Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 26, 2014


The Forgotten Person in Today’s Immigrant (By Alan Broadbent, Maytree Opinion)
Most of the public discourse about immigrants these days centres on the foundering temporary foreign worker program which has cast our view of immigrants as one dimensional people filling jobs at the low end of the labour market.

Four changes to the TFW program that would help Canadian businesses (Matthew Mendelsohn and Ratna Omidvar, The Globe and Mail)
Last week, Employment Minister Jason Kenney announced new changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers program (TFW). Amid the recent public conversations about the TFW program and its possible future, it is an admission that the program is failing. The changes are meant to curb overuse – or in some cases inappropriate use – of the program by employers primarily in the service industry. But it’s not yet clear that the proposed changes will in any way address the problems it claims to solve.

Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada (Maytree)
What does escape look like up close? Why do people choose Canada? And once they land in a safe country, what happens next? In Flight and Freedom, Maytree’s Ratna Omidvar and Dana Wagner draw on 30 astonishing interviews with refugees to Canada to document their extraordinary journeys of flight, and to transform a misunderstood group into familiar, human stories.

Moving beyond headlines towards a more diverse judiciary (Ranjit Bhaskar, Maytree)
The lack of diversity among superior court judges in Canada that made headlines recently has been flagged before by several studies. In reported comments, Peter MacKay, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, has been anecdotal on why there is a lack of women on federally appointed court benches while being silent on why the number of visible minority judges is so low.

Why not use refugees to solve our Temporary Foreign Worker problem? (Howard Adelman, Naomi Alboim, and Mike Molloy, The Globe and Mail)
Two separate announcements were made by ministers of the Crown on Friday, June 20, World Refugee Day.The first, made by Chris Alexander, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced a contribution of $50.7-million to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to help that organization in its protection and relief efforts with Syrian refugees.While this is welcomed, there was no announcement by the minister about Canada’s response to the UNHCR’s request to allocate additional resettlement places over the original 1,300 previously agreed to by the Canadian government for these refugees. Nor has there been a clear statement by the minister as to how many of those Syrian refugees have actually arrived in Canada.

Kenney’s nanny crackdown won’t help Canadians, lawyer says (
Employment Minster Jason Kenney’s latest target for overhauling the temporary foreign workers program could be live-in caregivers, but critics say the group is being unfairly targeted.

Canadian investor scheme to reopen… but only for 10 days (Emriates 24/7)
Quebec’s Immigrant Investor Program will soon reopen for a short period of time (from 8th to 17th September 2014) and for a specific number of applications (1,750 worldwide with a maximum of 1250 per country).

Government challenged on right to revoke citizenship (Sean Fine – Justice Writer,
A Toronto lawyer is challenging the Conservative government’s right to revoke the citizenship of Canadians with dual nationality, including those born in this country, if they commit serious crimes such as terrorism here or abroad.

Rocco Galati launches lawsuit over Citizenship Act changes (Susana Mas,
Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati is suing Gov. Gen. David Johnston, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Justice Minister Peter MacKay over changes to Canada’s Citizenship Act.

New Canadian citizenship law faces first of two expected challenges (
The federal government has no authority to strip a Canadian-born person of their citizenship, says a Toronto lawyer spearheading a constitutional challenge of new legislation.

Mohamed Fahmy’s Canadian citizenship won’t be stripped (CBC News)
The federal New Democrats have received assurances from the Harper government that Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy won’t be stripped of his citizenship after being convicted of terrorism in a Cairo court.

Should non-resident Canadians get the vote? (The Globe and Mail)
How long should a Canadian expatriate be able to vote in a Canadian federal election, after having lived for some years outside the country? It’s a question on which reasonable people can reasonably differ.

Ottawa scales back plans for data collection under border security deal (Jim Bronskill,
Border agency will retain personal details gleaned from joint Canada-U.S. initiative for 15 years, not 75, following pressure from privacy watchdog.

