IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY
Troubling Statistic (CBC Metro Morning)
Teenagers in Toronto’s Somali community are dropping out at a rate that is four times higher than Canada’s national average. This morning Matt Galloway spoke with Abdi Aidid. He is a recent U of T graduate and will be going to Yale Law School this fall.
C-43 – Changes to Humanitarian and Compassionate Requests (CIC)
On June 19, 2013, Bill C-43, an Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), also known as the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, received Royal Assent. The following changes to sections 25 and 25.1 of the Act are in effect as of Royal Assent.
House Prices Canada: Immigration Means Market Will Keep Rising, Conference Board Says (Huffington Post)
The Conference Board of Canada says Paul Krugman and other economists are wrong when they say Canada is in for a debt and housing market bloodbath. The economic research group expects house prices to remain high and to continue growing faster than incomes, and it says one of the reasons behind that is Canada’s large immigrant population. In a report aiming to debunk the OECD’s recent claim that Canada has a severely overvalued housing market, the Conference Board noted that the top eight countries with the most overvalued housing markets all have high foreign-born populations.
CROSSING ALL BORDERS – June 27 is Multiculturalism Day (Cornwall Seaway News)
June 27 is Multiculturalism Day in Canada. It’s a day to celebrate our diversity, democracy, equality and mutual respect by appreciating the contributions of the various multicultural groups and communities that make up Canadian society. In honour of this special day, the Local Immigration Partnership of SDG PR challenges you to discover Canada’s diversity by experiencing another culture. There is a wealth of culture in our 5 Counties of SDG PR, from our local native population to people from all over the world.
Alberta sees share of immigrants rise (Edmonton Journal)
Alberta recorded a modest increase in its share of immigration, with Calgary drawing more newcomers than Edmonton in the last five years, according to data released Wednesday from Statistics Canada. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver were still home to the majority of immigrants to Canada between 2006-11. About 32 per cent of newcomers settled in Toronto, while 16 per cent settled in Montreal and 13.3 per cent in Vancouver.
Calgary Accommodates Ramadan (On Islam)
As the holy fasting month is set to coincide with a major annual festival, Canadian officials in the city of Calgary are considering how to help Muslim taxi drivers to perform their religious duties during Ramadan. “There’s a plan, we’ve just got to secure a site,” Marc Halat with the city’s Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee, told CBC News on Thursday, June 20. “We’re looking for a location these can guys can worship in privacy.”
Canada’s Top 25 Immigrants 2013 (Canadian Immigrant)
The results are in! Canadian Immigrant proudly presents the 2013 RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award winners. Click on each picture below to read the inspiring stories of these individuals, chosen by you, our readers.
Toronto police expand Somali outreach unit after Dixon Road raid (Kaleigh Rogers And Renata D’Aliesio, Globe and Mail)
Police are expanding an outreach program with the Somali community in north Toronto after last week’s massive raid on a Dixon Road apartment complex. Two female officers will join the team of four male officers who currently work in the neighbourhood to ease communication between police and the community, which has a large Somali population. The Somali Liaison Program, an initiative unique to 23 Division, was launched with two officers in October, 2012, and doubled shortly after.
Charlottetown woman among RBC Top 25 Canadian immigrants (Jim Day, The Guardian)
Leti LaRosa of Charlottetown, described as “a shining example of an individual who has embraced Canada and made it a better place”, is being honoured today as one of the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2013 at a ceremony in Toronto. Charlottetown’s Leti LaRosa enjoyed a smooth transition to a new life when she moved from the Philippines to P.E.I. in 1977.
Immigrants need our support to make them welcome (Coast Reporter)
We are a welcoming community — and to that end you’re invited to a huge celebration planned for June 30 at the Sechelt Indian Band Hall. In honour of Canadian Multiculturalism Day, the local immigrant community is inviting everyone to come to a free party from noon to 4 p.m.
Philippine Women Centre looks to re-open (Sandra Thomas, Vancourier)
T he volunteer executive director of the Philippine Women Centre of B.C. wants to resurrect the group’s Strathcona building, which has been closed since 2008 due to a lack of funding and a dire need for repairs and renovations. “The centre was such an important place because we were the first ones to offer services to Filipino women,” said Cecilia Diocson. “It was also a space where women pushed out of their employer’s home could come. We considered that a rescue operation.”
