Category Archives: dailynews

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 7, 2013


School4Civics – pulling back the curtain on political engagement (Alejandra Bravo, Maytree)
When we put out a call in April to be part of our upcoming series of School4Civics boot camps, workshops and networking events, we were pleased to see the broad interest in getting involved in political life. How did we judge who was a good fit for the program? Rather than have a cumbersome application process, we figured that the people in the room are the right people, because they were willing to show up on a Saturday in the summer and participate in political training. We now have a group of 60 who committed to give up some of their weekends and evenings. It’s inspiring to meet people from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) who are this committed and interested in making their communities better. While they come from different places, politically, when they come together, they see that the political spectrum in Canada isn’t actually that wide.

Minister revoked citizenships before being shuffled out (Daniel Proussalidis, Toronto Sun)
In one of his last acts before being shuffled out as immigration minister, Jason Kenney ordered that several people be stripped of their Canadian citizenship. A government order went out on Kenney’s recommendation June 12 to revoke citizenships of people who had obtained them “by false representation or fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances.” But we don’t know who the fakers were or where they were deported.

Who is considered Canadian? B.C. woman pushes to overhaul citizenship laws (Kim Nursall, The Province)
Canadian citizenship laws may need to be overhauled if a so-called “lost Canadian” wins her legal battle. Jackie Scott, 68, was refused citizenship even though she came to Canada with her British mother and Canadian father at the age of two. A judicial review of that refusal was scheduled for July, but Scott put it on hold so she and her lawyers could broaden the court action. Documents filed Friday in Federal Court in Vancouver show Scott is petitioning for “declarations” from the court that could have serious ramifications for Canadian citizenship, including whether Parliament has total control over who is considered Canadian.

Canada Muslims Await `Eid Festival (OnIslam)
As the clock ticks towards the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a national grassroots Muslim group is planning special celebrations and prayers marking `Eid al-fit in Kitchener, Ontario. “Eid is a celebration of the holiest month of the Islamic calendar.,” Ghada Al-Shurafa of Waterloo, a member of the local chapter of the Muslim Association of Canada, told The Record. “It’s the exchange of gifts and presents, enjoying food and celebrating with family and friends.”

Ritu Bhasin on Social Change and Diversity in Toronto (South Asian Generation Next)
What disappoints me is that despite our diversity numbers, we lack diversity in leadership ranks across all sectors and industries in Toronto. And the disparity is significant. So while we are diverse as a city, we MUST do a better job of integrating and leveraging the diversity in our midst. Otherwise we’re neglecting the best part of our city.

Program serves moms-to-be, their partners and new Canadians (Larissa Cahute, The Province)
Fraser Health’s latest maternity program is all about building communities – especially for its vulnerable and marginalized women. JPOCSC launched its Community Birth Program last spring, the second of its kind in B.C. following Vancouver’s South Community Birth Program. Rather than one-on-one appointments with patient and physician, the program takes a community-based approach, where 10 expecting mothers and their partners meet for group-care with nurses, nurse practitioners, midwives, doulas and physicians. Not only do they undergo health assessments at each session, but they also have an education program with a new topic each month. With new Canadians, immigrants and refugees across the Fraser Health area, the community approach is especially beneficial.

Trans-Atlantic poll shows Canadians have much to learn about immigration (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
Canada is one of the few developed countries where immigration is not one of the hot elements on the political stove. Even though Canada has among the highest proportion of immigrants of any country, a recent cross-Atlantic opinion poll of eight countries found Canadians are most satisfied with how they’re integrating immigrants. However, the sweeping poll of most of the biggest countries in Europe and North America may stimulate a more sophisticated discussion of immigration among Canadians, who admit they tend not to closely follow the issue.

Canada’s ban on Pakistani adoptions baffles parents, clerics (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Canada has stopped adoptions from Pakistan, citing a conflict with the Islamic law over adoption and guardianship. The abrupt move, which took effect in July, has left Canadian adoptive parents heartsick and religious leaders baffled. “I was shocked, upset and depressed,” says GTA resident Shafiq Rehman, who had been hoping with his wife to adopt a child from Pakistan. At issue, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is the Islamic practice of kafala, or guardianship, which is common in most of the world’s 49 Muslim-majority countries like Pakistan.


Accessibility and costs of health care for refugee claimants following changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (St. Michael’s Hospital)
On June 30, 2012, the federal government drastically reduced the scope of the Interim Federal Health Program (IFH) that previously covered medical services and medications for all refugee claimants and resettled refugees. Over the next 3.5 years, we will work with partners including the Hospital for Sick Children, Montreal Children’s Hospital and McGill University to assess the impact of these changes on both health status and access to health care for refugees in Toronto and Montreal. We will also explore the impact on the health care system itself.

Ottawa’s crackdown on Roma refugees has Hungarians seeking asylum elsewhere (Valentina Jovanovski, Globe and Mail)
The federal government’s push to reduce the number of Roma refugees from Hungary appears to be working, with a drop of hundreds to only dozens of Hungarians filing for asylum since the crackdown late last year. Hungarians, who claimed asylum in Canada more than any other nationality from 2010 to 2012, are now being deported back to their home country where many Roma say they face poverty, stigmatization and intimidation by extremist groups. The number of Hungarian asylum seekers declined to just 33 between January and March this year, compared with 724 for the same period last year.

Toronto program offers training for North Korean defectors (CTV)
Seong-Min Lee is training to be a future leader of North Korea. After a dangerous and challenging escape from his home country, a Toronto-based human rights organization is building his leadership skills with the intention that he will one day return. Lee’s journey to Toronto has been a long one. He left decades of famine and fear behind when he left North Korea in December 2009, heading through China to the South Korean embassy in Laos. “We went through some very dangerous situations in China,” he recalled, speaking to CTV’s Canada AM on Tuesday.

Syrian-Canadians cope with ‘constant stress’ of war back home (Yahoo! News)
It’s been over a week since Mississauga, Ont. resident Marwa Tayara has spoken with family in Homs, Syria, one of the cities hardest hit by the two-year-old revolution. So when the ring of a Skype call echoes through the Tayara household, the 28-year-old Syrian-Canadian quickly excuses herself from the dining room to grab her iPad. She calls her father, Fariz, over and sets the tablet up on the coffee table in the living room. They both lean in closer to the iPad as her aunt begins to speak on the other end of the crackling line. “Yesterday, a bullet came right through her garden, and she went out to see what went on. She touched the bullet and it was so hot, she could not even pick it up,” Tayara translates. Fariz listens intently, showing no facial expression. His eyes are fixed on the ground, one hand cupping his forehead. “It’s hard for him to hear his sister is going through all of this while he is here listening,” Tayara tells me.


Operational Bulletin 539 – August 6, 2013 – Yukon Temporary Foreign Worker Annex Pilot Projects – Labour Market Opinion-Exempt Work Permits for Occupations Destined to the Oil, Gas, Mineral Exploration and Mining Industry or Tourism/Hospitality Industry (CIC)
The purpose of this Operational Bulletin (OB) is to advise officers of pilot projects being implemented under Annex B – Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) of the Agreement for Canada-Yukon Cooperation on Immigration, which provides Yukon with mechanisms to facilitate the entry of TFWs to meet its economic priorities and labour market objectives.

Benefits of mentorship programs (Canadian HR Reporter)
Christian Codrington, senior manager with the British Columbia Human Resources Management Association (BC HRMA), met with Canadian HR Reporter TV in Vancouver to discuss the organization’s mentorship program.
- See more at:

Ontario to recognize immigration employment leaders (Kelly Lapointe, Daily Commercial News)
The Ontario government has launched a new award recognizing leadership in immigration employment in hopes of raising the profile of newcomers working in the province. “We want to get out there and let people know that hiring a newcomer can be a very positive experience for a company,” said Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Michael Coteau in an interview with the Daily Commercial News. “Research does suggest that hiring a newcomer does make companies more innovative and help their bottom line, makes them more profitable.”–ontario-to-recognize-immigration-employment-leaders

