All posts by marco

About marco

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

diigo (feed #12)
Shared 3 links.
diigo (feed #12)
Shared 3 links.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 25, 2014


Judge’s ruling may help two Salvadorans stay in Canada (Oakland Ross,
Federal Court ruling is potential good news for two men who face deportation from Canada as ‘terrorists’ because they once supported FMLN.

Ottawa spurns UN criticism of years-long detention of migrants (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Border agency says our laws allow jailing inadmissible people, despite UN group’s statement that inability to deport a person doesn’t justify indefinite detention.

UN committee tells Canada to free ‘Man With No Name’ — the immigrant they don’t know where to deport (Jen Gerson, National Post)
A United Nations committee has told Canada it should free the Man With No Name — an immigrant who has been detained for seven years because the federal government can’t identify who he is, or to where he should be deported.

Audio: Immigration Detention (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Syed Hussan. He is a spokesperson with the End Immigration Detention Network External Site.
Listen audio (runs 6:17) |

Pimping Diversity (John Fitzgerald, Huffington Post)
It has been said, "diversity management is a racket." Regrettably, there is a great deal of truth in this statement. In fact, "diversity management" has become a thriving industry with few bottom-line results that is in little danger of disappearing; we have all bought into a social construct that permits us to feel good about perpetrating a fraud. Corporations, universities, government agencies, minorities and "good white folks" alike — we are all complicit in pimping diversity.

Two acts of hate in two days: Canada is better than that (Mohamad Fakih, Toronto Star)
Muslims, Jews, Christians and others must unite in condemnation of acts of vandalism and hatred. My own son, born and raised in Canada, which makes him as Canadian as Wayne Gretzky, was told to “go back to his country” when stepping off of a school bus at the age of 8. It broke my heart to have to explain to him the concept of intolerance at such a young age. I was as offended by these ignorant words as I am to hear about what is currently happening in my community. I realize that this hate comes from a fear of the unknown; people are always uncomfortable with the unknown.

Divided Loyalties – a Muslim Immigrant’s Reality (Lin Abdul Rahman, New Canadian Media)
Since the Israeli assault on Gaza began in early June, more than 600 people have been killed and thousands more have been wounded. Most of the victims were civilians, with children making up to about a third of the numbers.

Black Refugee letters shed light on life after slavery (CBC News)
War of 1812 documents show literate, passionate Nova Scotian newcomers

Do people with accents face discrimination? (CBC, The Current)
New research suggests people often face discrimination because of the way they sound, and that even a person’s dialect can influence the way they’re perceived by others.

See the Immigrant Demographics Presentation that Audrey Singer Gave to the White House (Brookings Institute)
Recently, Brookings Senior Fellow Audrey Singer gave a presentation on “U.S. Immigration Demographics and Immigrant Integration” at the National White House Convening on Immigrant and Refugee Integration. In her presentation, Singer focused on trends in immigrant demographics, settlement patterns, and education and workforce characteristics. She also highlighted the contributions of the foreign-born population, showing how immigration has profoundly transformed the demography of the United States over the past several decades.

Giving Cities and Regions a Voice in Immigration Policy Can National Policies Meet Local Demand? (Madeleine Sumption,
Immigration policies are typically designed and implemented at the national level, even though economic and demographic circumstances may vary widely across cities and regions. Large and fast-growing metropolitan areas are natural magnets for both immigrants and their native-born peers, while rural areas and small towns tend to attract fewer immigrants, even when employers have vacancies to fill.
In the cases of Australia and Canada, which have made regional nomination programs the flagship policies in their immigration systems, the national governments have delegated a certain level of authority to subnational jurisdictions to select their own workers. These subnational visa programs allow regions and localities that are not traditional immigration destinations to attract workers who would otherwise have gone elsewhere.


‘This is the reward for the work we do’(Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
Pair celebrates birthdays by welcoming newcomers.

Providing Fairness for Refugees (Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care)
Ontario Calls on the Federal Government to Provide Essential Health Care

Feds slam Ontario gov’t over refugee health-care ‘scare-mongering’(Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun)
Federal Immigration Minister Chris Alexander slammed the Ontario government for "scare-mongering" over health-care funding for failed refugees.

