ARCHIVED – Annual Report on the Operation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act 2009-2010

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Part I: The Multiculturalism Program 2009–2010

Image described below

"A country with all the colours of the world"
Laura Andrea Restrepo
École secondaire Mitchell-Montcalm (Sherbrooke, Quebec)

The painting is divided horizontally into three parts. The bottom shows a large maple leaf reflected in water, the middle shows a mountainous horizon, and the top is a split sky that ends in the maple leaf. The images in the top portion depicts Canadians of various ethnicities and famous Canadian landmarks such as the CN Tower.


Canada is known throughout the world as a place where diversity is celebrated within the context of the core Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The contributions of Canadians and newcomers of all cultures, ethnicities, and religions have made Canada the country that it is today.

As the diversity of Canada has changed, so has the implementation of Canada’s Multiculturalism Policy, evolving to become more responsive to emerging needs and challenges.

This section of the report highlights the Department of Citizenship and Immigration’s key achievements during the reporting period and the Department’s strategic direction for continued implementation of and responsibility for the Act. In 2009—10, the Department continued to promote the integration of individuals and communities into Canadian society by supporting initiatives that foster intercultural understanding and civic memory and pride, and that promote core Canadian values.

In 2009, the Multiculturalism Program introduced new policy objectives that focus on:

  • Building an integrated, socially cohesive society;
  • Making institutions more responsive to the needs of Canada’s diverse population; and,
  • Engaging in international discussions on multiculturalism and diversity.

The Multiculturalism Program supports the Department’s mandate and the Canadian Multiculturalism Act by assisting the socio-economic integration of individuals and communities and their contributions to building an integrated and socially cohesive society. The Program promotes intercultural understanding through public education and outreach initiatives, Historical Recognition Programs and Canada’s Action Plan Against Racism, and by supporting civil society organizations through the Grants and Contributions Program. Activities range from reaching out to the community through diversity education programs, such as the Mathieu Da Costa Challenge, to recognizing the contributions of individual Canadians through the Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism.

A key goal of the Act is to ensure that the government is sensitive and responsive to Canada’s multicultural reality. The Multiculturalism Program assists federal and public institutions in their efforts to integrate multiculturalism into the development of their policies, programs and services through networks, partnerships and joint activities. The Program also coordinates the production of results-based reports submitted by federal institutions on the operation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act and produces and disseminates multiculturalism research and other products.

The Program’s activities extend beyond Canada’s borders. By participating in international forums, hosting international delegations, and participating in international research initiatives, Canada learns from, and contributes to the international policy dialogue on diversity.

1.1 Promoting Economic, Social and Cultural Integration

The Multiculturalism Program uses a range of tools and strategies to support the economic, social and cultural integration of new Canadians. During the reporting period, the Program helped build bridges between cultural communities, thereby promoting intercultural understanding and social and cultural inclusion.

Multiculturalism Grants and Contributions Program

The Multiculturalism Program provides financial assistance (grants and contributions) to not-for-profit organizations, non-federal public sector institutions, regional and municipal governments, Aboriginal organizations and band councils and individuals through project funding.

In 2009—10, the Multiculturalism Program provided more than $4 million in new funding to 14 projects undertaken by not-for-profit organizations, local governments, museums and post-secondary institutions to address specific needs of communities across the country.

The following are examples of new and ongoing projects that were funded by the Multiculturalism Program in 2009—10.

Diversity is Youth—Peer Leaders Project
Canadian Centre for Diversity
(National)

This four-year project provides a combination of training and peer leadership to help high school students better identify, understand and respond to discrimination in their schools and communities. The project targets more than 25,000 students in approximately 300 schools in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Montréal, Halifax and remote communities. Online tools will be developed for remote communities through project funding.

Project activities include 460 interactive educational visits to houses of worship and ethnocultural community centres; 19 one-day strategy sessions for students and educators on conflict resolution and on identifying and responding to racism and discrimination; and, creating 135 independent, local peer-led task forces that will work with local school boards and high schools to address issues of discrimination.

Project partners include BMO Financial Group, CIBC, Maple Leaf Foods, PepsiCo, Deloitte & Touche LLP, the Nova Scotia Department of Education, the Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust, the Multifaith Action Society (Vancouver), the Alberta Association for Multicultural Education, the Winnipeg Multifaith Council, the Islamic Social Services Association, the Neepawa First Nation Reserve, Jodamada and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. The project is also supported by various school boards, including the Toronto Catholic District School Board, the Peel District School Board and the Halifax Regional School Board.

