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Here and Now

Our banner story this week was surely the comprehensive look at immigration from the Philippines. Going Behind the Numbers explores if Filipinos are faring any better than their peers from other nations. Our finding: not really. Like immigrants from China, India and Pakistan before them, Filipinos head back if they can’t find their feet soon enough. While this reportage from Manila explored a big-picture trend, we also profiled a Carleton journalism student priming for prime time: I’m ready to be Canada’s first hijab-wearing TV anchor.

In the Comment section, our columnists try to explain the tendency among Second-generation immigrant children to take up arms and cross-examine the many instances of “Fraud” that get reported in the immigration/citizenship context. You’ll find that both these pieces offer great, new insight.

Ottawa recently hosted an internationally-known migration scholar from Adelaide, Prof. Graeme Hugo. He startled many when he asserted, “Most migration decision making around the world is not evidence based. It is based on bigotry, racism and political advantage.” We surely hope it’s not true of Canada.

Here’s a sampling of headlines from ethnic media:

Ripples

From Canada’s relative tranquility, we head overseas to areas of the world that are of interest to diaspora communities and regions where we have vital foreign policy interests. We first stop in Gaza and Israel, where every day brings a new escalation. This backgrounder provides the basic facts about the series of events leading up to Israel’s full-scale assault on Gaza. It also might explain why nobody is heeding the UN’s call on both sides to protect civilians.

We then head to Afghanistan, where Canada has a huge stake. The country is awaiting final results from its hotly-contested presidential elections, signifying the first democratic transition in its history. Canada withdrew the last of its troops in March, while NATO is scheduled to exit later this year.

Lastly, we visit Brazil just days after the hugely successful soccer World Cup. There’s a powerful, new bloc that met in Fortaleza – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS). They discussed issues of common economic and political interest and agreed to create a new financial institution and reserve fund that would rival the World Bank. Significantly, the bank will be based in Shanghai and its first president will be from India.

Harmony Jazz

Harmony/Jazz refers to the new characterization of multiculturalism, reflecting its development from the original cultural mosaic. Diverse cultures and religions interact and improvise, with underlying harmony through our common framework of Canadian laws, regulations and loosely defined expectations.

It appears Canada’s multiculturalism will not be centrestage at the Toronto 2015 PanAm games, repeating the debacle of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics with Cultural communities feeling left out. Douglas Todd writes a critical overview of multiculturalism, arguing for a more explicit shared understanding of Canadian values in We must stand on guard for Canada, quoting Ujjal Dosanjh, Farid Rohani and Tung Chan. Another must-read: Anand Giridharadas in the New York Times about the The Immigrant Advantage.

At home, the passing of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act has people worried over Ottawa giving itself new powers to share personal information.

Lastly, an analysis of the most recent Statistics Canada hate crimes report in Hate crimes – Five-Year Trends.

Back Pocket

The short list for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize has been announced and includes several performers of immigrant backgrounds. Rapper Shad, born in Kenya to Rwandan parents, has been nominated for his 2013 record “Flying Colours”. And the Montreal band Yamantaka// Sonic Titan is also on the list. Two of their original band members, Kato Atwood and Alaska B, are of Asian-European descent. The artist who wins for creating the “Canadian Album of the year” receives $30,000. The winner will be announced September 22.

The creator of the hugely successful CBC sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie, has just released a new “memoir of sorts”, titled “Laughing All the Way to the Mosque”. Zarqa Nawaz, who was born to Pakistani parents in England but moved to Canada as a child, told the CBC’s Jian Gomeshi that she believes humour can help bridge cultural gaps. The collection of stories highlights her experiences growing up as a Muslim in Canada struggling to find her place in both the Muslim and wider communities while negotiating her identity with her immigrant parents.

I wrote the book I wanted to read,” Israeli-Canadian author Ayelet Tsabari has said of her first collection of short stories, “The Best Place on Earth.” Growing up as an Arab Jew (or Mizrahi) in Israel, Tsabari struggled to find images of her own people in Israeli literature, and once in Canada, she found images of Jewishness in Canadian literature even more narrow. With her own stories, Tsabari defies common notions of Israeli identity and explores how culture and conflict hold peoples, nations, and families together and tear them apart. The Arab-Israeli conflict is so often in the news —and the news recently has been so disheartening— we often feel that we know all there is to know about the players. Tsabari’s work reminds us of the stunning diversity and complexity of the Middle East — and of the vibrancy and power of immigrant voices in contemporary Canadian fiction.


Before you go, do take a moment to weigh in on our Poll Question: Do you agree with the Vancouver school board's decision to have uni-sex washrooms? The results so far: 70.6% have voted No, 23.5% Yes, and 5.9% Don’t Know.

With that, have a great weekend and don’t forget to look up the next edition of NCM NewsFeed every Friday morning! If you’d like to subscribe to our to-be-launched e-mail version of this newsletter, please click here.

Publisher’s Note: This NewsFeed was compiled with input from our Newsroom Editors and regular columnist, Andrew Griffith.

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Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
No - 46.2%
Don't know - 23.1%
The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

Featured Quote

The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit

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