Independent topical source of current affairs, opinion and issues, featuring stories making news in Canada from immigrants, newcomers, minorities & ethnic communities' point of view and interests.

aguirre: On Sunday, May 27, Aguirre will detail her experiences at Pier 21 Reads, where she will read excerpts from her national bestseller, Something Fierce Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, according to The Chronicle Herald. Born in Santiago, Chile, in 1967, Aguirre and her family never expected to leave a country they loved. As a political refugee, Aguirre and her family fled to Canada following the 1973 coup that overthrew Salvador Allende, and started Augusto Pinochet's decades long reign of terror. The coup had happened in Chile and we had to flee . It was not an immigrant experience; it was a refugee experience. We didn't choose to come here and reinvent ourselves, which is the immigrant experience, she explains. We didn't choose to leave. ( As reported in the news.

buddhist-majority myanmar: This displaced population includes an estimated 81,000 pregnant women and girls, according to the Bangladesh Health Ministry, while the UN puts the number at around 40,000, according to CTV. As documented by international medical staff and service providers operating in Bangladesh, many civilians bear the physical and psychological scars of brutal sexual assault, a March UN Security Council report states. Since August 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled systematic violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar for neighbouring Bangladesh in what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has labelled a textbook example of ethnic cleaning. The assaults were allegedly perpetrated by members of the Myanmar Armed Forces Tatmadaw at times acting in concert with members of local militias, in the course of the military clearance operations. Fariha Khan, a physician who serves as a director at Islamic Relief Canada, explained. They would line women up and take their pick and these rapes would just follow, Dr. ( As reported in the news.

cultures pairing: Organized by the Halifax-based immigration platform My Halifax Experience, the inaugural Mosaic Festival will break the mould of past multicultural festivals, wowing spectators and participants with a carnival-inspired display of colourful culture, according to The Chronicle Herald. We are honoured that Waterfront Development approached us to organize this event because we feel it's important for our immigrant population to feel at home here, says Ifeanyi Emesih, founder of My Halifax Experience and Mosaic Festival. The one-day multicultural event will be a unique celebration of the city's diverse cultures pairing a vibrant parade of music and dance with a waterfront party of concerts and vendors. We want this festival to become one of Halifax's essential summer events for our immigrants, newcomers and international students to have a familiar piece of home on the waterfront; and for the residents of Halifax to have the chance to discover, learn and immerse themselves in other cultures. The parade will start at Pier 21 symbolic of Halifax's strong ties with welcoming newcomers. Starting with a parade along Lower Water Street, the family-friendly event will feature music and dance from around the world. ( As reported in the news.

decade couillard: According to the Liberals, 225,000 jobs have been created since they came to power in 2014 but 90,000 jobs are currently open and they estimate over 1 million jobs will need to be filled over the next decade, according to CTV. Couillard said the problem is especially pronounced in small and medium-sized businesses in Quebec's regions and employers are increasingly looking to immigrants as part of the solution. 'Bring me workers,' that's what I hear, he said. With unemployment at its lowest in the province in 40 years, the Couillard government said the good news is tempered by a labour shortage, which the premier called the province's biggest economic challenge. That's a radical change. Listening to Mr. Couillard noted that his opponenet, Parti Quebecois leader Jean-Francois Lisee unveiled his own immigration policy on Tuesday, one which would encourage immigrants to settle in Quebec's regions. ( As reported in the news.

fluorescent-tube sculptures: Shellie Zhang's 'A Place for Wholesome Amusements' on College St, according to Toronto Star. MORRIS LUM Zhang asks a similar question of artists like Flavin. The art-history observant would make a link with Dan Flavin's Minimalist works of the 1960s fluorescent-tube sculptures that have since become some of the most revered and pricey works of an era where, ironically, artists used humble materials to hold a mirror up to an art world bloated on excess to ask what, exactly, value meant. A forefather of the 1960s conceptual art era, Flavin was part of a cadre of artists bent on emptying out meaning, replacing it with riddles about material and form. Read more Emily Carr painting gets new name for new era Article Continued Below Toronto's got a roving gang of mannequin squatters Ai Weiwei exhibition coming to Gardiner Museum Just west and a bit more south, at 285 Spadina Ave., a Rexall Drugs conceals an empty theatre, an absent marquee. Zhang's works, meanwhile, are loaded up Her spare forms, glowing behind glass, embody the faded history of a cross-cultural moment in the city's urban fabric, cradled in the ragtag blocks that surround it. ( As reported in the news.

