Category Archives: dailynews

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 20, 2013


Kenney made multiculturalism minister, after weeks of confusion (Embassy News)
Following weeks of confusion, the government has clarified that Jason Kenney is Canada’s multiculturalism minister. The news was released quietly in the form of two revised cabinet orders posted on the website of the prime ministers department, the Privy Council Office, and dated Aug. 16. They appeared after a month of speculation about the roles of multiple ministers with their hands on the multiculturalism file, sparked by Prime Minister Stephen Harpers July 15 cabinet shuffle.

Possible influx of Hong Kong immigrants ahead (Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver)
A new wave of immigrants from Hong Kong could be inbound as residents of the Chinese Special Administrative Region clash in protests with pro-government supporters backing an executive administrator elected by fewer than 700 people. According to Henry Chau, the Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement chairman, the exodus likely began last summer when administrator Chun-ying Leung, who was elected by a Beijing-appointed voter base of 1,200, tried to introduce a policy to incorporate patriotic education in elementary schools.

Undocumented families lacking information for back-to-school (CBC)
The new school year officially starts on August 28th, but many migrant families without legal immigration status are unsure whether they can send their children to school. The Education For All Collective is asking the Education department to spell out whether these children will receive the paperwork that’s needed to register this fall. Jaggi Singh is a member of The Education For All Collective, and spoke to us this morning.

Undocumented immigrants: Toronto may be a sanctuary city, but agencies still ask about status (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Almost half of Torontos community agencies ask for clients immigration status, and 30 per cent say they would share the information with police and immigration officials. Those statistics are from a new city-funded report, the first ever to survey community service agencies about their policies on serving non-status residents a growing population of migrants who are in Canada without immigration status.

Media Advisory: Toronto community agencies need more support to serve undocumented residents (Social Planning Toronto)
Social Planning Toronto has released a report on challenges faced by community agencies and organizations serving undocumented immigrants in the city. The report shows that the need for support and the lack of formal organizational polices are creating inconsistent access to services for undocumented residents in Toronto, despite the best intentions of social service workers. Report will be online at and Front-line workers are faced with mounting pressures to serve increasing numbers of non-status residents while simultaneously balancing funding constraints and restrictions on who they can serve. A patchwork of services across the city also makes it difficult to provide appropriate care, said Navjeet Sidhu, researcher at Social Planning Toronto.

SPT Report: Agencies need more support to service undocumented residents (Social Planning Toronto)
Social Planning Toronto has launched its new report, Accessing Community Programs and Services for Non-Status Immigrants in Toronto: Organizational Challenges and Responses. Since community organizations are on the front line of providing much needed services and support for Torontos non-status community, its important that organizations work to ensure service-user safety and reduce the fear and hesitancy this population may have in seeking help.

Instill education and skill development in your members to position yourself for a change (Ghana Web)
Immigrant communities especially the Ghanaian Communities in the diaspora have been advised to instil education and skill development in their members if they want to be economic competitive. This advised was given by Dr. Stephen Ameyaw of the Simon Fraser University at the inauguration of the Brong Ahafo Calgary Canadian Association in Calgary, Canada. Speaking as the keynote speaker under the theme building capacity for change- education for leadership at the inauguration, he said the warning signals are blinking red and the only way those communities can thrive is to produce informed leadership through education and skill development. He encouraged such communities to partner with business, educational institutions and policy makers to provide tools and resources to facilitate and drive change.

The Toronto Fire Service Needs More Women (Easha Acharya,
The Toronto Fire Services (TFS) has recently stated in its report “A Path to Diversity” that it hopes to recruit more women into its service. Recent Twitter posts by two young male firefighters in East Command, which were publicized by the National Post, indicate that there is a culture within the field that might not be very welcoming towards an increase in female firefighters. Still, if recruitment is successful, it could be the key to changing the culture from the roots. Of 2,742 Toronto firefighters, only 67 are women. A mere 5.2% of Toronto Fire employees are women, and of this percentage, most work in communications answering emergency calls as opposed to direct involvement on trucks. If the culture at the stations remains as hostile as it seems to be, women who would potentially consider the job will undoubtedly be deterred from applying.

Speaker’s Corner: HRTO lacks expertise to deal with racial profiling (Ernest Guiste, Law Times)
Advocating for a standard of correctness in the review of administrative tribunal decisions in Ontario and particularly those of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario at the Divisional Court and elsewhere is a steep, uphill climb for even the most able advocates. The advent of the Supreme Court of Canadas decision in Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick has witnessed a new era of judicial deference to the decisions of administrative tribunals. Lawyers, legal scholars, and jurists alike have all thrown themselves at the altar of political correctness to welcome this new era of judicial deference. While the language of preliminary questions going to jurisdiction and patent unreasonableness have come and gone, the supervisory function of the superior courts over inferior tribunals like the HRTO remains firmly in place after Dunsmuir. I believe this newfound deference to the decisions of administrative tribunals based on Dunsmuir stems from an incorrect interpretation of the Supreme Court of Canadas holding in that case. In addition, with reference to the adjudication of cases involving racial profiling in which individuals are arrested or charged with a criminal offence, the court must hold the HRTO to a standard of correctness. Its my contention that the Supreme Court in Dunsmuir expressly prescribes this legal conclusion.

Multicultural Communities Demand CRTC Hearings On Cuts To Rogers OMNI TV (The Link)
A broad range of Canadas multicultural communities has backed a call to the CRTC to hold public hearings on Rogers OMNI TVs cuts to multicultural programming. The multicultural protections guaranteed by the Broadcasting Act oblige the CRTC to act. Rogers cuts to its five OMNI stations have affected news programs and others in Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Tamil, Ukrainian, Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi, says Peter Murdoch, Vice-President Media for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Canadas Media Union.

Sports bar fined for racial discrimination against Indo-Canadians (Business STandard)
A human rights tribunal in Canada has ordered a popular sports bar to pay C$10,000 each to three Indo-Canadians for racially discriminating against them. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has found the Shark Club of Langley in the Canadian province of British Columbia guilty of denying Surinderjit Rai, Manjit Gill and Manjinder entry to a graduation party Dec 9, 2011 on the basis of their race and skin colour thereby causing injury to their dignity and self-respect.

NOVA SCOTIA A-Z: Proud Canadian makes his votes count (Kelly Shiers, Chronicle Herald)
Rany Ibrahim voted with his heart on the day he swore allegiance to his chosen country and became a Canadian citizen. A wide smile spreads across his face as the 37-year-old remembers that ceremony and collecting the documents that made it all official. And, just a few short days later, those incredible steps to a Halifax polling station. For one more vote.

NOVA SCOTIA A-Z: French native embraced N.S. (Chronicle Herald)
Stephane Sogne lost his heart to Nova Scotia. I came in Nova Scotia four years ago when I was going to the south after visiting Newfoundland and Labrador for a few weeks, the native of France said in a recent email interview from Cheticamp. I literally fell in love with the place and decided to come back later to give it a try. An avid paraglider who grew up in the Alps and lived in Switzerland for nine years, Sogne holds a degree in material science technologies from the University of Savoie in France and a mechanical engineering degree with a polymer and composite materials specialization from the Jura Arc Engineering School in Switzerland.

NOVA SCOTIA A-Z: Savouring the blend of two cultures (Chronicle Herald)
When Juliana Burgesson sets to work in the kitchen, she merges her native culture with that of Canada, and the recipe is complete. Everything I cook, like chicken or rice, I blend the two cultures together, and in the end it tastes good, says Burgesson, who came to Canada from Ghana some nine years ago. The convergence of her home country with her newfound home in Nova Scotia also makes for a happy life for her family. Burgesson said she and her then-husband decided several years ago that Canada would make a great spot for their family.

NOVA SCOTIA A-Z: For Henry Bonilla, Halifax is now home (Chronicle Herald)
As a right-handed pitcher growing up in the Dominican Republic, Henry Bonilla attracted some interest from the Baltimore Orioles organization. But hanging on a wall in the finished basement of his tidy Halifax bungalow is a Toronto Blue Jays poster. Bonillas favourite baseball team now not to mention his wife, kids and life is in Canada. The youngest in his family, Bonilla, 38, has five brothers and six sisters. The whole brood shared one bathroom. We were used to it, he said.


Feds and medical community disagree on impact of refugee health cuts (Annie Bergeron-Oliver, iPolitics)
As new federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose meets hundreds of doctors in Calgary, it has become clear that the government and medical community do not see eye to eye on the impact of Conservative cuts to refugee health. When it came to the cuts in refugee health, lets be clear, Canadians are very compassionate people and our refugee system is something that matters greatly to all of us, said Ambrose in a scrum after a speech at the Canadian Medical Associations annual general meeting. In this situation, there were health care benefits that went above and beyond what Canadian taxpayers were receiving.

New health minister promises open door, pledges to work with doctors (CMAJ)
In recent months, the CMA and other leading health care organizations have complained that they got no response to letters or requests for meetings from Aglukkaq on issues of concern, particularly the federal governments stance on refugee health care. Significantly, Ambrose avoided any mention of Ottawas cuts to health coverage for refugees a year ago.

Legal Aid Ontarios Refugee Appeal Division Pilot to Fund Transcripts for Refugee Appeals (Settlement AtWork)
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) will now be paying legal aid refugee lawyers up to $500 to cover the cost of Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) transcripts. LAOs RAD Committee will review requests for transcript coverage at the same time it assesses legal merit and the likelihood of success. If the committee approves the request, LAO will add the disbursement to the certificate, and fund the transcription cost up to $3.20 per page or $2.13 per minute to a maximum of $500. In exceptional circumstances, LAO will pay above the $500 maximum if the district area director approves.

Unaccompanied Minors Project (
Through this unique pro bono initiative, volunteer lawyers from McCarthy Tétrault LLP and the RBC law group are trained as Designated Representatives (DRs) to support minors – from infants to adolescents – who arrive at Pearson International Airport without a legal guardian or are at risk of exploitation. DRs ensure the safety, wellbeing and appropriate participation of these children as they make their way through the immigration and family reunification process.


Canada welcomes first immigrants under new Federal Skilled Trades Program (Canada Newswire)
Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today officially welcomed one of the first permanent residents under the new Federal Skilled Trades Program: Eric Byrne, originally from Ireland. “Our Government remains focused on job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity,” said Alexander. “The new Federal Skilled Trades Program enables us to attract and retain skilled workerslike Ericso we can address regional labour shortages and strengthen Canada’s economy. It gives me great pleasure to personally welcome one of Canada’s first successful immigrants through our Skilled Trades stream.”

