Immigration & Diversity News headlines – February 18, 2014


Big Ideas: New York City’s Blueprints for Immigrant Integration Success (Cities of Migration)
Join Fatima Shama, former Commissioner, New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, for a conversation about why cities around the world are taking the lead on immigrant integration and how New York’s “Blueprints” for immigrant integration success can help. Joining the conversation will be Astrid Ziebarth, Director of the Immigration and Integration Program at the German Marshall Fund in Berlin. March 25, Free Webinar Event

Chris Alexander balances his portfolio and power (Konrad Yakabuski,
The guardians of our collective conscience are wondering what’s happened to Chris Alexander.These hardened critics of the Harper government had half hoped the ex-wunderkind ambassador to Afghanistan would put a more compassionate face on Canada’s immigration policy after he was handed the high-profile citizenship portfolio last summer. They now call him “callous” and claim his proposed reforms to Canada’s immigration law will foster a “citizenship of fear.”

Chris Alexander says Canada’s doors still open to rich Chinese (CBC News)
Budget cancelled Immigrant Investor Program, but minister suggests new immigrant plan

The Top Countries Rich Chinese Choose for Emigration. (Canada May Be Off the List) (Time World)
Ottawa may have terminated a deal that essentially allowed foreign millionaires to resettle in Canada, but there are many other options for wealthy Chinese

Canada’s immigration headache (Harry Harrison.,
As an ethnic minority in a city that was not of my birth, I’m only too aware of the need to fit in. But learning about culture and coming to terms with a new language and different way of life take time. Even then, if you’re financially better off than those around you or are more conservative in your beliefs, the integration will take longer. I suspect it’s a lack of understanding that’s in large part behind opposition to wealthy mainland Chinese being given residency in other countries.

Canadian immigration changes called unfair (Zhang Yunbi, Mo Jingxi,
Canada said its termination of two investor immigrant programs does not target China, but Chinese agencies said the policy change is unfair.

Chinese millionaires turning backs on Canada (Toronto Sun)
Wealthy Chinese are moving to the U.S. and Europe because Canada has been scaling back entry, the South China Morning Post reported Sunday.

Prospective Canadian Immigrants Could Soon Be Getting a Tap on the Shoulder (Alistar Macdonald, Canada Real Time)
Ottawa wants to attract the best immigrants into Canada, and it’s sending its diplomats out to do the choosing.Canadian Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said potential immigrants with specific skills can expect a “tap on the shoulder” as part of a new scheme the country is drawing up.

Should it be harder to become a Canadian citizen? (The 180 with Jim Brown, CBC)
We’ll hear from a man who writes and publishes books and magazine for new immigrants to Canada. He’s an immigrant and a new citizen himself, but he applauds the proposed changes to the Citizenship Act. Find out why he says it should be harder to get Canadian citizenship, and why he compares the application process to competing in the Olympics.

Alexander fails citizenship test (Toronto Star)
Re: In defence of Ottawa’s citizenship shift, Opinion Feb. 12 | Re: How much more austerity can this country afford? Feb. 12

Using citizenship as a weapon (
Last week, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander proposed a sweeping series of alarming changes to Canada’s immigration code. If passed, the omnibus Bill C-24 would make it more difficult to become a Canadian citizen. It would also make it possible for Canadians with dual citizenship to be stripped of their Canadian status if the government deems them unworthy of it.

Jumping through hoops to become Canadian (Vicky Tobianah, New Canadian Media)
The first significant changes to Canada’s Citizenship Act in almost four decades will make it more difficult for new immigrants to become Canadian citizens, seek to prevent immigration fraud and encourage Canadians to take more pride in their citizenship, said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. The new rules, proposed in the Conservative government’s bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, were announced on Feb. 6 and will toughen the rules for those wanting to be Canadian.

Hamilton doesn’t understand immigration laws (
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said Hamilton’s city council doesn’t understand the country’s immigration laws.

Stephen Harper won’t drop visa rule for Mexicans, source says (Rosemary Barton,
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not expected to lift visa requirements on Mexican travellers during his upcoming trip to the country, a senior government source told CBC News.

Audio: Quadrupling immigration to Nova Scotia (Information Morning, CBC)
Don Connolly speaks with Elizabeth Wozniak, an immigration lawyer and Gerry Mills, the Director ISIS

Federal Employment Minister Talks Immigration Strategy (
Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney was in the province late this week raising awareness of the options available to businesses to take advantage of a global labour market. Newfoundland and Labrador has one of the lowest immigration rates in Canada and is predicted to have 70,000 available jobs by 2020. Kenney was in St. John’s as guest speaker at the Employers of Distinction Awards by the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council.

