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.

aid agency: The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees defined a refugee as a person fleeing conflict or persecution and obliged its signatories to offer asylum to those who qualify, according to CBC. Central American refugees a crisis on Canada's doorstep, says aid agency Central American corridor a dangerous route en route to Canada African migrants wait in limbo in Mexico But seven decades later, with a refugee crisis of even greater magnitude unfolding, driven by scattered conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and Central America, those very governments have turned their backs on the principles underpinning the system they created, Axworthy told CBC News in an interview. In the aftermath of the Second World War, as tens of millions Europeans fled their homes and the world's worst refugee crisis was then high on the international agenda, Western powers established a set of rules to protect the inalienable rights of those displaced by war. With governments increasingly reluctant to afford refugees the protections to which they are entitled under international law, it is necessary to take that fundamental, irrefutable right to asylum and say, 'how do we translate that into a modern idiom.' Lloyd Axworthy, left, who was invested as Companion of the Order of Canada by Gov. David Johnston earlier this year, has been tapped to lead a new international group in search of practical solutions to the world's massive refugee crisis. Gen. ( As reported in the news.

canada: The regulatory council, which was set up in 2011, sets the rules for how immigration consultants conduct themselves, providing education, licensing and discipline, according to CBC. It's needed to help and protect those who want to come to Canada, overseeing approximately 4,000 consultants. The chief concern about the apparent crisis confronting the ICCRC Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council is that those who will suffer most are the immigrants and refugees who often use consultants in their efforts to live in Canada. It is run by a 15-member board of directors. It's not going after the crooked consultants adequately and at risk is the public the immigrants, refugees and vulnerable visitors. The council is there to protect the public, said immigration lawyer Richard Kurland. ( As reported in the news.

dinner: I think Winnipeg is home' Syrian refugee 1 year later Syrian volunteers were busy at the university Saturday afternoon prepping for the dinner, which will have everything from stuffed grape leaves to pastries and stuffed meat, according to CBC. The dinner is also doubling as an educational event. University of Winnipeg student Sinan Aboud, along with Syrian refugees living in Winnipeg, will put on a three-course dinner to raise funds for Syrian refugees living in Jordan, with the goal of bringing in 10,000 to 15,000. Aleppo was like the Toronto of Syria. The human rights student said he was inspired to help after visiting the Al Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan during reading week last year. That people don't know, said Aboud. ( As reported in the news.

diversity problem: Canada's National Newspaper Awards have a diversity problem, it announced recently, following an analysis of the National Newspaper Award winners for the last 10 years, according to Rabble. What sounded like a worthwhile test of representation went awry, however, when it presented its findings Men, not women, were being honoured as the best in their fields in overwhelming numbers. But you're often so busy looking, you miss something more important -- like a hungry bear stealing up on your flank That's what happened to one of my favourite journalism sites, J-Source. The actual breakdown Since 2007, there have been 157 male winners 68 per cent of the total and 74 women 32 per cent . First you should know that the National Newspaper Awards honour the best print journalism of the year. They honour the people who wrote the best stuff about the most significant news of the year. They are Canada's version of the Pulitzer Prizes. ( As reported in the news.

front door: Now Beltran is on the run from U.S. President Donald Trump, according to Hamilton Spectator. At 6 a.m. on March 21, cold and tired, Beltran made it to the front door of the Vive Center on Buffalo's East Side, the final American stop on what has become a 21st century version of the Underground Railroad. At first, he was fleeing El Salvador's ruthless gangs, which have made the Central American country one of the world's most dangerous places. I saw some friends that grew up with me be killed by these people. Alvaro Beltran Refugee from El Salvador It calls into question everything we've fought for, for the past 20 years. They never did nothing wrong, they never did nothing bad. ( As reported in the news.

lawyers: Lawyers now have to be snoops and report sensitive client information which, until April 20, did not have to be revealed, according to Toronto Star. Even worse, lawyers are now responsible to the government for certifying the truth of the client's personal information but with no way to verify it. Dreamstime By Bob Aaron Property law Sat., May 20, 2017 Last month's introduction of the 15-per-cent Non-Resident Speculation Tax has turned real estate lawyers into agents for the provincial government. Here is the information that now must be collected and sent to the Ontario government for purchases of land with one to six dwellings, and agricultural land. Disclosure to the provincial government was never previously required. The information is required from all clients foreigners or not. ( As reported in the news.

