Immigrant women and post-partum depression

A newly published book on immigrant women’s health issues includes a chapter by Paola Ardiles, CIndy-Lee Dennis and Lori E. Ross on post-partum depression in immigrant women.  

The book, Working with Immigrant Women: Issues and Strategies for Mental Health Professionals is edited by Sepali Gruge and Enid Collins and is published by CAMH. See the CAMH page for information.

CIC on proposed changes to IRPA

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration has published a new section on their website with more information on the proposed changes to the immigration policy and legislation, introduced in the budget bill – Bill C-50

A section with questions is also new, and offered in the categories of: Description and rationale for changes; How the system will work; Impact of the changes; Minister’s authority; and offers a space for folks to post their questions. Let’s all surf on over before the links change/disappear (again).

CCRs 10 areas of concern about proposed changes to the IRPA

The Canadian Council for Refugees has developed a useful fact sheet that outlines “Ten reasons to be concerned about proposed amendments to Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in Bill C-50″.

Excerpts from the fact sheet:

1. Arbitrary power. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration can introduce “instructions” without Parliamentary oversight..Having the rules for who gets in made and changed by ministerial fiat … lacks transparency and makes the immigration selection process vulnerable to inappropriate political pressures.

2. Applicants’ legal rights eliminated. The proposed amendment in IRPA s. 11 from ‘the visa shall be issued’ to ‘the visa may be issued’ (means) the applicant will no longer have the same legal basis to demand that the processing be finalized in a timely manner.

3. Overseas humanitarian and compassionate applications. The amendments eliminate the right to have an overseas application for humanitarian and compassionate consideration examined. This includes … family reunification.

4. Intentions are not law. The government has made a number of statements about how they intend or don’t intend to use the new powers… Expressions of current intention are no protection against future uses of the powers.

5. The amendments do not belong in the budget bill. IRPA amendments should (be) dealt with through separate legislation, studied by the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration and debated.

6. Lack of explanatory information. The government has failed to provide adequate information.

7. Failure to produce draft instructions. … draft instructions have not been made public.

8. Lack of consultation. The proposed amendments were introduced without the normal prior consultation with stakeholders.

9. There are other ways of addressing the backlog. … the proposed amendments will not … resolve the existing backlog, since they only affect applications made after 27 February 2008.

10. The immigration program needs to value immigrants. Canada needs to consider immigrants as full participants in society, not simply as disposable units to fill currently available jobs.

OCASI’s 30th anniversary

The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) is planning several events to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

Some of the events include: A gala dinner on June 26th in Toronto, the Amina Malko Award and the OCASI Award of Excellence (nominations close April 25th), and SWB+08 – Settlement Without Borders 2008 – a symposium “revisioning settlement in Ontario”, June 25-26/08.

More info as it becomes available, or visit the 30th anniversary website.

April 17-18 York U conference: Rethinking the mosaic: Immigration, settlement and the lived experience

At the end of February, this blog posted notice about and a call for proposals for the York University Graduate School Conference, “Rethinking the Mosaic: Immigration, Settlement and the Lived Experience”. The conference program has now been posted. I am happy to report that children and families are addressed in this conference, including:

The opening plenary includes Mehru Ali, CERIS domain leader in Family, Children and Youth, and Professor at the School of Early Childhood Education, Ryerson University

A day 2 workshop in the Health and Well-Being section includes Fatima Kediye, School of Early Childhood Education, Ryerson University on the topic of “Somali-Canadian mothers of young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder”. 

Also on day 2, a series of workshops on the Experiences of Immigrant/Transnational Families, including:

  • Christina Parker, OISE/UT on the topic of “Canadian children, immigrant parents: Young ‘Canadians’ research their cultural identity”.
  • Lan Zhong, University of Windsor on “The role of the father in Chinese immigrant families”. 
  • Yvette Michele Gnanamuttu, McGill University, on “Inter-ethnic adoption: In whose best interests?”. 
  • Marina Morgenshtern, Wilfrid Laurier University, on “Witnessing the socio-political stories of immigrant couples”. 

The conference takes place this upcoming week – April 17-18/08. See the CERIS website for more information and to download the complete conference program.

NAME Call for 2008 conference proposal reviewers

As posted here Feb 12/08, the US-based National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) is holding its 18th annual conference Nov 12-16/08 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference theme is Beyond Celebrating Diversity: reActivating the Equity and Social Justice Roots of Multicultural Education.

NAME is now seeking conference proposal reviewers. From the proposal review Chair, Christine Clark, as posted today to the NAME listserv:

“The review timeframe will be – with some flexibility on either end – that proposals will be sent to you by mid to late May and would need to be completed and returned by early to mid June. You do not need to be a NAME member to be a reviewer.

“Please let me know ASAP if you are willing to be a proposal reviewer this year. In your reply, please send me all of your contact information (name,professional affiliation, mailing address, phones, faxes, e-mails) so that we can update the database. If nothing about your contact information has changed in the last year please indicate that in your reply.

