Category Archives: dailynews

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 21, 2013


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.”


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.


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.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 20, 2013

2013 Diversity in Governance Awards (DiverseCity Toronto)
At an awards ceremony on June 19, 2013, DiverseCity onBoard recognized Blue Hills Child and Family Centre, the City of Markham, and William Osler Health System for embracing diversity in board governance and making it a priority to recruit board members from diverse backgrounds. A corporate award, presented by the Canadian Board Diversity Council, recognized BMO Financial Group. “Good practice in board governance includes finding the right people to lead,” explained Ratna Omidvar, President of Maytree and co-chair of DiverseCity. “In a region as diverse as ours, this involves embracing the full spectrum of skills, experiences and connections available. Capitalizing on our immense talent pool is an imperative for today’s nonprofit, public and corporate boards.”
Peterborough celebrates its diverse culture on Canada Day (My Kawartha)
On a day devoted to celebrating everything Canadian, a local group is highlighting the different nationalities that call Peterborough home. From a variety of food and craft vendors to live performances and sports demonstrations, the Multicultural Canada Day Festival is making Del Crary Park “The Place to Be” on July 1. In a country known for its multicultural makeup, Peterborough is no stranger to diversity. For staff at the New Canadians Centre, putting on the festival in collaboration with Canada Day only makes sense.–peterborough-celebrates-its-diverse-culture-on-canada-day
Media Advisory: Giant Tiger Celebrates EVERY Body (Marketwired)
Giant Tiger Stores Limited is thrilled to be celebrating the diversity of our communities this Canada Day with our Canada Day flyer. This flyer, distributed across Canada as of June 20(th) , features many diverse models including a few who are differently-abled. “Giant Tiger is a reflection of the communities we serve and the people in our communities,” offers Lauren Moir, Vice President Marketing, Giant Tiger Stores Limited. “It is important to us to develop material that celebrates the diversity of the Canadian population. For us, the Canada Day flyer was the perfect way to highlight this.”
The (White) Face of Canadian TV and Film (Huffington Post)
I tend to write about Canadian film and TV. I champion it. I defend it. And part of that is tough love — hauling back your boot and giving it a kick in the pants. In an industry that is desperate just to achieve any sort of commercial success, social issues often get shoved onto the back burner. But a healthy entertainment industry should be brave enough to engage in difficult conversations. For a while I’ve been hesitatingly circling around the topic of race. When trying to delve into such a loaded issue — whether non-white actors are denied equal opportunities — part of the problem is framing the discussion. Counter-arguments range from: “it’s not happening — everything’s fine,” to “it is happening, and I’m glad ’cause I’m sick of political correctness.” However grudgingly, most people suspect it occurs. Louis Ferreira, one of the leads in TV’s Motive, spent part of his career under the name Justin Louis, worried about typecasting. And he’s white!
MPs’ summer break kills bill that would strip terrorists of Canadian citizenship (National Post)
The Harper government has accused Thomas Mulcair of protecting the rights of terrorists after the last legislative fight of the spring session in the Commons was won by the New Democrats. The decision by the House to adjourn for the summer a few days early nixed Conservative efforts to amend a private member’s bill to strip Canadian citizenship from dual nationals convicted of terrorist acts. “We got the end of an odious bill in immigration that would have deprived Canadians of their citizenship illegally but it would have had to have been fought before the courts,” Mulcair said Wednesday in celebrating the amendment’s demise. “It was disgusting what (Immigration Minister) Jason Kenney was trying to do in that bill.”
Warning – CBSA Border Information Service does not make phone calls (CBSA)
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) wants to warn citizens of possible phone-scam fraud. The CBSA has recently learned that persons purporting to be employed at the CBSA’s Border Information Service have been calling Canadians and requesting personal information and payment over the phone. The CBSA BIS call centre is a free information service for general enquiries regarding CBSA procedures, programs and services. This unit is not designed nor is it mandated to make phone calls requesting personal information or payment over the phone.
Q & A With Susan Marjetti (Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion)
Susan Marjetti is known around the world for transforming CBC Toronto into a station that looks and sounds like the community it serves. Her lifetime of work was honored last year by Innoversity when she was presented the Outstanding Leadership Achievement Award for diversity. Given our focus on media this month, we’re thrilled to share her perspective on everything from the role of the media in creating inclusive communities to the guest she’d most like to have Metro Morning.
Found in translation: Learning the language of home and the future (Dakshana Bascaramurty, Globe and Mail)
Katie Szeto’s tiny body is dwarfed by the high-school-sized desk she’s sitting at. At nine, she’s one of the youngest in her class, but also the one who most consistently raises her hand with the right answer when teacher Sharon Wang flips through a Mandarin picture book, asking the students to translate words into English. Katie can speak the language better than her mother. She’s already prepping to study chemistry at Harvard (Class of 2026) and believes having another language under her belt will get her there.
Embracing different ethnicities in Toronto leaves British writer confused (Yonge Street)
Toronto’s multiculturalism left one British writer slightly confused about the city’s curiosity for heritage. While visiting Toronto, Daniel Rouse met people from all over–Croatia, Ireland–and eventually began to wonder if Toronto lacked pride in its own Canadian identity. However, he reports that he soon realized much of this stems from an honest place and after speaking with local residents and shop owners, a great story of our city unfolded. He describes his experience in article that appeared in the Telegraph.
Canada: Immigration Data now online and more accessible (Rewin Koul,
Open Data Portal, Canada’s much anticipated next generation online portal which was launched today, will provide unprecedented access to government data and information. Data on immigration in Canada is being made available on a new online portal as part of a governmental commitment to openness and transparency. In the country, Immigration data is already one of the most sought after and followed sets of information available. By bringing it online, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney believes that this next gen Portal will infuse innovation and promote economic growth as it provides unprecedented access to government data and information.
Not just ‘immigrants’ (Jacqueline Bigar, Hamilton Spectator)
How many people from Hamilton can say they work with people from all over the world every day? I do exactly that. I am an English-as-a-second language instructor at St. Charles, and over the last 11 years, I have taught some wonderfully diverse groups of people. I have had the privilege of teaching people from: Afghanistan, Burundi, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, China, Colombia, Congo, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Haiti, Hungary, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Laos, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela, and Vietnam. They have ranged in age from 18 to 80, and each one has a different reason to learn English. Their goals vary from gaining employment to being able to communicate with their Canadian grandchildren. In most of these countries, students have a great respect for their teachers, and they are truly appreciative when they feel they are improving.
Study Shows Immigrant Children at High Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency (PR Web)
The Vitamin D Society wants to make parents aware of a recent Canadian study which reports that new immigrant and refugee children to Canada are at a high risk of vitamin D deficiency which may have serious negative consequences for their future health(1). The study compared vitamin D levels for non-immigrant children, aged 6-11 years with 72 immigrant and refugee children aged 7-11 years who had been living in Saskatoon, SK, Canada for no more than five years. Dr. Vatanparast’s team found that 73% of the immigrant/refugee children from Saskatoon had vitamin D levels below 50 nmol/L which would make them deficient. The mean vitamin D level for the new immigrant/refugee children was 41 nmol/L, just barely over half the level reported nationally for all Canadian children aged 6-11 which was 75 nmol/L. Data from a nationally representative sample showed alarmingly low 25(OH)D levels in immigrant children, particularly girls.
‘Something needs to be done’: Federal judge urges Ottawa to legislate ‘clearer’ citizenship rules (Adrian Humphreys, National Post)
Canada’s courts have long accepted three different ways of assessing how established people are in Canada before granting them the privilege of citizenship. Fotolia The Chief Justice of the Federal Court has made a highly unusual plea to the government, asking it to fix unclear citizenship requirements that kick some applicants out while welcoming others in, depending on which assessment is used. “This case is yet another example of why something needs to be done to address the unacceptable state of affairs concerning the test for citizenship in this country,” said Chief Justice Paul S. Crampton in a stern court judgment involving a woman from China.
Global Hamilton office will seek skilled immigrants (Matthew Van Dongen, Hamilton Spectator)
The city will create a special office dedicated to attracting skilled immigrants to work in Hamilton. The virtual Global Hamilton office will promote the city abroad and through local ethnic networks in an effort to bring more “economic class” newcomers, “immigrant entrepreneurs” and international students, said Sarah Wayland, the city’s project leader. She said labour force growth in many cities is primarily due to immigration — and other cities are recruiting out-of-town talent. “If we don’t, we won’t keep pace … we risk losing a competitive edge,” she said. The city attracts more than 3,000 immigrants a year right now.
Ontario Immigrants (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Michael Coteau. And with Pradeep Sood. He is former Chair of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
Manitoba Premier: Western Provinces Asked for Increase in Immigration Limit (CICS News)
Canada’s western provinces called on the federal government to remove the caps on their provincial immigration programs on Monday, according to a recent Bloomberg News interview with Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger. Selinger said the limits the federal government places on the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are making it difficult for them to fill their labour shortages: “We’ve seen some changes that have potentially put a crimp in our ability to grow our economies and have people living in our communities.”
Breaking Down Stereotypes: Somali Women Always Agents of History (
Hawa Jibrilwas a poet who stemmed from a family that placed high importance on expressing themselves through the art of poetry. In 1993, Jibril migrated to Canada during the civil war without documents that supported her identity and date of birth; she thus had to wait years to achieve Canadian landed immigrant status. Jibril utilized both forms of popular Somali poetry of gabay and buraambur (mainly used by women) and spoke about issues relating to the war and Somali society. She managed to use her own lived experiences to communicate and express her opinions about violence against women, the civil war, and Somali independence, highlighting the issues of female genital mutilation, the experiences of refugees in Canada and other themes that relate to the Somali diaspora. Her daughter Faduma Ahmed Alim compiled Jibril’s poetry and translated the Somali written poems into English, so as to allow Somali people who may not speak fluent Somali to be able to appreciate and read her work.
NDP rubs blocked citizenship bill in Tories’ faces (Daniel Proussalidis, Chatham Daily News)
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair began Parliament’s summer break by boasting about blocking a Conservative effort to strip Canadian citizenship from convicted terrorists. “We got the end of an odious bill in immigration that would’ve deprived Canadians of their citizenship illegally that would’ve had to be have been fought before the courts,” Mulcair said Wednesday. “It was disgusting what (Immigration Minister) Jason Kenney was trying to do in that bill.” New Democrats on the immigration committee managed to talk out the clock for more than a week until Parliament rose late Tuesday, preventing the government from amending the private member’s bill.
Improve Immigrant Outcomes Before Increasing Inflows: C.D. Howe Institute (Canada Newswire)
Before increasing new immigrant intake targets, Canada should focus on improving immigrants’ labour market outcomes through reforms to the selection process, according to a report released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In “Improving Immigrant Selection: Further Changes Are Required Before Increasing Inflows,” author Christopher Worswick cites recent evidence of poor outcomes for recent immigrants that raise a caution flag for higher annual targets. As Canada’s population ages, notes the author, growth in the country’s workforce will eventually be driven almost entirely by immigration. This has led to calls that Canada should increase its immigration targets from around 250,000 immigrants to around 400,000 immigrants per year. “Whether and how to do so is conditioned by the observation that recent immigrant cohorts have had limited economic success in Canada,” says Worswick. “The wage differential of recently arrived immigrants versus Canadian-born workers has grown over time, and it is no longer obvious that recent immigrants can close this gap within their working careers. Hence, there is reason to be cautious about expanding immigration levels.”
Toronto Somalis say they were victimized by police in Dixon Road raids (Jennifer Pagliaro, Toronto Star)
Hers was one of several stories shared on Tuesday at the conference held by the African Canadian Legal Clinic to condemn last weeks raids as part of Project Traveller and allege police officers used excessive force and were culturally insensitive. “After the raid, many Somali community members felt victimized, traumatized, as a result of reckless manner in which the officers forcibly entered their homes,” said Mahad Yusuf, executive director of Midaynta Community Services. “The Somali community has further been stigmatized by the actions of some officers involved in the raid.” Police spokesperson Mark Pugash said he has doubts about parts of the woman’s story told Tuesday. He added many people in the community have come forward to thank police for their efforts.
Community vilified, Toronto Somalis say (Chris Doucette, Sun News Network)
Days after dismantling a dangerous Etobicoke gang without firing a shot, police officers have come under fire from some Toronto Somalis who claim their community has been “vilified.” But Toronto Police say community leaders speaking out in the wake of last week’s raids at Kingsview Village, also known as Dixon City, do not represent the majority of residents in the neighbourhood. “The feedback we’ve been getting has been overwhelmingly supportive,” spokesman Mark Pugash said Tuesday, responding to harsh criticism of police made earlier at a news conference organized by the African Canadian Legal Clinic.
Muslim Activism Done Right (Michael Volpe, Frontpage Mag)
The news pages, both in print and online, are routinely splashed with a plethora of stories about groups that claim to represent Muslims (think: CAIR) and that contribute to the demonization of the Global War on Terror (GWT). Rarely are readers exposed to a Muslim group that fights this demonization. But in Canada, a new group called the Progressive Muslims Institute Canada (PMIC) has been vocal in its opposition to Islamic jihadists, and they’ve been able to build bridges with the Jewish community.
New director/curator ‘delighted to be moving to the prairies’ (Irene Seiberling, Leader-Post)
“I’m really inspired by the idea of looking at all of Regina, in terms of engaging different communities. There are so many newcomers,” she said. The popularity of the RPL’s ESL programs will be reflected in offerings targeted at the city’s growing newcomer population, Matotek envisioned. A video artist, whose work has been screened internationally, Matotek also honed her administration skills. She has a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University, specializing in organizational studies, as well as arts and cultural management.
City OK’s plan to attract more immigrants (Samantha Craggs, CBC)
Hamilton needs to do a better job at attracting skilled immigrants, a local researcher says. In fact, our livelihood depends on it. Sarah Wayland is working with the city to establish an immigrant attraction plan, an effort that could result in a number of new services to draw newcomers. Immigrants account for about a quarter of Hamilton’s population, Wayland says. But they’re getting older, and we need to attract new faces with fresh skills. “Immigration should be seen not only through a community service lens, but also an economic development lens,” Wayland told the city’s general issues committee Wednesday.
Good ideas from around the world on creating opportunities for refugees (Dana Wagner, Maytree)
As Canada observes World Refugee Day on June 20, we reflect on our contribution and responsibility as a safe haven country. It is a day for Canadians to reflect on the refugees living in their communities. With any luck, you will know one of these exceptional people, whose courage and resilience seem impossible when held up to their experience. The stories of refugees in Canada are as unique as the individuals, but they share a common path: empty-handed arrival, often with one suitcase or less, to a lifetime of big and small successes in rebuilding careers, family and community.
World Refugee Day 2013 (UNHCR)
The focus of World Refugee Day 2013 is on the impact of war on families. The core message is “1 family torn apart by war is too many.”
World Refugee Day in Hamilton (Raise the Hammer)
Behind every attempt to seek refuge, there is a story. Hear from refugees and their experiences as they build their lives in Canada.
Celebrate World Refugee Day June 20th! (George Brown Law)
Join us on World Refugee Day (20 June, tomorrow) and show you are Proud to protect refugees How are you observing World Refugee Day tomorrow (20 June)? Join us in sharing why you are ‘Proud to Protect Refugees’ and help transform the conversation about refugees in Canada. Many CCR members and allies will be wearing and distributing Proud to Protect Refugees buttons, and there are more ways to get involved. Show your pride at work, at school, at city hall, at your place of worship and online. Raise refugee voices. Encourage groups and individuals near you to get involved. Need some ideas? Check out the ‘Proud to Protect Refugees’ webpage for a new pamphlet about the campaign, resources and more.
Two Hamilton refugees share their stories: World Refugee Day, June 20 (Hamilton Spectator)
In Iraq, Taymaa Mustafa had it all — a beautiful home, cars, a good teaching job, three loving children and a husband who was a medical doctor. But none of it comes close to the comforts of living in a safe country like Canada, she says. She wouldn’t trade her struggling Hamilton existence today for what she had in Iraq because here, she has what matters most: safety.
World Refugee Day 2013 (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.
Comment: Changing the way we talk about refugees (Brad Wassink Times Colonist)
With terms like “bogus refugees” and “queue jumpers,” our national conversation about refugees has become noticeably negative. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the issue of refugee health care, where last year the federal government made drastic cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program. This program had provided critical access to medication, diagnostic services and vision and dental care for refugee claimants awaiting approval to settle in Canada. There has been significant public pressure on the government to rescind these cuts, and rallies were held on Monday in 19 cities across Canada, including here in Victoria. The event brought together local doctors, nurses, midwives, lawyers and human-rights groups. Gagan Leekha, who co-ordinated the Victoria Day of Action, says: “It is unprecedented for this group of people to come together on an issue publicly like this.”
Health care cuts to refugees hurt everyone (Adrienne Silnicki, rabble)
On June 17, the Council of Canadians joined with hundreds of health-care professionals, lawyers, and refugee rights activists to protest the government’s discriminatory cuts to health care for refugees. Last year the government announced that it was making changes to the Interim Federal Health program which would take away all refugees’ rights to access even basic health-care services unless they posed a public health risk.
Time to raise the bar on refugee education (Chris Eaton, Vancouver Sun)
The numbers highlight the magnitude of the challenge: more than 15 million people in the world are living as refugees. They fled violent conflict in their home countries of Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Somalia or Sudan years ago and cannot safely return home yet. In the first five months of this year, more than one million Syrians have left home for fear of their lives, the majority of them seeking refuge in neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon. As the world’s refugee population grows, many are also affected by ongoing, protracted conflicts that last years and sometimes decades. Some families in the Dadaab camps in northern Kenya include three generations of refugees who have been there since the early 1990s. Youth and young adults in their prime learning years make up more than half these and other refugee populations worldwide.
Veteran Canadian journalist criticizes Harper’s policy on refugees (Tamilnet)
Karl Nerenberg, a veteran journalist with over 25 years of experience, came down sharply on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s policy towards refugees. In an article published on alternative news site on Tuesday, Nerenberg, giving examples of refugees from Syria, Sri Lanka and Hungary, criticized the Harper government’s approach to refugees for being ‘inconsistent’ and ‘stigmatizing’. Giving the examples of the Tamils from the island, he opined Harper’s position on holding the CHOGM in Sri Lanka was in contrast to his government’s policy towards Tamil refugees. He further alleges that the new refugee law in Canada gives the Ministry of Immigration “untrammeled power” to pursue a discriminatory policy.
2 comments on “Canada should be more welcoming to immigrants” (Medicine Hat News)
It is often been said a society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable. If that is so, then Canada might just be failing the test. It is easy to extend welcome to those who come to this country with money in their pockets, or bring with them a trade or profession which we as a society can profit by. It’s a lot more difficult to take a gamble on someone who comes to our nation with nothing but a desire to build a better life for themselves and their families. Successive governments in Canada have now been actively exempting refugees, except under more and more exclusive circumstances, from applying for citizenship in this country. Sweeping changes last year to the Refugee Act allowed the federal government to cut back health coverage to refugee claimants, limiting claimants to emergency care only.
Cuts to health care for refugee claimants ‘un-Canadian,’ doctor says (Luisa D’Amato, The Record)
Dr. Mike Stephenson brings his medical supplies with him in a plastic laundry basket — blood pressure cuffs, stethoscope, laptop computer. Stephenson started the Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre in April, operating two days a week in the library at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Kitchener. An examination table stands against the wall. He brings everything else with him so that the church can still use the room. The clinic looks temporary. But Stephenson’s commitment is solid. Here, among the shelves of children’s Bibles and inspirational books, ref
Iraqi refugees — leading an uncertain life (
Yahya Javed said the UNHCR had already sent his wife to Canada whereas he had been living in Pakistan for the last one year. Mohammad Salam, another refugee from Iraq, has a unique case. He said: “The UNHCR has sent my wife and daughter to Sweden and my son to Canada. I have been living in Pakistan for the last two years. I should also be sent to either country. At least I would be with someone from my family.”
Refugee health (CBC Calgary)
Doctors and concerned citizens gathered in Calgary today to protest the cuts to refugee health coverage. Doug Dirks talks to Calgary immigration lawyer Ram Sankaran.
Every 4.1 seconds someone becomes a refugee (The Week)
The number of people around the world who have been forced to flee home due to war or some other life-threatening crisis hit a 19-year high in 2012, according to a new report by the United Nations’ refugee office. In all, 45.2 million people have been displaced by conflict and crisis. “This means one in each 4.1 seconds,” says Antonio Guterres, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees. “So each time you blink, another person is forced to flee.” Here, a look at the extent of the global refugee epidemic, by the number.
Statement — Minister Kenney issues statement on the passing of Brian Goodman, Chairperson of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (CIC)
Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement on the passing of Brian Goodman.
Latest Media and Policy News: 19 June 2013 (ISAC)
Latest policy and poverty news mainstream media roundup.
Province Helping Newcomers Succeed (Gov of Ontario news)
Ontario is bringing together job creators from across the province to ensure that the skills of newcomers better match the needs of employers. As part of Ontario’s Immigration Strategy, the Minister’s Employers Table will partner with business leaders to help the province identify labour market needs.
Ontario Collaborating with Employers to Improve Opportunities for Immigrants (
New award for employers showcases leadership in integration, recruitment & retention of immigrants in Ontario.
Conference: Skills Development and At-Risk Populations in the 21st Century (Queen’s U School of Policy Studies)
The social role of a skills agenda is also critical. As the OECD has emphasized, without adequate education and skills, people languish on the margins of society. The ability of vulnerable populations (including Aboriginal communities, youth, persons with disabilities, displaced older workers, new immigrants, and others) to acquire and use relevant education and skills is central to their progress. In addition, ensuring equality of opportunity depends more than ever on equality of access to education and training for all Canadians, and the removal of barriers to their economic engagement. QIISP 2013 seeks to develop an integrated understanding of the role of a skills agenda in achieving both our economic and social goals in the decades to come.
e-Lert June 2013 (TRIEC)
In this issue:
Leadership Message TRIEC’s strategic planning process
What’s Working Learning from the best: winning diversity and inclusion practices from the 7th Annual IS Awards winners
The results are in: Mentoring improves employment outcomes for skilled immigrants Tools and Tips
New e-course on TRIEC Campus: Cultural Influences on Leadership Diversity and inclusion doesn’t need to be complicated
Council Member Corner Deloitte looked into HR trends on global and Canadian levels
Northwest employers eye skilled immigrants for hire (CBC)
A northern Ontario non-profit group is ramping up efforts to bring more skilled workers to the northwest. Laurentian University’s Professions North/Nord wants to make employers in northwestern Ontario aware of the pool of skilled immigrants in Canada looking for work.
Best Practices in Mentorship – EQUAL – A Distinctly European Experience (ERIEC)
ERIEC has always had an interest in exploring different mentorship programs that exist in other parts of the world. What are they doing in India or in Africa that might be different from the mentorship experiences here in Canada? What types of innovations might we incorporate into our models to provide a more effective mentoring outcome or experience? One that caught our attention recently is a project called EQUAL. This mentorship initiative is based on a transnational partnership model that was developed to help overcome gender segregation in the labour market by implementing strategies for cultural and practical change, specifically in the engineering, construction and ICT sectors.
Video: Meeting the Demand for Skilled Talent: BC Employer Solutions (IECBC)
BC is facing a looming skills shortage—and skilled immigrants will be crucial to filling the gap. Learn more about the issue and meet two BC employers who have already successfully (and profitably) incorporated skilled immigrant talent into their workforce.
Video: Closing the Skills Gap, Immigrant Employment Council of BC at the BC Chamber Annual General Meeting (IECBC)
Kelly Pollack, Executive Director of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC speaks to delegates at the 65th annual BC Chamber of Commerce AGM about the skills crisis in BC and the role immigrant employment can play.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada proposes regulatory changes to the temporary foreign worker program (Henry J. Chang, First Reference Works)
In early April 2013, it was reported that 45 Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) employees in Toronto would be losing their jobs because the company had outsourced some technology services to iGate, a California-based firm that specializes in sending jobs offshore. RBC faced a severe public backlash over the incident. Questions were also raised regarding how iGate had brought its own employees into Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), so that they could be trained at RBC offices. As a result of the RBC incident, the government of Canada announced several changes to the TFWP. On April 29, 2013, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (HRSDC) and the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, announced that they were introducing changes.
How Crackstarter Reflects a Growing Trend of Failure in Crowdfunding (Joseph Czikk, Techvibes)
But the sobering fact about people giving their money to a person or group’s campaign is that more than one out of every two projects fail to meet their funding objectives, and funders don’t always get their money back. In fact, just 44 percent of all Kickstarter projects succeed in hitting their targets. What’s likely more alarming is the percentage of those campaigns that hit their funding target but fail to deliver the product that they promised (like Crackstarter). Indiegogo’s percentage is thought to be within ten points of Kickstarter’s 44 percent by various bloggers. In an email Ringelmann offered this response: “Indiegogo doesn’t quantify this percentage because even if a campaign doesn’t reach its goal, it can still be considered a success.”

