Category Archives: dailynews

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 12, 2013


Immigration is about people, not economics (Debbie Douglas Avvy Yao-Yao Go, Toronto Star)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is currently consulting the public on Canadas future immigration plan. Very few Canadians know about this, and even fewer may participate. Given the consultation design and the questions posed by CIC, perhaps that should not be a surprise. Some call it cliché while others call it irrefutable fact: our country has been and will continue to be built by immigrants. From economic prosperity to social harmony, the well-being of Canada and its people are intrinsically linked to both our immigration policy and the way immigrants are treated in this country.

Researchers’ Notebook: July in Review, with a wee bit of June and August in the mix! (Jane Hilderman, Samara Canada)
Whats the summer without making use of a patio? Samara and the Maytree Foundation teamed up for our first co-hosted event. Bringing together Samaras volunteers and friends as well as participants from Maytrees School4Civics program, the evening featured presentations on the presence of visible minorities and foreign-born Canadians in the House of Commons (some data below), as well as the diversity of municipal office in the Greater Toronto Area. Hopefully there will be a second mixer this fall.!

Making sense of comply or explain board gender-diversity policies (Dan Ovsey, Financial Post)
In its recent call for public consultation on the issue of having TSX-listed companies provide disclosure on the number of women on corporate boards and senior management, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) referenced the research of TD Bank Group vice-president and deputy chief economist Beata Caranci who argued comply or explain policies on gender diversity implemented in other nations as an alternative to quotas could be a model for Canada to follow. FPs Dan Ovsey recently spoke with Ms. Caranci about the rationale and implications of such policies (if instituted), their merits and pitfalls, and the realities of achieving greater diversity on Canadas corporate boards. Following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

In light of scams, services for new immigrants focus on fraud detection (Brian Platt, Globe and Mail)
The past week has seen news of two different fraud schemes targeting the Chinese-Canadian community in the Lower Mainland. In one case, a dentist in Burnaby was operating out of his bedroom without a licence, relying mostly on word-of-mouth referrals among Chinese-Canadian immigrants for his approximately 1,500 patients. An investigation by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. found little evidence of sterilization practices, and the Fraser Health Authority is trying to contact those patients now to have them tested for viruses such as hepatitis C and HIV.

The changing face of McGill medical students (Karen Seidman, Montreal Gazette)
With only about 10 per cent of all applicants getting into medical schools across the country, the dream of becoming a doctor is one filled with lots of heartache for even some of the brightest students. And the dream seems to be a castle in the air for more and more anglophone students in Montreal who are competing to get into the one English medicine program in the province, at McGill University, where an increasing emphasis on diversity has many urban anglophones grumbling that they arent the cohort McGill is courting these days.

On Immigration, Provinces Should Follow Alberta (Senator Mobina Jaffer, Huffington Post)
Alberta recently announced on June 20, 2013, that temporary foreign workers who have been employed within Canada for a minimum of two years are eligible to self-nominate themselves for the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program. This change extends to high-skilled and low-skilled workers; however, only employees within the food and beverage processing, hotel and lodging (specifically food and beverage servers, room attendants, and front desk agent/clerks), manufacturing, trucking, and food services industries are eligible for the program. This action brings Alberta to the forefront in extending citizenship to temporary foreign workers, as federally, only high-skilled workers and live-in caretakers qualify for Canadian citizenship. Outside of Alberta, low-skilled temporary foreign workers are unable to obtain permanent residency. They face high restrictions with receive little stability: at the end of every work cycle they must return back to their home country without a guarantee of future employment should they wish to return the next year. They are second-class individuals who work our fields yet have neither human rights protections nor the ability to stay in Canada permanently.

A foreign currency (Joel Schlesinger, Winnipeg Free Press)
Never mind the mosquitoes and bitingly cold winters. They’re a relatively minor inconvenience for many newcomers to Winnipeg. Just ask Dhirta Subedi, a refugee who came to Canada four years ago. “Comparing the life in a refugee camp and here in Canada, it’s a big difference. Life in the refugee camp is not safe,” says the 30-year-old newcomer to this country. Subedi’s family is from Bhutan, a small, landlocked country sandwiched between India and China. But she has spent the majority of her life in a refugee camp in Nepal.

