Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 23, 2014


Duly Quoted: Jonny Dovercourt, on Diversity in Toronto’s Music Scene (Sarah Sweet,

Promoters are teaming up to bridge divides among Toronto’s music communities. “With our legendary cultural diversity, Toronto seems primed to be a musical melting pot, but instead we all seem to be stirring different cauldrons.”

Carding (

Toronto police are looking at revising their policy around carding, but do those revisions go far enough? Matt Galloway spoke with criminal defence lawyer Howard Morton.

Event May 13: Embedding Equity into Quality Health Care (Mount Sinai Hospital and Toronto Central LHIN)

This event will focus on sharing leading ideas, practices and strategies on how to embed equity into every aspect of quality health care.

Comic blogger draws on immigrant experience in Toronto (Rhiannon Russell,

As Takiyoshi, who’s in her early 30s, settled in Toronto, she wanted to document her experiences. Her Canadian husband, Kevin James, gave her cartooning pens and paper for Christmas one year, and she decided to revisit an old pastime — drawing. Last December, Takiyoshi created a blog called The Days of Hanako, which provides readers with anecdotes about her immigration experience in comic-strip form.

Welcoming record numbers from China in 2013 (

Today, Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister and Costas Menegakis, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, highlighted the record number of Chinese students and permanent residents welcomed to Canada in 2013. They announced that last year, Canada issued more than 270,000 visitor visas to Chinese citizens, welcomed more than 29,000 Chinese students and admitted more than 34,000 Chinese citizens as permanent residents of Canada.

Mary’s story (

Mary emigrated from a very small city in the interior of China in 2007 when she had the opportunity to continue her education in Canada. She went to a university in China where she got a Bachelor’s degree in engineering. When she was accepted to the University of Windsor for engineering, she accepted it and took the steps necessary to migrate. In China, Mary worked as a project engineer but her goals and ambitions led her to seek new education opportunities abroad. Initially, she had though that she would end up in Alberta working in the petroleum industry, but things have not worked out in favour of that path yet. So because Mary was completing her Master’s at the University of Windsor, she lived there for several years with her husband, a post-doctoral researcher. They moved to several locations based on the prevalence of work. On average, every year Mary moves to a new city. First she lived in Windsor, then Thunder Bay, then Worcester, MA, and most recently Peterborough. She described the experience as hard but wholly dependent on finding a job, either for herself or her husband. Mary has a one-year old son whom she is raising in Peterborough. He has become one of the most important motivators for finding a steady job and starting a home.


Congolese refugees ‘interviewed’ in Canada by officials they fled from (Nicholas Keung,
Outraged community claims Canada paid agents from a country known for human rights violations to help facilitate deportations.

Ex-refugee uses own experiences to help others (Magdalena Osumi,

As a former refugee who was forced to leave his own country during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, Iranian-born Sena Vafa hopes to raise awareness about the plight of refugees here in Japan. Now a Canadian citizen who first came to Japan in the late 1990s and who has lived here since 2006, Vafa has been sharing his experiences through lectures at various venues across the country while at the same time working for charities and humanitarian causes.


Read the latest ALLIES newsletter (
Immigrant employment news and resources from across Canada including a new on webinar paid internships, celebrating Canada’s best diversity employers, recognizing innovation in foreign credential recognition and new policy papers on the underutilization of immigrant skills and employer perspectives on immigration reform and the expression of interest system.

Brothers Classic Grill and Pizza investigated after servers say they lost their jobs to temporary foreign workers (

The federal government said Monday it is investigating a Saskatchewan restaurant where two long-serving waitresses say they and two others recently lost their jobs to temporary foreign workers. Employment Minister Jason Kenney has asked his department to investigate the Brothers Classic Grill and Pizza in Weyburn, Sask., a spokeswoman for the minister said Monday.