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 19, 2013


2013 Diversity in Governance Awards winners announced (Canadian Immigrant)
Maytree is honouring the winners of its Diversity in Governance awards for their commitment and innovative practices in creating diversity. The winners will be felicitated at a ceremony this week. Winners include health care center, The Blue Hills Child and Family Centre for ensuring its board of directors reflected and met the needs of the community, by deciding to implement a diversity recruitment strategy which transformed the board from 13 Caucasian men and women who were mostly born in Canada to full diversity with representatives from the local South Asian, Chinese, Filipino, German and Italian communities.

Osler recognized with diversity award (Clark Kim, Inside Toronto)
The winners of the 2013 Diversity in Governance Awards, which includes the William Osler Health System (Osler), will be recognized tomorrow for their commitment and innovation in creating diverse boards of governance. Osler was awarded by the Maytree Foundation in the public institution category for embracing diversity as a foundation for inclusion and equity and adopting new recruitment practices that have led to 54 per cent of board members representing various ethno-cultural communities.

Video: MALTON UNITED A film about the Trillium award nominated Malton Community Building Project
Diversity, Malton,Blacks and South Asians The Documentary Production Tantrum Creative | cultures building together in a small Canadian neighborhood.

Yes, Toronto City Hall Is a Joke, But It’s Not All Rob Ford’s Fault (Raja Moussaoui, Atlantic Cities)
More than half of Torontonians were born outside of the country, but a recent poll conducted by Ryerson University in Toronto showed that only 13 percent of the citys leadership positions were filled by visible minorities. In response, CivicAction has partnered with Maytree, a private foundation that works to battle poverty through leadership building. Together, theyve launched a program called DiverseCity: a Greater Toronto Leadership Project, which through a number of initiatives works to increase the opportunities available for visible minorities, Aboriginals and under-represented immigrant groups to enter into civic leadership positions. The organizations have taken the position that diverse leadership will help to ensure the regions social and economic well-being, by giving minority groups a greater influence and more sustainable means to help drive the the future of their city. The DiverseCity onboard program has placed over 700 individuals in governance positions within public agencies, boards, commissions and nonprofits throughout Toronto. While these initiatives have not managed to capture international headlines, they are defining a new generation of Toronto leadership. This is the story of Toronto that manages to flourish despite the circus at city hall, with Mayor Rob Ford in the center ring. “The world will go on, after Rob Ford,” says Berridge.

CMF Unveils Funding for Diverse Language Projects (Broadcaster Magazine)
The Canada Media Fund announced today $1.9M in funding to 10 projects that applied to the Convergent Streams Diverse Languages Program. Projects include television productions with digital media components in Mandarin (6), Spanish (2), Italian (1) and Persian (1). Of the 10 projects, five are documentaries, three are dramas, one is Childrens & Youth, and one is Variety and Performing Arts. Projects originated from Ontario (7), British Columbia (2) and Québec (1).

Embracing different ethnicities in Toronto leaves British writer confused (Yonge Street)
Toronto’s multiculturalism left one British writer slightly confused about the city’s curiosity for heritage. While visiting Toronto, Daniel Rouse met people from all over–Croatia, Ireland–and eventually began to wonder if Toronto lacked pride in its own Canadian identity. However, he reports that he soon realized much of this stems from an honest place and after speaking with local residents and shop owners, a great story of our city unfolded. He describes his experience in article that appeared in the Telegraph. He speaks with Jim Dai, originally from Shanghai, who has owned a small Portuguese wholesaling shop in Little Portugal for the last 10 years. Dai talks about learning English while working in a restaurant, and later picked up Portuguese simply by interacting with his suppliers and customers.

BMO Financial Group Receives 2013 Social Responsibility Award and BMO’s Simon Fish Honoured as General Counsel of the Year (Stockhouse)
BMO Financial Group received the 2013 Social Responsibility Award and Simon Fish, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the bank was named the 2013 General Counsel of the Year Award during the ninth annual Canadian General Counsel Awards (CGCA), held last night at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. BMO and the bank’s legal group were recognized for the significant work they are doing, within the bank itself and within the broader legal community, to drive change in the areas of sustainability and diversity.

Canada Launches Next Generation Open Data Portal (Stochouse)
Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, participated in today’s launch of the Government of Canada’s much-anticipated next-generation Open Data Portal (, which will provide unprecedented access to government data and information. “The new Open Data Portal is a remarkable tool that enables Canadians to easily access important information about immigration to Canada, and use this information to spur innovation and economic growth,” said Minister Kenney. “I encourage all Canadians to visit our datasets if they have not yet done so as the information is useful and relevant, and there is great potential for its use.”

Multicultural festival aims to represent Westons diversity (Hilary Caton, Inside Toronto)
Where else would you see GO Transits mascot, the GO bear, dance the salsa with a toddler in Weston? T he answer to that question is only at the fourth annual Weston Multicultural Festival. Latin band Pablo Terry and Sol de Cuba took to the stage Saturday, June 15 in Little Avenue Memorial Park and serenaded the crowd for a portion of the afternoon, until the Ghanian African dancers took the stage proceeded by Nritya Kala Madir Bollywood dancers. According to Weston Village BIA Chair Masum Hossain, it was about time Weston had a multicultural festival. There are a lot of different kinds of people (who) live here and we want to make sure theyre all represented, Hossain said.

77 Chinese students visas revoked (Globaltimes)
Canada’s immigration authority revoked 77 Chinese students’ visas last year, making China top the list of visa revocations among international students, China News Agency reported Tuesday. Citizenship and Immigration Canada released the statistics, saying that it nullified a total of 492 international students’ visas last year. Topping the list, China is followed by India, with 39 revocations, Pakistan, 31, and Nigeria, 29. An officer with the education office at the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in Canada was cited in a Shanghai Morning Post report on Tuesday saying that Canada revokes a number of Chinese students’ visas every year, and the general reason is because “the students’ grades are bad and the schools have persuaded them to drop out.”

Somali community claims police brutality in Dixon raids (CBC)
Outraged Somali-Canadian community members are accusing Toronto police and tactical squads of racial profiling and unnecessary abuse of innocent residents during last week’s Project Traveller raids in the city’s west end. “These innocent victims include senior citizens, children, single mothers and youth who were forced to live through the traumatic experience through no fault of their own,” Mahad Yusuf, the executive director of Midaynta Community Services, told reporters Tuesday at the Rexdale Community Hub.

Ottawa says man was Asian crime gang member and should be kicked out of Canada (Terri Theodore, Times Colonist)
The federal government says a man allowed into Canada 17 years ago should be kicked out of the country because there is ample evidence that he was part of an Asian crime gang. But in newly released written arguments, Lai Tong Sang’s lawyer said that Ottawa is basing its arguments on multiple layers of hearsay evidence that is unreliable. Lai, his wife and three children, became a permanent Canadian resident in 1996, but it wasn’t until 2011 when the family asked for citizenship that the federal government moved to eject them.

Diversity Ink – June 2013 (Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion)
In this issue:
A note from our CEO
CIDI in the News
CIDI Benchmarking Survey: Aboriginal Employee Networks.
Opinions; We’ve Got Lots of ‘em!
#CDNdiversity, We’re All in This Together

Toronto got #desified again (South Asian Generation Next)
desiFEST has become an annual highlight not only for the South Asian community, but for the city of Toronto as well. Recognized as Canadas largest South Asian music concert, desiFEST brought 12 hours of entertainment to Yonge-Dundas Square creating a platform for artists to showcase their talents. The concert was hosted by desiFEST founder SatsB, who kept the crowd engaged, entertained, and hyped throughout the day. The concert provided 19 acts of entertainment to a crowd of 30,000+ attendees.

The Turban as a Soccer Hazard (Billal Sarwar, South Asian Generation Next)
In recent weeks, the QSF (Quebec Soccer Federation) has banned the wearing of Sikh turbans on the soccer pitch citing, safety concerns. I completely agree. Although it may be a betrayal of my South Asian brothers, I feel its important that everyone finally know the big secret. Seemingly made of cloth, the turban is actually composed of a rare titanium alloy known as, Punjabium (not to be confused with artist Punjabium-C). In India, the metal is used to create bullets so powerful that they can literally shoot through the core of the earth. These bullets or balles can thankfully only be fired by very rare guns made of kevlar, diamond, 50cent and Jack Bauer. If a turban were to come undone during a soccer match, and a player were to accidentally make contact with it, he would instantaneously shatter into a thousand pieces. Im not necessarily sure if the QSF believes the turban possesses the capabilities outlined above, however they must know something we do not. Why else would they be the only Canadian province to ban the turban on the pitch?

Canadian MP tells Punjabis to take legal route for immigration (Punjab Newsline)
Ludhiana District Congress Committee president Pawan Dewan today said that the Punjabis interested in immigration to Canada must always adopt the legal route. Dewan, who returned from his two week to US and Canada, today said, that he was told by the Conservative MP from Don Valley East (Ontario), Jeo Daniel that the legal route was the best and the safest. He was honoured by Daniel during his visit to Canada. He said, there were a lot of Punjabis settled and working in Canada. He pointed out, once people land there after completing all the procedural formalities it becomes easy for them to settle down there and find work.


Refugee lawyers: Cuts to Interim Federal Health Program are ‘wrong and illegal’ (Peter Showler, rabble)
Peter Showler is Director of the Refugee Forum, University of Ottawa, and Co-chair of the Advocacy Committee of the Canadian Association of Refugee Laws (CARL). He gave the following presentation on Parliament Hill on Monday, June 17.

Refugees on their own? (Brandon Sun)
Meanwhile, back in Canada, hundreds of health-care workers and newcomers rallied in Winnipeg yesterday as part of the National Day of Action for Refugee Health Care. The rally, which took place in 18 other Canadian cities, was a response to the federal government cuts to supplemental health benefits for privately sponsored refugees who have been approved and invited to Canada. As the Winnipeg Free Press reported, during the refugees first year here, costs for items such as prescription drugs, prosthetic limbs, dental and vision care are no longer covered by the Interim Federal Health plan. The cuts took effect last year on the eve of Canada Day.

UN reports highest level of refugees since 1994 as Canada tightens policy (Maclean’s)
A total of 893,700 claims were submitted around the world, a three per cent increase from 2011 and the second-highest level of the last decade, the report said. The number of individual asylum applications registered with governments or UNHCR in 2012 reflects a continued increasing demand for international protection throughout the year, the report said. The new figures come as Canada is in the midst of a shift in refugee policy, changing everything from which refugees it will accept to how their claims are processed.

Refugee crisis reached unseen levels in 2012: UN (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
An estimated 7.6 million people had to leave their homes due to conflict or persecution last year, including 1.1 million new refugees who fled to another country for safety, says the United Nations. The Year 2012 was marked by refugee crises reaching levels unseen in the previous decade, said the U.N. High Commission for Refugees global trend report released this week. An average of 3,000 people per day became refugees in 2012, five times more than in 2010.

New UNHCR report says global forced displacement at 18-year high (UNHCR)
More people are refugees or internally displaced than at any time since 1994, with the crisis in Syria having emerged as a major new factor in global displacement. UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report, released on Wednesday, covers displacement that occurred during 2012 based on data from governments, NGO partners, and the UN refugee agency itself. The report shows that as of the end of 2012, more than 45.2 million people were in situations of displacement compared to 42.5 million at the end of 2011. This includes 15.4 million refugees, 937,000 asylum seekers, and 28.8 million people forced to flee within the borders of their own countries. The report does not include the rise in those forced from their homes in Syria during the current year.

The Spectators View: Refugee health cuts exposed as a failure (Jacqueline Bigar, Hamilton Spectator)
It’s been a year since the Harper government made changes to the Interim Federal Health Benefit, which in effect cut off most health care to refugee claimants. And as expected, the cuts have been proven wrong-headed and self-defeating. The government said the changes were necessary to prevent failed asylum seekers from taking advantage of Canada’s health care system. But, as described by Dr. Tim O’Shea, assistant professor of medicine at McMaster and internal medicine specialist, the cuts have effectively denied sick people medical care they need. Pregnant women are not getting adequate prenatal care. People with diabetes are not getting proactive treatment and support. Children with dental problems that could alter the course of their lives are not getting treatment. In Alberta, parents of a sick child were turned away from hospital because they couldn’t afford the registration fee. A new mother was charged several thousand dollars for having her baby delivered. And a seriously ill patient was unable to access an urgent care centre because he couldn’t pay.

A few myths and a few facts on refugee health-care cuts (Gabrielle Inglis, Hamilton Spectator)
Over the past year, the federal government has implemented cuts to refugee health insurance. Unsurprisingly, many individuals and families are suffering denied access to basic health care. These cuts have been strongly opposed by health-care workers across the country. The federal government has argued that cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program save money, make our health-care system more fair, and protect our immigration system from those who would abuse it. These arguments are compelling, but unfounded. In fact, there is considerable evidence to show that these cuts are unfair and costly to the health-care system and Canadian public. With so much confusion around why these cuts were made, what they entail, and how they fit into a complex immigration system, it can be challenging to tease out the facts from the rhetoric. In an attempt to provide a coherent response to arguments routinely made in defence of these cuts, we offer factual clarification for some common misconceptions.

BC doctors, nurses protest refugee health cuts (Carlos Tello, The Tyee)
Health-care workers and refugees gathered yesterday in downtown Vancouver to urge the federal government to reverse last year’s cuts to health care benefits for refugee claimants. The rally, held outside the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration office in Vancouver, was one of 19 organized across the country for the second National Day of Action. A year ago, the federal government introduced changes into the Interim Federal Health Program (IFPH) to end supplemental health-care benefits — including pharmacy, eye care, dental care, and coverage for illnesses not deemed a “public safety risk” — for non government-assisted refugees.

Refugee Care (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Bob Bell. He is President and CEO of the University Health Network.

Refugees ask Federal Government to Restore Benefits to New Refugees across Canada (Danny Garcia, TopNews)
A farmer, Kasim, with diabetes fled war in Ethiopia and settled in Winnipeg. He will now be getting insulin help from the provincial government to cover the cost of his treatment. Last year, the government announced to cut a program in place since 1957 in order to provide health benefits to privately sponsored refugees. A rally was attended by the Kasim, his wife Balkisa and 14-motold daughter 14-month-old daughter Milki. The rally was organized on Monday at the Central Park. The doctors across Canada organized The National Day of Action for Refugee Health Care in 19 cities. The decision for covering the Interim Federal Health Program cuts was applauded by the speakers in Winnipeg. Moreover, they requested the federal government to restore benefits to new refugees across Canada.

Calgarians join national protest of refugee health cuts (Jamie Komarnicki, Calgary Herald)
For 252 days, Modeste Nzenga languished in a Congolese prison. Nzenga, jailed for speaking out about abuses in his wartorn country, says he suffered regular beatings and inhumane conditions. Two years ago, after spending years in refugee camps in Kenya, Nzenga arrived in Calgary worn out and in search of healing for his physical and psychological wounds. The medical care and counselling services he received as a government assisted refugee in Calgary helped make all the difference getting him back on his feet, he said. I came to accept Im in a peaceful country. No one is out to get me. All my anxiety started to disappear, he said. On Monday, Nzenga joined advocates across Canada protesting cuts the federal government made last year to refug a Calgary bakery. These services are basic and important for refugees, said Nzenga, who works at a Calgary bakery.

Harper’s policy on vulnerable refugees is wildly inconsistent — and cruel (Karl Nerenberg, rabble)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney boasts that Canada is very generous when it comes to refugees — or, more precisely — government-sponsored, resettled refugees. The Immigration Ministry’s website puts numbers on that generosity. It says there are over 10 million refugees in the world (most in wretched refugee camps, which the web site fails to mention). Of these, about 100,000 are resettled each year. By 2013, the Immigration Ministry says, “Canada will resettle up to 14,500 refugees and other vulnerable persons a year” [italics added]. This number, the Minister boasts, makes of Canada one of the leading refugee-resettlement countries in the world. Canada is much less favourable, however, to refugees who arrive on these shores uninvited and unsponsored.
vulnerable members of our society.

N.L. doctors appeal to feds to reverse cuts to health-care for refugees (James Mcleod, The Telegram)
Doctors in Newfoundland and Labrador have joined voices with people from across the country who are calling on the federal government to reverse cuts to health care for refugees. At a news conference in St. Johns, doctors from the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association called federal cuts reckless and ill-informed. Since June 2012, changes to the program have resulted in important health services for refugee claimants being eliminated or restricted, leaving many patients to suffer in silence, said Dr. Pauline Duke, who is also a member of the Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care steering committee. Canadians recognize basic primary care as a human right, and we need to ensure that this is not taken away from some of the most vulnerable members of our society.


Poverty as a Human Rights Violation (PovNet)
This paper, Poverty as a Human Rights Violation by Vincent Greason, explores how six provincial anti-poverty strategies are remarkably similar in spite of the fact that they address differing socio-economic realities, have been developed by governments representing different political parties and (supposedly) differing political ideologies. He finds that none of the strategies address poverty as a human rights violation even though many human rights are directly related to poverty.

Ontarios Affordable Housing Crisis Is Centred In Rented Sector: New Report (Michael Shapcott, Wellesley Institute)
Ontarios affordable housing crisis is growing worse, especially in the private rented sector where most low and moderate-income households are required to find a home. Tens of thousands of very-low income renter households cannot afford private market rents and have been squeezed out of the traditional private rented sector, and relegated to substandard, secondary rental housing. Those are among the conclusions of the latest edition of Wheres Home a comprehensive review of affordable housing in Ontario. The Wheres Home housing series started in 1999 and provides a statistical overview of housing issues in Ontario and among about 30 communities across the province.

Half of First Nations children live in poverty (CBC)
Half of status First Nations children in Canada live in poverty, a troubling figure that jumps to nearly two-thirds in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, says a newly released report. “The poverty rate is staggering. A 50 per cent poverty rate is unlike any other poverty rate for any other disadvantaged group in the country, by a long shot the worst,” said David Macdonald, a senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and co-author of the report. The study released late Tuesday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Save the Children Canada found that the poverty rate of status First Nations children living on reserves was triple that of non-indigenous children.