Birth tourists believed to be using Canadas citizenship laws as back door into the West (Stewart Bell, National Post)
Carrying fraudulent, forged and stolen passports, dozens of Nigerian women began making their way to Toronto not long ago so many that last year the Canada Border Services Agency identified it as a trend. The women were between the ages of 20 and 35, and were traveling with the help of facilitation agents. The city of Toronto is the main destination for these women because many Nigerians live there, the CBSA wrote in an Intelligence Bulletin.

Ontario Citizenship And Immigration Minister, Michael Coteau, Understands The Immigrant Experience (Dwain Wellington Rattraym, Pride News)
With approximately 30 percent of the Ontario population identifying as non-native Canadians, it is imperative that the provincial government develop and sustain programs and initiatives geared toward the continued integration of an ever-growing demographic. It is refreshing then, to learn that the immigrant experience is not lost on the Honourable Michael Coteau, Ontarios newest Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, who was appointed by Premier Kathleen Wynn in February of this year.

Mass Arrival
Farrah Miranda, Graciela Flores, Tings Chak, Vino Shanmugnathan and Nadia Saads public intervention and subsequent gallery installation will force histories of settler colonialism into a public sphere, that often refuses to recognize it. Provoking questions about the supposed naturalness of whiteness and colonialism as the backdrop to which others arrive, the intervention consists of a simple image: that of an open-air ship, filled with white Canadian-subjects docked in a public space. Captured through photographs, video, news of the ship’s arrival will be shared via social media, stirring public conversation around these themes. Documentation of our staged arrival will be featured in installation at Whippersnapper Gallery in the month of September, as part of the Taking Place series.

Sikhs of Canada demand a review & cancellation of Sukhbir Badals visa (Parmjit Singh, Sikh Siyasat)
As per information extended by Moninder Singh Director/Spokesman of Canadian Sikh Coalition (CSC), the CSC earlier had written a letter to Honble Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration Canada, on the admission of Punjab Police Sub Inspector Surjit Singh, murdering 83 Sikhs in early 1990s at the direct orders of his senior police officers, naming present Police Commissioner Ludhiana Paramjit Singh Gill and an admission of direct link with DGP K.P.S.Gill., in carrying out the Encounters, executions in Punjab from 1980-1995.

David Suzuki For Minister of Immigration, Citizenship, And All That Other Sh*t. (Canadian Migration Reform blog)
It appears Chris Alexander has been appointed the new Minister of Immigration, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism instead of David Suzuki in the latest cabinet shuffle. Too bad. Going by recent comments made by Suzuki he may have been the better choice for the post. I am very dismissive of the environmental movement in Canada because it cowardly refuses to address mass immigration as a root problem of their concerns. Environmentalists will see progress in their cause if they bothered themselves to pressure the government to reduce Canada’s already too high immigrant intake. They have the arguments and public opinion is on their side.


Gay Russians seeking refuge in Canada in wake of homophobic new laws (Tobi Cohen,
As the western world gangs up on Russia ahead of the Sochi Olympics to draw attention to new anti-gay laws Canadas foreign minister has publicly decried as hateful, those inclined to flee the increasingly repressive regime may be looking here for safe refuge. While too soon to say whether a crackdown on homosexuals in Russia will result in a spike in refugee claims from that country, at least one Vancouver lawyer who deals exclusively with gay and lesbian asylum claimants is beginning to notice a difference. Rob Hughes handles a few dozen lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) cases a year and the last time he had a Russian client was before the fall of the Soviet Union until now.

Refugee policy unreasonable (Daphne Bramham, Star Phoenix)
For the poorest and most desperate people in the world, coming to Canada is winning the lottery. They account for only 23 per cent of refugees allowed to come here each year. On arrival, they have access to public health care, income assistance and access to settlement services as well as permanent resident status, which puts them on track to become Canadians within three years. They are selected by Canadian officials from among the 15.2 million refugees registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The criterion is simple: To qualify, they must be the most in need of protection from persecution, war or violence. Most have spent many years in refugee camps outside their own countries. Most have been tortured or traumatized. But winning this lottery exacts a price.

