Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 25, 2014
IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY
Police investigating anti-immigration flyers distributed in Brampton (Cassie Aylward, www.theglobeandmail.com)
Peel Regional Police are investigating anti-immigration flyers that have been distributed in Brampton to see whether their publication breaks any laws. Police were told about the flyers by Mayor Susan Fennell, who called them disgusting. The flyers gained attention on social media Thursday, with Twitter users expressing outrage.
‘Racist’ pamphlets target Sikh community in Brampton, Ont. (Luke Simcoe, metronews.ca)
Pamphlets suggesting Brampton, Ont. would be better off if its population was more white are being decried as racist by a local councillor. Entitled “The Changing Face of Brampton,” the flyers bemoan the loss of “Mainstream Canadians” in the city and feature an old photograph of a caucasian crowd next to a more recent image of Sikh men and women. “Is this what you really want?” the flyer asks.
Get Out the Vote (maytree.com)
The purpose of the conference was to identify strategies to improve voter turnout, particularly in diverse, low-income communities. We wanted to help participants understand the system and its challenges, while showcasing practical and proven ideas. We brought together leaders and organizations on the frontlines of electoral reforms and voter education campaigns and asked them to share their experiences and research insights on electoral participation and proven ways to get people to vote.
Seeking Research Participants: Access barriers to Post-Secondary Education (www.socialplanningtoronto.org)
SPT is jointly coordinating a research project looking at barriers in accessing post-secondary education in Ontario for immigrants without full immigration status. We’re seeking interview participants who have experienced barriers. If you identify as someone who has either applied, considered applying, successfully enrolled or were denied admission to an Ontario university or college and did not have full Canadian immigration status (i.e. permanent residency or study permit) at the time of application, we’d like to hear from you.
Skilled immigrants to get into Canada via Express Entry in 2015 (www.ecns.cn)
The Canadian government is moving along with their plans to bring "a faster, fairer and more flexible system" to potential skilled immigrants via Express Entry system as early as January 2015, said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander on Tuesday. Formerly known as Expression of Interest, Express Entry has been in the works for nearly two years as part of an effort to reform the current system.
Police Carding Policy Falls Short (Desmond Cole, torontoist.com)
The Toronto Police Services Board has revised its draft policy on the controversial practice of carding, but there are many unanswered questions ahead of tonight’s vote on the new guidelines. The TPSB moved to draft the policy after outrage grew over the controversial practice, which involves stopping civilians and collecting their personal information. The arbitrary police stops have disproportionately affected Torontonians of African and Caribbean descent.
Divided Music (www.cbc.ca)
Matt Galloway spoke with Jonny Dovercourt and Dalton Higgins. They are the co-producers of , a musical event tonight at Tattoo Queen West.
Growing a sustainable food system in diverse communities (Claudia Li, www.straight.com)
How do we retain that traditional wisdom and knowledge? How do we get it back? As the industrialized food system further sterilizes the food we eat and our relationship with the people that grow, deliver, and sell our food, it’s important—now more than ever—to brainstorm new ways of creating a food system that’s good for our health, families, communities, economies, and ecosystem. This is one of the goals with our new Choi Project. We’re reconnecting youth to the traditions of good food through intergenerational cooking workshops, passing out free Seasonal Choi Guides, and working with a Chinatown greengrocer to create bilingual labeling so it directs more youth—and business—back to family-owned operations.
Avril Lavigne doesn’t understand what racism is (Lauren Strapagiel, o.canada.com)
For all the people who were quick to say, “hey, that’s pretty racist,” others said Lavigne was merely paying homage to a country she likes and that is a major market for her work. Her own reaction, emphasizing that the video was produced and shot in Japan, suggests that she feels the same way. These reactions show something people often miss. Racism is not just pointing at a minority and calling them a bad name. It’s also, importantly, cultural norms and ideas that oppress racialized persons in a systemic fashion.
Canada among top options for overseas students (m.theglobeandmail.com)
Canada ranks third in a top-10 list of global destinations for graduate business studies, with immigration-friendly policies attracting a growing number of international students, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council.
Urban Alliance Submission on the Toronto Police Services Board Proposed Community Contact Card Policy (urbanalliance.ca)
The Urban Alliance on Race Relations is pleased that the TPSB is reconsidering its community contact policy in light of public discussions of how Carding affects communities and individuals – we have all learned that police policies that have a negative and disproportionate effect on racialized communities will not garner the support of the general public. Carding has been discredited.
Event- Restacking the Deck: Streaming by class, race and gender in Ontario Schools (www.socialplanningtoronto.org)
Social Planning Toronto is co-hosting the launch of Restacking the Deck: Streaming by class, race and gender in Ontario Schools from David Clandfield, Bruce Curtis, Grace-Edward Galabuzi, Alison Gaymes San Vincente, D.W. Livingstone, George Martell and Harry Smaller. “We were told that streaming in Ontario schools by social class, race and gender was a thing of the past. This books shows us it’s still with us and what we should be doing about it.”
