Immigration & Diversity news headlines – May 1, 2014


TFWP Moratorium: Mass deportation, racism Canadian-style #SupportDontDeport (

The ex-Immigration Minister and now Employment Minister Jason Kenney has been on a war path since 2008, systematically shutting out refugees, spouses, permanent residents and citizens. To do so, he has fanned the flames of xenophobia and racism coining terms such as ‘bogus refugees’, ‘marriages fraud’, ‘birth tourism’, ‘human smugglers’ and ‘foreign criminals’. In 2012, the Conservative government cancelled over 250,000 permanent residency applications without processing them. New refugee laws passed at the end of 2012 have halved the total number of refugee applicants in the country – in essence excluding 10,000 people. Laws passed in 2011 will mean that migrant workers who have been here for four years or more will face deportation in January 2015. Add to that the nearly 90,000 people deported under Harper’s regime – we are witnessing an enormous wave of mass deportations and exclusion.

The Maytree Newsletter : April 2014

In this issue:
• Sport and community
• How to mobilize disengaged voters in the upcoming municipal election
• Mayoral voices in the immigration debate at 2014 Cities of Migration conference
• Naan in the Park: Re-imagining public space
• Disability policy highlights from 2006 to the present
• Alain Mootoo: Creating spaces to nurture inclusion
• Five Good Ideas: Building the base for effective public policy

• Diversity and immigration – important parts of Canada’s past, present and future
• Poverty is NOT too hard to solve
• Profiting from the precarious: New report from the Metcalf Foundation
• News You Can Use

Using Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) in Community Mental Health (Sheela Subramanian (CMHA Ontario))

Join CMHA Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), and Health Nexus for a free training webinar on how to use the MOHLTC Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) tool in community mental health.

Anti-immigration flyers break no law: Police (Roger Belgrave,

Many in the community speculated the poster’s production, circulation and singling out of a specific religious group could constitute a hate crime. “All the materials were reviewed. There was nothing that would substantiate a criminal charge being laid, even if we could locate the people that put them out,” Fitzpatrick explained.

B.C. group that distributed anti-immigration flyers in Ontario plan Vancouver versions (Sam Smith,

The B.C. group responsible for distributing what Ontario’s premier called a “hateful flyer” is planning to distribute similar flyers in the Vancouver-area, likely starting in Richmond.

Addressing bias in nonprofit organizations and charities (

In his keynote address, Wise noted that organizations need to strive for more than simply being diverse. He believes in diversity, "but I believe in it like I believe in air. Air simply is." He further commented that an organization that says it is committed to diversity, isn’t saying much. Wise went on to explain that too often organizations talk about diversity – "which means everything and nothing at all" – as a way to avoid having much more meaningful conversations about equity and inclusion.

Operational Bulletin 572 – April 29, 2014 – Ministerial Instructions: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class Applications (

Effective May 1, 2014, a maximum of 25,500 new Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications without an offer of arranged employment (including 500 applications in the PhD student/graduate stream), 5,000 new Federal Skilled Trades (FST) applications, and 8,000 new Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applications will be considered for processing for the period of May 1, 2014, until April 30, 2015, unless otherwise indicated in a future Ministerial Instruction. Applications must be completeFootnote 1 and included within the caps set for each program to be considered for processing.

Canada: Changes to Federal Permanent Residence Programs Announced (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP,

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has released new instructions regarding the processing of applications under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The changes are seen as preparation for the 2015 launch of “Express Entry” and focus on the number of applications accepted under each of the aforementioned programs as well as lists of eligible occupations. These new instructions take effect May 1, 2014.

Vote (

Here they are! Our esteemed panel of Judges have narrowed down 75 finalists from the hundreds of nominations we received. Our finalists come from diverse communities and ethnicities from all over Canada. Now it is up to you to recognize the achievements of these top immigrants by voting for them.

Canada’s immigration minister gives glimpse of new investor scheme (

Chris Alexander, Canada’s immigration minister says that Canada will announce details of an ‘immigration investor venture capital pilot’ scheme in ‘a couple more months’. The visa will allow foreign nationals to gain Canadian permanent residence visas if they start up businesses in Canada.