How Canada gave refuge to Pakistani family with targets painted on their backs (Terry Glavin, National Post)
Until the Canada Day weekend, it was a closely-guarded secret in Ontarios Pakistani émigré community that Rimsha Masih, the Christian girl whose entrapment in Pakistans barbaric blasphemy laws captured headlines around the world last year, was living incognito with her family in Canada. While much of Rimshas harrowing saga can now be told, her story is just one small drama in a much larger and necessarily untold story involving scores sometimes hundreds of people who are secreted into Canada every year.

A new life, a world away (Adrian Macnair, South Delta Leader)
In 2006, Tsawwassen resident Barb Westlake was reading about the Bhutanese situation online. Having trekked through Asia in 1989-90 she had always harboured a fascination with the Buddhist country. Feeling like she had to do something to help, Westlake sent an email that somehow found its way to Dhital. After learning more she began a letter writing campaign to the Canadian government to become part of the resettlement program. In 2007 Canada agreed to resettle 5,000 people over five years, and in March agreed to welcome 1,000 more. I dont know if it helped or not but the girls told me it gave them strength, says Westlake, as Dhital nods next to her. We were in a hopeless situation, and here is this lady in a corner of the world in Tsawwassen who is helping us, says Dhital. That connected us and gave us hope and courage.


Canadian Social Research Newsletter August 11, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Toronto doctor faces sanctions for helping poor [Special Diet Allowance] (World Socialist Web Site) – August 9
2. Funding Cuts to Albertas Post-Secondary Education Sector: There Are Alternatives (Nick Falvo in Progressive Economics Forum) – August 7
3. Why Is Tom Mulcair Opposed to Tax Increases? (Nick Falvo in progressive Economics Forum) – August 9
4. Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, and Intergenerational Mobility (Miles Corak) – July 2013
5. Corporate Welfare at Industry Canada since John Diefenbaker (Fraser Institute) – July 23
6. Minimum wage needs to be re-engineered (Toronto Star) – August 6
7. Guide to the Guaranteed Annual Income (National Council of Welfare) – January 1976
8. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Labour Force Survey, July 2013 – August 9
— 2011 National Household Survey announcement: Income and Housing – August 7
9. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit


Northwest employers eye skilled immigrants to meet skills shortages (IECBC)
IEC-BC together with Northwest Community College, the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce and the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce are hosting free regional forums for employers on immigrant employment in Kitimat on August 21 at the Kitimat Valley Institute and in Prince Rupert on August 22 at Northwest Community College.

Lack of enforcement in B.C. fosters replaceable, disposable workforce (Denise Ryan, VAncouver Sun)
The foreign workers picking this years bumper crop of blueberries, minding B.C. babies, flipping burgers and serving coffee are part of a ballooning flexible and impermanent workforce that dont share the same rights as Canadians says a new report. The lack of effective enforcement of legal regulations makes foreign workers particularly vulnerable, says the report. The report, Access to Justice for Migrant Workers in B.C., was presented by the West Coast Domestic Workers Association at an SFU discussion on Saturday.

Migrant workers in Canada exploited because of restricted mobility: new report (Carlito Pablo,
A new report throws a spotlight on Canadas growing army of “unfree” migrant workers. They work jobs that could otherwise be done by Canadians and permanent residents but they dont have the same labour mobility as citizens and landed immigrants. Temporary foreign workers are tied to specific employers, and thats the reason why many of them are cheated and abused, according to a report titled Access to Justice for Migrant Workers in B.C. “The idea of unfree workers, which perpetuates precariousness, has been linked to the erosion of labor standards in the workforce and some academics have opined that it has caused the clustering of migrant workers in particular industries where enforcement of employment standards is a particular problem,” states the report prepared by the West Coast Domestic Workers Association. The Vancouver-based organization will present its report in a forum on Saturday (August 10) at the SFU Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver. The event starts at 1 p.m.;jsessionid=234D979A125EB409996EBAE682543ACC?s=60&fid=22&a=408521&f=latest&sp=true

