Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 5, 2014


Strengthening Citizenship, Speeding Up Processing (
Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today announced that recent changes to the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act are already paying big dividends: citizenship backlogs are at their lowest level in more than two years, and applications are now being processed more efficiently than ever.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: Quarterly Administrative Data Release (
The Quarterly Administrative Data Release provides up-to-date portraits of the immigration process, including both permanent and temporary streams, as well as an overview of the citizenship process.

What information about you is Ottawa sharing? And with whom? (Globe and Mail)
The Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, known as Bill C-24, which was enacted last month, contains a series of clauses granting Ottawa broad new powers to disclose information. What information? To whom? Chris Alexander, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, needs to explain.

Tories strike another blow to Canada’s once-humane immigration policy (Toronto Star, Editorial)
The federal Conservatives have further eroded immigrant and refugee protections based on dubious economic arguments and at a great moral cost.

Residents urged to apply for Canadian citizenship to avoid hurdles on horizon (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Some measures — raising residence requirement to four years and age exemption of the citizenship test to 65 — won’t come into force for another year.

Dual citizens carrying foreign passport turned away at Florida airport (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Air Canada’s refusal to let a Milton family fly home from a summer vacation offers a cautionary tale.

Sports open a window into Canada for immigrant teens (Debra Black, Avy Go, Margaret Parsons, Deepa Mattoo, Toronto Star)
The ball is weird and the rules are a mystery, but a lively game of flag football in a YMCA sports program offers a fun way to become part of Canadian culture.

Toronto election is missing a racial equity perspective (Debbie Douglas, Toronto Star)
In Toronto, families from communities of colour and aboriginal communities are far more likely to live in poverty but mayoral candidates aren’t talking about it.

The floating life of affluent ‘transnational’ migrants (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
New demographic: They are ‘global elites’, but such quasi-immigrants often lead unsatisfying, complex lives

Should kids of Filipino caregivers get more help not less? (Louise Brown,
Children struggling to cope here because parents work long hours would benefit from having extended family, says York U prof.

Toronto EMS welcomes 50 new Canadians (City of Toronto)
For the second year in a row, as part of National Paramedic Services Week, Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief Paul Raftis hosted a Canadian Citizenship Ceremony at EMS headquarters in North York. Each year, Toronto EMS takes the opportunity to welcome 50 new Canadians from 29 countries to Toronto as they take their citizenship oaths. Chief Raftis remarked that 911 emergency services are available to
the residents of Toronto in over 150 languages through Toronto EMS translation services.

Cancer fight puts focus on lack of minorities on stem-cell donor lists (Sidhartha Banerjee,
A Quebec woman’s desperate online plea for a compatible stem-cell donor in her bid to fight cancer a second time is shedding light on the lack of minorities on official lists in Canada and abroad.

Building on faith: Inside Toronto’s new Aga Khan Museum, designed by the world’s leading architects (Alex Bozikovic, The Globe and Mail)
A majestic structure in a plain Toronto suburb, the ambitious Aga Khan Museum pays tribute to an ancient culture by setting a new standard in contemporary design, Alex Bozikovic writes.

Carnival brings out the best … in Toronto (Tara Deschamps, Toronto Star)
From a dozen island nations, here’s what people love about the home of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival.

Big Ideas: Top 20 proposals to transform the GTA (Rachel Mendelson, Toronto Star)
The Star unveils the Top 20 ideas to improve Toronto, including ideas to improve policing, transit and heritage preservation. Includes: Better harness the skills of immigrants, Renew apartment towers, and Support affordable child care. With your input, we will narrow down the list even further, to the ideas with truly transformative potential.Voting will continue online through the summer. So, please, keep voting.

Canadian Immigrant’s 4th Annual Career Fair for newcomers draws record-setting crowd (The Times of India)
Over 1,000 Canadian newcomers attended the 4th annual Career, Education & Settlement Fair presented by Canadian Immigrant and Scotiabank, in association with Centennial College. The day long event took place Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and saw interactive sessions by top employers including Scotiabank and Bell Canada, among others.