nations people: Sat., May 20, 2017 Re Cultural appropriation is ultimately about the cash, Walkom, May 15Cultural appropriation is ultimately about the cash, Walkom, May 15Actually, Mr, according to Toronto Star. Walkom, it really isn't about the cash at all. But if we make exploring other cultures taboo, then we are denying a direct benefit of multiculturalism, writes Gary Dale of Toronto. The idea of cultural appropriation is extremely relevant to First Nations people, who have a shockingly long history of not being allowed to speak for themselves, and of being spoken for and treated in all manner of paternalistic ignorance by non-First Nations people who are quick to mock our peoples as we struggle to find our voices for the first time. Article Continued Below The fact that you mock the sin of cultural appropriation shows an ignorance and casual indifference to a resurgent and enormously creative new generation of First Nations writers, academics and activists who, quite frankly, will firmly and without bitterness cast aside your tired, paternalistic clap-trap and continue to criticize the unacceptable sin of non-native Canadians mocking, silencing or speaking for those your own government rendered voiceless in the first place. The reservation system, the '60s scoop, residential schools, the ongoing apathy and mockery of mainstream Canadians who have a remarkable antipathy to situations of which they are brutally ignorant these are all topics that it is enormously important to finally be discussed, debated and written about by First Nations people in their own voices. ( As reported in the news.

place trump: Toronto Star / Daniel Dale By Daniel Dale Washington Bureau Sat., May 20, 2017 PETERSBURG, VA. A struggling post-industrial town, according to Toronto Star. A Christian factory worker praying constantly for Donald Trump. What's the results There's no results. Ernarda Davis, 65, is the kind of person Trump vowed to help, living in the kind of place Trump vowed to heal, and she wants badly for her president to succeed. Except people who look like Davis don't usually qualify for 2017 articles about how voters are feeling about Trump. You've heard this kind of story before. ( As reported in the news.

refugee claimant: But there are some exceptions to the agreement that allow refugee claimants who arrived in the U.S. first to cross the border to Canada and make their claim here, according to Hamilton Spectator. The exceptions include A family member living in Canada who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, protected person or successful refugee claimant. Under the agreement, refugee claimants are required to seek protection of the first country they arrived in. A qualifying family member includes spouse or common-law partner, legal guardian, child, father or mother, brother or sister, grandfather or grandmother, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, grandchild; Unaccompanied minors under age 18 who are unmarried with no parent or legal guardian in Canada or the U.S.; Holders of certain documents, including a valid Canadian visa, valid work permit, valid study permit, a travel document for permanent residents or refugees; A national of a country, such as Mexico, where visas are not required to enter Canada but are required to enter the U.S.; A public interest exception for those who have been charged with or convicted of an offence that could subject them to the death penalty in the U.S. or in a third country. The new Underground Railway A large proportion of refugee claimants entering Canada from the U.S. are attempting to use the family member exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement. A refugee claimant is ineligible, however if he or she has been found inadmissible in Canada on the grounds of security, for violating human or international rights, or for serious crimes, or if the government determines the person is a danger to the public. ( As reported in the news.

state identification: Morales said the officer was checking passenger fares, which is routine, according to Metro News. The video shows the officer asking one passenger for state identification. The agency announced it was investigating after Minneapolis artist Ricardo Levins Morales posted video of the incident to his Facebook page on Friday. When the person indicates he doesn't have one, the officer asks, Are you here illegally Morales then asked the officer if he was authorized to act as an immigration agent and the officer responded, No, not necessarily. It's very touchy legal territory. Then I would stay out of that, Morales said to the officer. ( As reported in the news.