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 6, 2013

Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival a spectacle of rhythms, costumes (CBC)
Close to a million people were expected to pack the parade route for drumming and dancing of the Caribbean Carnival grand parade on Saturday in Toronto.  The 46th annual three-week carnival brings together the colours and rhythms of the Caribbean with the parade spectacle as its premiere event.  “All of the Caribbean are supposed to be down there,” said Wenell Lampell Scott, who was looking forward to the steady stream of musical talent.
Food retailing changing in Canada and Alberta (Mayerthorpe Freelancer)
The Canadian Food Retail industry is changing.  As big-box stores continue to open across Canada, numerous ethnic (largely Asian) large-format grocery stores are also being built across the country. Empire Co., the parent company of Canada’s second-largest grocery chain Sobeys, acquired Safeway Inc.’s Canadian operations in June 2013.  This positions Sobeys as a leading grocer in Western Canada and the largest grocer in Alberta with 234 stores combined. The changes retailers are making reflect Canada’s increasingly diverse consumer base. Industry sales for food retail stores are estimated $85.5 billion in 2011, and it is projected to grow at a rate of 4.6 per cent annually, as more Canadians choose to eat at home.
B.C. privacy czar says no personal info shared in ethnic vote scandal (Maclean’s)
High-ranking British Columbia government employees did not share private voter information with the provincial Liberal party, as suggested in a controversial ethnic voter outreach plan, the province’s privacy watchdog said in a report released Thursday.  But Elizabeth Denham said her investigation did find that government employees regularly transferred emails from work accounts to private accounts, a potential violation of privacy laws.  Denham said some government employees were forwarding hundreds of emails to private accounts, possibly subjecting them to the prying eyes of the United States’ controversial security network.
Quebec’s new immigration rules put the emphasis on French skills (Marian Scott, Montreal Gazette)
Prospective immigrants to Quebec will need to master French better than in the past under new immigration rules that came into effect Thursday.  “We have re-thought our approach in order to select, around the world, immigrants able to respond adequately to Quebec’s needs and to contribute to its prosperity,” Immigration and Cultural Communities Minister Diane De Courcy said in a statement.  The government has tweaked the point system for selecting immigrants in hopes of boosting the proportion of immigrants who speak French on arrival to about 82 per cent from about 62 per cent.  “We want people who choose Quebec to be able not only to live and work in French, but also to find a job more easily,” De Courcy added.
Foreign service strike hits visa work (Windsor Star)
A strike by foreign service workers that now threatens to cripple the visa process for tens of thousands of would-be visitors, international students, temporary foreign workers and immigrants couldn’t come at a worse time, some experts suggest.  Not only is it peak travel season and a time when international students settle in for the school year, there’s concern the added pressure will also compound existing problems stemming from a plan to restructure and centralize visa processing.
Ottawa blasts Quebec for ‘fraud’ program that ‘takes money’ from rich immigrants who move to other provinces (National Post)
The Harper government signaled Thursday it will no longer put up with the Quebec government accepting thousands of deep-pocketed investor immigrants a year even though most settle in other provinces – especially British Columbia.  Immigration Minister Chris Alexander’s statement echoed recent complaints from his predecessor, Jason Kenney, who told a parliamentary committee in June immigrants are engaged in a “fraud” that enriches the Quebec government while costing taxpayers in B.C. and elsewhere a bundle.
The ugly anatomy of a sweetheart deal for Quebec (Peter O’Neil, Vancouver Sun)
Last month I did a story on this “unsustainable” agreement that gave Quebec $285 million in resettlement funds last year, or close to triple what the province actually spends on such services, then-immigration minister Jason Kenney (left, after cabinet shuffle in July) told me.  And this week I reported on problems created for B.C. as a result of Quebec bringing in thousands of “investor immigrants” who end up in B.C.  Quebec gets their money, we get the social program costs.  The benefits to Canada as a whole are pretty marginal, as the $800,000 entry fee, in the form of an interest-free loan repayable to the immigrant in five years, is laughably cheap.  The foregone interest amounts to $90,000 over five years.  Imagine – the promise of citizenship in arguably the world’s most attractive country to a rich foreigner who very likely doesn’t speak English or French, and is under no obligation to actually work or invest in Canada, for a measly $90,000 contribution to Canadian society.
Women could be leaders to polls (Debora Kelly, Newmarket Era)
We are the minority majority.  Women make up 52 per cent of the Canadian population, yet only 25 per cent of our municipal politicians are female — well below the United Nations’ goal of 30 per cent as the minimum percentage of elected women required for government to reflect women’s concerns.  In York Region, for instance, only three of 21 regional council seats are occupied by women: East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson, Richmond Hill Councillor Brenda Hogg and Vaughan Councillor Deb Schulte.  Does it matter? Do women bring something different to the table? Would our municipalities be better off if there were more women councillors? Are men incapable of providing leadership that reflects women’s concerns?  I don’t think so.
Edmonton’s Heritage Festival celebrates cultural diversity (Alicja Siekierska, Edmonton Journal)
Colombian empanadas. French crepes. German strudels. Sri Lankan beef curry. Sudanese samosas. Turkish baklava.  If you’re wanting to have a taste of any — or perhaps all — of these delectable food items, you’re in luck.  This Saturday marks the kickoff of the 38th annual Servus Heritage Festival, one of Edmonton’s most popular events, at Hawrelak Park. More than 85 cultures will be represented at 60 stands over the long weekend.
Immigration consultant rule a hurdle for universities (Editorial, Chronicle Herald)
Ottawa’s new rules on immigration consultants are putting the squeeze on Nova Scotia universities this summer.  Under the provisions of Bill C-35, which amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, those advising potential immigrants and international students who are not lawyers, paralegals or notaries must be certified consultants.  For cash-strapped Nova Scotia universities that attracted more than 6,000 international students last year, that is a problem.
What is racism? Confusion reigns (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
“What river separates China from India?” someone asked at a recent social event in Metro Vancouver.  Answer: “The Fraser River.” No one laughed. It’s not that kind of a joke. It’s more a lesson in demographics. The Fraser River forms a clear boundary between north Surrey – with its concentrated enclave of South Asians – and Richmond, where the enclave is Chinese.  However, perhaps the real reason people did not chuckle was, as someone said, “That sounds racist.”  The remark reminded me of the difficulty people have understanding the word “racist.”
In defence of Jason Kenney (Chris Selley, National Post)
Jason Kenney’s unpopularity among Canadian progressives is no mystery. During his nearly five years as immigration minister, Liberals watched him galumph merrily across the same policy eggshells they tiptoed over for fear of the “ethnic vote,” even as he siphoned much of it away. He merrily picks and prolongs fights, holds his tongue for no one, has a reactionary streak that makes him say silly things, and was in his post longer than any of his recent predecessors. As such he makes a perfect villain for the “hidden Conservative agenda” set.
Edmonton’s growing cultural mosaic: From war to opportunity (Dave Lazzarino, Edmonton Sun)
Visit any Canadian city and the cultural mosaic that we’re so proud of is obvious. From the variety of foods to music to language, Edmontonians are no strangers to the brilliant landscape of culture. Stay in one place in for long enough, however, and it becomes pretty clear that the mosaic is a dynamic one, shifting in all directions and never constant. According to Statistics Canada’s latest household survey, what many call the census, Edmonton has become a place where some come for economic prosperity, others come to escape the horrible realities of war and some still just come to be a part of the patchwork quilt of this Prairie locale. Of a total population of 795,670 Edmontonians, immigrants make up 205,445 of them — 26%. Added to that, more than 173,000 have at least one immigrant parent.
MOSAIC to feature top Pakistani painter Jimmy Engineer (News East West)
The upcoming Mosaic South Asian Heritage Festival, which features Bollywood, comedy, new wave and parallel cinema, Indie music moves and grooves, will also showcase paintings by top Pakistan painter Jimmy Engineer.  One among the very best artists, philosophers and writers to emerge from Pakistan, Jimmy Engineer was born into a Parsi family in Balochistan.  His life story makes a fascinating reading. He was given a few months to live when at age 6 years both his kidneys failed.
Many faiths under one roof (Amira Elghawaby, Ottawa Citizen)
In a leafy little nook by Ottawa’s bustling downtown, a rare experiment in pluralism is inspiring young people to draw on religious values to help fuel positive social change.  Its managers are an eclectic mix of students and youth who have taken up residence in Faith House Ottawa, a space where they are collectively encouraged to explore their spiritual diversity. It’s a revolutionary project, considering that many young people often dismiss religion as exclusive, divisive, even useless. But that’s not the case here.
Canada’s Increasingly Multicultural Community (Izabela Melon,
Globally recognized for its commitment to pluralism, Canada’s reputation as a place of rich multicultural diversity was established decades ago. With the Philippines, China and India making up the top 3 sources of newcomers year after year, it’s not surprising that Asia has become a significant source of origin, representing over half of new Canadians each year. Only 13.7% come from Europe, which is drastically different from 1970s stats when Europe was the continent of origin for over 78% of Canadian newcomers.  Today, the country is more diverse than ever and shifts in its multicultural mosaic have created an opportunity to capture market share among a growing number of Chinese and South Asian Canadians.
Refugee urges government to get her children, grandchildren out of Haiti (Teresa Smith, Ottawa Citizen)
A Haitian refugee living in Ottawa is desperate to get her children and grandchildren out of the troubled island nation after one of her daughters was kidnapped and killed two months ago.  Now, Marie Yvena Senatus-Prince, 45, says the federal government is dragging its feet and putting up roadblocks to her application by asking for documents they should already have.  Senatus-Prince fled Haiti when her brother was kidnapped and killed in 2006. She went first to the United States, despite not having proper identification or a visa.
Ottawa woman pleads for family after daughter killed in Haiti (CBC)
The federal NDP is calling on the Canadian government to end the delay in an Ottawa woman’s application to bring her family from Haiti, after she said her daughter was killed by kidnappers in that country.  Marie Yvena Senatus-Prince, a refugee, has been trying to sponsor her family to join her in Canada since 2010, before her daughter was kidnapped in May 2013.  Citizenship and Immigration Canada lists the average time to resolve files from Haiti at under 12 months.
North Korean defector training in Toronto to be a voice for his people (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Lee Seong-min came here not just to improve his English, but for a far bigger purpose: learning to be an effective voice for his 24.5 million compatriots living under North Korea’s oppressive communist regime. The 26-year-old defector is part of a program by Toronto’s HanVoice Support Association, an advocacy group for North Koreans, to help develop skills in lobbying for change on the international stage. “It is so important to learn to communicate with people outside North Korea,” said Lee, who fled to South Korea in 2010 after a tumultuous trip through China, Laos and Thailand.
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada Launches Improved Website (IRB)
On July 31, 2013 the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) launched an improved website. This initiative is part of the implementation of the Government of Canada’s new web standards, designed to make websites more user-friendly and accessible. These improvements will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of websites as part of the government’s efforts to modernize its web presence to better serve Canadians.
Thousands of failed refugees lured home with federal government’s bonus (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
A year after Ottawa launched a controversial program to pay money to failed refugee claimants for leaving Canada, more than 2,000 people have taken up the offer. As of June, some 2,157 failed refugees had participated in the federal government’s Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegration pilot program, which offers as much as $2,000 and a one-way plane ticket to any refugee claimant denied asylum who will voluntarily go home. The average time it takes between the registration in the program and the person’s departure date to their home country is 32 days. The five top countries to which participants returned were Hungary, Colombia, Mexico, Croatia and the Czech Republic.
What the premiers really want: A national partner (Sherri Torjman, Globe and Mail)
Despite the wide-ranging program, another message emerged loudly and clearly from last week’s meeting: The premiers would very much like to have a national partner with whom they can engage in conversation. They need someone at the other end of the table to help formulate pan-Canadian responses to the myriad challenges the country faces.  For its part, the federal government says it prefers to stay out of provincial business (which makes all the more questionable its intrusive Canada Job Grant program). On occasion, it does engage in bilateral discussions with individual provinces on selected issues.
The “Royal We”  (Sherri Torjman, Caledon Institute)
Canada’s Premiers had a jam-packed agenda at their recent meeting in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Despite the wide-ranging agenda, a clear message emerged.  The Premiers would like to have a national partner with whom they can engage in conversation regarding their myriad challenges.  Ottawa argues that it is better to let both orders of government – federal and provincial – take care of their respective areas of business.  But while the provincial plate is overflowing, the federal cupboard seems bare.
What soiled diapers tell us about poverty (Steve Barnes, Wellesley Institute)
Having recently welcomed a baby into our family, I’ve been thinking a lot about the conditions that kids need for a good start in life.  A new study from the United States really brought home the connections between income and child health. The study looked at the ability of low income moms to afford the most basic of baby supplies: diapers. It found that one in 12 low income moms delays changing their baby’s diapers after they’ve been soiled as a way of making their supply last a little longer. Not changing soiled diapers can lead to skin and urinary tract infections and discomfort.
New taxes are usually inefficient or unpopular – and that’s a good thing (Frances Wooley)
No tax is completely non-distortionary. Bev Dahlby, for example, estimated that the cost of generating an extra dollar of government revenue, once efficiency impacts are taken into account, is $1.11 per dollar of federal GST revenue, but $40.83 [sic] per dollar raised by the BC corporate income tax. In terms of the diagram above, Dahlby’s analysis suggests that sales taxes are in the green, efficient circle, but corporate income taxes are not.  Few taxes generate enthusiastic popular support, but some are more popular than others. Those are the ones that fill the red circle.
Why wait until 18 to vote? Let’s start at 16  (Hirad Zafari, Globe and Mail)
Trustees exist for school boards, and school boards exist for children and for young adults. Their policies and actions specifically affect students under the age of 18 but, unfortunately, it is only parents who have the luxury of deciding who will make these decisions. This should change: Municipalities should give students aged 16 and older the right to vote for school board trustee.  I have always believed that education should be a partnership between educators, parents, and students. In an attempt to develop and play an active role in this “partnership,” I became involved in student leadership by discussing current issues in education at local meetings at age 14, and I was elected as a student trustee on the Toronto District School Board , a role that I held for two terms, at age 16.
Canadian Social Research Newsletter : August 4, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Ontario Social Assistance, Pension and Tax Credit Rates, July to September 2013 (Ministry of Community and Social Services)
2. SPARmonitor – Monitoring Toronto’s Social Change – July 17 and July 31 issues
[SPAR = Social Policy Analysis & Research, City of Toronto]
3. Media and Policy News for July 23 (Jennefer Laidley, Income Security Advocacy Centre)
4. What Makes Us Sick? Canadian Medical Association Town Hall Report (July 30)
5. Household Food Insecurity in Canada, 2011 (PROOF – Food insecurity Research) – July 2013
6. Fewer people are below the poverty line now than ever before : Coyne (July 22)
Oh, really? : Goldman (July 30)
7. One Woman’s Fight for Equal Funding of First Nations Children Lands Feds in Court ( – July 15
8. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Police-reported crime statistics, 2012 : CANSIM tables – July 29
— Payroll employment, earnings and hours, May 2013 – July 25
— Police-reported crime statistics, 2012 : report + tables & charts – July 25
— Total income of farm operators, 2011 – July 22
9. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit
Moving the Rights Yardstick (Debbie Douglas, OCASI)
On July 15, 2013, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) launched its new policy Removing Canadian Experience as a Barrier to Employment. The policy aims to clarify the existing code grounds where discrimination is prohibited in employment. The Commission boldly states in the policy that requiring Canadian experience as a condition of employment is discriminatory on its face and the onus is on employers to prove that there is a legitimate and necessary reason for such a requirement. This is significant. The Commission is acknowledging that ‘Canadian Experience’ is often a proxy or euphemism for race, place of origin and/or ethnic origin. The policy notes that it is shorthand for ‘you don’t fit’ within our (often ethno-racial homogenous) organizational culture.
Need not greed? Business tries to reframe debate on Temporary Foreign Worker Program (Karl Flecker, rabble)
Stinging from the public outrage of how some employers and labour brokers have been taking advantage of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is now trying to tell a different story. CFIB has produced an 18 page booklet titled, Making it Work: Real stories of small business and foreign workers. The publication features 6 stories of businesses that have come to depend on ‘nimble’ access to temporary migrant labour. Reeling from a mountain of damaging media stories challenging the integrity of the TFWP — business is desperate to change the frame.
Fee set for temporary foreign worker applications (Don Butler, Tobi Cohen, Vancouver Sun)
The federal government expects Canadian employers to request 30 per cent fewer temporary foreign worker positions this year as a result of a new $275 user fee that came into effect Wednesday.  However, since employers applied for 60 per cent more positions in 2012-13 than they actually required, it’s not clear the fee will do anything to stem the rising tide of foreign workers entering Canada.  The new fee, which employers have to pay for every temporary foreign worker they apply to hire, is among a number of amendments and regulatory changes announced earlier this year in response to concerns that temporary foreign workers are taking jobs from Canadians.
Immigrants help solve oilpatch labour woes (Derek Sankey, Vancouver Sun)
The growing immigrant population is not only changing the face of Calgary, it’s also serving an increasingly vital part of helping oil and gas companies solve labour shortages, which are only expected to increase in the next 10 years.  In 2010, Calgary’s immigrant population was estimated at 304,000 – almost 30 per cent of the total population, and the visible minority population is projected to reach 40 per cent by 2020, according to data from Statistics Canada based on the last census.  Over half (52.7 per cent) of those immigrants were in the crucial working demographic of 25-44.
Minimum wage needs to be re-engineered (David Olive, Toronto star)
Properly understood, the minimum wage is a stimulus benefiting the entire economy. The minimum wage puts a floor under poverty among the working poor. (It would surprise many people to learn that most poor people work.) It enables entry-level employees, notably youth working their way through college and university and immigrants intent on self-sufficiency, to get a solid start as dynamic contributors to a more prosperous Canada. And in times of anaemic GDP growth like these, increases in the minimum wage boost economic activity to the advantage of all.
Panel chair says no to minimum wage challenge (Raise the Minimum Wage)
Could you live on minimum wage or a little over for a month?  Over 750,000 workers in Ontario do – but the chair of the minimum wage advisory panel feels it would be too difficult for his family of four.  The Ontario government recently announced an advisory panel, made up of community, labour, business and youth reps, to study a possible increase in the minimum wage.  The panel, chaired by Professor Anil Verma of the University of Toronto, will write the final report that makes recommendations to the government on minimum wage.
Scotiabank and BioTalent Canada help new Canadians start right with the next chapter of their careers (Canada Newswire)
Scotiabank announced a new partnership today with BioTalent Canada to help newcomers become a part of Canada’s bio-economy through the launch of the Biotech Resumé Builder.  The creation of this new online tool was funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. It targets immigrant job seekers and helps internationally educated professionals build a professional, standardized biotech resumé, to optimize their chances of landing a job in the Canadian biotechnology industry.
Time running short on a deal for jobs training (Donna Wood and Thomas Klassen, Globe and Mail)
The proposal by the federal government to create a Canada Job Grant program for the unemployed has the provincial governments incensed, increasing the tension between Ottawa and the provinces. The Job Grant program – which is to provide money for unemployed Canadians to purchase job training courses – will only come into existence if the provinces agree. Right now, they are unwilling to co-operate with Ottawa’s plan, fearing both a loss of autonomy and money.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 1, 2013


enewsletter – July 31, 2013 (Cities of Migration)
In this issue:
• Welcoming a New Community Partner: The Committee for Auckland
• The Spirit of Hong Kong
• Not Migrants and Immigration, but Mobility and Movement
• Sunday in the Park: Hong Kong Domestic Workers Reclaim Public Space
• Diversity Day: Today and Every Day in Mannheim
• London’s Employability Forum
• Local Integration Requires Long-Term Commitment of All Levels of Government
• Sydney: Ethnic Communities Sustainable Living Project
• The Queen and I
• Good Ideas in the News

CIC and the Universities…move along…no scandal here… (E Wozniak, NS Immigration)
The Chronicle Herald published a story today warning that University enrollment will be impacted by the restriction of schools from providing immigration advice to prospective and current international students. I have seen the letter CIC distributed to universities that has caused the uproar. To be fair, the letter is dense and confusing. However, I think there is a misunderstanding about what CIC is restricting and why.

Video – TWICE REMOVED: Double Punishment and Racial Profiling in Canada (Lilian Boctor)
Immigrants who commit criminal offences are punished twice: once when they’re sentenced for their crime, and again when they are permanently removed from Canada, even if they had lived here since childhood.This is known as “double punishment.” People are often subject to double punishment as a direct result of racial profiling: a recent study proves that racial profiling by police is endemic in Montreal. Neighbourhoods that have larger numbers of immigrants and people of colour are over-policed and criminalized. This film tells the story of Nicholas, who was deported on August 9, 2012, after living 30 years in Canada, to a country he hadn’t seen since he was 9 years old, and where he knew no one. His story shares many elements with thousands of others who have been deported from Canada and the U.S. as “criminal aliens” since the 1990s.

Foreign service strike frustrates foreign students, would-be immigrants and visitors (Tobi Cohen, Calgary Herald)
A strike by foreign service workers that now threatens to cripple the visa process for tens of thousands of would-be visitors, international students, temporary foreign workers and immigrants couldn’t come at a worse time, some experts suggest. Not only is it peak travel season and a time when international students arrive to settle in for the school year, there’s concern the added pressure will also compound existing problems stemming from a plan to restructure and centralize visa processing. “We’re talking about uncertainty to immigrants, and let’s not forget visitors and students — September’s right around the corner,” said Raj Sharma, a Calgary immigration lawyer.

Foreign service strike adds to problems of centralizing visa processing: Experts (Tobi Cohen, Calgary Herald)
Administrative services were outsourced to a network of 38 visa application centres (VACs) in 58 countries — it’ll expand to 130 in 96 countries by next year — and existing files at sites that were closing were transferred to the central office in Canada, as well as offices in New York and Los Angeles. Other visa offices including Manila and Mexico City, which are among the 15 busiest consulates that saw visa staff walk off the job this week, also picked up the slack. With the strike, CIC is again shifting more work to Canada and other overseas offices. Some immigration lawyers say the centralization efforts, while a good idea in the long-term, resulted in extra long wait times that could only be exacerbated by the ongoing labour dispute

Digital Journeys (Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington)
Twelve participants worked closely together and intensely over a three day period to create their digital story. The facillitators are currently travelling across Canada gathering more digital stories. Communities involved in this project include Langley BC, Lethbridge AB, St. John’s, NFL London ON, Toronto & White Horse in the Yukon!


The power of ideas (Editorial, Ottawa Citizen)
Every society, culture and civilization is based on someone’s ideas, whether about order, justice, power, or God. Ideas bind us together and divide us. They deliver freedom and tyranny. They help us prosper or reduce us to penury. One of the means by which we produce ideas is think tanks; that is, non-governmental institutions and organizations that conduct research and engage in advocacy for the purpose of influencing public policy — everything from economics and political and social policy to business and science and technology. No surprise, the United States has the most think tanks — about 1,800 of the approximately 6,600 in the world.


Tackling Brain Waste: Strategies to Improve the Recognition of Immigrants’ Foreign Qualifications (IECBC)
A new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report, Tackling Brain Waste: Strategies to Improve the Recognition of Immigrants’ Foreign Qualifications, examines the range of policies immigrant-receiving countries have introduced to improve the recognition of foreign credentials and focuses on strategies to remedy the credentialing gaps that keep many immigrants from fulfilling their professional potential. The report notes that there are issues other than credential recognition at play when it comes to maximizing the skills and experience of immigrant workers. Some immigrants require significant support to fill gaps in their skills, gain local work experience and address other barriers to employment.

Research on Canadian Workplace Etiquette for Professional Immigrants (ERIEC)
ERIEC is working with Dr. Lai of the University of Calgary to assist them to recruit for interview candidates for a very important research project. This project will examine the socio-cultural interactions and issues related to etiquettes faced by professional immigrants in the workplace. For professional immigrants, while some of them are able to secure employments in their own professions, they are often challenged by the different cultural expectation and socio-cultural rules and customs that could be hidden and unwritten. Through this research project, they hope to conduct personal interviews with professional immigrants in the workplaces as well as employers and service providers for immigrants to identify these challenges and the approaches that could be useful for providing training and mentorship to these professional immigrants.

Government imposes $275 fee on temporary foreign worker applications (Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen)
The federal government expects Canadian employers to request 30 per cent fewer temporary foreign worker positions this year as a result of a new $275 user fee that came into effect Wednesday. However, it’s not clear the fee will do anything to stem the rising tide of foreign workers entering Canada.The federal government expects Canadian employers to request 30 per cent fewer temporary foreign worker positions this year as a result of a new $275 user fee that came into effect Wednesday. However, since employers applied for 60 per cent more positions in 2012-13 than they actually required, it’s not clear the fee will do anything to stem the rising tide of foreign workers entering Canada.

Skilled labour gap looms (Liz Bernier, London Free Press)
Vicky Ducharme, Executive Director of the SLWDB said that the trend will cause serious gaps in skilled labour. “We’ve done studies that show that in the (near future) we are not going to be able to fill all of the jobs with the populations we have here locally, so one of (our) goals is to present a welcoming community so that more people will come here — and more people will stay here,” she said. One of their solutions is attracting skilled immigrants.

Racism in the workplace (Todd Humber, Canadian HR Reporter)
In a recent post, I questioned a move by the Ontario Human Rights Commission to put out a policy that said asking for “Canadian experience” in job postings was discriminatory. Not because it wasn’t the right thing to do, but because I had hoped we’d moved past that stage by now. It’s 2013, after all. It’s a naive, albeit optimistic view. And to drive that point home, a copy of the Toronto Star recently landed on my porch with the headline, “Human Rights Tribunal fines farm $23,500 for calling migrant workers ‘monkeys.’”

Small business pans changes to foreign worker program (Daniel Maceachern, The Telegram)
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says changes to the federal temporary foreign worker program make it more expensive and slow, but the provincial federation of labour says it had become too easy for employers to turn to. The business federation this week launched a campaign in response to “recent worrisome changes” to the program, by mailing to each Canadian Member of Parliament a copy of a compilation of testimonials from small businesses that depend on the program. Vaughn Hammond, the federation’s senior policy analyst in Newfoundland and Labrador, said the point is to remind politicians the importance of the program to smaller businesses.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 31, 2013


Diversity Day: Today and Every Day in Mannheim (Cities of Migration)
A flash mob may not be the usual way to celebrate diversity. Then again, what is the norm when you and your fellow Mannheimers are celebrating the countrys first ever Diversity Day? On June 11, 2013, Mannheim joined cities across Germany to promote diversity and inclusion. More than 360 events were organized in cities such as Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Dortmund to celebrate the positive factors and benefits of embracing diversity. Businesses, organizations, municipalities, community groups and ordinary people were all encouraged to be creative in celebrating diversity and to actively participate in this nation-wide event. In Mannheim, the mob flashed the question we all need to ask: What does diversity in the city of Mannheim mean to you?