Home Out of Nothing
Marina Shepeta, Filmmaker
(Nova Scotia)

This one-hour documentary chronicles some of the obstacles faced by new Canadians in their economic, social and cultural integration into Nova Scotia. Told from the point of view of newcomers, the documentary also serves as a learning tool for organizations that provide immigration services and for the general public in understanding their role in the immigration process.

The film was screened in February and March 2010, followed by presentations and discussions with newcomers at the Forsyth Adult Learning Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It may also be featured in the Diversity Spotlight Program at Pier 21, Canada’s Immigration Museum, in Halifax.

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration, the National Film Board, the Linda Joy Media Arts Society, and the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund were public and private partners for this project.

Facilitating integration and full participation of Côte-des-Neiges immigrants and citizens through training, volunteering, networking and civic participation
PROMotion-Intégration-Société nouvelle
(Quebec)

PROMotion-Intégration-Société nouvelle (PROMIS) is an intercultural and interfaith organization in the Montréal’s Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood. This project aimed primarily to help refugees and immigrants from other cultures integrate into their host community so that they would feel accepted and respected. PROMIS offers training workshops and spaces for participation that promote the contribution of these communities in Canadian society.

This three-year project equipped people from cultural groups in Côte-des-Neiges through training, skills development, volunteering and networking, to actively participate in Canadian society and to gain transferable job skills. Project organizers partnered with local agencies and institutions to plan activities that were attractive to volunteers from the community.

Nearly 900 people participated in this project. Of these, 600 volunteered in 24 organizations. A follow-up survey showed that 42% of the 600 volunteers continue to actively participate in the democratic life of their neighbourhoods. Additionally, a volunteer guide was published and made available to the public and community organizations.

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration, the Montréal Department of Public Health ("Direction de santé publique de Montréal"), and the Montréal School Board ("La Commission scolaire de Montréal") were public partners in this project.

Please visit www.promis.qc.ca for more information.

Multicultural Youth Action Project
Immigrant Services Calgary
(Alberta)

The Multicultural Youth Action Project at Immigrant Services Calgary aimed to increase young people’s knowledge of civic engagement and community resources while helping them build valuable support networks and gain transferable leadership skills. In total, 37 immigrant and refugee youths aged 13 to 19 collaborated with 10 volunteer mentors from the University of Calgary. Participants met weekly with guest role models to learn about leadership and community engagement.

Six volunteer action groups were established to make a difference for other immigrant youth. These groups, which committed to continue working beyond the end of the project, included the following:

  • The Rainbow Project—facilitates weekly activities for isolated newcomer youth;
  • Letting Kids be Kids—organizes and facilitates events, activities and entertainment for children in hospitals, orphanages and shelters;
  • The Fantastic Seven—provides free math tutoring as part of a homework club;
  • Paper Works—creates environmental awareness and reduces plastic and paper waste in schools and communities;
  • JDG Tutoring—helps new students adjust to new school environments; and,
  • NGO 411—a youth advocacy campaign that connects high school students to non-government organizations all over the world.

According to project organizers, the most important lesson they learned was not to underestimate youth power and potential: "We were amazed at the large number of immigrant youth in Calgary who are sincerely passionate about getting involved in their communities."

For more information, visit www.immigrantservicescalgary.ca.

Peernet Association of British Columbia
Building Youth Leadership Development
(British Columbia)

The primary objective of this multi-year project was to establish peer support groups among visible and ethnic minority youth at local community centres and secondary schools. Facilitators trained 15 young people on issues of racism, trust building, facilitation methods, discrimination, social alienation, family relationships, bullying and violence. 

Through the project, young people learned about issues affecting visible and ethnic minorities, about creating safe and supportive team environments, and about group dynamics. Youth facilitators gained leadership and facilitation skills and had the opportunity to get involved in their communities. Approximately nine youth groups were created and supported by Building Youth Leadership Development participants, and an average of seven participants attended each group meeting.

The project was a joint venture between the City of Vancouver and various programs from the British Columbia provincial government, the voluntary sector and the Department of Canadian Heritage. Funding from the Multiculturalism Program supported the hiring of two community facilitators.

For more information, contact the Peernet Association of British Columbia at info@peernetbc.com.

Public Education and Outreach

The Multiculturalism Program includes a public education and outreach component aimed at raising awareness and informing public discourse on multiculturalism through targeted initiatives.