Beware the shallow consumerism of ‘experiential philanthropy (PINs)
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister of Multiculturalism, announced that the Government of Canada is helping internationally trained acupuncturists and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners put their skills to work sooner, anywhere in Canada. We recognize the importance of trained health care professionals, including those practicing traditional Chinese medicine, in addressing skills shortages and improving the quality of life of Canadians, said Minister Kenney. That is why we are working with partners like the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia to help Canadian and internationally trained professionals find jobs in their fields and contribute fully to Canadas economy.

CIDI Webinar Leveraging the FIN Program to Support Hiring Diversity (CIDI)
Are you looking to connect with highly qualified, employment-ready skilled workers? On behalf of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), you are cordially invited to join us for a Webinar on September 12th from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, or September 24th from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm, to learn more about the Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program. This innovative diversity initiative, launched in 2010, helps newcomers gain valuable Canadian work experience within public and private sector organizations with a view to improving their integration into the Canadian labour market. Current delivery locations include Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria.

Foreign-trained nurses translate skills (Drew Gough, Toronto Star)
Godfrida Bamnjo comes from a family of nurses. Three of her sisters are nurses, another is a midwife and her father was a veterinary nurse. She grew up surrounded by the language and the spirit of caregiving, studied nursing (in both English and French) and has worked as a midwife. And now, eight years after immigrating to Canada from Cameroon, shes ready to start working as a nurse in Canada. Having passed her exams in George Brown Colleges Academic Pathway for Nurses Graduate Certificate program, she has received the approval of the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) to practise.

Building a bridge to Canadian career (Jaclyn Tersigni, Toronto Star)
Once in Canada, Murillo found another retail manager job, but was let go when her contract came up for renewal. The termination was a blow to her confidence; a straight-A student and successful career woman at home, here she felt dejected and lost. My boss told me he wasn’t expecting to have to teach a manager grammar, she recalls. That broke my heart. That’s when, after a recommendation from a friend, she applied to York University’s bridging program for internationally educated professionals (IEPs). The innovative 18-month certificate program helps immigrants trained abroad adjust to Canadian business culture, and find employment that matches their credentials and experience.

Workshop assists foreign workers (Bernie Ramis, Vernon Morning Star)
To help with the education of temporary foreign workers in obtaining their permanent resident status, the Vernon and District Immigrant Services Society is sponsoring a free workshop entitled Immigration Law for Live-In Caregivers and Temporary Foreign Workers. The workshop will be facilitated by labour lawyer Ai Li Lim, executive director of West Coast Domestic Workers Association, a Vancouver-based advocacy group. In this workshop attendees will learn about the hows of work permit and PR applications, understand common immigration problems and inadmissibilities, and receive an overview of recent changes to the TFWP and LCP.



Latest Media and Policy News: 2 May 2013 (ISAC)
Roundup of national news about poverty and policy.

The State of Homelessness in Canada 2013 (Stephen Gaetz, Jesse Donaldson, Tim Richter, Tanya Gulliver, Homeless Hub)
The State of Homelessness in Canada: 2013 is the first extensive Canadian report card on homelessness. This report examines what we know about homelessness, the historical, social and economic context in which it has emerged, demographic features of the problem, and potential solutions. The State of Homelessness provides a starting point to inform the development of a consistent, evidence-based approach towards ending homelessness.

Infographic of the Week – Violence, Women and Homelessness (Homeless Hub)
Here at the Homeless Hub we love infographics. They are such a great way of conveying information. Were going to share our favourites created by us or others every week, along with some research links to provide context. This weeks infographic comes from the American Institutes for Research and is based on the Service and Housing Interventions for Families in Transition (SHIFT) Longitudinal Study.


Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 19, 2013


Immigration policy wasnt always about economics alone (Natalie Brender, Toronto Star)
What if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it? Thats an entertaining stumper. But what if immigration activists make an argument and no one grasps it? Thats something more serious and its a very real worry raised by current attempts to question the direction that Canadas immigration policy is taking. In a Star op-ed last week, immigrant advocates Debbie Douglas and Avvy Yao-Yao Go argued that the public consultation being conducted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is deeply flawed. CICs online background paper and survey questions, they claim, have an overwhelmingly economic slant designed to produce responses favouring economic-class immigrants at the expense of family-class ones and refugees. Therefore, the authors urge, Canadians should weigh in on the consultation in order to ensure a full range of perspectives not just economic ones shape CICs plans for Canadas future.

Immigration discussion in Canada should be about people, not economics (Debbie Douglas, rabble)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is currently consulting the public on Canada’s 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.

Are they illegal or illegalized? (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
What should we call people who are in Canada illegally, without status or proper immigration documents? Some call them illegal immigrants, while others refer to them as undocumented, non-status, irregular, unauthorized or migrants without papers. The naming of this particular population is always a contentious and polarizing issue, causing heated and emotional debates between the enforcement-minded, who are in favour of a law-and-order agenda to keep them out, and their libertarian opponents, who believe in the freedom of movement to give them a pathway to status.

City of Toronto continues its successful international student greeting program at Pearson International Airport (City of Toronto)
Today, the City launched the third year of its International Students Airport Welcome program with the following sponsors: the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; CIBC; Rogers Communications; the Greater Toronto Airports Authority; and Tim Hortons. “This City program offers a warm and helpful welcome for students who greatly contribute to the economic well-being of our city,” said Mayor Rob Ford. “These students have chosen Toronto because our great city offers a globally competitive education as well as a safe, diverse and exciting place to live and study.”

Muslim border security agent targets Muslim Canadian Congress offcial (Ottawa Citizen)
The Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) has asked the Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney and the head of Canadas Border Security Agency, Luc Portelance to investigate an incident at the Niagara Falls border crossing where a CBSA officer describing himself as a practicing Muslim, detained and harassed the president of the MCC and his family.

Canada follows US, makes work visa difficult (Shilpa Phadnis, Times of India)
The past decade has seen a phenomenal increase in the number of Indians working in Canada, the highest amongst any single nationality. But that now looks set to slow down. Just as the US, Canada too is tightening its temporary foreign worker program (TFWP) that allows foreign nationals to work in Canada for short periods. The effort, as Rakesh Prabhu, partner-immigration practice in ALMT Legal, says, is to improve employment opportunities for its locals. Effective July, employers in Canada will have to pay $275 as processing fee for each application that they file to bring in a foreign worker. Till now there was no fee. The new fee is non-refundable in case the application is rejected.

Canadian Forces to reduce unattainable targets for recruitment of women, visible minorities (Lee Berthiaume, National Post)
Military officials are preparing to scale back targets related to the number of women and visible minorities in uniform because they say the current goals are unattainable, according to a defence department audit. This is despite the military having made some progress in increasing the proportion of both within its rank and file in recent years. At the same time, auditors have warned that the decision to close 12 military recruiting centres across the country to save money will hurt reserve units as well as aboriginal recruitment, which has been on the increase.

Immigrant families are living in poverty in spite of working hard (CERIS)
Access Alliance recently released a new report titled Where are the Good Jobs? Ten stories of working rough, living poor. This report is a follow up to our Working Rough, Living Poor report (released in 2011) and contains ten powerful case stories of immigrant families from racialized background (visible minority) who are struggling to find stable employment in Canada. Both reports can be downloaded at: The case stories of these ten families provide heart-wrenching real life accounts and telling evidence of what it is like for racialized immigrant families to be trapped in a vicious cycle of bad jobs, near-poverty conditions, and deteriorating health. It is important that we put names and faces to these stories, reminding ourselves that peoples lives, families and futures are at stake.

Event August 22: Role of Ethnic Media in Canada (Ryerson University Diversity Institute)
Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute cordially invites you to a seminar on the growing importance of ethno-cultural media in Canada’s diverse cities.

Government of Canada supports internationally trained acupuncturists and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners (Gov of Canada News)
Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister of Multiculturalism, announced that the Government of Canada is helping internationally trained acupuncturists and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners put their skills to work sooner, anywhere in Canada. We recognize the importance of trained health care professionals, including those practicing traditional Chinese medicine, in addressing skills shortages and improving the quality of life of Canadians, said Minister Kenney. That is why we are working with partners like the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia to help Canadian and internationally trained professionals find jobs in their fields and contribute fully to Canadas economy.;jsessionid=ac1b105430d81d2bcaa46bb44e7a969cbe406efd70c4.e34Rc3iMbx8Oai0Tbx0SaxqKah10?crtr.sj1D=&crtr.mnthndVl=1&mthd=advSrch&crtr.dpt1D=420&nid=764419&crtr.lc1D=&crtr.tp1D=1&crtr.yrStrtVl=2008&

NDP MP Sims Unleashed On Kenney Again In New Critic Role (The Link)
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair named Jinny Sims, MP for Newton-North Delta, to the NDP Shadow Cabinet as the critic for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, where she will again be unleashed on Minister Jason Kenney, who was reassigned from Immigration and Citizenship to Human Resources. I am looking forward to serving in this new role, said Sims. Short-sighted Conservative cuts to social programs have hurt Canadian families, and I will work hard to hold the government to account.

Students train to help new Canadians at high school (Craig Gilbert, London Community News)
When 16-year-old Alejandro Duque moved to London from Columbia, it was a challenge to find the right class, let alone get to his locker. His countryman, Carlos Giraldo, 14, had trouble just opening the lock. In a new school where the culture, language and even lockers are different, having someone who gets it can be a big help. Thats the idea behind the Newcomers program at the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre.

New Divorce Process For Certain Non-Residents Who Married in Canada Now in Force (Settlement AtWork)
Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the coming into force of a new divorce process for certain non-resident couples who married in Canada. Generally, a Canadian divorce is only available if at least one of the spouses has lived in Canada for at least one year. Amendments to the Civil Marriage Act now make a limited exception for couples from other countries if they married in Canada and cannot divorce in their home country because their country does not recognize the Canadian marriage.

University of B.C. and other Canadian universities heading to India to recruit international students (Larissa Cahute, Vancouver Desi)
Representatives from the University of British Columbia and eight other Canadian universities are en route to India to promote education in Canada and recruit international students to their undergraduate programs. According to manager of international recruitment and marketing with UBCs Vantage College, Marc Bavin, its an annual trip organized by the Canadian Higher Education Committee under the Council of International Schools hes also got about five more similar trips abroad scheduled this fall.