Jason Kenney versus Justin Trudeau: The battle for the ethnic vote (Andy Radia, Yahoo! News)
If it hadn’t already, the battle for the ‘ethnic vote’ in the next federal election has begun. In 2011, it’s widely believed that the Conservatives, led by then-immigration minister Jason Kenney (aka Minister of ‘Curry in a hurry’), won that battle handily. From 2009 to 2011, Kenney criss-crossed the country with the sole purpose of wooing visible minority voters over to the Tory tent. And he was good at it. As explained by Postmedia News, Kenney’s office claims that the Tories captured “42 per cent of the ethnic vote and 24 of 25 suburban Toronto ridings.”

Study Shows Room – and Reasons – for Improvement in Gender Diversity in Canadian ICT Boards (Canada Newswire)
A study released by ITAC, the Information Technology Association of Canada, reveals that while Canadian information and communications technology companies are performing about as well as other sectors in terms of the engagement of women on their boards of directors, there are compelling strategic reasons to do better. The boards of the 10 largest Canadian ICT companies are 16.5% female compared with Spencer Stuart’s 2012 Board index of larger Canadian companies which average about 17%.

Universities: Immigration law hurts enrolment (Chronicle Herald)
Canadian universities say they are being hamstrung by a law that was intended to clamp down on immigration scammers. Bill C-35 was first titled the Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act. It banned unauthorized people from acting as immigration consultants to prey on people looking for a way into Canada. Though the bill was passed two years ago, it was only in May that universities received the final edict that it also applies to them. That means university staff cannot advise international students on matters like applying for a visa, work permit or permanent residence. They cant seek advice from the trusted advisers on campus who are very accustomed to giving them a basic level of Heres where you go, heres what you do, here are the requirements and here are the guidelines, said Mount Saint Vincent University president Ramona Lumpkin.

Human rights chief gives newcomers a break (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
The staff at the Ontario Human Rights Commission held a joking contest to see if anyone could come up with a job that genuinely requires Canadian experience. What about a Zamboni driver, someone asked. That was quickly laughed out of contention. There are ice rinks from Dubai to Durban. What about a regulator administering an arcane branch of Canadian law? Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall had a five-word answer: Knowledge of Canadian law required. As the game went on, the entries became far-fetched. What about an entomologist studying an indigenous beetle on a unique rock formation somewhere in the Canadian Shield? Everybody rolled their eyes. The contest ended without a winner.

The value of a degree earned in Canada vs. one earned abroad (Léo Charbonneau, University Affairs)
Statistics Canadas recent release of education data from the 2011 National Household Survey had many journalists, public policy analysts and others scrambling to interpret how the country is doing in this important area. Among the key findings: women are earning degrees in ever greater numbers, including in the STEM disciplines, while most apprenticeships are still held by men. There was also much analysis of unemployment rates by level of education. The story is a positive one: generally, the higher your level of education, the lower your chances of being unemployed. The lock-step nature of this relationship is quite remarkable.

International Childrens Games athletes struggle to get visas due to foreign service strike (Tobi Cohen,
Organizers of an international sporting event taking place next month in southwestern Ontario remain hopeful that young athletes from all 31 participating nations will be able to attend despite an ongoing strike by foreign service workers. Walt Metulynsky, a project manager with the International Childrens Games scheduled for Aug. 14-19 in Windsor, Ont., said no countries have officially backed out yet, however, securing the necessary visas is proving to be a challenge for some delegates, particularly those from India, China, Pakistan, Mexico and Russia.


Child Refugees Left at The Border Alone (CBC Here and Now)
Three hundred children found themselves at the Canadian border during the past year, to claim refugee status on their own. We heard some of their stories from Annie Poulin, the Radio-Canada reporter who broke this story.


Poverty the Greatest Barrier to Good Health, Canadians tell CMA Consultation (Canada Newswire)
Poverty kills. That’s the key message in What Makes us Sick, a report released today by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) based on what Canadians said during a series of town hall meetings and an online consultation held earlier this year. The national dialogue with Canadians asked them about their experiences with the social determinants of health – the factors that cause people to suffer poor health in the first place.

What Makes Us Sick? A Report By The Canadian Medical Association (Emily Wong, Wellesley Institute)
What makes us sick is more than access to and quality of health care. The social determinants of health play a significant role. Today, the Canadian Medical Association released a report titled, Health Care in Canada: What Makes Us Sick?, based on its national dialogue gathered from a series of six public town halls across the nation on the social factors that cause poor health. The message from approximately one thousand Canadians was clear: poverty is the main issue and the biggest barrier to good health.

What makes Canadians sick? Poverty, says a report from the Canadian Medical Association (Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen)
Poverty is making Canadians sick, says a report released Tuesday by the Canadian Medical Association. The report, based on public consultations at six town halls in cities across the country last winter and spring, said factors such as poor housing, lack of access to healthy food and early childhood programs all affect health. We heard that the biggest barrier to good health is poverty, says CMA president Dr. Anna Reid, a Yellowknife emergency room physician who says federal, provincial and territorial governments must give top priority to developing an action plan to eliminate poverty.

Skip to Poverty sickens Canadians: report (CBC)
Poverty kills, according to a national, Canadian Medical Association-sponsored discussion into the factors that cause people to fall sick. The CMA released its report, “What Makes us Sick,” today in Ottawa, based on a series of town hall meetings with 1,000 people across the country and a online consultation. “What Canadians told us is that poverty is the recurring theme that underpins most of these social determinants of health,” CMA president Dr. Anna Reid told reporters. “It really hit me in a visceral way when we did those town halls.”

An Advocate Says Poverty Among Torontos Elderly Should Be Top of Mind (Jennifer Hough, Torontoist)
Toronto’s elderly are at risk, according to the executive director of a seniors’ charity. The issue of poverty among elderly Toronto residents isnt being paid enough attention, says the executive director of a seniors charity. According to Thom Burger, of Silver Circle West Toronto Services for Seniors, a range of problemsfrom an inability to leave home, to health and financial issuescan combine to negatively affect the well-being of vulnerable older people. WTSS assists 4,800 elderly people in a swath of the citys west end. About half of those live alone, Burger said.

Infographic: The Distribution of Canada’s Immigration Settlement Money (FW Canada)
Ever wondered how Canada’s immigration settlement money is allocated among its provinces and territories? Learn about each of their different industries and funding allocations.

Video: Guelph Wellington Immigration Portal


Skilled labour gap looms (Liz Bernier, The Observer)
One of their solutions is attracting skilled immigrants. The Immigrant Mentorship Program launched this spring as a collaborative project between the SLWDB, the Local Immigration Partnership and the YMCA is one of the ways Sarnia-Lambton is looking to do that. Julie Allen, whos the co-ordinator with the program funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation said it aims to match new immigrants with a career mentor in the local community.

CFIB sets the record straight on Temporary Foreign Workers (CMEC)
Concerned about the effect federal government changes will have on the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) program, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has sent MPs a report that shows first-hand how small businesses depend on it. Earlier this year the program was assailed when RBC used it to outsource jobs already done by Canadians to foreign workers. The federal government responded by announcing several changes to the program, among them: an application fee for a labour market opinion (LMO); an increase to the price of the work permit; and a suspension of the accelerated process for an LMO.

Offshoring and the IT worker – where are we at? (Gilda Villaran, Lexology)
As we reported in May, Canadas Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has been under fire in recent months. Receiving much attention from the Prime Minister, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the media is the use of the TFWP to facilitate offshoring arrangements. The immediate reaction of the government was to put a hold on all the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) applications that concerned Information Technology (IT) workers. Although the LMO freezing measures have been relaxed since, there is still a lot of confusion.

$23k fines for monkey slur (HRM Online)
The vulnerability of migrant workers allows employers to get away with discrimination because employees fear repercussions of standing up for their rights, according to a Human Rights Tribunal decision. Ontario tomato farm Double Diamond Acres and owner Benji Mastronadi must pay a former worker $23,500 after the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal found he and a farm manager referred to the workers as monkeys.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 30, 2013


Building New Working Lives (Cities of Migration)
A paediatrician. A civil engineer who has spent a decade building roads and bridges. A teacher who speaks three languages. All are accomplished and dedicated professionals, and all are refugees. But for many, the search for work that uses their skills and experience ends in disappointment. Finding a good job requires confidence and an understanding of how the local labour market works, as well as employers who are receptive to the contribution they can make. And with the stakes made higher by hostile public debate about the impact of immigration on employment levels in the UK, refugees often find themselves up against a brick wall.

Canadian premiers call for scaled up caps in nominee program (DCNONL)
During the recent Council of the Federation meeting, Canadas premiers called on the federal government to scale up the caps on immigration levels within the Provincial and Territorial Nominee Programs. The premiers noted that the Provincial and Territorial Nominee Programs, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Worker Program can provide an effective path for these workers to become Canadian citizens. They called on the federal government to expedite the processing of visas as these delays are impacting jobs and access for foreign students and said the government should reconsider the closing of visa offices.–canadian-premiers-call-for-scaled-up-caps-in-nominee-program

Application deadline for Lilian To Bursary for Immigrants extended until Aug. 31 (Canadian Immigrant)
The deadline for this years Lilian To Bursaries for Immigrants at Ashton College has been extended until Aug. 31, 2013. Vancouver-based Ashton College is offering four full-time tuition bursaries, worth up to $8,000, to new immigrants, sponsored by magazine. The bursaries will be awarded to four outstanding students and cover full-time tuition for a range of Ashton College programs, which include everything from diplomas in immigration consultancy to human resources to accounting and more. Applicants must have immigrated in 2008 or later.

OSC proposes gender equity policy for boards (Globe and Mail)
Canadian companies will be asked to disclose the proportion of women they have on their boards and in senior management as part of a new policy being proposed by Canadas largest securities market regulator. The Ontario Securities Commission will unveil a consultation paper Tuesday suggesting that companies be required to develop and disclose policies to improve their boardroom gender diversity, or else explain why they have opted not to have a policy. The proposal, which will be open for public comment until Sept. 27, would apply to large, publicly traded companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, which is based in Ontario. It would not cover investment funds or smaller companies listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Canada gets human rights failing grade from Amnesty International (Olivia Ward, Toronto Star)
For Canadas international human rights standing, 2012 was an annus horribilis. This year three UN expert committees rated the countrys performance on meeting rights commitments and returned a failing grade. These mandatory reviews are carried out every four or five years, and it just happened that this year Canada was the focus of three, said Alex Neve, who heads Amnesty International Canada. Its a wake-up call that although we have things to be proud of, there are many fronts where we have long-standing issues that need to be addressed.

Diplomat strike risks ‘severe’ economic impact (Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada said all visa offices remain open and are providing service. The department has hired temporary staff to process applications. It is training existing staff from the department on an urgent basis so they can work on visas and some staff are working overtime. “CIC is also shifting more work to Canada and to overseas offices that have additional capacity,” a spokeswoman for immigration minister Chris Alexander said. The department is urging people who need a visa to apply as early as possible.

Where are immigrants residing now? PDF (Rural Ontario Institute)
By 2030, Canadas population will grow only via the arrival of immigrants1 . The presence of an immigrant community provides a core of individuals who have experienced the challenge of immigrating and who could contribute to the welcoming of new immigrants. The presence of immigrants in a community is an advantage for communities wishing to attract more immigrants. An immigrant is a person born outside Canada and who is now or who has ever been a landed immigrant / permanent resident.

How the Trayvon Martin Tragedy Would Have Looked in Canada (Anthony Morgan, Huffington Post)
In the wake of the July 12 verdict exonerating George Zimmerman of the murder of unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin, I’ve read, overheard, and been directly confronted with adamant assertions that a tragedy like this could never happen in Canada. “Forget the Stand Your Ground laws and the not guilty verdict,” I’ve heard many say, “Because Canada is not as racist as America, a killing like this wouldn’t ever happen here in the first place.” Are race relations in Canada so much further advanced than in the US that the Trayvon Martin tragedy would never happen here? I’m not so sure. While I’m of the firm belief that, in general, it is much better to be a Black male in Canada than it is in the US, Canada does in fact have a long and continued history of exonerating White people who have brutalized, shot and/or killed a Black person, especially males in the context of policing.

Videos of the 2013 RCIS Conference “Immigration & Settlement: Precarious Futures?” now available for viewing (RCIS)


Child Refugees (CBC Metro Morning)
It’s daunting for any newcomer to arrive in Canada, seeking asylum. But when you’re a child – and you’re alone – it’s even more frightening. Francisco Rico-Martinez, the co-director of FCJ Refugee Centre, spoke with Matt on this subject.

Mina Mawani: From Refugee to CivicAction Leader (Samuel Getachew, Huffington Post)
Mina Mawani is an exemplary civic leader based in Toronto. She has been an avid volunteer in the community and an exceptional leader for many local and international organizations. I recently spoke to Mawani about her early years as a refugee and how she learned to become more resilient as a result.

The only words left to say to Syrias refugees (Shannon Gormley, Ottawa Citizen)
Canadians earn five times more than Lebanese people, and Canadas land mass is almost a thousand times greater than Lebanons. We have both the money and the space to help. We need to do more the Lebanese are doing a lot more with a lot less. Resettlement is a woefully insufficient solution to a humanitarian disaster of this scale. There may be no solution to the calamity that has scorched Syria and inflamed the Middle East. But boasting about resettling a thousand refugees, when a country of remarkably smaller size and means settles hundreds of thousands? Thats far worse than insufficient. Its insulting. And its inhumane.

Border officials slammed for arresting woman in hospital emergency room (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
A Pakistani grandmother recovering from a heart attack was arrested at a Montreal hospital by border officers and told she would be deported from Canada the next day. Although Khurshid Begum Awans removal on Wednesday was eventually cancelled following protest by her cardiologist, refugee advocates criticized the Canada Border Services Agency for its actions. There is no reason for this kind of belligerent and intimidating tactics, said Rosalind Wong of Solidarity Across Borders, who was with the woman at the Montreal General Hospital when the arrest occurred Tuesday.


Canada not so good on poverty, after all (Rick Goldman, National Post)
In his column last week, Andrew Coyne used a statistical sleight of hand to portray Canada as a champion in reducing poverty. He takes the lowest point of an economic downturn (1996), compares it to today and says, Voilà, amazing progress has been made! The percentage of people below the Low-Income Cut-off has been nearly halved, from 15.5% to 8.8 %! Its been almost a month since Statistics Canada released its latest report on poverty in Canada (Income of Canadians, June 27). Since then Ive been watching to see whether somebody, anybody would write about it. You would think somebody would. It is a well-established principle of social justice that a society should make its first priority improving the lot of the worst off among it, and is to be judged by how well it does in this regard. What is more, the news on this front is remarkable, even extraordinary.

Social assistance numbers in Ontario: classic convergence or something else? (John Stapleton)
Some years ago, we reached the point where ODSP families exceeded the number of Ontario Works families. But it looks like it wont be long (maybe a year or two) before the number of men, women and children receiving ODSP benefits will exceed Ontario Works numbers for the first time in the long history of the programs, fundamentally changing (in my view) the social assistance narrative and the social assistance paradigm.


Have you Fired your Talent? (
Canadian employers share a problem: You hire an internationally educated professional who has the right skills, degree, and workplace experience, but who under performs without explanation. This is where Business Edge, a bridging program at the University of Torontos Rotman School of Mangement, enables and empowers skilled immigrants to move back into jobs where they can fully utilize their skills, education and professional experience.

Where are the good jobs? (Yogendra B. Shakya, Axelle Janczur, Toronto Star)
In the name of free market policies, Canada has seen a downward push on wages and a rise in unstable, temporary and unsafe jobs. These types of jobs are broadly referred to as precarious work or non-standard employment since they are marked by limited or no stability, benefits and protection. Several studies have documented that precarious, non-standard jobs are rapidly growing in Canada, and that this trend negatively affects a substantial proportion of Canadians.

Canada Jobs Grant: a mystery program with few fans (Dan Leger, The Guardian PEI)
Governments in Canada, federal and provincial, have come up with some strange approaches to job creation over the years but the latest one from Ottawa really takes the cake. The federal Canada Job Grant program has almost a billion dollars in funding, but no one is using it. The Job Grant was announced in the spring budget and the Harper government is already spending substantial money on advertising to promote it, but no one seems to know what it is, how it works or who is supposed to benefit. Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter called it a mystery program.