In collaboration with the public, community groups and partners in the educational sector, the Program produces and disseminates educational materials and organizes events geared toward combating racism and strengthening cross-cultural understanding through:

  • "Racism. Stop It!" National Video Competition;
  • Asian Heritage Month activities;
  • Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism
  • Black History Month activities; and,
  • Mathieu Da Costa Challenge—National Writing and Artwork Contest.
"Racism. Stop It!" National Video Competition

As part of Canada's March 21 Campaign against racial discrimination, the Racism. Stop It! National Video Competition gives youth between the ages of 12 and 20 the opportunity to submit short videos (45 to 60 seconds) expressing their thoughts on eliminating racism. This initiative reaches thousands of youth and educators from across the country every year. Major partners include the National Film Board of Canada, the United Nations Association in Canada, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, MuchMusic, Panasonic Canada Inc., and VRAK.TV.

Outreach activities to promote participation in the 2009 contest involved the use of social media tools such as Facebook and YouTube. As a result, more than 1,000 young people from across the country participated in the competition, submitting a total of 317 video entries. Ten winning videos were chosen for national broadcast on partners' television networks, reaching millions of Canadians. For the second year, the general public had the opportunity to vote for their favourite video on the March 21 YouTube channel to determine the Public Choice Award winner.

Among other prizes, winners received an all-expenses paid trip to the National Capital Region to attend the awards ceremony at the Cégep de l’Outaouais hosted by Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, representing the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Asian Heritage Month

In 2002, the Government of Canada designated May as Asian Heritage Month. Asian Heritage Month 2009 was launched on Parliament Hill in partnership with the Ottawa Asian Heritage Month Society. The event featured a film on the Asahi Baseball League, entitled Sleeping Tigers. Producer Jari Osborne addressed invited guests, including members of Parliament, diplomatic representatives and community and institutional leaders.

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration organized nine Asian Heritage Month activities in partnership with local and regional Asian communities across Canada, including the Halifax Public Library, the Asian Heritage Committee of the Prince Edward Island Multicultural Council, ExplorAsian, the Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage, York University and the Chinese Cultural Centre.

Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism

The Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism commemorates the late Senator Paul Yuzyk’s pioneering legacy in having multiculturalism recognized as one of the fundamental characteristics of Canadian heritage and identity. The award recognizes individuals in communities across Canada who have made exceptional contributions to multiculturalism and diversity. It is given annually, for either Lifetime Achievement or Outstanding Achievement.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated ongoing dedication to the promotion of a strong multicultural society in Canada over a period of at least 10 years.

The Outstanding Achievement Award is given to an individual or a group that has made a significant contribution to Canadian multiculturalism for at least one year within the last five years.

Award recipients receive a certificate signed by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, and are asked to designate a registered not-for-profit Canadian organization or association to receive a grant of $20,000.

The first Paul Yuzyk award was presented in 2009 to John Yaremko for lifetime achievement. Mr. Yaremko was the first Ukrainian-Canadian to be elected to the Ontario legislature in 1951. In his 25 years of public service, Mr. Yaremko was a strong advocate for education, human rights and multiculturalism, drawing the provincial government’s attention to the needs of Ontarians of different ethnic backgrounds for community services and long-term care. Mr. Yaremko died in August 2010, just over a year after receiving the inaugural award. In his statement of condolence, Minister Kenney called Mr. Yaremko "an outstanding member of society" and acknowledged that his passing "will leave a void in the hearts of the many people he touched throughout his lifetime." Mr. Yaremko donated his award to the St. Vladimir Institute in Toronto.

Black History Month

In 1995, the Government of Canada designated February as recognized as Black History Month. The theme for 2010 was "Proud of our History" and focused on three elements: the 150th anniversary of the presentation of the Victoria Cross to William Hall; the exceptional contribution of Harriet Tubman to the Underground Railroad Movement; and the historical significance and entrepreneurship of Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, a person of national historic significance. For more information on important figures in Canadian black history, visit People – Past and Present.

Black History Month 2010 was launched on Parliament Hill in a ceremony hosted by the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. The event included the unveiling of Canada Post’s stamp commemorating William Hall, a monologue on Harriet Tubman performed by Tchetena Bellange, and performance by singer Kellylee Evans.

In February 2010, a photographic and modular exhibit of people, places and events related to Canadians of African descent that are of national historical significance was developed by Parks Canada Agency in collaboration with the Multiculturalism Program. The exhibit was featured in the Virtual Museum of Canada, and educational materials were developed for teachers’ use. The Multiculturalism Program worked closely with the City of Gatineau and the Ontario Black History Society to showcase this exhibit in Gatineau and Toronto.