Sask.’s growth needs context (Star Phoenix)
Growth makes for good politics anytime, and the provincial government is eager to take credit for the latest numbers from Statistics Canada that peg Saskatchewan’s population at an all-time high, and projected to exceed 1.1 million this year. “It’s a great time to be in Saskatchewan and more and more people are recognizing this,” said Economy Minister Bill Boyd, who noted that the province offers good career opportunities and a high quality of life.
Tories drop bid to strip citizenship of convicted terrorists (Kady O’Malley, CBC)
All but lost amid last night’s flurry of last-minute legislative fast tracking was the government’s tacit admission that it has officially abandoned its attempt to strip the citizenship of dual nationals convicted of acts of terrorism — at least, for now.
Award grows more diverse (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
When Farouk Chebib arrived in Canada to teach engineering nearly half a century ago, he found a much different Winnipeg than the city he lives in today. He and his wife settled here from Syria because they felt so welcome in such a diverse community. “It was more tolerant.” After 9/11, seeds of mistrust were planted that have sprouted into Islamaphobia, said the retired professor. Chebib has seen a shift in attitudes toward groups “who are different” and against the multiculturalism that drew them to Canada, he said.
Fundraiser underway to reunite dying woman with son (East York Mirror)
A fundraiser is underway to reunite a dying Thorncliffe Park resident with her son. Edna Aldovino, who came to Canada through the live-in caregivers program, worked here to support her only son Kenneth, who lives in the Philippines. After working to build a better life for her son in Canada, and applying to bring him here, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer that has spread to her liver, brain and kidney.
$160,000 in grants awarded to 26 projects by immigrant or visible minority professional artists in Montreal (Canada Council for the Arts)
Partners in the Vivacité Montréal program announced today the attribution of $160,000 in grants to 26 immigrant or visible minority artists residing in Greater Montreal in 2012-2013. These grants support projects involving exploration, creation, production, presentation, development or travel.
First Nations Day and Multiculturalism Day in Canada (Yosie Saint-Cyr, First Reference Talks)
June 21, 2013, is First Nations Day in Canada, and June 27, 2013, is Multiculturalism Day, and is worth mentioning.
Impact of World Refugee Day? (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
A service highlighting web research and information relating to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other forced migrants; provided by Elisa Mason.
World Refugee Day June 20 2013 (CCLA)
World Refugee Day was established by the UN General Assembly in late 2000 and is marked each year on 20 June. The following statement was made by António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees in honour of World Refugee Day 2013.
News Release — Canada Celebrates World Refugee Day (CIC)
The Government of Canada has resettled almost 16,000 refugees to date and is on track to meet its commitment of resettling 20,000 Iraqis by 2015, Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced today on World Refugee Day. This represents the largest single commitment to resettle a refugee population in over 25 years.
Scholar challenges perception of Canada’s openness to refugees (Luisa D’Amato, The Record)
Canadians think of their refugee system as one of the most generous in the world. Maybe the most generous. But is that really true? Not completely, says political scientist Ed Koning. Koning, an assistant professor at University of Guelph, compared Canada’s rate of approving refugee claims with rates of other developed countries. The results show that Canada is in the top 20, but below places like Sweden, Australia, Turkey and Switzerland.
Canada Is Helping to Protect Refugees (Marketwired)
Canada plays an important role in safeguarding the rights and providing for the well-being of refugees and other displaced people around the world. Today, to mark World Refugee Day, the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, announced support to provide innovative technology to help better protect refugees. “The plight of refugees around the world continues to be of deep concern to Canada,” said Minister Fantino. “Canada’s commitment to refugee protection remains strong. We are delivering innovative solutions to help protect refugees and internally displaced persons.”
New Democrats condemn Conservative cuts to refugee health care (NDP)
New Democrat Citizenship and Immigration critic Jinny Sims (Newton-North Delta) and deputy critic Sadia Groguhé (Saint-Lambert) have issued the following statement: Today, Canadians across the country are taking part in rallies to condemn the Conservative cuts to health care services for some of the most vulnerable members of our society. On behalf of New Democrats everywhere, we join these Canadians and call for a reversal of Conservative cuts to the Interim Federal Health (IFH) Program for refugees.