“Also, please indicate your interests and/or expertise with respect to proposal review topic areas – for example, gender equity, achievement gap, P-12, disability access, gay rights, and so forth”.

Christine Clark, Ed.D.
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion & Professor of Curriculum and Instruction
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
702.895.3888 Office Telephone
702.895.2944 Office Facsimile

War, immigration and trauma: Sick Kids Hospital conference

The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is hosting a two-day conference May 16-17/08 on the theme of War, Immigration and Trauma. Features speakers are:

Dr. Cecile Rousseau, Head, Transcultural Child Psychiatry Clinic, Montreal Children’s Hospital, on “Trauma as a Transformation Process” and Olara A. Otunnu, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, on “Protecting our Children from the Scourge of War”.

Also featured will be 3 expert panels:

• Child Development: Interactions with Armed Conflict and Migration
• Therapeutic Interventions: Talking with Children, Talking with Parents
• Moving to the Next Level: Implications for Policy & Practice.

For more information, see the conference website or contact Cathy Ditizio, Conference Administrator at:

Promoting integration: Canada’s Multiculturalism Minister reports to Parliament

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity) issued a news release April 3/08 commenting on Statistics Canada latest release on immigration in Canada, “Canada’s Ethnocultural Mosaic, 2006 Census“. Here’s some of what was in the release:

“A particularly interesting statistic from the 2006 Census shows the highest ever proportion of people reporting “Canadian” as ethnic origin. Almost 10.1 million people, one-third of the total population, reported Canadian as their ethnic ancestry. In addition, more than half of those reporting have multiple origins, better illustrating the living diversity in our country.

Our government is pleased to support initiatives that preserve and promote Canadian identity. For example, we are a partner in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, a powerful symbol of this country’s commitment to recognizing, promoting, and celebrating human rights. We are also supporting the Aga Khan’s Global Centre for Pluralism, which will serve as a cornerstone of good governance, the rule of law, and human development in the years ahead.

The Government of Canada is also fully cognizant of the need to have policies and programs that reflect our changing population. We have revised the Multiculturalism Program to focus on promoting integration, combatting radicalization, and encouraging collaborative projects between Canadians from diverse backgrounds. In fact, our annual report to Parliament underscored this new focus with its title, Promoting Integration“.

Promoting Integration includes several references to children. PDF version available here. HTML version.

Canada in violation of UN Rights of the Child

The Canadian Council on Refugees (CCR) has denounced the Canadian government and accused it of being in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. From the CCRs April 7th press release:

“The Canadian Council for Refugees today denounced the blind application of an inflexible immigration rule that is keeping children separated from their parents. Regulation 117(9)(d) excludes family members, barring them from sponsorship, if they were not examined by an immigration officer when the sponsor immigrated to Canada.

‘Children deserve to be with their parents – all Canadians can agree on this. Yet children affected by the excluded family member rule are spending years without an immigration officer even considering their interests,’ said Elizabeth McWeeny, CCR President. ‘This is not only inhumane, it is a clear violation of Canada’s international human rights obligations, including under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.’”

See more about the CCRs campaign on family reunification, including the April 7/08 press release at the CCR website.

Meeting the needs of English language learners: Ryerson University event, Toronto

On May 16/08, Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners will be held in Toronto. The event is presented by Ryerson University Centre for Children, Youth and Families, the School of Early Childhood Education and the MA Program in Early Childhood Studies, the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, the Macaulay Child Development Centre and the City of Toronto, Children’s Services.

The event will be held at Ryerson University, 55 Gould Street, Student Campus Centre, Room SCC115. Introductory remarks by Judith K. Bernhard, Director, MA in Early Childhood Studies, Ryerson University, Brenda Patterson, General Manager, Toronto Children’s Services and Eduarda Sousa, Executive Director, Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario.

Panel Members are:

For more info, see the notice on the right-hand side of the Ryerson webpage here or download the event flyer: ryersonevent.

Changes to IRPA

Over the last couple of weeks, this blog has posted on proposed changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, complete with links to debates and news releases. Some of these links have moved and I am trying my best to relocate them.

The changes proposed to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act by Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley will impact family reunification and therefore, children. It’s time for the Canadian Coalition for Immigrant Children and Youth to start lobbying their MPs, liberal and otherwise, to stop these changes from going through.

The federal liberals, with the support of another opposition party could stop the proposed amendments. A vote against the amendments (as early as a week from now) would trigger an election. Some say they don’t want an election. The tories say they’re ready for an election.

Here’s what the NDP says. “The offensive changes include giving major new powers to the minister of Citizenship and Immigration to impose quotas, discard immigration applications and facilitate queue jumping by certain categories of immigrants. In addition, they would limit the ability of ordinary Canadians to be reunited with overseas family members based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds”.

Here’s what the liberals say.“The Liberal Opposition feels strongly that the drastic immigration reforms introduced by the Conservative government should be removed from the budget bill debated in Parliament”.

Here’s how to find your MP and have your say.