TRIEC is hiring (TRIEC)
Two new positions are now available at TRIEC:
Program Delivery Coordinator, Employer Partners, The Mentoring Partnership
Intern, Corporate and Stakeholder Relations

Western premiers focus on jobs, economy (
A more responsive and flexible immigration system is a vital component of developing a skilled Canadian workforce, said the premiers. While new models for economic immigration are appreciated, existing Provincial and Territorial Nominee Programs continue to be essential tools to help meet economic and labour market needs.

Halifax businessman who paid employees $3.13 an hour faces 56 of counts of immigration fraud (Global News)
A businessman whose employees once cleaned Halifax Regional Municipality facilities faces dozens of counts of immigration fraud after a Canada Border Services Agency investigation. The agency alleges Hector Mantolino, owner and operator of Mantolino Property Services Ltd., paid some cleaners from the Philippines as little as $3.13 hour and told them to lie about their wages if they wanted to stay in Canada. The agency believes 28 people were victims of the fraud.

Event June 27: Conference: “Centering #Diversity for Workplace Equity” (Regional Diversity Roundtable)


How Should Funders Evaluate Charities? (Allyson Kapin,
The three powerhouses, Guidestar, Charity Navigator, and Better Business Bureau, that foundations, philanthropists, and donors use to seek out information and ratings about nonprofits released an open letter to the nonprofit and foundation world yesterday. They stated that donors should not measure a charitys performance based on overhead expenses. The letter hosted on the website comes on the heels of Dan Pallottas TED Talk and Keynote at NTC13, which sharply criticized funders and nonprofit rating service providers for penalizing nonprofits who spent what they considered too much money on administrative expenses, such as salaries, training, and benefits. Pallotta asked how the nonprofit sector can ever expect to compete with the corporate sector for talented leaders when nonprofits cant pay decent salaries and benefits. This is a topic that Amy Sample Ward and I also discuss in our book Social Change Anytime Everywhere in the chapter on Disrupting the Nonprofit Sector.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 18, 2013


Announcing Winners of the 2013 Diversity in Governance Awards (DiverseCity Toronto)
Join Maytree on Wednesday, June 19, as we honour the winners of the 2013 Diversity in Governance Awards for their commitment and innovation in creating diverse boards of governance.
The winners are:
Blue Hills Child and Family Centre (nonprofit category),
The City of Markham (local government category), and
William Osler Health System (public institution category).

An anti-democratic way to reform local democracy (Martin Regg Cohn, Toronto Star)
Democracy activists are trying to turn Toronto into a laboratory for electoral reform. Fair enough. As someone who is passionate about voter participation after reporting from abroad for a decade and watching people fight for the right to vote I strongly support their goals. Just not their unfair, unwise and anti-democratic means to achieve their democratic ends. Egged on by local reformists, city councillors are attempting a mischievous end-run around the people of Toronto in their misguided (albeit well-meaning) effort to increase election turnouts. Their ultimate goal is to use Toronto as a testing ground for province-wide and national electoral reforms that remain a hard sell.

News Release Montréal receives a new Citizenship Judge (CIC)
The appointment of a new Citizenship Judge for the Montréal area was announced today by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. Andrea Paine will serve as a full-time Citizenship Judge for Montréal.

More people failing revamped citizenship tests (CBC)
An increasing number of landed immigrants are struggling to complete the final stage before becoming citizens: passing the citizenship exam. The failure rates have increased significantly since Citizenship and Immigration Canada introduced new and harder tests last year on March 28 and July 23.

Thorold citizenship ceremony welcomes 48 new Canadians (Jeff Blay, Thorold Niagara News)
Forty-eight people officially became Canadian citizens in a special ceremony held in Thorold last week. The city of Thorold and the Thorold Community Activities Group partnered to host a citizenship ceremony Friday at the Nick Basciano Centre on behalf of the Niagara Falls Citizenship and Immigration Canada office. Judge T.R. (Ted) Salci led the ceremony, where 48 candidates took an oath of citizenship and were officially sworn in as Canadian citizens. In taking the oath, the new citizens accepted their rights and responsibilities as Canadians and were each presented with a citizenship certificate.

World Sikh Organization of Canada works with fraser Health to prepare Sikh Faith resources (Hainder Singh,
In a press statement by the World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) has announced, in partnership with the Fraser Health Authority, the launch of a compendium on the Sikh faith and best practices for Sikh patients. The announcement came during WSOs annual inter-community dinner in Surrey. The FHA serves an area that is home to the largest population of Sikhs in Canada.

World Day of Migrants Homily 2013 (B.C. Catholic)
This is a homily given by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Jan. 20. What a great pleasure it is for me to welcome all of you to your cathedral church, a church which belongs to everyone in the archdiocese, rich and poor, young and old, long-time Vancouverite, or recently arrived immigrant or refugee. Here, under the protective mantle of Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary, who showed such tenderness to the young couple of Cana when they ran out of wine at their wedding reception, you are welcomed to her embrace. This is Mary’s gift to us as we come together to celebrate Holy Mass on this World Day of Migrants and Refugees: she remains present to us as her people, as our mother and our advocate.

Canada tops list for immigrant businesses (Chris Riddell, Star Phoenix)
Canada is the country of choice for many immigrants searching for a better life. It also happens to be a popular destination for would-be entrepreneurs. The World Bank labelled Canada the best place in the G-7 to start a business, and thanks to an open immigration policy, a comparatively easy one to enter. Add a strong banking system, growing job market, and high standard of living, and it’s no wonder it tops immigrant entrepreneurs’ list. For many, the government’s Start-Up Visa launched in April is making Canada an even more appealing place.

Quebec’s nationalism run amok (Allan Levine, Winnipeg Free Press)
Say what you want about Pierre Trudeau, but he understood the pettiness and dangers of nationalism. In a provocative essay, written in September 1992 during the contentious debates around the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords, he suggested that entrenching Quebec’s demand to be recognized as a “distinct society” was “frankly racist.” Because as Trudeau argued, “there is a very good chance then that Quebecers of Irish, Jewish or Vietnamese origin — even if they speak perfect French — would have trouble claiming to belong to this ‘distinct society.’ ” Or, he might have added , young Sikhs who want to play soccer wearing their turbans.–run-amok-211939211.html

Video: ‘Pivot To Canada’ Campaign (HuffPost Live)
Canada’s pivot campaign is underway to attract more entrepreneurs and startups. If the U.S. doesn’t reform its immigration policy and soon, we may lose a great deal of skilled immigrants to Canada and other more inclusive countries.

Job Posting: CERIS Director
The CERIS Director will be responsible for the leadership and management of CERIS in fulfilling its goals and mandate, according to the research priorities and strategic direction set by the Management Board (the Board). The CERIS Director will lead all CERIS operations and activities, including: the development of networks of researchers, community-based organizations, government and other partners, the promotion of research collaboration among the Centres key stakeholders, knowledge exchange and mobilization activities, and staff and financial resources management.

In China, students prep for Canada with a B.C. education (Tamsyn Burgmann, Globe and Mail)
Its a muggy afternoon in June and high school students wearing T-shirts stamped with the image of Terry Fox stride past towering high-rises and scooters with honking horns in this small Chinese city thats been coated in haze from the local fiberglass factory for several days. For most, its their first time making the fundraising trek thats annual tradition half-a-world away in a country where they yearn to attend university. Teachers at Grand Canadian Academy, a private school certified to award British Columbia diplomas, hope the early Terry Fox run will ease cultural integration for students who have perhaps only visited Canada once before.

Diversity and equity in action: building faculty capacity through equity pedagogy (CAMH Education)
When the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto was looking for help building capacity on diversity and equity issues almost three years ago, they found expertise very close to home. CAMH made diversity and equity an organizational priority many years ago. Among the changes made at CAMH, mandatory training for staff and managers was been developed and has been constantly refined in an effort to establish practical applications for diversity and equity theory in every aspect of our work.

Deaf Russian painter refused permanent residency in Canada because he failed verbal language tests (Adrian Humphreys, National Post)
A Russian painter, deaf since birth, has been refused permanent residency in Canada because he did not meet the language proficiency requirement when tested verbally, despite getting near perfect scores when tested using sign language. The decision to reject Dmitri Smirnovs bid to remain in Canada because he did not meet listening and speaking language requirements angered deaf advocates who blasted it as discriminatory and called for American Sign Language to be seen as equivalent to English and French for immigration purposes. Im shocked that the criteria of verbalizing and speaking is necessary to come to Canada, said Chris Kenopic, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Hearing Society. Rejecting people from our country because of that is very unfortunate.


Documentary: Your Money Or Your Life (iChannel)
Canadians take pride in this countrys system of universal health care. But is it really as universal as we assume? If youre a new immigrant or a refugee, the answer is no. Thats the troubling message of Your Money Or Your Life, a new ichannel documentary that investigates the suffering newcomers to Canada face when they try to access the countrys health system. Until now, new immigrants and refugees have typically been fearful to speak out publicly on this issue. But their voices will be heard clearly with the ichannel documentary Your Money Or Your Life.

Refugee Health Care (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Dr. Vincent Lam. He is an emergency room doctor at Toronto East General Hospital.

“Building Bridges” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about the relationships between police and people in north Etobicoke, with Idil Burale. She is a community advocate who works with the police service’s Somali Liaison Unit.

Canada: Insist that refugees have a right to basic healthcare (Amnesty International Canada)
If you have a bad ear ache, chances are you will go to the doctor for medicine to treat an infection. But what if you are a newly arrived refugee in Canada? Will a doctor see you and, if you need them, send you for more tests? In June 2012, the government of Canada changed the way it provides basic healthcare to refugees in Canada under a program called the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP). Some refugees who have come to Canada in search of safety are now being denied basic, emergency, and life-saving medical care.

Toronto rally urges Ottawa to reverse refugee health cuts (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
On the one-year anniversary of Ottawas refugee health cuts, protesters urged Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to stop his bogus propaganda against asylum seekers. Mr. Kenney, come clean with the Canadian people. This policy is flawed. Its mean-spirited. Its cruel and you know it. Stop your attempt to score political points on the backs of some of the most vulnerable amongst us. Stop your bogus propaganda, Dr. Meb Rashid of Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care told 350 protesters at a Toronto rally Monday.

Refugee advocates say health cuts having ‘brutal’ effects (Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC)
Health care providers and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney are accusing each other of misleading Canadians about cuts to refugee health care in an ongoing battle that began almost one year ago. Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care and representatives of other medical groups held a rally and press conference on Parliament Hill on Monday and called on Kenney to reverse the cuts that were first announced June 30, 2012. The events were part of a national day of action with other rallies organized in more than a dozen cities.

Health workers march against refugee health care cuts (CBC)
Around 80 to 90 health care workers and concerned citizens met today in Kiwanis Park and marched across the University Bridge to the Royal University Hospital to protest refugee health care cuts. They joined health care professionals in 19 cities from over 20 health care organizations across Canada that held demonstrations today. Mahli Brindamour is a physician working for the Immigrant and Refugee Health Committee at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine.

Refugee health cuts protested in Canada (Maureen Mugerwa, CKOM)
The clouds were not going to stop healthcare workers protesting for refugee health in Saskatoon Monday. One of the organizers, Dr. Mahli Brindamour from the University of Saskatchewan, wants the government to to reverse the cuts to refugee health care. “These cuts have had dramatic consequences on our patients and on our health care system, but also on Canada’s international reputation, so we want Canada to reverse the cuts,” said Brindamour. In April 2012, the federal government made changes to the Interim Federal Health program (IFH) which is the health insurance program for refugees. The changes were effective June 30, 2012. According to the doctors for refugee care website, the IFH, before the cuts, gave refugees access to medical care and some other services.

Doctors: Refugee health funding cuts endanger public (Chroncile Herald)
Public health and the public purse are in danger because of cuts to refugee health funding, doctors and refugee advocates said Monday as they protested the cuts across the country. The federal government overhauled the health care coverage it provides to refugees and refugee claimants one year ago as part of a cost-cutting measure it also said was designed to make Canada less vulnerable to fake asylum claims by curbing access to free health care. But the changes have thrown the health care support system for refugees into chaos, creating uncertainty for health care providers and refugees alike, ad-vocates said.

Hundreds Gather To Demand Equal Health Care for Refugees (Desmond Cole, Torontoist)
Approximately 300 protestors gathered near the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration office at St. Clair and Yonge Monday afternoon, to demand an end to recent refugee health care cutspart of a national day of action that saw nearly 20 rallies take place across the country. Scores of doctors, nurses, and health care practitioners attended in medical scrubs and lab coats. Refugee advocacy groups and other concerned residents joined them to decry the anniversary of government cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program, a vital resource for resettled refugees and refugee claimants living in Canada. The IFH program provided basic, temporary health care services for refugees, including maternal care and coverage for medication. In explaining the rationale for the program, the Ontario Medical Association has warned that if a patient has a complex condition and doesnt receive care because they dont have health coverage or cant afford it, treatment will cost the province more in the long run.

A spoken word artist’s opposition to refugee health cuts: An interview with Ikenna Onyegbula (Samir Shaheen-Hussain, rabble)
On June 30, 2012, yet another draconian measure was implemented by the Conservative government: Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney went ahead with his latest (at the time) salvo against migrants by drastically cutting refugee claimants access to healthcare services. Some coverage — for medications, basic dental and vision care, rehabilitation services — is no longer available to any refugee claimant in Canada. Meanwhile, the IFHP cuts also introduced the concept of varying degrees of (limited) healthcare services being offered to refugee claimants based on what category they are from: for example, refugee claimants from a “Designated Country of Origin” (ie., designated by the Immigration Minister based on specious criteria) can effectively only access healthcare if they have a communicable infectious disease or if they are homicidal!

Cuts to refugee health care make us all losers (Annalee Coakley, Calgary Herald)
It’s been a year since the federal government cut health care for refugees – those who are among the most vulnerable members of our society, having fled persecution and often horrific violence in search of safety. Even though Canada has made a commitment to assist them, we have been denying many refugees access to basic health care since July 2012, when the federal government made significant cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program, which provides health coverage to refugees residing in Canada.

Doctors: Refugee health funding cuts endanger public (Chronicle Herald)
Public health and the public purse are in danger because of cuts to refugee health funding, doctors and refugee advocates said Monday as they protested the cuts across the country. The federal government overhauled the health care coverage it provides to refugees and refugee claimants one year ago as part of a cost-cutting measure it also said was designed to make Canada less vulnerable to fake asylum claims by curbing access to free health care. But the changes have thrown the health care support system for refugees into chaos, creating uncertainty for health care providers and refugees alike, ad-vocates said.

Calgary doctors call for reversal of refugee health cuts (CBC)
Doctors in Calgary joined their counterparts across Canada today in protesting cuts to health care for refugees. Calgary doctors who treat refugees say the cuts have made refugees wary of seeking medical care. Pediatrician Neil Cooper told the story of a five-year-old girl with a broken nose. She and her parents, who are refugee claimants from Mexico, left the hospital without treatment because they could not afford the $300 fee. “As physicians we put patients first. We wish the federal government would as well,” said Cooper.

St. Joes paying for care of refugees cut off by Ottawa (Metro News)
Hamiltons hospitals are starting to bear the costs of federal cuts to refugee care. I see the cuts beginning to bite, said Dr. David Higgins, president of St. Josephs Healthcare Hamilton. Were going to see more of these patients present to hospital. St. Josephs is caring for at least one refugee a week with no health coverage after the federal government made significant cuts a year ago, affecting, in particular, those from countries deemed to be safe by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Doctors decry refugee health care cuts (Stephanie Levitz, Metro News)
Public health and the public purse are in danger because of cuts to refugee health funding, doctors and refugee advocates said Monday as they protested the cuts across the country. The federal government overhauled the health care coverage it provides to refugees and refugee claimants one year ago as part of a cost-cutting measure it also said was designed to make Canada less vulnerable to fake asylum claims by curbing access to free health care. But the changes have thrown the health care support system for refugees into chaos, creating uncertainty for health care providers and refugees alike, advocates said.

$1 student levy uplifts refugees (The Record)
As one of three girls and 86 boys in a Grade 7 class in a refugee camp in Kenya, Saida Sheikh could never have imagined she would graduate from a university. Last week, the 24-year-old Somali woman did just that. She received a degree in international development and a minor in peace and conflict studies from the University of Waterloo. “I’m 100 per cent happy that I’m here. I get to change my life for the better and help myself,” Sheikh said. “This happened for a reason. It’s God’s plan for me to be here,” she added.–1-student-levy-uplifts-refugees/

Doctors plead for cuts to refugee health coverage to be reversed (Gloria Galloway, Globe and Mail)
Doctors and other health-care providers are pleading with the federal Conservative government to reverse the cuts it made to refugee health coverage, saying vulnerable people are being denied care, taxpayers are paying more money, and other Canadians are being put at risk. Health workers staged protests in 19 cities on Monday to highlight the problems they say were created a year ago when the government eliminated all medical coverage for some asylum seekers and cut the supplemental benefits including payments for prescription drugs, eye care and vision care of many others. What we are seeing in the last year as a result of these cuts is that refugees, in effect, are not able to access primary care, said Dr. Doug Gruner, a member of the group Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care.

Health workers march against refugee health care cuts (CBC)
Around 80 to 90 health care workers and concerned citizens met today in Kiwanis Park and marched across the University Bridge to the Royal University Hospital to protest refugee health care cuts. They joined health care professionals in 19 cities from over 20 health care organizations across Canada that held demonstrations today. Mahli Brindamour is a physician working for the Immigrant and Refugee Health Committee at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine.

School program helps young refugees get up to speed (Liz Monteiro, The Record)
Teacher Carolyn Burjoski brings out two stalks of sugar cane. “This is from my country,” belts out 10-year-old Daniel Boukel, who was born in Congo but fled with his family from war to Uganda before settling in Kitchener. Another student, who came to Canada from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, tells his classmates that sugar cane grows in his country and he’s eaten it many times because it’s a sweet snack. Mission accomplished. The connection has been made. Burjoski can now explain that Canada doesn’t grow sugar cane but imports this commodity something these refugee children know all about.

Identifying with refugees’ plight (Lethbridge Herald)
What would we do if we had to start over? The story on page A4 of today’s Herald asks a very good question: “If you had only one minute to flee, what would you take?” The question is being posed by Lethbridge Family Services – Immigrant Services in connection with World Refugee Day, which will be observed Thursday. It’s intended to encourage Canadians to try to put themselves into the shoes of refugees for a moment by imagining what they would do in a situation where they had to suddenly vacate their homeland.

O Superman (Leonard Doyle, IOM)
TO everything there is a season. Just as immigration reform is back on the agenda in the US, along comes the new Superman blockbuster Man of Steel, where the underlying theme is that of the immigrant experience. Not to put too fine a point on it, this movie frames the experience of migration in the most positive way possible and serves to remind how much migrants contribute, both to their adopted societies and countries of origin.

Canadian Red Cross highlights family reunification program during World Refugee Week (WSJ)
The Canadian Red Cross plays an integral role in the safety, protection and well-being of refugees around the world who have been affected by situations of conflict or disaster. One of the most important services the Society provides is Restoring Family Links, a program that helps reconnect families separated by conflict and disaster. “The Restoring Family Links program alleviates suffering and provides comfort to refugees around the world every year,” says John L. Byrne, Director General, Disaster Management at the Canadian Red Cross. “The confusion that accompanies humanitarian crises often separates families when they need each other the most. Long before most survivors seek out the necessities of life – food, water or shelter – they desperately try to find their family.”


Living Wage Canada
A Canadian Living Wage Framework: A National Methodology for Calculating a Living Wage in your Community. Resources for calculating the living wage, becoming a living wage employer, and participating in a national living wage campaign in Canada.

The Training Wheels Are Off: A Closer Look at the Canada Job Grant (Michael Mendelson and Noah Zon, Caledon)
In its March 2013 Budget, the federal government proposed a new skills training program called the Canada Job Grant. The program would provide up to $15,000 per trainee for employer-sponsored training, of which the federal government would pay one third if each of the sponsoring employer and the province or territory contribute matching funds. This report assesses the Canada Job Grant proposal and finds it to be deeply flawed. The proposal imposes an additional cost of up to $600 million plus administrative expenses on the provinces and territories while intervening with a unilateral federal initiative in a field recognized as within provincial jurisdiction. But aside from cost and jurisdictional issues, the Canada Job Grant is likely to deliver inferior results at higher costs, while remaining out of reach to many of the unemployed and underemployed Canadians it is intended to serve.

Canadian Social Research Newsletter : June 16, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Canada at a Glance, 2013 (Statistics Canada) – April 30
2. Report of Findings from Angels of the Road : 16 Months of Living with Canadas Homeless (Bonny L. Cameron) – June 2013
3. BC Poverty Reduction Coalition Newsletter : June 2013
4. Abbotsford (B.C) city staff caught spreading manure over a homeless camp (12 links, mostly to Abbotsford Today articles) – June 5
5. Canada Without Poverty News – April/May 2013
6. Who Spends More: Left or Right? (Montreal Economic Institute) – March 27, 2013
7. Network Tools : PDF Mergy and Google Scholar (Found in The Scout Report)
8. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics
— Saving and Wealth: The Adequacy of Household Saving in Canada – June 14
— Youth court statistics, 2011/2012 – June 13
— Adult criminal court statistics in Canada, 2011/2012 – June 13
— Employer pension plans (trusteed pension funds), fourth quarter 2012 – June 12
— Study: Unemployment dynamics among Canada’s youth, 1977 to 2012 – June 11
9. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

EI and Ontario Workers (CCPA)
Want to know more about how changes to Employment Insurance (EI) is affecting Ontarians? Join us for a special EI teach in at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto on June 20, 2013. This free public event includes the following roster of speakers: CCPA Senior Economist Armine Yalnizyan among others at the Ryerson Student Centre, Tecumseh Auditorium, 55 Gould Street, Toronto. Co-sponsored by: the CCPA-Ontario, Good Jobs for All, Toronto & York Region Labour Council, CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice & Democracy, CFS Ontario, and Ryerson Students’ Union.