Windsor prepares for Syrian refugees (CBC)
Immigration services and agencies in Windsor are preparing for an influx of Syrian refugees. There are already thousands of refugees from around the world living in Windsor. Sudip Minhas, Interim Director at Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women, says that, on average, her agency alone serves 200 refugees each year. There are six other agencies doing similar work in helping refugees and immigrants assimilate and adjust to life in Windsor. Minhas says that while refugees come from all over, but there are trends.
Designing a Better Home for Refugees, Inspired by IKEA and Financed by IKEA Foundation (Herald Online)
For the past two years, the IKEA Foundation has been driving a unique collaboration with a team of Swedish designers and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to design a better refugee shelter for the millions of children and families forced to flee their homes every year.
Pledge to resettle Iraqi refugees will be filled by 2015, Kenney says (Ottawa Citizen)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says Canada’s promise to resettle 20,000 Iraqi refugees will be met by 2015 — two years later than originally planned. Kenney made the resettlement of Iraqis a focus in 2009 and had initially set this year as the target date to resettle thousands fleeing persecution and violence in that country.
But the ongoing conflict in Syria forced the government to close its visa office in Damascus in 2012, which dramatically slowed down the Iraqi program. Kenney says around 16,000 Iraqis have now arrived and the entire group will be resettled by 2015.
Canada asylum hearing delayed in closely watched Roma case (Reuters)
Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board has put off until mid-July a hearing on an asylum claim by Hungarian Roma activist Viktoria Mohácsi, a former member of the European Parliament. The case is being closely watched as a test of the Canadian government’s new immigration policy that considers nearly all EU countries “safe.” Mohácsi, a Roma, claims she would be in danger from hate groups and persecution by authorities if she returned to Hungary. The Hungarian government has denied she would be in any danger.
Childless Chinese woman opposed to that country’s one-child policy granted Canadian refugee status (Tom Blackwell, National Post)
The Federal Court has upheld a decision to grant refugee status to a Chinese woman simply because she opposes her country’s one-child policy and its harsh enforcement — even though she had yet to have any children. Yanxia Ye’s deep-seated anxiety about being made to wear an intra-uterine device (IUD) and undergo regular pregnancy tests — coupled with her desire to have a large family — was well-founded and qualified as persecution, the court confirmed in a recent decision. Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) has considered refugee cases citing the one-child policy before, but they generally involved couples who had already borne two or more children and feared reprisal if forced back to China.
Canada to help resettle some Syrian refugees (Kady O’Malley, CBC)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says Canada is willing to work with the United Nations to resettle some high-need refugees from Syria, but he noted that the critical need right now is for humanitarian support in Syria and surrounding countries, which are hosting ever-growing numbers of displaced people. Kenney told CBC’s Carol Off that the UN High Commission for Refugees has not formally approached Canada about a Syrian refugee resettlement program, but he said there have been “informal soundings.”
POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION / POLICY
Remembering two important community builders: Tony Coombes and Betsy Martin (Alan Broadbent, Maytree)
Recently, we had to say goodbye to Tony Coombes and Betsy Martin. Their passing leaves a great hole in Canada’s innovative and committed nation building communities. We remember them for who they were, the work they did, the inspiration they provided and the legacy they leave us.
A woeful record on child poverty (Greg Fingas, Leader-Post)
Nearly 25 years ago, Canada’s MPs agreed unanimously that child poverty was a crisis which demanded action – and that it was possible to end the crisis in just over a decade. They were right on both counts. Unfortunately, successive governments since 1989 have fallen far short of meeting the goal. And a new report released this week by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and Save the Children Canada shows just how widespread child poverty remains – while demonstrating an alarming concentration among First Nations children in the western provinces.