Adrian Monrose, Migrant Worker, To Receive $23,500 In Damages For Slur (Huffington Post)
A St. Lucian migrant worker who was called “a monkey” while working at a farm in Ontario and fired after he complained about it has been awarded $23,500 by the province’s human rights tribunal. Adrian Monrose, 38, came to Canada to help support his mother, two children, 16 siblings and numerous nieces and nephews. He arrived in Leamington, Ont., in 2009 for a second stint at Double Diamond Acres Ltd. under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 29, 2013


Operational Bulletin 525 June 21, 2013 – Changes in Appeal Rights to the Immigration Appeal Division as a Result of Bill C-43 the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act (CIC)
On June 19, 2013, Bill C-43, the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act came into force. The Bill amends subsection 64(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) which specifies the circumstances under which a foreign national, a sponsor or a permanent resident has no right of appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board. These instructions apply upon the coming into force of Bill C-43.

Open letter to David Suzuki: Canada’s immigration policy is ‘disgusting’ but not because Canada is ‘full’ (Syed Hussan, rabble)
So when I read that you think our immigration policy is disgusting — I was overjoyed. For too long, environmental and social justice issues have remained separated and there are few better places to build those bridges from within the environmental movement than you. Canadas immigration policy is indeed disgusting: it is premised on the exploitation of humans, it suggests that people are nothing but inputs into corporations for profit and it tears families apart. The immigration system turns away refugees while declaring itself as humanitarian and locks up thousands of people in immigration detention including children. There isn’t even a stream for so-called climate migrants. Most immigrants that arrive in Canada, do so as temporary workers, without full rights. We pay taxes but cannot access basic services, and we live in fear, knowing that a single ‘wrong’ move could mean deportation or worse.

Legal assistance funding cuts threaten most at-risk (with video) (Craig Pearson, Windsor Star)
Were afraid that theyre going to close independent clinics, said Overholt, noting that the government might try to consolidate some of the 77 legal clinics across Ontario. Im not sure what theyre going to do with this. I dont know if theyre going to look at cutting back services or reducing hours. Legal Assistance of Windsor, which has nine full-time employees, operates on a little more than $800,000 a year. With the help of University of Windsor law and social work student volunteers, the agency manages a caseload of a 400-plus at any one time, plus phone calls. The help covers such issues as social assistance, disabilities, employment insurance, refugee/immigration work, landlord-tenant disputes, and human trafficking, for which the Windsor office has been recognized as a leader in Canada. More than half the people on social assistance have mental-health issues.

New episodes (CBC Intersections)
Mating and Dating: Episode 4
Most young Canadians are busy flirting and courting, but thats a big no-no in some cultures. And it’s not just dating, cultural expectations can add new meaning to “happily ever after”. We explore how culture affects the way we date and mate in Canada.

Spending and Lending: Episode 5
Where we come from can influence how we lend, spend and save. And “giving” can take on a whole other meaning. We’ll explore how cultural perceptions of money affect our relationships.

Law and Order: Episode 6
Do you revere or sneer at police officers and judges? It might have to do with your cultural background. We explore the complex relationships we have the people who serve and protect us.

Ex-immigration board judge appeals conviction on sex bribes (Michele Mandel, Toronto Sun)
Kudos to each of the venerable judges on Ontarios Court of Appeal for keeping a straight face. Steve Ellis, the disgraced former immigration board judge, is appealing his conviction and sentence for trying to extort sexual favours from a Korean refugee claimant in exchange for a positive ruling at her hearing. Despite a damning video of his smarmy proposition surreptitiously recorded by the womans boyfriend at a downtown coffee shop, his lawyer says Ellis should never have been convicted in the first place because he wasnt after sex just friendship.

Richard Marceau: Dont let a dead Canadian breathe life into neo-Nazi hatred (Richard Marceau, National Post)
Harry Robert McCorkell was a Canadian coin collector who amassed a substantial amount of money. He died in 2004, with an estate that included ancient Greek and Roman coins, some in gold. The McCorkell collection is considered important enough to have been displayed at the University of Saskatchewan Museum of Antiquities. McCorkell was also a neo-Nazi, an anti-semite and a racist who bequeathed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the National Alliance, a white supremacist group in the United States.

Justin Trudeau has the wrong idea on immigration (Lorne Gunter, Ottawa Sun)
If you need another example of how mindlessly sentimental Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is, how shallow and impulsive his policies are, how much his ideology is driven by platitudes and whim, consider his proposal to reform Canadas immigration system. Pandering to a crowd of Indo-Canadian voters in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey on Wednesday evening, Trudeau promised that were he to become prime minister, his Liberal government would reverse the Tory crackdown on family class immigration. Under former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, the Harper government made some minor, but welcome, changes to the practice of immigrants sponsoring their elderly parents and grandparents to come to Canada. The problem with this practice is seniors are among the largest consumers of Canadas generous social benefits, namely pensions and health care.

Parade offers overwhelming sense of acceptance (Chronicle Herald)
Joseph Nyemah cradled his five-month-old son, Tweh, in his arms as the parade partied down Barrington Street. Originally from Liberia, Nyemah came to Canada in 2005 and now lives in Dartmouth. He brought the rest of his family to the parade because he wants them to appreciate the diversity the city has to offer. I think Halifax is rapidly changing and I think we need to embrace diversity in many ways and I think this event is great, he said. It shows that Halifax is truly a cosmopolitan city. Even though Tweh was a little too young to understand, Nyemah thought it was important for the baby to be present.

Record Number of Immigrants to Canada under Provincial Nominee Program (Peter Rosenthal, Globe and Mail)
The case of three permanent residents seeking the right to obtain Canadian citizenship without taking an oath to the Queen has generated much discussion both about the oath and the monarchy. Unfortunately, some of the discussion is based on misinformation. I am one of four counsel representing the residents. The case was argued in Ontarios Superior Court of Justice on July 12, at the conclusion of which Justice Edward Morgan reserved his decision. The case has generated much discussion about the oath and the monarchy. Unfortunately, some of it is based on misinformation.

How the Punjabi Post is joining the GTAs mainstream media (Dakshana Bascaramurty, Globe and Mail)
On the verdant, manicured grounds of 24 Sussex Drive, Jagdish Grewal was something of an outsider. Last month, he was at the journalists garden party the prime minister hosts annually at his residence. In the sea of mainstream reporters, he was the only member of the Punjabi press at the event. Mr. Grewal is the editor of the Canadian Punjabi Post, Canadas first Punjabi-language daily, with a distribution of 25,000, and he sees himself on the same level as mainstream reporters. And increasingly, the people he writes about agree.

That time anti-Semitism blighted Toronto (Chris Bateman, blogTO)
On a blazing hot summer’s day almost 80 years ago in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood, hundreds of members of the Balmy Beach Swastika Club painted nazi symbols on their shirts, daubed anti-semitic slogans on two-foot placards, and took to the streets in an attempt to intimidate Jewish members of their community. The Balmy Beach Canoe Club followed suit, prominently displaying a large outdoor swastika and painted “Heil Hitler.” Throughout the property, blue and red signs were nailed to stakes or pinned to doors, the Toronto Telegram reported.

Secrets of a Black Boy (CBC Metro Morning)
While working as a youth worker, Darren Anthony heard lots of stories from young black men. He’s turned those stories into a play — Secrets of a Black Boy. It takes to the stage tomorrow at Regent Park, which is also the backdrop for his play.
While working as a youth worker, Darren Anthony heard lots of stories from young black men. He’s turned those stories into a play — Secrets of a Black Boy. It takes to the stage tomorrow at Regent Park, which is also the backdrop for his play.

News Release Special measures for Canadian citizens and temporary and permanent residents affected by the tragedy in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec (CIC)
To help those directly affected by the tragic explosion and fire in Lac-Mégantic, the Government of Canada will automatically extend or restore the status of temporary residents, including those in Canada to work, study or visit, and provide free replacements of destroyed documents, such as immigration and citizenship status papers, permanent residency cards and Canadian passports, announced Canadas Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today.

B.C. cyclists spin diversity message (Vancouver Sun)
When Ken Herar was growing up in Mission, his mother encouraged him to play not only with kids in his own South Asian community but with those from all ethnic backgrounds. Now, when he walks down the streets of Abbotsford where he works, his head turns and he does a double take if he sees a white person walking with a South Asian. He senses the cultural divides have grown into vast chasms since his childhood. The breaking point came for the Safeway clerk in 2011 when he was told he couldnt attend a Christmas party in Surrey because of his race, and he decided he had to take action.

Syed Hussan on making T.O. a Sanctuary City (NOW Toronto)
I had to walk away from a hospital emergency room last year because they demanded $700 up front for treatment a consequence of the fact that I had lost my work permit and was waiting to get a study permit. Im just one of an estimated 400,000 people in Toronto who dont have all their immigration papers. We live here, we work here, we pay taxes, but we are denied or are too afraid to access many of the services our money pays for.

Human rights museum sparks debate over term genocide (CBC)
The debate over whether or not the word genocide should be used to describe the federal governments treatment of aboriginal people is heating up in Winnipeg. The yet-to-open Canadian Museum for Human Rights is embroiled in a controversy over how they will represent Canadas past treatment of aboriginal people. Fred Kelly is a residential school survivor and is among a group of First Nations people who believe the residential school system and other similar atrocities should be referred to as genocide.

Why We Should Use the Term Illegalized Immigrant – PDF (Harald Bauder, Ryerson Centre for Immigration & Settlement)
Language matters in public discourse and everyday exchange: terminology can imply causality, generate emotional responses, and transmit symbolic meanings. The term illegal immigrant, for example, implies that an immigrant has committed a crime, that she does not belong, and that someone else (often the speaker) has been wronged. These implied meanings and the emotional responses they elicit have real consequences, affecting the judgment and behavior of decision makers and voters, which can in turn inform policies and legislation. They also shape the way civic society, employers, and communities engage immigrants in everyday life. My suggestion to change this terminology follows other similar changes that have been recently adopted. For example, the terms race and racial minority are being increasingly replaced by the phrases racialized groups and racialized minorities, which convey that racial categorization is a social and political process rather than a naturally occurring condition. In a similar way, the term illegalized immigrant shifts the emphasis away from the individual and toward a societal process that situates immigrants in positions of precarity and illegality.

Canada: The Harmony Iftar Dinner a Ramadan Feast for Everyone (Ahlul Bayt News Agency)
Across the room a rabbi is in conversation with a bearded Muslim man. Nearby, Asian and South Asian women are chatting. Its a consistent scene at the Sala San Marco banquet hall in Ottawa on Friday night, where more than 200 people of different backgrounds and ethnicities gathered to break fast for Ramadan. Theyre all at the Harmony Iftar dinner, an event held each year to introduce non-Muslims to a long-standing Muslim tradition.


Unaccompanied child refugees pouring into Canada (CBC)
More than 300 unaccompanied minors are pouring into Canada seeking refugee status every year, a CBC News investigation has found. According to the Canada Border Services Agency, 1,937 children averaging 10 years old have arrived in Canada since 2008 with no parents and no documents, fleeing war, poverty and other adversity in their home countries. The biggest influx came in 2009 when 460 kids crossed the border. “These kids are of varying ages, varying sophistication, they’ve all had something terrible happen to them which is why they’re here,” said lawyer Christine Lonsdale, who leads the Unaccompanied Minors Project at law firm McCarthy Tetrault.

Canada: Salvadoran faces cruel, bizarre deportation (Robert Graham, Greenleft)
The Canadian government is forcing me to divorce my wife. With these words, Salvadoran refugee and long-time Canadian resident Jose Figueroa sums up the devastatingly cruel situation he and his family find themselves in. The human rights situation in El Salvador from the 1970s to the ’90s was dire. A vicious right-wing military dictatorship, supported financially and morally by the United States government. Widespread murder and torture of innocent people, often through the use of death squads, which were trained in the US.

War crimes and fellow travellers: the German experience (Adalbert Lallier, Montreal Gazette)
Michael Woodss article Supreme Court sets test for war crimes complicity (Gazette, July 20) reporting on the courts ruling that a persons association with a government that commits wars crimes does not automatically make him or her complicit, and should not exclude him or her from refugee status in Canada reminds me of the post-Second-World-War de-nazification process in West Germany. I am especially reminded of how German citizens were classified into one of five categories: major offenders (Hauptschuldige); activists and militants (Belsastete); less incriminated (Minderbelastete); fellow travellers (Mitläufer); and exonerated or non-incriminated (Entlastete).

Webinar recording: Threats to Convention Refugee and Permanent Resident Status (Your Legal Rights)
The unqualified right of Convention Refugees to remain in Canada has been eroded by recent changes to the law. This webinar examines cessation and vacation proceedings where the Minister of Immigration applies to remove a person’s Protected Person status. It highlights the significance of the changes to the law and the importance of Convention Refugees and Permanent Residents applying for citizenship as soon as possible. Situations that could trigger cessation or vacation proceedings, as well as ways that service providers can offer support during the citizenship process, is also covered.


Hidden price of tax benefits (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
Canadians like cash benefits delivered through the tax system. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty likes dispensing them. Social activists are less enamoured of the tax credits and income supplements that have become a hallmark of federal budgets. They would prefer affordable housing, subsidized child care, decent pensions and reliable public services. Now an unlikely ally has weighed in on their side. The C.D. Howe Institute, financed primarily by business, has concluded after a thorough analysis of the tax system that Ottawa should switch back to investing in social programs.


Northwest forums on immigrant employment opportunity for employers to tap into skilled immigrant talent pool (IECBC)
Northern BC employers searching for qualified employees have the opportunity to take part in a free, solutions-focused forum on Attracting BC’s Skilled Immigrant Talent to the Northwest on August 21, 2013 in Kitimat and on August 22, 2013 at NorthWest Communtiy College in Prince Rupert. Growth and major projects, combined with baby boomer retirement means more than 6,000 jobs will open up in Northwest BC between 2012 and 2020. Where will all of that talent come from? Enhancing the capacity of employers in Northwest BC to attract, hire and integrate sklled talent will be essential to meeting the labour needs of the Northwest.

London builds a better internship (Craig Gilbert, London Community News)
The term internship usually invokes images of young aspiring professionals fetching lattes and answering phones, probably for free. That wont be the case for the new graduates, new Canadians and persons with disabilities who will be taking part in a new paid internship program at the City of London. Its not about getting coffee, its not about filing, Pat Foto, manager of employee and client relations in the CAOs office. We want them to have meaningful work. We want it to be work that will have an impact on the corporation and give the intern the opportunity to do some real hands-on stuff.

Saskatchewan faces shortage of skilled tradespeople (Alan Thomarat, Edmonton Journal)
Another opportunity that will allow our province to continue to thrive is the net in-migration of foreign workers but more particularly, skilled foreign workers. Even with a focus on immigration of skilled workers, we must be certain to effectively integrate new Canadians into the new Saskatchewan economy. There are many programs that offer training courses to introduce best practices to employers and workers who are new to the residential construction industry. While the ideal situation would be to have a team of skilled and experienced workers on staff, this is no longer a possibility. Training new and existing employees ensures the longevity of a business and is the first step in rebuilding the province’s skilled labour pool.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program Slavery in Canada? (Allan Marston, Beacon News)
As temporary foreign worker numbers swell in Canada there is deep concern that the program is being abused by employers. There are now 330,000 temporary workers in Canada and 68,319 of them are in Alberta to help with labour shortages caused by the resource boom. Last year there were over 200 complaints to the provincial government about labour standard violations according to the Alberta Federation of Labour. 47 percent of the complaints investigated were found to be legitimate contraventions.

Opinion: Ripping off vulnerable foreign workers (Gil Mcgowan, Edmonton Journal)
Last year, provincial inspectors conducted 133 initial investigations and 66 followup investigations of Alberta workplaces where temporary foreign workers were employed. These investigations uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars that had been withheld from workers, stemming from unpaid hours, unpaid vacation time, hourly wages below the minimum wage, and theft of overtime. According to the governments summary of its investigations, the amount of money withheld added up to a combined total of $443,401.

Too many cooks? In Toronto restaurants, there arent enough (Gayle Macdonald, Globe and Mail)
The trouble is not the Food Network, Mr. Heinrich says, but the restaurant boom. The reason that its hard to find good, hard workers here is because there are so many restaurants and the talent pool is so thin. The federal government has recognized the shortage. This week, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada revealed that cooks are among the leading categories of temporary foreign workers in Canada. In 2011, more than 6,000 cooks and chefs received permission to work in Canada, almost a third of all the foreign workers to get permits that year.

Canada Job Grant a constructive way to address skills gap (Toronto Sun)
Anyone who has considered the challenges our economy is facing today, whether by reading about it in the news or experiencing it firsthand, knows that a significant skills gap exists in our country. As new technologies revolutionize many sectors of our economy, employers find themselves lacking the skilled labour they need to make their businesses successful. At the same time, in many parts of Canada we have a well-educated yet underemployed workforce. This is a problem that costs Canada substantially. For example, the Conference Board of Canada released a report last month that found the skills gap in Ontario alone costs the province $24 billion in lost economic activity. A further $4.1 billion is lost through Ontarians who are underemployed working in jobs that do not make use of the skills they have.