Latest Media and Policy News: 17 June 2013 (ISAC)
A national roundup of policy and poverty news.


SMTCS Diverse Workforce Builds an Award Winning Company (hireimmigrants)
SMTC, a global Electronics Manufacturing Services provider, requires a workforce with strong engineering expertise and a specific skill set. It is not always easy to find, but for SMTC skilled immigrants are part of the answer. With over 95% of employees on the production floor in Markham, Ontario and 50% of the head office immigrants, SMTC values a diverse workforce.

Migrant Dreams documentary delves into temporary foreign worker issue (June Chua, rabble)
Award-winning filmmaker Min Sook Lee’s Migrant Dreams documentary project has a deep connection to her past — her Korean parents emigrated to Canada in the early 1970s and her father did menial labour, including picking worms, in order to provide for the family. “I appreciate the struggle,” says Lee. “There was a lot of anxiety because we were poor and new to the country, so I’m very sensitized to issues of migration, acculturation and diaspora.” Fast-track to 2013 and Lee (whose 2003 NFB film about Mexican farm labourers in Ontario, El Contrato, nabbed a Gemini nomination) is chronicling the hardships of Thai women who pick worms as part of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Her film also includes workers from other countries. The Toronto-based director is well aware of the differences between her father’s position and those of migrant workers today.

Canada Job Grant deeply flawed, report says (Dana Flavelle, Brampton Guardian)
Ottawa’s proposed Canada Job Grant is deeply flawed and should be abandoned, says a joint report to be released today by two policy think-tanks. Despite the upbeat TV ads Ottawa is running in support of its new $15,000-a-person training program, it’s far from clear the program will deliver the promised results or even get off the ground, says the report co-authored by the University of Toronto’s Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation and the Caledon Institute for Social Policy.

Statement by Minister on Protecting the Province’s Vulnerable Worker Programs (Gov of Ontario News)
Today, Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, released the following statement on potential changes to employment and training services in Ontario: “The Ontario government currently provides the training and support needed to build and strengthen the skills of vulnerable workers, and to help them find and keep work. Last year, Ontario invested $194 million in federal funding to help about 250,000 vulnerable workers, including Aboriginal people, youth, immigrants, those who have been out of work long-term, people with disabilities and social assistance recipients.

Ontario Government Objects to New Federal Job Grant Program (CICS News)
The provincial government of Ontario says the diversion of federal funds from existing employment and training programs to the new Canada Job Grant program would threaten vulnerable workers including youth and new immigrants. The Canada Job Grant program will spend $300 million in federal funds per year and will require matching funds from provinces and territories.

Businessman accused of exploiting foreign employees (CBC)
A 56-year-old Dartmouth businessman faces a slew of immigration fraud charges for allegedly exploiting foreign workers after an investigation by the Canada Border Services Agency. The agency alleges Hector Mantolino, owner of Mantolino Property Services Ltd., created false businesses and fraudulently submitted documents to Service Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.

Dartmouth businessman accused of counselling Filipino workers to lie about wages (CTV)
New details are emerging in the case of a Dartmouth businessman charged with 56 counts under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Its a case that one Halifax immigration lawyer describes as modern-day slavery. Hector Mantolino is accused of counselling 28 Filipino workers to lie about their wages if they wanted to stay in Canada.

Dartmouth business owner charged with 56 counts of immigration fraud (Ruth Davenport, Metro News)
The owner of a Dartmouth business that was raided in early April, putting the status of several foreign workers in doubt, is facing dozens of counts of immigration fraud. The Canadian Border Services Agency announced Monday that Hector Mantolino, owner of Mantolino Property Services Ltd., has been charged with 56 counts under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The CBSA alleges Mantolino was making false statements to government agencies about the wages he paid foreign workers, and of telling the workers to lie about the wages if they wanted to stay in Canada.


The Timebank @CSI (CSI)
The Timebank is a complementary currency that allows members of the CSI community to make exchanges of services without the need for money. Need someone to help you garden this weekend? How about some bookkeeping advice or a massage? The Timebank has a database of services offered by CSI members and all available for CSI Hours, instead of money.

The Talent Agenda: Why funders should support nonprofit networking (Talent Philanthropy Project)
While we often talk about how networking is key to career development and job seeking, we tend to gloss over the importance of networking in the development of a strong social sector. Networks are central to cultivating a talented, healthy, and diverse workforce for nonprofit organizations and social movements. But how do we create and support these networks? This post makes the case for why and how funders should support you and your organization in developing high-impact networks.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 17, 2013


Are you a city-builder? (DiverseCity Toronto)
We are calling for applications for the 2013 DiverseCity Fellows program. Apply now if you want to work with others on a city-building project, connect with a wide range of civic leaders, and strengthen your teamwork and leadership skills. Want to learn more about CivicActions DiverseCity Fellows program and Emerging Leaders Network? Join us for an orientation webinar on Thursday, July 27 from 12:00-1:00PM. Register online. Fellows bring their own perspectives to the program, and each takes away something different! Hear from some of the 2012 DiverseCity Fellows about their experience.

Permanent Resident Voting Isnt Backwards, Its Back To The Future (Desmond Cole)
Dissenters of the idea of permanent residents voting in our local elections, an idea Toronto city council endorsed this week, love to bang the drum of the status quo. Many reference, in the most superficial terms, the traditions enshrined within our British parliamentary system. They take offense at the mere suggestion of reform, as if the human and financial costs of our ever-lengthening citizenship process are mere inconveniences we must all bear. But why dont critics like the Globe and Mails Marcus Gee, who unfortunately called the request to enfranchise permanent residents a thoroughly backwards idea, ever mention that permanent residents have historically always been allowed to vote locally? This back-to-the-future proposal is a well-documented fact, and a seemingly inconvenient one for those who expect todays newcomers to pipe down and get back in line.

OCASI 35th Anniversary (OCASI)
For the past 35 years, OCASI has been actively involved in the promotion of the rights of immigrants and refugees in Canada. As things continue to change rapidly in our sector and with the Council, we see it necessary to take time to reflect upon and celebrate the continued efforts of our members and allies, as well as an opportunity to look into the future.

Globe and Mail Series on the growth of the Ontario city of Brampton – (Dakshana Bascaramurty)

Articles in this series:

A window to Canada’s future: how Brampton became a city to watch

How Brampton demonstrates the new vision of Canada

Diversity services in Brampton: A new frontier in treating patients

Tips on avoiding a clash between religious practice and medical

Diversity services in Brampton: A new frontier in treating patients

Video: How Brampton provides a glimpse into Canada’s future

Video: What one Brampton hospital is doing to accommodate its diverse population

Meet Harpal Singh, an Indian immigrant in Brampton

Sikh gurdwara reflects a radical openness to everyone

Five Thoughts about the Quebec Turban Kerfuffle (Navneet Alang, Ethnic Aisle)
Though a sensitive cultural issue in Quebec is a bit outside the purview of our Toronto-focused blog, given how it articulates so much about Canadian multiculturalism in general, I couldnt stay away from the topic. So here, in no particular order, are five points on the matter.

Behind the mask of perfection hides the flawed truth (Mohammed Al-Sharhan, Arab News)
How many times have you heard people repeating this sentence before, you would not see this in the western world, or If he was a westerner you wouldnt have seen him act this way. But why do Human Rights defenders in the Arab world constantly base their criticism on comparing between two different societies? Why are they deliberately trying to spread the view that their own society is a less civilized society that is a million miles away from the western perfect society? Although Canada is a multicultural society, the statistics of census of population have shown that the total number of interracial couples in 2006 was only four percent from the total number of 7,482,800 couples there. Also, the Canadian security intelligence investigations had conducted a poll in 2009 that have shown that racial crimes are up by 42 percent than it was in 2008, while the most common crimes were racial crimes with more than a half of the total number of hate crimes; religion, and sexual orientation had their fair share of the total hate crimes as well, with numbers of 29 percent that was reported to be crimes because of religion and 13 percent were crimes because of sexual orientation.

A reason not to become a citizen (Readers’ Letters, Toronto Star)
I have been living in Toronto for 10 years and I decided a long time ago not to become a Canadian citizen. Why? My reason is quite simple. My home country does not allow for dual citizenship. If it did I would run to the immigration office and become a true Canadian. The Canadian Immigration Act is very liberal compared to most other countries. I come from Norway and it does not accept dual status. I could give up my Norwegian citizenship, but after serious consideration I have chosen not to do so. The only reason being that my children can have dual status as long as I stay Norwegian. If I give up my Norwegian status, my kids would lose their status as well. I want them to have the right to make their own choice when they are old enough.

Who is a good citizen? A good MP? Deserving of voting rights? This week in #cdnpoli identity crises (Leora Smith, Samara Canada)
Electoral reform alert! Toronto city council voted to support ranked ballots in municipal elections (read more here) and to let permanent residents vote. Now its up to the province to give them the O.K.

Survey shows immigration flows rising in OECD countries (
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has released its International Migration Outlook for 2013. The report shows that the level of immigration in OECD countries is rising but remains lower than it was before the economic crisis of 2007. Permanent immigration to OECD countries rose by 2% in 2011 and by a further 2% in 2012. It also finds that the number of international students continues to rise. There were over 2.6m such students in 2010. By far the greatest number of migrants, 1.06m, settled in the US in 2012. Next came Russia (413,000), Spain (349,000), the UK (321,000) and Italy (312,000). The US also has the highest total immigrant population. 40.38m people who reside in the US were born elsewhere. This compares with 7.43m in the UK, 6.93 in Canada and 6.03m in Australia.

CIC announces proposed changes to ‘dependent children’ definition – International Law Office (International Law Office)
On May 10 2013 Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced proposed regulatory amendments that will narrow the definition of ‘dependent child’ by reducing the age limit to children under the age of 19 and removing the exception for full-time students. Once implemented, this proposed change will adversely affect the dependent children of all prospective immigrants to Canada.

Proposed reduction in age of dependent children (CCR)
The proposed changes will likely be published in the Canada Gazette on May 18, with a 30 day period for comments. This means that groups concerned about these proposals will need to give their comments to government by Monday June 17. For an update on where to send comments, check back here:

Are Canadians ready to be represented by their elected visible minorities? (South Asian Focus)
Even as the outcry against the decision in Quebec to ban kids from wearing patkas or keskis while playing on the soccer field rises to a crescendo, the issue of race continues to be a contentious one across Canada. The words themselves may variously address such terms as religious accommodation or human rights or diversity equity or visible minorities and these terms no doubt speak to different aspects of a central theme but make no mistake about it, for its the issue of race that stitches together all these words.

Revised Canadian citizen test results in more failures (Agora Cosmopolitan)
More people than ever are failing the citizenship exam since Immigration Canada increased the difficulty level of the test last year in March of 2012. The CBC reports that there is a correlation between education level and how much of a decrease can be seen in their pass rate. For example, those with a bachelors degree saw an 8 % decrease in their pass rate, whereas those with a high school education dropped as much as 15 %. It should also be noted that those with a bachelors education and above fall into the immigration category called economic class and are seen as most likely to stimulate the Canadian economy. Those who fall into a family class may have lower levels of education and are interested in coming to Canada to reconnect with family members who already live there.

Love or country? Immigration law means hard choices for gay couples (Moni Basu, CNN)
Canada is the top destination for same-sex binational couples in the United States because of proximity and its immigration system. Canada uses a point system to determine who will be allowed in to live and work. Applicants are awarded points for proficiency in education, job experience and language skills. If one partner qualifies for immigration status in Canada, he or she can sponsor the other.

Canada surfs Silicon Valley for immigrant startups, but can it keep them? (Danny Bradbury, Financial Post)
Who knew Canadians could be so cheeky? tweeted Paul Graham, one of the founders of San Francisco-based tech accelerator Ycombinator last month. The tweet accompanied a picture of a billboard, looming above the 101 highway. H-1B problems? It commiserated. Pivot to Canada. New Start-Up Visa. Low taxes. Canada is surfing Silicon Valleys neighbourhood, looking for immigrant talent. But if we get it, can we keep it?

Start-Up Visa is just the beginning for immigrant entrepreneurs (Chris Riddell, Financial Post)
For many, the governments Start-Up Visa launched in April is making Canada an even better place to start a business. The program, which awards permanent resident status to those who qualify, is a huge incentive. The 2,750 visas are intended to attract the best and brightest, which means applicants must meet a set of criteria to qualify, and even if a visa is awarded it doesnt guarantee success for the business. Naeem Noorani knows how difficult a new start can be. He came to Canada 15 years ago and unable to find a job in the world of advertising he took a job in publishing. A round of layoffs in 2003 again left him looking for a job. Unable to find a good paying position, he decided to start a business.

Terry Fox preps Chinese students for Canada (News1130)
Zhang has been accepted into the business management program at the University of B.C. (Okanagan campus), while Zhou who designed the T-shirts her peers are wearing will attend Torontos York University to take fine arts. The pair are among a graduating class of 27 students in the school of 124 who next year will also attend institutions including the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, the University of Western Ontario, the University of P.E.I. and St. Marys in Halifax. But while these soon-to-be international students from mostly affluent Chinese families have put in vast hours of not only academic study but preparatory efforts for a smoother transition to life in the West, statistically its expected most from this school will return home again with their highly-regarded Canadian degrees.

The new African Diaspora in Vancouver (Gillian Creese, rabble)
Editors Note: This article is the first in a Mainlander series that will bring the research of academics into the public sphere. The aim of the series is to further our understanding of Vancouvers many hidden corners while strengthening connections between local movements. In particular, we hope to disseminate research whose true importance lies beyond the university. Gillian Creese is a Professor of Sociology at UBC and the article is based on her 2011 book, The New African Diaspora in Vancouver: Migration, Exclusion and Belonging (University of Toronto Press).

Quebec soccer federation scraps controversial turban ban after FIFA ruling (Ryan Remiorz, Calgary Herald)
Quebec’s soccer federation is ending its much-criticized turban ban. The organization made the announcement one day after soccer’s world body said wearing turbans on the pitch was acceptable. The ban prompted the Canadian Soccer Association to suspend the Quebec Soccer Federation earlier this week.

Poll: Over 80% of Canadians support stripping citizenship from Canadian terrorists (Jason Kenney)
A poll conducted by NRG Research group in October of 2012 showed that Canadians overwhelmingly support stripping citizenship from convicted terrorists. Detailed results are below. Over 80% of Canadians support stripping citizenship from convicted terrorists, regardless of voting preference, country of birth, age, gender, or region.

Petition: NDP defends citizenship for convicted terrorists (Jason Kenney)
Convicted terrorists should be stripped of their Canadian citizenship. Anyone who commits terrorist acts in Canada or abroad has clearly renounced their Canadian citizenship by rejecting Canadian values and the loyalty to our country that citizenship requires. I believe it is absolutely shameful that Thomas Mulcairs NDP are fighting against stripping Canadian citizenship from convicted terrorists.


Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care spearheads national protests (Sun News Network)
Doctors, nurses and medical students across Canada will once again urge the government to “reverse the reckless cuts to refugee health care.” Organized by Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, the second coast-to-coast National Day of Action will feature protests in 17 cities Monday. “It has been almost one year since the government made changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) which has left many patients including sick children and pregnant women fleeing sexual violence suffering,” the CDRC said in a statement. “These events are a demonstration of health care workers and allies unwavering support of refugee patients and ongoing opposition to the IFH cuts.”

Day of Action June 17, 2013 (Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care)
Join us for a National Day of Action on June 17th, 2013! Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care is organizing a second National Day of Action on June 17th to take the facts directly to the streets and tell Canadians the consequences of the federal governments cuts to refugee health care. Despite widespread opposition from a broad group of health care workers across Canada, the federal government has implemented cuts to health insurance for refugees. As predicted, many are suffering as a result. There have been well documented cases of people being denied care including pregnant women and sick children. Health care workers join others in continuing to speak out for those who do not have the opportunity to do so. Join us on June 17th for the second National Day of Action. It is an opportunity to show the Federal Government that Canadians will stand up for the most vulnerable among us.

Support Refugees in Canada (St. Joseph’s)
What: National Day of Action to Stop Cuts to Refugee Health Care Where: Parliament Hill Facebook: The Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care are organizing their second National Day of Action to urge the federal government to rescind last years cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program. Join them on Parliament Hill to show your support.

Rally for newcomers’ health care (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
Hundreds of health-care workers, newcomers and their friends are set to rally at noon today in Central Park to celebrate Manitoba’s “compassion” and to call for help for refugees in other provinces suffering without health benefits. The National Day of Action for Refugee Health Care is being held in Winnipeg and 18 other Canadian cities and is organized by doctors and health-care providers. It’s a response to the federal government cuts to supplemental health benefits for privately sponsored refugees approved and invited to Canada.

Join the June 17 day of action for refugee health (Jesse Mclaren,
These are some of the results of the Harper governments cuts to refugee health care over the past year. According to Dr. Meb Rashid, medical director of the Crossroads Clinic at Women’s College Hospital. The patients we see have fled unimaginable terror to seek a safer life in Canada, and our government is telling doctors that they cannot provide necessary treatment. On April 25 of last year, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced drastic cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program, implemented on June 30. Kenney claimed the cuts would be fair, save money and protect public health — and all these claims were bogus. As the Canadian Council for Refugees immediately predicted, the cuts would create a two-tier system of refugee care, deny essential medical care, institutionalize gender discrimination and offload costs to the provinces. Thats exactly what has happened.

Refugee Care: We Are Standing Up To Say That This Is Wrong (Huffington Post)
Today, as we celebrate the National Day of Action against the Refugees Healthcare cuts on June 17th, I decided to interview Benjamin Langer, a third-year medical student, to enlighten Canadian readers regarding the budget cuts in Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP). Benjamin currently holds the position of National Officer for Human Rights and Peace for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, in this role coordinator the organization’s Global Health Advocacy Program. He has been involved with activism for over a decade, ranging across many ecological, human rights, and social justice issues. The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) is a program managed by the canadian government that provides access to health care for refugees and refugee claimants in the country. Last June, an important part of its funding was cut, restricting even more the limited provided coverage for “essential and urgent services.” Many groups of physicians and other health professionals advocate to cancel or amend those disastrous changes, without any major success so far.

Viktoria Mohácsi seeking asylum in Canada (Mirjam Donath, Scotsman)
From being a leading human rights activist and member of the European Parliament, she is now an asylum-seeker living in a one-room flat in Toronto, Canada. The 38-year-old mother of three fears if she returns to her native Hungary, her life will be in danger, because she is a Roma.

Threatened with torture abroad, faced with limited health coverage in Canada (Julia Wong, Global News)
Isaac Ochwo fled his native Uganda for Canada after he was threatened with torture for his human rights activism, but he is facing another battle in this country: limited healthcare coverage for refugee claimants. Ochwo, 35, arrived in Halifax in early April. He was forced to flee because the Uganda government was displeased with his work advocating for childrens rights, womens rights and gay rights. Ochwo says the decision was hard to make but he did not have a choice. I came to Canada because I had to come, in order to be alive, he said simply.

EU lawmaker to Canada asylum seeker: A Roma’s long trek (Mirjam Donath, Reuters)
Less than four years ago, Viktoria Mohácsi enjoyed the life of an international politician, eating at pricey restaurants in Brussels and winning awards as a human rights activist. Today, the 38-year old mother of three sleeps on the floor of a one-room basement apartment in Toronto and faces deportation. As a political asylum seeker, she hopes to convince Canada that the life of a former member of the European Parliament could be in danger in a democratic country like Hungary.

Hospitals paying for federal cuts to refugee care (Joanna Frketich, Hamilton Spectator)
Hamilton’s hospitals are starting to bear the costs of federal cuts to refugee care. “I see the cuts beginning to bite,” said Dr. David Higgins, president of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. “We’re going to see more of these patients present to hospital.” St. Joseph’s is caring for at least one refugee a week with no health coverage after the federal government made significant cuts a year ago, affecting, in particular, those from countries deemed to be safe by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Open doors to refugees: council (Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now)
Canada needs to better support refugees – that was the key message coming from the Canadian Council for Refugees, which held a national conference in Burnaby recently. “We need to continue and reopen the doors and be proud to protect refugees,” said Loly Rico, the council’s president. The three-day conference was held at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, from May 30 to June 1, to share best practices and advice on how to create secure and welcoming communities for refugees.

Opinion: Cuts depriving refugees of essential care (Camille Gérin, Montreal Gazette)
In June of last year, the federal government made drastic cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program, the health-insurance plan for refugee claimants and refugees. These cuts to different types of coverage, depending on refugee category and country of origin, are discriminatory and arbitrary, and deprive many refugees of essential health care. Over the past year, along with other health-care providers across Canada, we have documented numerous cases in which refugee claimants have faced demands for fees or refusal of health care, compromising their well-being and undermining their dignity.

Reasonable Doubt: Tortured Nigerian barred from making refugee claim (Carmen Hamilton,
In her article last week, Laurel Dietz related the story of Ugochukwu Nwanebu (“Ugo”), a Nigerian national who was convicted of using his uncle’s passport to enter Canada. Due to his ethnic origin and his participation in a non-violent political group, Ugo had been subjected to interrogations and torture at the hands of the Nigerian police, and was fleeing Nigeria to escape persecution. Ugo saw Canada as a safe haven. Unfortunately, he did not understand how to make a refugee claim.

