Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 10, 2014


A bad month for diversity-focused fear-mongers (Natalie Brender,
Fear-mongers keen on stirring up angst about the increasingly diverse nature of Canadian society have had a bad month of it, on the whole. That’s because three recent sets of evidence suggest that really there’s not that much to worry about in face of a blossoming patchwork of religious headgear being worn, languages being spoken and national soccer teams being cheered for across the land. Such reassurances are relatively undramatic to report on — but it’s worth taking some sedate pleasure in a trio of dogs that didn’t bark alarms of warning in the past month.

THIS WEEKEND: Hack Migration at Datafest Ottawa (April 12-13) (|)
How do you foster and inform conversations about migration and immigration? Why, you hold a hackfest!

Wait. What? This weekend is Datafest Ottawa, billed as "a two-day creative, collaborative blitz."

Are you Canadian enough? A discussion on Canadian values (Tommy Zablan Imaging,
Think of Canada, and a few images quickly come to mind: the red maple leaf, a Mountie, the beaver, the mighty moose, a hockey stick, maple syrup and let’s not forget the coffee-lovers’ favourite double-double. But these are just symbols … what about Canadian values? This question often brings up answers like peace, equality, freedom.

Police Under Fire for Incomplete Policy on Carding Practice (Desmond Cole,
Advocates at last night’s police services board meeting say a draft policy on police carding—the controversial practice of stopping civilians to collect and store their personal information—is designed to uphold the divisive and potentially unlawful practice. Residents were invited to police headquarters at 40 College Street to discuss a draft policy on carding prepared by criminal lawyer Frank Addario for the civilian board. Addario acknowledged that in recent years, Toronto police have been engaging in carding with no guidelines or purpose. “A great deal of unnecessary information was collected because there were no established limits on the collection of contact data,” said Addario.

CCLA Addresses the Toronto Police Services Board on carding and racial profiling (
On April 8th, 2014, CCLA presented submissions to the Toronto Police Services Board on the issue of police carding and racial profiling. To its credit, the Board is working to develop its first-ever policy regarding “community contacts” – officers stopping and engaging members of the community in the course of day-to-day policing. Unless the police suspect that an individual is connected to a particular crime, the individual is under no legal obligation to speak with police. However, many “contacts” have taken place for years based not on consent or voluntary participation, but based instead on individuals’ lack of information about their rights; feelings of fear, intimidation and threat; power imbalances; and po

Citizenship and Immigration Canada warns stakeholders not to give immigration advice (Henry J. Chang,
Last year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) published a notice on its website, which provided valuable guidance regarding the giving of immigration advice. It states that due to changes in Canada’s immigration law, many stakeholders are now required to be members of a prescribed regulatory body if they wish to provide immigration services to clients, including imm

Citizenship fraud crackdown stymied by tie-ups in Federal Court (Tobi Cohen,
Government efforts to revoke the citizenship of those who’ve obtained it fraudulently have apparently hit a snag. According to the most recent Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) performance report, 90 per cent of all revocation notices, about 250, have wound up contested in Federal Court. “This is significantly higher than anticipated and has a very large impact on resources at CIC and its partners,” the report noted, suggesting the government was not prepared for the results of its crackdown. “CIC has decided to limit both the number of notices to revoke issued and the revocation cases ongoing before the Federal Court.”

Immigration to Canada: Is Canada Meeting its Immigrant Requirements? (Neha Dutt,
What’s the message that meets the eyes of any immigrant who looks at the list of 24 “eligible occupations” on the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada? “Engineers. Give us engineers.” That’s the BIG MESSAGE. But is Canada finding it difficult to get the immigrants it wants? But before getting into that, let’s have a look at the Canada’s immigrant requirements.

MSS receives funding to serve more people (Charelle Evelyn,
The Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society is opening its doors to a previously under-served segment of the immigrant community. At the beginning of the month, the local agency received funding to provide services to temporary foreign workers, refugee claimants and live-in

New Canadian says to others, ‘Take the risk to change your career’ (
Ghadah Thiab was trained as a doctor in the United Arab Emirates, but when she came to Canada, no one would hire her. That failure may have been fortune in disguise. She tells her story to The Morning Edition.