Where are these many jobs without people Mr. Kenney? (Sabrina Almeida, CanIndia)
Whichever you look at it, professionals in Canada seem to be getting the short end of the stick. Those that lose their jobs are being shunted to anything that may come their way in a bid to keep them of the EI rolls. Immigrants on the other hand are being asked to commit professional suicide by adopting a new line of work or wait endlessly for opportunities that do not exist. In the meanwhile they can try to put food on the table courtesy a job at KFC, a home improvement store or at the mall. As for the new graduates Im told (by several of them) it takes an average of two years before they can even think about paying back those student loans. So when the Honourable Mr. Kenney (the new Minister of Employment and Social Development) tells us that that there are too many jobs without people I am not sure what he is talking about. Maybe he is referring to the trades, retail or the hospitality industry (if you want to give a Burger King or McDonalds job a dignified name). There too, the many who are out of work wont agree with him. It seems to be getting harder to find employment no matter which field or industry you are part of.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 26, 2013


Sonny Cho: a campaign 20 years in the making (Alejandra Bravo, Maytree)
Politicians are the most visible of leaders in our society, but they don’t always reflect the diversity of talent found in our communities. This is at odds with the attitudes of residents in the Greater Toronto Area, who would like to see a more diverse group represent them at all levels of government. Sonny Cho has been involved in politics for over 20 years. He is an active member of the Willowdale community, running a business and being involved in politics for decades. Recently, he sought the nomination to run for the federal Liberal party in the 2015 election.

Metro Morning looks at family law reform in Ontario (Your Legal Rights)
Downtown Legal Services’ Lisa Cirillo discussed the state of family law services in Ontario and the LCO’s final report on family law reform with Matt Galloway on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning July 24.

Justin Trudeau says new Canadians ‘nation builders,’ not ‘just units of production’ (with Video) (The Now Newspaper)
Justin Trudeau says a federal Liberal government would treat new immigrants like “nation builders” and “not just units of production.” Roughly 600 supporters ponied up $100 each to hear the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada during a party fundraiser at the Mirage Banquet Hall in Cloverdale on Wednesday night. “I commit, as a Liberal government, we will restore family class immigration so we can actually build strong communities,” Trudeau said to applause. He said the Conservative government is “slowly closing the doors” on immigration and that whenever it talks about it, it’s always “cracking down” on this or that and “saying something negative. “This government only looks at people as workers,” he said. “It hardens our hearts as a country. “Liberals understand that our new Canadians are nation builders, not just units of production.”

Canadians want less immigration, trade; more government, green energy: EKOS (Olesia Plokhii, iPolitics)
(subscription required) In an apparent desire for a major shift from the status quo, Canadians think the country’s prosperity lies in fewer immigrants, less international trade, a bigger focus on non-carbon resources and a more active government, a new poll shows. An EKOS poll of 2,900 Canadians surveyed in July found that an overwhelming majority think Canada would be better off in a quarter century if there was less immigration (61.7 per cent), more domestic production of goods (70.9 per cent), a bigger focus on “post-carbon technologies” (60.9 per cent) and a more active government (69.5 per cent).

Canadian government working to get rid of visa requirement for Mexican visitors (Sun News Network)
Canada may soon allow visa-free entry to Mexican visitors, but the feds aren’t ready to drop the drawbridge quite yet. “That’s our goal and that’s our objective,” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said after meeting with his Mexican counterpart in Ottawa. “I do see the potential for light at the end of the tunnel. We’re very keen to resolve this.” Canada imposed the visa requirement on Mexico to check the flow of Mexicans arriving in the country and staying for years while refugee claims with little chance of success grind their way through the system.

My Ethnicity Isn’t About You (Jaime Woo, Toronto Standard)
“Where are you from?” “What’s your background?” “What are you?” “What’s your ethnicity?” I have heard these questions (and their variants) too many times to count. And, as Jezebel writer Meher Ahmad notes correctly in her piece “How to Ask Someone About Their Ethnicity Without Being an Asshole,” it feels like playing “a walking version of this fun little game called ‘What Kind of Not White Person Are You?’” Ahmad is American, but the same feeling occurs north of the border. Canadians like to pride themselves on their multiculturalism—as they should, given the relative civility in a land mixed with people of so many different ethnic groups—yet, having multiculturalism isn’t the same as being multicultural. When we talk about welcoming people from around the world, the “we” very often refers to Western Europeans: for instance, how often do you hear Irish pubs described as adding to Toronto’s multiculturalism?

Toronto Newcomer Artist Award now accepting applications (Charity Village)
With the common goal to support and celebrate newcomer artists in the City of Toronto, TELUS and the Neighbourhood Arts Network are pleased to announce the TELUS Newcomer Artist Award, a $10,000 cash prize celebrating a newcomer artist living in the City of Toronto. Administered by the Neighbourhood Arts Network and Toronto Arts Foundation, this prize is specifically geared toward an individual artist who is a newcomer to Canada, a resident of the City of Toronto, and making a positive impact in their community through their artistic practice. You are eligible if you are: an individual artist; a newcomer to Canada (having moved to Canada within one to seven years); over the age of 18; a current resident of the City of Toronto (must have lived in Toronto for a minimum of one year); a Neighbourhood Arts Network member (registration is free). Applications will be accepted until August 13, 2013.

Reports show increased population, but Alberta Canada still needs skilled workers (Migration Expert)
Initial reports about Alberta’s 2008 first quarter population growth seem to be misleading, as Alberta businesses still struggle to find workers. Alberta is growing as an economic powerhouse in Canada and recent statistics seem to indicate it is an increasingly desirable place to live and work. Recent reports have shown that the population of Alberta recently topped 3.5 million for the first time in the province’s history.,_but_alberta_canada_still_needs_skilled_workers.&ct=ga&cd=MTM3OTc0MTMxMjUxNDgyMTcwNjQ&cad=CAEYAA&usg=AFQjCNGzL6IL9f0E2dH2PPczTf8_QLFjwQ


Webinar recording: Threats to Convention Refugee and Permanent Resident Status (Your Legal Rights)
The unqualified right of Convention Refugees to remain in Canada has been eroded by recent changes to the law. This webinar examines cessation and vacation proceedings where the Minister of Immigration applies to remove a person’s Protected Person status. It highlights the significance of the changes to the law and the importance of Convention Refugees and Permanent Residents applying for citizenship as soon as possible. Situations that could trigger cessation or vacation proceedings, as well as ways that service providers can offer support during the citizenship process, is also covered.

Sick Pakistani refugee in Montreal fears deportation (CBC)
Khurshid Begum Awan first came to Montreal from Pakistan as a refugee in 2011, with her husband and grandson. The Pakistani woman had suffered several heart attacks in her home of Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province and the site of intense religious tension.

LAO Pilots Provision of Refugee Services at Two Legal Aid Clinics (Settlement AtWork)
Starting July 22, 2012, Toronto’s Centre Francophone de Toronto and Rexdale Community Legal Clinic has provided legal aid services to refugees who do not have their own lawyers, as part of a one-year pilot agreement with Legal Aid Ontario. This innovative community-based initiative is an important milestone in LAO’s efforts to diversify its refugee services model, support community-based client legal services and deliver cost-effective, efficient, quality legal representation.

One refugee’s fight for justice: The case of Muhammed Sillah (Riaz Sayani-Mulji, rabble)
Muhammed, a refugee from the Gambia, was arrested and detained on June 29th after having his request for asylum in Canada denied. He has since been detained at Immigration Holding Centre Rexdale, located in Etobicoke. An outspoken advocate of justice for the Gambian people, Muhammed has become an enemy of the repressive regime currently ruling Gambia under President Yahya Jammeh, and fears for his life if forced to return. While in detention he has endured racist abuse, inadequate medical treatment for his heart murmur, and his wife Sarah has been barred from visiting him. Originally slated for deportation on June 11, 2013, the Federal Court granted Muhammed a stay, although he remains in detention, isolated from his family. Given the constraints placed unto him, Muhammed and I spoke over the phone from the Immigration Holding Centre.

A Home for Refugees ‘Caught In-Between’ (Jackie Wong, The Tyee)
The evening was warm and bright as three dozen members of the African immigrant community solemnly filed into the Dodson Hotel on East Hastings Street last Thursday. They were there to remember John “Mudi” Salilar, a dear friend whom many considered to be a hero, the “Robin Hood” of the community. It’s a perception that might have surprised those from outside his community who knew Salilar. And it reveals a reality for an unknown number of refugees who come to Canada fleeing horror, only to wind up at the very margins of their new society. For them, precarious shelter becomes both symptom and cause of a discouraging cycle.

Let’s reach out and embrace our diversity (Balwant Sanghera, Vancouver Sun)
Re: Vancouver ranks fourth for foreign born residents, but is it cosmopolitan?, Douglas Todd column, July 23 I agree with Douglas Todd that despite being a truly multicultural city, Vancouver (Metro Vancouver) lacks the quality of being a cosmopolitan city like London or Brussels. His reasoning for this anomaly makes sense. All of the cities that meet Todd’s criteria of being cosmopolitan have very diverse and heterogeneous populations. On the contrary, most of Metro Vancouver’s population comes from fairly homogeneous regions. These include immigrants from Northern India, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Philippines and few other similar regions. People from these regions tend to prefer to live in or create their own ethnic enclaves. Surrey, with a fairly large component of its citizens of South Asian origin and Richmond with more than fifty per cent of its residents of Chinese heritage are just two of the examples in this regard.


Canada loses by continuing high levels of poverty (Adrienne Montani, Laurel Rothman, Vancouver Sun)
When the premiers convene this week in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., for their Council of the Federation summer meeting, there are three compelling reasons why they should call on the federal government to join them in addressing poverty which increasingly touches the lives of all Canadians. Across Canada, over four million people, including 922,000 children and their families, live in poverty according to 2011 data from Statistics Canada. That’s about one in eight people who are living in dire straits in our wealthy land. Shamefully, B.C.’s rate is even worse at one in six people. Poverty rates are even higher among historically disadvantaged groups, including women, people with disabilities, immigrants, people of colour, and indigenous people. That 40 per cent of indigenous children in Canada live in poverty is one troubling example of the scope of poverty among particular groups.


Video: Harry Watson of Metro Labs on skilled immigrants in his workforce (IECBC)

Skills for Change launches “Seniors Mentoring Entrepreneurs” program (Prepare for Canada)
Skills for Change launched the first module of its new mentoring initiative for aspiring entrepreneurs, the Seniors Mentoring Entrepreneurs program. SME aims to increase the success rate of start-up entrepreneurs by equipping them with knowledge and expertise they need to make right business decisions. The program engages seniors with experience in small business start-ups, retail, Business to Business and e-Business to provide guidance to internationally trained entrepreneurs who want to realize their entrepreneurship potential by developing and implementing their business plans in Canada.

Canada Job Grant is a bad deal for provinces (Matthew Mendelsohn, Ottawa Citizen)
When the premiers meet Thursday in Niagara-on-the-Lake, jobs and skills will be at the top of the agenda. All governments should agree that a comprehensive skills agenda to help workers is necessary for Canada to remain competitive and for Canadians to feel economically secure. And that’s why most of Canada’s premiers are disappointed with the federal government’s announcement that it will unilaterally cut the transfers that provinces use to pay for job-training programs.

Widespread Support for Canada Job Grant (Canada Newswire)
With statements from: Canadian Electricity Association (CEA), Canada Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), The Canadian Welding Bureau, CARP, The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), The National Association of Career Colleges (NACC), St. John’s Board of Trade, Ralph Suppa, President, The Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH), Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Craig Alexander, Chief Economist, TD Bank.

The Human Rights Maturity Model (Canadian Human Rights Commission)
Once an organization commits to the idea of using the HRMM, they self-assess their current status using the Commission’s self-assessment workbook. The implementation process is outlined below.

Yukon takes over temporary foreign worker program (CBC)
The Yukon government has taken over the temporary foreign worker program from the federal government. It’s a one-year pilot project which business people had been asking for as they wanted a faster way to bring temporary workers to the territory. Hundreds of foreign workers have already come under the existing Yukon-run nominee program. The new program will let companies hire up to 50 foreigners, provided the foreign employees don’t stay for more than a year.

Manitoba helping skilled newcomers work in chosen field sooner (Canadian HR Reporter)
Manitoba is investing $1.4 million over two years to improve the recognition of foreign credentials and get people working more quickly. “The Manitoba government has been working to improve the recognition of foreign credentials, allowing new Manitobans the ability to put their education and experience to use sooner and establish successful careers in our province,” said Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby. “It’s good for our economy and it means newcomers can more quickly put down roots in Manitoba.” This initiative will fund pilot programs designed to assist internationally educated newcomers get their professional qualifications recognized quickly and transition smoothly into the workforce.

City of London launches paid internship program (City of London)
The City of London is excited to launch a paid internship program which will focus on providing employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, new immigrants and recent post-secondary graduates. Six internships of a four-month duration will be funded annually. Employment in these positions will typically begin early fall and early New Year. “We are pleased to introduce this initiative as an additional way the City can provide meaningful work experience. Through their internship positions, the individuals we hire have the opportunity to build skills and enhance their employment marketability,” notes Pat Foto, Manager, Employee and Client Relations, Human Resources Division.

New ‘Wagemark’ logo for fair-wage companies (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
Very few businesses will make the cut. Most won’t even try. To display the “Wagemark” insignia, a company must pay its chief executive no more than eight times the amount its lowest paid worker earns. At the moment, the chief executives of Canada’s top 100 corporations make 235 times the average worker’s pay. Wagemark, a year in the planning, was introduced on July 17. Its founding director, Peter MacLeod, kept the fanfare to a minimum, aiming to build credibility before Wagemark’s international debut this fall. He notified organizations that had demonstrated an interest in social equity and contacted a handful of journalists who had written about the widening gap between rich and poor.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 25, 2013


Is Canada too full? (Alan Broadbent, Maytree)
An argument could be made to counter the smaller Canada view that says our economy is too small, and would be more resilient and resistant to conditions in foreign markets were it bigger. Or that too many parts of the country have too small populations which allows for little economic diversity and opportunity. Many have commented that Canada has too few large cities, the principal loci of modern economies, and both the Prairies and Maritimes would benefit from more, larger cities. Certainly a larger population would result in more customers for both private and public goods and services (soap, homes, transit fares, internet connections), which would allow Canadian companies to grow bigger and more prosperous before having to test foreign markets. That additional size and strength would make them more competitive when they do go offshore, and would create more jobs for Canadians. Are we full? Should we be fuller? Until our national approach to population size becomes public, who knows? Well have to settle for the periodic amusement of David Suzuki and Jason Kenney duking it out in cyberspace.

Ethnic Communities Sustainable Living Project (Cities of Migration)
Not only does diversity lead to more vibrant neighbourhoods, it makes them economically stronger and more sustainable. New South Wales gets this. In Sydney, the regions largest city, 25 % of residents are born overseas. The committed community members and active entrepreneurs in this diverse population are recognized as an important economic asset in Sydneys small business ecosystem. A local sustainable living initiative is now looking at leveraging that diversity as an environmental asset as well, aiming to remove cultural and linguistic barriers to build consensus and cooperation around environment issues.

Memo to Chris Alexander, Canadas new immigration minister (Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star)
It is unusual to felicitate and commiserate at the same time. But your elevation to the Stephen Harper cabinet calls for both. You have earned the immigration and citizenship portfolio, having served since your 2011 election to Parliament as an articulate propagandist for the government. Earlier, you distinguished yourself as a diplomat, especially as our ambassador to Afghanistan between 2003 and 2005, a crucial period spanning Canadian troop deployment in Kabul and Kandahar. Equally valuable was your work as deputy special representative of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2009.

Region releases more household survey data (Peter Criscione, Brampton Guardian)
Peel Region today released the latest data from the 2011 National Household Survey, which offers a snap shot of the municipalitys ethnic diversity, immigration and citizenship trends, as well labour, education and mobility. The voluntary 2011 survey replaced the Government of Canadas mandatory long-form Census. According to the Region, this “change in methodology may affect the comparability to previous Census data.”

Statistics Canada National Household Survey Facts Released (Region of Peel) -

Canadian official sport should accommodate religious diversity (B’nai Brith Canada)
Bnai Brith Canada looks forward to the excitement about to play out on the Oshawa field tonight as Canada meets Israel in the womens Lacrosse World Cup competitions. Both teams have shown amazing athletic ability and team spirit in reaching this point in the competition. Now that it is certain that the Israeli squad will qualify for the championship rounds, the team has stated that it will stand by its vow to respect the Jewish Sabbath despite the fact that they will likely be forced to forfeit the game in light of the refusal of the governing Federation of International Lacrosse to accommodate.

Jason Kenney’s Speech To Islamic Group ISNA Erased From Government Sites (Huffington Post)
A speech made by former immigration minister Jason Kenney to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has apparently been erased from government websites as Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau faces criticism for his association with the same group. Michael Petrou of Macleans revealed on Thursday that text from the former immigration ministers 2008 speech is no longer available on Kenneys personal website or the online archives of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. “Im sure this is due to a simple computer glitch rather than any attempt to re-write the historical record, and that the text of Kenneys rather lengthy speech will soon be restored to both websites,” he wrote, sarcastically.