More immigrant labour needed (Derek Sankey, Leader Post)
The growing immigrant population is not only changing the face of Calgary, it’s also serving an increasingly vital part of helping oil and gas companies solve labour shortages, which are only expected to increase in the next 10 years. In 2010, Calgary’s immigrant population was estimated at 304,000 – almost 30 per cent of the total population, and the visible minority population is projected to reach 40 per cent by 2020, according to data from Statistics Canada based on the last census. Over half (52.7 per cent) of those immigrants were in the crucial working demographic of 25-44.

Nanaimo businesses earn praise for hiring practices that reflect diversity in community (Robert Barron,
Services, said she hopes other local businesses learn about the diverse employers program and its many benefits. “We’ve found that customers look for the stickers and shop where they know that employers are diverse in their employment practices,” she said. Milne said hiring people with disabilities is just one his restaurants’ progressive hiring practices as they strive to reflect the demographics of the communities they serve, which includes ethnic and First Nations people, as well as those with disabilities. But he said they are expected to work hard and all employees must be “up to the task.”

Christians Welcome Migrant Workers Through Concert (Faith Today)
The annual arrival of international migrant workers into Canadas farming communities is a dramatic change in the makeup of those communities. Over 26,000 migrant farm workers come to Canada each year through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, a government program that helps Canadian farmers hire international labour. Ironically, those same workers often feel invisible in their temporary home. But Christians in at least one farming community are working hard to make migrant workers feel welcome.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Canada Slaps Fee On Employers’ Applications (Daniel Tencer)
The Harper government says it has further tightened the rules governing its controversial temporary foreign worker program, confirming it will charge employers $275 for each application they make. The new rules, which build on measures announced in April, include additional restrictions on what language proficiency employers can request, broader requirements to advertise job openings and a new questionnaire that tries to ferret out whether a firm is seeking to replace existing Canadian workers. The changes took effect on July 31, but do not affect the seasonal agricultural worker program.

Licensing requirements for recruiters of foreign workers in Canada (Alan Diner and Denisa Mertiri, Immigration Nation)
On April 29, 2013, the federal government introduced changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”) to address a growing public concern that Canadian employers are using the “cheaper” labour of foreign workers, instead of that of Canadians. These changes will affect Canadian employers looking to hire foreign workers through the use of recruitment agencies. Foreign worker recruitment regulation is a developing area in Canadian law. Provincial legislation on this topic is currently inconsistent, as some provinces regulate the activities of recruiters while others do not. This article provides a summary of recruiting law in Canada, with a focus on licensing requirements.


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

A Key Lesson Business Leaders Can Learn from the Nonprofit World (LinkedIn)
Here’s my main takeaway for you as a for-profit leader: Get to know your key people very, very well and figure out how to best position them so that they always feel challenged, never stop learning and are always contributing directly to the achievement of the organization’s main goals. That’s what the best nonprofit leaders do every day. Once I understood this key insight, the results I have gotten from my TNC teams have blown away my expectations. People at non-profits for the most part aren’t motivated by bonuses or promotions. By and large, they go to work every day to help their organization achieve its mission.Thats why great leaders at nonprofits do everything they can to help their staff members maximize their personal contributions to that mission.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 9, 2013


High birthrate among immigrant women has implications for Canada (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
New immigrants to Canada are much more likely to have babies than their native-born counterparts. Immigrant women who have spent five years in Canada have almost twice as many children of pre-school age (as) the average Canadian-born woman, according to an extensive study by two noted economists. The University of Waterloos Ana Ferrer and Princeton Universitys Alicia Adsera pored over two decades of Statistics Canada census data to reach their conclusion.

New Rules and Procedures for Quebec Immigration and Skilled Workers Program (Yosie Saint-Cyr, slaw)
Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, the province of Quebec has the right to select most immigrants destined to their province. Recently, new rules have been adopted regarding procedures for the processing of certain applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec submitted by permanent workers, investors, business people and self-employed workers. These changes were published in the Gazette Officielle du Québec on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. These new rules are in effect from August 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. All applications will be processed according to the new rules in effect as of August 1, 2013, with the exception of those for which processing began prior to that date.