Operational Bulletin 440-B – April 11, 2013 – Protecting Canadas Immigration System Act Changes to Humanitarian and Compassionate Consideration (CIC)
This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides an overview of the changes to the Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) provisions, as per Section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), as well as guidelines to determine if an applicant qualifies to have an application for permanent residence on H&C grounds assessed.

Nepalese refugees welcomed to Halifax (Lizzy Hill, The Coast)
A group of Nepalese/Bhutanese refugees will start new lives and form a new immigrant community in Halifax, after spending nearly 20 years in refugee camps. Twelve government-sponsored refugees arrived last week, joining the 20 who arrived in May. “We’re assuming that we will get more,” says Sarah Cooper, settlement worker at the Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association. Canada has promised to resettle 5,000 of roughly 108,000 stateless Nepalese/Bhutanese refugees.

Program helps unaccompanied minors navigate Canadas refugee process (David Hayes, Toronto Star)
When Ivie Okaro was 16 and still lived in a rural area 240 kilometres northwest of Lagos, Nigeria, she dreamed of going to university, of becoming a doctor or a nurse. But she had to drop out of school because her father, a farmer who sold palm oil, fell into financial trouble and couldnt afford the fees. He borrowed from a tribal elder and when he was unable to repay the loan, the elder demanded, as compensation, one of the mans daughters as a wife. So Ivies father told the elder he could have Ivie. Aside from marriage to this old man, which Ivie didnt want, she would also have to be publicly circumcised, a painful and sometimes fatal procedure. Ivies father had already thrown her mother out of the home so, in desperation, Ivie ran away. Her mother and an aunt knew she couldnt hide from her father and the elder forever so they managed to raise enough money for her to escape.

Immigration Minister: Canada will seriously consider refugee claims by Russian homosexuals (Thaddeus Baklinski, Life Site News)
Canada’s newly appointed immigration minister said that Russia is wrong in restricting homosexual propaganda aimed at youth and indicated that refugee claims by Russian homosexuals will be given serious consideration by the Conservative government. Speaking at a Canadian citizenship ceremony in Surrey, B.C. on August 12, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said the Conservative government of Stephen Harper has made its position on the Russian laws against homosexual proselytizing known and that Russian refugee claims related to this particular issue will of course be looked at very seriously by our very generous system.


Street party for a $14 minimum wage! (Workers’ Action Centre)
What better way to launch a day of action for a $14 minimum wage than organize a pop-up street party in the heart of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s riding. As soon as we arrived we had some very eager helpers from the community!

Canada welcomes first skilled trades immigrants (Tobi Cohen, Leader Post)
Little more than seven months after it launched, Canadas new skilled trades immigration stream has welcomed its first permanent residents to Canada. Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Employment Minister Jason Kenney made the joint announcement Friday in Toronto and Calgary where they welcomed a plumber from Ireland and an electrician who had already been working for a Calgary-based company since June 2012. Eric Byrne originally arrived in Canada through a work-abroad program. While here, he got his Ontario trades certificate and found a job at University Plumbing and Heatin

Canadas new immigration program welcomes first plumber and electrician (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Eight months after Ottawa launched a new program to recruit immigrants in skilled trades, the first plumber and electrician both from Ireland received their official welcome Friday. Eric Byrne, 31, the plumber who settled in Toronto, and Paul Lyttle, 29, the electrician now based in Calgary, are among as many as 3,000 newcomers slated to be accepted in 2013 under Canadas Federal Skilled Trades Program. The program was initiated in January to target prospective immigrants whose skills and experience fall into one of the 43 occupations in demand in the countrys construction, transportation and manufacturing sectors.

Foreign-trained MDs being shut out (Charlie Fidelman, Montreal Gazette)
Foreign-trained doctors are still being shut out of medical residencies, says a provincial rights agency whose latest study unveils a vicious circle of discrimination. This year, 50 per cent of qualified immigrant doctors were refused entry into residency a step needed to get a license to practice medicine in Quebec despite successfully completing a government-funded training program conceived with the specific goal of putting them on an equal footing with Canadian-trained doctors. What will it take for immigrant doctors to be able to practice medicine in this province? demanded Gaétan Cousineau, head of the Quebec Human Rights Commission.

Harper government gets slap on wrist for ad touting job grant that doesnt exist (Tobi Cohen,
A federal government television commercial touting a not yet existent Canada Job Grant was misleading and a breach of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, Canadas advertising watchdog has ruled. In a letter to James Gilbert, assistant deputy human resources minister, Advertising Standards Canada said it received more than 20 consumer complaints alleging the ad was misleading. After reviewing the complaints, the council concluded the ad, which aired in May at prime time during the NHL playoffs and likely cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, indeed omitted relevant information contrary to the code.



Canadian Social Research Newsletter August 18, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Raising Ontario’s minimum wage makes good economic sense (Toronto Star) – August 13
2. Health Care : Let’s Talk About It. (Ottawa Council on Aging Bulletin, Summer 2013)
3. Le système de santé : Parlons-en (Bulletin du Conseil sur le vieillissement d’Ottawa – Été 2013)
4. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics
— Statistics Canada delays final release of National Household Survey – August 13
— Tracking government finances – July 17 StatCan blog post
5. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Canada’s top judge slams ‘inaccessible justice’ (CBC)
“Inaccessible justice costs us all, but visits its harshest consequences on the poorest people in our communities,” the report says. Its author, Melina Buckley, says one of the biggest concerns is the growing number of people who represent themselves in civil cases. Buckley says many people earn just enough money so they don’t qualify for legal aid, but they also don’t make enough to pay for a lawyer. Those people often find themselves on their own in court, she says. The problem is especially pronounced in family law cases.

CBA’s Map to Equal Justice (Omar Ha-Redeye, Slaw)
The Canadian Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee has released a new summary report today, Reaching Equal Justice: An Invitation to Envision and Act. The report explains why fundamental change in the legal system is necessary, exploring issues like the growth of unrepresented litigants, the role of technology, and potential partnerships between private practices and public resources.

Report: Reaching Equal Justice: An Invitation to Envision and Act-

Province updating poverty strategy (Craig Gilbert, London Community News)
About 50 social agency reps and London residents received the chance to weigh in on the provinces next poverty reduction strategy Friday morning (Aug. 19). London North Centre MPP Deb Matthews, working on behalf of the minister of children and youth services, hosted an input session at the North London Optimist Community Centre. It was the second of 19 input gathering sessions that will take place across the province as the government updates its poverty reduction strategy. Attendees included representatives of the United Way and LifeSpin, as well as public health advocates.

Liberals determined to make more progress to reduce poverty in Ontario (James Kuracina, Windsor Star)
In response to the letter of Aug. 13 regarding our governments record on poverty, I can say plainly that I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished. After years of cuts and neglect under previous governments, we took action by introducing the Poverty Reduction Act and the provinces first Poverty Reduction Strategy in 2008. We started by targeting our efforts on child poverty and we got results. By creating and steadily increasing the Ontario Child Benefit, weve helped lift 61,000 children out of poverty.

New Legal Clinic Opens at Vaughan Food Ban (Settlement AtWork)
Those who need legal advice along with help at the food bank can now get both in one place, thanks to a new venture that opened recently. The Community Legal Clinic of York Regions satellite office is now open in the same location as the Vaughan Food Bank on Marycroft Avenue in Woodbridge.

Toronto to pick new priority neighbourhoods (Daniel Dale, Toronto Star)
In a high-stakes policy shift, Toronto may soon drop some needy communities from its roster of priority neighbourhoods and replace them with communities now thought to be needier. The city government is about to begin selecting the first new crop of neighbourhoods since the priority initiative was launched eight years ago. The selection process, likely to be completed in 2014, is complicated and political: neighbourhoods that make the updated roster may get millions of extra dollars from governments, corporate donors and non-profits. To help councillors decide which areas to choose, officials are now in the process of developing a new quantitative ranking of neighbourhood need. They are openly hoping that some of the current 13 neighbourhoods dont make the statistical cut.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 16, 2013


Canadians Demand CRTC Hearings on OMNI TV Cuts (Broadcaster Magazine)
A broad range of Canada’s multicultural communities has backed a call to the CRTC to hold public hearings on OMNI TV’s cuts to multicultural programming. “The multicultural protections guaranteed by the Broadcasting Act oblige the CRTC to act. Rogers’ cuts to its five OMNI stations have affected news programs and others in Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Tamil, Ukrainian, Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi,” says Peter Murdoch, Vice-President Media for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Canada’s Media Union. “That so many organizations representing millions of Canadians have intervened sends a clear message to the CRTC that the cuts have been devastating. Canada’s broadcast industry cannot simply give up on accommodating diversity and it is up the CRTC to assure that it doesn’t.”

Has Multiculturalism in Canada Lost Its Way? (Omar Alghabra, Huffington Post)
Now that multiculturalism has become a popular concept, it is time for us to add more meat to the bone and expand on what it means to Canada to be a multicultural society. While most Canadians highlight our multicultural character as a virtue, it continues to mean different things to different people. Multiculturalism is the recognition that while Canadians share equal rights and responsibilities, they come with diverse cultural backgrounds where each is entitled to practice their faith freely and take pride in their heritage.

Teaching Our Kids What Equality Really Means (Huffington Post)
Do your children know what equality means? Even young children have a sense of fairness. In celebration of the contribution young people make to our society, The Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust (CCLET) and TVO Parents want to help them develop that sense even further. We invite you to tell your children today’s story on the Civics for Kids website and then find out what your children think. There are no rules except to be open to everyone’s ideas — and remember there are NO right answers. Ask your children if they can figure out how to treat everyone in the stories fairly. You might be surprised by what they say.

Reverse racism? (Juliana Laskowska, Surrey Leader)
I believe it is time to address the fact that Caucasians are being treated as second-class citizens, whether that be in applying for a job, receiving customer service in various businesses, or attempting to have a conversation with non-Caucasian neighbors. The issue of who is racist, and who is not, no longer pertains to the old-school notion that Caucasians and only Caucasians are full-fledged racists. Perhaps reverse racism does not exist at all. Perhaps it is just racism.

‘Practicing Muslim’ CBSA officer detains MCC president at US-Canada border (Muslim Canadian Congress)
The Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) has asked the Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney and the head of Canada’s Border Security Agency, Luc Portelance to investigate an incident at the Niagara Falls border crossing where a CBSA officer describing himself as a ‘practicing Muslim’, detained and harassed the president of the MCC and his family including a 4-year old child. “It appears I was specifically targeted by this Muslim officer because I and the MCC have been at the forefront of exposing the Islamist agenda in Canada and the USA,” said Mumtaz Khan in his letter to Minister Blaney and CBSA president Luc Portelance.