Mathieu Da Costa Challenge—National Writing and Artwork Contest

The Mathieu Da Costa Challenge is an annual creative writing and artwork contest that celebrates the importance of multiculturalism and diversity in Canada. The Challenge is open to youth ages 9 to 18, and gives them the opportunity to use their creative talents to discover how people from different backgrounds have helped shape Canada.

Promotional material for the 2010 Challenge was distributed to 17,000 schools, libraries and other organizations across the country and more than 980 entries were received. Regional offices of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration actively promoted the Challenge in provinces and territories to increase multiculturalism awareness.

The award ceremony was held in Ottawa in April 2010. The winning artwork is featured throughout this report, including on the cover.

Historical Recognition Programs

Historical Recognition Programs respond to the Government of Canada’s commitment to recognize and commemorate the experiences of communities affected by wartime measures or historical immigration restrictions or prohibitions, and to educate Canadians about these experiences and about the contributions of these communities to building Canada. These programs—the Community Historical Recognition Program and the National Historical Recognition Program—help involve the affected communities in promoting reconciliation and supporting full engagement in Canadian society.

Community Historical Recognition Program

The Government of Canada launched the Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP) in 2008 to help commemorate and educate Canadians about the historical experiences and contributions of communities affected by wartime measures and immigration restrictions.

In 2009—10, with the advice of community advisory committees, 18 projects worth a total of more than $3.5 million were approved for funding. During the reporting period, Chinese-, Jewish-, Italian- and Indo-Canadian community groups received funding for projects, including:

  • a documentary film and interactive website celebrating the story of the Chinese-Canadian community, focusing on its quest for redress;
  • a memorial wall, time-capsule and information booklet about the World War II internment experiences of Ottawa’s Italian-Canadian community;
  • a monument to be installed at Pier 21 in Halifax memorializing Jewish refugees aboard the M.S. St. Louis, the ship that sailed from Germany in 1939 seeking refuge in North America, but after being refused permission to land, returned to Europe where many of the passengers perished in the Holocaust;
  • a documentary film on the impact of restrictive immigration policies on Indo-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian workers in Tod Inlet, British Columbia; and,
  • a commemorative book on the 1914 Komagata Maru incident, where most of the 376 would-be immigrants from India were turned away from Vancouver because of the "continuous journey" requirement in the immigration laws of the day.

The Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund, a $10 million endowment fund established through the CHRP, supports projects related to the internment of Ukrainian-Canadians and people from other ethnocultural communities during the First World War. This fund is managed by the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko in Winnipeg. During 2009—10, the fund was used to acquire artifacts from this period and supported three projects, including the development of an interpretative centre at Spirit Lake in northern Quebec.

The following are examples of commemorative and educational projects supported by the Community Historical Recognition Program in 2009—10.

Redress Remix
Stitch Media, Inc.
(Nova Scotia)

Stitch Media Inc. produced a three-part documentary film using animation, interviews and archival footage. The film tells the story of Chinese-Canadians who were affected by the Chinese Head Tax and the Chinese Immigration Act and chronicles their efforts to obtain redress from the government. The film was released in January 2010 at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

An interactive Web portal, funded by the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund, allows users to navigate into selected scenes of the documentary via a 360-degree panorama view to learn more about the events and era. Users can also provide text and video responses to the content.

To access the portal in English or Chinese, visit http://www.redressremix.ca.

National Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research
League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada
(Ontario)

The League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada (B’nai Brith) is raising public awareness of the M.S. St. Louis incident, and working to sensitize Canadians to the dangers of institutionalized anti-Semitism, prejudice and racism. Under this project, B’nai Brith hosted an international conference on Holocaust issues in the Canadian context, entitled "The St Louis Era: Looking Back, Moving Forward" in June 2009.

The Komagata Maru Era – A book project
Peripheral Visions Film and Video Inc.
(Ontario)

Peripheral Visions Film and Video Inc. will produce an illustrated book to bring to life the societal, cultural, political and religious aspects of the story of the Komagata Maru. The text of The Komagata Maru Era will be based on a transcript of Ali Kazimi’s award-winning film, Continuous Journey. High-resolution images from archival film footage will be printed for the first time to expand the limited repository of photographs of the events surrounding the Komagata Maru while it was in Vancouver harbour. Copies of the book will be distributed, free of charge, to schools, universities, colleges and community centres with a high concentration of people of South Asian origin.

Canada’s Action Plan Against Racism

Released on March 21, 2005, A Canada for All: Canada’s Action Plan Against Racism (CAPAR) is the Government of Canada’s approach to address issues of racism and discrimination across 20 federal departments and agencies. The Department of Citizenship and Immigration coordinates CAPAR.

