New Canadian Media

ONTARIO is moving to standardize police street checks across the province, and will establish rules to ensure these encounters are without bias, consistent, and carried out in a manner that promotes public confidence, the provincial government announced on Tuesday. Over the summer, the province will consult with community organizations, policing partners, civil liberty organizations, the […]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in National

ONTARIO is proposing changes to the provincial election system that would ensure Ontarians are represented fairly in the legislature.

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced on Thursday that the government will introduce an election reform bill. If passed, the Electoral Boundaries Act, 2015 would increase the number of provincial ridings in southern Ontario from 96 to 111 for the election scheduled in 2018. 

Read Full Article

Published in National

ONTARIO Premier Kathleen Wynne will lead a mission to India in early 2016 to foster more opportunities for trade and investment and promote Ontario’s expertise in sustainable development. A main component of the trip will be a business delegation that will visit New Delhi and Mumbai – India’s governing and economic centres – as well […]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in National

ONTARIO Premier Kathleen Wynne welcomed the Aga Khan to Queen’s Park on Monday for the signing of a historic Agreement of Cooperation between the province and the Ismaili Imamat. The agreement outlines areas of cooperation and joint initiatives, including leveraging diversity and culture as an economic driver and supporting a pluralistic approach to education.

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in National

TORONTO — Toronto Jewish day schools are mostly  tight-lipped when it comes to discussing Ontario’s proposed sex education curriculum or their own teachings on the subject.

Many elementary schools contacted by The CJN did not return calls or emails seeking comment on the new Ontario health curriculum or what, to date, has been taught on the subject of human reproduction.

Starting next fall, Ontario’s revamped sex education curriculum will see children as young as six learn about sexual consent, while eight-year-olds will be taught about same-sex relationships.

The Canadian Jewish News

Read Full Article

Published in Education

by Danica Samuel (@DanicaSamuel) in Toronto

Over half the population of international students in Ontario are deciding to stay put after graduating, and it’s for a good reason.

A recent study titled International Students in the Ontario Postsecondary System and Beyond, which was funded by Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario and presented at the National Metropolis Conference in Vancouver, shows a significant increase of international students living in the province between 2000 and 2012.

International Migration Research Centre (IMRC) researchers found an increase in students coming from Asia, Africa and the USA to study in Ontario, but more importantly found that over 50 per cent are opting to remain in Canada after completing their studies.

One of the IMRC researchers, Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts, says it’s important to evaluate the students’ experiences, and how they are impacting Canadian immigration, when looking at the study’s findings.

“We need to understand what is happening to these students in terms of their transition into the labour market and transition into permanent residency,” says Walton-Roberts.

“Tuition fees are a transmission of funds to Canada’s post secondary sector. It is also an investment in an individual’s education. As long as that person can reap the benefits of their investments, that’s okay. Can they enter the labour market, or if they go back to their country, will their credentials offer them the opportunity to have a wage premium?” - Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts, International Migration Research Centre

“International students are becoming more a part of the immigrant demand and that is a deliberate policy and pathway that the government has engaged in.”

An Economic Boost

According to the study, from 2002 to 2011, 190,000 international students came to Ontario and over 60,000 made a transition to another visa.

Walton-Roberts claims there are several factors to the growth, but most recognized is the Student Partners Program (SPP), which originated in 2009 as an assisting program for Indian students looking to study at Canadian college institutions. India is also the leading country in international student migration.

In addition to SPP boosting college registration, international students in general represent more of an economical boost in terms of immigration.

International students are now considered the fourth largest import in Canada and Walton-Roberts says the focus should be on making sure everyone benefits from this.

“We could look at it as a privatization of immigrant settlement processes,” she explains.  

“I can’t shake the sense that we as international students are keeping the whole system afloat, but being chased away right after it’s done with us.” - Mahnoor Yawar, International Student

“Tuition fees are a transmission of funds to Canada’s post secondary sector. It is also an investment in an individual’s education. As long as that person can reap the benefits of their investments, that’s okay. Can they enter the labour market, or if they go back to their country, will their credentials offer them the opportunity to have a wage premium?”

Exorbitant Fees

For some international students, like 27-year-old Humber College journalism student, Mahnoor Yawar, from Dubai, it’s hard to see the benefits of the transmission of funds Walton-Roberts speaks of.  

“I’m frankly tired of having to pay twice the tuition as local students and getting half the opportunities available to them,” Yawar says.