Twenty-six Tibetans became part of Calgary’s energy (www.thetibetpost.com)
Twenty-six Tibetans are headed to Calgary this week as part of Canada’s Tibetan resettlement program. They’re the second wave of Tibetans to arrive in the city, following the first nine who arrived in January. All nine are now employed full-time in the city.
New book relates struggles of immigrants in a new land with book cover (Elizabeth Mcsheffrey, www.dailyheraldtribune.com)
To many people around the world, Canada is viewed as a land of opportunity. Its prosperity, diversity and bountiful resources paint a romantic picture of the lifestyle enjoyed by its residents and beckon others with wide-open arms. Needless to say, many immigrants are shocked upon their arrival as their plans fall apart and they encounter the harsh realities of being new to a country.
Full Report of CCR Fall 2013 National Forum on Trafficking and Priority Issues Now Available (CCR)
The full report of the CCR National Forum on Trafficking, held on 27 November, 2013 in Kitchener-Waterloo, is now available online at: https://ccrweb.ca/en/trafficking-forum-report-2013, and is also available from the CCR Trafficking Campaign page, trafficking.ca. It is only available in English. The full report includes details on the challenges, emerging trends and concerns raised by participants and partner organizations working on trafficking across Canada. It also includes an overview of different organizations’ initiatives and strategies, as well as current concerns and priorities in the areas of policy development, service provision and awareness-raising on trafficking.
EMPLOYMENT AND WORKERS
Temporary Foreign Worker Program for fast-food sector suspended by Ottawa (www.cbc.ca)
Employment Minister Jason Kenny has announced an immediate moratorium on the fast-food industry’s access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The suspension, announced late Thursday afternoon, came shortly after the CBC told Kenney the CEO of McDonald’s Canada had branded recent criticism of its use of temporary foreign workers "bullshit" in a conference call to franchisees.
Jason Kenney suspends food services sector from foreign worker program (Tim Harper, www.thestar.com)
Faced with an ugly trifecta of trouble with his temporary foreign worker program — anecdotal evidence and national perception followed by damning statistical evidence — Jason Kenney cut off Canada’s fast food industry Thursday. He could defend no more. He had to act, so he announced that the food services industry would be suspended from the program and that any pending applications are in limbo. In reality, the minister was following the industry, with McDonald’s and Tim Hortons taking their own disciplinary action and doing their own audits, leaving Ottawa trailing and defending the indefensible.
Advocates defend temporary foreign workers (Kim Smith, globalnews.ca)
In the wake of alleged abuses of the temporary foreign worker program, the initiative is garnering a lot of negative attention, nationwide. The federal NDP is calling for a moratorium of the use of the program, and the Liberals are asking for a full audit. However, Saskatchewan employers and business advocates are speaking up in defence of the program.
Harper government "accelerated" unemployment by expanding TFW Program: study (www.pressprogress.ca)
The federal government’s decision to make it easier for companies to bring in temporary foreign workers "accelerated the rise in unemployment in Alberta and British Columbia," says a new report that blows major holes in Conservative talking points. The study by the conservative-leaning C.D. Howe Institute concludes that changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in the past decade contributed to a rise in unemployment, particularly for workers lacking post-secondary education yet qualified for low-skill jobs in the service industry.
NDP calls foul on foreign worker program (Daniel Palmer, www.vicnews.com)
Federal NDP MPs are calling for a moratorium on the use of the Temporary Foreign Worker program after a controversy erupted at three McDonald’s franchises in Victoria. Jinny Sims, NDP critic of employment and social development, was joined by Victoria MP Murray Rankin and Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison in front of the Pandora Street McDonald’s on Thursday to make the announcement.
A flood of foreign workers drives up western unemployment (Tim Harper, on.thestar.com)
Employment Minister Jason Kenney can parry the anecdotal evidence and he can challenge the statistical evidence.He can even try to turn around the perception problem, but when all three are coming at him simultaneously, defending his broken temporary foreign worker program may be a bit much for even the legendarily indefatigable minister.
Foreign worker program benefits some N.B. businesses (www.cbc.ca)
Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program is working for many New Brunswick Business Council members, says the organization’s president. Susan Holt says a number of companies are using it, even though their intention is not to hire someone temporarily. She says it helps businesses keep jobs in New Brunswick, instead of moving the work elsewhere.
Foreign workers program raises issues on the slopes (Alison Taylor, www.piquenewsmagazine.com)
Longtime, local ski instructor Terry "Toulouse" Spence resigned this week after more than two decades at Whistler Blackcomb over ongoing concerns about the wage disparity between Canadians and temporary foreign workers. Specifically, he called out Whistler Blackcomb for paying temporary foreign workers $15.30 per hour for standby, a minimum wage the company is mandated by government to pay, as opposed to the $10.25 for other instructors on standby.