The 2009—10 reporting period marks five years of CAPAR activities. It is therefore appropriate to examine results to date and reflect on the federal government’s approach to addressing broad social policy issues such as social cohesion and systemic barriers to inclusion. The Department is currently leading a horizontal evaluation to explore implementing CAPAR government-wide. All CAPAR partners completed evaluations of their initiatives by the end of March 2010; results are expected in 2010—11.

Activities undertaken in 2009—10 continued to achieve results in key areas such as law enforcement, workplace discrimination, youth and newcomer integration, race-based issues in the justice system, and hate-crime reporting. This section highlights new developments in CAPAR -funded activities led by the departments of Citizenship and Immigration, Human Resources and Skills Development, and Justice.

Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Nationally Standardized Data Collection on Hate-Motivated Crime Initiative

This initiative is delivered by the Multiculturalism Program in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS), part of Statistics Canada.

In 2009—10, the Initiative continued to promote and increase standardized reporting and monitoring of hate crimes by Canada’s police forces. On-site training was provided to seven police services, adding to the 156 services or detachments that have received training since the Initiative was launched. Hate-motivated crime data from 2008 collected by the CCJS covered approximately 88 per cent of the Canadian population and was published in June 2010 in the Centre’s report Police-Reported Hate Crime in Canada 2008. As in 2007, the main victims of police-reported hate crimes in 2008 were male, with most crimes targeting blacks and people of the Jewish faith. The highest increase of police-reported hate crimes was among people of the Catholic faith, with double the number of incidences reported.

Hate Crimes Statistics, 2008 1

Primary motivating factors for hate crimes in 2008:

  • Race or ethnic origin (55%)
  • Religion (26%)
  • Sexual orientation (16%)

In 2008, police forces reported 1,036 hate-motivated crimes (35% increase over 2007), including:

  • 205 against Blacks
  • 115 targeting multiple races or ethnicities2
  • 64 against South Asians
  • 165 against the Jewish faith
  • 30 against the Catholic faith
  • 26 against the Muslim faith
  • 152 against lesbians and gays

Top five cities that reported hate-motivated crimes in 2008:

  • Toronto: 271 incidents
  • Vancouver: 143 incidents
  • Ottawa: 51 incidents
  • Montréal: 38 incidents
  • Hamilton: 33 incidents

Persons involved in reported hate-motivated crimes in Canada in 2008:

  • Most victims are male.
  • Most persons accused of hate crimes are male.
  • The average age of victims is 32.
  • The average age of accused is 27, and approximately 60% were aged 12 to 22, with the peak age being 17 and 18.

Notes:
1.  Hate crimes statistics are released two years after the year in which the incidences were reported.
2.  Includes hate crimes that target more than one race or ethnic group.

Source: Statistics Canada, 85-002-X

Welcoming Communities

The Welcoming Communities Initiative (WCI) began as the Department of Citizenship and Immigration’s contribution to CAPAR. Given the continuing need to help make communities more welcoming and inclusive, WCI activities will continue under the Community Connections stream of the Department’s modernized Settlement Program.

The WCI supports locally based approaches that foster settlement and integration by breaking down barriers and building welcoming and inclusive communities. Those approaches include:

  • working with organizations to meet newcomers’ needs (e.g., Settlement Workers in Schools, Library Settlement Partnerships and Community Health Centres);
  • supporting welcoming, safe and inclusive spaces where newcomers can access information, services and other public assets (e.g., Welcome Centres);
  • helping local stakeholders work together to develop plans, strategies and tools (e.g., Local Immigration Partnerships, Tool Box of Ideas for Smaller Centres);
  • communicating best practices and sharing information and expertise;
  • connecting vulnerable immigrant groups with their Canadian-born counterparts and with established support networks (e.g., mentoring services, early childhood development networks, seniors’ networks, business networks); and
  • organizing outreach and awareness-raising activities.

While WCI projects ultimately target newcomers to Canada, in aiming to meet the Community Connections long-term objectives of fostering more inclusive and welcoming communities, the projects also target Canadians and Canadian institutions. The wide range of stakeholders leading and participating in projects under the WCI means that these projects address many different challenges to integration, including those faced in the workplace, in schools and in the community. Through reducing barriers to integration, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration is supporting the development of welcoming, inclusive and sustainable neighbourhoods and cities, which supports the Department’s strategic goal of immigration that supports a prosperous future for Canada.