“I can’t shake the sense that we as international students are keeping the whole system afloat, but being chased away right after it’s done with us.”

For 22-year-old Achint Arora, who is studying accounting at George Brown College (GBC), his transition to Canada from India was relatively smooth, but costly.

“When we look at the major countries international students come from, you have to consider the gender politics in those countries and how comfortable families might be sending their daughters overseas.” - Dr. Margaret Walton-Roberts, International Migration Research Centre

He applied online, as well as successfully passing his International English Language Test with a score above average.

“I always wanted to study across seas, so I did my research, applied and they accepted me,” explains Arora.

When it comes to the fees, he agrees with Yawar. “For international students the fees are too high, and paying fees at universities are next to impossible. University is about $26,000 a year, and a college is $18,000. So I did some research, read reviews and decided to attend GBC.”

International students pay anywhere from $11,000 to $13,000 more than their domestic counterparts.

Gender Parity

Although many foreign students are entering into Ontario, there has been a significant decrease in female international students.

According to IMRC, from 2008 to 2012 there was a decrease of eight per cent of females coming to Ontario for education.

Walton-Roberts says it’s a reflection of the countries most international students migrate from.

“When we look at the major countries international students come from, you have to consider the gender politics in those countries and how comfortable families might be sending their daughters overseas.”

“If there is a person in India practicing accounting for 15 years, how can I compete with him? People who are applying outside of Canada, and [those] who are sitting in Canada, are now in the same boat, and it’s a competition.” - Achint Arora, International Student

Yawar says she was one of the fortunate females that was able to study abroad.

“There’s also a certain conservatism in the South Asian/Middle Eastern cultures that suggests women shouldn’t move out of their family homes, and especially so far away from it before they’re married,” says Yawar.

“I was lucky enough to have very supportive parents who want their girls to be able to support themselves before making major life decisions, so we ended up here.”

For some, Walton-Roberts says it boils down to money.

“It is a huge investment, and it may be that the family decides not to make that investment in their daughter.”

Life After Graduation

IMRC statistics show that 75 per cent of students transitioned from temporary to Permanent Residence (PR) in Ontario.

Plus, according to economic reports, they are making $3,000 more than the average permanent resident who did not study in Canada.

“We were only able to access certain data, and those transitioning, we did an estimate based on their characteristics and the pathways they took,” clarifies Walton-Roberts.

“[We’re] a headache for companies... I was told it will be a long process for both the company and international students to apply for PR, so it’s more convenient for them to hire a Canadian.” Achint Arora, International Student

Despite the promising numbers, though, Arora says the hardest part of being an international student is actually obtaining a stable job after completing school. With only four years given to find and maintain a job after he graduates, the pressure is on, he adds.

“[Citizenship and Immigration Canada] is becoming tougher, especially with their new Express Entry,” explains Arora. “If there is a person in India practicing accounting for 15 years, how can I compete with him? People who are applying outside of Canada, and [those] who are sitting in Canada, are now in the same boat, and it’s a competition.”

Arora says another problem lies with companies not willing to go the extra mile to help recently graduated international students.

“[We’re] a headache for companies. They have to write a letter for my citizenship, a LMO, and more, just to apply for the Express Entry. I was told it will be a long process for both the company and international students to apply for PR, so it’s more convenient for them to hire a Canadian.”

But Roberts says that the colleges have effectively set up their programs for the labour market and in the next few years the process will be much more profitable.

“I suspect there is a focus on the college programs because there is in an interest in getting entry into the labour market,” she explains.

“The fees are already less and many colleges have oriented themselves to the international market. Recruiters are a part of that story as well and colleges have had a very active relationship with them through marketing their programs effectively overseas.”

For now, Yawar isn’t entering the labour market, but says when she does, getting a job in her field will be challenging for reasons centred on diversity, or a lack thereof.

“I know Toronto gets a lot of praise for being diverse and having the most opportunities for a career in media, but at the end of the day, it’s a claim based in statistics rather than action. The lack of diversity – in race, in gender, in class – in media careers is a genuine problem that few are ready to acknowledge, because the existing culture of privilege is too comfortable.”

Yawar continues, “Nevertheless, I have hope that there’s a position out there I’m uniquely suited for, and will keep seeking out every opportunity that comes my way.”

