CIC funding announcement for Nova Scotia: Benefits children and families, says YMCA

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration today announced 10.3 milliion in funding to support 3,000 immigrants to Nova Scotia. “We need new Canadians and we need to help them settle comfortably in our communities” said Peter MacKay, MP for Central Nova and federal Minister of National Defense and Atlantic Canada Opportunities agency.

YMCA VP for Community Outreach and Family Services, Brenda Millar, was pleased with the funding – some of it going to the YMCA:

“Our YMCA programs help create stronger communities. We achieve this by helping immigrants settle in their new communities, as well as by educating members of our Nova Scotia communities about the issues and barriers that newcomers face in adjusting and adapting to a new language, culture, climate and community, while maintaining their own. With our special emphasis on programs for immigrant children/youth and their families, Citizenship and Immigration Canada ensures that we can promote diversity as part of building more inclusive communities”.

UNHCR on the best interests of the child

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCRC) have updated their 2006 Guidelines on Determining the Best Interests of the Child. From the announcement on the Child Rights Information Network (CRIN):

The principle of the best interests of the child has been the subject of extensive consideration in academic, operational and other circles. Legal documents relating to the protection of children, including those adopted by UNHCRs Executive Committee on children of concern to the Office, systematically refer to it.

How to apply this principle in practice, however, often remains challenging for UNHCR and its partners. Limited guidance is available on how to operationalise the best interests principle. UNHCR’s Guidelines on Determining the Best Interests of the Child are intended as one step to help fill this gap.

Canadian Multiculturalism Day

The federal government is bundling a series of days (June 21 – National Aboriginal Day; June 24 – Saint Jean Baptiste Day; June 27 – Canadian Multiculturalism Day; and July 1 – Canada Day) as the Celebrate Canada! initiative.

Let’s revisit the Proclamation that, in 2002, established Canadian Multiculturalism Day:

“Whereas multiculturalism is a fundamental characteristic of the Canadian heritage; Whereas Canadians of all backgrounds have made and continue to make valuable contributions to Canadian society; Whereas it is considered appropriate that there be, in each year, a day to mark and celebrate those contributions and to recognize Canadian diversity;  And whereas, by Order in Council P.C. 2002-1869 of October 31, 2002, the Governor in Council has directed that a proclamation do issue declaring June 27 of each year as Canadian Multiculturalism Day, a celebration of the contributions of Canada’s diverse people to Canadian society; Now know you that We, by and with the advice of Our Privy Council for Canada, do by this Our Proclamation declare June 27 of each year as Canadian Multiculturalism Day, a celebration of the contributions of Canada’s diverse people to Canadian society”.

How relevant is official multiculturalism in Canada today? What’s the impact for immigrant children and families? 


2nd annual Metropolis research competition

This year’s Metropolis Canada research competition is asking the question how has large-scale immigration transformed Canada’s society and economy?

Some key dimensions of this question, relevant to research in the immigrant children and families area include the following (taken from the Metropolis site), include:

How has immigration influenced policies of taxation and the provision of social goods and services such as public education and healthcare?

What is the impact of immigration on Canadian social relations, including perspectives on family and friends, the discourse on individual and group rights, and inter-ethnic, inter-racil, and inter-religious relations?

What impact has large-scale immigration had on Canadian social policy, e.g., the choice between the state, the community, and the family as service provider?

Up to $125,000 for 12-18 months is available for researchers affiliated with any Metropolis Centre and a post-secondary educational institution. Here’s an opportunity for researchers interested in immigrant children and families. See the SSHRC site for details.

Application deadline is September 30, 2008.

For more information, contact the SSHRC Program Officer, Mika Oehling at 613.992.4227 or

Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood annual conference

The Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood Annual Conference will be held Nov 13-15, 2008 in Melbourne, Australia. The conference theme is Honouring the Child, Honouring Equity 8: Young Citizen(s), New Citizenship(s). Key themes to be addressed include:

How are the possibilities for citizenship and for children being imagined and practiced in diverse contexts?

How can we transform relationships with children to create greater reciprocity and respect?

What are the local and global possibilities for enacting ethical citizenship processes and practices with young children?

What local and global and global linkages can inspire new possibilities for children’s citizenship(s)?

How do issues of diversity, difference and identity intersect with possibilities for honouring children, honouring equity?

Call for proposals closes July 16/08.

Talking to Liberals

FYI, the federal Liberal Party of Canada is launching an online forum to engage Canadians in its policy development process. Here’s an opportunity to raise issues related to immigrant children and families. An excerpt from the announcement (links added by me):

National Policy Chair Joan Bourassa and National Policy Vice-Chair Dominic LeBlanc are proud to announce the full public launch of the Liberal Party of Canada’s Forum Liberalis, a web platform that enables Canadians to collaborate, exchange ideas, and develop innovative new policies….

The online forum is at Registration is required.

Toronto film event: Family Motel

Toronto’s Royal Cinema will be running the acclaimed NFB docu-film Family Motel from June 22-24. Many outstanding reviews, including this excerpt from the Montreal Gazette:

A hard-working Somalian immigrant and her teenage girls fall victim to high rents and payments to other family members back home and slip through the Ottawa social safety net into homelessness. This gripping NFB-Instinct Films co-production resurrects the powerful fiction/documentary tradition of alternative drama and introduces the amazing non-actor family of Nargis Jibril and daughters Asha and Sagal.

John Griffin, Montreal Gazette

CERIS announces new domain leader for Family, Children & Youth

More news from CERIS. 4 new domain leaders have been announced, including Dr. Francis Hare as the new Domain Leader for Family, Children and Youth.

Dr. Hare founded and taught in the Child and Youth program at Ryerson University in Toronto. He has also taught in Ryerson’s Masters in Early Childhood Studies and the Masters in Immigration and Settlement Studies. His research interests include unaccompanied minors, child refugees and the issue of trafficking.

Congratulations, Dr. Hare.

Social support networks: A study on recent Chinese immigrant mothers and children

CERIS (The Joint Centre of Excellent for Research in Immigration Studies and Ontario Metropolis centre) has released a new research working paper (No. 66). Development of Social Support Networks by Recent Chinese Immigrant Women with Young Children Living in London, Ontario is a research study conducted by Wei Wei Da. The study was guided by two research questions:

Where do recent Chinese immigrant women with young children go for information on child-rearing?

Where and to whom do they turn to when they want help in raising young children in a new socio-cultural context?

Bill C-50 gets voted on today

The CBC reports that Bill C-50 will be voted on today. If defeated, it may trigger a federal election, but news sources agree that it is likely only the NDP and the Bloc Québécois will vote against it. Search this blog for “proposed changes to immigration policy” for more info.