alberta: What's with that, anyway Alberta Can't Wait, for readers outside Alberta, is the PAC set up a few months ago by newly elected Progressive Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney's well-heeled supporters, according to Rabble. Its goal is to create a slush fund outside provincial election laws to bankroll the former Harper cabinet minister's effort to unite Alberta's divided conservatives and push them ever further to the right. After all, it was basically the same group of people who floated the idea of the Canadian Reform Alliance Party around the turn of the century. Yesterday, the PCs under Kenney and the Wildrosers led by Opposition Leader Brian Jean held a news conference in Edmonton to announce they've come up with a plan -- a tentative one, actually -- to merge the two parties. This will not necessarily be easy. They've signed an agreement in principle that calls for members of both parties to vote on the deal on July 22 and choose a leader on Oct. 28 if they say yes. ( As reported in the news.

american idol: The folks at Roseanne are back on the couch, according to CTV. Dynasty and S.W.A.T. are coming back with new actors, the latter settling in to a CBS lineup that already boasts Hawaii Five-0 and Macgyver. There's the cast of NBC's Will & Grace, ready to return. Just a year after its farewell season, American Idol will live again. The reboot of Roseanne, ABC's hit 1988-97 comedy about a working-class family led by Roseanne Barr, was that network's big surprise. With cable and streaming services enticing viewers with bold work like Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and The Handmaid's Tale, broadcasters entered a time machine in a quest to find something appealing. ( As reported in the news.

art installation: When a red light flashes, you enter a large chamber with a sand floor, according to The Chronicle Herald. A ragged band of migrants crossing an expansive desert swarms around you. All around you are the abandoned shoes of migrants who have been arrested by the border patrol. For a moment, in the dusty twilight, you join their flight. It's the festival's first virtual reality film to be an official entry. This is part of Alejandro Inarritu's Carne y Arena Virtually present, Physically invisible a visual art installation debuting this week at the Cannes Film Festival. ( As reported in the news.

caution jean: Sheriff's officials later apologized and said deputies detained him in a patrol car out of an abundance of caution, according to Metro News. Jean said that along with his lawyers, his 12-year-old daughter has scrutinized the deputies' actions in light of other national news reports about black men detained or killed in altercations with police. The former Fugees star said he had been wearing a similar bandanna when Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies stopped his car March 21 in West Hollywood, California, believing him to be an armed robbery suspect. He advised his daughter to do exactly as he did, following deputies' instructions. That's a lesson his daughter and other children need to be learning in schools, Jean said, in classes taught by police officers who regularly patrol in their communities. I'm alive to say I didn't go for my waistband, he said. ( As reported in the news.

country attempts: The organizations, Al Fakhoora and Spark, announced Friday that their partnership is scaling up from the 600 students they were supporting in September, according to Metro News. Al Fakhoora Executive Director Farooq Burney says the expanded program will assist Syrian youngsters in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and parts of Syria. Organizations from Qatar and the Netherlands are joining forces to get 6,000 Syrian refugees into higher education courses, a move aimed at helping them integrate in the countries where they live now and rebuild their own nation if they are able to return. The organizations aim to offer spaces in academic and vocational courses in areas that will be critical once Syria's civil war ends and the shattered country attempts to rebuild. She told a meeting in The Hague on Friday that at least 4,000 schools have been destroyed since Syria's war started. 3 35 p.m. Al Fakhoora is a program of the Education Above All initiative founded by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar. ( As reported in the news.

el salvador: We are very concerned about the forced recruitment of these children and youth into the gangs, according to Hamilton Spectator. These adolescents are sometimes killed, tortured and raped, said Jean-Nicolas Beuze, the agency's representative in Canada, who is working on a pilot with Ottawa to resettle a small number of the vulnerable children. The UN Refugee Agency will kick off the Children on the Run campaign in North America on Friday to raise 18 million to assist the young refugees fleeing the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America NTCA countries Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. There is widespread violence and impunity. They have no choice but to leave their own countries. These are not economic migrants. ( As reported in the news.