New Health Resources for Hamilton Area Migrant Agricultural Workers (

A media release from the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network (HNHB LHIN) brings good news for area migrant workers. New funding will expand and implement Migrant Agricultural Worker Health services in North Niagara and Haldimand Norfolk.

Feds asked to ban Eritrean bagmen (Carol Sanders,

Every summer, representatives of the government ot Eritrea, dubbed the North Korea of Africa, are granted visas to come to Canada and raise money for the regime, which hundreds of thousands have fled. A human rights group in Winnipeg and its lawyer, David Matas, are pressing Citizenship and Immigration Canada to make sure these people don’t get a pass to come into Canada again this summer. "We see these guys every year, and we know they’re planning to come this summer as well," said Daniel Awshek, a member of the Eritrean-Canadian Human Rights Group of Manitoba.

Tories chastised for lack of racial diversity in judicial appointments (Sean Fine,

In the past five and a half years, the federal government has appointed just three non-white judges, out of nearly 200 first-time judges named to the bench, despite growing numbers of lawyers who are members of racial minorities. Two years ago, The Globe and Mail first revealed that the Conservative government is choosing almost no visible minorities as new judges. Since that time, groups such as the Canadian Bar Association, representing the country’s lawyers and judges, have urged the government to pay more attention to diversity, and to record the number of minority candidates and make the information public. And Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin of the Supreme Court has spoken out about the importance of having a more racially diverse bench.

Canada international student schemes need more revision (
Given that universities in all world countries are aggressively trawling for international students, Canada’s scheme to attract and retain students from overseas needs more thought. Attracting hordes of talented international students and encouraging them to stay on after graduation is one way to boost the country’s economy in addition to presenting a welcoming face. Integrating graduates into Canadian society is also expected to deal with the upcoming skills shortage caused by an ageing population.

Liberals vow their charter will be based on ‘consensus’ (Daniel Leblanc,
The Parti Québécois’ charter of values is dead, or at least its most divisive element. Philippe Couillard has promised to introduce a Liberal version of the secular charter, but in his first news conference as premier-designate, he said it would not ban provincial civil servants from wearing religious symbols on the job, something he had made clear during the election campaign.

Increase foot traffic with the right ethnic strategy, say experts (Nancy Kwon,
The ethnic consumer is an opportunity not to be missed. That was the main message attendees on Monday’s session at Grocery Showcase West came away with. The session, co-organized by Canadian Grocer with sister publication Marketing magazine featured a half morning introduction on how to cater, market and merchandise to ethnic

Young speakers refute slurs hurled at ‘at-risk’ communities: James (Royson James,
One of the most hurtful slurs about “at risk” communities is the claim that they depend on government handouts for survival, rather than pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
The inference is that “leaders’ of those communities — often in the suburbs, most likely in neighbourhoods dominated by social housing — eschew self-help and consume themselves with living off the avails of the government’s social services industry.


Refugee faces extradition for alleged ecstasy trafficking (Michael Mui,
A Sudanese refugee living in Canada has lost his fight against extradition to the United States after he was accused of helping deliver 149,000 MDMA pills to California. Acram Adam is wanted by the U.S. government for conspiracy to traffic ecstasy, according to a B.C. Court of Appeal decision Wednesday.

B.C. parish stymied in Syrian refugee effort (Nadim Roberts,
Rev. Biloues, himself a refugee of the Iraq war who arrived in Canada via Syria in 2005, is now focusing on bringing members of Syria’s minority Christian population to Canada. Despite promises of settling 1,300 Syrian refugees by the end of the year, Rev. Biloues said Ottawa has not been a willing partner. “Our government has not been serious about bringing them here. They speak nice words, but in reality they are not bringing anyone here,” he said.


New report calls for crack-down on recruiter abuse (

A ground-breaking new report on migrant worker recruitment abuses was released this week by the Metcalf Foundation. The report, written by lawyer Fay Faraday, calls for stronger protections for migrant workers against recruitment fees. The report outlines how migrant workers pay thousands of dollars to work in Canada and illustrates how our current laws are not working to stop recruiter and employer abuses.