labour shortage: A PQ government elected Oct. 1 would try to reverse the trend that sees 90 per cent of all newcomers to Quebec move to the Montreal area, Lisee said, according to The Chronicle Herald. The plan also seeks to ensure newcomers speak French by forcing them to pass a test before they get on Quebec soil, Lisee said. PQ leader Jean-Francois Lisee said his plan will better integrate newcomers and prevent more of them from leaving the province for other parts of Canada, encourage immigrants to live outside Montreal and respond to Quebec's labour shortage. We are more frank about the conditions for success, he told reporters. Both the PQ and the Coalition Avenir Quebec said the Liberals' policies have led to high unemployment levels among immigrants and a failure of newcomers speaking adequate French. The people who come here and can't speak French are either unemployed, or they leave for other provinces therefore, they waste their time and ours. ( As reported in the news.

lisee: Lisee said that should the party prove victorious in October's election, they would try to reverse the current trend that sees 90 per cent of new Quebecers settling in Montreal, according to CTV. To accomplish that, the PQ would implement a points system, with those agreeing to live in one of the regions receiving double the number of points as those who come to Montreal. PQ leader Jean-Francois Lisee unveiled the party's immigration policy on Tuesday alongside spokesperson for immigration and diversity Catherine Fournier and spokesperson for regional development Sylvain Gaudreault. Lisee said that incentive would encourage new arrivals to populate areas suffering from labour shortages and aging populations. The PQ held onto its policy that any new immigrant would have to be able to speak French before arriving. - With files from The Canadian Press He said there would be no minimum stay time to receive the points but didn't believe immigrants would then move to Montreal if they had a home and job in the regions. ( As reported in the news.

quebec move: Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisee said a PQ government would try to reverse the trend that sees 90 per cent of all newcomers to Quebec move to the Montreal area, according to Toronto Star. Jacques Boissinot / THE CANADIAN PRESS file photo Quebec selects its immigrants based on a point system and Lisee says a PQ government elected Oct. 1 would offer more points to potential immigrants who qualify for a job outside the metropolis. Leader Jean-Francois Lisee said today a PQ government would try to reverse the trend that sees 90 per cent of all newcomers to Quebec move to the Montreal area. Lisee adds that newcomers will still be given extra points even if they don't qualify for a job in the outlying regions but show an intention to settle there. Article Continued Below Both the PQ and the Coalition Avenir Quebec say the Liberals' policies have led to high unemployment levels among immigrants and a failure of newcomers speaking adequate French. Immigration as well as the integration of newcomers is shaping up as a major issue for the fall election campaign. ( As reported in the news.

refugees: We could not, cannot and should not be doing this alone, according to Toronto Star. Toronto Star / David Rider But this time municipal politicians are not to blame. Mayor John Tory wants the federal government to help pay for the cost of housing refugees in the city's shelter system. Instead, they are to be commended for trying diligently to keep up with the unprecedented demand for beds created by political decisions that are made, but not paid for, by Ottawa. Article Continued Below Some of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's critics accuse him of making the situation worse back in January 2017 when he tweeted out a message saying that Canada welcomes refugees. Indeed, the current bed shortage is not the result of poor civic planning but of an unprecedented influx of thousands of asylum seekers travelling here from the U.S. In fact, refugee claimants now make up 41 per cent of Toronto's shelter population, up from 11.2 per cent in 2016. ( As reported in the news.