BC Gov’t’s New Multicultural Advisor Was Harper Tories’ Ethnic Vote Getter (Bob Mackin,
The new chair of the B.C. government’s Multicultural Advisory Council, Tenzin Dargyal Khangsar, courted ethnic voters for the Conservatives while working as an aide to federal Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, whose portfolio is now Employment, Social Development and Multiculturalism.

Married couple kept apart (Barb Sweet, The Telegram)
Two days before Valentine’s Day, Dr. Danielle LeBlanc and her Ghanaian husband, Paul Van-Tay, got crushing news from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.The federal department turned down Van-Tay’s application for a permanent resident visa, suggesting he didn’t give the right answers during an interview, but not explaining exactly what went wrong.

Cancer patient misdiagnosed, then denied treatment ( Kathy Tomlinson, CBC News)
Trillium Health accused of failing to help elderly woman because she’s not Canadian.

The Divided City: multiculturalism left us stuck on the periphery of Toronto (Naheed Mustafa, Toronto Life)
We kids were a mixed bag: Pakistanis, Chinese, Czechs, Italians. We came from disparate places but had a shared experience of being different. My parents had come to Canada from Pakistan in the ’60s so my father could do his chemistry PhD, and we settled in Toronto permanently in 1978. As a research scientist, my father felt he had better prospects here than in the developing world. Our neighbourhood near the intersection of Kennedy and Eglinton was shabby with no green space, full of working-class people who spoke with accents. In the winter, we skated at the community centre. In the summer, the boys skateboarded on the concrete hills at the nearby Catholic school while the girls watched or jumped rope.

Thornhill: The Kind of Canada I’d Like to Live In Can we force a minority community to either integrate outsiders into its activities or disperse? (Richard M. Landau,
These are the questions at the heart of a recent debate in Thornhill, Vaughan – an upper-middle class community north of Toronto.

Lollipops, lottery tickets and life lessons: Kim’s convenience and the immigrant shopkeeper experience (The MIgrationist, Louisa Taylor)

Discrimination in immigration (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)
Immigration policy today discounts broad cultural factors in favour of an immigrant’s individual characteristics.

Is the Hijab a Symbol of Diversity or a Symbol of Oppression? (Valerie Tarico,
Coca Cola’s America the Beautiful ad on Super Bowl Sunday aimed to be a celebration of diversity, showcasing the many ethnicities that make up our modern social fabric. Right wing pundits jumped on the ad as a symbol that White Christian America is under assault. Not surprisingly, the Left reacted by praising and sharing the ad all the more because Right wingers hated it.To criticize the ad from the Left, then, is like rooting for the wrong team in the Super Bowl itself. But according to some liberal and secular Muslims, Coca Cola did women no favor by choosing the hijab as one of their symbols of diversity.

Video: Branding Canada (The Agenda with Steve Paikin)
While the Olympics have been running for just a week, Olympic ads have been running for months. Do these ads reflect the real Canada, and if they do what does that say about us? Are we merely the land of ice and snow, or is Canada something more than that?

Ottawa must reverse cuts to refugee health care ( Alexander Caudarella Vanessa Redditt Naheed Dosani, Toronto Star)
Ottawa’s cuts to refugee health care make a mockery of longstanding Canadian principles on health care and sanctuary.

Kenya: From Refugee in Dadaab to Engineering Student in Canada (Asad Hussein, All Africa)
"Education opens many closed doors," says Mohamed Maalim, 25, a bespectacled young Somali academic hero, a former student of Hagadera Secondary School who is remembered by many Dadaab residents for his sterling performance in the KCSE examination in 2011.He is now an Electrical Engineering student at the University of Saskatchewan in the beautiful city of Saskatoon, Canada.


The job market paradox: Two measures, opposite trends, high stakes (Tavia Grant,

Too many people without jobs. And at the same time, too many jobs without people.It’s a paradox that ripples through a 54-page analysis of the state of Canada’s labour market released with last week’s federal budget. It’s the first time such a paper has been published with the budget, offering insights into how the Conservative government views the current jobs market and future trends.