Take a stand for refugee health (Chronicle Journal)
I have just completed my first year at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. I am the global health advocate for my school and I am also involved in immigrant and refugee health. On Monday, several cities in Canada are participating in the National Day of Action to stand up for refugee health. In the past year, there have been drastic changes to policies on refugee health care. On June 30, 2012, changes to refugee health through the Interim Federal Health Care Program (IFHP) were implemented. The IFHP is the program that funds health care for refugees in Canada. Prior to the changes, all refugees received the same health care, which is similar to provincial health care coverage for people receiving social assistance.

Newer refugees struggle more over time (Jeff Outhit, The Record)
Drawing on a Statistics Canada database, The Record analyzed average incomes for refugees who landed in Waterloo Region between 1996 and 2010, who filed tax returns here and who declared an income.

Local services ease often painful transition for refugees (The Record)
When they look in the mirror, they see themselves as Somalians, Sudanese or Ethiopians. But when African youth arrive in Canada, they are often labelled as black. “In Africa, we were identified by our country, but here you lose your identity,” said Sadia Gassim, a Somalian who arrived in Canada with four sons in 1993. “Our children have the identity of black. The dominant culture saw them as black,” she said. “Accepting that label is very hard.”

Refugees still welcome but fewer are coming (Jeff Outhit, The Record)
Imagine that you have been threatened and must flee your home and country. It’s not safe for you to return. Waterloo Region could be your safe haven. In the last decade, 5,444 international refugees resettled in the region after fleeing violence or oppression abroad. Although this is a refuge, it’s a strange place with a new language, unfamiliar weather and different customs. You have to learn English, find an affordable place to live, find a family doctor and find work. “Settlement trauma can be even harder,” said Mira Malidzanovic, who directs programs at the Reception House in central Kitchener where many refugees spend their first weeks. Refugees bring trauma and pain with them and then face new hardships.

Refugee family now calls the region home after escaping Iraq (Luisa D’Amato, The Record)
She just had a feeling that something wasn’t right in her house. Something told her to get out. So Sajidah Ghadhban quickly gathered her three children and went next door to her sister’s place. A few minutes later, her home blew up. Nothing was left but rubble. Ghadhban and her children Mohammad, 16, Eman, 14, and Ali, 12 had been targeted by the terrorist group al-Qaida in their native Iraq. After their home was destroyed in 2005, they fled to Lebanon, but weren’t really safe there either.

Timeline of refugee settlement in Waterloo Region (Luisa D’Amato, The Record)
From the 1840s to today.

The Conservative Assault on Refugees (Larry Rousseau, Huffington Post)
If there is one aspect of the federal Conservatives’ program to reshape Canada that best encapsulates the values that inform their actions, it is the new, cold treatment refugees arriving at Canada’s doorsteps are now facing. Changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), which previously provided refugees with healthcare in line with programs available to Canadians on social assistance, were announced in Budget 2012 and came into effect last June. Under the revised IFHP, all refugees (including children) lose access to medication coverage and vision and dental care. Moreover, all refugees arriving in Canada from one of some 35 countries deemed “safe” by the Conservatives lose all health coverage, including urgent care.


Canada Job Grant program is deeply flawed, report says (Barrie Mckenna, Globe and Mail)
Ottawas $900-million job grant scheme is a windfall for companies that already train workers, opens few new opportunities for the unskilled and saps funds from existing government efforts, according to a new report. The program is deeply flawed public policy and should be scrapped, say the authors of a report to be released Monday by the Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto and the Caledon Institute of Social Policy. A government incentive program to do something governments are already doing doesnt seem to make much sense, Mowat director Matthew Mendelsohn said in an interview.


Survey shows widespread ESA violations, including pay below minimum wage (Workers’ Action Centre)
A recent study released by the Chinese Canadian National Council-Toronto chapter documents widespread employment standards violations facing Chinese workers. The study One Step Forward, Two Steps Back found that 20% of workers surveyed were paid less than minimum wage. Many workers described problems getting paid on time or at all. 45% of workers reported working hours that they did not get paid for, and 19% said they had been paid late. Only half of the workers received public holiday pay and a shocking 77% of workers said they did not receive any overtime pay.

Migrant Workers Are Parents Too (UFCW)
Migrant workers are parents too. Each season, migrant agricultural workers leave their families for as long as three years to do hard and gruelling work to put food on the tables of Canadian families. Now, the Harper government has attacked some of the most vulnerable workers in Canada by disqualifying migrant workers from Employment Insurance (EI) parental and compassionate care benefits despite the fact that migrant workers must continue to pay over $25 million a year in EI premiums, and have paid hundreds of millions of dollars into the EI fund for decades.

Campaign Sends Harper a Message that “Migrant Workers Are Parents Too” (Marketwired)
As Father’s Day approaches, a national grassroots, multimedia, and postcard campaign has been launched by UFCW Canada and the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) to tell the Harper government that “Migrant Workers Are Parents Too”, and to re-instate the right of migrant agriculture workers who contribute to Employment Insurance to have equal access to the Parental Benefits of the program. The activism kicks-off Friday, June 14, with the launch of national web-based “Migrant Workers Are Parents Too” campaign delivered to Stephen Harper (

Accused wasnt going to discard Filipino nanny like a piece of trash, defence lawyer tells jury (Keith Fraser, The Province)
A man accused of enslaving a Filipino nanny knew that she was in Canada illegally but didnt want to put her out on the street like a piece of trash, the accuseds lawyer said Tuesday. Franco Orr and his wife Nicole Huen have pleaded not guilty to human trafficking charges arising from an allegation they brought Leticia Sarmiento to Canada from Hong Kong under false pretences. Sarmiento has claimed that things went well in Hong Kong but that her life changed dramatically when she arrived in Vancouver and that she was kept in domestic servitude for nearly two years.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 14, 2013


#cdndiversity a new conversation on Twitter (Maytree)
You may have seen it already the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion (CIDI-ICDI) started using a new hashtag on Twitter: #cdndiversity. We thought it was a great idea. We tweeted it out and suggested that Canadians tweeting about diversity start using it.

Immigration Cost to Countries Is Overstated, Study Finds (David Jolly, New York Times)
Public debate about immigration is being distorted by unfounded concerns over the financial burden that new arrivals put on governments, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report on Thursday. Across the developed world, the fiscal impact of immigration is close to zero, the organization said in the report, which compares the costs of immigration internationally. The current impact of the cumulative waves of migration that arrived over the past 50 years is just not that large, it added, whether on the positive or negative side.

Multiculturalism: More than Cultural Diversity (Isabelle Lafontaine-Émond, Library of Parliament)
In Canada, one in five people is foreign-born, and more than 200 ethnic origins have been reported. Given this situation, it is interesting to compare the way in which Canadas multiculturalism model manages growing pluralism with how integration models elsewhere in the world do so. Canadian multiculturalism Multiculturalism defines society as a mosaic of communities. It does not provide recognition to the culture of the majority, or founding peoples. Indeed, the Canadian Multiculturalism Act advocates the recognition and appreciation of the diverse cultures of Canadian society, as well as the promotion of the expressions of those cultures.

Diversity reigns among wealthy Canadians (
The study found that two-thirds (67%) are self-made millionaires, making their wealth on their own, while only one-in-five (20%) attribute at least part of their wealth to an inheritance. Additionally, almost half (48%) are either immigrants to Canada (24%), or describe themselves as first-generation Canadians with at least one parent born outside of Canada (24%). Within this group of new Canadians, more than two-thirds (68%) reported that their wealth was self-made. Interestingly, the study found that new Americans account for only one-third of the wealthy in the U.S.

Nearly half of our millionaires are immigrants, new Canadians (CTV)
A new survey finds close to half of the country’s millionaires are either immigrants or first-generation Canadians who made the bulk of their money after their arrival to the country. By comparison, only 20 per cent of respondents attributed at least part of their wealth to an inheritance. The BMO Harris Private Banking survey found that 48 per cent of Canadians with liquid assets of $1 million or more were either immigrants (24 per cent), or first-generation Canadians (24 per cent), meaning they had at least one parent born outside the country. In British Columbia, a full 68 per cent of the millionaires said they were new Canadians.

Video: The new profile of Canadas richest (Business News Network)
Close to half of Canada’s high-net-worth individuals are immigrants or first-generation Canadians, says a new study. The survey conducted for BMO Harris Private Banking found that 48 percent of the country’s affluent – those with investable assets of $1 million or more – are either immigrants (24 percent) or describe themselves as first-generation Canadians with at least one parent born outside the country (24 percent). In the United States, only one-third of the wealthy are either immigrants or first-generation Americans, according to the report. The poll also concluded that 67 percent – or two-thirds – of wealthy Canadians are self-made millionaires, with 20 percent attributing at least part of their wealth to an inheritance.

NDP filibuster would-be bill to strip terrorists of Canadian citizenship (Tobi Cohen,
Furious with the Conservative Party for its attempt to overhaul a private members bill to include provisions to strip Canadian citizenship from convicted terrorists, the NDP has launched a filibuster in whats shaping up to be a He Said, She Said procedural battle. Devinder Shory, the Conservative behind Bill C-425, said the NDP has reached a new low by standing in the way of efforts to protect the safety and security of Canadians and integrity of Canadian citizenship. NDP immigration critic Jinny Sims, meanwhile, said the Conservatives are abusing parliamentary process and usurping private members business to push forward the governments agenda.

Citizenship stripping bill sparks late-night clash at committee (Kady O’Malley, CBC)
As the House continues to meander its way through the government’s legislative priority list, a pitched battle is underway at Citizenship and Immigration over Conservative MP Devinder Shory’s bid to strip citizenship from dual nationals who commit acts of war against Canadian soldiers. At press time, the details of the ongoing dispute are somewhat sketchy, but reports suggest that the opposition parties are attempting to stop the Conservatives from using their majority to extend the existing deadline for sending the bill back to the House by an additional 30 days, which would, in theory, give them sufficient time to incorporate the substance of Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s musings on the matter earlier this year by extending it to cover acts of terrorism as well.

Public Citizen: Red tape cut to help Haitian toddlers adoption (Hugh Adami, Ottawa Citizen)
It appears that Smith, the Haitian toddler being adopted by a Kanata couple, will be in Canada sometime in the coming months after all. As recounted in Thursdays Public Citizen, a sponsorship application for permanent residency from the mother-to-be, Sarah Currie, had still not made it to the processing stage by Wednesday even though the papers arrived at Citizenship and Immigration offices in Mississauga on June 4. But late Thursday morning, the department emailed Currie to tell her she meets the requirements to sponsor Smith as a permanent resident.

Let ethnic vote evolve in Canada (Joe Jeerakathil, Star Phoenix)
I sincerely wish that politicians such as Kenney leave the ethnic communities alone. Are these groups considered easier to brainwash and possible prey to the blandishments and promises of a golden era if they vote Conservative? Let minorities evolve. Given time, they will figure out Canada’s political contours. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with political parties seeking support in a whole range of communities. It is highly desirable for parties to appeal to voters simply as citizens, not as hyphenated Canadians. Politicians should refrain from influencing ethnic communities with hyperbolic nonsense. And ethnic communities shouldn’t swallow lock stock and barrel what politicians tell them. Strident political apparatchiks such as Kenney are just politicking when they try to woo their votes.

On the soccer pitch, we are all Sikhs now (John Ivison, National Post)
Soccer player Yiannis Amir, right, with teammates Thomas Plante St-Cyr, left, and Kairbek Mourtazov wear turbans during practice of FC Brossard U14AA on Monday June 10, 2013 at Poly-Arena park in Brossard, Quebec. Pierre Obendrauf / Postmedia News A YouTube video has been circulating among the members of my OldTimers soccer team, entitled: How to tie a turban. The team, based in Chelsea, Que., is planning to don the Sikh headgear to protest the idiocy of the Quebec Soccer Federations turban ban.

Its Team Multiculturalism vs. Team Integration in Quebec (Wayne K. Spear, National Post)
Its slippery on that field where we kick around notions of respect and tolerance. The teams in Quebecs match of the turbans, which Ill call Team Multiculturalism and Team Integration, each make valid points. They are also punting to the stands, not to the actual goal. One side hardly notices that pluralism may obtain within a larger, integrationist framework, an arrangement that would make principled objections to the dastar, rumal and patka superfluous. By principled objections I mean to include only those arguments that address the real issue: multicultural societies must foster social and cultural unity and cohesion, or face the consequences if they do not.

Permanent Residents (CBC Metro Morning)
What would the right to vote mean to permanent residents? This morning Matt Galloway spoke with Subra Balakrishnan, he came to Canada 10 years ago from India, and with Shadi Rezvan. She came here from Iran eight years ago.

Black lawyers win Ontario discrimination appeal (Jeff Gray, Globe and Mail)
The Ontario Court of Appeal has reversed a lower-court ruling and sided with a pair of Toronto-area black lawyers who say they faced racial profiling when they were asked for identification by an employee at a courthouse library. The provinces top court also ordered the Peel Law Association and one of its librarians, Melissa Firth, to pay $30,000 in legal costs as it reinstated $2,000 awards ordered by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal for lawyers Selwyn Pieters and Brian Noble.

The Growing Linkages Between Migration and Microfinance (Migration Policy Institute)
Yet increasingly, there are threads of discourse linking migration and microfinance. MFIs (sometimes with the support of development institutions) are targeting migrant households for a variety of microfinance services, including loan products. These organizations, as well as some policymakers and academics, view microfinance institutions as ideal actors through which to empower migrant households. Moreover, there is increasing recognition that migration and microfinance have already been interacting in unexpected and sometimes problematic ways. Some households use microcredit as an advance on expected remittances from family members abroad; others use loans to finance the costs of migration. There is also evidence that migration is used as a coping mechanism to manage debt when microenterprises fail, pushing loan recipients abroad in search of better economic opportunity. These connections highlight that linking migration and microfinance has the potential to expand opportunities for migrants and their families, as well as generate or exacerbate vulnerabilities.

Proud Politics (SOY H.E.A.T. (Human rights. Equity. Access. Team))
Proud Politics is working with the Maytree Foundation School4Civics to increase diversity in our political system by increasing the number of elected LGBT officials at all levels of government. We’re gonna be mixing up the tried and true Maytree School4Civics bootcamps with some queer-tastic LGBTQ elements via the Proud Politics team. Here are a few key dates and a general outline of what you could be taking part in! PLEASE SAVE THESE DATES and register where appropriate!


Veteran journalist Peter Goodspeed wins Atkinson Fellowship (Karissa Donkin, Toronto Star)
Veteran journalist Peter Goodspeed will use the year-long Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy to produce an in-depth series of stories about Canadas refugee system. The fellowship, with a $75,000 stipend and $25,000 research budget, gives a reporter the resources to dig into and write about a public policy issue that matters to Canadians.

Refugee health cuts: 50 prominent Canadians sign declaration demanding an end to suffering (Debra Black, Toronto Star)
About 50 prominent Canadians including Giller Prize winning author Dr. Vincent Lam, Life of Pi author Yann Martel, Margaret Atwood, Rohinton Mistry, Kiefer Sutherland and former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and her husband John Ralston Saul have signed a declaration asking Ottawa to reverse its cuts to refugee claimants health care. A year ago, Ottawa announced cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program that critics say have left many patients suffering, including sick children and pregnant women fleeing sexual violence.

Refugee family wants to call Canada home (Dominik Kurek, Oakville Beaver)
While a local family failed to successfully tug the heartstrings of immigration officials, a group of students and staff at T.A. Blakelock High School is hoping the deportation of one of their own can be stopped. Im perplexed with how we do things sometimes, said Blakelock construction teacher Leonardo Petti. We have people who get away with murder and they can travel here … and do whatever they want, and here we have some good people and we cant keep them in our country. Its frustrating.

Video: Health Justice Collective (IChannel)
Activist who work in the healthcare field in Montreal form the Health Justice Collective in response to cuts to the Interim Federal Health plan. Dr. Nazila Bettache, Dr. Samir Shaheen-Hussain and nurse Anne-Marie Gallant tell Kevin OKeefe about the hardships they see because of cuts to refugee healthcare.


CBA great way to build our city and neighbourhoods through the Big Move (Evelyn Myrie, Hamilton Spectator)
The Big Move provides a great opportunity for cities to consider ways to create better communities and better social infrastructure, too. As Metrolinx rolls out its regional transportation plan, community leaders in Toronto are pushing for the creation of what is known as a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) a contract with Metrolinx that would spell out the community benefits of the project.


Practical Ways for an Employer to Maximize International Talent (
Even as were heading into summer vacation, keep HR needs in mind to maintain your companys productivity. Consider these useful tips on how you can maximize immigrant talent, courtesy of the Waterloo Immigration Partnership.

Whatever you call it, discrimination is alive and well in the work place (Grace-edward Galabuzi And Sheila Block, Globe and Mail)
Economist Frances Woolley raises important issues about the term visible minority in a recent Globe Op-ed. She questions its lack of precision and its usefulness as an indicator of labour market discrimination and, therefore, whether it is a legitimate policy objective to try to improve labour market outcomes for people described as visible minorities. Discomfort with the term visible minority is shared by the United Nations. This discomfort is shared even closer to home, by many Canadian scholars and advocates who are also concerned with the visible minority label and its connotations. The difficulties we have in describing or considering race are grounded in its conceptual limitations. As a result, a number of other terms have emerged to describe the set of social and economic experiences that are captured by the concept of race or racialization. We know that race is not a scientific term; there is no biological basis for our ideas about racial differences. We also know that our concepts of race change over time. In the last century, Jewish and Irish were considered to be separate races in North America, just as Black and South Asian are considered to be now.

Controversial Inspection Measures Proposed for Foreign Worker Program (CICS News)
Enhanced inspection regulations for Canadas Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) were announced on Saturday, June 8th. When the proposed regulations take effect, immigration officials will have the right to enter Canadian places of employment without first obtaining a search warrant. The inspection regulations have been proposed in the midst of a nation-wide controversy surrounding Canadas use of temporary foreign workers. Specifically, two highly publicized cases brought to light what may be widespread abuses of the TFWP. In response to public criticism, the government has announced a number of new measures to demonstrate its tough policy towards Canadian employers who refuse to comply with program standards.

Accused wasnt going to discard Filipino nanny like a piece of trash, defence lawyer tells jury (Keith Fraser, The Province)
A man accused of enslaving a Filipino nanny knew that she was in Canada illegally but didnt want to put her out on the street like a piece of trash, the accuseds lawyer said Tuesday. Franco Orr and his wife Nicole Huen have pleaded not guilty to human trafficking charges arising from an allegation they brought Leticia Sarmiento to Canada from Hong Kong under false pretences. Sarmiento has claimed that things went well in Hong Kong but that her life changed dramatically when she arrived in Vancouver and that she was kept in domestic servitude for nearly two years.

Nanny pleaded to come to Canada, trial told (Globe and Mail)
A Filipina nanny who claims she was tricked into coming to Canada on the promise of becoming a permanent resident was told explicitly by a customs agent she could remain in the country for only six months, a human trafficking trial has heard. Franco Orr and his wife, Nicole Huen, are charged with human trafficking for allegedly bringing Leticia Sarmiento to B.C. from Hong Kong and forcing her into domestic servitude. They have pleaded not guilty. The couple says the trip was intended to last only two or three months, after which they would return to Hong Kong and Ms. Sarmiento to the Philippines.


Capital for you to change the world! (Tonya Surman, CSI)
At CSI, we believe that new innovations are the key to turning the environmental, social, cultural and economic challenges we face into opportunities to improve our communities and our planet. We know that early stage social ventures often struggle to raise capital to test and scale their ideas. Well, were all about solutions, and we dont like excuses! Thats why I am so pleased that we were able to announce the launch of the $600K Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund. The first multi sector partnership of its kind, Catapult is a small but mighty fund that is dedicated to supporting early stage social enterprises with loans of $5-25K. Our first investments will be made in September and there will be a total of four investment rounds over the next year as part of this pilot.

Social enterprise – a threat to traditional charity? (Charity Village)
Social enterprise is gaining more and more traction in Australia, following its success in the US and UK but is it a threat to the traditional charity model, asks Daniel Flynn, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Thankyou Water.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 13, 2013


The new Canadian millionaires: Women and immigrants (Francine Kopun, Toronto Star)
Almost half of Canadas richest residents are new immigrants or first generation Canadians, according to research conducted for BMO. The survey found that two-thirds of Canadas millionaire respondents were self-made, with only 20 per cent attributing at least part of their wealth to an inheritance. And 48 per cent were either immigrants to Canada (24 per cent) or described themselves as first generation Canadians, with at least one parent born outside of Canada (24 per cent), according to the research.

An inside look at Canadas millionaires (Misty Harris,
Seeking the American dream? Come to Canada. In one of the most comprehensive studies of our nations affluent, analysts report that two-thirds of Canadas millionaires are self-made. Strikingly, almost half the nations high net-worth individuals are either immigrants or first-generation Canadians, compared to just one-third of millionaires in the U.S., and nearly seven in 10 of them generated their own riches. Canada has always been positioned as a place of opportunity; with this study, were able to validate that, said Yannick Archambault, vice-president and chief operating officer of BMO Harris Private Banking, which commissioned the study. (Immigrants) bring a strong work ethic, a lot of determination and entrepreneurship.