Use of fast-food foreign workers unnecessary, critics say (Carla Wilson,
Foreign workers in Canada on temporary work permits have a reputation for being dedicated and diligent. “They are here to work hard and in a lot of cases, they send money home,” said Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association. However, critics say there’s no need to fill semi-skilled, fast-food jobs with temporary foreign workers when unemployment, particularly for young people, is so high.

Nozima: A Mentee Success Story (Tetyana Khramova,
The ERIEC team is always pleased to share with our blog viewer the success stories of our ‘internationally trained professionals’. Let me introduce to you Nozima Nurmukhamedova, a former mentee of the ERIEC Career Mentorship Program and one of our guest speakers at the Annual Global Talent Conference last February. Here is an excerpt taken from her presentation.

Help wanted: Ontario’s temporary foreign workers and the need for answers (Kaylie Tiessen,
Temporary foreign workers seem to be top of mind for many this week. In a CBC news article posted, the CFIB claimed that temporary foreign workers have a better work ethic than their Canadian counterparts. And recently, CBC reported that McDonald’s has been bringing in temporary foreign workers to fill new vacancies. At the same time, new research from the Metcalf Foundation points out that migrant worker recruitment is big business — for-profit companies are making big money matching migrant workers with precarious jobs.

Ontario laws failing to prevent migrant workers from exploitation, abuse (
When Liza Draman came to Canada in 2007 she paid $3,500 to a recruiter to get a job as a live-in caregiver. According to human rights lawyer Fay Faraday, $3,500 is on the low end. It can be as high as $15,000 — and that’s to get a minimum wage job. For some, that’s as much as three years of wages. “That’s money they don’t have on hand,” says Faraday to Kevin Newman Live. “In order to get that money they have to go to an informal lender.”

Temporary foreign worker program sparks protests (Mike Pickford,

Several activist groups across Alberta and throughout the country went ahead with protests against the federal temporary foreign workers program over the past several weeks, voicing concerns that Canadians are not treated fairly in the service and trades industries.

Young Canadians in need of jobs, too (Lethbridge Herald Opinon,
The federal government is cracking down on abuse of the temporary foreign worker program. On Monday, Employment and Social Development Minister Jason Kenney announced the government is suspending or revoking the labour market opinions (LMOs) of businesses found to be in violation of the program’s requirements. A suspended LMO can’t be used by a temporary foreign worker to obtain a work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The government has also placed the businesses which broke the rules on a public blacklist.

McDonald’s says it will hire 6,000 young workers Thursday (
The restaurant chain has held one-day hiring blitzes for the past few years at this time of year, when students are often looking for work. McDonald’s is facing bad publicity over the issue of turning away young workers in favour of temporary foreign workers at restaurants in Victoria. The restaurant chain is under federal investigation over possible abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program at a franchise outlets in B.C.

Moving on from overcrowding (Ty Dunham,

Canada Border Services Agency obtained a search warrant last year for this Labrador City house after temporary foreign workers made allegations about overcrowded living conditions. Born in the Philippines and arriving in Labrador City two years ago, Acuna was one of the many temporary foreign workers caught up in a housing mess while working at Jungle Jim’s.

Bloy’s new business brings in temporary foreign workers (
Former Burnaby MLA Harry Bloy is running a third-party recruiting business that brings in Asian temporary foreign workers to fill Canadian jobs. Bloy is listed as the president and CEO of Global Business Canada, according to his new website, but it’s unclear how he’s earning money, as the services he offers are free.

Use of fast-food foreign workers unnecessary, critics say (Carla Wilson,
Foreign workers in Canada on temporary work permits have a reputation for being dedicated and diligent. “They are here to work hard and in a lot of cases, they send money home,” said Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association. However, critics say there’s no need to fill semi-skilled, fast-food jobs with temporary foreign workers when unemployment, particularly for young people, is so high.

New Democrats call for emergency debate on Temporary Foreign Worker Program (
The Conservative government’s rampant mismanagement of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program prompted NDP Employment and Social Development critic Jinny Sims (Newton-North Delta) to ask for an emergency debate in Parliament yesterday. “Conservatives keep making excuses, tinkering with administrative details and pretending to crack down,” said Sims. “But they aren’t protecting Canadian jobs. Abuse of the Program continues, and this government is allowing it.”

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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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