Border agency backs down on cross-border data bank (Kady O’malley,
The federal border agency is bowing to privacy concerns by agreeing to slash the amount of time it will keep data on the cross-border movements of Canadians as part of a new security plan.

New Ontario Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade (settlementatwork)
Premier Kathleen Wynne and her cabinet team were sworn in to office today during a ceremony at Queen’s Park yesterday.
Michael Chan was first elected to the Ontario legislature as the MPP for Markham in a byelection in 2007. He was then elected as the MPP for Markham-Unionville in 2007, and re-elected in 2011 and 2014.

Embracing diversity good for the soul – and business – says TD Bank CEO (Julian Beltrame,
TD Bank chief executive Ed Clark says being a champion of social issues is not something rewarded “just in heaven” but also benefits the bank’s bottom line.

TD’s Clark says embracing diversity is good for the soul, but also business (Global Post)
TD Bank chief executive Ed Clark says being a champion of social issues is not something rewarded "just in heaven" but also benefits the bank’s bottom line.

Workplace diversity is good for business, TD Bank chief exec says (
TD Bank chief executive Ed Clark says being a champion of social issues is not something rewarded "just in heaven" but also benefits the bank’s bottom line.

Robert-Falcon Ouellette faces racism during mayoral campaign (Yahoo News/CBC News)
Winnipeg mayoral candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette is exposing the racism he’s faced so far in his campaign.

Ontario attorney general, Quebec justice minister take swipe at Peter MacKay (CBC News)
Add Ontario’s attorney general and Quebec’s justice minister to the list of people who have a bone to pick with federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay.

Ontario attorney general critical of Peter MacKay’s comments about women (Richard J. Brennan,
Ontario Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur says embattled federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay has a thing or two to learn about respecting women.

How you can help colleagues during Ramadan (Ginella Massa, The Globe and Mail)
Like most people, I can get a little grouchy when I miss a meal. I’m sure many of us can relate to that Snickers commercial where the football player turns into a slow-moving, crabby Betty White because he hasn’t had something to eat. “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” says the slogan. We’ve all been there. And for the next month, friends and colleagues of Muslims may wish to echo that phrase.

Immigrants and refugees centre breaks ground in Vancouver (
Construction is underway for the new Welcome House, a multi service hub dedicated to supporting immigrants and refugees which includes first and second stage housing for individuals and families in B.C.

Canada Day: An Immigrant’s Story (Justina Reichel, Epoch Times)
When Lawrence Chidzambwa was trying to decide which country he would immigrate to, Canada stood out as a clear contender above the rest.It had an excellent reputation—welcoming to newcomers, a good place to raise children—and came highly recommended by friends and family who had already immigrated here.

Brampton men among the best and brightest immigrants in Canada (Chris Clay, Brampton Guardian)
Like thousands and thousands of other immigrants who have left their homelands seeking a better life for themselves and their families, Canada has been the land of opportunity for Brampton’s Naval Bajaj.

Mixed Blood is a series of portraits of individuals and families of mixed races and ethnicities (David Rosenberg,
Fascinated by the evolution of identity, the photographer Cyjo, who styles her name CYJO, has created a series of portraits that examines how race, ethnicity, and heritage contextualize a person as an individual, and how they coexist within the framework of a family.

New Publication: Ethnocultural Community Organizations and Immigrant Integration in Canada (IRPP)
Philippe Couton finds that organizations serving specific immigrant or ethnocultural communities can make a greater contribution to their members’ economic and social integration through activities focused on building bridges with the broader society.

Waterloo Immigration Partnership Summer Newsletter (Waterloo Immigration Partnership)
World Refugee Day Kitchner | A Conversation wtih Eunice Valenzuela | Supporting Refugees in Waterloo Region | Immigration Partnership Pillar Updates | Immigration Partnership Connections


What the refugee health cuts really cost (Matthew To, Rebecca Jeffery, Naheed Dosani and Joshua To)
Nearly two years ago, the federal government made significant cuts to its Interim Federal Health Program, which allows refugees to access essential health services, such as medical testing and treatment.