BMO Harris Private Banking Changing Face of Wealth Study: Diversity Reigns Among High-Net Worth Canadians (BMO)
The study found that two-thirds (67 per cent) are self-made millionaires, making their wealth on their own, while only one-in-five (20 per cent) attribute at least part of their wealth to an inheritance. Additionally, almost half (48 per cent) are either immigrants to Canada (24 per cent), or describe themselves as first generation Canadians with at least one parent born outside of Canada (24 per cent). Within this group of new Canadians, more than two-thirds (68 per cent) reported that their wealth was self-made. Interestingly, the study found that new Americans account for only one-third of the wealthy in the U.S.

Vancouver Sun: Immigration Costs Canada $20 Billion a Year (CICS)
In a special to the Vancouver Sun on Tuesday, a Simon Fraser University professor of economics, Herbert Grubel, argues that immigration costs Canadians up to $20 billion a year when all the costs and benefits are tallied. Grubel, who is also a senior research fellow at the Fraser Institute, goes through some of recent findings on the economic effects of immigration from studies in various countries to come to his estimate.

Non Citizen Vote (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Desmond Cole. He is an urban activist and a writer with Torontoist.

Giving non-citizens the right to vote in city elections: Your questions answered. (Rachel Mendleson, Toronto Star)
Toronto City Council is asking the province to allow permanent residents who aren’t yet citizens to vote in local elections. Heres what you need to know.

Council votes in favour of electoral reform measures (CBC)
Toronto city councillors voted on Monday in favour of extended voting rights, different balloting, and online voting that could be a groundbreaking step towards electoral reform in Canada’s biggest municipality. If adopted, a key part of the proposed new measures would mean voting would no longer be restricted to only Canadian citizens, but also the hundreds of thousands of permanent residents living in the city, said Coun. Joe Mihevc.

Council votes to allow permanent residents to cast ballots (Don Peat, Toronto Sun)
City council wants to give non-Canadian citizens the right to vote in Toronto municipal elections. After a heated debate Tuesday, councillors voted 21 to 20 to ask the province to amend legislation to allow permanent residents the right to vote in local races. While Mayor Rob Ford voted against the idea, Councillor Anthony Perruzza the newest member of Fords executive committee cast what turned out to be the deciding vote in favour of giving permanent residents a vote at the municipal level.

City council backs electoral reform (Sunny Dhillon, Globe and Mail)
Toronto city council has voted in favour of electoral reform and will ask the province to amend legislation so it can use ranked choice balloting in municipal elections and allow permanent residents to vote. Council debated the issue for several hours Tuesday before voting in favour of the changes. Councillors also voted to form a working group to implement Internet voting for people with disabilities in time for the 2014 municipal election, and to monitor developments in Internet voting to determine if it should be adopted city-wide in 2018.

Giving non-citizens a vote is simply wrong-headed (Marcus Gee, Globe and Mail)
Should people who are not citizens of Canada be given the right to vote in City of Toronto elections? City council thinks so. Councillors voted 21-20 on Tuesday to ask the provincial government to change the rules, drop the citizenship requirement and allow permanent residents to cast ballots. Those who support this thoroughly backward idea argue that it would encourage newcomers to take part in the civic life of their new home, fostering a sense of belonging. It is more likely do just the opposite. The best path to full belonging is to become a citizen, and letting non-citizens vote removes an important incentive to take out citizenship. In the words of Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, it devalues, degrades and erodes what Canadian citizenship means.

Torontos plea to let non-citizens vote is wrong-headed (Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star)
Either Canadian citizenship means something or it does not. If it does not if it means nothing then Ontarios government should change the law to let non-citizen permanent residents vote in municipal elections, as Toronto city council requested Tuesday. But if citizenship means something . . . At first blush, the argument for extending the franchise to non-citizens might seem compelling.

Does Settling in Ethnic Enclaves within Major Cities Help Immigrant Integration? (Settlement AtWork)
This research addresses whether the tendency of immigrants to settle in big Canadian cities and in enclaves within these cities help their integration into Canadian society. The researcher found that many new immigrants to Canada, especially in Toronto and Vancouver, prefer to settle in the suburbs. They do so because their ethnic groups already have established communities there. For example, in Toronto the existing Chinese community in suburban Markham has drawn many Chinese immigrants. He also found that immigrants are willing to sacrifice the job opportunities and economic benefits of smaller Canadian cities for a sense of belonging and cultural identity that is found in the ethnic enclaves of bigger city suburbs.

Alberta A Preferred Destination for Newcomers (ERIEC)
The shifting geographic flow of immigrants has an impact on the quality of settlement services provided. The workload of settlement workers increases and the overall settlement funding decreases because of the federal and provincial budget cuts. It raises some serious concerns about the funding for settlement services in Edmonton as our city becomes a home to the vast majority of foreign-born residents and many of them have higher needs. There is a need for dialogue and a visionary approach to services provided to newcomers, so that there are better connections between the available opportunities and the labour market reality in our province.

Multiculturalism – Reality or Illusion (Huffington Post UK)
By contrast, multiculturalism has not come under the same level of criticism in Canada. In 2010, Naheed Nenshi, a Harvard-educated Muslim of Indian descent, was elected as the mayor of Calgary, Canada’s conservative bastion. His victory is one of many examples of Canada’s commitment to multiculturalism that has encouraged immigrants to preserve their ethnic roots while embracing their Canadian identity. The last two Governors General of Canada were born in Hong Kong and Haiti respectively. In Canada, well-integrated immigrants at the pinnacle of success in public and private life are increasingly and refreshingly commonplace.

Whats Fueling Growth In The Fragmented World Of Messaging Apps? Immigrants. (Kim-Mail Cutler, Techcrunch)
Even though it might seem intuitive that one messaging app will rule them all, WeChat, Line, WhatsApp and others are proving that messaging remains a stubbornly fragmented category with many geographic regions of the world seeing different leaders. KakaoTalk rules in South Korea, while WeChat dominates in China, while Line rules in Japan and the U.S. has no overwhelming leader. One thing thats interesting to note is how these apps are growing outside of their home markets. They are, in fact, spreading through immigrants, according to app tracking company Onavo. So immigrants arent just bringing their languages and cultures to new countries; theyre bringing apps too.

Governments wage war against their own human rights laws (John Swaigen, Toronto Star)
When award-winning writer Varda Burstyn complained to the Canadian Human Rights Commission about her treatment by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the last thing she expected was to be caught in the crossfire of a war between these government agencies.

Canada (and Vancouver) tops the world for travelling Brazilian students (Marcel Chaves,
You have probably already met, seen, or will meet a Brazilian here in Vancouver. Thats because Canada is once again Brazilians first choice in where to go to study English, followed by the U.S. and the United Kingdom (this is according to the Brazilian Educational and Language Travel Association, after surveying 89 Brazilian travel agencies). In addition, Brazils consul general to Vancouver, Sergio Florencio, confirmed in an interview in his office that Vancouver, among all Canadian cities, is Brazilians first choice as a place to study English abroad for both short or long periods. This is the fifth year in a row that Canada has led the world in this category, as far as Brazilians are concerned. According to UBC political-science PhD candidate and Liu Institute scholar Deborah Barros Leal Farias, the reasons include: relatively easy access to Canadian visas; cheap program prices; and fewer culture clashes when compared to the U.S., among other reasons.;jsessionid=A095F77485E0FE89CA9F5E897E13EEBB?s=60&fid=22&a=389711&f=latest&sp=true

June 2013 E-bulletin (CCLA)
In this issue:
CCLA Celebrates its 3rd Annual Gala
Surveillance Methods Cannot Compromise Fundamental Rights
The Ashley Smith Inquest: Segregation on trial
Ending Discrimination against international students
CCLA Welcomes Ontario Anti-SLAPP Bill
RightsWatch 2013

Diversity key in boardroom (Irene A. Seiferling, Star Phoenix)
Diversity refers to the different, valuable talents that individuals contribute to a team. Just as a hockey team needs a diversity of talent ranging from forwards and defencemen to goalies and coaches, a board needs the talents contributed by individual directors as well. Well-designed, richly diverse boards consist of high-quality directors who represent a range of skills and experience relevant to the particular company or organization, along with a variety of personal characteristics such as mixed gender. Other variables, such as ethnicity, age, geography and socio-economic status, may also be valuable in specific situations.

Pauline Marois disgraces herself by supporting Quebec Soccer Federation ban on turbans (Charlie Smith,
Quebec premier Pauline Marois backed an organization that banned kids with turbans from playing soccer. There’s always been an undercurrent of xenophobia within the Quebec separatist movement. Not every sovereignist is racist, of course. Far from it. But several people I respect who’ve lived in Quebec have told me that they’ve felt the vibe of racism on occasion. Racism isn’t exclusive to Quebec. It’s on display in every part of Canada. But it’s less frequently espoused by political leaders elsewhere, because they know there’s a high political price to pay in an increasingly diverse country.

I was a Sikh kid and I loved the game. Rescind the ban (Japreet Lahal, Globe and Mail)
The decision by the Quebec Soccer Federation (QSF) to ban players from playing the game of soccer is not only discriminatory, but an affront to all Canadians across this country who believe in the beauty of Canadas multicultural spirit and its Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Canadian Soccer Associations recent suspension of the QSF may certainly help in pressuring the provincial soccer federation to remove its turban ban. The form of discriminatory bullying carried out by QSF both segregates and ostracizes turbaned children who simply want to play the game of soccer.

Pettiness, hypocrisy and vacillation of Quebec soccer ban a microcosm of Canadian federalism (Andrew Coyne, National Post)
The thing we can all agree on is that nobody should impose their values on anyone else. The Quebec Soccer Federation should not impose its values on Sikh children and others whose religion commands them to wear a turban while playing. The Canadian Soccer Association should not impose its values on the QSF. And FIFA should not impose its values, whatever these might happen to be, on the CSA. Have I left anyone out? I dont know about you, but it seems to me that the one group that is least in danger of imposing its values on anyone else are the couple of hundred Sikh kids in the middle of all this, who would just like to get in a little soccer in the five minutes or so we have left before winter returns. Yet we are asked to take seriously the arguments of those who would prevent them from doing so, though they have resolutely refused to provide any serious arguments themselves.

Could Our Immigration System Be Even More Irrational? Sadly, Yes (John Hinderaker, Powerlineblog)
The U.S. has a terrible immigration system, which was designed largely by Ted Kennedy for the purpose of increasing diversity, without giving any thought to American interests. If we would simply adopt the Canadian system, it would be a vast improvement. Unfortunately, the Gang of Eights bill does not move in the right direction, i.e., an immigration policy that is designed to serve the best interests of the United States. Rather, it would make our immigration system even more irrational and destructive than it is currently.

Public Citizen: Letter 10 months in the making delays Kanata couples adoption of Haitian boy further (Hugh Adami, Ottawa Citizen)
Sarah Currie could not believe her ears the other day when Citizenship and Immigration called to tell her why the department could not get back to her sooner. It apparently took Citizenship and Immigration more than 10 months to draft a letter to Currie and her husband Michael, explaining why a little Haitian boy they are adopting would have to be sponsored to be allowed into the country. The couple had hoped Smith, a 21-month-old toddler, could have been brought in as a Canadian citizen after the department told Currie on two occasions last summer to go ahead with a citizenship application.

Feminisms double standard: Me and Beyoncé are out of the club (Denise Balkissoon, Globe and Mail)
To truly be meaningful to all 3.5 billion women on earth, feminism must, by definition, consider how sex and gender interplay with ability, class, race and the rest of it. The clunky but well-meaning term intersectionality has been coined to express that complex tangle. Ideally, whats supposed to happen is any woman worrying how her gender might be working against her is also supposed to think about how her education, good health, or infusions of parental cash might be working for her, too. Instead, when high-profile feminists are accused of framing womens issues through a limited, narcissistic lens, the response is either a meek apology (but no change in behaviour) or a full-out attack.

The Diversity Diary: 2.02 Visible Minority (Michael Bach, CIDI)
Welcome to The Diversity Diary, a vlog by Michael Bach, Founder and CEO of the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion. Today Michael comments on the term visible minority and the need for change in the dialogue.

Swiss Seminar Outcomes and #CoveringMigration Campaign Seek Improved Migration Coverage (UNAOC)
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) has just launched a social media campaign, #coveringmigration, to continue discussions on how to best cover migration in the media following the release of the outcomes [ EN, FR, DE] of a Swiss seminar in May 2013 in Berne. The campaign will run through mid-July and cover the following themes:
What are best practices for covering migration?
What helps journalists establish context?
What resources are available for journalists?
What work is still needed to improve coverage?


Webinar: Legal Training on Temporary Resident Permits for Trafficked Persons (CCR)
In this webinar, Cathy Kolar and Loly Rico will provide a legal training on Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs) for trafficked non-citizens. It includes an overview of the permit, the interview process, strengths and shortcomings of the permit and other avenues to regularization for internationally trafficked persons. This webinar is intended for lawyers, services providers and other working on or interested in trafficking issues. Wednesday, June 26th, 1-2 pm (Eastern time)

Journey from refugee camp ends at University of Toronto graduation (Valerie Hauch, Toronto Star)
Its a long way from the dusty Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to the University of Torontos Convocation Hall where degrees have been handed out to students in the traditional cap and gown for more than a century. But Sudan-born Yak Deng is proof that such long journeys are possible as he ascends the stage Wednesday afternoon to get his bachelor of science in applied microbiology, after four years of full-scholarship education at the Scarborough campus. The 24-year-old is the eldest of four sisters and three brothers, and the only one to graduate from university . . . and also from high school, he says with a soft laugh.


First Prince George Online Job Fair for New Canadians a Success (IECBC)
Almost 2,000 people visited the web portal created for the first Prince George Online Job Fair held on June 4, 2013 and viewed the pages of participating employers about 12,800 times, making the event a success. Of the participants, 40 per cent were from Vancouver, 32 per cent were from other communities in Metro Vancouver and 28 per cent were from Prince George.

When Hiring a Temporary Foreign Worker Can Lead to Human Trafficking Charges (James Plett,
Temporary Foreign Workers fill a valuable and essential gap in the Canadian economy. They serve your food and they pump your gas. But they also run your IT department and patch you up in the Emergency Room. While the TFW program may need to be revised somewhat, we also need to rethink the way we educate our youth and how we hire and train them. When jobs go wanting across Canada while the unemployment rate remains high, its not hard to see that we have a serious labour problem in Canada.

The TFWP and Harper’s smokescreen (Espe Currie, THIS Magazine)
In their report on the change, the Globe and Mail interviewed Richard Kurland, an immigration lawyer practicing in Vancouver. This is a civil liberties grab, Kurland said to the paper. Its a tough call: both the wage change and the new policing policies are arguably beneficial for temporary foreign workers, and will prevent at least some of the worst aspects of the previous policysystemic (and often encouraged) exploitation that benefits business at the expense of poorly paid imported labour with very few rights in this country.

Towards a new model for worker organizing: The Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal (Scott Neigh, rabble)
On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, organizer Mostafa Henaway talks about his years of work with the Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal. Though it is not yet as intense as in the United States, and there have been important victories as well, in the last few decades the membership and strength of trade unions in Canada has been gradually declining. As well, the ways in which work and employment are organized have shifted drastically towards things like greater precarity for more and more workers, and an increasing role for forms of work mediated by things like placement agencies and programs for temporary foreign workers. One of the ways that organizers have been responding to these changes is through increasing use of organizational forms outside of mainstream unions, including workers centres. Heneway talks about what the IWC does, the strengths and challenges of the worker centre model, and the importance of centering the experiences of precarious workers and workers who are immigrants to Canada.

Video: Corneliu Chisu on Foreign Credential Recognition for Immigrants (FAQMP)

Warrantless workplace searches raise concerns from businesses (Steven Chase, Richard Blackwell And Tavia Grant, Globe and Mail)
Canadas largest business group says its disturbed by new warrantless search and seizure powers the Harper government has given federal officials to inspect thousands of workplaces as part of a tightening of the controversial foreign temporary worker program. Changes to immigration and refugee protection regulations, published just days ago, give Human Resources and Skills Development Canada officials or Citizenship and Immigration Canada officers the right to walk in on businesses as part of a random audit or because they suspect fraud.


Spur Vancouver: Global Power Shift (Vancouver Observer)
Spur is Canadas first national festival of politics, art and ideas. Spur is produced by Diaspora Dialogues and the Literary Review of Canada. Designed to engage Canadians in a feisty, nation-wide search for ways forward on the most current of issues, Spur is multi-partisan, forward-looking and solutions-orientedspurring ideas into action. With editions in Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver in 2013, and an eventual roll-out from coast-to-coast-to-coast, Spur is a modern-day railroad, linking communities across Canada in conversation that is both national in scope and local in nuance. Much like the CP historically connected Canadians to one another, and provided the means of transporting people, goods and ideas across our country, Spur lays tracks between Canadians of all backgrounds, building a broad public forum accessible to all.

Can we please stop getting creamed on messaging? (Jason Mogus, Communicopia)
While many progressive ideas tend to succeed in the long run, (I’m talking a 30 year time horizon) as a movement we’re not half as effective as our opposition at creating messaging that wins hearts and minds today. There’s a lot of suffering that takes place in those 30 years. Whether it’s the failure of the climate movement to maintain traction, US Republicans turning “energy independence” into a rallying cry for “drill baby drill”, or more locally to me the completely unexpected progressive party’s (NDP) loss in the British Columbia election last month, the social change movement has a lot to be humbled by in our communications work. Here’s why I think right wing parties and monied interests resisting social change tend to run circles around us in messaging.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 12, 2013


NYCH civic literacy is important for our residents survival (DiverseCity Toronto)
North York Community House (NYCH) focuses on resident engagement, acting as a moderator, connector and broker for residents and service providers. As a Building Blocks partner, NYCH staff Beatriz Alas and Tara Bootan have trained 94 residents on civic literacy. Its very important for residents to know about civic literacy, explains Tara. They need to know who they can go to. They need to know why they can go to them. And they need to know how they can do it.

Councillors vote to seek end of first past the post system in city elections (Natalie Alcoba, National Post)
Toronto city council took a significant step on Tuesday towards dramatically changing how the city elects its leaders and who gets to cast a ballot. By a vote of 26 to 15, the governing body asked the provincial government to allow it to use the ranked choice voting system, which demands that the winning candidate accumulate at least 50% of votes cast. It also asked, by a margin of 21 to 20, the minister of municipal affairs and housing to grant permanent residents the right to vote in municipal elections. Both initiatives require Queens Park to amend legislation.

Council votes to explore ranked balloting, voting for permanent residents (James Armstrong, Global News)
Torontos city council voted to explore ranked balloting and let permanent residents vote during a council debate Tuesday. The votes were part of a larger motion on electoral reform that included suggestions to establish weekend elections and internet voting. Changes to municipal elections would require legislative changes by the Ontario government.

Toronto city council backs radical change to ranked ballots and letting non-citizens participate (Paul Moloney, Toronto Star)
Champions of democracy and inclusion are applauding Toronto City Council for supporting a pair of pioneering motions that could fundamentally rewrite the citys election rules and change the face of local politics. On Tuesday, council voted to ask the province to give permanent residents the right to participate in municipal elections, and to allow the city to adopt ranked choice balloting, which would give voters the option to rank candidates in order of preference. If the province agrees to make the necessary legislative amendments, experts say it could open the door to similar changes in jurisdictions across Canada.

DiverseCity Fellowship program now accepting applications from emerging city-builders (Yonge Street)
Civic Action is now accepting applications for its 2013 DiverseCity Fellows program, a one-year leadership program in “advanced city-building” that helps GTA city-builders develop their leadership skills and learn more about the issues facing the region. Now in its fifth-year, DiverseCity has cemented itself as a go-to incubator for “emerging Toronto leaders.” “A recent survey shows that about 95 per cent of past fellows would recommend the program,” says Cindy Tan, senior project manager with Civic Action. “I think that really speaks to the success of the program.” Yonge Street has also previously featured a number of DiverseCity fellows. Among them, Gabrielle Scrimshaw, who used her time in the program to expand the organization she founded, the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada.

Health for All – June 2013
Welcome to the Health For All June digest. In this edition you can take a moment to learn about Solidarity City, state your opposition to the TV show “Border Security”, mark the date for the June 17 day of action to stop refugee health care cuts, read about our recent workshop for front line workers and community members, and get the latest news on migrant health justice. Enjoy and please share with friends.

Immigration has put a burden on our economy (Herbert Grubel, Vancouver Sun)
The results of a recently published study of the economic effects of immigration in the United States are very relevant to Canada. The study found that immigrants living in the U.S. have increased the countrys annual national income by $1.6 trillion, of which $1.565 trillion goes to the immigrants in the form of wages and benefits and the remaining $35 billion goes to the native population. This $35 billion is equal to 0.2 per cent of national income and is known as the immigration effect.

Soccer, Sikhs and multiculturalism in Quebec (Canadian Political Theatre)
Quebecs Soccer Federation is going into hiding. The names and contact information of its board of directors have been pulled from the federations website. Theyre refusing to talk to the media. Are they being accused of embezzlement? Did they steal childrens money? No, theyre refusing to allow Sikh kids to wear turbans during competitive matches. The peculiar thing about the QSFs decision is theyre the only soccer federation in Canada to ban turbans. Ontario and British Columbiawhere there are much larger Sikh populationsdont have a problem with kids wearing religious head garb.

Mulcair very optimistic Quebec soccer turban ban will be resolved (Tobi Cohen,
In a lunchtime speech to the Canadian Club, Mulcair said he spoke to both the Quebec federation and the Canadian association earlier Tuesday and that he was very optimistic the situation would be resolved. Parents have to get together and make sure of one result, that kids are allowed to play soccer no matter what their background, he said.