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

Published in Education

by Aurora Tejeida (@Aurobots) in Vancouver [Part 3 of 3 of an in-depth investigative series]

The settlement service sector across the country is undergoing major changes and facing several challenges as a result. Unlike Ontario and the Atlantic region, both B.C. and Manitoba used to have provincial control of their settlement services. For these provinces, the largest issue has been getting used to federal control.

Settlement in the west coast metropolitan city of Vancouver one of Canadas top destinations for migrants with 45 per cent of its population being foreign-born – is no exception.

When the federal government decided to strip control of settlement services from B.C. effective April 1, 2014, the biggest casualty was the freedom agencies had to serve a large array of newcomers.

“Under federal funding, service can only be provided to permanent residents and government sponsored refugees,” explains Karen Larcombe, the executive director of South Vancouver Neighbourhood House (SVNH). “That leaves out naturalized immigrants (those with citizenship), temporary foreign workers, who we used to be able to serve, foreign students, etc.”

It’s been a year since agencies in Vancouver have been working under federal government guidelines and the effects are already being felt. This is why the province of B.C. stepped in to help.

“In our province, these changes have been less impactful because the provincial government has provided some agencies, mine included, surplus funding so we can continue to serve the clients that are ineligible under federal funding,” says Larcombe.

I think temporary foreign workers is where we’re most feeling the pressure.” - Karen Larcombe, South Vancouver Neighbourhood House

But those resources are limited. Provincial funding represents about 10 per cent of SVNH’s funding. The rest, 90 per cent, is provided by the federal government and can only be used for what the government calls ‘eligible clients’.

“In theory, ineligible clients are supposed to be 10 per cent of our cases,” Larcombe says. “In reality we’re seeing more than the 10 per cent, for us it’s closer to 15 per cent.”

Between 2013 and 2014, British Columbia received 37,451 foreign immigrants; 85 per cent of them settled in Metro Vancouver.

It’s likely these numbers only represent new permanent residents, since they don’t add up when the largest ‘ineligible’ group that Larcombe’s agency sees, which is temporary foreign workers, is taken into account.

“Their numbers are growing. I think temporary foreign workers is where we’re most feeling the pressure,” she explains.

The number of temporary foreign workers in the province increased from 19,283 in 2002 to 69,955 in 2011. Similarly, over 290,000 international students were enrolled in Canadian schools during 2013; 24 per cent of them live and study in B.C., that’s almost 73,000 people. Both groups have no access to settlement services.

[F]rom a service delivery perspective, that means that we lose control over what our services look like. So something that works in Ontario, might not necessarily work in Vancouver.” Karen Larcombe, South Vancouver Neighbourhood House

Another casualty has been the time workers can devote to clients. Under the federal government there’s more extensive recording required, so workers spend more time inputting data into the system.

“The federal government wanted everybody across Canada to deliver services under the same way. So part of that was having the same information and the same data to get a better picture across the whole country,” says Larcombe.

“From a funder’s perspective, that makes sense. But from a service delivery perspective, that means that we lose control over what our services look like. So something that works in Ontario, might not necessarily work in Vancouver.”

Manitoba’s Challenges

Aside from B.C., Manitoba was the only other province that lost control of its funding in the last couple of years; now settlement services in Manitoba fall under federal regulations. 

Jorge Fernandez is the executive director of the Manitoba Immigrant Centre. Like his counterpart in Vancouver, he says the biggest change has been the type of clients that settlement services can help.

“We can no longer help temporary foreign workers or foreign students,” explains Fernandez. “And the province of Manitoba is not offering any extra funding.”

Fernandez says 20 per cent of the approximately 18,000 clients his agency saw last year are what the government considers ‘ineligible’.

“It was difficult for us to close the door on clients, so we secured some private funding. We managed to raise $50,000 to hire one worker to see this group of people,” he adds.

The funds came from private donations and Winnipeg foundations. But even with the extra funding, the agency was only able to help 2,000  out of 5,000 clients that have asked for help, but are deemed ‘ineligible’.

“We are bringing temporary foreign workers into the country, and we have the Express Entry program, so we need the workers, we need labour force. So if we’re bringing them here, why aren’t we providing services for them?” - Jorge Fernandez, Manitoba Immigrant Centre

Out of those ‘ineligible’ clients, Fernandez says 50 per cent are temporary foreign workers, 25 per cent are international students and the remainder is a mix of visitors and Canadian citizens — a group agencies in both Manitoba and B.C. consider important due to the fact that they may have only been in the country for a couple of years.

