New Canadian Media

Save the date! China and Latin America are getting hitched this year.

After several years of courtship and a bit of heavy petting, China and Latin America are ready to take their relationship to the next level.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has summoned the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAC) to Beijing this week for a group huddle to map out a new five-year plan for Chinese trade, investment and financial support in Latin America.

PanAmerican World

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Published in Top Stories

By Lachman Balani

TORONTO: Whether the China stock markets fare well or not, the Chinese economy is always a point of discussion in world financial circles. The last two years it had lost ground but this year thanks to the landmark opening of the Hong Kong- China stock market corridor on November 17, whereby international investors have higher and better access to stocks traded in mainland China, the Shanghai composite index has surged by 52.9%! However, in the small enclave of Hong Kong the Hang Seng lost 1.28%. 

News East West

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Published in China

The growing closeness between America and India is giving the impression that India is moving away from its traditional policy of nonalignment and is tilting toward America. This also leads to an impression that India is joining America’s efforts to contain China and be a part of an anti-China and anti-Islamic [...]

The Link

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Published in India

by Susan McClelland 

Jihoon Lee has come a long way since moving to Toronto two and a half years ago. Born in ideologically repressive North Korea, the teenager has outdone most of his peers at his Scarborough school. In 2013, he took home a top award for his grade—even though English is his fourth language, after Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese—and earlier this year he made it to the city-wide track and field meet in the 100-metre dash. By any standard, he is an immigration success story. “My son has been so happy in Toronto,” says his mother, Sujeong Lee. “It’s been a dream come true for him to be here.” (Jihoon is not his real name; Lee asked for his identity to be protected.)

Fear of deportation

But Lee and her son may not be allowed to stay for much longer. Despite letters of support from Jihoon’s teachers, the Lees’ application for refugee status has been denied, and they are awaiting an official deportation order. Last winter, at the urging of her lawyer, Lee disclosed to immigration officials that she had not been completely truthful on her application. Like most North Koreans in Canada, she claimed that she had come here from China—something other refugees advised her to do. However, for two years, Lee and Jihoon had lived in South Korea, which automatically grants citizenship to escaped North Koreans.

In late 2012, as part of a broader effort against false refugee claims, Citizenship and Immigration Canada established a pilot project that empowered officials to intervene at hearings in cases of suspected fraud. CIC doesn’t consider South Korean citizens as being in need of refugee protection; in May 2013, South Korea was added to the Designated Countries of Origin, an index of nations that do not typically produce refugees. “South Korea is simply seen as a safe country,” says immigration lawyer Jack Kim, an adviser of HanVoice, a North Korean advocacy group based in Canada.

...Lee cannot imagine returning to South Korea. “My son tried to kill himself because of the discrimination we both faced there,” she says. “He talks now about becoming an astrophysicist. We just can’t go back to our old lives.”

According to sources within the North Korean advocacy community, the current crackdown started in 2013 when then immigration minister Jason Kenney became aware that most North Koreans in Canada hold South Korean citizenship. Subsequently, Kenney allegedly told those sources, Ottawa had sent the prints of a few hundred North Korean refugee claimants to the South Korean government for comparison. Both CIC and the Canada Border Services Agency declined to answer questions about fingerprinting, and the Canadian government has never publicly acknowledged the existence of such a program. Court documents from immigration cases have referenced this use of fingerprinting, however, and the United States and United Kingdom reportedly have similar programs.

The result, Kim says, has been that most of the 2,000-odd North Koreans who had come to Canada since the mid-2000s have been deported or, spooked by the stringent new rules, left voluntarily—even those who had been granted permanent residency. They have either returned to South Korea or headed for Europe, he adds, where they’ll likely tell the same story of immigrating via China, and tempt fate once again.

Canada does not deport asylum seekers to dictatorial North Korea, where they would likely face torture, or worse. A small number of North Koreans have been accepted under other immigration criteria, having filed bona fide claims that disclosed their time in South Korea. However, the vast majority of North Korean refugee claimants arrive via South Korea, and, so far this year, Canada has not accepted the claim of a single North Korean applicant—a far cry from just two years ago, when 230 such claims were approved. “It’s just painful and heartless,” says Soohyun Nam, a Toronto immigration lawyer with a large roster of North Korean clients, including Lee, who is preparing an application to CIC on humanitarian grounds.