Tim Hortons breaks with franchisee after foreign workers claim wage theft (www.cbc.ca)
The head office of Tim Hortons has taken over two franchises in Fernie, B.C., and Blairmore, Alta., months after several employees told CBC News the owner took advantage of their status as temporary foreign workers to cheat them out of overtime pay. The six workers — all Filipino and all hired to work in Fernie — spoke out in December last year, with claims of alleged theft, threatening behaviour and manipulation about their boss, Pierre Pelletier.
Only a few companies abusing foreign workers program: Jason Kenney (www.thestar.com)
ason Kenney says only “small numbers” of companies are abusing Ottawa’s controversial temporary foreign workers program as a major fast-food chain freezes its participation and a respected economist casts fresh doubt on the extent of Canada’s skills shortage. In Manitoba on Wednesday, the federal employment minister reiterated that employers who abuse the program could face fraud charges and jail time. The program remains under review and further changes will be announced soon, he added.
Foreign Workers (www.cbc.ca)
Matt Galloway spoke with Arthur Sweetman. He is a professor of economics at McMaster University.
Apple growers fear confusion over foreign worker programs (www.cbc.ca)
Annapolis Valley apple growers worry they could be stung by recent furor over alleged abuses to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Fast food chain McDonald’s announced Wednesday it was suspending its practice of bringing in people from outside the country and will be reviewing its hiring policies.
Assessing alternatives to scandal-plagued temporary foreign workers program (Lee-anne Goodman, www.leaderpost.com)
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.
Immigration lawyer explains programs (www.pqbnews.com)
Having practiced immigration law for nearly 25 years, it has been my observation that our foreign worker program is largely misunderstood and, sadly, the foreign workers take the brunt of our wrath when issues such as the current concerns about foreign workers at McDonald’s are raised. In reality, the Filipinos working at McDonald’s may very likely not have come through the foreign worker program and may not even be temporary workers but actual permanent residents or citizens of Canada.
Little progress made on HD Mining training program (www.sunnewsnetwork.ca)
Eighteen months have passed since a Chinese-backed mining company using temporary foreign workers said it would work to train Canadians for its jobs – with little progress made establishing such a program. HD Mining caused a stir in 2012 when it applied to bring 200 workers from China to work at its Murray River coal project near Tumbler Ridge, B.C. It was later found the company had brought 100 workers to another project near Hudson’s Hope.
Time for Nationwide Pause on Temporary Foreign Worker Program: United Steelworkers (www.digitaljournal.com)
The federal government would do well to follow the example of McDonald’s and put a nationwide pause on the lower-skilled stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), says Stephen Hunt, United Steelworkers (USW) Director for Western Canada.
Time to end Canada’s temporary foreign worker program (Martin Collacott, fullcomment.nationalpost.com)
The time has come for the federal government to admit that the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program is clearly not working, and put an end to it. Limited components of the program are justified — for example, facilitating the temporary entry under NAFTA of businesspeople from the United States and Mexico who are involved in the trade of goods or services, or in investment activities, which provide reciprocal benefits for Canadians. What is obviously not working in the interests of Canadians is the large-scale import of low-skilled workers in the service sector, and particularly in fast food outlets.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program adds to B.C. unemployment: study (Jeremy Nuttall, vancouver.24hrs.ca)
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program has caused unemployment in B.C. and Alberta to jump significantly, according to C.D. Howe Institute study released on the same day Ottawa announced a partial moratorium on the controversial program. The study by Dominique Gross used government data from 2002 to 2012, determining that using temporary foreign workers has impacted B.C. workers by almost 4% over several years.
Head of Weyburn chamber of commerce says foreign workers essential (www.globalpost.com)
Despite a recent recent controversy over the use of temporary foreign workers at a restaurant in Weyburn, Sask., the local chamber of commerce says a lot of businesses couldn’t operate without them. The entire federal program has been criticized by national think-tanks, economists and the general public after two long-serving waitresses at Brothers Classic Grill and Pizza in Weyburn said they were fired while their temporary foreign worker colleagues were kept on.
Food industry loses access to foreign worker plan (Cindy E. Harnett, www.timescolonist.com)
Employment Minister Jason Kenney is suspending the food services sector’s access to the controversial Temporary Foreign Worker Program in the face of widespread criticism. A moratorium is being imposed on any new or pending applications related to the food services sector, he said in a statement from Ottawa.
The other side of that TFW story (John Gormley, www.leaderpost.com)
As two waitresses from Weyburn claim they were fired and their jobs given to temporary foreign workers – despite no new employees being hired at the restaurant – the critics of the temporary foreign worker program have renewed their unreasonable campaign to scrap it. But there is one perspective often not heard – the temporary foreign worker who’s come to Canada seeking opportunity and a new life.
Video: McDonald’s Canada CEO calls foreign worker controversy ‘bullshit’ (CBC)
Of Wages and Women (theagenda.tvo.org)
Women don’t earn as much as men. What’s behind the wage gap? And, author Irshad Manji on the negative impact multiculturalism can have for women.
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