Call for workshop proposals: International Metropolis conference, Bonn, Germany

The 13th International Metropolis conference will be held October 27-31 in Bonn, Germany.

Workshop proposals are invited from researchers, policy-makers, NGOs and other interested delegates. Workshops must include representation from the research, policy, NGO sectors, as well as participants from more than one country.

Deadline is March 10/08. For more information, see the International Metropolis website.

Call for papers: York U graduate school conference

The Annual Graduate Student conference Rethinking the Mosaic: Immigration, Settlement and the Lived Experience will take place at York University April 17-18/08. Graduate students are invited to submit proposals. Some of the focus areas lend themselves well to children’s issues, including:

  • Immigration/refugee law and practice
  • Settlement sector and government involvement
  • Health and well-being
  • Multiculturalism/citizenship
  • Family, children and youth experiences of immigrant/transnational families.

Deadline is March 6/08. For more information, see the CERIS website.

Federal budget, 2008

The National Post is reporting that today’s federal budget has “something for everyone”, including this – for immigrants:

“$22-million over two years to modernize and speed up the immigration system. Plans include: ‘changes will be made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to improve the immigration process. It is not fair for prospective immigrants to wait for years before being considered, and it is not desirable to wait that long for the immigrants the country needs’.”

Meanwhile, The Globe and Mail is running an op-ed by Perrin Beatty, Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Claire Morris, Association of Universities and Colleges Canada and on what kinds of immigrants Canada needs:

“Streamlining our immigration process to make Canada a more attractive option for skilled immigrants will be important. However, Canada cannot count on maintaining current levels of immigration of advanced degree-holders to meet future labour market needs. In an increasingly knowledge-based world, competition for highly-educated immigrants is growing in developed nations and emerging economies alike.

Consequently, more needs to be done to attract the best and the brightest international graduate students who remain critical to fuelling the country’s pipeline of highly qualified personnel”.

Immigrant children? Not in the op-ed. Not in the budget. To access the budget documents, visit the website.

CIC & MCI joint call for proposals, Ontario

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI) are seeking proposals to strengthen the role of local and regional communities in serving and integrating immigrants through Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs).

The overall objective of the call is to identify groups that will coordinate and enhance the current service delivery network (avoiding duplication). Strategic partnerships between service providers and organizations is encouraged.

The funders objectives are to:

  1. Improve access to, and coordination of, effective services that facilitate immigrant settlement and integration
  2. Improve access to the labour market for immigrants
  3. Strengthen local and regional awareness and capacity to integrate immigrants
  4. Establish or enhance partnerships and participation of multiple stakeholders in planning, and coordinating the delivery of integration services (including settlement, language training, labour market integration), especially current services supported by the federal government through CIC or through MCI.

For more info, see the page at or the MCI web-page.

2 Deadlines: March 7, 2008 and May 6, 2008.

CIC call for proposals, Ontario

Citizenship and Immigration Canada have issued a call for proposals for projects that enhance or support Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program (ISAP) services in Ontario.

The call is seeking community, local, regional, or provincial projects that focus on:

  • Developing a campaign for the promotion of settlement services and outreach to those in need of settlement services
  • Developing and / or distributing of information products to settlement workers in Ontario
  • The development of and / or dissemination of newcomer information products
  • The development of and implementation of improved program delivery tools
  • The design and delivery of conferences, workshops and other training events for settlement workers
  • Producing studies, reports and recommendations relevant to settlement and integration
  • Other activities or products which will result in improvements to ISAP.

Deadline is September 1, 2008.

For more info, see the page at

Skills for Change announces New Pioneers awards

Skills for Change, a non-profit community agency based in Toronto, has been working for over 25 years to support immigrants and refugees in accessing employment and participating in the community.

Annually, Skills for Change holds the New Pioneers Awards which recognizes individuals for their contribution in six areas: Arts, Community Service, Science & Technology, Entrepreneurship, Skills for Change Graduate, and Youth. This year, Ellen Xi Yang has been recognized with a New Pioneer Award, Youth for her volunteer work with children and youth. Yang is also profiled in todays Toronto Star.

This year’s event will be held February 28/08, Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre.

Prairie Metropolis Centre research grants

The Prairie Metropolis Centre (PMC) is accepting applications for research grants for 2008-2009 from its PMC research affiliates. The PMC Family, Children and Youth Domain is described as follows:

“Immigration is a decision that is often taken not simply by an individual but by families. It is an investment in the future, both for the immigrant and for the host society, and often it is the outcomes of the children of immigrants and refugees or newcomer children themselves that are considered to be the best indicators of the success of an immigration or refugee program. Similarly, the outcomes achieved by all minorities – whether children, youth, families or individuals – are strong indicators of broad societal inclusion. This policy research priority will examine the consequences of migration to Canada for families, children and youth and will develop proposals for enhancing their success in the future”.

Deadline is April 30, 2008. For more information, see the PMC website.

Transnational families

The Nanny Economy is the title of a National Post item in the Saturday edition (February 23/08). From the story:

“More than 6,000 Filipinas arrive in Canada under the federal government’s live-in caregiver program. They make up more than one in five female immigrants to Canada and more than nine out of 10 of the live-in caregiver program’s participants”.

