IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY
Immigration is about people, not economics (Debbie Douglas Avvy Yao-Yao Go, Toronto Star)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is currently consulting the public on Canadas future immigration plan. Very few Canadians know about this, and even fewer may participate. Given the consultation design and the questions posed by CIC, perhaps that should not be a surprise. Some call it cliché while others call it irrefutable fact: our country has been and will continue to be built by immigrants. From economic prosperity to social harmony, the well-being of Canada and its people are intrinsically linked to both our immigration policy and the way immigrants are treated in this country.
Researchers’ Notebook: July in Review, with a wee bit of June and August in the mix! (Jane Hilderman, Samara Canada)
Whats the summer without making use of a patio? Samara and the Maytree Foundation teamed up for our first co-hosted event. Bringing together Samaras volunteers and friends as well as participants from Maytrees School4Civics program, the evening featured presentations on the presence of visible minorities and foreign-born Canadians in the House of Commons (some data below), as well as the diversity of municipal office in the Greater Toronto Area. Hopefully there will be a second mixer this fall.
Making sense of comply or explain board gender-diversity policies (Dan Ovsey, Financial Post)
In its recent call for public consultation on the issue of having TSX-listed companies provide disclosure on the number of women on corporate boards and senior management, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) referenced the research of TD Bank Group vice-president and deputy chief economist Beata Caranci who argued comply or explain policies on gender diversity implemented in other nations as an alternative to quotas could be a model for Canada to follow. FPs Dan Ovsey recently spoke with Ms. Caranci about the rationale and implications of such policies (if instituted), their merits and pitfalls, and the realities of achieving greater diversity on Canadas corporate boards. Following is an edited transcript of their conversation.
In light of scams, services for new immigrants focus on fraud detection (Brian Platt, Globe and Mail)
The past week has seen news of two different fraud schemes targeting the Chinese-Canadian community in the Lower Mainland. In one case, a dentist in Burnaby was operating out of his bedroom without a licence, relying mostly on word-of-mouth referrals among Chinese-Canadian immigrants for his approximately 1,500 patients. An investigation by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. found little evidence of sterilization practices, and the Fraser Health Authority is trying to contact those patients now to have them tested for viruses such as hepatitis C and HIV.
The changing face of McGill medical students (Karen Seidman, Montreal Gazette)
With only about 10 per cent of all applicants getting into medical schools across the country, the dream of becoming a doctor is one filled with lots of heartache for even some of the brightest students. And the dream seems to be a castle in the air for more and more anglophone students in Montreal who are competing to get into the one English medicine program in the province, at McGill University, where an increasing emphasis on diversity has many urban anglophones grumbling that they arent the cohort McGill is courting these days.
On Immigration, Provinces Should Follow Alberta (Senator Mobina Jaffer, Huffington Post)
Alberta recently announced on June 20, 2013, that temporary foreign workers who have been employed within Canada for a minimum of two years are eligible to self-nominate themselves for the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program. This change extends to high-skilled and low-skilled workers; however, only employees within the food and beverage processing, hotel and lodging (specifically food and beverage servers, room attendants, and front desk agent/clerks), manufacturing, trucking, and food services industries are eligible for the program. This action brings Alberta to the forefront in extending citizenship to temporary foreign workers, as federally, only high-skilled workers and live-in caretakers qualify for Canadian citizenship. Outside of Alberta, low-skilled temporary foreign workers are unable to obtain permanent residency. They face high restrictions with receive little stability: at the end of every work cycle they must return back to their home country without a guarantee of future employment should they wish to return the next year. They are second-class individuals who work our fields yet have neither human rights protections nor the ability to stay in Canada permanently.
A foreign currency (Joel Schlesinger, Winnipeg Free Press)
Never mind the mosquitoes and bitingly cold winters. They’re a relatively minor inconvenience for many newcomers to Winnipeg. Just ask Dhirta Subedi, a refugee who came to Canada four years ago. “Comparing the life in a refugee camp and here in Canada, it’s a big difference. Life in the refugee camp is not safe,” says the 30-year-old newcomer to this country. Subedi’s family is from Bhutan, a small, landlocked country sandwiched between India and China. But she has spent the majority of her life in a refugee camp in Nepal.
Birth tourists believed to be using Canadas citizenship laws as back door into the West (Stewart Bell, National Post)
Carrying fraudulent, forged and stolen passports, dozens of Nigerian women began making their way to Toronto not long ago so many that last year the Canada Border Services Agency identified it as a trend. The women were between the ages of 20 and 35, and were traveling with the help of facilitation agents. The city of Toronto is the main destination for these women because many Nigerians live there, the CBSA wrote in an Intelligence Bulletin.
Ontario Citizenship And Immigration Minister, Michael Coteau, Understands The Immigrant Experience (Dwain Wellington Rattraym, Pride News)
With approximately 30 percent of the Ontario population identifying as non-native Canadians, it is imperative that the provincial government develop and sustain programs and initiatives geared toward the continued integration of an ever-growing demographic. It is refreshing then, to learn that the immigrant experience is not lost on the Honourable Michael Coteau, Ontarios newest Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, who was appointed by Premier Kathleen Wynn in February of this year.