Chamber urges immigrants to Consider Prince George (Prince George Free Press)
The Prince George Chamber of Commerce has launched a new program aimed at attracting skilled workers from the Lower Mainland. Consider Prince George is a community outreach campaign designed to recruit and retain skilled new Canadians and their families from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island regions of B.C. to the northern capital.

Coquitlam Diversity Crunch Challenge! (Safe Harbour)
Come join us on Saturday, September 7th for the 4th annual Coquitlam Diversity Crunch Challenge! Proceeds will support a Community Diversity Fund to provide grants to Tri-Cities individuals, non-profit organizations, or community groups initiating actions, programs or education aimed at improving integration, participation or access in the community any diversity group(s) identified by the community as being marginalized. Priority will be given to initiatives which benefit the people of Coquitlam.

More babies, please (Rod Lamb, Kenora Kayl Miner and News)
Were seeing this in Europe and the Middle East right now, where youth unemployment is upwards of 50 per cent and young people have no hope for the future. The 2008 recession is still with us. Even the upper middle class have had to curb their spending. So its not just the poor and rest of us who are effected, its everyone. Its the reason our immigration policy on foreigners who are here on work visas, is a lightning rod of discontent. Not that theyre taking jobs, theyre doing the kind of labouring work the average Canadian doesnt want, but they are becoming prisoners in a way of life which is too prosperous for them to return home but doesnt give them the opportunity of becoming citizens and the joys and opportunities that that gives.

Chinese students take in Winnipeg culture at language camp (CBC)
Some students from China are learning English by immersing themselves in everything Winnipeg has to offer, from Folklorama festivities to a baseball game and a trip to the zoo. The 23 students and three instructors are taking part in Red River College’s first-ever language summer camp, which began July 29 and wraps up at the end of this week. The camp is a pilot project at the Winnipeg-based college, which wants to give the Chinese students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the English language and the city for two weeks.

Commentary: Time for Ottawa to show some compassion for U of R students (Vianne Timmons, Leader-Post)
Over the past year, two Nigerian students – Favour Amadi and Victoria Ordu – have taken sanctuary in a church to avoid deportation in hopes of continuing their studies at the University of Regina. In reading about these two young women, you may have wondered why they would spend a year of their lives in hiding. To begin to understand this sacrifice, you need to know their life stories and hear their words.

Real Women attack on Baird a lesson for multicultural Canada: Brender (Natalie Brender, Toronto Star)
Just for a change of pace, heres a news story you did not read about this week: A collective statement by traditionalist Sikh, Muslim and Jewish groups attacking Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird for defending gay rights in Uganda and Russia has produced outraged reactions across Canada. Call-in shows and comment boards are flooded with alarms about the threat to Canadian principles posed by immigrants, and pundit Mark Steyn has warned that Canada is in danger of being taken over by barbaric non-Western cultures. Massive protests are being organized by gay-rights groups on Parliament Hill. Harper government ministers are fanning out across the country denouncing the statement, with Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander declaring that the government would sever all ties with the groups and asserting that Canada must now consider European-style values testing for prospective immigrants. Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has cited the episode as further proof that the rest of Canada is out of step with Quebec values. Meanwhile, academic experts are calling the statement further proof of the dangers posed by Canadian governments propensity to pander to ethnic groups in foreign policy-making. You didnt read about this story because its not true but does it ring a bell somehow? If so, thats because just such a statement was made this week by the conservative group Real Women of Canada, who criticized Baird for imposing a particular agenda on other countries. The group unabashedly links their criticism of Bairds gay-rights activism to their religious and traditional beliefs, with the groups vice-president asserting that she doesnt want other countries to get what we have here where peoples religious values and traditional values are being pushed aside.