gamely honour: Ticketholders reeling from the news that B.C.'s Pemberton Music Festival had been abruptly cancelled on Thursday and that refunds were by no means a sure bet were dangled a small measure of comfort on Friday by southern Ontario's Way Home fest Way Home will exchange one free, general-admission ticket for the full weekend for any ticket purchased to Pemberton, according to Toronto Star. This followed an earlier announcement that Way Home will also gamely honour any tickets bought to the recent, ill-fated Fyre Festival in the Bahamas with the same weekend pass. DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS By Ben Rayner Pop Music Critic Fri., May 19, 2017 Fleeced by Fyre Pissed off at Pemberton Way Home has an offer for you. We understand the difficulties that go into the planning and execution of a large-scale festival event, said Eva Dunford, one of the partners in Republic Live, the promotion company behind Way Home and the hugely successful country camp-out Boots & Hearts Boots & Hearts, in a statement issued early Friday afternoon. It's saddening to hear of the struggles Pemberton Music Festival organizers are dealing with, and therefore we want to help by honouring all purchased ticket holders with a free pass to Way Home this summer. First and foremost, we are music fans and as such belong to an international community that share in our mutual successes and disappointments. ( As reported in the news.

immigration services: It is too early to confirm what services would be cut from the refugee law program as a province-wide consultation is set to begin on Thursday, but three options are under consideration Suspending all refugee and immigration services when funding runs out in August and September Restricting the coverage to the representation of asylum-seekers in their refugee proceedings, such as filing claims and preparation for and attendance at hearings Limiting coverage for asylum-seekers to the preparation of the claim only, but continuing to represent clients at the refugee appeals tribunal and federal court, according to Toronto Star. Article Continued Below LAO has supported over-expenditures in the refugee program for a number of years and cannot do so any longer, given the increase in demand for services and LAO's budget challenges in other programs, the agency said in the consultation paper posted on its website Friday. Paul Chiasson / THE CANADIAN PRESS file photo By Nicholas Keung Immigration reporter Fri., May 19, 2017 A good chunk of the legal aid services for refugees will be suspended starting on July 1 as Legal Aid Ontario struggles to find 40 per cent in budget savings from serving the vulnerable group. LAO recognizes that this will have a serious impact on vulnerable clients and that difficult choices will regrettably need to be made to achieve a balanced-budget plan. In December, after LAO threatened to pull its refugee services due to a budget shortfall, both Ontario and Ottawa injected a one-off sum of 7.72 million to help it through the crisis. The agency's refugee program has historically cost 20 million annually. react-empty 166 However, over the past two years, the cost has increased dramatically, to 27 million last year, and it is forecast to rise to 33.6 million in 2017, thanks to the spike of asylum-seekers crossing the border from the U.S. As refugee and immigration laws fall under the federal government, Ottawa contributes about 7 million a year to LAO's refugee program but that base amount has not changed since 2002. ( As reported in the news.

justice robart: The White House initially characterized the injunction as outrageous, but then withdrew that injudicious characterization, only to have the President tweet even more injudicious language that may well offend the Appellate Courts to which the order will be appealed, according to Globe and Mail. Justice Robart's order is neither ridiculous nor outrageous, as evidenced by the refusal of these appellate judges to immediately overrule it. Trump characterized Justice James Robart on Twitter Saturday morning. And the judge himself, who was appointed by former U.S. president George W. Bush, is not so-called he is a respected jurist who rendered what he honestly believed was a proper decision under the law. It may well be modified on full appeal. Having said that, the injunction is too broad in scope and lacks nuance. ( As reported in the news.

kitchen table: The Immigration and Refugee Board has granted Mohammed refugee status on the basis that the 24-year-old bisexual professional soccer player from Ghana would face persecution if returned to his home country, according to Hamilton Spectator. I feel so happy. He gets to stay in Canada. I feel now that this country is my home now, he said Thursday, sitting at the kitchen table in his home. I want to do anything possible to contribute to this country because this country has done a lot to me that I didn't expect. With a bit of effort, he opened a binder and produced the written decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board. ( As reported in the news.

lima-marin: John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, was the latest twist in the saga of Rene Lima-Marin, 38, according to The Chronicle Herald. He came to the U.S. as a toddler as part of the 1980 Mariel boat lift from Cuba and had legal residency until it was revoked following his 2000 criminal conviction. The pardon from Gov. Lima-Marin was sentenced to 98 years in prison for the robbery. Lima-Marin married, had a child and got a steady job installing glass before state authorities realized their mistake in 2014 and sent him back for the remainder of his 98-year prison sentence. But he was mistakenly paroled from Colorado state prison in 2008. ( As reported in the news.