Racist graffiti on Saskatoon bench ignites controversy (CBC)
A piece of graffiti in Saskatoon has stirred up a lot of controversy in the city. A racist slur was painted on a bench along the river, near the University of Saskatchewan. The graffiti was painted over on Thursday and police are investigating the matter. Dusty Rose said she found the racist message on Tuesday night. Rose took a photo and posted it online. The photo was shared more than 160 times on social media.

SISO trial continues (CHCH)
A computer technician who brought two hard drives to police with alleged damning information about his bosses was on the stand today, in the case concerning the collapse of an organization that, for years, helped refugees and immigrants settle in Hamilton. Settlement and Integration Services Organization, or SISO, went bankrupt in 2011 after it’s main source of funds, citizenship and immigration Canada, became concerned about a financial audit.


Canada Offers Refugee Status to LGBT Russians seeking a Safe Haven (Passport Magazine)
Russians suffering under Putin’s anti-gay law may be able to seek refuge in Canada. On Monday, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said that Russia has embarked on the wrong path in restricting the rights of the LGBT community. He said that any Russian gay refugee whose claims are “related to this particular issue will of course be looked at very seriously by our very generous system.” Attorney Rob Hughes who currently represents two Russian gay men who are seeking asylum in Canada said that the decision made by the Canadian government is “quite encouraging.”


ALLIES Newsletter August 2013
In this issue:
• Removing the “Canadian Experience” Barrier
• Anonymous Job Applications: The Next Step Towards Bias-Free Hiring
• Right in your Back Yard: Sourcing Immigrant Talent Faster
• Unlocking Potential: From Underperformer to Asset
• Career Bridge Internships a Win-Win for St. Michael’s Hospital
• Not all Internships Are Bad
• Ontario Award for Leadership in Immigrant Employment
• Councils
• Policy Update
• Resources

New Webinar: Bias-free Hiring and Assessment: Removing the “Canadian Experience” Barrier (
In this webinar, you will hear from Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission on the new policy. Immigration expert, Ratna Omidvar will moderate a discussion with two employers – the international law firm Denton’s and the Ottawa based IT company Pythian on how they assess the qualifications and competencies of new employees. We will provide practical examples on how you can implement effective hiring practices that discounts “Canadian experience”.

Video: Community Connections (Rogers TV)
Host Michelle Baldwin talks to some representatives from a local immigration partnerships.

Part 2:

Business leaders lobby Ottawa on Temporary Foreign Worker Program (Whistler Question)
“If you’re going to hire a foreign worker and go through all the brain damage you have to go through as an employer to get that approval — we do it for a living and it’s a lot of work — you’re going to spend the $275. The person is worth it,” he said. “(Whistler employers) are not doing it because it’s easier than finding a Canadian, they’re doing it because they have to.” Ottawa first announced program reforms in May after relenting to public pressure in the wake of a CBC report that revealed The Royal Bank had been using the process to replace dozens of domestic staff with temporary foreign workers in a cost-saving effort. Until those changes, the program allowed for employers to pay foreign workers up to 15 per cent less than Canadians doing the same job. The additional processing fee, which went into effect July 31, has left Girodo feeling “conflicted,” he said.

West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association report urges B.C. to protect its foreign workers (Carlito Pablo,
Even though Canada’s temporary-foreign-worker program comes under federal jurisdiction, provinces have the power to protect labourers, a B.C. lawyer says. Ai Li Lim is the executive director of the West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association. On August 10, her group presented a report on temporary foreign workers at a well-attended forum at SFU Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver. “Yes, it’s a federal immigration program, but once the workers are here in B.C., they have to be—or they are, in theory—supported by B.C. employment standards,” Lim told the Straight during a break at the forum.

New ‘nanny fee’ hard on families, says critic (Denise Ryan, Vancouver Sun)
A hike in processing fees for families that want foreign nannies or live-in caregivers will hurt ordinary, middle-class families already struggling to make ends meet, says Manuela Gruber Hersch, president of the Association of Caregiver and Nanny Agencies Canada. “The misconception is that only wealthy families hire nannies,” said Hersch. “This is wrong. Single parents who do shift work hire nannies, and middle-class families. It’s definitely going to be more difficult.”

A Joint Venture with CAPP: Career possibilities lure new talent (Financial Post)
Job opportunities in Canada’s oil and natural gas sector are attracting university students and people from abroad. Darren Smylie is a third-year geography and environment student at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. He doesn’t yet know which career to choose, but he knows he wants to make a difference.

Internationally Educated Nurses: An Employer’s Guide (Ontario Hospital Association)
Recognizing the value of these professionals and the challenges they face, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and the Nursing Health Services Research Unit (NHSRU), McMaster site, have created this web-based guide to help employers hire, retain, and integrate IENs into the workplace. Internationally Educated Nurses: An Employer’s Guide was funded by the Government of Ontario. This guide contains a wealth of information about issues related to workforce diversity, regulatory environment, bridging programs for foreign-educated nurses, as well as practical advice on orientation and recruitment.


Globe Public editor: How government tries to define the news agenda (Sylvia Stead, Globe and Mail)
If you haven’t read this great behind the scenes look at a government trying to control the media, I encourage you to do so. Written by investigative reporter and former Queen’s Park correspondent Karen Howlett, it lifts a veil on how governing parties try to throw up roadblocks to keep reporters away from negative coverage. And in this great multimedia look by editor Stuart Thompson at the more than 1,300 emails from Ontario Liberal staffers concerning the closing of two power plants, you can see in the narrative section the efforts made to divert attention.

Why Canada still needs census in age of data mining (Shenaz Kermalli, CBC)
Could data mining ever replace the national household survey census? It’s a question prompted by this week’s stalled release of data from the 2011 national household survey, over what Statistics Canada admitted were “serious errors.” Those errors, along with rising survey costs ($652 million so far — about 15 per cent more than the 2006 long-form census) and a considerably lower response rate (68 per cent in 2011 versus 93 per cent in 2006) have raised doubts among critics about the credibility of the current census and whether it’s even necessary in the modern age of data mining.

Canada’s job numbers don’t tell the real story (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
For two solid years, Jim Flaherty has been insisting that all the jobs lost in the 2008-2009 recession are back. Even last week, as Statistics Canada reported an unexpected drop of 39,400 jobshe was bullish about the direction of the labour market. Private employers are still hiring, the finance minister pointed out brightly. (The public sector lost 74,000 jobs; the private sector gained 34,600.) But Flaherty’s words — and the statistics he uses to back them up — don’t match what’s happening in workers’ lives. They haven’t recovered from the recession. They were hurled straight from the economic meltdown into a harsh new reality: a Canada of chronic job insecurity, uneven growth and deteriorating living standards. To explain this paradox, Citizens for Public Justice, a faith-based social action organization, has produced a primer on labour market trends. It is one of the most sophisticated pieces of research to come out of the anti-poverty movement. It tracks the job market since 2008, tapping into data Statistics Canada doesn’t normally publish.

Taking the long view on Labour Trends and Poverty (Brad Wassink, Citizens for Public Justice)
Last Friday, Statistics Canada released its Labour Force Survey, reporting on employment figures for the month of July. Since June, it reports, the Canadian economy has lost 39,000 jobs, a far cry from the 17,000 it was expected to gain. While this isn’t good news, it’s important to keep in mind that these monthly surveys provide us with only a short-term view of the changes in the Canadian employment rolls, something that can be highly variable from month to month. As BMO economist Doug Porter told CBC News, “Do the wild gyrations in monthly jobs actually mean anything for the economy? Not really.” We should avoid reading too much into these monthly reports, whether negative or positive, like in May 2013, when the Canadian economy gained 95,000 jobs.

Momentum Growing for Poverty Reduction in Canada (Vibrant Communities Canada)
Across the country the momentum is growing for poverty reduction! How do we know? Well in 2002 when Vibrant Communities began its grand experiment to look at a new way of reducing poverty in Canadian communities would work, there was one city in Canada actively working at reducing poverty. In time that grew to 6 and then 13 Vibrant Communities with multi-sector leadership roundtables emerged. Now as we scale up as Vibrant Communities Canada – Cities Reducing Poverty we have knowledge of over 100 cities, regions and communities who are all actively using a multi-sector, comprehensive approach to reducing poverty in their cities. While all of this was percolating at the local, municipal level a new language was being spoken at the provincial level. It was a language of poverty reduction. First Quebec developed their provincial poverty reduction strategy, and then Newfoundland and Labrador, and then New Brunswick. And now we find ourselves at a point in history where only 2 provinces do not have a Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy – British Columbia and Saskatchewan.


Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 15, 2013


Citizenship and Immigration Canada would like you to participate in future Immigration Planning! (ERIEC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada would like to invite you to participate in an online consultation on immigration levels planning.The purpose of this consultation is to seek your feedback on immigration to Canada, specifically on the total number of new permanent residents Canada should welcome and how this overall total should be distributed among immigration categories.

Canadian air force mechanics parents denied visa from India to visit ailing grandson (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Deepak Sharma has fought for Canada in Afghanistan and Libya, but the air force veteran just cannot beat Canadian immigration officials. The 33-year-old corporal, based at CFB Trenton in eastern Ontario, has been unsuccessful in obtaining a visa for his parents in India to visit their two-year-old grandson, Akarsh, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder. Twice, in March and May, Sharma applied to invite his father, Ashok Kumar, and mother Renu, both in their late 50s, to visit Canada. In rejecting the applications, the visa office in Chandigarh, India, cited his parents lack of travel history abroad, family ties in Canada and purpose of visit as reasons to believe they would not leave the country after their visit. A Citizenship and Immigration spokesperson said she couldnt discuss details, because the required consent form from the family was incomplete. Sharma, a father of three who has served in the Canadian military for 10 years, called the situation depressing.

Chinese tourist may have scammed seniors (CBC)
Immigration officials say a Chinese citizen, who travelled to Canada on a tourists visa, may have spent his time in this country scamming seniors. Huo Youjin and four women were detained at Vancouvers airport last month as they tried to return to China. Canada Border Services Agency say they were carrying $148,000 in cash between them, as well as a large amount of jewelry. The cash was concealed between the pages of magazines, in the lining of suitcases and inserted inside feminine hygiene products.

Is U.S. the worlds most religiously diverse nation? Check out Canada. (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
Readers can see from the chart below that, compared to the U.S., Canada has more than twice as many members per capita of non-Christian religions at almost nine per cent of the total population. Canada also has far more who say theyre non-religious, which could be argued is another form of diversity.