The CBC Wants ‘Diverse’ Students in College, Not Those Who Deserve (

Affirmative action is a major progressive cause, so it is unsurprising that left-leaning media in Canada have covered the ruling. Neither is it strange or objectionable that they have presented it as troubling, given the effect that it is likely to have. But it remains that these media, and especially ones which claim to be "objective" in their reporting, bear a responsibility to present both sides accurately and fairly, including the side opposed to affirmative action. CBC’s The National evidently did not have this responsibility in mind when it covered the ruling last Thursday.

14,000 New Immigrants Receive Valuable Gifts And Offers From 45 Leading Canadian Brands Through WelcomePack Canada (

WelcomePack is a gift box full of free gifts and offers for you and your family to enjoy as newcomers to Canada. A valuable welcome made possible by 45 leading Canadian brands.

Montréal welcomes 750 new Canadians (

Today Montréal welcomed approximately 750 new Canadian citizens from 81 countries during three ceremonies downtown.

Citizen should encourage citizenship (David Berger,

The removal of flexibility is also out of step with an increasingly globalized economy in which immigrants can contribute to our economy and society through their activities abroad. It also contradicts the goal of the government’s highly touted startup visa which according to Employment Minister Jason Kenney aims to attract the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Immigrants admitted under this program can fully be expected to spend considerable time outside Canada if they are building the next Apple Computer or Microsoft.

Citizenship bill changes ‘likely unconstitutional,’ bar association warns (Susana Mas,|)

The Canadian Bar Association is sounding the alarm over some of the more controversial measures included in the government’s proposed citizenship bill, saying they are “likely unconstitutional," effectively contradicting the government’s own assessment of the bill. The government proposed sweeping changes to the Citizenship Act last February when it introduced Bill C-24, dubbed the strengthening of the Canadian citizenship act.

Ruptures in Arrival marks the 100th anniversary of Komagata Maru incident (Robin Laurence,

Subtitled Art in the Wake of the Komagata Maru, Ruptures in Arrival marks the 100th anniversary of that steamship incident and the fate of its passengers. In 1914, curator Jordan Strom tells us in the show’s introductory panel, the Komagata Maru was chartered to bring 376 Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims to Canada from India. Once the ship arrived at the port of Vancouver, however, more than 350 of its passengers were denied entry, and after two months stranded on board the anchored vessel, they were forced to return to India. The 15 artists represented in this Surrey Art Gallery show have responded not only to that history but also to recent incidents of attempted mass migration and hostile responses by government and media. Their work, Strom writes, speaks to “ruptures—tears, gaps and flash points—in the fabric of society.”

Working poor? Immigrant survival jobs and poverty (Ainsley Ashby-Snyder,

A big percentage of my clients are highly skilled professionals with university degrees and years of experience in their field. Most of them come to me because they are either unemployed or underemployed. Even with coaching and support, many find and stay in what are known as “survival jobs,” earning minimum or very close to the minimum wage, with no benefits and no work stability.

The alarming new blueprint for Canadian citizenship and immigration policy (Luin Goldring,

One can think of the changes underway as renovations to what former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney liked to describe as the “house” of the Canadian nation. Showing how seemingly disconnected floors and rooms of the "house" are related reveals a troubling blueprint of change — a renovation that will overhaul the very architecture of rights and membership in Canada.

Inspirit Foundation now accepting applications for pluralism grant program (

The Inspirit Foundation is now accepting applications from registered charitable organizations and First Nations bands from across Canada for its Pluralism Grants – Community Impact program. This granting program supports initiatives that provide opportunities for young people (aged 18 to 30) of different spiritual, religious and secular backgrounds to take action together to achieve a positive outcome for their community. Eligible initiatives reflect the distinct realities of each community and range from a) arts, culture and media projects to b) community development and civic engagement programs and c) local environmental initiatives. The deadline to submit an application is June 26, 2014, at 5:00 pm EDT.