maps changes: Critics of the plan have said this would alter the historical anglophone and ethnic makeup of the ridings, which are all Liberal strongholds, according to CBC. Quebec Liberals speak out against proposed electoral maps changes The independent committee makes changes to the province's riding boundaries after every other election. The new electoral map, created by the Electoral Representation Committee, would merge the provincial ridings of Mount Royal and Outremont, and modify the boundaries of the D'Arcy McGee riding essentially transforming three ridings into two. It looks at increases and decreases in population and then makes changes so that voters are fairly represented in the National Assembly. They've started raising money to pay the legal fees to fight it in court. The municipalities of C te Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Town of Mount-Royal and the boroughs of Outremont and are all opposed to the change. ( As reported in the news.

oxford: What does cultural appropriation actually mean There is any number of serviceable definitions but the one that resonates with me is from Oxford Reference, according to Hamilton Spectator. Oxford defines it as the taking over of creative or artistic forms, themes, or practices by one cultural group from another. But clearly these days the author and his publisher if he's lucky enough to get one would be tarred and feathered with accusations of cultural appropriation. The next sentence, however, is the key one, alluding as it does to a hard truth driving this increasingly heated debate It is in general used to describe Western appropriations of non-Western or non-white forms, and carries connotations of exploitation and dominance. Let me stop there for a moment. In other words, the triggering element is the offender is white, ergo if you subscribe to a certain left-wing ideology a privileged member of a dominant and oppressive social group. ( As reported in the news.

park cleats: LEIBLIN PARK Cleats for Courage Ball Tournament with candidate Brendan Maguire 2 p.m. - 2 30 p.m., Graves Oakley Memorial Park HALIFAX Campaign Wave with candidate Lena Diab 3 p.m. - 3 20 p.m., Armdale Rotary HALIFAX Visit Seniors at the Berkley with candidate Joachim Stroink at The Berkley 3 35 p.m. - 4 05 p.m., 2633 Gladstone St, according to Metro News. DARTMOUTH Ice-Cream at Funky Munky with candidate Edgar Burns 4 35 p.m. - 4 55 p.m., 95 Montebello Dr. DARTMOUTH Announcement with Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil 11 30 a.m. - 12 15 p.m., downtown Dartmouth, location to be announced Saturday morning HALIFAX Volunteer BBQ with candidate Joachim Stroink 12 50 p.m. - 1 15 p.m., 6303 Quinpool Rd. HALIFAX Supper Nova Multicultural Potluck with candidate Patricia Arab at St. QUEENS-SHELBURNE Campaigning with candidate Kim Masland 11 a.m. Benedict Church 6 p.m. - 6 30 p.m., 45 Radcliffe Dr. ---ToriesCHESTER-ST. MARGARET'S Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie Campaigning with candidate Julie Chaisson 9 a.m. ( As reported in the news.

housing: For this one, it is perfectly in character, according to Globe and Mail. The second is the abolition of the Ontario Municipal Board. The failure of judgment would be staggering in any other government. The Wynne government announced this week that it was replacing the board with a much-less-powerful planning tribunal. Together, these measures represent a one-two punch for housing developers. This, too, threatens to discourage the construction of badly needed housing by making it easier for pandering local politicians to stand in the way of unpopular building projects. ( As reported in the news.

syrian newcomers: You have no excuse not to show up for the classes, said Fedaa Laflouf, a native from Homs, who was sponsored to Canada with her husband and four children by the federal government last October via Lebanon, according to Toronto Star. Since January, the 42-year-old woman has been attending English classes in the basement of her apartment building on Mississauga Valley Blvd., near Burnhamthorpe Rd., at the hub of the newly arrived Syrian refugee community. Andrew Francis Wallace / Toronto Star By Nicholas Keung Immigration reporter Fri., May 19, 2017 For a group of Syrian newcomers at a Mississauga apartment complex, English language training is delivered at their doorstep. The classes have a total of 30 students, who all live in one of eight highrises in the area, within five minutes' walk to the makeshift but fully equipped campus. Catholic Crosscultural Services decided to bring the classes here due to the high concentration of refugees in the neighbourhood. Unlike traditional English classes for newcomers delivered at a central location often in commercial or industrial areas, these classes are provided right in the backyard of the community of newcomers. ( As reported in the news.