Solicitor-client privilege, Federal Court diversity to be debated by lawyers (Tobi Cohen,
Meanwhile, another resolution to be debated would call on the government to step up efforts to address gender and ethnic diversity in Federal Court appointments. As of April of this year, just 31 per cent of all federally appointed judges were women, said B.C. lawyer Linda Robertson, adding her province hadnt seen female appointee for two years. After some poking and prodding by the local bar association, that changed in June when four women were finally appointed, she said, adding the ethnic make-up of the court is less clear. The judges who sit on these cases bring with them their own life experiences and different perspectives that different groups have. Women bring a different perspective than men to the bench. Someone whos Indo-Canadian has a different life experience, she said.

Delayed Citizenship Applications Canada’s Bulwark Against Freeloading Immigrants (SB Wire)
Old codgers (at least those who require medical treatment) at times rail against the tendency of those immigrants, usually male, who immigrate to Canada, settle their family in Canada and then leave Canada, sometimes returning to the foreign job they had prior to obtaining their Canadian permanent visa. The codgers view (sometimes found among the profoundly racist comments to on-line immigration articles), enforced by the immigration department, is that Canadas permanent resident visa is a backup for those immigrants working in politically unstable places, where low or no-taxes are payable and earnings high; immigrants in this scenario use a Canadian permanent visa as a backup in the event that their work terminates due to the arbitrary political and business climate in places such as the Persian Gulf city states and other parts of Asia. Ordinarily, they work outside of Canada and then comfortably retire in Canada availing themselves of Canadas health-care system during their retirement until they die.

International Post-Graduates Category now a permanent part of British Columbia PNP (South Asian Generation Next)
The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) announced that the International Post-Graduate (IPG) pilot project will become a permanent fixture in the provinces PNP program. The IPG pilot project was created in 2010 and scheduled to run for a three-year trial period. It is intended to attract and retain international graduates who gained masters of doctoral degrees in the natural, applied or health sciences from a British Columbia institution.

Immigration policy is complex and multi-faceted (Divya Kaeley, South Asian Generation Next)
The complexity of the immigration policy may be unfair to some people who cannot navigate it. However I think immigration policy is not a monolith that we can stick a single label on. Canada has many priorities in immigration, some of which compete against each other. Trying to balance all the priorities and interests as well as the politics is not an easy task for any government. Elsy J. Chakkalakal


A legal information training for ESL teachers and support staff across Ontario (FCJ Refugee Centre)
The trainings are for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and support staff, to better equip them to respond to issues related to immigration and human rights, including the refugee process. As a result, migrant populations studying English will gain greater access to legal information and resources as they navigate Canadian systems.

Summer Working Group meetings, 6 – 7 September 2013 (CCR)
The CCRs three Working Groups provide the forum for CCR members and other refugee and immigrant rights advocates to exchange information, network and develop policy positions in particular areas of concern. Each Working Group is responsible for preparing resolutions, following up on action items, and planning workshops for the consultations, as well as for advising the CCR Executive on policy. The Working Group meetings are closed to representatives of government and the media. The CCR Working Groups meet four times a year. Two of these meetings take place during the consultations (see above). The other two series of working group meetings take place in February (in Toronto) and in September (in Montreal).


Video: Moving Towards Bias Free Hiring Practical Examples to Assess Candidates (Ratna Omidvar,
With the new Ontario Human Rights Commissions policy on removing the Canadian experience barrier Ratna Omidvar, President of Maytree, provides practical examples that employers can use to assess competencies of a potential candidate.

Video: Moving Towards Bias Free Hiring The Power of Policy (Ratna Omidvar,
With the new Ontario Human Rights Commissions policy on removing the Canadian experience barrier Ratna Omidvar, President of Maytree, talks about the larger role employers can play in ensuring bias free hiring practices.

Bringing out the Best in Your Immigrant Employees (
What can you do when you hire an internationally educated professional who has the right skills, degree, and workplace experience, but who under performs without explanation?

Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce that is Representative of the Wider Community – PDF (hireimmigrants ottawa)
To provide excellence in client service, improve customer satisfaction, and capture new markets, RBC seeks to leverage the talents of a diverse workforce that is representative of the wider Ottawa community, including Ottawas immigrant population. RBC benefits from the leadership and direction of a diversity Council chaired by CEO Gordon Nixon. Given the banks multi-locations and country-wide employee base, initiatives vary across the country. In Ottawa, RBC undertakes a broad range of diversity and inclusion practices.

LMIEC Update
In this issue:
City funding expands local Job Match Network
Ontario working with employers to identify labour market needs and job opportunities for all immigrants
New social media campaign to feature successful newcomers
Job Match Network attracting newcomers from within Ontario
LMIEC Mentorship highlighted as way to give back
Chamber of Commerce CEO recognized for proactive efforts
Attracting, Managing and Retaining Talent focus of seminar

Learning ‘soft skills’ comes through experience (Brantford Expositor)
While many immigrants face challenges when they find their foreign credentials aren’t recognized in Canada, some more fundamental needs are those not necessarily taught in a classroom, but rather picked up by being part of a culture. For many newcomers, English language skills and understanding of Canadian workplace practices and culture is just as important as their credentials. These are important skills that cannot really be learned without being in a community.

Pathways to Employment: Strengthening the Immigrant Connection (Workforce Planning Hamilton)
You are invited to our event to learn about recent Workforce Planning Hamilton (WPH) initiatives in aiding newcomers to discover pathways to employment, including the HIP and HIMP programs.

Foreign live-in caregiver fee to cost families $275 each (CBC)
Canadian families looking to hire nannies and caregivers from abroad will be financially stung by recent changes made to temporary foreign worker program, say opposition and industry critics alike. There is now a $275 processing fee for each temporary foreign worker position that an employer requests through a labour market opinion, which is usually required to prove the need to hire a temporary foreign worker over a Canadian one.

Western Canadian construction associations head to Ireland (Richard Gilbert, Daily Commerce News)
The B.C. Construction Association (BCCA) and the Saskatchewan Construction Association (SCA) are teaming up for a job expo in Ireland to help address skilled labour shortages in western Canada. We are not going to a job fair, where it is set up by an outside company and employers pay to attend, said Abigail Fulton, vice-president of the BCCA. We are doing all the organization ourselves, so it can be as affordable as it can possibly be for our employers. We are organizing our own fair to cut out the middleman. The associations are planning to take a delegation of about 50 companies on a trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland and Dublin, Ireland this fall for a construction-specific job expo.–western-canadian-construction-associations-head-to-ireland

Steelworkers Turn Up Heat on Toronto Plaza Hotel Strike (Canada Newswire)
Workers at the Toronto Plaza Hotel, a group of predominantly visible minority women, many of whom have worked for the hotel for over 20 years, have been on strike since May 30 in an attempt to protect their modest wages and conditions.

Ontarios skills gap is costing the province billions (James Stuckey And Daniel Munro, Globe and Mail)
Ontarios employers say they cant find the skilled workers they need. Recent graduates complain they cant find the jobs they want. The fact is, both are right and both have reason to be concerned. The gap between the skills employers need, and those that graduates have, costs the Ontario economy up to $24-billion annually, according to a recent study by the Conference Board of Canada. The report (The Need to Make Skills Work: The Cost of Ontarios Skills Gap) shows that some Ontarians have weak employment prospects, in part because they simply do not have the kinds of skills and education sought by employers.

Infographic: The Need to Make Skills Work: The Cost of Ontarios Skills Gap (Conference Board of Canada)
Full report: The Need to Make Skills Work: The Cost of Ontarios Skills Gap –

Employment and Social Development Canada announces further changes to the LMO process (Henry J. Chang, First Reference blog)
As previously discussed, on April 29, 2013, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that they would be introducing numerous changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), formerly known as HRSDC, has now announced changes to the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) application process, which are effective as of July 31, 2013. Each of these changes is described below.


Start with Sector Source to find targeted material for charities and nonprofits (Imagine Canada)
More and more were hearing our community say: I just need a place to go to understand if my organization has it all covered. Imagine Canadas new Sector Source is a website that helps answer questions like these and supports charity and nonprofit leaders in discovering important issues and relevant resources. Sector Source helps you build capacity in core organizational management areas, so that you can in turn focus on your cause.



Aug 14th Day of Action : Send a message to Kathleen Wynne! (Workers’ Action Centre)
Today is our day of action for a $14 minimum wage. Let’s get as many emails to her as possible! Please send this email to 10 friends and get them to send a message too! Together we can make our voices heard!

Anti-poverty group calls for minimum wage increase to $14 an hour (Laura Armstrong, Ottawa Citizen)
Anti-poverty activists rallied outside MPP Madeleine Meilleurs Montreal Road office Wednesday to protest Ontarios minimum wage freeze. Members of ACORN Ottawa say almost 20 per cent of Ontario workers were forced below the poverty line in the three years since the provincial Liberals froze minimum wage at $10.25. ACORNs provincewide campaign is calling for the rate to be immediately increased to $14, reflecting the rise in inflation since 2010. I have two children. Theyre 30 and 28. At that age, my income was better, I was living better than they are now. Theres something wrong with the system, for you not to be able to have a decent life, said Diane Rochon, an ACORN Ottawa board member.

Wealth, Religion and Inequality (Livio Di Matteo, Wortwhile blog)
The top 1% of wealth holders in Ontario in 1892 and 1902 held about 25 percent of total wealth. Compare this to other parts of the world as shown in Figure 2 and it can be seen that Ontario seems to stand out as not being as unequal as other parts of the world when it came to wealth. Compared to the United States, Britain or even new settler economies such as Australia, Ontario seems curiously bereft of larger supercharged estates more characteristic of the Age of the Robber Barons. Why Ontario (and maybe by extension Canada) is not as unequal in its wealth distribution as other parts of the world during this time is a question I have been trying to find answers to.

In from the margins, Part II: Reducing Barriers to Social Inclusion and Social Cohesion (Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology)
In November 2011, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology received an order of reference from the Senate to examine and report on social inclusion and cohesion in Canada. Continuing from its earlier study on social conditions in Canadian cities, the committee built upon the testimony from more than 170 witnesses, who contributed to the earlier report, In from the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness, tabled in December 2009. With testimony from more than 65 witnesses over two Parliaments, the committee has now completed its second report, entitled In from the Margins, Part II: Reducing Barriers to Social Inclusion and Social Cohesion. Includes commentary from Ratna and Maytree mentions.