Minister Kenney hosts national Skills Summit bringing together experts to discuss skills challenges facing Canada (
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, hosted a one-day skills summit with key experts to explore approaches to better link skills training and education with current and future labour market demand. Event participants discussed Canada’s skills challenges, found points of consensus on skills shortages and identified best practices and priorities for action.

Jason Kenney news conference on foreign workers disrupted by protesters (Susana Mas,
Two justice activists disrupted a news conference by Employment Minister Jason Kenney in Toronto on Wednesday in an effort to to draw attention to the plight of low-skilled foreign workers.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program queries came mostly from Tory MPs ( David Mckie,
Jason Kenney says he expects to hear an earful from constituents and businesses in Alberta concerned about his changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Kenney warns of coming skilled workers gap (iPolitics)
A shortage of skilled workers is the biggest challenge many Canadian businesses face today, Employment Minister Jason Kenney told a skills summit Wednesday, warning it could also jeopardize Canada’s economic development in the future.

Kenney warns skills summit of future trades workers shortfall (CTV News)
Jason Kenney gave the warning today at a skills summit in Toronto where stakeholders have gathered to discuss the labour market, employee training and those under-represented in the labour force.

Jason Kenney vows to push ahead with overhaul of temporary foreign worker program ( Vanessa Lu,
Employment Minister Jason Kenney is undeterred by business complaints over temporary foreign worker overhaul.

Temporary foreign worker restrictions will hurt B.C.’s LNG development, minister warns (Jeff Lewis, Financial Post)
itish Columbia’s minister of natural gas urged the federal government to keep the doors open on temporary foreign workers as the province looks to head off a skill shortage tied to development of a liquefied natural gas industry.

Temporary Foreign Workers program reform puts brakes on Alberta’s rolling economy (Lorne Gunter,
Milron Metal Fabricators, an Edmonton company that manufactures pickup canopies and utility-truck bodies, has a sign on the busy street in front of its shop that reads “Employed people have more sex.” Then the phone number for the company’s HR department is given.

Overhaul of foreign worker program may delay new restaurant (Brandon Barrett,Pique)
Changes Will have ‘massive negative impact’ on Whistler business

$275 international musician fee nixed by federal Tories (CBC News)
Ottawa has effectively eliminated a fee charged to international musicians that critics complained was deterring acts from abroad from playing in Canadian bars, pubs and restaurants. The removal of a work permit requirement for foreign musical acts, part of the government’s overhaul of the controversial temporary foreign worker program, went largely unnoticed amid a spate of other measures announced last week.

Why changes to the Foreign Worker Program could harm Vancouver’s film industry (Justin McElroy, Global News)
The film studios along Boundary Road are always buzzing with new projects, employing hundreds of people in the film industry on short-term contracts. But many of those temporary projects have affected by changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program – and producers say that will harm the commercial-making business in town.

Suggested ‘market mechanisms’ not feasible in Nova Scotia (Jordi Morgan,
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) members strongly support efforts to penalize or fine any firm that is abusing the program or mistreating any employee. These changes however convict all employers and prevent those who have followed the rules from even attempting to use a valuable tool to solve urgent and serious labour shortages.Employment Minister Jason Kenney singled out the restaurant, hotel and retail sector, effectively barring them from even applying to the TFW program. People in Colchester County should be deeply concerned about the impact this will have in the region.

Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce criticize changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program (
The Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce has published a resolution in response to changes made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and are now waiting to hear back from the federal government through the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. commerce-criticize-changes-to-temporary-foreign-worker-program

IRPP Insight – Wanted: Good Canadian Labour Market Information (Don DRummond, IRPP)
Since the Advisory Panel on Labour Market Information (LMI) reported, improvements have been made to LMI, but they are not sufficient. The main obstacle to reform is a lack of good governance. The Forum of
Labour Market Ministers has been unable to coordinate a more integrated LMI system. No one has taken charge.The federal government should take the lead, either by strengthening Statistics Canada’s capacity or by establishing an LMI agency.

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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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