Bonjour, America! (Stephen R. Kelly, NY Times)
The trouble with this narrative, as I discovered when serving as the American consul general in Quebec City in the late 1990s, is that it flies in the face of our own history. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, nearly a million French Canadians poured across our northern border to take jobs in New England textile and shoe mills. This movement, part of an even larger mass of Anglo Canadians also moving south, surged after the Civil War and ended with the Great Depression, with peaks in the 1880s and 1920s. The majority of these job seekers French speaking, slow to assimilate, mainly Catholic entered without visas, work permits or passports, because during most of this period our land border with Canada was effectively wide open. The United States not only survived this unregulated onslaught, it prospered. Indeed, our history suggests that having an open border with our continental neighbors isnt such a bad thing.

SIAST sees boom in international students (Jonathan Charlton, Leader Post)
About five years ago, SIAST had just 30 international students across its four campuses. Last year, it had 194. Now, the college conservatively projects teaching about 300 international students next year, and double that number within two years. “That ‘s ridiculous growth,” said Jason Mazzei, manager of international education. Hosting international students is new for the college, he said.

Mahtab Narsimhan: From corporate world to fantasy (Divya Kaeley, South Asian Generation Next)
Author Mahtab Narsimhan was born in Mumbai, her home for 25 years. After working in the Middle East (Bahrain, Dubai and Oman) for a couple of years, she immigrated to Canada in 1997. Mahtab dabbled in the corporate field for some time before she started writing in January 2004. Her debut and award-winning book The Third Eye was published after four years, twenty rewrites and numerous rejections. Her novel The Tiffin has been nominated for The Snow Willow Awards 2013. In conversation with Generation Next, the writer shares her ideas about life, churning fantasy stories and her constant pursuit for that undying spark.

Canadas foreign service strike hurting tourism, creating backlogs (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Foreign students withdrawing from programs. Tourists cancelling their trips. Foreigners not being able to visit their loved ones here even in times of family emergencies. As a strike by foreign service workers drags on, its impact is being felt from coast to coast by the tourism and education sectors , as well as by people worldwide who need visas to come to Canada. Despite an offer issued last week by the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers for a binding arbitration, Treasury Board President Tony Clement has not budged to the unions demands.

NOVA SCOTIA A-Z: Traveller calls Dartmouth home (Chronicle Herald)
Kwan came to Dartmouth in 1992 from Calgary, where hed immigrated in 1981 to take a job as senior naval architect for Dome Petroleum. He lived there but travelled the globe for various projects, including to Japan, where he led the unique conversion of a tanker into a gravity-based Arctic offshore drilling rig that made the pages of A History of Canadian Marine Technology. In Nova Scotia, he worked on the Panuke offshore project for German Marine, and later for SNC-Lavalin, overseeing the construction of 12 coastal defence vessels for the Defence Department. He eventually became a marine inspector for Public Works and played a key role in the construction of aluminum boats for the Canadian Coast Guard and the RCMP. All while heading several volunteer organizations the Chinese Society of Nova Scotia and Chinese Benevolent Association of Nova Scotia close to his roots and close to his heart.

Montreal amusement park ends special privileges for halal and kosher food amid uproar (Graeme Hamilton, National Post)
For the boys at Camp Gan Israel in the Laurentians, the trip to the La Ronde amusement park in Montreal is one of the highlights of the summer. Because the camp is kosher, and La Ronde does not sell kosher food, the children have always been allowed to bring in their own snacks. But after a newspaper went undercover last week to reveal that Muslims and Jews with dietary restrictions were exempt from the ban on bringing food into the park, La Ronde announced an end to the religious accommodation Monday. After hearing feedback from our guests, La Ronde would like to clarify that only guests with special medical dietary needs will be considered to bring outside food with them as they enter the park, communications manager Catherine Tremblay said in a statement.

Quality of Life Reporting System (FCM)
Canadian municipalities recognize the opportunities and challenges presented by a rapidly aging society. They are working to remove social and physical barriers and are adapting local economies accordingly. Canada’s Aging Population: The Municipal Role in Canada’s Demographic Shift will showcase emerging and innovative, age-friendly plans, strategies, programs and services being implemented in municipalities across the country. Still, municipal governments cannot do it alone. All orders of government benefit from communities where Canada’s five-million seniors can continue to lead healthy, engaged and productive lives. By understanding the scope of the demographic shift, governments can begin to plan for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

New Muslim convert finds meaning in first Ramadan (CBC)
This is Tracy Charles’s first Ramadan, a holy month of dawn-to-dusk fasting and good deeds, and it hasn’t been easy. She only converted to Islam last August, walking into the Hamilton Mountain Mosque with little experience with the religion. So she has no history of skipping multiple meals or pushing through sweltering temperatures without having a glass of water. I was so worried about going without food or water, she said during a multi-faith event at the mosque on Monday. But every time you get the hunger pain, you think about why you are doing this. It makes you very aware.

Toronto summer camp theatre explores the journey of young migrants (Nicholas Keung)
A teenage boy from Eritrea recalls the awkwardness of reuniting with his father, whom he had not seen for 13 years. A young woman from Antigua remembers the cold reception she got when she returned to Canada, the birthplace she was scooped away from as a toddler. A refugee girl from El Salvador is afraid of bonding with others because of the experience of losing friends when she moves again. All three are members of the Toronto Childrens Peace Theatre summer camp this year, and their stories, along with others, will be part of the groups performance, Passage: A Moving Experience, which debuts Thursday at the Dawes Rd. theatre.

Star Investigation: Federal audit raises concern that Canadian charity funded terror (Jesse McLean, Toronto Star)
Money raised by an Islamic charity created to help Canadas poor and needy instead went overseas, potentially into the hands of violent militants, a government audit has found. The federal charity watchdog is now threatening to revoke the charity status of Mississaugas ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) Development Foundation. A Canada Revenue Agency audit revealed the foundation shipped more than $280,000 to a Pakistan-based agency, cash the government fears went to supporting the Hizbul Mujahideen a militant group that seeks the secession of Kashmir from India.


Fleeing Danger, Refugee Shelter-Seekers Find Exploitation (Jackie Wong, The Tyee)
Amelia’s visitor’s visa and one-way ticket landed her at Vancouver International Airport on a cold November Saturday in 2012. Borrowing quarters for the payphone in the arrivals terminal, she called the only person she knew in Canada, her uncle in Victoria. He begrudgingly let her stay at his home. But he made it clear she wasn’t welcome. “From the first day I arrived in Canada, they were treating me badly,” she says. “I cried.” His family members repeatedly threatened to “teach her a lesson,” and told her she should feel sorry for leaving the happy life they were convinced she led back home, she recalls. After putting up with her extended family’s hostility and verbal abuse for three months, Amelia found a landlord’s name in a magazine, called her, threw her belongings in three garbage bags and left.

A Home for Refugees ‘Caught In-Between’ (Jackie Wong, The Tyee)
Salilar fled Liberia by boat at 18 and arrived in Canada as an undocumented refugee in 1986. He died on July 12 at 45, unable to recover from injuries sustained after people beat him up at the Balmoral Hotel last month, leaving him bleeding from the head. As his friend Jean de Dieu Hakizimana describes it, he was “kicked like a dog.” Salilar was homeless for the decades he spent in Vancouver, staying with friends, sleeping on the streets, and spending considerable time in jail — he was well known to police, and incarcerated 57 times for shoplifting. But his minor crimes belied a generous nature. He routinely stole food, alcohol, and cigarettes to give to those he felt needed it most, primarily single mothers and low-income African immigrants. “He really [meant] a lot to people in Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond. People who are low-income [and] don’t have food, drink,” Hakizimana says. “They called him Johnny the Supplier. Anything he had, he gave away.”

Refugee Update (FCJ)
Sanctuary or private detention?
Seeking justice in Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker program
Addressing the side effects of the changes tot he immigration system
9-: instruments of human rights protection
Poverty in Canada: a refugee’s lot?
Doctors, community workers and refugees protested against health program cuts
Proud to protect refugees campaign

Temporary Resident Permits: Limits to protection for trafficked persons – PDF (CCR)
In May 2006, the Canadian government issued guidelines for temporary resident permits (TRPs) for trafficked non-citizens. This represented an important step towards recognition of the protection needs of trafficked persons, and TRPs remain the main avenue to protection offered under Canadas immigration legislation.1 However, experience has shown that, even with the TRPs, there are continuing gaps in access to protection and rights for trafficked persons.

NOVA SCOTIA A-Z: Refugee from Bhutan finds peace (Chronicle Herald)
Google Bhutan and happy often appears. The happiest people on earth, some stories say. A tiny country with a Gross Happiness Index. Kul Prasad Humagain laughs bitterly at the irony. This is not his story. This is not true, he says, sitting in his small Halifax apartment, chronicling a history of horrors. Nearly starving in forests. Battling malaria through mountains. Burying bodies on the banks of rivers. And escaping a system of government a monarchy with iron hands that forced him into life as a refugee.


Latest Media and Policy News: 23 July 2013 (ISAC)
Roundup of national news about poverty and policy.

Theres been no extraordinary drop in poverty (Rick Goldman, Montreal Gazette)
Andrew Coyne resorts to a statistical sleight of hand in attempting to portray Canada as a champion in reducing poverty (Poverty drops; media ignore it, Opinion, July 23). To demonstrate a supposed trend, Coyne takes the lowest point of an economic downturn (1996), compares it to today and says: Voilà amazing progress has been made! The percentage of people below the low-income cutoff has been nearly halved, from 15.5 per cent to 8.8 per cent! A less selective use of statistics might have noted that the percentage of those below the low-income cutoff stood at 10.2 in 1989, revealing a much less impressive rate of progress than Coynes figures would lead us to believe. At this rate, it will take us another 150 years to eliminate poverty in Canada. In fairness, Coyne also acknowledges that the low-income cutoff measure is not a poverty line and is virtually incomprehensible.

Anti-poverty group wants action plan (Kathryn Burnham, Standard Freeholder)
The social development council is hoping to move beyond lip service on the topic of poverty with an upcoming meeting. It will be a foundation for future outreach efforts to give people the tools to move beyond their financial limitations, said Mark de Wit, the councils executive director. Community Voices SDG are hoping those living in poverty and those concerned about poverty will share their stories at their event Wednesday, which runs from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Army, Navy Air Force Club. It is the third session, which were begun so the group could collect information for a poverty reduction strategy for Cornwall and area.

Anti-poverty group needs storytellers (Hamilton Spectator)
Sometimes the first step toward positive change starts with telling stories. And a Hamilton group is recruiting more storytellers to help fight poverty. The Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction (HRPR) is hiring a project co-ordinator who will launch a speakers’ bureau that will go into the community and educate the public on the realities of poverty. The ideal candidate is someone who has experienced poverty and has a community development background, said HRPR director Tom Cooper.

Why wealth must be included in the inequality debate (South Asian Generation Next)
Is inequality rising between the people in the top income group and the rest of society? It will strike most readers as silly to ask this question. After all, it has become an article of faith in our society that the distribution of incomes has become more unequal, although it is often accurately noted that it is more pronounced in the U.S. than in Canada.

Five Priorities for Ontarios Next Poverty Reduction Strategy (25in5)
Ontarios first five-year Poverty Reduction Strategy is quickly coming to an end. The 2008 Poverty Reduction Strategy marked a bold and historic move in our province. It opened the door for action and showcased a commitment to begin making progress towards the elimination of poverty. Its now time to take bolder steps that can make a real difference toward eradicating poverty for all Ontarians.


PINs 2013 mini-conference: Leveraging our Relationships for Impact (PINs)
On March 6, 2013, TRIEC hosted the Professional Immigrant Network (PINs) initiative mini-conference: Leveraging our Relationships for Impact at the Toronto Board of Trade. Find out how PIN associations work together to strengthen their associations so they may better connect their members to meaningful employment.

Employers are sharing their stories of collaboration with professional immigrant associations (TRIEC)
Watch the video and learn how Scotiabank and the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games (PANAM 2015) engaged with the PINs community and what they gained from the experience.

Webinar Aug 28: CCR Migrant Workers Report Cards Project: What is this tool and how can we use it? (CCR)
In May 2013, the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) published a series of report cards, summarizing the approaches of provincial and the federal governments on protecting the rights of migrant workers in the low-skilled streams of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The objective of the project is to raise awareness and provide a tool to advocate for the protection of migrant workers rights federally and in each province.

Temporary Foreign Workers: Filling a Void? (Conference Board of Canada)
There has been a lot of controversy in the media in recent months over Canadas TFW program. As the previous chart The Young and the Jobless illustrated, Canadian youth are struggling to secure employment. This, justifiably, raises the question: if the unemployment rate remains relatively high and so many young and able Canadians are unable to find work, why are we still bringing in so many people under the TFW program? Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer. Possible reasons include a skills mismatch, labour market rigidities (such as higher unemployment benefits in certain geographic areas that have a distortionary affect on relocation decisions), or the perception that foreign workers can be hired for less than their Canadian counterparts.

Temporary Foreign Workers’ Spiking Numbers Have No Definite Explanation: Conference Board (Huffington Post)
More temporary foreign workers are gravitating towards Canada while many citizens still struggle to secure a job, and the Conference Board of Canada doesn’t really know why. In the last installment of a three-part study on unemployment in the country, titled The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Looking at Canadas Post-Recession Job Market,” the Board reveals that the number of temporary foreign workers in the country reached 360,000 in December 2012, more than double the 150,000 figure of 2006. But since 2006, the Canadian labour market has changed, the unemployment rate has increased 6.3 per cent in 2006, currently at 7.1 per cent and the country, along with the rest of the world, went through the 2008 recession. So, the Board asks, why are more temporary foreign workers coming in when “Canadian youth are struggling to secure employment”?

Skip to Foreign workers doubled as joblessness peaked: report (CBC)
Despite an unemployment rate that spiked in 2009 and remains high, the number of temporary foreign workers in Canada has more than doubled over the last six years, according to the Conference Board of Canada. In 2006, there were 150,000 temporary foreign workers employed in Canada. By December 2012, that number had more than doubled to 340,000.

Temporary foreign workers flood into Canada as youth cant find work: Conference Board asks why (Michael Babad, Globe and Mail)
The Conference Board of Canada cant fully answer the question, but it does wonder why Canada is importing so many temporary foreign workers when its own young people cant find jobs. In the final piece of a three-part look at the post-crisis labour market, the group cites the fact that the number of temps from outside the country reached almost 340,000 by December of last year, up from 150,000 in 2006. This, as Canadas unemployment rate continued to climb, particularly among young people.

Ottawa issues more work permits to foreign cooks than any other occupation (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
As Canadians struggle to secure employment, new government data show Ottawa has issued more permits to temporary foreign cooks than any other occupation. Of the 17,554 applications approved in 2011, most were awarded to jobs that require limited training: from cooks, painters and roofers to drywall installers and labourers. The figures, obtained by the Star from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada data, raise new questions about the countrys controversial temporary foreign worker program as Ottawa tries to adopt a hire-Canadian-first approach.

Retraining is key for newcomers (Brantford Expositor)
Moving can be stressful. Packing up, saying goodbye to friends and family and finding yourself in a new area. For immigrants, these stresses are even stronger, as they must deal with cultural differences and, perhaps most important, learn a new language and find a new job in a new country, with skills that may not be recognized. Immigrants to Brant are generally well educated. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 52% of the immigrant population, aged 15 and older, have completed post-secondary education, compared to 47% of the general population. Immigrants are also more often trained in the important STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics, fields. While immigrants make up 12% of the total labour force population in Brantford, they represent 20% of workers in the STEM fields.

Manitoba Government to help skilled newcomers work in their chosen fields sooner (Government of Manitoba)
Manitoba is investing $1.4 million over two years to improve the recognition of foreign credentials and get people working more quickly, Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby and Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Christine Melnick announced today. The Manitoba government has been working to improve the recognition of foreign credentials, allowing new Manitobans the ability to put their education and experience to use sooner and establish successful careers in our province, said Selby. Today, were announcing new supports for our universities and colleges to work with trained and talented newcomers to put their skills to work. Its good for our economy and it means newcomers can more quickly put down roots in Manitoba.

Ontario Award for Leadership in Immigrant Employment (Government of Ontario)
Nominees must be an Ontario-registered company and could be an individual employee or the entire organization. Nominations must be made in one of the following 3 categories:
Champion recognizes an individual or organization whose drive and passion have created a positive and sustained systemic change that has improved the overall labour market success of skilled immigrants in Ontario.
Employer recognizes an individual or organization that has implemented exemplary human resource practices designed to integrate Ontarios skilled immigrants into the workplace effectively.
Entrepreneur recognizes an individual who is an immigrant entrepreneur who has contributed to Ontarios globally connected economy and prosperity by creating jobs and valuing workforce diversity and inclusion.

Canada’s Top Labour Leaders Call on Premiers to Oppose Harper’s Low-wage Agenda (Marketwatch)
At a meeting with Canada’s premiers, labour leaders from across the country called for unity among the provinces in rejecting Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s low-wage agenda. While the premiers gather for their Council of the Federation meeting in Niagara-on-the-Lake this week, the presidents of Canada’s provincial and territorial federations of labour are hosting parallel meetings where jobs, pensions and healthcare are the big-ticket items. The labour federation presidents called on the premiers to put pressure on the federal government to double the Canada Pension Plan and renew the 2004 Health Accord, but the main focus of their talks was on jobs, training, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Employment Insurance and Canada’s labour market.