Canadian Soccer Association suspends Quebec group over turban ban (CBC)
The Canadian Soccer Association has red carded a provincial association over its refusal to let turban-wearing children play, announcing the Quebec organization will be suspended until the ban is overturned. The national organization took a more aggressive stance Monday in the ongoing controversy surrounding the Quebec Soccer Federation’s decision to restrict turban-wearing Sikhs from the pitch, saying its earlier efforts had failed to resolve the matter. “The Quebec Soccer Federation’s inaction has forced us to take measures in order to ensure soccer remains accessible to the largest number of Canadians,” it said in a statement Monday night.

Quebecers show solidarity with Sikh soccer players on turban ban (CBC)
When Philippa Settels first learned the Quebec Soccer Federation had banned turbans on the pitch, she called up the league her two boys play for in Greenfield Park, Que. She expressed her concerns to the former president of the Greenfield Park Soccer Association, who retired last spring. He replied by saying the association had to abide by the QSFs rule, like it or not, she told Daybreak Tuesday morning.

Somali parents worry about downtown school closure (CBC Hamilton)
Shamso Elmi says Somali-Canadian parents felt left out of the decision to close Sir John A. Macdonald high school downtown. They were more worried by plans to offer English as a Second Language programs at Westdale and not the new north high school, which the school board committee changed on Monday.

Hamilton takes first step toward ‘sanctuary city’ concept (CBC)
The city of Hamilton is looking into how it treats new Canadians without official status, the first step in potentially becoming a sanctuary city where undocumented immigrants can access public services without question. The emergency and community services committee voted Monday to investigate how undocumented individuals access city services. Coun. Brian McHattie of Ward 1, would like to investigate Hamilton following in the steps of Toronto, New York and Chicago in declaring a no-questions-asked policy for non-status immigrants.

Military couple to take adopted childs citizenship battle to Min. Kenney (Stefan Keyes, CTV)
A military couple living in Ottawa was told the child they are adopting from Haiti will not be granted Canadian citizenship and plan to take their case directly to the Citizenship and Immigration Minister. It is unwelcomed news they call discriminatory and unfair. To be told that were at a disadvantage because our parents were serving their country is a slap in the face, said Sarah Currie. Currie and her husband, Mike, were both born in Germany while their parents worked abroad for the Canadian military.

Event June 18: We Ask Because We Care: The Tri-Hospital + TPH Research Report (Tri-Hospital and TPH)
You are invited to attend the launch of the report of the Tri-Hospital + TPH research study. The report provides an overview of a four year process among four organizations: Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Michael’s Hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Toronto Public Health, that aimed:
To collect data from patients on key demographic characteristics
To develop an effective data collection methodology to address the issues surrounding personal data collection
To ensure knowledge exchange of successful piloted methodologies to other institutions in the Toronto LHIN
The product of this process serves as a innovative benchmark: the collection of standardized socio-demographic variables to enable health care measurement for equity.

Italian Montrealers remember WWII internment (CBC)
The daughter of an Italian Montrealer who was interned during the Second World War will be attending today’s special ceremony at City Hall commemorating that dark moment in history. Giulietta Doganieri was just a child of five years of age when her father Nicola was taken away, like so many other Canadians of Italian origin, because of his roots.

Fill in the blank: As Canadian as ______ (CBC)
For three years in the early 1970s, Peter Gzowski hosted a loose and “crunchy granola” radio show on the CBC called This Country in the Morning, a blend of stories, interviews, recipes and letters from listeners. In 1972, Gzowski decided that Canada needed a national simile, an answer to “As American as apple pie.” So the show ran its first contest: Complete the phrase “As Canadian as….” Hundreds of suggestions poured in. Some of them were obvious: “As Canadian as maple syrup.” “As Canadian as hockey.” Now, we aren’t necessarily looking for something like “As American as apple pie.” You can’t sum up a country as huge and diverse as Canada in any single object, let alone any single pastry. (What’s more Canadian, a dutchie or a butter tart? See?)

Fast-Track Pilot Project (Immigration) – PDF (Federal Court)
The Court is launching a pilot project in Toronto to expedite the hearing of applications for judicial review of decisions made in respect of applications made under sections 6, 7, 8 or 9, of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, SOR\2002- 227 [Regulations]. This pilot project will be optional. It will require consent to participate by both the applicant and the respondent. If either party prefers the application to be heard in the regular manner, it will not be dealt with under the pilot project.


Day of action against cuts to health care for refugees June 17 (Brent Patterson, rabble)
A National Day of Action is planned for Monday June 17 to protest the Harper government’s cuts to health care for refugees. The Council of Canadians fully supports this action led by Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care “to take the facts directly to the streets and tell Canadians the consequences of the federal government’s cuts to refugee health care.” Council of Canadians health care campaigner Adrienne Silnicki has commented, “The Harper government’s cuts to health care for refugees include access to vision care, dental care, prescription drugs and mobility devices for all refugees. For many refugees it also includes restrictions on primary and basic health care. This includes medical assistance during emergencies like heart attacks and even during child birth.” Chairperson Maude Barlow adds, “The cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program have deprived claimants of basic and emergency health care, a move that front-line health care workers call cruel and inhumane.”

The QP Clip: Jason Kenney denies refugee healthcare cuts (Maclean’s)
For his part, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told Simms that the government never cut healthcare funding for refugees, but simply ended “gold-plated benefits to false rejected asylum claimants who have no legal right” to universal healthcarevirtually the same defence a spokesman provided the Star. Kenney spoke without notes, and with confidencein both official languages, after the NDP’s Sadia Groguhe followed up in French. His benches applaud heartily.


The Case for a Canada Social Report – PDF (Ken Battle, Sherri Torjman, Caledon Institute)
The 2012 federal Budget abolished the National Council of Welfare, an advisory body to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. This cut placed in jeopardy the future of two of the Councils most important products Welfare Incomes and Poverty Profile. The Caledon Institute of Social Policy stepped in to rescue these two series, by taking on the task of gathering and analyzing the welfare and low income data. Caledon will seek continued input and advice from the provinces and territories in the preparation of welfare income statistics. Over the years, the provinces and territories have vetted and contributed to Welfare Incomes data and program information on social assistance and related income benefits. Their continued participation in and commitment to this vital work are imperative. Together, the welfare and low income information will figure among the first elements of a new Caledon product, the Canada Social Report.

SmartSAVER Toronto pilot demonstrates real results (May Wong, Omega Foundation)
Since SmartSAVERs launch in September 2010, CLB enrolment in Toronto has grown by 85% and over 27,000 more Toronto kids have begun to receive their Canada Learning Bond. Over a three-year period, the CLB take-up rate in Toronto has grown from 27% to almost 40%. With complementary promotion efforts now underway in Peel and Halton regions, the federal government tells us that the Greater Toronto Area is driving improvement in CLB take-up nation-wide.

Linda Chamberlain: a life of healing and helping (Laurie Monsebraaten, Toronto Star)
Toronto mental health activist Linda Chamberlain, who has survived childhood abuse, schizophrenia, homelessness and Ontarios mind-numbing welfare system, is celebrating many extraordinary achievements at the launch of a book about her life Tuesday. But Chamberlain, 63, who was diagnosed with liver and bone cancer a year and a half ago, would really like to celebrate the end of the so-called Linda Chamberlain rule. The provincial regulation, which makes it financially impossible for disabled people on welfare to remain in social housing once their part-time income exceeds $440, is still on the books.

Its not Fords fault! (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
Its not David Millers fault either. Its not the fault of Toronto Community Housings present Board of Director, the previous Board, or the Board before them. Im talking about the scathing Toronto Ombudsmans Housing at Risk: An Investigation into the Toronto Community Housing Corporations Eviction of Seniors on the Basis of Rent Arrears. The report examined the files of 79 seniors evicted from TCHC in 2011 and 2012 and found, a pattern of callous and unfair treatment of many seniors, including at least one case in which a tenant died shortly after eviction. Why am I so quick to let City Council and the TCHC Board off the hook? Because their purview is policy.


Recent immigrants paid below minimum wage: Scarborough event told (Mike Adler, InsideToronto)
Its common for Mandarin-speaking recent immigrants in Toronto to be paid less than Ontarios minimum wage or to be denied overtime pay and paid vacations employers owe them, a community groups survey has found. Released Saturday, June 8, the survey of 300 workers this year says 20 per cent – one in five – said they were being paid less than $10.25 an hour, the legal minimum. Only about half (53 per cent) said they receive paid public holidays, which indicates that many employers within Torontos boundaries are blatantly breaking the law, the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter said in a report, One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.

Reforming the temporary foreign worker program (Leon Benoit)
At a recent Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce luncheon I attended, one of the main topics discussed concerned changes being made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). I believe there is some confusion about what the changes are, and why they are being implemented. I understand that this is a very sensitive topic for business owners in our riding, and so I wanted to take the opportunity to provide clarification on some of the key issues. I want to first point out that the TFWP has not been cancelled. The Accelerated Labour Market Opinion has been temporarily suspended to determine whether it is meeting its original objectives.

Feds assure Temporary Foreign Worker program is being updated (News Talk 980)
Now that the operators of a new coal mine in Northern BC have been given the go-ahead to hire more than 200 temporary foreign workers, the federal government is offering assurances Canadians will be considered first for any future project facing similar employment needs. Human Resources Minister Diane Finley has not been available for comment, but members of her staff say the Temporary Foreign Worker program is being updated to ensure all employees are paid the same wages, no Canadian jobs are outsourced and the only languages identifed as requirements are English and French.

City of Montreal guilty of racial discrimination against employee: ruling (Christopher Curtis, Montreal Gazette)
Olthène Tanismas eyes well up when he thinks about his 11-year legal battle with the city of Montreal. The Haitian-born urban planner says hes relieved he can finally move forward with his life now that a Superior Court judge has ruled that his employers at the city used racial discrimination to justify withholding a promotion from him. In a landmark ruling issued on June 4, Judge Mark Peacock went beyond the inpidual case and ruled the city created systematic discrimination for visible minorities in its managerial hiring practices. Peacock also ordered the city to pay Tanisma $30,000 in damages after he was repeatedly passed over for promotions during his 25-year career.

Employers of foreign workers face workplace inspections (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Canadian employers who hire foreign workers will face surprise on-site inspections by authorities to ensure that the need for them is genuine and that Canadian workers are not passed over for the job. Under proposed regulatory changes unveiled Friday, federal officials would monitor employer compliance not only at the time of the applications to bring in migrant workers but throughout the employment period. (Officials) would have the authority, for the purpose of verifying compliance with the imposed conditions, to require an employer to provide documents and to report at any specified time and place in order to answer questions and provide documents, said the plan.

Diversity Within the Workplace (Career Engagement blog)
Its always interesting to me how work clusters within Life Strategies we seem to go through seasons of topical presentations, typically driven by external requests not intentional marketing. The theme of our current season is diversity within the workplace. Earlier this year we conducted research for S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and its government funders on challenges associated with foreign credential recognition for immigrant professionals. One of the key challenges was securing Canadian experience perhaps a sign that workplaces may not be walking their talk in terms of embracing diversity? In March, I presented at the Career Development Conference in BC on a related theme I called it Where in the World? Helping Employers Understand the World Immigrants Come From. Ive facilitated workshops for employers associated with the MAPLES program at ISS and, within the next couple of weeks have five more workshops on similar themes.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 11, 2013


Making the legal and constitutional case for permanent resident voting (Alejandra Bravo, Maytree)
As Toronto’s city council gets ready to examine the idea of allowing permanent residents who are not yet Canadian citizens to vote in municipal elections , one of the questions that they will need to consider is what Canada’s constitution has to say on the matter. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), a national organization that promotes respect for human rights and civil liberties, has long argued that the right to vote is so fundamental in a democratic society that there must be an extraordinary reason to deny people of that right. In the article, “Non-Citizen Voting Rights: A Constitutional Perspective,” CCLA’s Cara Faith Zwibel examines the legal and constitutional argument for voting rights for permanent residents.

Video: Episode 9: Jason Kenney (FAQMP)

New home: New residents describe their experiences (Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today)
Policy and communications officer Bonnie Mah of the Maytree Foundation shared some of the innovative ways other communities are encouraging inclusiveness for their immigrants, such as the MINGO (Move In and Go) project in Vienna that provides entrepreneurial assistance. She also pointed out that about 13% of Cobourg’s population and 10% of Port Hope’s is the result of immigration — “a fairly significant portion,” Mah said. “Immigration used to be something that just happened. Now there’s a recognition that we are competing for these high-skill immigrants, and we need to create welcoming communities.”

Immigration backlog leaves Stoney Creek parents in debt after birth (Joanna Ward, CBC)
Carey McGregor has been fighting with Hamilton Health Sciences since the birth of his second child, earlier this year, over the cost of his wife’s cesarean section. Normally cost would not be an issue but McGregor’s wife Sylvia is not a Canadian citizen. She and McGregor married in Canada in 2007 and lived in Taiwan for several years before moving back to Canada.

Philippine Fashion (CBC Metro Morning)
Guest host Jane Hawtin spoke with Jeff Rustia. He is the founder of the first ever Canada-Philippine Fashion Week which kicks off today.

Being Indian in a distant land (Times of India)
“If you don’t like it here, you can always go back where you came from!” I first heard this sentence in the first month of my arrival in Canada, when I was talking about the initial incidences of racism being faced by me, from a lady who worked in a government agency supposed to help new immigrants settle down. I hear and read the same sentence time and again whenever my horror stories of discrimination add up and I mention them to others. This may not happen to me only. Or just in Canada! Whenever people talk about discrimination in most places in the world, similar voices can be heard. “Take it or leave it”, “Our way or highway”, “Go away, if you cannot tolerate”, “Vanish”, “Shoo” – Magic words coming from ‘superior’ people to others they consider ‘inferior’. Or of people in majority.

A public letter to minister of Citizen & Immigration Canada (
As a Canadian citizen, I think it is necessary for me to reflect unfair treatment that my wife and I experienced in Canadian consulate in Hong Kong when receiving an interview about couple reunion immigrant visa, so as to improve service levels of CIC and enhance credibility of federal government.

Filipinos find a home in Winnipeg as family ties drive immigration in Manitoba (Sarah Petz, National Post)
Cecile Beltran still runs in to some of her old students in the streets of Winnipeg years after she stopped teaching. But Ms. Beltran didn’t teach at the University of Winnipeg or Manitoba — it was at a campus in the Philippines. Ms. Beltran, a software developer, immigrated to Winnipeg from the Philippines with her family in October, 2012. Since settling in Manitoba, she’s joined community groups of Filipinos from her hometown, and even found alumni associations from her university in the Philippines.

If We Do Not Fix Immigration, Canada May Solve the Problem for Us (Robert D. Atkinson, Huffington Post)
The debate over immigration reform in the United States continues to rage, with groups on both the left and right attempting to derail the compromise package now working its way through the Senate. Advocates across the political spectrum need to recognize that while we argue about immigration our global competitors are taking action, and if we are not careful other nations will benefit from the high skilled workers and entrepreneurs we refuse to welcome. One nation that wants to take full advantage of our gridlock is our neighbor to the north. Canada not only has cut its corporate tax rate, expanded funding for R&D, and reoriented its national labs toward tech commercialization, it also recently inaugurated its Start-up Visa, which provides a path to permanent residency and business development assistance for immigrant entrepreneurs. The visa is part of a broader immigration reform package that will improve the flexibility of the overall system and link it more directly with Canada’s economic needs. This includes the introduction of an online “expression of interest” database in 2014 which will match foreign workers with potential company sponsors looking for specialized skills.

Facing racial ‘discomfort’ (Sonya Nigam, Canadian Lawyer)
From a legal perspective racial discrimination is prohibited under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, and provincial and territorial legislation. These laws, public education campaigns, and institutional policies have been very effective at creating a stigma against engaging in racial discrimination and limiting the number of incidents. Nevertheless, tensions and conflict continue to exist around how we think about race, what we take offence to, and how we conduct ourselves.

Canadians are losing their identity (Isaac Munnalall, Surrey Leader)
My name is Isaac Munnalall and I am a high school student in Surrey. I have a great interest in current events that are affecting Canada – particularly issues concerning immigration, multiculturalism and integration. Canada is proud of its diversity, but in some places in the Lower Mainland, it is anything but diverse. I am concerned about a trend that I call “ethnic pooling.” This is when a single ethnic group “floods” into and dominates a particular geographical area. My mom is half Indian and my dad full, so I guess that makes me three-fourths. However, I was born in this country and I am feeling that young people are losing their sense of what it means to be “Canadian.”

A long way from home (Chris Harbord, The Coast)
Tucked in behind the sprawling Wal-Mart and Sears stores of the West End Mall, a little office complex is often one of the first sights greeting new immigrants to Nova Scotia. It’s also the unexpected front lines in the battle to keep them here. Today, in a classroom at the Metro Immigrant Settlement Association (MISA), about 15 new immigrants take part in a pre-employment workshop. Many take furious notes while an instructor explains how to apply for jobs in Canada. She explains the basics: cover letters, resumes and what to wear to an interview. Near the end of the session, the class stops and everyone is given a chance to introduce themselves. As they tell their stories, most in careful, heavily accented English, it is hard not to be amazed at the rich lives and careers many have given up just for the chance to start from zero in Halifax.

Reflections on Multiculturalism Day from an engaged employee (Maria Belen , Ottawa Business Journal)
From an early age, I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and serve the public good. In his life, he served as a politician at the municipal level, advocating for the land rights of the poor people in the Philippines. The decisions that I made in high school and into university were all based on working towards this goal. As a young professional in my twenties, I am proud to say that I have joined the ranks of the Canadian federal public service, an organization which I deem to be prestigious in every sense as I see and am immersed in the hard work, drive and passion that many of my peers bring into their day to day.


Doctors rallying to protest refugee health care cuts June 17 (Winnipeg Free Press)
Doctors in 17 cities across Canada including Winnipeg are rallying next week to reverse what they say are “reckless” cuts to refugee health care. It has been almost one year since the government made changes to the Interim Federal Health Program. Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care said a news release the changes have left many patients suffering, including sick children and pregnant women fleeing sexual violence.

Convocation 2013: from refugee to U of T grad (UToronto News)
Having fought incredible odds to achieve an education, two remarkable young men will be graduating from the University of Toronto this spring. Yak Deng (University of Toronto Scarborough) and Abdi Hassan Ahmed (University of Toronto Mississauga) both came to U of T on World University Service of Canada (WUSC) scholarships, which help refugee students achieve their dreams of higher education.

Community involved in new group supporting Roma (CJNews)
Canada’s Jewish community is taking steps to do more to help Roma and other immigrants fleeing persecution. The memory of Canada’s “none is too many” doctrine was invoked on June 5, when members of Toronto’s Jewish and Roma communities gathered at Holy Blossom Temple to discuss modern-day racism and xenophobia. “Why the Roma?” was the topic of a panel discussion about the root causes of the increase in the number of Roma refugees coming to Canada from eastern and central Europe. About 150 participants gathered to hear a keynote speech by Toronto Roma Community Centre executive director Gina Csanyi-Robah.

Take Action: Proud to Protect Refugees (Citizens for Public Justice)
The Proud to Protect Refugees Campaign was launched on April 4, Refugee Rights Day, by the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR). People across Canada have been getting together to change the way we talk about and welcome refugees. CPJ believes that promoting a positive vision of refugees in Canada is a way to honour God’s call to welcome the stranger. There’s a lot happening on the campaign. Below, you’ll find a list of ways to get involved by taking action or discussing refugee issues within your own community.


Latest Media and Policy News: 7 June 2013 (ISAC)
Latest policy and poverty news from around the country.


An Immigrant’s Country of Origin has a Small Effect on What He or She Earns in Canada (Settlement AtWork)
The researchers found that an immigrant‟s country of origin has a small impact on what he or she earns in Canada. Other factors, like education and language use, continue to have an impact, as well. Immigrants who are citizens and eligible to vote do better in the job market than those who cannot vote. Encouragingly, the findings suggest that discrimination may not be having much of an impact on the economic success of an immigrant in Canada. With its long history of immigration, its large and diverse populations, and its generous rights and social safety nets, Canada seems to be a „warm‟ and receptive destination country for newcomers. More specifically, Canada seems to offset whatever negative effects an immigrant‟s source country may have on his or her earning potential.

Steelworkers rally against Harper’s low wage, anti-worker agenda (John Bonnar, rabble)
On a rainy Monday morning outside Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver’s constituency office in Toronto, the United Steelworkers and their allies held a rally to protest the Conservative government’s low-wage, anti-worker agenda and corporate abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. “We’re very concerned about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and what it’s doing to workers they’re brining in from around the world,” said Carolyn Egan, president USW Local 8300. “Exploiting at lower wages, bad conditions, trying to take advantage of their need for work.” Part of a strategy, said Egan, put forward by the Conservatives to create a low-wage Canada.

Crackdown on temporary foreign workers lets officials search without warrants (Steven Chase, Globe and Mail)
Federal officials will have the right to walk into Canadian workplaces without a warrant as part of a tightening of the controversial foreign temporary workers program. Changes to immigration and refugee protection regulations, published just days ago, give Human Resources and Skills Development Canada officials or Citizenship and Immigration Canada officers the right to walk in on businesses as part of a random audit or because they suspect fraud.

Community and Labour and Activists Demand Real Change to Temporary Foreign Worker Program (Canada Newswire)
Dozens of community and labour activists converged on Conservative MP Joe Oliver’s office today to demand an end to the Harper government’s low-wage economic strategy and abuse of temporary foreign workers. “The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is not a legitimate immigration policy,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan.