“We wish we could see everybody,” says Fernandez. “If we had more funding we could hire another worker and see more people.”

He hopes things will improve if there is a change in government, especially since some current migration policies don’t make sense to him. 

“We are bringing temporary foreign workers into the country, and we have the Express Entry program, so we need the workers, we need labour force. So if we’re bringing them here, why aren’t we providing services for them?”

Is Sanctuary the Only Solution?

Byron Cruz is a community worker and an advocate for all types of migrants in Vancouver. He works with an outreach group called Sanctuary Health. For the last year or so, his organization, along with many more, has been participating in the mayor’s immigration task force. The main item of the agenda is to obtain sanctuary city status in Vancouver.

“Every settlement agency depends on the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) because all or most of their funding comes from the federal government, so instead of helping local communities, they’re doing CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency)’s job,” says Cruz.

“Many agency workers want to help, but they have to do it outside office hours because otherwise they risk losing their jobs or their funding. It’s a system that discriminates.” - Byron Cruz, Sanctuary Health

Cruz explains that a group of undocumented mothers had recently approached him because they wanted to take a workshop that was offered by a local settlement agency, but that the agency denied them the service.

“Many agency workers want to help, but they have to do it outside office hours, because otherwise they risk losing their jobs or their funding,” he adds. “It’s a system that discriminates.”

Still, several agencies have helped pen the sanctuary city policies Cruz hopes will be completely adopted by Vancouver sometime this year. Agency workers like Larcombe agree that these policies would help those that are most in need.

“At this point there are more vulnerable migrants that we would be able to help if the city was granted a sanctuary city status,” she explains. “It’s difficult for these migrants to break through the poverty barrier.”

By ‘vulnerable migrants’ Larcombe means undocumented migrants, another group agencies are barred from helping. A 2009 House of Commons immigration committee report estimates that the number of undocumented immigrants in Canada ranges anywhere from 80,000 to 500,000.

But even without taking undocumented immigrants into account, the reality is that many of B.C.’s newcomers are not being granted access to settlement services under federal regulations.

“We need changes to ensure that those people are protected,” says Larcombe. “Even if technically it wouldn’t fall into the federal government’s mandate.”


In previous 360º instalments, NCM looked at the state of settlement services in Ontario, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. Be sure to read all three parts of this investigative series to get a sense of how several provinces across the country are dealing with a changing settlement system.  

Published in Top Stories

by Brad Dunne (@BradDunne1796) in St. John’s [Part 2 of an in-depth investigative series]

The face of Canada’s immigration system has been changing drastically. With the federal government scaling back on settlement service funding in parts of central Canada, the situation is even bleaker in the Atlantic region, where funding is hard to come by.

The Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council (RIAC), for example, is on life support. With the recent uncertainty in the value of oil, the private businesses who were RIAC’s prominent donors were forced to cancel their regular donations. The non-profit NGO has had to lay off its staff and is surviving month to month on private donations and volunteers.

“The drop in oil has affected us all,” says Jose Rivera, executive director of RIAC. Much like Alberta, oil is the dominant force in Newfoundland’s economy.

RIAC’s decline comes at a precipitous time for the province. According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, by John Ibbitson, jobs are disappearing, young people are leaving and the population keeps getting older.

As a solution, Ibbitson urges the province, and other regions in Atlantic Canada facing similar challenges, to “aggressively recruit immigrants, to slow the aging of the population while injecting new energy and ideas.”

“In fact, newcomers are happy to be here, but they don’t get the support they need. They leave for the big cities because they think that’s where they’ll get help.” - Jose Rivera, Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council, Newfoundland

Traditionally, however, Atlantic Canada has not been a hub for newcomers. Governments have been sluggish in developing recruitment strategies.

“Conventional wisdom is that newcomers would rather go to cities like Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver,” explains Rivera.

“In fact, newcomers are happy to be here, but they don’t get the support they need. They leave for the big cities because they think that’s where they’ll get help.”

While settlement services in central Canada are far from ideal, they do seem to be more of a priority there than with the Newfoundland government. This is presumably because the number of newcomers settling in the Atlantic province is low. According to Stats Canada, in 2014, Newfoundland only took 0.4 per cent of Canada’s total immigrants.

However, Rivera believes that if Newfoundland were to commit to immigration, the numbers would increase.