New language rules for temporary foreign workers include loophole (Tobi Cohen, Vancouver Desi)
It appears the federal government has included a language loophole for companies seeking to hire temporary foreign workers. After a B.C. mining company came under intense fire for listing Mandarin as a language requirement when it applied for temporary foreign worker permits, the federal government announced in the last budget that it would revamp the rules to prevent employers from mandating foreign language skills to work in Canada. The new regulations, which will take effect once published in the Canada Gazette, state that employment of a foreign national is unlikely to have a positive or neutral effect on the labour market in Canada if the offer of employment requires the ability to communicate in a language other than English or French.

Employers must advertise positions for four weeks before hiring foreign workers as Ottawa toughens temporary worker program (National Post)
More details have emerged about new measures to improve Canadas temporary foreign worker program. The federal government indicated Wednesday that employers are now required to advertise positions in Canada for at least four weeks, instead of two, before they can apply to hire foreigners. They will also have to complete a series of questions related to impacts on the Canadian labour market, and obtain a positive labour market opinion, showing there are no Canadian workers available to do the job, before the government will grant a temporary foreign worker permit.

Temporary foreign worker rules get revamp (Amanda Stephenson, Calgary Herald)
The federal government announced new rules Monday aimed at preventing abuse of Canada’s temporary foreign worker program, but one business group says Alberta employers with legitimate workforce needs will suffer as a result. “The changes that were announced today were entirely a step in the wrong direction,” said Richard Truscott, Alberta director for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “The temporary foreign worker program has been a real godsend to small business. It really is unfortunate that the alleged misuse of the program by some big companies and big banks has put it into question for many other employers.”

Diversity Training Shouldnt Be Comfortable (Evelina Silveira, Diversity and Inclusion at Work)
It is only by working through these real-life situations as described above will we make progress in how to deal with them. We need to abandon our political correctness that makes some groups as angels and others as devils. Diversity trainers should challenge themselves to use real-life workplace situations instead of labeling some groups as sacrosanct or untouchable. Creating unrealistic expectations of certain groups is an insult to the groups themselves and to the participants intelligence. Next time, if you leave a diversity training session provoked or uncomfortable that might be a good thing. You should be taken out of your comfort zone with challenging workplace examples that can be used to create balanced and fair solutions for each situation.

Programs help new Canadians access trades (Asian Pacific Post)
The Industry Training Authoritys Immigrants in Trades Training initiative, funded through the Canada British Columbia Labour Market Agreement, helps skilled New Canadians who are unemployed or employed and low-skilled overcome barriers to gaining Canadian certification and entering the trades. The new academic year is fast approaching. Soon thousands of British Columbians will be heading back to school, some of whom will be starting on the path to a career in the trades. Now is the time to become certified in a trade and take advantage of the exciting opportunities that BC has to offer.

Why Seeking Diversity in the Workplace Is a Primitive Concept (Don Tennant, IT Business Edge)
If youre diligently striving to create a diverse workplace by focusing on gender parity and a balanced representation of people from different racial, ethnic, religious and social groups, guess what. Youre languishing in the 1990s, and youre blind to the fact that your approach hasnt worked in decades past, and it certainly isnt going to work now. That was my takeaway from a fascinating discussion with Trevor Wilson, a Canadian global diversity strategist who insists that we need to stop identifying individuals in terms of what group they belong to. Instead, he says, we need to start focusing on those individuals unique talents and strengthsthat is, their human equity. Wilson, who describes himself as biracialhalf black, half Indianhas been immersed in the diversity field for two decades, and his outlook has undergone a dramatic transformation since he wrote his first book on the subject 17 years ago. His most recent book, The Human Equity Advantage: Beyond Diversity to Talent Optimization, encapsulates that new outlook.

