Immigration & Diversity news headlines – May 6, 2014
IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY
Cities of Migration Newsletter, No. 49, April 2014
In this issue:
• Toronto: Sultans of Science
• Berlin: Mayoral Voices in the Immigration Debate
• Including Migrant Votes Is Good for Democracy
• Canberra: Courting Justice
• The Mathematics of Immigration
• Wicked Failures? Cities Offer Local Solutions
• David Lubell: U.S. Cities in Race to Attract Immigrants
• Saint-Denis: Professional Mentoring for Youth
• Willkommen in Berlin
• Good Ideas in the News
Where Are They Now? (triec.ca)
This year we’re celebrating our 8th Annual Immigrant Success Awards, which recognize extraordinary leadership in immigrant inclusion. As we do so, it’s interesting to look back at our past IS Awards winners to see where they are now in their engagement with immigrant inclusion. Read on for 2009 winner industry leader in employment diversity Dentons Canada (formerly Fraser Milner Casgrain) story. Stay tuned for 2014 winners to be announced May 8th!
Local professor concerned about immigration pamphlets (www.news1130.com)
Satwinder Bains is a professor at the University of the Fraser Valley. She says the flyers put people at a disadvantage because there’s no chance for discussion. She feels issues need to be hashed out, adding this is something we may have expected to see a century ago.
Facing challenges head on – Part 1 (Charlotte Santry, www.canadianlawyermag.com)
Canadian Lawyer’s editorial team began the process of selecting Canada’s top 10 litigation boutiques, and top five business immigration and commercial real estate boutiques, by creating a shortlist of notable firms in their respective fields. We ran an online survey, asking peers and clients to rank the firms, and to explain why they placed those firms as their top five or 10. The survey results were combined with feedback from large firms and in-house counsel to create the following lists, which are in alphabetical order. In an unusual twist this year, we have a tie in the real estate category so the top five includes six firms.
Medical schools ‘committed to social accountability’ (Karen Seidman, www.montrealgazette.com)
The increasing diversity of McGill University’s medical class may have some worried, but it reflects a trend across North America, and a concerted effort on the part of medical school administrators to ensure students of all ethnic, socioeconomic and linguistic backgrounds have the opportunity to become doctors.
Disfiguring Identity: Art, Migration and Exile (www.surrey.ca)
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru episode Surrey Art Gallery, On Main Gallery, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Fine Arts Department are collaborating to present a two-day symposium Disfiguring Identity: Art, Migration and Exile. These institutions are turning to visual artists to guide a conversation on the power of art to critically address cultural stereotypes and experiences of migration.
New Jane’s Walk walks an immigrant’s perspective of Kitchener (www.cbc.ca)
A group of Kitchener residents are leading a brand new walk through downtown that explores how new Canadians are welcomed to our community. CBC’s Dan Sherman went along to see the city’s landmark’s through an immigrant’s eyes.
EMPLOYMENT AND WORKERS
Why are so many temporary foreign workers in Southwestern Ontario?: Moffatt (www.canadianbusiness.com)
A common defence of Canada’s ballooning temporary foreign worker program is that it’s needed in areas with severe labour shortages. Despite this, there has been an influx of TFWs to a very surprising place: Southwestern Ontario.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Liberals Propose 5-Point Plan To Fix Woes (By Lee-Anne Goodman, www.huffingtonpost.ca)
Khristina Lawless is almost single-handedly raising five children and operating a cattle ranch in rural Saskatchewan as her husband works shifts in the oilfields to try to make ends meet. Yet her attempts to hire a live-in caregiver to help with her kids, ranging in age from 5 to 17, have been unsuccessful, and the controversy dogging Ottawa’s troubled temporary foreign worker program has only made things worse.
NDP want review of temp foreign workers program (Jessica Hume, www.torontosun.com)
Amid more reports of abuses of the temporary foreign worker program, the debate raged on in the House Monday with the NDP calling for an independent review of the entire program. It was reported Monday that temporary foreign workers in British Columbia worked long hours without pay and were threatened by employers with deportation.
Canadians frantic for live-in caregivers hope they’re spared from TFW crackdown (www.timescolonist.com)
The live-in caregiver sector is particularly nervous as Employment Minister Jason Kenney vows to further tighten the rules governing temporary foreign workers, a program originally conceived to address shortages of agricultural workers and live-in caregivers. There are genuine, serious shortages of live-in caregivers in Canada, said the head of the Association of Caregiver and Nanny Agencies Canada.