Migration Tale

Lee and Jihoon’s exodus began in April 2007, when they first left North Korea for China’s Jilin province. But Beijing, Pyongyang’s ally and patron, deports North Koreans back to their native country, where they often face long prison sentences for having tried to escape. Eventually, Lee saved enough money to pay a human smuggler to take her and Jihoon to Laos, where she went to the South Korean embassy and sought asylum.

Although the South Korean government provides North Korean refugees with housing, stipends, and schooling, Lee says the discrimination she and her son faced there was on par with what they had experienced in China. Like many North Korean refugees, they were thought to be spies; Jihoon was bullied and beaten at school, and his lunch money was stolen. He spiralled into a deep depression, and in 2011 considered leaping off the sixteenth floor of their apartment building.

Canada does not deport asylum seekers to dictatorial North Korea, where they would likely face torture, or worse.

According to statistics compiled by HanVoice, Jihoon is not alone. North Koreans in South Korea are more than twice as likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population, and 40 percent of them have post-traumatic stress disorder. The two Koreas are still officially at war, and much of the intolerance toward North Koreans stems from long-standing cultural and political divisions. “South Korea is a hierarchical and competitive society, and in general it’s uncomfortable with newcomers from the outside,” says Nam, who grew up in Seoul. Fleeing the aftershocks of a massive famine in the 1990s, about 25,000 North Koreans have flooded into and around Seoul over the past decade, and South Korea is finding it difficult to assimilate so many newcomers.

Advocacy organizations are petitioning the current immigration minister, Chris Alexander, to implement a new program that would allow North Korean refugees in Thailand to apply directly to CIC, rather than going through the South Korean embassy. They have also asked Alexander to permit those already in Canada to stay. For her part, Lee cannot imagine returning to South Korea. “My son tried to kill himself because of the discrimination we both faced there,” she says. “He talks now about becoming an astrophysicist. We just can’t go back to our old lives.”


Re-published with permission from The Walrus Magazine

Published in Top Stories
Friday, 07 November 2014 23:03

NCM NewsFeed: Weekly Newsletter Nov. 07

 


 

NCM NewsFeed

 

Here and Now

We lead off this week’s lineup with a question from a professional communicator in Calgary who has a dilemma. Her agency, the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS), finds itself dealing with refugees from a multitude of nations – with different languages and dialects. How many languages can CCIS actually accommodate? It’s surely one of those tensions that arise in a bilingual, but multicultural, country: To translate or not to translate? We encourage you to help Patricia Gallagher resolve this dilemma.

Suffice to say, this was a busy week. We are delighted to have covered the waterfront, with reporting and commentary on terrorism, diversity in public schools, reforms to the caregiver program, the Fraser Institute’s school rankings, an interview with a renowned authority on temporary foreign workers and the military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

You’ll find all of these on our home page.

Ripples

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is on a five-day tour in China to help promote more trade between Canada and its second largest trading partner. And, although the issue of human rights and alleged espionage caused frosty relations in the past, it hasn’t held the Conservative government back from announcing the opening of new regional trade offices this time around.

Three Canadians are still being held there under murky or outright unfair conditions, including Kevin and Julia Garratt, a couple detained by the Chinese government there for alleged espionage. Another victim, Huseiyen Celil, has been in jail for eight years following an unfair trial, according to Amnesty International. His wife and children live in Toronto.

Former ambassador to China, David Mulroney, captured the dilemma best, when he told the Globe, “China is an amazing opportunity for Canada and also a potentially problematic presence in the world and one that will pose problems for us going forward.”

The PM’s trip closely follows the publication of a report that identified China as a high on the index of religious persecution of its minorities.

Britain’s Prince Charles highlighted that same report this week, saying it identified the growing persecution of Christians in regions in which they had lived peacefully for centuries. He called it “an indescribable tragedy”. The report, published by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, said that religious freedom has suffered immensely in recent months.

These findings build on the Pew Research Centre’s study earlier this year that noted religious hostilities have reached a six-year high in 2012. The centre found that both Christians and Muslims were harassed in the largest number of countries worldwide. Jewish communities have also seen a six-year peak in the numbers reported.

 

Following up on the ripples these critical issues raise here in Canada, TVO’s evening program “The Agenda” hosted a heated discussion on the issue of Christian persecution earlier this week.