CCA open to rolling in Canada Job Grant (Kelly Lapointe, Daily Commercial News)
While it comes as no surprise to the president of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) that Canadas premiers are concerned about the Canada Job Grant, he welcomes a national strategy to deal with the countrys skilled labour challenges. Were not suggesting that the federal government usurp what is a provincial area of responsibility, but I think theres been a real call and perceived need on the part of a national strategy, said CCA president Michael Atkinson.–cca-open-to-rolling-in-canada-job-grant


A Social Innovators Guide to Systems Thinking (Tim Draimin, Tamarack)
As I wrote in Shifting From Scale to Reach (PDF), an article featured in last months issue of Engage!, individual social innovators are making enormous strides in building valuable innovations that generate meaningful social change. However, in order for those individual initiatives to scale up to achieve deep, broad and durable impact, we need to shift gears to collaborate with others operating in the related system.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 8, 2013


Dinner table snapshots showcase city’s cultural diversity (Jacqueline Bigar, Hamilton Spectator)
Two photographers spent more than a year focusing their lenses on several of Hamilton’s cultural communities, documenting the challenges and expectations of moving to a new country. Mina Ao and Masoud Eskandari snapped photos of members of the Muslim, Asian, South Asian and Southeast Asian communities at the dinner table as part of Our Place — resulting in 19 images of individual families organized by Bryce Kanbara, owner of You Me Gallery.

Summer 2013 E-bulletin (CCLA)
Table of contents
CCLA applauds Supreme Court of Canada decision in Ezokola
OpenMedia campaign: Say No to Secret Online Spying
What to ask in the context of a police shooting?
Our education program and TVO parents team up to present “Civics for Kids”
CCLA at Toronto Trans Pride March 2013

The Race Conversation Vancouver Needs to Have (Tari Ajadi, The Tyee)
Race is rarely discussed in Metro Vancouver. For a multicultural area where white people are, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, projected to become a visible minority by as early as 2031, this is a troubling issue. Demographic shifts such as these have been known to provoke unrest and social discord if handled improperly or swept under the rug, arguably highlighted by the Paris banlieue riots of 2005 or the riots in Sweden earlier this year. But, as Pete McMartin observed in the Vancouver Sun in April, “it’s just not a conversation we’re willing to have yet, except under our breath.”
Ontario Securities Commission Launches Consultation On Gender Diversity (Tracey Kernahan, Mondaq)
At the request of the Ontario Minister of Finance and the Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, the Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) is undertaking a public consultation on corporate governance disclosure requirements for TSX-listed issuers regarding gender diversity. The consultation paper, which was published on July 30, 2013, focuses on advancing the representation of women on boards of directors and in senior management of public issuers.


Luis Mata: Settlement and Employment Counsellor, Mennonite New Life Centre (Kevin Ritchie, NOW Magazine)
We serve mostly Hispanic communities, but we have clients from everywhere. I come from Colombia, where I had experience working with internal refugees and in human rights issues, documenting cases, doing research and documenting human rights violations. I was a Spanish teacher, and I took five years of law and political science at the Universidad Libre in Cali, Colombia, but I couldn’t finish. I had to flee after I published a book that documented at least 600 cases of people who were killed or disappeared or victims of political violence. Ten years ago I came to Canada as a refugee.

Canada unfairly burdens the refugees it hand-picks to help (Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun)
For the poorest and most desperate people in the world, coming to Canada is winning the lottery. They account for only 23 per cent of refugees allowed to come here each year. On arrival, they have access to public health care, income assistance and access to settlement services as well as permanent resident status, which puts them on track to become Canadians within three years. They are selected by Canadian officials from among the 15.2 million refugees registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.


“Canadian experience required”: prohibited discrimination or being discriminating about standards? (Lai-King Hum, McMillan)
It is the classic Catch-22 situation: you need Canadian experience to get a job in Canada, and you need a job in Canada to get Canadian experience. Whether job-hunting or applying for professional accreditation in Ontario, the “Canadian experience” conundrum gives rise to a seeming paradox. Employers and regulators have argued that discriminating against those without Canadian experience is not prohibited, and that such experience can be gained through supplementary training. Rather, the requirement is a means of being discriminating in selecting candidates with the best qualifications for the Canadian market, with high standards of competence and performance.–prohibited-discrimination-or-being-discriminating-about-standards

Further improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (Gov of Canada News)
Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, today announced reforms to strengthen and improve the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). As announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government of Canada has now implemented a user fee for employers applying for labour market opinions along with new language and advertising requirements for the TFWP.

