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About marco

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

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 23, 2014


Duly Quoted: Jonny Dovercourt, on Diversity in Toronto’s Music Scene (Sarah Sweet,

Promoters are teaming up to bridge divides among Toronto’s music communities. “With our legendary cultural diversity, Toronto seems primed to be a musical melting pot, but instead we all seem to be stirring different cauldrons.”

Carding (

Toronto police are looking at revising their policy around carding, but do those revisions go far enough? Matt Galloway spoke with criminal defence lawyer Howard Morton.

Event May 13: Embedding Equity into Quality Health Care (Mount Sinai Hospital and Toronto Central LHIN)

This event will focus on sharing leading ideas, practices and strategies on how to embed equity into every aspect of quality health care.

Comic blogger draws on immigrant experience in Toronto (Rhiannon Russell,

As Takiyoshi, who’s in her early 30s, settled in Toronto, she wanted to document her experiences. Her Canadian husband, Kevin James, gave her cartooning pens and paper for Christmas one year, and she decided to revisit an old pastime — drawing. Last December, Takiyoshi created a blog called The Days of Hanako, which provides readers with anecdotes about her immigration experience in comic-strip form.

Welcoming record numbers from China in 2013 (

Today, Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister and Costas Menegakis, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, highlighted the record number of Chinese students and permanent residents welcomed to Canada in 2013. They announced that last year, Canada issued more than 270,000 visitor visas to Chinese citizens, welcomed more than 29,000 Chinese students and admitted more than 34,000 Chinese citizens as permanent residents of Canada.

Mary’s story (

Mary emigrated from a very small city in the interior of China in 2007 when she had the opportunity to continue her education in Canada. She went to a university in China where she got a Bachelor’s degree in engineering. When she was accepted to the University of Windsor for engineering, she accepted it and took the steps necessary to migrate. In China, Mary worked as a project engineer but her goals and ambitions led her to seek new education opportunities abroad. Initially, she had though that she would end up in Alberta working in the petroleum industry, but things have not worked out in favour of that path yet. So because Mary was completing her Master’s at the University of Windsor, she lived there for several years with her husband, a post-doctoral researcher. They moved to several locations based on the prevalence of work. On average, every year Mary moves to a new city. First she lived in Windsor, then Thunder Bay, then Worcester, MA, and most recently Peterborough. She described the experience as hard but wholly dependent on finding a job, either for herself or her husband. Mary has a one-year old son whom she is raising in Peterborough. He has become one of the most important motivators for finding a steady job and starting a home.


Congolese refugees ‘interviewed’ in Canada by officials they fled from (Nicholas Keung,
Outraged community claims Canada paid agents from a country known for human rights violations to help facilitate deportations.

Ex-refugee uses own experiences to help others (Magdalena Osumi,

As a former refugee who was forced to leave his own country during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, Iranian-born Sena Vafa hopes to raise awareness about the plight of refugees here in Japan. Now a Canadian citizen who first came to Japan in the late 1990s and who has lived here since 2006, Vafa has been sharing his experiences through lectures at various venues across the country while at the same time working for charities and humanitarian causes.


Read the latest ALLIES newsletter (
Immigrant employment news and resources from across Canada including a new on webinar paid internships, celebrating Canada’s best diversity employers, recognizing innovation in foreign credential recognition and new policy papers on the underutilization of immigrant skills and employer perspectives on immigration reform and the expression of interest system.

Brothers Classic Grill and Pizza investigated after servers say they lost their jobs to temporary foreign workers (

The federal government said Monday it is investigating a Saskatchewan restaurant where two long-serving waitresses say they and two others recently lost their jobs to temporary foreign workers. Employment Minister Jason Kenney has asked his department to investigate the Brothers Classic Grill and Pizza in Weyburn, Sask., a spokeswoman for the minister said Monday.