Quebec’s movements for social transformation: An interview with historian Sean Mills (Stefan Christoff, rabble)
Quebec’s 2012 student uprising highlights a long history of social activism that continues to shape politics in both Quebec and Canada. Beyond simplistic nationalist notions, grassroots movements in Quebec have long organized with an internationalist spirit rooted in decolonization and social transformation. Sean Mills is the author of The Empire Within: Postcolonial Thought and Political Activism in Sixties Montreal, an inspiring book that details social movements of generations past. Given the growing political distance between Quebec and Canada today at an official level and the major focus on Quebec activism due to the recent student strike, I sent Sean a series of questions on Quebec history of social activism and how it relates to our contemporary context. – Stefan Christoff

Seeker Journal (Tamarack)
In this issue:
Having Fun… In the East Coast
Featured Blogs
One Thousand Conversations
Resources About Neighbours
A Blogging Challenge
Upcoming Events

True democracy starts with the municipal (Preston Manning, Globe and Mail)
In Canada, attention to the importance and role of municipal government is on the rise fuelled by public and media interest in the corruption inquiry in Montreal, the trials and tribulations of the Rob Ford regime in Toronto, and the role of local government in disaster relief in Calgary and Lac-Mégantic. Greater public attention to the importance of municipal government in Canada is long overdue. In many respects, local government is the level of government closest to the people, and the state of democracy in the country as a whole is closely related to the state of democracy at the local level. The fact that voter participation in local elections has declined to abysmal levels is a symptom of the so-called democracy deficit that has now spread to the provincial and federal levels.

How to Measure Poverty (Ordinary times on politics and culture)
Let me be clear that I like the sentiment behind this. Having a low income sucks, and lifting up peoples incomes is a good thing. Some ethical questions are complicated, but this is not one of them. Sean and I might disagree on how we achieve this, but if the goal is make the poor better off, than sign me up. My point of disagreement is on the specific idea of getting rid of poverty. My objection to that phrase isnt ideological, but rather technical. At its core, what I do for a living is measure things. Because of this, Im very sensitive to vaguely-worded goals. And this isnt just a personal tick, if you dont specify your goals properly, you have little to no chance of actually achieving them. The reason your government is still in Iraq is because it didnt bother to specify its objectives in entering Iraq clearly enough, and now anything short of Iraq becoming a European country will look like a defeat, so they have to stay in to ward off final judgment. Make no mistake vagueness kills, and the more important a policy goal is the more you need to be sure you have defined it properly, for without definition there can be no success. It is not mean pedantry that leads me to criticize the idea of getting rid of poverty, but rather the concern that unless were clear about what we mean by poverty.


Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 14, 2013


Brampton Bus Tour (CBC Metro Morning)
Brampton is offering free bus tours for newcomers, Metro Morning contributor J-P Davidson went along for the ride.

The new immigrant is someone who can pass as Canadian (Robin Levinson, Toronto Star)
The Karlises’ story is familiar. From Irish merchants to Ukrainian farmers, Canada’s history books are filled with tales of immigrants who braved poverty, prejudice and frozen terrain to make Canada their home. But in recent years, Canada’s immigration policy has made it harder for people like the Karlises to arrive with nothing and build a life here. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has not upped its immigration targets in seven years and has adjusted the application process to focus more on finding people who already fit into mainstream Canadian society through education, language or culture. As stories like the Karlises’ become few and far between, a new immigration narrative emerges: my own.

Africa: Stopping Hate Speech Spread Via Internet Tops Agenda of UN Anti-Racism Committee (All Africa)
The United Nations committee tasked with combating racial discrimination today opened its latest round of work in Geneva with a focus on stopping the spread of racist hate speech on the Internet and social media networks, as well as the need to use education to prevent racism and xenophobia. “Where does the right of expression, which we all want to respect, stop and the need to sanction and prevent hate speech begin? What is the point in time when one right has to recognize that it cannot be exercised if it implies the violation of another one,” UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri said in her address to the opening of the 83rd session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

Canada one of the most affordable places for foreign students, survey finds (Irene Ogrodnik, Global News)
A new survey says international students studying in Canada pay some of the lowest fees amongst Western developed nations. According to research from HSBC, Australia is one of the most expensive countries for oversea students, following by the United States, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Australia encourages students to study abroad in Toronto (Yonge Street)
An Australian news organization has posted an article encourage university and college students to study abroad in Canada, naming Toronto as one of the most ideal locations. “Canada has both large and small universities, some at the heart of the country’s biggest and most vibrant urban areas; others are located in small cities with easy access to open spaces and natural beauty. Three Canadian cities – Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary – are among the world’s top five most livable cities, according to The Economist 2012 list,” the article says. Zee News interviews a number of education professionals in the story who make cases for their respective cities. Greg Coelho, the associate director, International Centre at George Brown College, speaks to coop opportunities and workplace experience, not to mention Toronto’s diverse makeup.

Unfair portrayal (Sinthu Srikanthan,
Dear MP Lizon: I’m a voting resident in your riding. Today, I received a flyer from you party that reads as follows: “Canada’s Immigration System is the world’s most fair and generous. But our country will not tolerate bogus asylum claimants and foreign criminals who abuse the generosity of Canadians… Our government is sending a clear message: foreign criminals and bogus refugees are not welcome in our country.” I find the language you have used in your flyer to be deeply offensive and inaccurate. It’s hate mongering. The flier distorts and generalizes the experiences of all immigrants. It’s an uninformed and hateful portrayal of immigrants.

New report published on immigrant entrepreneur challenges and opportunities (Yonge Street)
We know, broadly speaking, the key factors that help create the conditions for success for would-be entrepreneurs. They include access to capital, mentorship, and a very practical knowledge of day-to-day business operations. However, though Canada–and especially Toronto–have very high rates of immigration, we tend to spend less time thinking and talking about the challenges that are specific to immigrant entrepreneurs, and the conditions for success that are particularly pertinent to newer Canadians. Stepping in to the breach is North York Community House, which recently released a study (conducted with the help of Public Interest) examining precisely those issues.

Community & Culture: Mabuhay! Philippines Festival (Joel Levy, Toronto is Awesome)
Harbourfront will be home to the Mubuhay! Philippines Festival coming to the Toronto waterfront location this Friday, August 16-18, 2013. The 3 day festival will invite Torontonians to enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of different regions of the Philippines; each with its own distinct dialect, costumes, folklore, traditions and cuisine. The theme of this year’s festival is entitled “Ang Pinagmulan” and focuses on the evolution of art, music, dance, fashion and culinary arts and how each continues to influence Filipino culture today.

SISO trial: Payroll company says documents altered (Steve Buist, Hamilton Spectator)
The president of a payroll service testified Tuesday morning that documents produced by his company on behalf of SISO for 2010 did not match the documents submitted by SISO to the federal government. Brian Austin, president of PayTrak Payroll Services in Oakville, was the first witness called by the Crown in the trial of Morteza Jafarpour and Ahmed Robert Salama, two former bosses of Settlement and Integration Services Organization.

Canada’s prison system needs Muslim preachers who can teach peace to terrorists: Editorial (Toronot Star)
Canada has relatively few terrorists in its prisons, compared to some other countries. But the handful of people who have been convicted and jailed for terror offences are a troubling subset of the prison population who need a special brand of rehabilitation. Experts have long called for a dedicated program for Islamist extremists and others who commit violent acts in the name of religion that aims to deradicalize them, partly by providing healthy counselling that challenges the distorted religious beliefs that motivate them. Canada doesn’t have such a program, and we should.


Human Art Installation Critiques Race and Immigration in Canada (Desmond Cole, Torontoist)
Volunteers staged a “mass arrival” of white-skinned settlers to challenge Canada’s legacy of colonialism. On Monday evening, more than a hundred people in white T-shirts took over Queen Street just west of Yonge Street. They gathered together as volunteers assembled the makeshift walls of a giant sea vessel around them. Bewildered pedestrians and motorists looked on as a woman in front of the ship unfurled a flag that read “#MassArrival.” In stark contrast to the occupants of the MV Sun Sea, which landed on Canadian shores exactly three years ago carrying nearly 500 Tamil refugee claimants, all the inhabitants of the Mass Arrival ship were white. Their brief street intervention was a challenge to the apparent normalcy of white settlers in Canada, and fear of racialized migrants like those aboard the Sun Sea.

A Home for Refugees ‘Caught In-Between': One-of-a-kind Welcome House Centre could offer stable shelter for marginalized newcomers (Jackie Wong, Megaphone Magazine)
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.

Refugee recalls bleak childhood in North Korea as he adjusts to life in Toronto (Jessica Smith, Metro News)
There was no electricity — no computers, projectors or Internet — and no indoor toilets at Jake Choi’s school in rural North Korea. But when he began going to school in Canada, it was having the time to study and better himself after classes instead of having to work on his teacher’s farm that was the biggest change. “When I got in middle school, it was very hard to live because the government could not give the rationing to the people, and teachers had to make their own farm to get corn or potatoes or beans. And we, as students, had to help them. Every day after school, we did not have our free time,” said Choi from South Korea, in an email interview with Metro.

Torture, Trauma, Psychosocial Impact & Mental Health: Meeting the Needs of War and Torture Survivors (Settlement AtWork)
The Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture has opened registration for “Torture, Trauma, Psychosocial Impact & Mental Health: Meeting the Needs of War and Torture Survivors”. This specialized certificate course is composed of 9 seminar sessions, which will run once a month from September 2013 to June 2014. Participants who successfully complete at least 6 of the 9 sessions will be eligible to receive a certificate.

Calls for Papers: Forced Migration Review issue 46 on ‘Faith-based organisations and responses to displacement’ (Refugee Research Net)
Forced Migration Review issue 46 – to be published in April 2014 – will include a feature on ‘Faith-based organisations and responses to displacement’. Individuals and organisations inspired by their faith or religion to assist people in need have long played important roles in humanitarian assistance. They are – from the point of view of the recipients of assistance – in most ways no different from others who provide assistance, and yet they are sometimes seen, and sometimes want to be seen, as different.

Calls for papers: Migration by Boat: theories, politics, and memories (Edited collection) (Refugee Research Net)
Seeking original chapters for a collection tentatively titled, Migration by Boat: theories, politics, and memories, which will explore ocean travel undertaken by refugees, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants as a space and place where cultures intersect, and national boundaries and identities are reshaped, both in painful and creative ways. Migration by boat can symbolically be aligned with notions of deterritorialization that often support fears, yet also allow for renegotiations of identity, memory and feelings. Contributions from a multidisciplinary cohort are welcome. Authors are encouraged to submit provocative original writing (conceptual, empirical or theoretical) that emphasize how migration by boat is remembered and represented; effects individual and social or cultural identity; and challenges or reinforces cultural or social structures. Deadline for abstracts of 500-750 words, together with a short CV including contact details, and one example of previously published work in a relevant field is September 30, 2013.