U.S. to pitch refugee-application plan to Central American leaders (Frances Robles and Michael D. Shear,
Hoping to stem the recent surge of migrants at the Southwest border, the Obama administration is considering whether to allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras into the United States without making the dangerous trek through Mexico, according to a draft of the proposal.


Is Your Community a Living Wage Community? (Living Wage Canada)
Communities across Canada are responding to the increasingly high leveels of low wage works living in poverty. Families and individuals should earn an income sufficient to pay for the basic necessities of life, so they can live with dignity and participate as active citizens in our society. The living wage is a call to private and public sector employers to pay wages that are sufficient to provide for basic needs of families.

Promoting a Diverse Culture in the Workplace (BioTalent Canada)
Workplace diversity refers to the differences among people in an organization. Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others. Those perceptions affect their interactions. Diversity encompasses concepts of race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 23, 2014


Immigrants attracted to new community garden (
Charlottetown’s new legacy garden is attracting a lot of new immigrants, who are getting the opportunity to mix with established Islanders working the plot next door.

Georgian College providing language (
Help is here for new Canadian residents who need language and communication skills to succeed in the labour market. Specialized training is being offered by Georgian College this fall at the Barrie campus.

Allegations of racial profiling of migrant workers troubling (OHRC)
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) took another step to eliminate racial profiling in Ontario by speaking out in the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) systemic review of the OPP practices for obtaining voluntary DNA samples. The OHRC is troubled by allegations that the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) engaged in racial profiling when requesting DNA samples from migrant workers near Vienna, Ontario as part of a sexual assault investigation in October and November 2013.

The Subbans, building a hockey dynasty one child at a time (William Douglas,
Karl Subban remembers the days when he would take his young son, Pernell Karl, ice skating and look around the rink to see if there was anybody else there that looked like them.“In those days if you saw a black parent or a black person in the arena you would look twice,” he told me recently. “And now you don’t have to look twice anymore, things have changed a lot. Every time I walk into an arena you see minority children and minority parents.”


“We don’t see the emotional needs”: Caring for Young Children in Refugee Camps (Stine B Laursen, The Migrationist)
The world’s refugee crisis is not getting any smaller. In 2013, there were 10.4 million people around the world with the designation “of concern to the UNHCR” – a group of people usually known as refugees, in addition 4.8 million people in the Middle East were cared for by the UNRWA. As always these numbers can fluctuate heavily, dependent on ceasefires or the outbreak of new violence. According to the UNHCR about 50% of the world’s forcibly displaced people are children, how many of them are under the age of 5 remains unknown.


A Window of Opportunity to Boost Employee Morale (
Alberta employer of diverse workforce uses corporate chaplaincy program to help employees overcome personal challenges.

Why Conservatives dislike foreign nannies (Heather Mallick,
No immigrants are more warmly welcomed than the women who take care of Canadian children while both parents go out to work. So why are the Tories so opposed to letting them in?

Temporary worker program lacks dignity, but Harper’s fix hurts Calgary, says Nenshi (Jason Markusoff, Calgary Herald)
Mayor Naheed Nenshi is ripping both the temporary foreign worker program and the Harper government’s changes to it, because he feels a growing Calgary needs more access to working newcomers who can become citizens.

Temporary Foreign Workers: Businesses needing highly skilled workers sideswiped by changes (Susana Mas, CBC News)
Ski resorts, tech and investment companies say they rely on foreign hires to operate

Lobster processors seek new workers in wake of TFW changes (CBC News)
Lobster processors in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia say they’ve given up trying to convince the federal government to change the rules of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and will look instead for other solutions to the chronic worker shortage.

International Education, Future Citizens, and the Labour Market: Challenges and Prospect for Ontario ()
Supported by the Government of Ontario, Ministry of Training Universities and Colleges (MTCU) through the Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund a group of four researchers* from York University and the University of Guelph conducted 11 focus groups to examine the experiences of international students as they transitioned from their educational institutions into Ontario’s labour market. The key findings highlighted the extent to which assumed labour market outcomes often do not align with the lived experiences of IS; several barriers remain which prevent IS from realizing their full potential as “ideal” immigrants.

Toronto board of trade president Carol Wilding leaving for new job (Kat Sieniuc,
The President of Toronto Region Board of Trade will leave the board to return to her roots this fall and head the new integrated body for the province’s accountants.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 22, 2014


Bogus passports sold for profit, say RCMP in charging former federal employee (Peter Edwards,
RCMP hunt for 18 people after former federal worker charged with selling Canadian passports for profit.