B.C. Court of Appeal upholds Harper government’s human-smuggling law (Ian Mulgrew,
The B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld the Harper government’s tough-talk on fighting illegal migrants and its controversial human-smuggling law. In overturning a lower court judgment that threw two high-profile prosecutions into limbo, the appeal panel said the legislation was not overbroad.

Court rules that helping refugees is a criminal offence (

The Court of Appeal decided instead that the law was deliberately drafted to be broad enough to cover such humanitarian situations and that this was acceptable, despite Canada’s international obligations towards refugees. The Court states that “Parliament intended to create a broad offence with no exceptions, directed to concerns of border control.” While the Court recognizes that there may be “difficult and sensitive cases”, it suggests that these can be addressed by prosecutorial discretion, expecting that “common sense will prevail”. This will be no comfort for the many individuals, including humanitarian workers and family members of refugees, who know that they may face prosecution for their actions helping people make a refugee claim in Canada.

New human-smuggling trials ordered in B.C. (Keven Drews,

A new trial has been ordered for four men accused of human smuggling in connection to one of the cases that prompted a federal government crackdown on the offence. In a unanimous ruling Wednesday, the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned a January 2013 decisions by the B.C. Supreme Court that found a section of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was too broad.


Low Risk, Big Return: Using Paid Internships to Recruit Skilled Immigrant Talent (

Internships are a cost-effective way for businesses to test out potential candidates, including skilled immigrants, for fit and expertise. This webinar will showcase how companies have accessed internationally-trained interns through the Career Edge Organization as well as a unique and innovative partnership between Career Edge, RBC Royal Bank and business clients of the bank. Join us for this free webinar and learn how paid internships can be a powerful recruitment strategy, a way to diversify your workforce and benefit the overall bottom-line of your company!

2014 RISE AWARDS (Amy Stevens,

The Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers’ RISE Awards, presented in partnership with the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council, have been operating as one of Edmonton’s signature events for many years. Last year marked the 10th anniversary, and was the most successful awards to date, as it celebrated the many accomplishments of newcomers and their champions as well as the hard work of all the immigrant-serving agencies throughout the city.

We need to change the conversation from exclusion to creating good jobs for all (

“Low-wage jobs,” “part-time work,” “employers cutting corners,” “fast food workers feeling squeezed” – it is not often that issues of precarious work get widespread and prolonged media and public debate. That’s just what has happened over the last few weeks as stories emerged of McDonald’s and other fast-food workers being laid-off in favour of migrant workers hired through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

20,000 young workers headed to Canada outside foreign workers program that has come under scrutiny (Lee-anne Goodman,

Are you an employer keen to hire help from abroad, but nervous about the controversy dogging Ottawa’s temporary foreign worker program? The government of Canada may have a solution for you. Under the International Experience Canada program, as many as 20,000 workers aged 18 to 35 will soon be coming to Canada — just as Canadian youth begin pounding the pavement in search of summer jobs.

Jason Kenney lashes out angrily after Bob Rae blames ‘anti-immigration bias’ for troubled temporary foreign worker file (Josh Visser,

Newly embattled Employment Minister Jason Kenney launched a torrid Twitter assault Wednesday after former Liberal leader Bob Rae said the temporary foreign workers program has its roots in “anti-immigration bias.”

Over 18 tweets, minister blasts Bob Rae for calling Tories anti-immigration (Chris Hannay,

Wednesday morning saw a debate on Twitter between the former Liberal interim leader and the Conservatives’ former immigration minister (now responsible for employment).

Jason Kenney Blasts Bob Rae’s ‘Obscene’ Temporary Foreign Workers Tweet (

Kenney defended the government’s immigration record and said only those suffering from "Harper Derangement Syndrome" could accuse the Conservative Party of Canada of being anti-immigration. And the key member of Harper’s inner circle even dug into the immigration record of former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien.

EDITORIAL: Why we need foreign workers (

The temporary foreign worker program is unfair to Canadian and foreign workers. This controversy has been an ongoing issue for more than two years. It reared its head again two weeks ago when three Victoria McDonald’s Restaurant locations had hired foreign workers in place of Canadians. On Thursday, Employment Minister Jason Kenney suspended the food industry’s access to the program, pending a review, amid allegations of rule breaking.