british columbia: Wages grew by 3.6 per cent over the past year third in the country behind only British Columbia and Ontario, according to Vancouver Courier. The island is aiming for its fifth straight year of record tourism Chris Palmer, minister of economic development, said the Island has seen a fundamental change in attitude. An expected steady rhythm of hammers and saws is just one indicator of an economic boom.article continues below Trending Stories Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have 'Titanic' B.C. Ferries moment Taleeb Noormohamed officially enters Vision Vancouver leadership race Employee among suspects arrested after 100,000 in booze stolen from liquor distribution branch Soon, Morgan Freeman will be commuting with you on Translink Retail sales on the Island were up 7.4 per cent last year, and employment grew by three per cent and continues to grow at that pace. We've got tremendous skill sets of folks who are here. They're creating new employment. We are inviting people with new skill sets to come to P.E.I. They're coming here and thriving. ( As reported in the news.

unemployment levels: We are more frank about the conditions for success, he told reporters, according to Vancouver Courier. The people who come here and can't speak French are either unemployed, or they leave for other provinces therefore, they waste their time and ours. The plan also seeks to ensure newcomers speak French by forcing them to pass a test before they get on Quebec soil, Lisee said. Both the PQ and the Coalition Avenir Quebec said the Liberals' policies have led to high unemployment levels among immigrants and a failure of newcomers speaking adequate French. Lisee presented figures Tuesday indicating that for the period of 2014-17, between 30 and 45 per cent of immigrants who arrived in Quebec left for other parts of Canada. The topic of immigration and the integration of newcomers is shaping up to become a major issue for the fall election. ( As reported in the news.

jewish: The Interparliamentary Group is one of many pro-Israel lobbying organizations in Canada, according to Rabble. In conjunction with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs CIJA and Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee, the Interparliamentary Group has hosted wine and cheese lobbying events on Parliament Hill. The chair of the group is York Centre MP Michael Levitt, a former board member of the Jewish National Fund, who issued a statement blaming Hamas incitement for Israeli forces shooting thousands of peaceful protesters, including Canadian doctor Tarek Loubani. Three hundred parliamentarians and parliamentary staff attended their 2014 Israeli Wine Meets Canadian Cheese gathering in the East Block courtyard. Representatives of the Group also regularly visit Israel on sponsored trips. The group regularly meets the Israeli Ambassador and that country's other diplomats. ( As reported in the news.

passer-by rock: The asteroid, known as 2015 BZ509, has been in this peculiar backward orbit around the sun ever since getting sucked into our solar system, the researchers said, according to CTV. About 3 kilometres across, it joined our neighbourhood in the first moments after our solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago. Scientists reported Monday that this interstellar resident is an asteroid sharing Jupiter's orbit but circling in the opposite direction. The French and Brazilian researchers base their finding on extensive computer simulations showing BZ always has orbited around the sun in reverse and thus harkens back to the beginning of our solar system. That passer-by rock was named Oumuamua, Hawaiian for messenger from afar arriving first, or scout. The results, published in the journal Royal Astronomical Society, come several months after the discovery of our first known interstellar visitor, a smaller, cigar-shaped asteroid that zoomed by last fall. ( As reported in the news.

pig farm: This is Canada, the woman said, according to Toronto Star. Here's Quebec. More than 30 Haitians who had recently walked across the border to file refugee claims in Canada were in the audience. She was trying to recruit workers for her company's pig farm, but first, she needed to describe where it was. The flood of migrants has put pressure on Canada's asylum system. Asylum seekers are arrested by RCMP officers after crossing the border from New York into Hemmingford, Que. ( As reported in the news.

replacement card: His parents brought him from their home in Jamaica and he became a citizen in 1978, according to CTV. In 2015, he happened to lose his wallet with his citizenship card inside. Verol Morgan has been in Canada since he was three years old. He applied for a replacement card and was told there would be some delay in processing the request, but never imagined that years later, he would still be waiting. He tried reaching out to the government many times, but without success. My passport expired, and they are saying to me my citizenship still hasn't come after two years, I applied in 2015 and it's now 2018, it just makes no sense, he said. ( As reported in the news.