This Industry Is a Labour Trap (Adam Kingsmith, Huffington Post)
And while to some extent all genders and ethnicities are engaged in marginalised work, according to a recent study titled Precarious Employment in the Canadian Labour Market out of York University, women, racial minorities, new immigrants, Aboriginal populations, persons with disabilities, single parents, youth, and older adults account for a disproportional amount of the precarious labour force. But why is this sort of work a “labour trap” you ask? Why can’t those vulnerable workers employed in low paying and insecure jobs during an economy of stagnation just make the time to find employment that is more personally and fiscally fulfilling?


Registration open for CRA webinar on political activity (Charity Village)
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced that registration is now open for an upcoming Charities Directorate webinar. The webinar, held June 25 at 2 p.m. Eastern time, will explore the CRA’s policy statement around political activities. Registration for the one-hour event is free and the webinar will also be recorded and made available to the public.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 10, 2013


Visible minority: A misleading concept that ought to be retired (Frances Woolley, Globe and Mail)
In Canada, anyone who considers themself neither white nor aboriginal is classified by the government, for a number of purposes, as a visible minority. It is an artificial concept that has become unnecessary and counterproductive. Ultimately, the dividing line is arbitrary. For example, Arabic people from North Africa and the Middle East are counted as white in the U.S. Census. Yet anyone who ticks the Arab box on Canadas National Household Survey is counted as a visible minority unless they tick both the white box and the Arab box. Then theyre white. The same applies if you identify as both Hispanic and white; in the United States, that makes you a visible minority.

Time for action on corporate diversity, Status of Women Minister Ambrose says (Janet McFarland, Globe and Mail)
A federal committee developing proposals to get more women on boards of directors must draft action-oriented recommendations and not produce a lengthy report on an issue that has already been studied for years, says Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose. Ms. Ambrose, chairwoman of a new committee of business executives studying women on boards, said she has given her committee a broad mandate to consider legislative or other reforms that would help boost the number of women on corporate boards in Canada. The only caveat I gave to them is that I didnt want a study or necessarily a report, Ms. Ambrose said in an interview.

New Canadians help introduce sport to North (Benjamin Aubé, Timmins Press)
It was basically Timmins version of the Cricket World Cup. A ragtag, yet clearly talented team of local cricketers took on a slightly more experienced team visiting from North Bay at Fred Salvador Field. Though the scale of Saturday afternoons matchup was considerably smaller than the World Cup, there was an undeniable sense of excitement in the air, both on the field and in the stands. Fans cheered as a North Bay bowler tried to whip a small yellow ball past a Timmins batsman. The bowlers goal: Strike down the wickets being protected by said batsman. The game was jointly organized by the Timmins and North Bay District Multicultural Centres, as well as the Timmins Local Immigration Partnership, to celebrate Diversity Day in the city.

Q&A with Shawn MacKenzie on consumer racial profiling (Chronicle Herald)
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission recently released the first report in Canada on consumer racial profiling. It found that 77 per cent of the 1,219 Nova Scotians who participated reported differential treatment while shopping due to race or ethnicity. Shawn MacKenzie was doing a work term at the commission as part of his bachelor of social work degree when his supervisor Anne Divine approached him to research and write the report for the commission.

Video: Canada closing door to immigrants (Daniel Lak, Al Jazeera)
Canada is known to be one of the world’s most welcoming destinations for migrants and refugees, but there’s concern that’s all about to change. The government is modifying its immigration policy to make the country less open than it used to be.

How changing demographics change policing (Dakshana Bascaramurty, Globe and Mail)
So … whats 9-1-1? It wasnt a question cops in Brampton had to answer much 20 years ago, when Bramptons population was 256,000 and much of its northern region was still farmers fields. How times change. Following an immigration boom thats made Brampton more than twice as big as it was in the early nineties, that question is one of the new realities of policing in a city of more than half a million people, many of them newcomers.

Fil-Canadian to launch bamboo beer (Odette Montelibano, Global Nation)
His drive for innovation has led to the notable achievement of being the first Filipino-Canadian licensed brewer in North America and the inventor of the all-natural Bamboo Beer, classified as a premium lager by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Vincent Cruz Villanis, 29, is a Filipino migrant who aspires to more than reaping profits from his unique brew. He has a passion for innovation.

City of Toronto accepts Ontario Chinese Artists Association artworks (City of Toronto)
The donated artworks include a painting entitled, A Brilliant Landmark, CN Tower on Toronto Skyline by Jordon Wu and two calligraphy poems by Ken Kai-Ming Chui entitled, Life in the Mountains on an Autumn Evening and Ode to the Moon. They will be displayed in the Scarborough Civic Centre rotunda until July 31 and will later be installed in the Scarborough Civic Centre Council Chambers. These donated artworks are now part of the Citys official art collection.

Indo Canadian Award (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Raj Kothari. He is a Managing Partner with Price Waterhouse Coopers. Tomorrow night he is receiving an award as Male Professional of the Year from the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce.

Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce to honour 11 outstanding achievers (Globe and Mail)
On its 36 th annual Gala and Award night this weekend, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce members will honour the talents of Indo-Canadians in business, varied professions and philanthropy. As in previous years, they will recognize 11 outstanding people entrepreneurs, professionals, achievers in technology and young achievers at the June 8 event, that is expected to attract 1,200 attendees, including guest of honour Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne; a business delegation from the Indian state of Karnataka; and a veritable whos who from Bay Street.

Settlement.Org User Survey Results Now Available (Settlement.Org)
The 2013 Settlement.Org User survey is now complete and prize winners have been contacted. In total, 300 people filled out the survey and several lucky people won a prize. Your answers and comments were thoughtful and very valuable. They will help us to continue doing the things you like and try to improve the things you don’t like.

Focus on diversitys richness (Markham Economist & Sun)
In recent letters to the editor, articles and editorials, Ive noticed a disturbing trend that is leading me to question what it means to be Canadian. I grew up in a time where Canadians took pride in being the cultural mosaic in counterpart to the United States cultural melting pot. If you look up Canadian in the dictionary, it is defined as a person born, raised or living in Canada. To me, that means you are Canadian regardless of the colour of your skin, language you speak, holidays you celebrate or religious venue you attend. However, as more census statistics indicate the continued growth of visible minorities there appears to be a backlash against cultural groups that have not fully assimilated into Canada and retain their cultural identity, language and religion.

Funding changes underway (Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now)
Burnaby service providers who help immigrants and refugees are in the midst of a government-funding sea change. On Monday, Citizenship and Immigration Canada put a call out for settlement work funding proposals for April 2014 – that’s when the federal government takes back control of the millions that are normally transferred to the province. That money, more than $100 million this year, pays for language and settlement services, anti-racism initiatives and the provincial government’s Welcome B.C. program. Jody Johnson, project coordinator for the Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table, wasn’t sure what shape the new model would take.

Breaking barriers: Canadian-Muslim women and fitness (Lindsay Borthwick, Best Health Mag)
For the first time since she left the University of Torontos varsity squad and a regional league more than 10 years ago, Shireen Ahmed is playing competitive soccer again. Shes still a fierce player and just as swift, but her kit has changed ever so slightly: These days, she wears a headscarf, or hijab. She adopted it as a student, while attending a conference where wearing it was required. It was a very unprompted act, recalls Ahmed, an observant Muslim. It was always presented to me as a choice. After the conference, I was very hesitant to take it off. So I didnt. Her decision meant she had to hang up her cleats, at least until local soccer officials warmed to the idea that a footballer (as Ahmed calls herself) could wear a hijab.

Racist Quebec Soccer Federation Needs To Wake Up From Its Slumber Of Intolerance! (R. Paul Dhillon , The Link)
While the whole world, even the usually quiet-on-racism federal Conservatives, is saying that there is nothing wrong with turbaned kids playing soccer, the racist Quebec soccer federation continues to deny a fundamental right in society for all kids to play sport regardless of their religion or head covering. The Quebec federation, which actually has no right to ban turban-wearing children from playing, according to the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA), needs to wake up from its slumber of intolerance and change it mean spirited ways or there will be hell to pay.

Quebec Soccer Federation Defying The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms (Dr Raghbir Singh Bains, The Link)
Multiculturalism in Canada has a long history of vibrant diversity. The policy was officially adopted by the Canadian government during the 1970s and 1980s. In fact it was to celebrate the multitude of racial, religious and cultural backgrounds of people living in Canada. Before examination of the real problem, we must identify the centuries old history of Canada and its people. All of us know that Canada is a picturesque and peaceful country in the world. It is mostly inhabited by immigrants whether they are late migrants or early settlers from Europe, African countries, Asia, south Asia or other regions. Most of its citizens are either Aboriginals, immigrants or descendents from earlier immigrants.

Sikhs play soccer wearing turbans in protest of ban (CBC)
A group of young men assembled at the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh temple in LaSalle to play a pick-up game of soccer. It was in protest of a recent ruling by the Quebec Soccer Federation to maintain a ban on turbans on the field.

Diversity Diary 2.01 Play Ball (CIDI)
Welcome to the season two premier of The Diversity Diary, a vlog by Michael Bach, CCDP/AP Founder and CEO, Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion. Today Michael comments on the recent decision by the Quebec Soccer Federation to uphold a ban on Sikh players wearing their turban on the soccer pitch.

Canadian Soccer Association steps in on Quebec turban ban (Ryan Remiorz, Calgary Herald)
The Canadian Soccer Association says a provincial association has no right to ban turban-wearing children from playing. The organization is wading into a controversy over the Quebec Soccer Federations decision to restrict turban-wearing Sikhs from the pitch. The Ottawa-based organization says it is currently discussing the matter with the provincial body, as a top priority, and it expects the position to be revised. (This) is the governing body for the sport in the country, a Canadian association official, requesting anonymity, said Friday. The Quebec Soccer Federation falls under our supervision. So they would apply the regulations the way we mandate them to.

The blatant racism and homophobia on this Canadian MMA reality show is ridiculous (MiddleEasy)
Oh Canada, what happened to that polished social veneer you guys put on whenever a foreigner visits your country? Oh, so you’re telling me that all of that overabundant kindness is just fake? My God, you guys are turning more American by the day. Airing on Canada’s ‘Super Channel’ is an MMA reality show that pits Brazilians against Canadians called ‘Fight Xchange.’ That’s right folks, the show is so cool that it doesn’t even need the ‘e.’ It just doesn’t have time to properly be spelled. It’s too busy skipping class and smoking underneath the bleachers.

My husband has abused me and threatens to have me deported if I report him (Your Legal Rights)
No. Your spouse or partner might threaten to have you deported from Canada if you report his abusive behaviour. He might say he has this right because he sponsored you. He does not have this right. Only federal immigration authorities make the decision to deport someone. But there are new rules about sponsorship of a spouse or common-law partner. In most cases, if you have permanent resident status, you cannot lose that status or be removed from Canada only because you have left an abusive relationship. This is true even if your abusive partner is your sponsor. However, if your partner reports to immigration that your relationship was not genuine or that it was fraudulent, immigration officials may conduct an investigation which could result in your permanent residence status being taken away.

What Canada Teaches Us About Immigration and Politics (Reihan Salam, National Review)
Shikha Dalmia observes that the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) has fared well among foreign-born voters. She draws on this experience to make the following argument: Republicans will be able to win national elections not by brandishing their limited government ideals but promising free goodies to minorities. But Republicans need simply look north to realize that such defeatist thinking represents a failure of imagination.

Local women feted for years of service to Cornwall area newcomers (Cornwall Seaway News)
The recipe for success in any new country includes one part fortune and two parts determination – and both Chris Francis and Sarala Gill embody that sentiment in spades. The pair were both honoured at the Eastern Ontario Training Board’s annual general meeting, where they were presented with awards that will bear their names in the years to come for others who make a significant contribution to the lives of local newcomers, or who have beaten long odds in making a life for themselves after moving here from another country.

Religious patterns mold Metro Vancouver neighbourhoods (maps) (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
Birds of a feather flock together and so do humans of the same religious and philosophical world views. The Vancouver Suns Chad Skelton has created a geographic mapping tool that reveals many Metro residents are choosing to live among people who share their religious beliefs or secular outlook. This region of 2.3 million is peppered with neighbourhoods in which Catholics, Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, evangelicals, United Church members and the non-religious live in clusters.

Is there a technological fix for racism? These scientists say yes. (
Playing videogame or virtual reality avatars whose race is different from yours could reduce your racial biases, according to a new study. Now, scientists are using this insight to explore how technology could help build empathy and reduce tension between different groups of people. In recent years, numerous studies have shown just how easy it is to trick your brain into taking ownership of a physical or virtual body not your own. For example, a couple years ago researchers found they could make people believe they had a third arm by doing little more than placing a rubber, human-looking arm right next to their real arms. And in 2008, scientists demonstrated the body-swapping illusion, where study participants felt as though they were in the body of a mannequin or another person.


Ontario hospitals absorb health costs to treat refugees (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
A year after Ottawa cut health funding for refugees, Ontario hospitals are absorbing the costs or pursuing those patients for unpaid medical bills. Hospitals in Greater Toronto are hardest hit by the changes, made effective by the federal government last June, since the majority of refugees are destined for this province. The University Health Network which includes Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret hospitals, along with the Toronto Rehab Institute expects to foot a total $800,000 bill this year for services delivered to the uninsured in its emergency rooms alone.

FCJ Refugee Centre received Pioners for Change Award (FCJ Centre)
During the ceremony they highlighted that access to information means access to justice; access to knowledge and the tools necessary to mobilize that knowledge and lead to integration; in only one kind of integration and is called successful integration. It means access to equity; access to civil society, wherever is defined by them; access to social services and diverse arenas of support; access to fair and sustainable housing; access to healthcare. And despite the progress that has been made in the past, avenues to access have become increasingly narrowed, particularly with the disturbing changes that have taken place over the past year.

This immigrants tale should be seen by all (Joe Belanger, London Free Press)
When Anatolia Speaks, Canadians should listen. The new play by fringe regular Kenneth Brown, staring Candice Fiorentino, explains why this country has always needed, and should always welcome, the refugees who arrive here to build new lives. The one-woman show is brilliant, Fiorentinos performance at the Grand Theatres McManus Studio is surely one of the best in this years London Fringe festival.

Petition started to fight Chatham couple’s deportation (Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News)
A couple facing deportation is hoping the court of public opinion can help bolster their case for staying in Canada. Muhamet Bajraktari, 36, and his wife Ganimete Berisha, 29, were ordered back to their homeland of Kosovo, along with their four-year-old daughter, Eliza Bajraktari, who was born in Chatham. Their work visas expired and they have been turned down as refugee claimants. The couple, along with Berisha’s uncle Naser Berisha, owner of Pizza Tonite, where they have worked since arriving in Canada in 2007, have launched a petition to gather support.


Canadian Social Research Newsletter : June 9, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Accidentally Green & Inadvertently Poor? The strange case of the District of Scarborough Ontario (John Stapleton, Open Policy) – June 7
2. I Stand Alone : Why I resigned from the Conservative caucus (Brent Rathgeber, M.P. for Edmonton-St. Albert) – June 6
3. Launch of the Canadian Observatory On Homelessness (Wellesley Institute) – June 6
4. Canadas First National Conference on Ending Homelessness, (Ottawa) October 28-30, 2013 (Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness)
5. Brigit’s Notes — Le Bloc-notes de Brigit (Canadian Women’s Health Network) – June 2013 issue
6. Media and Policy News for June 7, 2013 (By Jennefer Laidley, Income Security Advocacy Centre)
7. My two cents’ worth regarding the $90K cheque from the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff to shamed Senator Duffy
8. Hey, Stephen Harper : What have you got against Aboriginal people??
— Aboriginal groups shocked by federal fund cuts – June 6
— An obsessively partisan Stephen Harper slips into his Richard Nixon mode – June 6
— Government went too far in surveillance of First Nations advocate: report – May 28
— Harper government withheld documents in indigenous human-rights case – May 17
9. SPARmonitor – Monitoring Toronto’s Social Change [SPAR = Social Policy Analysis & Research, City of Toronto] – May 22 and June 5
10. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Labour Force Survey, May 2013 – June 7
— Summary elementary and secondary school indicators for Canada, the provinces and territories, 2001 to 2011 (final) – June 7
11. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Get back to evidence-based policy: let government scientists off the leash (WSIC)
Citizens need to know the rationale for government policy. For example, if our government says that more jails will reduce crime, and says the science supports that, we ought to know whether scientists employed by the government are advising against such a policy. Under the current rules, the media would need to request access, and the scientist would need to submit all questions and answers to the Ministry for pre-approval. If the Ministry does not want information to be released, the media request may not be approved.

Engage! to create Vibrant Communities May 2013 – PDF (Tamarack)
In this Issue…
Navigating Collective Impact
The Way of Innovation
Changing the Equation: Measuring Financial Vulnerability
Sacred Fundraising: Reframing Philanthropy

Study of Income Inequality in CanadaWhat Can Be Done (East York Housing Help)
CCPA Senior Economist Armine Yalnizyan testified in House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, on the study of Income Inequality in Canada. This resource is a transcript of that hearing. Along with the written transcript they have also made the video of the hearing available as well.


Are foreign workers the problem or employment insurance? (William Watson, Financial Post)
Dont say academic economists never work on topical subjects. The winner of this years John Vanderkamp prize for best paper in the flagship policy journal Canadian Public Policy, awarded last weekend in Montreal at the annual meetings of the Canadian Economics Association, was for work on the effects of Ottawas Temporary Foreign Worker program. Ripped from the headlines, as they used to say in the Law and Order promos. You may recall that before we all became obsessed with where Senator Mike Duffy lives, there was a minor kerfuffle about the Royal Bank having hired temporary workers to help move back-office work to India, something it has since solemnly sworn as part of a new Bank Local movement never to do again.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program works for Canada (Garth Whyte, Financial Post)
Much in the news recently, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW) has been recipient of a wide range of accusations, ranging from the assertion certain organizations are using it to replace employed Canadians, the presence of overseas staff is depressing salaries and wages in this country particularly in lower-skilled occupations and that unscrupulous employers are abusing program participants. The initiative is currently under review by the federal government and our organization, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, fully supports the thorough investigation of all claimed abuses. Our association also completely supports the primary objective of the TFW program: permit the use of foreign workers only when Canadians are not available to fill the job. We want the program to emerge from the government review with a strengthened sense of purpose and integrity, and an enhanced reputation.

Foreign worker recruitment programs need streamlining (
Lets face it, its not easy work. As the Canadian Cattlemens Association said in a recent note on the CCA Action News website, there is widespread recognition that traditional Canadian sources for agriculture labour are proving inadequate. Simply put, few Canadian-born workers aspire to work in livestock production and meat processing jobs, particularly due to the tendency of such positions being in remote or rural locations, said the note. This is one of many reasons behind the need for an additional 50,900 non-seasonal and 38,800 seasonal workers, according to a Canadian Agriculture Human Resource Council (CAHRC) Labour Market Information on Recruitment and Retention Report (2009).

Activists Demand Real Change to Temporary Foreign Worker Program (USW)
Labour, community and immigrants’ rights activists will converge on Conservative MP Joe Oliver’s office Monday to demand an end to the Harper government’s low-wage economic strategy and abuse of temporary foreign workers. “The Conservatives say they’re reforming their wage-suppressing Temporary Foreign Worker Program, but with the public sector being gutted, there will be no real oversight,” said Ken Neumann, Canadian director of the United Steelworkers (USW).

Dialogue on Diversity… People Experiencing Poverty and Precarious Employment (Immigration Waterloo Region)
Waterloo Region will be a better place to live, work and play if we foster a community where individuals feel a sense of belonging and are able to achieve their full potential a community where no one is left behind. The Region of Waterloo in partnership with several community organizations have partnered to host a Dialogue on Diversity that will focus on issues faced by People experiencing poverty and precarious employment.

Nanny denies defence’s suggestions (Keith Fraser, The Province)
A lawyer for a Vancouver couple accused of enslaving a Filipino nanny has suggested that the nanny was motivated by financial gain by filing a civil lawsuit against his clients. Nicholas Preovolos, who is representing Oi Ling Nicole Huen and Franco Yiu Kwan Orr, noted in criminal court Friday that in October 2011, Leticia Sarmiento had filed suit against the couple seeking damages. The suit, filed in B.C. Supreme Court, contains many of the allegations of domestic servitude now being heard in the criminal trial.

Come together right now: Organizing for good jobs, resisting attacks on workers rights (Social Planning Toronto)
Join us! Tuesday, June 25 at the Scarborough Civic Centre, Committee Room 2 from 6 8:30 PM. Refreshments 6 PM. Panel 6:30-8:30 PM. Panel: Regi David, West Scarborough Community Legal Services, John Cartwright, Toronto and York Region Labour Council, speaker from the Raise the Minimum Wage Campaign and Cammie Peirce, CAW Canada

Vancouver nanny motivated by money, not human rights, couples lawyer argues (Jonathan Hayward, The Province)
A lawyer for a Vancouver couple accused of enslaving a Filipino nanny has suggested that the nanny was motivated by financial gain by filing a civil lawsuit against his clients. Nicholas Preovolos, who is representing Oi Ling Nicole Huen and Franco Yiu Kwan Orr, noted in criminal court Friday that October 2011, Leticia Sarmiento had filed suit against the couple seeking damages. The suit, filed in B.C. Supreme Court, contains many of the allegations of domestic servitude now being heard in the criminal trial.


Innoweave Workshops, Coaching and Grants (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
The Foundations Innoweave program is pleased to announce a new round of Innoweave Implementation Grants, which support organizations in obtaining the coaching required to implement new management tools. Applications open this month and close on July 2nd. In related news, Innoweave recently announced the formation of a Coaching Pool. To learn more about becoming an Innoweave coach, click here.