Gay men who fled Russia seeking refuge in Vancouver (Nick Logan, Global News)
Russia’s hostile attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people has prompted two men to flee the country and seek refuge in Vancouver. Andrey Samtsov arrived in Canada last week. Samtsov, who is deaf and spoke to Global News with the assistance of a translator, said he has suffered abuse in Russia because of his orientation and, after taking part in a 2011 protest for deaf and gay rights, he was arrested by police.

Priest who escaped Syria helps fellow refugees (Agnieszka Krawczynski, The B.C. Catholic)
A priest who escaped from Syria with his life is now helping other Christian refugees flee oppression and resettle in peaceful B.C. cities. “I know what it’s like to be a refugee there,” said Father Sarmad Biloues of Sts. Peter and Paul Chaldean mission. “They lost everything, even their dignity.” Several years ago, Father Biloues worked day and night among thousands of faithful at a Syrian parish. He saw refugee camps and heard about people who had been abused or killed because they were Christian.


Anonymous job applications: the next step towards bias-free hiring (Bonnie Mah, Maytree)
Last month, the Ontario Human Rights Commission confirmed that requiring a job applicant to have “Canadian experience” is discriminatory. This has prompted a renewed discussion on discrimination in hiring, and what employers can do to find the best talent while respecting the rights of job applicants. It’s time to consider anonymous job applications.

New video series: Bridging Cultural Differences in Diverse Teams (TRIEC)
To achieve the results and overcome the challenges of a diverse team, you need to learn to bridge these cultural differences. This new TRIEC video series will give you the tools you need to build a better team and stand out in today’s diverse workplace.

Tips for Effective Cross-Cultural Interviewing (Marianne Kayed, Ottawa Business Journal)
Everyone involved in a job interview strives to get it perfect. As an employer you obviously want to hire the right person for the job. Current demographic trends indicate that immigration is increasingly accounting for net growth in the Canadian labour force. This presents opportunities for employers but at the same requires that employers review their recruitment processes and tools in other that they do not miss out on great talent.

Warrantless Inspections Are Long Overdue (Senator Mobina Jaffer, Huffington Post)
The federal government announced recently that they would be conducting more stringent and warrantless inspections of workplaces in order to crack down on human rights abuses and illegal practices. According to the Globe and Mail, they will have the power to “examine anything on the premises,” question employers and staff, request documents, use photocopiers to copy records, and take photographs or make video and audio recordings. Inspections are prompted if a government officer or the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development suspect an employer is not complying with the rules, if the employer has previously broken the rules, or if the business was chosen as a part of a random audit. This news comes after years of scathing criticism of the human rights abuses within the Temporary Foreign Worker program. According to the Alberta Federation of Labour, when the Alberta provincial government proactively conducted workplace inspections, inspectors found payroll violations in more than 50 per cent of the targeted sites (peaking in January 2010 at 74 per cent). Not only payroll violations, but testimonies from activists and migrant workers hint at other workplace violations that temporary foreign workers face, including inadequate safety training and equipment, incomplete education about their rights and workplace standards, and illegal work placement fees.

Associations recruiting workers in Ireland (Richard Gilbert, Journal of Commerce)
The B.C. Construction Association (BCCA) and the Saskatchewan Construction Association (SCA) are teaming up for a job expo in Ireland to help address skilled labour shortages in western Canada. “We are not going to a job fair, where it is set up by an outside company and employers pay to attend,” said Abigail Fulton, vice-president of the BCCA. “We are doing all the organization ourselves, so it can be as affordable as it can possibly be for our employers. We are organizing our own fair to cut out the middleman.”–associations-recruiting-workers-in-ireland

Raising Ontario’s minimum wage makes good economic sense (Navjeet Sidhu and Yvonne Kelly, Toronto Star)
Do you remember that old Saturday Night Live sketch, where comedian Chris Rock describes the premise of what it means when an employer offers you minimum wage — they are essentially saying: “Hey, if I could pay you less, I would. But, it’s against the law.” Since March, the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage, a group made up of community organizations across Ontario, has come together to raise the minimum wage to a standard rate of 10 per cent above the poverty line. In 2013 this would be $14 an hour. This important policy issue has aroused passionate public debate and unleashed people’s inner economist.


Building on Community-Based Innovation/Acting on the Social Determinants of Health (Bob Gardner, Wellesley Institute)
There are increasing numbers of tremendously innovative initiatives tackling health inequities across the country. Within health care, public health, Community Health Centres and leading regional health authorities have long led the way on addressing systemic health inequities in their communities, and on coordinating services, partnering and advocating to address the underlying social determinants of health. And many community organizations and some municipalities are working to improve the foundations of healthier and more equitable communities. More and more use of Health Equity Impact Assessment and other equity focused planning will also yield increasing information on existing systemic barriers and the needs of disadvantaged populations, and we’ll be seeing more and more population-specific program interventions.

A real page turner (Aaron Wherry, Maclean’s)
At his going-away party in March, Kevin Page, the first and so far only parliamentary budget officer (PBO), was presented by his staff with the parting gift of a T-shirt emblazoned with three words: “unbelievable, unreliable, incredible.” These were adjectives Finance Minister Jim Flaherty used a year earlier to describe Page’s work after the budget officer had suggested, contrary to the government’s argument, that the Old Age Security system was sustainable. If that was one epitaph for the Kevin Page era, another had been offered a month earlier, in February, when NDP MP Pat Martin addressed a meeting of OECD budget officers in Ottawa. Page, Martin said, “might well be the best friend the Canadian taxpayer has in his dogged determination and relentless pursuit of the truth in some of the most important files of our time.”

There’s No Free Lunch, and There’s No Free Retirement (Paul Moist, Huffington Post)
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) President Dan Kelly recently wrote a blog post about the debate on the expansion of the Canada Pension Plan, in which he argues that “there’s no free lunch in this world, and indeed, there’s no free retirement.” Indeed, Kelly says, “someone has to pay for it.” Someone will indeed pay for the retirements of current and future generations of Canadian workers. Who pays and how we pay are the decisions before all Canadians and policymakers today. The contributions we fail to make in dollars today will come to us as increased financial pressure and social costs when our loved ones and neighbours struggle to make ends meet in their later years.

Poverty Means Higher Health Costs (Glen Hodgson, Conference Board of Canada)
Poverty, poor health, and resulting higher costs for the Canadian health care system are all linked together. The sooner we take incessant poverty seriously, with structural policy action—such as a guaranteed annual income (GAI) that provides income support through the income tax system—the more likely it is that Canadian governments can bring their health care costs under control and avoid significant tax increases. The evidence continues to mount that there is a clear link between poverty and cost pressures on our publicly funded health care system. The most recent input was provided by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) in a study entitled What Makes Us Sick? This report was based on cross-country consultations held by the CMA and focused on the socio-economic determinants of health, specifically, adequate housing, nutritious food, and proper early childhood development.

The Cost of Poverty (Canada Without Poverty)
Poverty has an impact on and cost to society as a whole, from greater demands on the health care and criminal justice systems, to diminished workplace and economic productivity, to harmful and unwholesome divisions in society based on economic status and “class.” In dollar terms, this loss to Canada has been estimated to range from $72 to $86 billion annually, and is estimated to cost every individual over $2000 annually. Recent data shows that there are approximately 1 in 10 Canadians, including 1 in10 children and 1 in 4 First Nations children living in poverty. Systemic poverty is the root cause of many health and social problems in Canada. The World Health Organization has declared poverty as the single largest determinant of health. This is supported by a number of accumulated studies, including reports by Canadian Dennis Raphael. All have come to the same basic conclusion: The incidence of poverty is a severe – if not the most severe – threat to the health and quality of life individuals, communities, and societies in wealthy industrialized societies such as Canada.

Austerity chokes Canada’s needy (Nick Fillmore, Al Jazeera)
The exceedingly aggressive austerity cuts carried out by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty over the past seven years have come home to roost as Canadians, depressed and without hope, are succumbing to its worst consequences. Programme cuts have had a huge, disproportionate impact on the poor and underemployed. The massive austerity programme translates into less income, decreased services, and reduced health care for many of Canada’s most vulnerable people. It appears that more than four million Canadians – mainly the poor, the unemployed/underemployed and the under-privileged – are struggling.

Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 13, 2013


Women’s shelter for new Canadians presses for stable funding (CBC)
An Edmonton shelter that helps refugee and immigrant women escape violent situations is worried about its future if it can’t find more stable sources of funding. The program known as WIN III is operated by the Edmonton Women’s Shelter, which runs two other shelters for women and children escaping abuse. While those programs receive provincial operational funding, WIN III does not. Instead, it relies on donations, fundraising and grants for its $400,000 annual operating budget. “We’re looking at operational funding, sustainable operational funding to keep it running,” said Janine Fraser, executive director of the Women’s Emergency Shelter. “We know that this is a needed service.”

Anti-Semitic vandalism in motion across (Cynthia McQueen, Globe and Mail)
York Regional Police are investigating after two large swastikas were carved onto the green at a Richmond Hill country club Saturday morning. This is just the latest in a string of anti-Semitic vandalism in the Greater Toronto Area this year. In June, a young rabbi and his family found swastikas scrawled above the side door to their Toronto home. Inside their garage, they found “Watch your children” written along with more swastikas. The Nazi symbols were reportedly spray-painted on at least three homes in Richmond Hill in January this year.

New Legislation Threatens Immigrants with a Criminal Record (PR Web)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced on June 20, 2013 that The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act (FRFCA) had received Royal Assent and was passed into law. This Act amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which is the primary federal legislation that regulates immigration to Canada. According to Jason Kenney, the previous Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, the Act will speed up the removal of dangerous foreign criminals from Canada. Pardon Services Canada agrees with this end result, but is concerned that the way the government is going about achieving this goal is overbroad, and will impact negatively on immigrants with minor offences on their criminal record.

Study highlights racial groups in TV ads (
White people are more likely to be represented, and in a positive light, than Blacks or Asians in Canadian television advertisements, says a new study from the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM). “Previous studies have looked at depictions of race in Canadian media, but this is the first to focus on advertising,” says Professor Shyon Baumann, chair of UTM’s Department of Sociology. “It’s also the first to take a sample of commercials and use quantitative data to find the connections between products and different racial groups.”