Rivera came to St. John’s, Newfoundland, as a refugee from Columbia in 2002. He started working with RIAC in 2004.

In the last 10 years, the organization’s annual budget has grown from $5,000 to $100,000. RIAC has come to play an integral role in helping immigrants and refugees in a province that has historically struggled in retaining newcomers.

“We are in danger of losing all the work and progress we’ve accomplished,” Rivera says.

“There is no manual [newcomers] can just pick up at the airport. It’s our job to fill that gap of knowledge.” - Jose Rivera, Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council, Newfoundland

RIAC receives no government funding. In fact, The Association for New Canadians is the only organization that offers government funded services in Newfoundland. Rivera says this is insufficient, as in other parts of Canada the government makes much more significant investments in settlement.

Newcomers need more robust services when they come to Newfoundland.

“There is no manual they can just pick up at the airport,” Rivera says. “It’s our job to fill that gap of knowledge.”

A Leading Example

As Ibbitson points out in his article, Prince Edward Island (PEI) is bucking the trend in Atlantic Canada.

By making extensive use of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and a sophisticated coordination of its settlement services, PEI has been able to attract and retain newcomers in droves.

According to PEI’s Association for New Canadians (ANC), PEI has 0.4 per cent of Canada’s population and it attracts 0.5 per cent of the nation’s immigration. Meanwhile, Newfoundland, with 1.4 per cent of the country’s population, attracts only 0.4 per cent of its immigrations.

“We still haven’t gotten over ‘Islander’ mentality. That people born in the province are ‘Islanders’ and that newcomers are ‘Come From Aways.’ We are all Islanders.” - Craig Mackie, PEI Association for New Canadians

As well, in the past eight years, PEI’s retention rates have improved from approximately 20 to over 40 per cent.

The secret to PEI’s success is how the province integrates its settlement services with various stakeholders, a strategy it developed in 2010 (seen below).

Much of this is achieved by Island Investment Development, Inc. (IIDI), a crown corporation that develops, implements and manages programs and services focused on increasing PEI’s population. 

Craig Mackie, executive director of PEI’s ANC, explains, “The three keys to integration and retention are learning the language, employment and social inclusion.”

The province offers free English language classes – funded by the federal and provincial governments – for permanent residents.

In regards to employment, PEI’s PNP has two main categories to address its economic needs: the labour impact category and the business impact category.

The former is geared towards attracting skilled or temporary workers and is employer-driven. The latter is meant to attract foreign nationals to invest and manage a business in PEI.

Applicants who meet the criteria enter into an escrow agreement with the province to 100 per cent own, partially own or begin investing in a business in the province.

From 2013-14, PEI had 389 applicants for the 100 per cent ownership stream.

Mackie says the ANC is busy working on the third element, social inclusion. To that end, the ANC recently organized a gathering of over 100 people to discuss ways to make the province more welcoming to newcomers.

“We still haven’t gotten over ‘Islander’ mentality,” Mackie says. “That people born in the province are ‘Islanders’ and that newcomers are ‘Come From Aways.’ We are all Islanders.”

Missed Opportunity

Like PEI, Newfoundland also struggles with an “Islander” mentality.

“Friendly people don’t necessarily make friends,” remarks Lois Berrigan, settlement services manager at the ANC in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Though Newfoundlanders have a reputation for hospitality and friendliness, “Come From Aways”, or “CFAs”, are terms that are heard often. Though rarely intended with malice, the separation is obvious.

Ben Waring, the diversity coordinator at the St. John’s ANC, agrees. “The population has been homogenous for so long. There’s going to be growing pains.”

Nonetheless, there have been high profile success stories of integration in the province. The CBC series "Land and Sea" ran an episode entitled “The Southern Shore Sri Lankans,” which profiled two Sri Lankan mechanics and their families, who’d immigrated to the rural town of Cape Broyle.

Rural, or “outport,” Newfoundland is the sort of homogenous area that would presumably struggle with newcomers, so stories like these illustrate how the province may be ready to embrace multiculturalism.

Furthermore, of the Atlantic region, Newfoundland is best positioned economically to invest heavily in a more robust settlement network. It is also arguably the most in need of immigration.

Oil revenue has helped fill government coffers, but unemployment remains high at 15.6 per cent.

And, by 2020, the province anticipates that 70,000 jobs will be available, most of which will be the result of attrition, but 7,700 of those will be new positions. Of these positions, 66.7 per cent will be in management occupation and will require a post-secondary education.