Sun, sand, adoptions: Florida’s surprising growth industry (
At a time when international adoption is on the wane in many countries, it is becoming a surprising — and controversial — growth industry in Florida, where some birth mothers are seemingly looking to Canada as a kind of promised land.

Florida moms putting kids up for adoption see Canada as promised land with ‘less racism’ than U.S. (Elizabeth Payne,
At a time when international adoption is on the wane in many countries, it is becoming a surprising — and controversial — growth industry in Florida, where some birth mothers are seemingly looking to Canada as a kind of promised land.

The Agenda with Steve Paikin: Tasneem Jamal: Uganda’s Asian Exiles (TVO)
In 1972, Dictator Idi Amin expelled tens of thousands of South Asians from Uganda, many of whom had lived in the country for generations. Author Tasneem Jamal’s family was among those expelled. Her family fled to Canada along with thousands of others, an experience she chronicles in her novel "Where the Air is Sweet." This fictionalized story looks at a multi-generational South Asian family caught up in an ugly chapter of post-colonial Uganda. She sits down with Piya Chattopadhyay for a feature interview.

A Conversation with Diaspora Dialogues
Mon Jul 28, 2014 | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | 120 mins | Maria A. Shchuka Auditorium
Join us for a talk led by authors Cynthia Holz and Sheila Murray. Sheila Murray, of Jamaican origin, will discuss her experience working with Cynthia Holz on writing a novel about an immigrant’s arrival in Toronto. Holz, author of "Benevolence," was described by The Globe and Mail as a "master at mining the terrain of coupledom – its sorrows as well as its absurdities, which she delves into with sensitivity and humour."

Introducing Toronto (Rogers TV)
Rogers TV presents Introducing Toronto, a rich and informative weekly series portraying the journey of recent immigrants who call our city home. The show presents the settlement and employment resources available to newcomers to Toronto to help them better integrate into Canadian society and its workforce.

Library helps with immigration ( Daniele Alcinii, Sherwood Park News)
To cope with the province’s expected population of five million in the next 10 years, Strathcona County Library has launched a new service designed to acclimate newcomers to Canada.

Nurse finds a new home in Hamilton (Hamilton Spectator)
I work as a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) at Shalom Village Nursing Home. I began working as a private caregiver but I was hired by Shalom Village once I got my RPN licence. I am also a teaching assistant at McMaster University School of Nursing.

Ramadan Friends (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Zak Mohamed and Kevin Dill.
Listen audio (runs 7:19) |

White House Discusses Strengthening Communities by Welcoming Immigrants (Paul McDaniel,
This week nearly 200 leaders from communities across the U.S. gathered at the White House for a National Convening on Immigrant and Refugee Integration. Attendees included practitioners, policymakers, elected officials, researchers, business representatives, and faith leaders. The participants discussed successful initiatives, as well as challenges and opportunities for immigrant integration. “This inaugural event gave peer practitioners a platform where they could learn from one another, leverage collective resources, and forge innovative strategies for successful integration,” Felicia Escobar of the Domestic Policy Council said.


How the Refugee Heath Care Decision Could Hurt the Poor (Canada Without Poverty)
Recently, the Federal Court decision Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care et al v. AG (Canada) was released. In the decision, Justice Mactavish found that the government has violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by restricting access to health care for refugees. On the surface this may seem like a very positive decision for the rights of those living within Canada. But upon close inspection, we at CWP are very concerned that this decision could have harmful consequences for people living in poverty.

Conservatives fretting about the supremacy of Parliament (Aaron Wherry, Macleans)
But how supremely is Parliament behaving?


Filipino Canadians fear end of immigrant dreams for nannies (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Rhetoric from Employment Minister Jason Kenny suggests Ottawa is thinking about major changes to the live-in caregiver program — a move that has the Filipino community bristling.

Family separation, lost skills the biggest challenges for immigrant nannies (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Although 86 per cent of participants in Canada’s Live-in Caregiver Program had a university degree, many have continued to work as nannies after earning permanent status.