Canadian commercials have racial issues: study (Lauren Strapagiel,
Television commercials are a great way to teach children about racism, it turns out. They’re full of it. A study from the University of Toronto Mississauga examined racial portrayals in Canadian commercials and found that white people, aside from being over-represented, are more likely to be shown in a positive light.

Religions work together on Richmond’s Highway to Heaven (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
The man who says he coined the name Highway to Heaven believes the row of more than 20 religious institutions on Richmond’s No. 5 Road contributes to immigrant integration into Canada. But Balwant Sanghera, a member of the giant Nanak Niwas Sikh Gurdwara, also believes there is a long way to go before members of the many religions represented along the road engage more fully with each other and their new country. Sanghera, a teacher and therapist who came to Canada from India decades ago, expressed two sides of the immigrant experience as a Sikh wedding with 600 guests was underway in the incense-filled sanctuary of the gurdwara, which is led by priests trained in the Punjab. On one hand, Sanghera proclaimed: “I don’t think anywhere in the world you will get so many religions working and living alongside each other.” However, the 73-year-old added, “We still have to get people out of their ethnic enclaves. It’s too bad when we get into our little silos. We should be co-operating.”

Camping introduction for new Canadians (Hinton Parklander)
Forty-one new immigrants headed to William A. Switzer Provincial Park last weekend for an introduction to the Canadian pastime of camping. The Aug. 9–11 camping trip was part of an ongoing initiative from Alberta Parks and The Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. The program has taken groups to Miquelon Lake and Kananaskis Country provincial Parks, but this is the first time the immigrant camping excursion has come to Switzer park. “They’re from all around the world,” said Scott Sunderwald, visitor services supervisor with Alberta Parks, of the weekend visitors. “They come from very different backgrounds. Sometimes their reasons of coming to Canada are to get away from some of the turmoil they’ve had in their homeland.”

Crown alleges SISO executives faked documents to defraud federal agency (Steve Buist, Hamilton Spectator)
Faked expenses, faked payroll sheets and faked invoices were all part of an elaborate plan carried out by two of SISO’s top bosses to defraud the Canadian government of at least $1 million, according to allegations made in the Crown’s opening address Monday in the trial of Morteza Jafarpour and Ahmed Robert Salama. But it was the one fake that wasn’t carried out that proved to be the most serious allegation of the afternoon.

Operational Bulletin 476-B – August 07, 2013 – Abandonment of citizenship grant applications where proof of residence has not been provided and closure of applications due to test/interview no-shows (CIC)
This Operational Bulletin (OB) amends the original OB 476 and also introduces new procedures for administrative closure of citizenship applications.

How many multiculturalism ministers does Canada need? (Kady O’Malley, CBC)
It appears that Jason Kenney — or, at least, whoever drafted the following statement on his behalf — may have taken the ongoing turf war over ministerial ownership rights over the multiculturalism file to the next level. A release issued by Citizenship and Immigration earlier today to mark the start of a Greek festival in Toronto initially identified Kenney as “Minister of State for Multiculturalism”, seemingly undaunted by the fact that the current cabinet line-up already includes one thus-styled minister of state, but his name is Tim Uppal, not Jason Kenney.

Mental Illness, Criminal Offences, & Deportation (CLEO)
If someone is not a citizen of Canada, a criminal conviction could affect their immigration status. Even a permanent resident who has lived in Canada for many years could lose their status and be deported with no right to come back. Many people with mental illness come into conflict with the law. Often, there is a link between the illness and circumstances that lead to criminal charges.

Club breaks barriers for newcomers to Canada (Heidi Ulrichsen, Sudbury Northern Life)
When Carlos Siller immigrated to Sudbury with his family seven years ago, he found it difficult to make friends. It was his love of soccer and other sports that eventually led Siller, who is now 27, to develop a group of pals. This experience is what led him to create the YMCA Intercultural Network about a month ago. Operating under the umbrella of YMCA Sudbury Employment Services, the club is designed to bring young people from different cultures together, and help them to develop friendships and professional networks. The club held its first event this past weekend – a three-on-three soccer tournament which took place Aug. 10-11 in the parking lot of the YMCA building in downtown Sudbury. About 70 people showed up for the event.


Asylum claims down by more than half in 2013 (Tobi Cohen,
Little more than six months after the government first unveiled a list of so-called “safe” countries considered to be unlikely producers of refugees, the number of asylum claims has dropped dramatically. In total, Canada received half as many asylum claims in the first half of this year as it did during the same period last year — 4,558 compared to 10,375. Between January and June of this year, Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) received just 104 claims from Hungary — once the chief producer of asylum seekers, many of them Roma, and a particular concern for the federal government which has argued many of them are illegitimate and merely abusing the system.

Canada to favour refugee claims by gay Russians (Daniel Bitonti And Campbell Clark, Globe and Mail)
Canada’s refugee board is likely to look favourably on claims of persecution by gay asylum-seekers from Russia, the Immigration Minister says. Chris Alexander said Monday in Surrey, B.C., that Russia has taken the wrong path in restricting the fundamental rights of its gay community, and that any refugee claims “related to this particular issue will of course be looked at very seriously by our very generous system.”


The National Household Survey has lost the benefit of the doubt (Stephen Gordon)
Everyone knows – and should have known – that the numbers from the National Household Survey (NHS) would be dodgy. Statistics Canada has always claimed that the NHS numbers would be useful for many purposes, and this line has been swallowed by many. After all, Statistics Canada has a deserved reputation for professionalism, and their work deserved the benefit of the doubt. No longer. It took Frances Woolley only a couple of hours to come across some seriously wonky numbers from the very first NHS release. Moreover, StatsCan isn’t planning to release the technical documentation for the NHS until 2014. (In the ordinary course of things, methodology is presented before results.) And now there’s today’s last-minute delay in the NHS income numbers.

StatsCan data to reveal gap between Canada’s rich and poor (Misty Harris, Calgary Herald)
Experts in the financial and cultural sectors say the report will be a linchpin in assessing immigration policy, income equity, economic stability, and the future of the housing market, among other critical issues affecting taxpayers. The Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration, for instance, will be watching carefully to see whether the nation’s mosaic is flourishing. “Employment and income are critical dimensions of whether our immigration programs are successful or not,” said Jack Jedwab, executive vice-president of the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration. “This will give us a good sense of income gaps between various demographics in the country, which provides important insight to how well we’re doing in terms of creating conditions of equity.”

Statistics Canada delays major survey release after uncovering mistake (Michael Woods, Mide De Souza,
In a highly unusual move, Statistics Canada has delayed the release of a major set of data from the 2011 National Household Survey by a month. Data on Canadian income, earnings, housing and shelter costs were to be released Wednesday morning, but instead will now be unveiled by the federal statistical agency on Sept. 11. The National Household Survey replaced the mandatory long-form census. Census manager Marc Hamel said that the release involved complex calculations based on hundreds of formulas. But over the weekend, he said the agency’s experts found a problem while doing some last-minute checks.

Statscan halts data release over survey error (Barrie McKenna, Globe and Mail)
Statistics Canada uncovered serious errors in the latest batch of data from its national household survey and pulled the plug less than 48 hours before its slated release Wednesday. The decision Monday to postpone the report until Sept. 11 is the latest controversy to hit the 2011 voluntary survey, which replaced the mandatory long-form census scrapped by the Conservative government in 2010 over privacy concerns.


Immigrant Mentorship Program Offers Solution to Skills Gap (
Connecting skilled immigrants with experienced professionals provides experiential guidance on how to find employment in Sarnia.

Office of the Fairness Commissioner consulted with PINs leaders on licensing (TRIEC)
Watch this video to learn how a government agency has worked with the PINs community and how professional immigrant associations can serve as the voice of skilled immigrants.

U.S. looking at Canada guest-worker program as model (Peter Haden, AZ Central)
Guillermo Hernandez Alcantar was chilly. He’d arrived in Canada from Mexico three days before. The journey brought him hundreds of miles north on the guarantee of work and stability — to pick the grapes that locals will not. He came as a legal guest worker. “Right now, the Mexican workers have not finished arriving,” Hernandez Alcantar said on a brisk morning in March. “By May, they will all be here.” He needed to buy a jacket, so he mounted a well-worn Huffy 10-speed bicycle, one of many leaning up against the two worker dormitories, and rode off, passing through the vineyards that stretch the length of Line 1 Road. Though he spoke little English, he knew he could get by in town without the language skills.

Foreign Worker Changes Don’t Go Far Enough (Harv Oberfeld)
It’s good to see the federal government has started taking on companies that have abused Canada’s temporary foreign workers program. Among the changes: employers will now have to advertise available positions for AT LEAST FOUR WEEKS (up from two); they will also have to expand the ways they seek out Canadian workers before looking elsewhere; complete a questionnaire on why/how such hirings must be made … ie really no Canadian workers available ; how foreign hirings will impact the Canadian labour market;pay a $275 processing fee PER WORKER for Ottawa to evaluate each hiring permit application; and, prove they’ve really tried to recruit underemployed sectors, like youths and people with disabilities. But that’s all not quite enough. The new rules make it tougher … but still allow companies, if they can convince federal officials, to require the ability to communicate in a foreign language, other than English and French, Canada’s two official tongues. That really bothers me.

Labour costs rise for some Whistler businesses (Alison Taylor, Pique News Magazine)
Whistler Blackcomb will be shelling out almost $30,000 in extra labour costs to pay for temporary foreign workers permits this year. That’s a brand new cost to doing business this year as the government of Canada works to address concerns that temporary foreign workers are taking jobs from Canadians. Whistler Blackcomb will be paying the new $275 processing fee for about 105 workers that come to the company through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the bulk of whom are qualified snow school instructors from various countries around the world.

Hiring foreign workers now more onerous for employers (Jennifer Brown, Canadian Lawyer)
The new rules, made effective late last month, are to make sure Canadians are given the first shot at available jobs. A new Service Canada processing fee of $275 must be paid for each position requested to cover the cost of a Labour Market Opinion. An LMO considers the labour market impact of hiring temporary foreign workers. Employers need an LMO in order to get the green light to hire a foreign worker. A positive LMO shows there is a need for a foreign worker to do the job and that no Canadian worker is available for the position. The fee does not apply to agriculture jobs and live-in caregiver positions. Prior to the changes, which became effective July 31, no fee was charged.

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.
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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