The story outlines the issues in the live-in caregiver program, which brings many women to Canada to care for Canadian children, while leaving their own children behind.

For more on transnational families, see Bernhard, J., Landolt, P. & Goldring, L. (2005). Transnational, multi-local motherhood: Experiences of separation and reunification among Latin American families in Canada. Joint Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration Studies (CERIS), Working Paper No. 40, or for a summary see Policy Matters No. 24, January 2006 at the CERIS website.

Also see INTERCEDE for the Rights of Domestic Workers, Caregivers and Newcomers. INTERCEDE is a non-profit community-based organization that works to “support the integration, promote the rights and provide service needs of domestic workers, caregivers, temporary or migrant workers, their families”.

The refugee forum: New program at Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre

The Refugee Forum is a new program of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa. It is funded by the Maytree Foundation. The Forum will study and comment on Canada’s asylum system and address research, analysis and communication.

From the web-page: “The ultimate objective of the Forum is to develop and promote positive improvements to Canada’s asylum system as well as to raise public awareness of refugee issues”.

See the Refugee Forum web-page for more information.

Putting immigrants to work: But, what about their children? is an initiative of TRIEC, the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council. provides information to employers on how to hire immigrants and why they should.

TRIEC is about “working to remove the barriers immigrants face when entering the labour market, while at the same time helping organizations benefit from the talents and skills immigrants bring with them to Canada”. TRIEC is an initiative of The Maytree Foundation.

In partnership with TRIEC and MediaCorp (who bring us Canada’s Top 100 Employers) comes a new initiative, The Best Employers for New Canadians. What’s the criteria for making it as one of the best employers for new Canadians? “Each employer is evaluated in terms of:

(1) whether they offer programs specifically designed to assist employees who are recent immigrants to Canada;

(2) whether they have taken steps to reduce employment barriers for recent immigrants, such as by recognizing foreign educational credientials and experience;

(3) whether they assist new employees who have foreign professional or educational credentials in getting these qualifications formally recognized in Canada;

(4) whether they offer any “onboarding” programs, such as internal coaching or mentoring, to help new employees who are recent immigrants understand the Canadian workplace; and

(5) whether their managers and employees receive training in cross-cultural issues or inclusiveness to help create a welcoming and productive environment for employees who are recent immigrants”.

Hmmm. I didn’t see any mentions of the availability and accessibility of high quality child care in any of these initiatives. Organizations that purport to help immigrants get and keep jobs would do well to address the issue of child care. Child care is not only an employment support, it also promotes healthy child growth and development and supports families in their child-rearing role. A parent content with their child’s early learning and care arrangement are bound to be happier and more focussed at work. The best employers are on board with child care. Please join in, TRIEC, in adovcating for more and better early learning and child care programs and supports for immigrant families.

Federal funding announcements galore!

There have been a rash of funding announcements from the federal government lately, including:

December 2007

Dec 17/07 “Minister Finley announces new federal commitments to help newcomers settle in Canada”, which includes a link to a handy at-a-glance chart showing the provincial/territorial breakdown of dollars from 05-06 to 08-09.

Dec 18/07 “Government of Canada supports Saskatchewan in attracting immigrants to the province”. Included in this announcement was the “Going to Canada” website that provides “links to information and services when planning a temporary stay or making Canada your new home”. The website is available in English and French. Not much info on children.

January 2008

Jan 7/08 “Government of Canada announces new funding for research on immigration and diversity”. The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and Dr. Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) jointly announced research funding of $7.5 million over five years for Metropolis, the Canadian arm of the international consortium of research centres on immigration and settlement.

Jan 18/08 “Government of Canada provides funding to help newcomers settle in the Peel region”. The funding will support the Peel Newcomer Strategy Group.

February 2008

Feb 1/08 “Government of Canada announces funding to help immigrants settle in Lethbridge“.

Feb 1/08 “Government of Canada joins partners in launching a Tool Box to help attract immigrants to smaller communities”. The Attracting and Retaining Immigrants: A Tool Box of Ideas for Smaller Centres was developed by the National Working Group on Small Centre Strategies.

Feb 8/08 “Government of Canada announces funding to help newcomers settle in the city of Toronto“. Included in this announcement, a mention of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO), established in 2007 to help support internationally trained individuals in having their credentials assessed, recognzied and to find work in their chosen field.

Feb 19/08 ” Government of Canada invests to help immigrants settle in St. John’s“. In this announcement, something about/for immigrant children! A 3-day event, entitled Sharing Our Cultures is an annual event held to promote cross-cultural awareness among children and teachers. This year it will be held to coincide with March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Feb 20/08 “Government of Canada provides funding to help newcomers settle in Brantford“.

Feb 20/08 “Government of Canada provides funding to the Learning Enrichment Foundation to help newcomers in Toronto“.

Feb 21/08 “Government of Canada announces funding to help attract francophone immigrants to New Brunswick“. Funding went to Société des Acadiens et Acadiennes du Nouveau-Brunswick (SAANB).

Feb 22/08 “Government of Canada provides funding to help newcomers in North Bay“.