society: The percentage of B.C. women working in trades increased slightly to 4.4 per cent in 2015 from 3 per cent in 2001, according to Toronto Star. BC Tradeswomen Society Women are discriminated against in every sector of the trades, Langevin said. Society president Lisa Langevin said diversity hiring policies derided as old fashioned by industry representatives have been successful in Newfoundland and Labrador in increasing the number of women in skilled trades. Poonam Mistry said she and her colleagues are underemployed and hungry for opportunities. react-text 135 The BC Tradeswomen Society is demanding a quota on tradeswomen for publicly funded projects. /react-text Article Continued Below She grew up playing with wires and fixing things in the house with her carpenter dad. Starting in May, I just stopped sending out resumes because I was like, What is the point It's just not getting anywhere,' Mistry said. However, Mistry is currently working as a scaffolding labourer because she hasn't been able to find work as an electrician apprentice since she was laid off from her trades union in September. ( As reported in the news.

cbc radio: Five, four, three, two, one... Eliot's tone switches from playful to powerful as she introduces the newly revamped noon-hour show, BC Today.article continues below Trending Stories Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have 'Titanic' B.C. Ferries moment Bear relocated from North Vancouver playground park VIDEO Travellers left in limbo as West Jet continues negotiations with its pilots FortisBC updates East First Avenue road closure plan Michelle Eliot is the host of B.C. Today, the new noon-hour show on CBC Radio. - CBC Eliot began her tenure as the new show's host on May 9, taking over for Gloria Macarenko who hosted the show when it was known as BC Almanac, according to Vancouver Courier. Long time Early Edition host Rick Cluff's retirement triggered a game of host tetris at Vancouver's CBC, landing Eliot her first permanent role after filling in for various positions. She's been preparing the pages of notes surrounding her since six that morning and, while various screens around her demand her attention, she manages to find time to poke fun at newsreader Robert Zimmerman across the table. While the show has a new name, host and soundtrack, the structure remains largely the same save for the fact that the top news story of the day now gets an hour's worth of air time, rather than 30 minutes. I'd love to hear the people who aren't often heard. The reason we have more time is for more people and different voices. ( As reported in the news.

immigration policies: One person was arrested and there was a brief scuffle between demonstrators and a right-wing commentator who was there to record the protest, according to CTV. A counter-demonstration by groups denouncing the government's immigration policies was held later in the day, with members of the ultranationalist Storm Alliance in attendance. Members of the group Solidarity Without Borders said their gathering at the Lacolle border was to welcome refugees and block a demonstration by a rival group. An average of 50 people a day are believed to be bypassing official border crossings, using a loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement, which might require them to be turned back to the U.S. if they entered Canada at a legal crossing. We know how desperate and scared they are to have come into this country this way. The refugees have plenty of supporters on this side of the border, despite entering illegally. ( As reported in the news.

company: Employees in its giant IT centre come from 14 different countries and make up 11 per cent of the staff, according to The Chronicle Herald. There are scores of foreign-born workers in its forestry, trucking and manufacturing divisions, but the company has never before set up a department dedicated to their needs. Irving, Atlantic Canada's largest private company, has been recruiting overseas for a long time. Irving launched a centre of excellence in immigration at the beginning of 2018 because it knows that the labour shortage in Atlantic Canada is poised to go from tough to devastating. The company will hire more than 8,000 people over the next three years. Jim Irving, CEO of J.D. Irving Ltd., chats with IT staff from Russia, Ukraine, Nigeria and India at his company's headquarters in Saint John, N.B.J.D. Irving Ltd. ( As reported in the news.

rubber bullets: At least two people were reported killed, dozens wounded and more than 100 arrested, according to Toronto Star. It was the third march in less than two months to be brutally repressed. They had barely begun to stream out when security forces moved in, firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Ever since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down when his mandate ended in 2016, there has been an increasingly worrisome crackdown on opposition groups and demonstrators. People in Kinshasa rally to protest President Joseph Kabila's refusal to step down despite the expiry of his mandate. Political and ethnic tensions have caused the displacement of 4.5 million people. ( As reported in the news.