New measures aim to toughen Canada’s foreign worker program (Tobi Cohen,
More details have emerged about new measures to improve Canada’s temporary foreign worker program. The federal government indicated Wednesday that employers are now required to advertise positions in Canada for at least four weeks, instead of two, before they can apply to hire foreigners. They will also have to complete a series of questions related to “impacts on the Canadian labour market,” and obtain a positive labour market opinion, showing there are no Canadian workers available to do the job, before the government will grant a temporary foreign worker permit.

Ottawa to close 15% wage gap for temporary foreign workers (Tobi Cohen, Calgary Herald)
The federal government says it will drop the 15-per-cent wage differential for foreign workers introduced in the last budget and temporarily suspend a controversial fast-track process in a bid to fix Canada’s ailing temporary foreign worker program. Effective immediately, employers will have to pay temporary foreign workers at the same level as Canadian workers doing comparable work.

Tories tighten rules for hiring foreign workers (Sun News Network)
Hiring foreigners will now come at a cost to employers because of reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, though critics say the changes will do nothing to curb abuse of the program.

Ottawa to charge firms $275 fee on temporary foreign worker applications (Julian Beltrame, Montreal Gazette)
The Harper government says it has further tightened the rules governing its controversial temporary foreign worker program, confirming it will charge employers $275 for each application they make. The new rules, which build on measures announced in April, include additional restrictions on what language proficiency employers can request, broader requirements to advertise job openings and a new questionnaire that tries to ferret out whether a firm is seeking to replace existing Canadian workers. The changes took effect on July 31, but do not affect the seasonal agricultural worker program.

‘Canadians should have first crack at jobs’: Ottawa to charge $275 fee for temporary foreign worker applications (National Post)
The Harper government says it has further tightened the rules governing its controversial temporary foreign worker program, confirming it will charge employers $275 for each application they make. The new rules, which build on measures announced in April, include additional restrictions on what language proficiency employers can request, broader requirements to advertise job openings and a new questionnaire that tries to ferret out whether a firm is seeking to replace existing Canadian workers. “Qualified Canadians, including new Canadians, should have first crack at available jobs,” Immigration Minister Chris Alexander — who made the announcement jointly with Employment and Social Development Minister Jason Kenney — said in a statement Wednesday.

Demanding real changes (Darren Taylor, Soo Today)
With banners in hand, local representatives from several labour unions representing steelworkers, carpenters and bricklayers gathered outside the Queen Street office of Sault Ste. Marie MP Bryan Hayes early Wednesday afternoon. They were accompanied by CUPE and OPSEU officials in a show of solidarity. The group called for what it termed “real changes” to the federal government’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP).

Ottawa to charge new fees to employers who want temporary foreign workers (Steven Chase, Globe and Mail)
New measures to promote hiring of Canadians over temporary foreign workers have now taken effect, including a $275 user fee for each application to recruit overseas. Reforms introduced by the Harper government will also restrict the languages that can be listed as job requirements in hiring foreign workers to English and French. The new rules, including the need to more widely advertise jobs in Canada first, took effect July 31.

Victory for Migrant Farm Worker in Landmark Decision (Asaf Rashid, Halifax Media Coop)
On July 23, 2013, Adrian Monrose, a migrant farm worker from St. Lucia, won a landmark case at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). It is the first time a migrant farm worker has ever won a case at the Tribunal.

A new standard for fair wages (Yonge Street)
When the question of how to ensure workers are compensated reasonably for their work arises, one standard that is often invoked is the minimum wage: the notion that governments should protect workers from exploitation by ensuring they are paid a rate than covers their basic needs. (Whether or not current minimum wages accomplish that goal is a separate question.) More recently though, a new kind of question has emerged, namely one about equity within a company–not just establishing a minimum threshold for every worker, but assessing the difference between how much the lowest and highest earners within a company make. Especially in the wake of movements like Occupy, the idea that senior executives make twenty or thirty or a hundred times more than their junior employees strikes many as unfair, unhealthy for corporate cultures, and damaging to the well-being of the economy overall.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 7, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 6, 2013

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

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 1, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 31, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Video: Guelph Wellington Immigration Portal


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

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

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

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

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 30, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 29, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 26, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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