The WCI supports ongoing activities, including awareness-raising, outreach, tools and resource development, and direct services aimed at newcomers, youth and communities in regions that are serviced by the Department, as well as strategies and projects in provinces with Alternative Funding Arrangements (British Columbia and Manitoba) and at the national level.

In 2009—10, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration funded 35 projects worth a total of $4,404,740 through the modernized Settlement Program. The following are examples of projects funding under the WCI.

Sharing Our Cultures received funding to offer intercultural and educational programs to more than 15,000 school children and youth in Newfoundland and Labrador. The programs bring together immigrants and refugees in elementary or high school with schoolmates to organize and present their cultures in a public forum.

The Toronto Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association received funding for Opening Doors: Strengthening Participation for Immigrants and Refugees with Mental Health Issues. This anti-racism and anti-discrimination peer-training program delivers workshops for employees at places frequented by newcomers and mental health service clients. The project promotes strengthened participation of new immigrants and refugees with mental health issues and helps to foster more inclusive and welcoming environments for new immigrants and refugees who face mental health challenges.

Central Alberta Refugee Effort received funding for to put settlement workers into schools in order to help identify and respond to the needs of school-aged immigrants and their parents. This project helps newcomer parents and children adjust to the Canadian school system, provides support services during the school year and during the summer, and works with educators and other community service providers to ensure that students are able to function in the school system.

Department of Justice

Justice Partnership and Innovation Fund

The Department of Justice concentrated its efforts under CAPAR on specific activities that are relevant to sustaining the principle of equality before the law. Contribution funds were available throughout the 2009—10 reporting period through the Justice Partnership and Innovation Fund for projects that explored:

  • Race-based issues in the justice system, including overrepresentation of certain racialized groups, both as victims and as perpetrators, by undertaking research and consultations, and by developing projects to test approaches or models of intervention or to design and deliver public legal education and information activities; and,
  • The Department’s role in working with others to combat hate-motivated crimes, including investigating the problem of the borderless communication of hate propaganda through the Internet.

In 2009—10, the Department of Justice funded seven projects worth a total of $340,628 through the Justice Partnership and Innovation Fund. The following are some examples.

The Ontario Justice Education Network received funds from the Department of Justice for two projects. The first project, Navigating the Justice System: Justice Education Training Sessions for Youth Workers and Student Success Teachers, targeted front-line workers who work with youth in conflict with the criminal justice system. The second project, Aboriginal Justice Education Project, worked with Aboriginal communities in northern Ontario to increase the participation of Aboriginal people on juries.

The National Anti-Racism Council of Canada received funds to explore the need for a youth restorative action project (YRAP) model in Toronto, Ontario. The Council studied the feasibility of establishing a YRAP in Ontario, modeled on Alberta’s. The YRAP model uses conferences (pursuant to section 19 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act) to work with youthful and young adult offenders whose crimes are motivated by hate, racism or other social issues.

Walpole Island First Nation received funds through CAPAR and the Justice Partnership and Innovation Program to hold the Wiinaadmaadying Symposia for 50 to 60 Aboriginal and mainstream judicial and enforcement professionals from Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent counties in Ontario. The event provided information on emerging practices related to the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in the justice system. A resource kit was also developed describing best practices related to race issues in the justice system. The purpose of the symposia is to increase understanding of race-related issues and to arrive at possible solutions among Aboriginal people.

Department of Human Resources and Skills Development

Racism-Free Workplace Strategy

The Racism-Free Workplace Strategy aims to help employers address racism through removing discriminatory barriers to the recruitment, retention and advancement of visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples in the workplace. The Strategy advances the Department’s fair, safe and healthy workplace mandate and forms an important part of the Government of Canada’s broader commitment to enhancing social inclusion through employment equity and multiculturalism. The Strategy aims to educate and raise awareness among employers and employees in workplaces covered under the Employment Equity Act and the Federal Contractors Program about the benefits of fair and inclusive workplaces.

During the reporting period, 76 sessions were delivered across Canada to federally regulated employers, an increase of 40 per cent over the previous reporting period. Sessions were held on the following themes:

  • Introduction to Diversity
  • Building Inclusive Workplaces
  • Building a Business Case for Racial Diversity
  • Challenges Facing Members of Visible Minorities and Aboriginal Peoples in the Workplace and Strategies for Change
  • Duty to Accommodate
  • Inclusive Recruitment Strategies and Interview Techniques
  • Work for All: Stop Racism in the Workplace, a series of five films developed in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada, and
  • Mastering Aboriginal Inclusion.