“We need to increase our population. Soon, we’ll fall back to ‘have-not’ status. We’ve got to do something.” - Lois Berrigan, Association for New Canadians, St. John's, Newfoundland

Moreover, Newfoundland is old and getting older. According to the 2014 census, Newfoundland had the highest median age (44.6) and it is projected that 31 per cent of the population will be 65 years and older by 2036.

By mimicking PEI, Newfoundland could lower its unemployment by injecting the economy with new investors and entrepreneurs, while simultaneously rejuvenating the population with young families.

“We need to increase our population,” says Berrigan. “Soon, we’ll fall back to ‘have-not’ status. We’ve got to do something.”

Rivera agrees. “For our needs, the province needs at least five settlement services working together.” At present there are three, the ANC, RIAC, and the Multicultural Women’s Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Nonetheless, the issue right now is quality, not quantity. There is a lack of cooperation among stakeholders and services. Newcomers are not able to cut through the red tape and access the services they need; Newfoundland needs it own Island Investment Development, Inc. of sorts.

That is not to say that all is bleak in the region. For instance, the Connector program run by the Halifax Partnership has received country-wide acclaim, most recently at the Metropolis conference in Vancouver. The program is serving as a "best practice" for other immigrant settlement organizations, including in Toronto.

The New Brunswick Multicultural Council continues efforts "to make New Brunswick the province of choice for ... newcomers" and even tiny Cape Breton in Nova Scotia is "dreaming big". 

For now, though, Newfoundland, and the rest of Atlantic Canada, would be wise to imitate PEI – the overachieving sibling.


In the previous 360º instalment, NCM looked at settlement services in Ontario. The final piece in this series will move westward to examine the state of settlement in provinces like British Columbia and Manitoba.

 

Published in Top Stories
Sunday, 12 April 2015 07:50

NCM NewsFeed: Weekly Newsletter Apr. 10

Our headlines this week: The future of settlement services + Canadian Immigration Summit 2015 + U.S.-Iran nuclear deal + dividing the Vietnamese diaspora + agenda for Modi's visit to Canada + phoney marriages + Rwandan exiles denounce embassy + anti-Roma bias + much more.


 

NCM NewsFeed

Subscribe to Our Newsletter
 

Here and Now

This week we have the first of our NCM 360° articles on immigrant settlement services, a curtain-raiser on the Canadian Immigration Summit 2015, and reactions from Iranian and Nigerian diasporas to recent events affecting their countries of origin. We also run the numbers on the coming federal election, analyze a divisive bill in parliament, and see which nuclear deals are announced during the Indian prime minister’s visit.

Settlement services: where Ontario stands is the first part of our latest NCM 360° series. This week Abbas Somji throws the spotlight on how government-funded immigrant settlement agencies in Ontario are coping with reduced budgets.

Summit encourages national dialogue on immigration: Themrise Khan previews the two-day Canadian Immigration Summit 2015, held in Ottawa by the Conference Board of Canada. The summit aims to share research findings and unique perspectives, as well as to contribute to the development of a National Immigration Action Plan.

Iranian-Canadians hopeful over nuclear deal, writes Shenaz Kermalli, as details of a framework nuclear accord between the U.S. and Iran were confirmed last week. Like other Iranians worldwide, the community in Canada was jubilant and shared messages of joy.

Nigerian-Canadians look forward to change at the helm, writes Peter Uduehi, a journalist and publisher of the African World News in Toronto, after Muhammadu Buhari defeated incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in last week’s Nigerian presidential election.

Election 2015, by the numbers: Will McMartin, a political consultant writing for TheTyee.ca, checks out some of the key statistics at play in the upcoming federal election.

Is the divisive bill on Vietnamese refugees all about the election? asks Alice Musabende in this iPolitics article. The Conservative government is walking a thin line between courting Vietnam as a trade partner and commemorating the 40th anniversary of a day that changed history and led to thousands fleeing to Canada.

Nuclear agenda on Modi's Canada tour, says this South Asian Post article on the Indian prime minister’s upcoming visit. As well as a commercial agreement being signed to supply uranium to India, both countries might announce joint research and development on nuclear energy.