Exploitation tastes better when we’re loving it (CCPA)
Are you one of those people for whom your job is also a passion? Would you be ready to accept a pay cut only for the pleasure of keeping the job you currently have, along with the people you work with? According to a poll conducted last year by recruiting firm Monster, those who earn most are also those most likely to fall into that category. We shouldn’t be surprised. High wages often come with jobs wholeheartedly chosen, complete with responsibilities, influence, and recognition. However, for the vast majority of workers, work is more like a chore for which you get paid, too often with little opportunities for moving up and even less grasp on how your firm conducts business or on how things are done.

Ontario Federation of Labour protests minimum wage in Yonge-Dundas Square (CBC News)
Minimum wage raised to $11 an hour in January

Minimum wage protest planned in Ottawa (CBC News)
Members of anti-poverty group ACORN to gather outside Toys "R" Us to call for greater increase

Yonge-Dundas Square rally to increase minimum wage (Maryam Shah,
Protesters and labour activists calling for $14 an hour minimum wage briefly stormed the Toronto Eaton Centre Saturday, catching both mall security and shoppers off guard.

Make Toronto a living-wage city: Trish Hennessy’s Big Idea (Toronto Star)
Raising the minimum wage to $16.60 an hour would not only help the lowest paid workers make ends meet, it could be good for the economy, too.

Ottawa’s fight with provinces is about more than job grants ( Matthew Mendelsohn,
It’s been a year since the federal government announced its plan for a new Canada Job Grant program (CJG) and we are apparently no closer to a negotiated agreement on its future. Provinces have had serious reservations about the program since day one for good reasons. Despite the federal government’s repeated promises not to cut transfers to provinces, it has now signalled its intention to do exactly that.

Why the Conservatives are pushing forward with the Canada Job Grant, in one chart (Stephen Gordon,
The Conservatives’ insistence on implementing the Canada Job Grant isn’t necessarily based on a desire to pick a fight with the provinces. It can also be explained by two important facts of the Canadian labour market.

Alberta Human Rights tribunal finds APEGA’s treatment of foreign-trained engineers discriminatory (Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal)
Coming to Canada is challenging for any immigrant. But it can be especially frustrating for educated professionals, who find their qualifications aren’t recognized here. The lucky and dedicated navigate the intimidating maze of upgrading programs and exams to find work in their fields. Others end up bitter, in low-paying, menial jobs. We, in turn, lose their skills and expertise.

Canadian guest-worker policy sparks discussion (Shane Nelson, Western Front)
Western’s Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) held a meeting to discuss Canadian and U.S. guest worker policies at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13, in Bond Hall Room 110.The presentation discussed the changing immigration policies, how they relate to temporary worker programs in the U.S. and Canada and how they could affect their respective job markets.

Union outraged that 60 ironworkers laid off at lunch (Richard Gilbert,
The local ironworkers union in Alberta is angry and upset that more than 60 of its members were laid off at the Kearl oilsands construction project in northern Alberta and replaced with Croatian temporary foreign workers (TFWs).–union-outraged-that-60-ironworkers-laid-off-at-lunch

More transparency needed in temporary foreign worker program (
NDP Employment and Social Development critic Jinny Sims (Newton – North Delta) is urging the Conservative government to release the names of employers who have been allowed to bring temporary foreign workers into Canada.

Canada’s Kafka equality: Orchestra music directors treated the same as migrant workers (John Terauds,

I was shocked when I stumbled across an online job posting this week for the music director of a significant Canadian regional orchestra, because he is loved by his musicians as well as the wider community.I asked the orchestra’s PR person what was going on, opening the door to a clear case of bureaucracy gone mad. Let’s call it Canada’s Kafkaesque immigration equality for all.

Leveraging Immigrant Talent for Business Development (
So I recently purchased an environmentally friendly humidifier for my home – called the Rumidifier – you may have heard of it. It’s a great innovation, requires no energy to run, and it works really well. What’s that got to do with immigration and business development you say? Well, it turns out that the Rumidifier was developed by a local immigrant entrepreneur. It’s a terrific success story, and one that illustrates how the skills and talents of newcomers can lead to exciting new Ottawa based business ventures, creating jobs and growing the region’s economic base.

FilCan Professional Council Launches Free Service to Filipino Newcomer-Professionals in Ontario (

Professionals helping professionals ! This is the central theme of "Ugnayan sa Komunidad", the community engagement event and official launching of CFCPO , the first and only multidisciplinary association of licensed & certified professionals in the Filipino Canadian community held on February 1, 2014 at The Hub, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities, Scarborough, Ontario.

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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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