In addition to educating and raising awareness among employers, these activities also provide an opportunity to recognize certain employers and stakeholders for their dedication and commitment to achieving equitable, diverse and inclusive workplaces.

1.2 Supporting Public Institutions

The Multiculturalism Program provides support to federal and other public institutions to help them better respond and to meet their obligations under the Act.

Multiculturalism Champions’ Network

Launched in 2005, the Network is composed of senior officials who play a leadership role in building awareness and understanding of multiculturalism by ensuring that it is considered in the development of programs, policies and activities in their respective institutions. The Network provides a forum for discussing best practices, shared challenges, and lessons learned to create a community of practice. In 2009—10, Multiculturalism champions promoted the implementation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act across 95 federal institutions.

Network members met twice during the reporting period to discuss best practices, to learn about the latest research and to share information, with the goal of better equipping their respective institutions to respond to the challenges presented by Canada’s increasingly diverse society.

Research

Policy‑makers require up-to-date information and analysis in order to develop and implement policies and programs that respond to the changing needs of Canada’s diverse society. In working with partners in government, academia and the voluntary sector, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration responded to this need during the reporting period by producing and disseminating research products and services through publications, seminars and conferences.

For more information on the Department’s research activities, visit Research and Statistics.

Projections of Canadian Diversity

On March 9, 2010, Statistics Canada released a study entitled Projections of Diversity of the Canadian Population to 2031. The study, which generated significant media attention and public discussion, is being used as a basis for further research. That research will help public and private sector employers recognize the changes taking place in the work force and address the growing need to consider those changes in their efforts to recruit, retain and promote visible minorities, so as to reflect Canada’s increasing diversity in fair and inclusive workplaces.

Funded by the Multiculturalism Program, in partnership with the departments of Canadian Heritage and Human Resources and Skills Development, this study focused on the increased diversity within visible minority groups in Canadian cities. The projections were developed according to a range of ethnocultural variables, including visible minority group, generation status, place of birth, religious denomination and mother tongue.

Highlights of the projections:

  • In 2031, South Asians and Chinese will still be the largest visible minority groups.
  • Arabs and West Asians are the visible minority groups that will grow the fastest between 2006 and 2031.
  • The number of people having a non-Christian religion will more than double by 2031, from approximately 8% of the population in 2006 to approximately 14%.
  • By 2031, fewer than two Canadians in three will have a Christian religion, compared with to 2006 (75%) and 1981 (90%).
  • By 2031, between 29% and 32% of the population will have a mother tongue that is neither English nor French.
  • In 2031, nearly 46% of Canadians aged 15 and over will be foreign-born, or will have at least one foreign-born parent, compared with 39% in 2006.
  • By 2031, approximately 96% of visible minority groups will live in one of Canada’s 33 census metropolitan areas (CMAs). More than 71% of members of visible minority groups will live in Canada’s three largest CMAs: Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal.
Metropolis Project

In 2009—10, the Metropolis Project hosted several multiculturalism-themed events, including:

  • A panel discussion on anti-discrimination and anti-racism activities was held in September 2009. Representatives from provincial governments, community organizations and academic institutions, discussed the impacts of anti-racism and anti-discrimination activities on communities.
  • In January 2010, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation was invited to showcase examples of best practices in the elimination of racism in the private and public sectors. Participants included representatives from federal and municipal governments, academics and immigration service provider organizations.
  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada led a discussion in February 2010 on the need for multiculturalism readiness in service delivery to ensure that the needs of all clients are addressed, including those of newcomers and Aboriginal people. Participants included representatives from federal, provincial, municipal and international governments.

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration hosted or participated in workshops and plenary sessions with academics, practitioners and policy-makers from the federal, provincial and municipal governments at the 12th National Metropolis Conference in Montréal in March 2010. Topics included community capacity-building and models of community engagement with diverse groups, imported conflicts and youth radicalization, and hate crimes data collection with law enforcement groups.

In September 2009, the Department participated in the 14th International Metropolis Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Department worked to advance research dialogues at the international level by bringing together academics, civil society representatives and officials at a workshop to explore transnational conflicts and public policy interventions that promote peace and cross-cultural understanding.

Studies

In 2009—10, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration undertook a number of research studies on various cultural and religious dimensions of Canadian society. Research and analysis topics include an examination of multiculturalism performance indicators that capture differences across cultural communities and a review of public opinion of Canadians’ attitudes towards multiculturalism and immigration. Recognizing religious diversity as an emerging field within the Multiculturalism Program, the Department undertook several research projects on this theme, exploring Canada’s religious landscape and looking at particular aspects such as inter-religious dialogue and how the workplace accommodates religious diversity.