Ripples

A story currently sending ripples across Canada is the evolving controversy around Ukrainian-American pianist Valentina Lisitsa and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) — arguably a case of an organization wading into somebody else’s political fight. The cancellation of Lisitsa’s planned shows with the TSO because of her comments on the crisis in Ukraine

Creating ripples in major diaspora communities is an internal Canada Border Services Agency report that says phoney marriages “have become a threat to the integrity of Canada’s immigration program.” The 2013 report, made public this week, identifies China, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Guyana and Haiti as “high risk” countries. It also alleges that more than a third of the applications to bring new spouses from India may involve bogus marriages.

As Canada’s real-estate market heats up, a new report steps around a popular but unproven claim: that frenzied buying by “foreigners” is driving up property prices in cities like Vancouver. This report by Sotheby’s, A Comparative Study of Top Tier Real Estate Trends Across Generations in Canada, says only that such purchasers “are a significant driver in the high-end (property) segment,” and that the main buyers are baby boomers, aged 55-plus, making purchases in the more traditional upscale neighbourhoods.

Diasporas are often urged to invest in the development of their ancestral countries. A Somalilander from Ontario heeded the call to open a free public library in his homeland. But this article in the Somaliland Sun tells us that he’s now in trouble after donating $100,000 and incurring a debt of $20,000 over 16 years.

Still in East Africa: A top youth leader from the minority Anyuak ethnic group in South Sudan has defected to the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement. Medho Toung Medho declared his move in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa after fleeing Juba, the South Sudanese capital. Medho had previously represented Anyuak youth in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe. He said he would now mobilize youth in his country and from the Anyuak diaspora to join the rebel movement to overthrow President Salva Kiir.

Days before Rwandans commemorated the 1994 genocide last week, dissident exiles held a press conference in Montreal to call on Canada’s federal government “to protect them from attacks by Rwandan government agents.” The exiles, who are well-known critics of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, said they’d been warned that “diplomats” assigned to Rwanda’s embassy in Ottawa were actually there to intimidate or assassinate them.

Harmony Jazz

Life’s complexities often run against the rules and processes of citizenship and immigration, as we see in two examples this week. The first: one brother is a citizen, the other is not. Their father, born in Scotland to Canadian parents, has been unable to pass on his Canadian citizenship to his Peru-born son. The second: CFL player Harry Burris is considered a part-time worker and thus ineligible for permanent residency in Canada.

A detailed review of Immigration and Refugee Board hearings of Roma claimants shows a disturbing trend of institutional bias in the system and major inconsistencies between IRB decision-makers. Meanwhile, Michael Adams highlights citizenship and immigration policies as one of the three ways Liberals and NDP can win over Conservative voters.

A good long read is Ian Brown’s piece on the ongoing, inter-generational impact of trauma. His article draws from the experiences of Holocaust survivors and their children. Lastly, Cosmo has been accused of racial bias after having black models portray trends that “need to die” while white models showcased trends to emulate. As you might expect, the backlash on social media was instant.

Back Pocket

Those of us in Toronto can expand our minds this weekend at the annual Spur festival, which offers an eclectic mix of events including discussions, panels, author readings, and performances. This year’s topics are nationally relevant and locally nuanced, centering around the theme Alone, Together. We live in a world of constant connectivity, but MIT technologist Sherry Turkle says that our relationships have become more simulated than real, and wider but weaker. Spur 2015 asks how we might reimagine civic and social life for greater engagement. The Toronto festival will be followed by one in Calgary (April 23-26) and Winnipeg (May 7-10). Dates for Ottawa and Vancouver will come soon.

Later this month, those of us in the Greater Toronto Area can also join Manaveli, a Tamil performing arts group, as it explores gender roles and violence against women. These interwoven issues and will be told from various angles in the five acts that will be staged as part of 17th Arangaadal Festival of Theatre and Dance at the Flato Markham Theatre for the Performing Arts on Sunday, April 26.



With that, have a great weekend and don’t forget to look up the next edition of NCM NewsFeed every Friday!

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

 

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

 

Follow us on:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Published in Top Stories

TORONTO—After contemplating hundreds of potential candidates, the CBC is convinced that new “Q” host Shad can succeed with flying colours. The 32-year-old rapper will soon...

Epoch Times

Read Full Article

Published in Arts & Culture

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

Zo2 Framework Settings

Select one of sample color schemes

Google Font

Menu Font
Body Font
Heading Font

Body

Background Color
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Top Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Header Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Mainmenu Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Slider Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Scroller Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Mainframe Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Scroller Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Breadcrumb Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Menu Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image
Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image