Harmony Jazz

While much of the commentary relates to the Government’s stated intention to further strengthen anti-terrorism legislation, and the need for balance between security and civil liberties, some reminders of the difficulty in prosecution in How to prosecute radicalized Canadians a quandary, Senate group hears and a good overview of deradicalization programs in 

Deradicalization programs aim to get ahead of the curve in stopping extremists.

Good discussion on Why online Islamophobia is difficult to stop, which applies also to antisemitism and hate speech. Harper’s silence on anti-Muslim backlash disheartens Muslim groups, most of whom have been highly vocal in their opposition to radicalization, and is in sharp contrast to most other world leaders.

Good conversation between Ratna Omidvar and Dana Wagner on their forthcoming book about refugee stories entitled Flight and Freedom, the same week the Government argued unsuccessfully for a stay on refugee claimant health care coverage (Refugee health care temporarily restored in most categories).

Lastly, for those who missed it, the YouTube video that has gone viral on a racism experiment that both had a good result - people standing up for a Muslim being attacked - and a bad one - a punch to the person playing the part of the ‘provocateur’ in Hamilton racism social experiment ends with a punch.

Back Pocket

Please take a moment to look up our Arts & Culture section.


With that, have a great weekend and don’t forget to look up the next edition of NCM NewsFeed every Friday morning! We will soon be launching an e-mail version of this newsletter, so please subscribe by clicking here.

Publisher’s Note: This NewsFeed was compiled with input from our Newsroom Editors and regular columnist, Andrew Griffith. We welcome your feedback.

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Published in Other Regions

by Patricia Gallagher in Calgary

Being the Operations Manager of an immigrant-serving agency, my portfolio includes a wide variety of disciplines, including marketing and communications. One of the most basic principles of marketing is to know your audience and to develop your material based on that targeted demographic and/or psychographic.

Working with a target audience from literally every corner and region of the world brings its own unique set of challenges and often forces us to consider our communication style and material.

Census figures show that the three top migration groups arriving in Calgary are from India, China and the Philippines. Anecdotally speaking, a large percentage of immigrants from the Philippines speak very good English due to the American influence in their home country, so translation is often not as critical as it might be with other newcomers.

A recent review of our intake statistics (April 2014-August 2014 iCARE report) shows that while we do provide services to newcomers from the Philippines (top country of origin), our highest percentage of population (in descending order) are from the following countries:

  1. Iran
  2. India
  3. Ethiopia
  4. Nigeria
  5. Kenya
  6. Republic of South Africa

Many of the African countries are home to numerous dialects and language variances, which creates even further challenges and considerations for those of us in marketing.

Unique challenge

As the only Calgary-based agency responsible for refugees destined for our city, we regularly see these wide fluctuations in countries of origin. In addition, our agency offers support for virtually every age group, lifestyle and newcomer designation -- from foreign trained professionals, to immigrant youth, to children and babies.

Since it is our mission to resettle and integrate newcomers into Canadian society and have them contributing to our country’s success, an argument could be made that since English is the primary language in our area, all our material should be published in English. However, if we review the marketing principle as stated earlier, what is our obligation to provide material for a target audience in a variety of languages? And, if we did that, would we be able to find individuals with strong enough language skills to provide the translation? Languages such as Arabic, Farsi, Spanish and others are certainly easier to facilitate than Tigrinya, Karen, Swahili and Oromo.

Languages such as Arabic, Farsi, Spanish and others are certainly easier to facilitate than Tigrinya, Karen, Swahili and Oromo.

To compound this dilemma, translation of documents necessarily means additional cost and resources, funds that may not be readily available to a not-for-profit organization. However, we try our best by incorporating more pictures in our material so the words make sense in the context of the photo, we have taken great care to simplify the words we use, and we try to remove all those funny little sayings or idioms that make good sense to most Canadians, but surely not to newcomers. But, it will always be a work- in-progress. 

As we are funded as an English-speaking agency, and provide English language instruction to our clients, we provide the vast majority of our written material, including our website, Facebook page, Twitter accounts, brochures and posters in just one language, English. We do this in the hope and belief that as newcomers integrate and become comfortable in their new home, their knowledge and comfort level of the English language will grow as well.

What do you think: To translate or not to translate?


Patricia Gallagher is currently the Operations Manager at Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS) in Calgary.  Prior to that she spent 30+ years in radio and television broadcasting as a production and marketing manager.  She can be contacted via e-mail at pgallagher@ccis-calgary.ab.ca.

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

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Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
No - 46.2%
Don't know - 23.1%
The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

Featured Quote

The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit

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