Calls renewed to disband Canadas temporary foreign worker program (Katie May, Lethbridge Herald)
The Alberta Federation of Labour is renewing its call to disband Canadas temporary foreign worker program, saying federal and provincial governments need to do more to protect workers from fraud. Temporary foreign workers are more likely than their Canadian counterparts to fall victim to fraud at the hands of their employers, according to AFLs recent report, which gathered statistics on employee complaints from the provincial department of Human Services.

Despite wide criticism, Ottawa appears unprepared to alter job-training approach (Julian Beltrame, Globe and Mail)
An internal document suggests Ottawa is preparing to push ahead with key features of its controversial skills-training initiative, despite provincial opposition and calls for flexibility. The nine-page federal document entitled An Offer to Provinces and Territories to Transform and Renew the Labour Market Agreements, and Implement the Canada Job Grant was sent to at least one province recently. It appears to retain all the elements of the proposal set out in the March budget. The document claims it builds on consultations with stakeholder groups in May and June, and says Ottawa is looking to discuss the detailed design with the provinces.

Canada Jobs Grant (CBC Metro Morning)
Matthew Mendelsohn, Director of The Mowat Centre says the Canada Jobs Grant, which should be a major topic of conversation at the premiers’ meeting, is not gaining favour with some of the provinces.

Yukon Temporary Foreign Worker Program to be launched as a one year pilot (Government of Yukon)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has approved the Government of Yukon to launch a one year pilot of the Yukon Temporary Foreign Worker Program on August 1. The program has been designed to help meet Yukons short-term labour market needs in the tourism and hospitality, oil and gas, mineral exploration and mining industries. When employers in specific industries advertise locally but are unable to find employees, this program is an excellent option to fill those positions on a short-term basis, Education Minister Scott Kent said. Yukon Education and our partners at the Yukon Workers Compensation Health and Safety Board have worked hard to create a strong program that benefits the labour market while protecting the rights of both employees and employers.

Vale may hire foreign workers to solve Long Harbour crunch (CBC)
Mining giant Vale admits it may have to look outside the country to hire specialized workers to finish its massive nickel processing facility in Newfoundland’s Placentia Bay. However, Vale says it wants to explore other options first to find such skilled workers as welders and pipefitters for its site at Long Harbour, where the company ultimately intends to process nickel mined at Voisey’s Bay in northern Labrador.

WebinarAug 6: Building an Inclusive Organizational Culture (Joe Gerstandt)
Register today for this free 60 minute webinar on Building an Inclusive Organizational Culture.
Introduction, background and foundational definitions
2 models of Inclusion
4 levers for changing culture
15-20 mins of Q and A.

Discrimination not always a bad thing (Stuart Rudner, Canadian HR Reporter)
At the HR Law for HR Professionals course I was co-director of recently, one of our instructions commented that people tend to recoil in horror when they are referred to as being discriminatory. In recent times, we have come to equate “discrimination” with unfair and unlawful conduct relating to factors such as the colour of a person’s skin, their religion or gender. However, in HR, people discriminate all the time, and they would not be doing their jobs if they didn’t.

PICS Entrepreneurs Club (Polycultural Immigrant & Community Services)
PICS Entrepreneurs Club is a low-cost community based program created to encourage and promote self-employment success among newcomers in the GTA through a series of nine professional-knowledge workshops and nine success-story mentorship sessions on the key aspects of successful self employment. Workshops are organized to support Self Employed Immigrant Entrepreneurs succeed in a stable and supportive environment. Its focus is on applied business knowledge instead of business theory with each workshop designed to connect entrepreneurs directly to knowledgeable and local professionals.

Hiring foreign workers becomes more difficult (Steven Meurrens, Canadian Immigrant)
Under the Conservative federal government, Canadas immigration system has gone from being one that admits skilled workers immediately as permanent residents to one that admits them as temporary foreign workers first, and then flips them into immigrants. Given this shift, the use of the temporary foreign worker program (TFWP) has increased dramatically in recent years. But, as the program grew, so, too, did the number of employers abusing it. The Government of Canada has recently responded by announcing several changes to the program.


Research charities before you give? Of course, but do it right. (Marcel Lauzière, Imagine Canada)
The author is right in reminding Canadians that they should do their research before supporting the work of a particular charity. However, she is wrong when she suggests (as does MoneySense) that Canadians should be primarily concerned about overhead costs when choosing to give or not to give. Numbers are important and they should be accessible to all, but they will tell you very little about the impact of an organization (which is what really should matter). Just looking at overhead costs is a simplistic approach to an often complex situation. Imagine Canadas position statement underscores the fact that charity ranking systems are not only unhelpful, but can also be misleading.

Crowdfunding Part 4: A paradigm shift in investor protection (Carlos Pinto Lobo,
There is a misperception as to how investor protection will work with respect to crowdfunding, if the securities regulator changes the rules as proposed. In an earlier blog, I discussed the differences between current private placement rules designed to exclude anyone who is not an accredited investor versus crowdfunding private placements for any investor. These differences are more significant when compared to the established brokerage model. Traditionally, the securities industry has a basic unit structure, which has essentially not changed in the last 70+ years.

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2013 – Oct 15 (Blumberg Segal LLP)
The 2nd Annual Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute will be a one day conference on October 15, 2013 in Toronto covering important information on compliance for Canadian registered charities.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 23, 2013


Three ways Chris Alexander can fix the immigration file (Bernie Farber, Globe and Mail)
With Cabinet shuffles come opportunities and the latest by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is no exception. Jason Kenney has long held positions in the Cabinet that were focused on Canadas diversity. Beginning as the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity, he was elevated shortly thereafter to Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Mr. Kenney is a keen politician, a loyal Harper Conservative and workhorse extraordinaire. At first it seemed difficult to reconcile Mr. Harpers decision to place Mr. Kenney in this portfolio given Mr. Kenneys seeming lack of credentials for this job but, surprisingly, over the years he became the Tory rock star of Multiculturalism.

Will Canada’s lead multiculturalism minister please stand up? (Kady O’Malley, CBC)
Pity Tim Uppal. No sooner had he been officially sworn in as Canada’s new Minister of State for Multiculturalism when his ostensible predecessor took to twitter to stress that he was still in charge of the file. His assertion was bolstered by a PostMedia report the following day, in which unnamed ‘senior officials’ claimed that Uppal would be reporting to Kenney instead of newly minted citizenship minister Chris Alexander. So how, exactly, will that work? As it turns out, no one really knows for sure.

Ottawa-born man still in limbo after India refuses to issue travel documents for his deportation from Canada (Gary Dimmock, Ottawa Citizen)
Deepan Budlakoti, Canadas most unlikely stateless man, is fresh out of prison and living with his parents in their Nepean bungalow under a deportation order. It is from this bungalow that Budlakoti, a 23-year-old convicted drug dealer, has gained support from civil-rights groups who have launched a legal defence fund at to fight the Ottawa-born mans deportation to India, a country that doesnt want him either.

New language rules for temporary foreign workers include loophole (Tobi Cohen, Montreal Gazette)
It appears the federal government has included a language loophole for companies seeking to hire temporary foreign workers. After a B.C. mining company came under intense fire for listing Mandarin as a language requirement when it applied for temporary foreign worker permits, the federal government announced in the last budget that it would revamp the rules to prevent employers from mandating foreign language skills to work in Canada.

Vancouver ranks fourth for foreign-born residents, but is it ‘cosmopolitan?’ (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
How “cosmopolitan” is Metro Vancouver? By some definitions, it’s extremely cosmopolitan. If we define cosmopolitan as “including people of many different countries,” Metro Vancouver is the fourth most cosmopolitan major city on the planet. More than 45 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents are foreign-born, according to the 2011 census. There are only three major cities on the globe that have a higher percentage of foreign-born residents. They are Dubai, Brussels and Toronto. Of the 406 urban regions in the world with more than one million people, Metro Vancouver is a leader in the modern-day experiment in mass migration.

Court challenge gives hope to out-of-wedlock children of Canadian soldiers in Second World War (Kent Spencer, National Post)
Having a child out of wedlock was a serious offence for much of the past century, tainting mothers and their children with a social stigma. Surrey, B.C. resident Ken Smith has been paying the price for 69 years. His British mother hadnt married his Canadian-soldier father when he was born in wartime Great Britain. Under Canadas citizenship rules, Smith is not a citizen of this country and has never been able to get his status changed.

Lets get the wild ride back on track (Jennifer Nees, Canadian Lawyer)
The big news in immigration processing has been the strike by the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers. There is a dispute over pay equity with foreign services staff. While there have been some ongoing actions discussed anecdotally, the organization escalated a work stoppage on June 20, effectively grinding visa processing to a near halt at visa posts around the world. The scope of the strike isnt well known, but the effects are being felt by immigration practitioners and visa applicants who are caught in a web of political machinations not of their making. The PAFSO has written in a press release all eligible members are striking in the following locations: Manila, Beijing, Bangkok, Jakarta, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chongqing and Astana. Immigration officers are striking in Delhi, Chandigarh, London, Moscow and Mexico City. In Tokyo, economic officers are also on strike. Additional withdrawals of service are impacting dozens of divisions at CIC and DFAIT headquarters in Ottawa.

French summer camp caters to newcomer kids (CBC)
A summer camp dedicated specifically to children from immigrant and refugee families is underway in south Winnipeg this week. Students aged six to 14 are getting a shot at candle-making, fire safety, field trips and other summer-camp staples at College Louis Riel in St. Boniface. They are going to do some sports, going out to the park, go to the museum, some swimming, and they are also going to do some reading and mathematics, said Bintou Sacko, the manager of Accueil Francophone du Manitoba, the organization putting on the camp.

The ethics of selective immigration (Pradip Rodrigues, CanIndia)
Last week when noted left-leaning environmentalist David Suzuki made some controversial comments about Canadas immigration strategy, it ignited a huge controversy and some lively debate online. It isnt often internationally renowned environmentalists make the link between immigration and degradation of the environment. In an interview with the Paris-based publication LExpress, Suzuki described Canadas immigration policy as disgusting because the country wants to increase its population for economic reasons at the cost of depriving southern countries of future leaders. Suzuki believes that only refugees should be permitted into Canada on humanitarian grounds. Former Immigration and Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney quickly waded into the controversy using words like xenophobic and anti-immigration to describe Suzuki. But the question over the morality of rich countries like Canada plundering human resources from poorer countries is something that might warrant a discussion.

‘A man without a country’: Court challenge gives hope to illegitimate children of Canadian soldiers (Kent Spencer, The Province)
Having a child out of wedlock was a serious offence for much of the past century, tainting mothers and their children with a social stigma. Surrey resident Ken Smith has been paying the price for 69 years. His British mother hadnt married his Canadian-soldier father when he was born in wartime Great Britain. Under Canadas citizenship rules, Smith is not a citizen of this country and has never been able to get his status changed.

Une aide pour les immigrés formés à l’étranger (Martine Letarte, La Presse)
Pour obtenir le droit d’exercer au Québec, les immigrés doivent être tenaces et disposer d’importantes ressources financières afin de franchir les étapes. Pour les soutenir, 1,5 million de dollars est maintenant disponible en prêts au Fonds communautaire d’emprunt de Montréal (ACEM) grâce à la contribution du gouvernement fédéral. Alexandre Meza était architecte dans son pays d’origine, le Brésil. Arrivé au Québec il y a deux ans comme touriste, il a décidé de s’installer pour de bon dans la province avec sa famille. Il a fait du bénévolat dans un cabinet d’architecture, puis, lorsqu’il a obtenu son visa de résident permanent il y a un peu plus d’un an, il s’est trouvé un emploi de technicien.

Time to eliminate ‘archaic’ multiculturalism policies (Munesh Muttucomaroe, The Province)
Regarding Robert Sibley’s Monday column, I couldn’t agree more with David Suzuki and his point on immigration. It’s indeed shameful that former immigration minister Jason Kenney would resort to name-calling without engaging in honest dialogue. Sibley’s article truly echoes in a small way what the thoughtful Prof. Salim Mansur says in his book, Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism.

Racism is Front Page News for the Ottawa Sun (Rachel Decoste, Huffington Post)
Are the disparities also present in Canadian media? In the Sunday edition of the Ottawa Sun, the juxtaposition between the untimely death of two young men and the dismissive commentary on Travon Martin serve as yet another example of inequality in our multicultural society. The cover story is a heart-wrenching account of an adult male who passed away of a drug overdose. His friends and family are going through the grieving process, holding an old photo of the deceased as a child. The article refers to the man as “a teen” and “a kid”.

After Trayvon Martin, can Canadians be smug about racial profiling? (Steve Mertl, Yahoo! News)
Canadians might have listened with detached interest to U.S. President Barack Obama’s personal observations about experiencing racial profiling last week in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case. But I don’t think we have any reason to be smug about our own track record on racial profiling in Canada. It may not reach the extreme levels alleged in Martin’s shooting death at the hands of neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. But should we doubt it exists here? Obama recalled that as a young black man, he was often viewed with suspicion and mistrust, asserting few African-American men have escaped the the experience of hearing car doors lock as they approached, or having a woman clutch her purse nervously when a black man stepped into an elevator with her.


Not every asylum seeker has to be a hero or a martyr (Editorial, Globe and Mail)
People should not be trapped inside an evil regime by their knowledge of the crimes being committed around them. The Supreme Court of Canada made a good decision on Friday about the refugee claim of a former government official of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recognizing that passive acquiescence in the actions of a criminal government should not automatically disqualify someone from being accepted in Canada as a refugee. Not every asylum seeker has to be a hero or a martyr.

Bonded by Shared Horrors, Refugees Find Housing Solutions (Jackie Wong, The Tyee)
In an alley behind a run-down noodle shop off Kingsway in East Vancouver, a group of men in T-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops stands smoking, laughing, and talking among parked cars. A piece of hand-painted plywood mounted high on the garage door behind them displays the name of the group, the Achehnese Canadian Community Society. Its members comprise Canada’s first generation of newcomers from Acheh Province, Indonesia, a troubled, violent region on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra, west of Malaysia. The 15 or so men gathered in the alley are relatively young. Most are in their mid-thirties, part of approximately 200 families from Acheh province living in Metro Vancouver. About 60 of those families contribute $20 a month each to help pay rent for the Community Society’s basement meeting space, which features a large common room for Muslim faith practices, and for sitting together in wide circles to socialize and share information.


Becoming politically engaged matters for your community (Alejandra Bravo, Maytree)
Politics often gets a bad rap. Many Canadians see politics as something that other people do and not really relevant to our day-to-day lives. Samaras latest Democracy Report, Political Participation Beyond the Ballot Box, confirms that fewer Canadians are now participating in formal politics, including joining or donating to political parties, and even voting. But when we have 60 people coming out to a weekend session at a School4Civics workshop, there is clearly interest in becoming more actively involved.

Fewer people sit below the poverty line now than ever before. Why are we not talking about it? (Andrew Coyne, National Post)
Its been almost a month since Statistics Canada released its latest report on poverty in Canada (Income of Canadians, June 27). Since then Ive been watching to see whether somebody, anybody would write about it. You would think somebody would. It is a well-established principle of social justice that a society should make its first priority improving the lot of the worst off among it, and is to be judged by how well it does in this regard. What is more, the news on this front is remarkable, even extraordinary.–HmZ38TkZg&url=

Canadas premiers should connect the dots between health and poverty (Laurel Rothman, Andrew Lynk , Toronto Star)
When Canadas premiers convene this week there are three compelling reasons why they should call on the federal government to join them in addressing poverty.

Philanthropist Betsy Martin believed in the power of community (Globe and Mail)
Of the many tributes and letters Betsy Martins husband received after her death, one letter in particular articulated her generous nature. The writer was not a close friend but lived in the same neighbourhood and always found Betsy, who knew the womans husband had terminal cancer, warm and supportive whenever they crossed paths. When one speaks of random acts of kindness, I think of Betsy. After my husband had passed away … I remember coming home one day and finding a tin on my porch full of Christmas cookies, with a lovely, thoughtful note attached. I will never forget that gesture and how much it meant to me.


OHRC launches the new Policy on removing Canadian experience barrier (Beyond Canadian Experience)
On July 15, 2013, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) launched a new policy on removing “Canadian experience” barrier. This policy states that a strict requirement for “Canadian experience” is discriminatory, and can only be used in rare circumstances. In a statement, the OHRC said “Employers and regulatory bodies need to ask about all of a job applicant’s previous work – where they got their experience does not matter. The policy also tells employers and regulatory bodies how to develop practices, policies and programs that do not result in discrimination.”

Cross-Cultural Competence Tidbit: What Do Your Values Really Mean? (Cathy Gallagher-Louisy, CIDI)
Ive been talking to people a lot about values recently, so this topic has been top of mind. When you ask people around the world what they value, most people will say the following: integrity, honesty, respect, family, hard work, etc. Some will add education. Some will add love, friendship, or personal relationships. The thing is, most of us assume that our values are the same as others, and further, that our definition of what it means to live those values is the same from person to person. But do we really mean the same thing when we are talking about our values? Sometimes we do, but sometimes we dont.