Don Cayo: Our national economy needs foreign workers (

Two key elements of Canada’s immigration policy don’t add up. First, there is the seemingly sensible thrust to attract skilled immigrants as potential citizens, but then to tolerate barriers — mainly from protectionist professional associations — that prevent many thousands from using those supposedly valued and in-demand skills. The hoops are so onerous and the opportunities so limited that most foreign-trained doctors, engineers, etc. simply can’t practise their professions here. As a result of this and other failures to integrate newcomers, Canada gets 250,000 or so new future citizens every year who are stuck with worse-than-average chances of landing a job or lower-than-average earnings if they do.

Canada needs global talent (Yuen Pau Woo,

How well is British Columbia doing in attracting global talent? This was one of the questions put to a panel at the recent B.C. Immigrant Employment Council’s 2014 summit. The summit was timely and relevant, given recent reforms in Canada’s immigration program, persistent challenges in the under-utilization of immigrants, and a looming deficit of skilled workers in the face of massive resource development projects that are in the offing. My answer was we are doing pretty well, but not generally for reasons that have to do with talent. B.C. has attracted many highly skilled immigrants because of geography and lifestyle, not because of the opportunity to apply global talent in a Canadian context. This is simply a restatement of the well-known skills mismatch that many immigrants face.

Replace Temporary Foreign Worker Program with immigration, say experts (

How to solve a problem like the federal government’s scandal-plagued Temporary Foreign Worker Program? Economists and immigration experts say there are solutions at hand as the Conservatives grapple with yet another controversy involving temporary foreign workers. "We have to figure out what we want as a labour market in the end," David Green, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia who specializes in wage and employment issues, said in an interview Tuesday.

Sask. Federation of Labour says temporary foreign worker program abused (Andrew Shepherd,

Larry Hubich, President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour calls the temporary foreign workers program an embarrassing black eye in Canada. He says he has no doubt the program is being abused and he wants it scrapped in favour of a program that encourages proactive immigration. His comments come after recently fired Canadian workers claim temporary foreign workers took their jobs at Brothers Classic Grill in Weyburn.

Pinoy caregivers struggle to advance in careers in Canada (Veronica Silva,

Filipino migrant groups in Ontario are working with two Toronto-based universities to study how Pinoy live-in caregivers are transitioning after completing the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP). The LCP is a federal government program that allows Temporary Foreign Workers to seek permanent residency, and eventually citizenship.

Service sector sees spike in temporary foreign workers (Bill Curry,

The number of temporary foreign workers in Canada’s hotel and restaurant sector has exploded under the Conservative government as the latest figures show the industry is the biggest user of the controversial federal program.

Support pours in for Weyburn, Sask., waitresses who lost jobs (

A couple of waitresses in Weyburn, Sask., may have lost their jobs, but they are finding a lot of support in their own city and across the country. CBC’s iTeam uncovered that a local restaurant fired Sandy Nelson and Shaunna Jennison-Yung and replaced them with temporary foreign workers.

No foreign worker issues here: chamber (

The issues faced by several restaurants in British Columbia are not cropping up here, according to Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director Sherry Bohme. (There’s been) nothing that we’re aware of,” said Bohme, referring to the situation where Canadian employees at several McDonald’s restaurants complained that foreign workers got more shifts and higher pay than they did.

Replace Canada’s temporary foreign workers program with immigration and incentives, say critics (Kenzo Tribouillard,

How to solve a problem like the federal government’s scandal-plagued temporary foreign workers program? Economists and immigration experts say there are solutions at hand as the Conservatives grapple with yet another controversy involving temporary foreign workers.

Foreign worker programs explained (Emma Graney,

Questions are being raised about the temporary foreign worker program, following allegations that locals lost their jobs to foreign workers at a Weyburn pizza joint. The federal government is investigating the claims of two long-serving waitresses, who say they and two others recently lost their jobs while temporary foreign workers remain employed. It’s not the first time the program has been drawn into the spotlight, and government recently told media it would “not tolerate any abuse” of the program.

Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

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Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 22, 2014


Read CARL’s Brief on Proposed Citizenship Changes in Bill C-24 (

CARL has prepared a brief for the upcoming study of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immgration on Bill C-24, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (short title: The Fair Elections Act). Read the brief here and stay tuned for further consitutional analysis.

Canada to issue stamp on Komagata Maru on May 6 (

Interestingly, Canada Post has finally decided to issue the official stamp to commemorate the Komagata Maru tragedy of 1914 that involved forced return of 376 passengers from the Vancouver Harbour to India. This $2.50 stamp will be formally released in Ottawa by federal Employment and Multicultural Minister Jason Kenney and Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra on May 6.

CERIS Call for Presentations: Workshop on Recent Doctoral Research Regarding Migration and Settlement (

CERIS invites applications from recent and prospective PhDs to present their dissertation findings about migration and settlement at a workshop to be held on June 11, 2014 at York University, Toronto. During the workshop, participants will also receive hands-on training on how to write plain language research summaries. Following the workshop, CERIS will publish two-page summaries of the presented dissertations in its Research Summaries series at:

Man fined $70,000 for immigration act violations (

A Jordanian national who previously lived in Halifax has been fined $70,000 for violating Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Sardar Hussein Hasan, 46, provided false information to Citizenship and Immigration Canada in an application for a permanent resident card in March 2013 and in a residency questionnaire in July 2013.

The Tongues Issue (Ethnicaisle,

Tongues are funny things. Most of what makes up the tongue is invisible—and much of what we use tongues for is similarly ineffable: to taste; to speak; to kiss; and.. other things we’ll tell you about when you’re older. But somewhere in that fuzzy mix of taste, language, and sensuality is culture itself. At the tip of the tongue is where both the impossibility of translation and the ecstasy of mutuality are found. So here in the Ethnic Aisle’s “Tongue Issue”, we’re all about that most sensitive of organs, and how it stands for how we communicate and connect. Follow along why dontcha’?


Canada should do the right thing for the Pusuma family (Stephen Scharper,
Roma family represented by a lawyer who failed to provide adequate refugee representation deserves to have their case reconsidered. So writes a young girl to Lulu Pusuma, the 6-year-old daughter of Jozsef and Timea, a Roma family attacked in Hungary for their human rights advocacy. They now live in a 20- by 20-foot room in a Toronto church, unable to step outside for fear of deportation. They have been in sanctuary for the last 29 months.


Foreign worker program fills a need, protects other jobs, business leader says (
Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, responded Monday to complaints against the federal temporary foreign worker program, saying foreigners are integral to helping small businesses survive and address labour shortages. Kelly, speaking in Vancouver, said “recent stories have unfairly cast all businesses that use the TFWP in a very negative light” when they are meant to address labour shortages across Canada. This is excerpted from an interview with The Vancouver Sun.

Pizza place faces federal grilling over temporary foreign workers (Bill Curry,

The owners of a pizza restaurant in Weyburn, Sask., are facing a deluge of online scorn and a federal investigation after two veteran employees said they lost their jobs to temporary foreign workers. Sandy Nelson and Shauna Jennison-Yung worked 28 and 14 years, respectively, at Brothers Classic Grill and Pizza before learning last month that all staff were being laid off as part of a restructuring. When the dust settled, the temporary foreign workers at the restaurant were retained while the two women said they were not.

Media Release: Actyl Group Clarifies Inaccuracies in Recent CBC News Report on Temporary Foreign Workers (

Actyl Group, an international workforce solutions firm, would like to clarify some facts related to the services it provides its clients after a recent CBC News report that contained several inaccuracies. The report, published April 17 as part of the CBC News "Go Public" series, detailed claims made by some temporary foreign workers who alleged mistreatment on the part of an Edmonton employer. In addition to reporting these workers’ claims, the article and accompanying video made several statements that misrepresented Actyl’s work in finding and recruiting skilled workers for its clients, which include various Canadian businesses and organizations.