Big data’s noise is drowning out the signal (Konrad Yakabuski, www.theglobeandmail.com)
Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney’s long-rising star is dimming fast. He’s been in constant damage control mode over revelations that his cherished Temporary Foreign Worker program is crowding Canadians out of jobs. And he’s been the fall guy over accusations his government used inflated job vacancy figures to justify an incursion onto provincial job training turf. Instead of a skills gap to fill, Mr. Kenney’s now got a credibility gap to kill.
Red Lake depends on foreign workers, mayor says (www.cbc.ca)
The Mayor of Red Lake calls the Temporary Foreign Worker program a necessity for his community. Phil Vinet said some businesses in Red Lake depend on foreign workers to keep their doors open. The federal government should crack down on bad employers, he noted, and not punish employees.
Moratorium imposed on TFW use in food sector (Jason Contant, www.ohscanada.com)
But advocacy group Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) said that while the federal government had responded to the abuse of the program by employers, it had not considered the effects the moratorium would have on foreign workers. “J4MW believes the moratorium will leave migrant workers in a more precarious position,” the group said in a press release, citing workers who were already employed in the restaurant sector and had filed complaints about workplace violations or those whose contracts were about to expire, among others.
An Apology to the Foreign Workers Who Serve Us Fast Food (www.huffingtonpost.ca)
Canada’s temporary foreign worker policy is at odds with Canadian values, and frankly, this is getting a bit awkward. You know you’re looking at a Canadian when they apologize when someone else bumps into them. Sure, it doesn’t make sense, but we feel it’s the right thing to do.
Foreign worker reports death threats, coercion (Kathy Tomlinson, www.cbc.ca)
A temporary foreign worker who sold massage devices and other products in mall kiosks has reported he and his colleagues worked hundreds of hours for no pay, while forced to live under constant threat of deportation.
Temporary foreign workers provide incentive to create the wrong jobs (David Green, www.straight.com)
The recent controversy over temporary foreign workers (TFWs) highlights that companies can be profitable with very different approaches to wages and worker turnover. On one side of the spectrum are companies such as Lee Valley Tools, which treats its employees well in terms of wages, benefits, and training, and has famously low turnover rates. On the other are firms that pay relatively low wages on jobs with little to recommend them in terms of benefits, the environment in the workplace, or chances for advancement.
Government ignored warnings two years ago that TFWs were replacing Canadians (ntfw.ca)
The federal government was warned two years ago that employers were replacing Canadian workers with temporary foreign workers but failed to heed the warnings, according to documents obtained under an access to information request.
Temporary Foreign Workers Taking Jobs Where Canadians Available: HRSDC (www.huffingtonpost.ca)
A cabinet minister in the Harper government was warned two years ago that jobs were going to temporary foreign workers even in areas where there were Canadians available to do them, according to internal documents. In notes prepared for then-Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, HRSDC warned of a "disconnect between the Temporary Foreign Worker program” and Employment Insurance payouts.
A few things on the TFW scandal (E.wozniak, nsimmigration.ca)
As we are bombarded with daily news items on the sad state and widespread abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program, please consider these few points before making up your mind on it.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program faces renewed call for audit (www.huffingtonpost.ca)
The federal Liberals are proposing changes to Canada’s troubled Temporary Foreign Worker Program, including regular probes by the auditor general. Liberal immigration critic John McCallum says the program needs immediate reforms after Employment Minister Jason Kenney suspended its use by the fast-food industry amid allegations the program is being abused. http://getpocket.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fm.huffpost.com%2Fca%2Fentry%2F5268253%3Futm_hp_ref%3Dtw
Troubled TFW program takes a beating over latest stories of coercion, death threats and bad data (Steve Mertl, ca.news.yahoo.com)
The news for Ottawa’s embattled Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW) just seems to keep getting worse. More stories about employers abusing the program and their migrant labourers keep surfacing. And we’re also learning that the skilled labour shortages, the rationale underpinning the whole program, appear to be a myth.
FNA Temporary Foreign Worker Program lands first worker (www.digitaljournal.com)
While controversy embraces the service sector’s involvement in the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program, a business alliance of farmers is promoting its success for agriculture. Farmers of North America (FNA) is a private farm business alliance of 10,000 farmers across Canada.
Foreign worker ban ‘alarming’: chamber (www.whistlerquestion.com)
Amy Huddle isn’t sure how Sushi Village will run during the busy tourist seasons in the wake of a moratorium on the temporary foreign worker program (TFWP) for restaurants.
Job-vacancy rate plunges as Tories drop Kijiji data – Evidence vs Anecdote (Andrew Griffith, multiculturalmeanderings.wordpress.com)
A reminder that bad and incomplete data can lead to bad policy decisions and arguments, as exemplified by the over-stating of labour shortages and justification for programs like Temporary Foreign Workers.
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