air canada: Andy Chou started the petition, which has already reached 5,000 names, according to Toronto Star. Air Canada will now be listing Taiwanese cities as part of China on its flights to the island-nation. The dissent comes in the form of a petition aiming to make Air Canada stop referencing Taiwan as belonging to China. DARRYL DYCK / The Canadian Press The thing that upsets me the most is how a country can use their power and influence to get another country's flight airline, or any company to change their position on things just because they're more powerful, Chou said. The company added that it is not expressing a political point of view, but meeting the requirements of various governments and stakeholders to ensure compliance with all applicable laws. An Air Canada spokesperson issued a statement saying that it is according to company policy, to comply with all legal requirements in all jurisdictions to which we fly. ( As reported in the news.

american actress: Carter was glad to see Harry, the happy-go-lucky, ginger-bearded son of the late Princess Diana, according to Toronto Star. As an immigrant from Jamaica, though, Carter, 72, really wanted to lay eyes on Markle, a biracial American actress who is the subject of deep fascination here. But when Prince Harry and his fianc e, Meghan Markle, made a visit to Brixton this year, Carter bought a bouquet and weathered a chilly afternoon waiting for a glimpse of the couple. Meghan Markle's marriage to Prince Harry has some Britain's black community watching how it will change British society. It's a crossroad so central to the story of the African diaspora that local historians call the neighbourhood with its jerk chicken grills, reggae dance halls and vibrant mural scene the black capital of Europe. Steve Parsons / AFP/Getty Images Multi-ethnic Brixton is South London's hub for a founding generation of Afro-Caribbean immigrants. ( As reported in the news.

british columbia: He'll take the winner to parliamentary legal beagles to write up as draft legislation over the summer and introduce it as a private member's bill in the fall, according to The Chronicle Herald. The contest is open only to constituents in Skeena-Bulkley Valley. The New Democrat MP is inviting constituents in his northern British Columbia riding to send him ideas for a new law. But Cullen hopes the idea will catch on with other MPs, who'll run their own contests and eventually give Canadians across the country the chance to become lawmakers. It's very difficult, particularly to get young people, but people in general, involved. I just think the wisdom of the crowd is untapped, said Cullen, who also sees the contest as a fun way to try to combat cynicism about politics. ( As reported in the news.

multicultural experience: Organizers say their goal is to raise about 5,000 for the Children's Hospital and as many non-perishable items as they can for the Food Bank, according to CTV. Ana Milanovic, one of the organizers, says that the Serbian community has a long history in Calgary. The event is held every May long weekend to provide people with a multicultural experience while also raising money for a number of worthy causes including the Children's Hospital, Food Bank and the Serbian Multicultural Centre. We have been here a long time. We even had dancers there. One of our biggest presences was at the '88 Olympics. ( As reported in the news.

doors scholars: Montenegro and more than 2,300 public college students around Arizona with deferred deportation status will have to pay thousands more for school in the fall under a state Supreme Court decision that deemed them ineligible for in-state tuition, according to CTV. Suddenly, they are scrambling to piece together private funding to continue their studies. Now a senior with the goal of becoming a teacher nearly in sight, the 29-year-old Mexico-born immigrant who arrived in the U.S. at age 11 faces a new hurdle. Students in the U.S. illegally cannot get federal funding, but there are private scholarships such as The Dream.US and Golden Doors Scholars for students covered by the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. Youths in the program are sometimes referred to as Dreamers for the DREAM Act, never-passed legislation that opponents say would reward people for breaking the law and encourage illegal immigration. But he and others said they fear a growing anti-immigrant bias in the U.S. under President Donald Trump, who has made tough immigration policies a key focus. Montenegro said Arizona State University counsellors helped him find modest funding from donors to finish his last year, and I should be able to do it. ( As reported in the news.

doug ford: They do election surveys, not through polling but with an AI program that meanders around the internet, especially social media, to predict results, according to Rabble. They seem to have nailed both Brexit and Trump's victory. Steve Paikin's guest was Erin Kelly, head of Advanced Symbolics Inc. So how are youth leaning, Paikin asked, almost an afterthought. Did the same for mine. Doug Ford, she said breezily, as if who doesn't know that It shattered Paikin's sizable aplomb. ( As reported in the news.