We begin the year in a celebratory and anticipatory mood in Ontario as we welcome the proclamation of Ontario’s Immigration Act on January 1, 2018 which received Royal Assent in May, 2015. The legislation “positions Ontario as a full partner in immigration with the federal government, with an enhanced role in immigration selection aimed at attracting more economic immigrants”, says the recently released 2017 progress report, Our Foundation for Tomorrow, Ontario’s Immigration Strategy.
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The long awaited 2016 census on immigration and the ethno-racial diversity of Canada has been released. The numbers tell an exciting story of a Canada becoming increasingly racially diverse, a provincial nominee program regime that is meeting its overarching goal of destining immigrants (including refugees) away from the three major immigration hubs of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, and the promise of younger immigrant and Indigenous populations. The shift in immigration numbers away from Ontario and British Columbia in the five years prior to 2016 also speak to the economic realities of the past decade where (other than the last two to three years) the extractive industries of Alberta and Saskatchewan attracted workers from the rest of Canada, including new immigrants.Farewell speech at OCASI Annual General Meeting by Ibrahim Absiye, President of OCASI.
It has been a rough period for the estimated 800,000 "Dreamers" in the U.S. — young people who availed themselves of the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program over the past few years. DACA was implemented to give certain young, undocumented migrants, who were brought to the U.S. as minors, temporary protection from deportation action as well as the ability to work legally while in the States.
This August long weekend in Canada was a time for much discussion of what this civic holiday means for different parts of the country. In Ontario, there’s a mishmash of understanding of why we take off the first Monday in the month. For many it’s just a day off. For others (especially Torontonians and those in the Greater Toronto area) its Simcoe day and still for others, especially Ontario’s Black communities, its Emancipation Day, a commemoration of the end of the enslavement of Black people here in Canada* and throughout the Americas (1834).
OCASI is calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to designate January 29 as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.
On January 29, 2017, six worshipers were killed and many others injured during evening prayer at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City. Their names were: Azzeddine Soufiane, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Ibrahima Barry and Abdelkrim Hassane.