Farrah Miranda, Graciela Flores, Tings Chak, Vino Shanmugnathan and Nadia Saads public intervention and subsequent gallery installation will force histories of settler colonialism into a public sphere, that often refuses to recognize it. Provoking questions about the supposed naturalness of whiteness and colonialism as the backdrop to which others arrive, the intervention consists of a simple image: that of an open-air ship, filled with white Canadian-subjects docked in a public space. Captured through photographs, video, news of the ship’s arrival will be shared via social media, stirring public conversation around these themes. Documentation of our staged arrival will be featured in installation at Whippersnapper Gallery in the month of September, as part of the Taking Place series.
Sikhs of Canada demand a review & cancellation of Sukhbir Badals visa (Parmjit Singh, Sikh Siyasat)
As per information extended by Moninder Singh Director/Spokesman of Canadian Sikh Coalition (CSC), the CSC earlier had written a letter to Honble Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration Canada, on the admission of Punjab Police Sub Inspector Surjit Singh, murdering 83 Sikhs in early 1990s at the direct orders of his senior police officers, naming present Police Commissioner Ludhiana Paramjit Singh Gill and an admission of direct link with DGP K.P.S.Gill., in carrying out the Encounters, executions in Punjab from 1980-1995.
David Suzuki For Minister of Immigration, Citizenship, And All That Other Sh*t. (Canadian Migration Reform blog)
It appears Chris Alexander has been appointed the new Minister of Immigration, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism instead of David Suzuki in the latest cabinet shuffle. Too bad. Going by recent comments made by Suzuki he may have been the better choice for the post. I am very dismissive of the environmental movement in Canada because it cowardly refuses to address mass immigration as a root problem of their concerns. Environmentalists will see progress in their cause if they bothered themselves to pressure the government to reduce Canada’s already too high immigrant intake. They have the arguments and public opinion is on their side.
Gay Russians seeking refuge in Canada in wake of homophobic new laws (Tobi Cohen, Canada.com)
As the western world gangs up on Russia ahead of the Sochi Olympics to draw attention to new anti-gay laws Canadas foreign minister has publicly decried as hateful, those inclined to flee the increasingly repressive regime may be looking here for safe refuge. While too soon to say whether a crackdown on homosexuals in Russia will result in a spike in refugee claims from that country, at least one Vancouver lawyer who deals exclusively with gay and lesbian asylum claimants is beginning to notice a difference. Rob Hughes handles a few dozen lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) cases a year and the last time he had a Russian client was before the fall of the Soviet Union until now.
Refugee policy unreasonable (Daphne Bramham, Star Phoenix)
For the poorest and most desperate people in the world, coming to Canada is winning the lottery. They account for only 23 per cent of refugees allowed to come here each year. On arrival, they have access to public health care, income assistance and access to settlement services as well as permanent resident status, which puts them on track to become Canadians within three years. They are selected by Canadian officials from among the 15.2 million refugees registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The criterion is simple: To qualify, they must be the most in need of protection from persecution, war or violence. Most have spent many years in refugee camps outside their own countries. Most have been tortured or traumatized. But winning this lottery exacts a price.
How Canada gave refuge to Pakistani family with targets painted on their backs (Terry Glavin, National Post)
Until the Canada Day weekend, it was a closely-guarded secret in Ontarios Pakistani émigré community that Rimsha Masih, the Christian girl whose entrapment in Pakistans barbaric blasphemy laws captured headlines around the world last year, was living incognito with her family in Canada. While much of Rimshas harrowing saga can now be told, her story is just one small drama in a much larger and necessarily untold story involving scores sometimes hundreds of people who are secreted into Canada every year.
A new life, a world away (Adrian Macnair, South Delta Leader)
In 2006, Tsawwassen resident Barb Westlake was reading about the Bhutanese situation online. Having trekked through Asia in 1989-90 she had always harboured a fascination with the Buddhist country. Feeling like she had to do something to help, Westlake sent an email that somehow found its way to Dhital. After learning more she began a letter writing campaign to the Canadian government to become part of the resettlement program. In 2007 Canada agreed to resettle 5,000 people over five years, and in March agreed to welcome 1,000 more. I dont know if it helped or not but the girls told me it gave them strength, says Westlake, as Dhital nods next to her. We were in a hopeless situation, and here is this lady in a corner of the world in Tsawwassen who is helping us, says Dhital. That connected us and gave us hope and courage.
POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION / POLICY
Canadian Social Research Newsletter August 11, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
1. Toronto doctor faces sanctions for helping poor [Special Diet Allowance] (World Socialist Web Site) – August 9
2. Funding Cuts to Albertas Post-Secondary Education Sector: There Are Alternatives (Nick Falvo in Progressive Economics Forum) – August 7
3. Why Is Tom Mulcair Opposed to Tax Increases? (Nick Falvo in progressive Economics Forum) – August 9
4. Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, and Intergenerational Mobility (Miles Corak) – July 2013
5. Corporate Welfare at Industry Canada since John Diefenbaker (Fraser Institute) – July 23
6. Minimum wage needs to be re-engineered (Toronto Star) – August 6
7. Guide to the Guaranteed Annual Income (National Council of Welfare) – January 1976
8. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Labour Force Survey, July 2013 – August 9
— 2011 National Household Survey announcement: Income and Housing – August 7
9. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit
EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS
Northwest employers eye skilled immigrants to meet skills shortages (IECBC)
IEC-BC together with Northwest Community College, the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce and the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce are hosting free regional forums for employers on immigrant employment in Kitimat on August 21 at the Kitimat Valley Institute and in Prince Rupert on August 22 at Northwest Community College.
Lack of enforcement in B.C. fosters replaceable, disposable workforce (Denise Ryan, VAncouver Sun)
The foreign workers picking this years bumper crop of blueberries, minding B.C. babies, flipping burgers and serving coffee are part of a ballooning flexible and impermanent workforce that dont share the same rights as Canadians says a new report. The lack of effective enforcement of legal regulations makes foreign workers particularly vulnerable, says the report. The report, Access to Justice for Migrant Workers in B.C., was presented by the West Coast Domestic Workers Association at an SFU discussion on Saturday.
Migrant workers in Canada exploited because of restricted mobility: new report (Carlito Pablo, Straight.com)
A new report throws a spotlight on Canadas growing army of “unfree” migrant workers. They work jobs that could otherwise be done by Canadians and permanent residents but they dont have the same labour mobility as citizens and landed immigrants. Temporary foreign workers are tied to specific employers, and thats the reason why many of them are cheated and abused, according to a report titled Access to Justice for Migrant Workers in B.C. “The idea of unfree workers, which perpetuates precariousness, has been linked to the erosion of labor standards in the workforce and some academics have opined that it has caused the clustering of migrant workers in particular industries where enforcement of employment standards is a particular problem,” states the report prepared by the West Coast Domestic Workers Association. The Vancouver-based organization will present its report in a forum on Saturday (August 10) at the SFU Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver. The event starts at 1 p.m.
More immigrant labour needed (Derek Sankey, Leader Post)
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.
Nanaimo businesses earn praise for hiring practices that reflect diversity in community (Robert Barron, Canada.com)
Services, said she hopes other local businesses learn about the diverse employers program and its many benefits. “We’ve found that customers look for the stickers and shop where they know that employers are diverse in their employment practices,” she said. Milne said hiring people with disabilities is just one his restaurants’ progressive hiring practices as they strive to reflect the demographics of the communities they serve, which includes ethnic and First Nations people, as well as those with disabilities. But he said they are expected to work hard and all employees must be “up to the task.”
Christians Welcome Migrant Workers Through Concert (Faith Today)
The annual arrival of international migrant workers into Canadas farming communities is a dramatic change in the makeup of those communities. Over 26,000 migrant farm workers come to Canada each year through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, a government program that helps Canadian farmers hire international labour. Ironically, those same workers often feel invisible in their temporary home. But Christians in at least one farming community are working hard to make migrant workers feel welcome.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Canada Slaps Fee On Employers’ Applications (Daniel Tencer)
The Harper government says it has further tightened the rules governing its controversial temporary foreign worker program, confirming it will charge employers $275 for each application they make. The new rules, which build on measures announced in April, include additional restrictions on what language proficiency employers can request, broader requirements to advertise job openings and a new questionnaire that tries to ferret out whether a firm is seeking to replace existing Canadian workers. The changes took effect on July 31, but do not affect the seasonal agricultural worker program.
Licensing requirements for recruiters of foreign workers in Canada (Alan Diner and Denisa Mertiri, Immigration Nation)
On April 29, 2013, the federal government introduced changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”) to address a growing public concern that Canadian employers are using the “cheaper” labour of foreign workers, instead of that of Canadians. These changes will affect Canadian employers looking to hire foreign workers through the use of recruitment agencies. Foreign worker recruitment regulation is a developing area in Canadian law. Provincial legislation on this topic is currently inconsistent, as some provinces regulate the activities of recruiters while others do not. This article provides a summary of recruiting law in Canada, with a focus on licensing requirements.
SOCIAL INNOVATION / NONPROFITS
Salary Survey Report (2013) (Charity Village)
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.
A Key Lesson Business Leaders Can Learn from the Nonprofit World (LinkedIn)
Here’s my main takeaway for you as a for-profit leader: Get to know your key people very, very well and figure out how to best position them so that they always feel challenged, never stop learning and are always contributing directly to the achievement of the organization’s main goals. That’s what the best nonprofit leaders do every day. Once I understood this key insight, the results I have gotten from my TNC teams have blown away my expectations. People at non-profits for the most part aren’t motivated by bonuses or promotions. By and large, they go to work every day to help their organization achieve its mission.Thats why great leaders at nonprofits do everything they can to help their staff members maximize their personal contributions to that mission.