Town faces challenges with overhauled FWP (
Businesses says changes to foreign worker program could impact local economy

Minimum Wage (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Armine Yalnizyan. She is Metro Morning’s business commentator every Tuesday and Thursday.
Listen audio (runs 5:33) |

Dalhousie program helps international students into N.S. workplaces (The Chronicle Herald)
Pilot project helps international students gain work experience here

Diversity doesn’t mean what you think it does (Liane Davey, The Globe and Mail)
Excerpted from You First: Inspire Your Team to Grow Up, Get Along and Get Stuff Done by Liane Davey. Copyright 2014 by Liane Davey. Reprinted with permission of Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions, a Wiley imprint. Over the past few years, the need to reduce systemic barriers to women, people of different races or cultural groups, and people with disabilities has brought tremendous attention to the topic of diversity.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 21, 2014


A Toronto woman is facing 97 charges in relation to a passport fraud investigation (Kim Brown, Toronto Star)
A 50-year-old Toronto woman and former federal government employee is facing 97 charges in connection with a passport fraud investigation.

RCMP hits Immigration Canada employee with 97 charges for allegedly selling passports (Stewart Bell,
The RCMP is searching around the world for 18 suspects carrying passports they allegedly obtained through a Citizenship and Immigration Canada employee now facing dozens of criminal charges.

Former Immigration Canada employee charged in passport fraud (CTV News)
The Mounties say they have charged a former Citizenship and Immigration Canada employee with breach of trust after she allegedly helped 22 people fraudulently obtain Canadian passports.

Opinions on Rob Ford divide Toronto’s black community (Betsy Powell,
Is he a "Robin Hood of the ’hood," or a privileged politician whose actions belie his words? One council candidate has penned an open letter questioning African Canadians’ support for the mayor.

Reports of Little Portugal’s death have been greatly exaggerated (Eric Andrew-gee,
Unlike many of Toronto’s old ethnic neighbourhoods, this one has kept its native flavour, and population, despite an influx of young professionals.

Don’t call it diversity, call it real life (Alex Strachan,
Not diversity. Authenticity. If there was a lesson to be learned from ABC president Paul Lee’s question-and-answer session this week at the summer meeting of the Television Critics Association, followed by a full day of press conferences for ABC’s new comedies and dramas – all of them featuring culturally diverse casts, and many of which will appear on CTV, Global and City this fall – it’s that racial diversity in TV programs is simply a reflection of life as it’s lived today.

Where diversity meets delicious (Amy Pataki, Toronto Star)
From mango kulfi to faluda, frozen South Asian summer treats tantalize taste buds in the heart of Rexdale

Safe Harbour Program Finds Welcome in Saanich Police (
Safe Harbour Program celebrates 2 year anniversary of working in Saanich. Saanich Police have made diversity and inclusiveness a big part of their community work thanks to support from AMSSA’s Safe Harbour Program.

Women on corporate boards: companies need ‘to open their minds’ (CBC News)
Liberal Senator introduced bill to require 40 per cent representation on boards

A Municipal ID Card That’s Worth the Wait (The Editorial Board,
New York City is creating its own official identification card, which is excellent news for immigrants without papers and other New Yorkers who hope to make their city a more secure and navigable place. Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the bill on Thursday. The cards are supposed to be available early next year, at which point New York will surely leapfrog New Haven and San Francisco in having the largest municipal ID program in the country.

Child immigration is the humanitarian crisis at America’s doorstep (
Jimmy Sánchez is a slight, shy, 13-year-old boy who last saw his mother six years ago when she left him behind in San Salvador to find work as a waitress in Miami. She sent money back to Jimmy’s grandmother, who cared for him in a city with one of the highest murder rates in the world. Street gangs called maras regularly recruit schoolboys here; those who resist are often killed, sometimes dumped in mass graves. Earlier this year, a temporary truce unravelled between rival gangs, Mara Salvatrucha (or MS-13) and Calle 18, unleashing new rounds of killings, kidnappings and extortion. One day this spring, they came for Jimmy. “Armed people knocked on the door,” Jimmy recalled quietly. “They said, ‘Pay or we’ll kill you or a family member.’ ”

Video: Human Migration: Myths, Hysteria and Facts – Inaugural Lecture Hein de Haas (Maastricht University, YouTube)
“Human Migration: Myths, Hysteria and Facts” was the title of this afternoon’s inaugural lecture of Professor Hein de Haas, in which he debunked many of the common believes regarding migration.


