool of available workers.Canada might be able to provide the U.S. with some guidance to help address that issue through immigration, according to David Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin Sheff in Toronto.

How the Post obtained its data on the Canadian migrant scheme (Ian Young, South China Morning Post)
The South China Morning Post began attempting to obtain details of Chinese participation in Canada’s investor immigrant programme last September, when it lodged a freedom-of-information request for the data.

How mainland millionaires overwhelmed Canada visa scheme (South China Morning Post)
Applications by tens of thousands of mainland millionaires flooded Canada’s consulate in Hong Kong and overwhelmed the country’s investor immigrant programme, an investigation by the South China Morning Post has revealed.

We should all become activists for justice (Ainsley Ashby-snyder,
Toronto has an opportunity and a responsibility to set an example of how justice and equality can be achieved in a multicultural metropolis.

Crime, Minorities and Police in Toronto (Meredith Martin,
Jamil Jivani is an impressive young man who grew up in Brampton and Mississauga and who has found himself with some free time in between graduating from Yale Law School and being able to start his articling on Bay Street. Among other things, Jivani decided to start a grassroots movement to help form better relations between the Toronto Police Service and the underprivileged areas which it serves. It’s called the Toronto Police Literacy Initiative and he’s currently raising money with an Indiegogo fund to do big things. I spoke to Jivani about this project along with his friend Patrick Opoku, who has written an op-ed on the police practice of "carding" that appears below.

I see diversity, you see divisiveness (Douglas Keene,
What’s American? Mom. Apple pie. The Superbowl. CocaCola. Well, maybe not CocaCola. They did the unthinkable in the eyes of some Americans by pointing out the obvious. They made a Superbowl commercial about diversity! America is a nation of many different peoples and Coke is a common denominator across cultures and languages in this country. To some, this is evidently a disturbing truth, and one that an American icon like Coke should not celebrate.

Book: Immigrant Integration – Research Implications for Future Policy (Edited by Kenise Murphy Kilbride)
Examining the issues and challenges facing immigrants as they attempt to integrate successfully into Canadian society, Immigrant Integration is a multidisciplinary compendium of research papers presented at the fourteenth National Metropolis Conference, held in Toronto in 2012.

Settlement AtWork Newsletter (
Intake for the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) Paused Until 2015 | Ontario Increasing Minimum Wage | Ontario Language Training Certificates Now Accepted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada


Citizenship bill makes Canada less welcoming towards newcomers (CCR)
The Canadian Council for Refugees expressed its concern today over provisions in the citizenship bill (Bill C-24) tabled today that would strip citizenship from dual citizens in certain situations.

Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers reacts to proposed government citizenship bill (
The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) expresses deep concern about reforms to Canada’s citizenship laws proposed by Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander.

Understanding Health Care Coverage for Refugee Claimants ( – Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO))
This resource explains the coverage refugee claimants may receive under the Interim Federal Health Program and the Ontario Temporary Health Program. The Ontario Temporary Health Program came into effect on January 1st, 2014.


Feds set to announce funding to help skilled newcomers land jobs in their fields (Lee-anne Goodman,
Ottawa is committing $800,000 to help skilled newcomers to Canada find work in their fields — part of a larger, job-centred effort that promises to be one of the key planks in next week’s budget.

Skills shortages number one concern for businesses, says Canadian Chamber (Rick Drennan,
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce unveiled its Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness for 2014, and number one is a shortage of skills.

Yet Another Group of Canadian Tradesworkers Displaced by Low-Cost TFWs on Oil Sands Construction Site (
The time has come for Canadian construction workers to express their outrage at the Harper Government’s temporary foreign worker program (TFWP), which is being increasingly used by employers to displace Canadians and replace them with vulnerable and exploitable foreign workers, says Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan.

Oil sands workers complain they were laid off and replaced by foreigners making half the wage (
The federal government is investigating an allegation that several dozen Canadians working in Alberta’s oil patch were laid off this week and replaced with foreign workers.

Feds reviewing oilpatch allegations Canadians were fired, Croatians hired (CTV
The federal government is investigating an allegation that several dozen Canadians working in Alberta’s oilpatch were laid off this week and replaced with foreign workers.

Croatia, Czech Republic new targets for Saskatchewan recruiters (Will Chabun, THE LEADER-POST)
Linda West figures she might have found a new frontier in skilled labour recruiting: Croatia and the Czech Republic.The president of the Regina-based Actyl Group human resources firm likes the two central European republics for a lot of reasons.

Jim Flaherty needs credible jobs plan (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
Despite a consistent record of failure, Jim Flaherty intends to table another job creation budget.

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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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