New Website For Internationally Trained Professionals (

Humber College has launched an updated website specifically for internationally trained professionals. Within the site, immigrants can find information on Humber’s programs and services including: free advising service for those seeking advice on educational options and other employment services and resources.

AWA human rights activist Raul Gatica awarded Diamond Jubilee Medal (

Raul Gatica, a long-time a human rights activist, staff member and past coordinator of the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) centre in Surrey, British Columbia, has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his outstanding commitment and contribution to the rights of migrant agricultural workers in Canada.

Firm in tiny Sask. town flourishing with Filipino workers (

A farm equipment manufacturer in the tiny town of Frontier, Sask., says hiring immigrants from the Philippines has been a key to its success. In recent years, Honey Bee Manufacturing has filled 35 jobs at it Frontier combine header plant from the Philippines — just under 20 per cent of its workforce.

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Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 21, 2014


Parenting skills put to the test in multicultural society (Leah McLaren,
Parenting in a multicultural environment tests our moral relativism. It reveals the wildly different ways most of us struggle to make sure our children end up as good people. The question is, good according to whose rules? Despite the rise of Tiger Mother-type parenting books, which presume the goal of most parents is to ensure our kids get ahead, most parents I know are far more concerned with ensuring their kids are simply decent.

Canada to allow Sikh kirpans in its embassies and missions abroad (Jeff Lacroix-wilson,
Eight years after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that kirpans – the ceremonial daggers worn by those of the Sikh faith – could be safely brought into schools under certain conditions, they will now be allowed into all Canadian embassies and missions abroad.

Filipino Canadian paper celebrates 25th anniversary (Nicholas Keung,
For the past 25 years, Hermie and Mila Garcia have followed the same routine every other week: up till the wee hours proof-reading and fact-checking on Thursday and then rising early Friday to check on the bundles coming off the press at a Yorkdale Mall area print shop, the ink still fresh on the pages of their family newspaper. As their Philippine Reporter reaches its quarter-century milestone this spring, the couple has seen it grow from a 12-page, 2,000-copy black-and-white publication to a 56-page, 12,000-copy full-colour biweekly.

After 40 years, Immigrant Settlement Program needs an overhaul (Robert Vineberg,
Last November, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander met with more than 400 people in Ottawa, mostly representatives of non-governmental organizations. These Service Provider Organizations contract with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to deliver settlement services to immigrants. He told them, “You tell us what we need to get it right.” In this spirit, there are several significant weaknesses in the system that need to be addressed.

Atlantic Region Struggling to Retain Immigrants (
A new study by the Association of Atlantic Universities shows that despite efforts by east coast provinces to attract and retain immigrants, the region is struggling to do so. VOCM’s Danielle Barron reports.

Racist, Anti-Semitic Graffiti Marks Ottawa Over Passover Shabbat (Joshua Levitt,

Racist graffiti scarred a pedestrian underpass along the pathway of the Chamberlain Bridge, in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, over the Chol Hamoed Passover Shabbat weekend, Canada’s Sun News reported.

Who will tell the story? (Books And Authors,

For a recent exhibit called Enemy Aliens about Jewish refugees interned in Canada during the war, a curator recorded internees’ experiences, and those voices were the first ones visitors heard upon entering the exhibit. Three of those interviewed died before the exhibition opened, Goldberg says. The centre, like others across the country, is consulting with survivors on the best ways to use videotaped testimony. “We don’t want to exploit the voices [of survivors]. We want to make sure there is some pedagogical value in what we do.”

Anti-black, anti-Jew graffiti to be investigated as hate crime (

Jaws were literally dropping Saturday morning as runners, walkers and cyclists were forced to pass by a display of racist and anti-Semitic graffiti. The concrete underpass along the pathway at the foot of the Champlain Bridge in Ottawa featured two hate-fuelled, nonsensical statements. One, using a racial slur, read: "Deport N

Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

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