U.S. should copy Canada’s immigration policies (Marilyn Hepler, Oregon Live)
Just like most Americans, I desperately want the laws of our nation to be respected. I want law and order to prevail. I also want all citizens to have reason to believe we will be rewarded if we follow the rules and respect the law. This is why it is so important to pass effective immigration reform immediately

Crossing over: A flood of migrants at its southern border challenges America’s idea of itself (Joe Frisen, The Globe and Mail)
The white and green pickups of the U.S. border patrol dot the landscape every few hundred metres, rolling slowly along the frontier, kicking up dust plumes as they comb the riverbanks and surrounding brush for signs of anyone attempting to cross. It’s clear, standing at the river’s edge, how easy it is to penetrate the border in the Rio Grande Valley. It just means crossing the Rio Grande. There’s no fence in most places. The river bends frequently, limiting visibility, and in some sections it’s relatively narrow and shallow. Migrants say it takes only a few minutes to load a rubber dinghy and push across. Yes, some drown every year but it’s nothing compared with the other perils on the journey north. Every day in suffocating heat they come by the hundreds to pile onto rafts, inner tubes and fishing boats and chart a course across the muddy, green waters for the opposite bank.

To stop illegal immigrants from Central America, look to Chile (Fred McMahon, The Globe and Mail)
The presidents of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador just visited U.S. President Barack Obama to urge him to change course in combatting the flood of illegal immigrants into the United States. The three heads of state recommend the U.S. president focus on fighting violent gangs in Central America, rather than protecting the border and deporting illegal immigrants.

Recent appointments – DiverseCity onBoard
Since May 2005, 700 DiverseCity onBoard candidates have been appointed in the Greater Toronto Area to agencies, boards, commissions or committees in the public and nonprofit sectors. These appointments highlight individuals committed to giving back to the community and organizations dedicated to diversity in leadership. Congratulations to the following organizations and appointees:


Hector Reyes-Hidalgo goes into hiding to avoid deportation (CBC News)
Chilean man looking after Canadian citizen mother who has ALS was scheduled to be deported August 2

Chilean man defies deportation, goes into hiding (CTV Montreal)
A Chilean man who came to Montreal to help his ailing mother has ignored a deportation order and is now in hiding, according to representatives from the Solidarity Across Borders group.

Iranian transgender refugee struggles for acceptance (CBC News)
Eight months ago transgender woman Tannaz Mehraban came to Canada to start a new life

Pride 2014: Rainbow Refugees say Seeking Protection is Not a Crime (
Prior to the Pride flag-raising ceremony at Vancouver City Hall on July 28, a panel discussion held in the Council Chambers highlighted the plight of LGBT refugees to Canada and what can be done to help them.

Rwandan student runs on hard work and drive (Hamilton Spectator)
I came to study at McMaster University on a full scholarship through the Student Refugee Program operated by the World University Service of Canada (WUSC). I am a refugee from Rwanda and was living in Malawi prior to my arrival in Hamilton.

Video: Making a Living (Irina Sedunova, Vimeo)
A story about Bhutanese refugees and their experiences with the Canadian labour market.


Changes to Temporary Foreign Workers Program could have permanent negative effects (John Brannen,
For the past four years, North Nova Seafoods in Caribou has used the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Without it, general manager Mike Duffy said the processing plant couldn’t function at full potential.

Canada’s trucking sector faces uncertainty (
High personal debt levels and rising taxes in Ontario and Quebec are constraining Canadian economic growth needed to support a recovery of the trucking sector, says the chief executive officer of TransForce, the country’s largest trucking company.

Foreign Workers Develop into Skilled Labourers. Why Send Them Home? (Owen Roberts, Real Agriculture)
The federal government can do something to help Ontario’s $900-million mushroom sector — that is, extend or change the temporary foreign worker program. Such a change might help other agri-food sectors too and give new skilled Canadians a productive place in our society.

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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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