Canada should take in more Syrian refugees as the crisis deepens. (Editorials,
Since Syria’s catastrophic civil war exploded three years ago, civilians have been under the gun from all sides. They’ve been bombed by prohibited weapons including deadly chemicals, blasted by rockets and mortars, executed, tortured, kidnapped, raped and driven from their homes. More than 150,000 have died. The United Nations reports that some 5,000 flee the country every day.

Federal health cuts hurt refugee claimants (Philip Berger and Meb Rashid, Toronto Sun)
Contrary to the position of the Conservative government and the July 7 Toronto Sun editorial "Refugee ruling bites taxpayers," Ottawa’s refugee health care cuts have had a devastating impact on many refugees and put the health of all Canadians at risk.

Top 5 refugee destinations (Affairs Today)
The broad issue of immigration is increasingly dominating the political debate in Western countries. While people migrate for many different reasons, some media and political forces have oversimplified the notion of a migrant as someone moving to a foreign country to exploit its benefits. A significant number of individuals who migrate are actually forced to do so. Violence, persecution and conflicts in several countries combined with improved global mobility have led to a significant increase in the number of those seeking protection in safer countries. Offering protection to migrants who are forced to leave their native countries is an international obligation according to UN rules. However, the extent to which this obligation is fulfilled varies greatly from country to country. The following five countries have proved to effectively tackle the issue of refugees and, in the long term, make them into a national resource rather than burden.


Government of Canada Helps More Skilled Newcomers Get Jobs in Their Fields Faster (
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, and the Honourable Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, announced that the Government of Canada, in partnership with the provinces and territories, will improve foreign credential recognition for 10 additional priority occupations including the skilled trades and healthcare. They made the announcement today at separate events in Vancouver and Toronto.

Kenney to ease foreign credential requirements for more skilled trades (CBC News)
Employment Minister Jason Kenney is slated to announce an agreement with the provinces to recognize 10 new occupations, incuding welders, carpenters and electricians, to improve foreign-credential recognition.

Foreign credential requirements to be eased for 10 additional occupations (Daniel Dale and May Warren, Toronto Star)
Ten new occupations will be included in the list of occupations that qualify for the temporary foreign workers program, in the hope of easing labour shortages.

Foreign credentials to be fast tracked for 10 more occupations (Giuseppe Valiante,
Canada is going to make it a "priority" to recognize foreign credentials in 10 additional job fields to help employers choose domestic talent instead of resorting to temporary foreign workers, the government said.

ICTC Webinar: Hiring Immigrants Through Express Entry (ICTC)
In January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will launch Express Entry, changing the way that people apply for economic immigration.For prospective immigrants, Express Entry will result in a more user-friendly experience. Those invited to apply for permanent residence will also benefit from faster processing.

Canada’s ‘Express entry’ immigration system to be a boon for skilled immigrants (Ishani Duttagupta,
Three years ago, Preeti Jain and Amit Khanna first applied for immigration to Canada, but they didn’t quite make it to the quota of 400 worldwide applicants. The husband-wife duo, who post-graduated in computer animation from Sheridan College in Oakville, Canada, in 2004, applied once again in 2013; this time there were only 300 openings. "But we were well prepared with our documents," says Jain. "Although we have got our permanent resident status in just about a year, it has been a long process for us."

Temporary Foreign Worker Program tops Agriculture talks in Winnipeg (
Provincial Agriculture Ministers are worried for food processing jobs across Canada, after recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program.

Northumberland migrant workers gather for annual dinner (Karen Longwell,
For seven years, Marco Medina has travelled from Mexico to Hamilton Township to work on an area farm. Each summer since he started coming to work on Burnham Farm, Mr. Medina has come to the Welcome Dinner for Migrant Workers, organized by the Horizons of Friendship and the New Canadians Centre with help from volunteers and the United Way Northumberland.

Higher wages and aspirations as businesses strive to be better citizens (Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew, Toronto Star)
Advocates say there is a growing movement of companies like Coffee Pubs, which strives to pay employees more, even at the expense of profit.

A community helps cook up business incl video (Vanessa Lu,

At the East Scarborough Storefront, a small kitchen serves as a hub for classes, community meals and entrepreneurs.