Don Cayo: Our national economy needs foreign workers (

Two key elements of Canada’s immigration policy don’t add up. First, there is the seemingly sensible thrust to attract skilled immigrants as potential citizens, but then to tolerate barriers — mainly from protectionist professional associations — that prevent many thousands from using those supposedly valued and in-demand skills. The hoops are so onerous and the opportunities so limited that most foreign-trained doctors, engineers, etc. simply can’t practise their professions here. As a result of this and other failures to integrate newcomers, Canada gets 250,000 or so new future citizens every year who are stuck with worse-than-average chances of landing a job or lower-than-average earnings if they do.

Canada needs global talent (Yuen Pau Woo,

How well is British Columbia doing in attracting global talent? This was one of the questions put to a panel at the recent B.C. Immigrant Employment Council’s 2014 summit. The summit was timely and relevant, given recent reforms in Canada’s immigration program, persistent challenges in the under-utilization of immigrants, and a looming deficit of skilled workers in the face of massive resource development projects that are in the offing. My answer was we are doing pretty well, but not generally for reasons that have to do with talent. B.C. has attracted many highly skilled immigrants because of geography and lifestyle, not because of the opportunity to apply global talent in a Canadian context. This is simply a restatement of the well-known skills mismatch that many immigrants face.

Replace Temporary Foreign Worker Program with immigration, say experts (

How to solve a problem like the federal government’s scandal-plagued Temporary Foreign Worker Program? Economists and immigration experts say there are solutions at hand as the Conservatives grapple with yet another controversy involving temporary foreign workers. "We have to figure out what we want as a labour market in the end," David Green, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia who specializes in wage and employment issues, said in an interview Tuesday.

Sask. Federation of Labour says temporary foreign worker program abused (Andrew Shepherd,

Larry Hubich, President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour calls the temporary foreign workers program an embarrassing black eye in Canada. He says he has no doubt the program is being abused and he wants it scrapped in favour of a program that encourages proactive immigration. His comments come after recently fired Canadian workers claim temporary foreign workers took their jobs at Brothers Classic Grill in Weyburn.

Pinoy caregivers struggle to advance in careers in Canada (Veronica Silva,

Filipino migrant groups in Ontario are working with two Toronto-based universities to study how Pinoy live-in caregivers are transitioning after completing the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP). The LCP is a federal government program that allows Temporary Foreign Workers to seek permanent residency, and eventually citizenship.

Service sector sees spike in temporary foreign workers (Bill Curry,

The number of temporary foreign workers in Canada’s hotel and restaurant sector has exploded under the Conservative government as the latest figures show the industry is the biggest user of the controversial federal program.

Support pours in for Weyburn, Sask., waitresses who lost jobs (

A couple of waitresses in Weyburn, Sask., may have lost their jobs, but they are finding a lot of support in their own city and across the country. CBC’s iTeam uncovered that a local restaurant fired Sandy Nelson and Shaunna Jennison-Yung and replaced them with temporary foreign workers.

No foreign worker issues here: chamber (

The issues faced by several restaurants in British Columbia are not cropping up here, according to Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director Sherry Bohme. (There’s been) nothing that we’re aware of,” said Bohme, referring to the situation where Canadian employees at several McDonald’s restaurants complained that foreign workers got more shifts and higher pay than they did.

Replace Canada’s temporary foreign workers program with immigration and incentives, say critics (Kenzo Tribouillard,

How to solve a problem like the federal government’s scandal-plagued temporary foreign workers program? Economists and immigration experts say there are solutions at hand as the Conservatives grapple with yet another controversy involving temporary foreign workers.

Foreign worker programs explained (Emma Graney,

Questions are being raised about the temporary foreign worker program, following allegations that locals lost their jobs to foreign workers at a Weyburn pizza joint. The federal government is investigating the claims of two long-serving waitresses, who say they and two others recently lost their jobs while temporary foreign workers remain employed. It’s not the first time the program has been drawn into the spotlight, and government recently told media it would “not tolerate any abuse” of the program.

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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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