UFCW Canada Migrant Workers Scholarships recipients announced (UFCW)
The 20 recipients of the 2012 UFCW Canada Migrant Worker Scholarships have been announced. The recipients are a diverse group of young people from the Global South, ranging in age from 6 to 24 attending school in Guatemala, the Philippines, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Kenya, El Salvador and Mexico. Each recipient was nominated by a family member working as a migrant or temporary foreign worker in Canada. Education Has No Borders is the spirit of commitment which led to the creation of the UFCW Canada Migrant Workers Scholarships. In a span of three years, over 13,500 scholarship applications from around the globe have been received.

Premiers Must Reject Low-Wage Agenda, Focus on Good Jobs (Sid Ryan, Huffington Post)
Good jobs are at the heart of healthy economies and communities, so when the premiers meet next week at the Council of the Federation, job creation should be a top priority. In Canada and Ontario we currently face many labour market challenges, including the rise of precarious work, growing numbers of migrant workers, cuts to employment insurance and cuts to job training programs for vulnerable workers. Driven in large part by the federal government, these new realities are the result of a broad low-wage agenda that is driving down wages and working conditions for all Canadians. There are many things the provinces can do to push back against this agenda, protect workers and create good jobs. We hope the new Premier will situate Ontario as a leader among the provinces and territories and will address these challenges head-on.

Finlayson: Temporary Foreign Workers: Facts and Furor (People Talk – BCHRMA) (Business Council of British Columbia)
Canada has a long tradition of attracting immigrants to become permanent residents. Immigration in many ways built the country and was the foundation for much of the growth in the post-war era. The context for international migration, however, is changing. Greater international mobility, instant access to information from around the world, increasingly seamless connectivity, and growing trade flows have all made international migration a possibility for a rising share of the worlds population. The result is an increase in the volume and types of movement of people between jurisdictions. This includes substantial numbers of temporary migrants who come to relatively affluent countries like Canada for work or education. While Canadian immigration policy remains focused on permanent settlement, recent years have seen a noticeable jump in temporary foreign workers (TFWs). By 2011, the stock of TFWs in Canada stood at 300,000, up from 141,000 in 2005. This trend reflects several factors: 1) the countrys aging population, 2) the existence of skill shortages in some occupations, 3) more general labour shortages in certain regions, and 4) surges in labour demand occasioned by major project development in resource-related industries particularly in Western Canada.

Canada Job Grant is bad policy, says N.S. premier (Tina Pittaway, CBC)
As the nation’s premiers get set to meet in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario next week, many of them are bracing for a battle with the federal government over job training and Nova Scotia premier Darrell Dexter is no exception. In an interview with Kathleen Petty on CBC Radio’s The House, Dexter says provincial leaders are concerned about what he calls a “mystery program” announced in last March’s federal budget.


Gather: A Guidebook for Effective Convening (Sylvia Cheuy, Tamarack)
Earlier this month, The Rockefeller Foundation in collaboration with The Monitor Institute and Monitor Deloitte released Gather: The Art and Science of Effective Convening. In its opening pages, this report describes itself as a guidebook for people who want to change the world [for] social change leaders who understand the power of convening the right group of people, and who believe that collective intelligence trumps individual smarts when it comes to solving shared problems. It offers a rich resource for anyone taking on the role of a lead convening designer by providing an array of very practical how-to guides and tools for thinking through each of the seven building blocks of effective convening.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 22, 2013


Citizenship oath: Let’s pledge to Canada, not to Her Majesty (Ratna Omidvar, Globe and Mail)
Naysayers use the argument that if we don’t like it here, we should stay away. This only serves to draw the lines between us more deeply. I like to invoke the image that new immigrants make Canada their home and in time have the right, nay, the obligation, to rearrange the metaphorical furniture in our new home as part of an engaged citizenry. But there is middle ground. Let the royalists keep the symbols, the portraits of the Queen, and insert the word “Royal” in front of Canadian institutions such as the Air Force. Let’s wave the Union Jack when a member of the Royal Family visits. Let’s go wild about the Duchess of Cambridge’s newest dress. But let’s change the oath of allegiance, much along the lines of Australia’s. This middle-ground approach can (and should) be imitated in Canada.

“New Guy” Alexander Replaces Controversial Kenney As Immigration Minister (R. Paul Dhillon, The Link)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the biggest change in this week’s cabinet shuffle aimed at reviving fast falling Conservative political fortunes by installing Chris Alexander as the new Minister of Immigration and Citizenship by replacing the power hungry Jason Kenney, who had been growing powerful in the ministry with growing Conservative party leadership aspirations. Harper wanted to curtail that power and put Kenney in his place, a move which might also signal change and a new start with Alexander as Kenney had began to piss off many in the ethnic communities with his radical policies which were nonetheless welcomed by the usual rightwing crowd, who want to curtail immigration and find new ways to get rid of the ones already here

What Honest Ed’s meant to my immigrant family (Marsha Lederman, Globe and Mail)
By the time I came along, my parents were far enough along in their immigrant experience that they had made the exodus up to a tidy bungalow in the suburbs. But every now and then, we would pile into the Pontiac LeMans for a pilgrimage – and some bargains – downtown. The drive down to Bathurst and Bloor was always accompanied by stories. In a mixture of English and Yiddish, my parents would talk about the good old days when they were new to Canada from Germany, living in the Annex, doing their shopping at Kensington Market and, for non-perishables, Honest Ed’s. They would line up outside on Saturday mornings to take advantage of the door-crasher special – whatever it was – and then stock up on insanely low-priced canned goods and household cleaners.

Honest Ed’s was a right of passage for many new Canadians in Toronto (Vidya Kauri, Globe and Mail)
When David Mirvish was 10 years old, he helped the cashiers at his father’s discount store put purchases into bags. And sometimes, the little boy would hide under the counters so his supervisor would have to look for him. All the time spent at the cash registers – and hiding – gave Mr. Mirvish the chance to listen as Torontonians from all over the city, and of every imaginable background, shopped and chatted. The employees too spoke many different languages, something his dad, the late Ed Mirvish, welcomed. “I think my father found it stimulating to work with the people he worked with,” Mr. Mirvish says now. “He just found people interesting.“

Woman’s long fight to be recognized as a Canadian citizen heads to court (Diana Mehta, Toronto Star)
Jackie Scott , 68, was raised in Ontario, paid her taxes and voted in elections. But a dizzying tangle of old laws has meant the government doesn’t consider her a Canadian.

Jason Kenney’s speech to Islamic Society of North America removed from government (and personal) websites (Michael Petrou, Maclean’s)
Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau has received sharp criticism for speaking last week to the Islamic Society of North America, an organization the secular Muslim Canadian Congress describes as “Canada’s leading Islamist group.” As it happens, former citizenship and immigration minister (and current employment and social development minister) Jason Kenney also spoke to the group in November 2008.

CIDI Newsletter: July 2013 (CIDI)
Community of Practice Events
Diversity Perspectives
CIDI Survey
CIDI in the News
Voices from the CIDI
Defining the Undefined

Killing of immigration inspector probed in new book by Gurpreet Singh (Charlie Smith,
Surrey writer and Radio India broadcaster Gurpreet Singh has written a new book highlighting connections between the 1914 murder of a high-ranking government official and the forced removal of a vessel carrying Indian immigrants from Vancouver’s harbour. In Why Mewa Singh Killed William Hopkinson: Revisiting the Murder of a Canadian Immigration Inspector (Chetna Parkashan), Gurpreet Singh describes how the Komagata Maru incident played a pivotal role in the killing, which was retaliation for an earlier murder of a leader in the local Sikh community.

Canadian officials remove tracking bracelet from Mohamed Harkat (Jim Bronskill, Toronto Star)
The wife of an Ottawa man accused of terrorist ties says border agents have removed an electronic tracking bracelet from his ankle. Canada Border Services Agency took the tracking device off late Wednesday as part of a court-ordered relaxation of Mohamed Harkat’s release conditions, Sophie Harkat said Thursday. It has been more than a decade since Harkat, a refugee from Algeria, was arrested under a national security certificate on suspicion of being an Al Qaeda sleeper agent — an accusation he denies. Harkat, 44, has essentially been living under house arrest with stringent conditions — including the tracking bracelet — for seven years.

Letter to Kenney Challenges His Attack on Suzuki (Dan Murray, Immigration Watch Canada)
I note your tweets regarding Dr. David Suzuki’s interview in L’Express. While I agree the media are often biased against conservatives I can’t agree that Suzuki’s opinions on immigration are “toxic & irresponsible” nor that they show him to be “stridently anti-immigration.” Perhaps you have not yet had a chance to read the whole interview. If you do, you will see that he praised how Canada integrates immigrants and noted that, unlike his parents’ generation when ethnic Japanese such as himself married only within the Japanese community, over 90% now marry outside of the community. He also declared that we have a duty to those in genuine need and that he was particularly proud to be a Canadian when we helped 50,000 Vietnamese boat people. These are hardly “extreme anti-immigration views”!

Are Canada’s doors closing? (Brandon Sun)
During the last couple of years, the Canadian government and its multiculturalism and immigration minister have been implementing a series of modifications to this country’s immigration policies and programs. The changes have led some to express that “Canada’s doors” are closing, making it more difficult, and for some, impossible to immigrate to the country or to reunify with loved ones. Also, the life of immigrants and refugees already settled in Canada is probably becoming harder due to the implementation of these new policies.

One church, many faiths (Brenda Suderman, Winnipeg Free Press)
They sing from the United Church hymnbook, practise communion according to Anglican traditions, organize themselves according to Mennonite sensibilities and are served by a Presbyterian minister. For half a century, the folks at Pinawa Christian Fellowship — PCF for short — have been happily multidenominational, and they have no plans to change their ecumenical ways.

Black man in Vancouver feels ‘racially profiled’ by some groups (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
In light of the racial profiling that led to the killing of black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, a Vancouver man has brought to my attention the fear he feels from some cohorts of Metro Vancouver residents. Luma Toumany is an African-Canadian who lives in the West End, where he is raising his daughter. He speaks four languages and works for a major company. He is a Muslim married to a Christian woman.

Somali grant (CBC Metro Morning)
By now, just about everyone knows about Crackstarter, the online fundraising campaign started by the website Gawker to buy a video that allegedly shows Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. The campaign raised 185-thousand dollars but Gawker’s team was never able to buy the alleged video.Instead, the money is being split among four groups. One of which is the Somali Canadian Association of Etobicoke. Helen spoke to Osman Ali. He is that group’s long-time executive director.


PRESS RELEASE: CARL welcomes Supreme Court of Canada decision bringing refugee exclusion law in line with international standards (CARL)
The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) welcomes the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Ezokola v. Canada, released today. The decision reverses a disturbing trend in Canadian refugee law and brings Canada in line with international standards on the exclusion of refugees.

Supreme Court to decide on war crime refugee case (Kady O’Malley, CBC)
The Supreme Court of Canada will issue a ruling Friday morning that could redefine how immigration officials decide if someone was complicit in war crimes. The case stems from a decision by the federal government to deny refugee status to Rachidi Ekanza Ezokola. He worked for the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for eight years, four of them as a prominent diplomat at the United Nations.

Supreme Court decision on Congolese refugee brings Canada in line with international standards (Vidya Kauri, Globe and Mail)
The Supreme Court of Canada has given its unanimous consent for an appeal by a high-level diplomat from the Democratic Republic of Congo in his refugee application to Canada. In doing so, the court has brought Canada in line with international standards on refugee exclusion. Having previously been denied in his refugee claim because of possible complicity in war crimes, Rachidi Ekanza Ezokola’s claim is being sent back to the Immigration and Refugee Board for reconsideration. In a case that has attracted the attention of major international rights groups, including Amnesty International, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, this decision will have an impact on how immigration officials decide if somebody has been complicit in war crimes.

CCLA applauds SCC decision in Ezokola (CCLA)
Today the Supreme Court of Canada released its judgment in Ezokola v Canada, available here The decision is a victory for refugee protection and international criminal responsibility as well as for Canadian principles of asylum, criminal law, and fundamental justice. CCLA applauds the decision for correctly recognizing, as CCLA argued in its intervention, that any decision to exclude an individual from asylum must be based upon “serious reasons for considering” that the individual did commit the crimes which permit exclusion pursuant to Article 1F(a) of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (“Refugee Convention”). It is not justifiable in Canadian law or in international law to exclude an individual merely because he or she was a member of a group guilty of war crimes — ‘guilt by association’ violates fundamental criminal law principles.

Federal Court Decisions on Immigration or Refugee Status (Settlement AtWork)
A new section has been added to the Refugee Rights in Ontario website that discusses challenging a decision in Federal Court. This includes some basic information about the power of the Federal Court to review decisions on refugee status, relevant time limits, the difference between a judicial review and an appeal, and related topics. This section contains essential information for front-line workers helping refugee claimants

Webinar recording: Threats to Convention Refugee and Permanent Resident Status (Your Legal Rights)
The unqualified right of Convention Refugees to remain in Canada has been eroded by recent changes to the law. This webinar examines cessation and vacation proceedings where the Minister of Immigration applies to remove a person’s Protected Person status. It highlights the significance of the changes to the law and the importance of Convention Refugees and Permanent Residents applying for citizenship as soon as possible. Situations that could trigger cessation or vacation proceedings, as well as ways that service providers can offer support during the citizenship process, is also covered.

New section on challenging a decision in Federal Court added to (Your Legal Rights)
A new section has been added to the Refugee Rights in Ontario website that discusses challenging a decision in Federal Court. This includes some basic information about the power of the Federal Court to review decisions on refugee status, relevant time limits, the difference between a judicial review and an appeal, and related topics.

The boat smuggling mafia ( Shenali D Wadugek, Sri Lanka Guardian)
Be that as it may the fact that illegals in whatever form are today making up a nexus that is thriving in terms of the profits it generates is unlikely to see the stewardship of will to want to bring it to a close – like all vices those who find it a lucrative venture will ensure the business of boats and people remain unless the taxpayers of these nations make a noise and that is when the politicians start to wake up – Kevin Rudd in action is just one example yet to see similar actions by Canada and other countries is something that requires a more alert Canadian public.


Canadian Social Research Newsletter July 21, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Poorer Canadians more likely to die younger: Statistics Canada (Ottawa Citizen) – July 18(Ottawa Citizen)
2. Canada’s new cabinet — Who is in, who is out, who is shuffled (Ottawa Citizen) – July 15
3. The Dilemma of Housing in Alberta (Action to End Poverty in Alberta and Momentum) – July 15
4. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Consumer Price Index, June 2013 – July 19
— Employment Insurance, May 2013 – July 18
— Health Reports, July 2013 – July 17
— StatCan Blog: Tracking government finances, July 2013 – July 17
5. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Why Rural Philanthropy Must Mean More than Money (Max Rose, Nonprofit Quarterly)
In rural communities and small towns, philanthropy can take stands, create coalitions, and break down racial barriers that other institutions avoid. Philanthropy plays the role of professor, listener, pulse reader, dream interpreter, and community organizer.


Not all internships are bad (Margaret Eaton, Ratna Omidvar, Toronto Star)
While unpaid internships are problematic, they are not the only option. Recent discussions have given short shrift to internship that are not “free” but paid. These can last anywhere from four to 12 months, and are often brokered by not-for-profit organizations such as Career Edge, which works with recent graduates, immigrants and people with disabilities. The success rate of these internships is high, partly because all parties enter into the agreement with their eyes wide open. The internships are structured so that both sides know what their responsibilities are, and what they are — and are not — expected to do.

The Official Unemployment Rate Is Wrong, Says Guy Who Used To Calculate It (Mark Gongloff, Huffington Post)
You can’t believe the government’s numbers on employment. Take it from the guy who used to run the government’s numbers on employment. Keith Hall, the former head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which produces the federal government’s monthly jobs report, told New York Post columnist John Crudele that the official unemployment rate of 7.6 percent is wrong and might be too low by 3 percentage points, according to Crudele’s column on Thursday.

Premiers to face off against Ottawa over ‘flawed’ job program (Globe and Mail)
On Wednesday, Canada’s premiers will gather in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and try to kill the Canada Job Grant before it is born. That’s not the formal wording of the agenda at the annual meeting of the Council of the Federation. But shutting down the proposed new job-training program – of which Employment Minister Jason Kenney was put in charge last week – is a top provincial concern these days. “It’s one of the fundamental priorities of this council,” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, host of this week’s meeting, said in an interview on Sunday. “We really believe that the provincial governments are best placed to know where [job training] dollars need to be invested.”

New Canadian Immigration Program for Skilled Trades Opens (CICS News)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) officially launched the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) on Wednesday, and plans to admit up to 3,000 permanent residents through the program in 2013.


Salary Survey Report (2013) (Charity Village)
The only Canadian report to provide a detailed picture of salary and benefits packages exclusively in the nonprofit sector is now fully updated for 2013. In this brand new report, you’ll find comprehensive data, including a wide variety of tables, charts and graphs, in the Canadian nonprofit sector. The practical analysis allows you to quickly translate the data into important takeaways to immediately benefit your organization. CharityVillage’s Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary and Benefits Study is the only one of its kind in Canada, offering a complete and exhaustive survey of the Canadian nonprofit compensation landscape.