Flawed from the start (Editorial,

Stephen Harper’s government is taking a shellacking from almost everyone for its mismanagement of the ballooning temporary foreign worker (TFW) program. And rightly so. The expansion of the program beyond the traditional sectors of farm harvesters and live-in care workers, was poorly designed from the start.

Food Sector Ban Punishes Migrant Workers for Employer Abuse and Government Failure (

The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC), Canada’s largest coalition of migrant worker groups and allies, is calling for immediate changes to the moratorium imposed on temporary foreign workers (TFW) in the food industry. A moratorium is not the solution. Migrant workers need a just transition to a permanent immigration system in ‘low-skilled’ industries rather than being blamed for government mistakes.

Nanaimo McDonald’s owner aims to hire local workers first (Darrell Bellaart,

That fast food burger may take longer to arrive following a ban on restaurants using the temporary foreign workers program, the industry says. The program has worsened a youth employment problem in western Canada, the economic think tank C.D. Howe Institute reported this week.

Today’s Cartoon: Temporary foreign workers (

Stephen Harper’s federal Conservative government is coming off a bad week in politics. There was flinty rookie minister Pierre Poilievre finally climbing down on the much-malinged Fair Elections Act and finally agreeing to amendments after weeks of nasty rhetoric about how wonderful the proposed legislation was.

Temporary foreign worker worries about future in N.L. (
A man from India working in a fast-food restaurant in Conception Bay South is concerned about his future after Ottawa suspended the program that allows him to work here. The federal government imposed a moratorium on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for the food service industry last week, in the wake of allegations that some workers were being abused through the program.

Are the kids alright? (Todd Humber,

Peel back all the controversy over the temporary foreign worker program, and there’s one question left that lingers: “Why are fast-food restaurants, and the restaurant industry is general, having to turn to foreign workers?” We’ve all seen the headlines about youth unemployment in Canada — we report on the numbers all the time in Canadian HR Reporter. In March, unemployment sat at 13.6 per cent for workers age 15 to 24, nearly twice the national average of 6.9 per cent.

Abuse of temporary foreign worker program could spell trouble for farmers (Jennifer Blair,

Producers may have a harder time getting foreign worker visas following recent allegations that McDonald’s is abusing Canada’s temporary foreign worker program. “It’s getting more difficult (to hire foreign labour),” said Al Dooley, agriculture labour recruiter with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

Elections bill and foreign workers, on Wednesdays with Kady (Evan Solomon,

MPs are also dealing with the fallout of the Temporary Foreign Worker program controversy. How will the minister responsible for the file, Jason Kenney, respond? Kady O’Malley will answered all your question about the big political stories of the week.

Helicopter pilots say they’re shut out of jobs by temporary foreign workers (

Count Canadian helicopter pilots among those outraged by the federal government’s troubled temporary foreign worker program. Pilots say they’re being denied jobs in favour of cheaper temporary foreign workers. Dozens of so-called labour market opinion applications for temporary employees from private helicopter companies across Canada say they’re unable to find domestic pilots.

Feds’ ban eats away at Filipino cook at ela! Greek Taverna in Halifax (

Living and working a world away allows the sous-chef with 21 years’ experience to support his family. His $13-an-hour wage at ela! Greek Taverna works out to almost 80,000 Philippine pesos, more than double what he could make back home. But he is now at the mercy of the Canadian government following a surprise announcement by federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney last week to ban food services companies from the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Stephen Harper Warns Employers Who Prefer Foreign Workers Over Canadians (

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued his clearest warning yet to employers who abuse the Temporary Foreign Worker Program during question period on Tuesday. "It does appear to be the case that there are some Canadian employers who believe that they can have a preference for temporary foreign workers," Harper said. "This government has been clear: That is absolutely unacceptable and it will not be tolerated."

Foreign worker program under the microscope (

Yorkton-Melville MP Gary Breitkreuz says that for the time being the measure will be limited to the food services sector, and will be in place until an investigation into the abuses is complete. He says that if any businesses are found to have abused the system, especially in regards to recruiting local employees there will be very serious consequences.

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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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