Mess in T.O.? Not so (Alan Broadbent, Globe and Mail)
Jeffrey Simpson judges Toronto’s municipal government “a mess” (In Search Of ‘Good Government’ – June 19). Toronto’s mayor certainly makes the news, but the government of the city is hardly a mess. Three times in the past decade, external analyses of the city’s finance and administration have come to the conclusion it is well managed by a capable public service. On the political side, council has worked together to rescue its threatened transit and waterfront development plans, and keep the city operating effectively. Mr. Simpson should look elsewhere for his mess.
EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS
Migrant farm workers key to local farm operations (Chatham Daily News)
If you shop at local grocery or department stores, especially on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, you may have noticed a group of people being dropped off to buy food and supplies. These may be migrant farm workers from other countries, who have come to Canada to work in the fields and greenhouses of Chatham-Kent. The migrant workers in Chatham-Kent come from countries such as Mexico and Thailand, as well as many of the Caribbean countries including Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, Tobago, Dominica, and others.
Alberta changing rules on foreign workers (Global News)
Alberta is changing the rules to make it easier for temporary foreign workers to stay in Canada permanently. Deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk says the changes will stop what he calls “a revolving door” that can be unfair to workers and to employers who train staff only to see them leave Alberta to return home after four years.
“It will give us permanency, more stability, fewer social issues. Lower costs for employers,” Lukaszuk says.
Unpaid wages finally paid (Workers’ Action Centre)
I came to Workers’ Action Centre and they helped me to make a complaint to the Ministry of Labour. Finally maybe 5-6 months later, the Ministry of Labour gave me a call and said there is a cheque – and they would mail it to me. This owner is collecting money from working people and increasing the income for the restaurant. If no one stops him, another worker will come and ask for work and he will do the same thing. I want to tell people that if they have difficulty getting paid, they should not give up. People always keep a smile, don’t get sad when there is a problem. Keep a good spirit. Try to get your money back.
Diversity and Generosity (Corinna Wu, SSIReview)
In many organizations today, leaders put a premium on making their workplace more diverse. Not only does diversity promote the values of fairness and equal opportunity, it’s also potentially good for the bottom line. Some studies, for example, have shown that diversity can enhance employee performance. But recent work by scholars at the University of Minnesota suggests that the benefits of workplace diversity extend beyond company walls. The researchers focused on the workforce of a large university, and they analyzed how differences in gender and ethnicity affected the amount of money that university employees contributed to a workplace charity drive. Because funds raised by such campaigns flow to people outside the organization, they offer one way to assess the impact of diversity on society at large.
Ontario working with employers to improve immigrant opportunities (Canadian HR Reporter)
Ontario is bringing together job creators from across the province to ensure the skills of newcomers better match the needs of employers. As part of Ontario’s immigration strategy, a Minister’s Employers Table will partner with business leaders to help the province identify labour market needs. “We’re pleased with the approach that Ontario has taken to bring its immigration strategy to life. The Minister’s Employers Table is an excellent opportunity for employers to play a leading role in building a 21st century workforce for Ontario,” said Allan O’Dette, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
The Need to Make Skills Work: The Cost of Ontario’s Skills Gap (Conference Board of Canada)
This report examines the economic cost of Ontario’s skills gaps, and the specific occupations, skills, and credentials employers and individuals need to thrive in the emerging economy.
Residency an option for temporary foreign workers (Vincent Mcdermott, Fort McMurray Today)
Temporary foreign workers in Alberta will now be able to nominate themselves for permanent residency, provided they meet key requirements. The changes to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program will allow eligible foreign workers with at least two years work experience to nominate themselves for residency. Under previous rules, workers could only be nominated by their employers.
Alberta to allow temporary foreign workers to nominate themselves for permanent residency (Ryan Tumilty, Metro News)
Now, Madrid is one of hundreds of temporary foreign workers who might have an easier path to permanent residency in Canada, thanks to a change the provincial government announced Thursday.
Media Advisory – Activists Demand Real Change to Temporary Foreign Worker Program (Canada Newswire)
Community and labour activists will be joined by Official Opposition members at a demonstration today outside Conservative MP Diane Finley’s office to protest the Harper government’s low-wage economic strategy and abuse of temporary foreign workers. “The Conservatives say they’re reforming the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, but it continues to exploit foreign workers and suppress domestic wages and training and job opportunities,” said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers (USW), Canadian director.