The Department funded a study, completed in March 2010, on the variations in socio-economic conditions for different non-Christian religions and the implications for Canadian diversity. Some of the results of this research were presented at a workshop on the future of religious diversity in Canada at the 12th National Metropolis Conference.

Other research projects focused on minority enclaves in metropolitan areas and the development of urban neighbourhoods with various degrees of minority concentration and mixing. Research on this theme helps identify and address the prevalence of separate communities or enclaves and sheds light on the factors behind the formation of harmonious and cohesive diverse communities.

Publications

Publications produced during the reporting period targeted issues such as racial and religious discrimination, youth radicalization and engagement, the socio-economic conditions of visible and religious minorities and multicultural common spaces.

Of particular note is "Understanding Canada’s ‘3M’ (Multicultural, Multi-linguistic and Multi-religious) Reality in the 21st Century," produced and published by the Policy Research Initiative in June 2009. Commissioned in part by the Multiculturalism Program, this report was grounded in several years of research. Between 2006 and 2009, the Multiculturalism Program partnered with the Policy Research Initiative and the Metropolis Project to research Canada’s approach to multicultural diversity. Research began with round-table consultations in eight cities across Canada where policy gaps were identified. The final report included observations from round-table participants that the delivery of government programs "emphasized cultural differences at the expense of encouraging individuals from different cultural backgrounds to learn about one another" and that this apparent "disconnect both contributed to the challenges posed by multicultural diversity and resulted in cultural communities not interacting as much with other communities."

1.3 Promoting Multiculturalism Abroad

Canada plays an active role in international forums on issues related to multiculturalism, diversity, discrimination, racism, and human rights. These forums include the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organization of American States, as well as the Inter-Governmental Consultations on Asylum, and Refugee and Migration Policies. Through this work, and by hosting foreign delegations, Canada shares its approach to multiculturalism and advances policies in cooperation with the international community.

The Multiculturalism Program hosts representatives from a number of other countries and from international organizations to discuss Canadian models of multiculturalism, diversity and integration, and to share best practices. Meetings are often organized in cooperation with staff from other branches in the Department and from other government departments with which there are subject matter linkages, such as the departments of Justice, Canadian Heritage, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

United Nations Universal Periodic Review

The Universal Periodic Review is a process of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Canada, as a member state, is required to report on its activities to meet international human rights commitments included in UN agreements to which Canada is a signatory. The reporting process, based on a four-year period, is coordinated by the Department of Canadian Heritage and includes consultations with federal government departments, as well as provinces and territories.

Canada's most recent review before the United Nations Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review Working Group occurred on February 3, 2009. A total of 45 states commented on Canada’s human rights record and activities. The report includes a list of 68 recommendations, many of them related to issues of significance to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration’s multiculturalism mandate. In addition to expressing a commitment to address the recommendations, Canada voluntarily committed to a series of additional initiatives, including tabling the UN report in Parliament. Canada will report on implementation of the accepted recommendations at its next review in 2013.

To view the full report and Canada’s June 2009 response to the recommendations, visit Canada's Universal Periodic Review.

Interdepartmental Roundtable with OSCE Personal Representatives

On October 15 and 16, 2009, three personal representatives of the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) visited Canada to promote greater tolerance and combat racism, xenophobia and discrimination. During their stay, the representatives and other members of the OSCE delegation met with the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and with other federal government officials. They also participated in an interdepartmental round table held by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.

Federal organizations represented at the round table included Citizenship and Immigration, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Human Resources and Skills Development, Justice, and Statistics Canada. The OSCE representatives were particularly interested in Canada’s multiculturalism and anti-discrimination programs and policies, education concerning anti-discrimination, incidences of hate crimes in Canada, and data gathering on hate-motivated crime. The three personal representatives also met with the departments of Public Safety and Justice in separate thematic sessions.

Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research

In June 2009, Canada became a full member of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research (ITF). As a member, Canada is committed to implementing national policies and programs in support of Holocaust education, remembrance and research expressed in the 2000 Stockholm Declaration. As an ITF member, Canada has the opportunity to demonstrate its leadership in the areas of multiculturalism policies, human rights education and combating racism, including anti-Semitism.

The National Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, highlighted under the Historical Recognition Program in the first chapter, complements the work of the ITF at a national level.

1.4 Promoting Integration: Complementary Initiatives at the Department of Citizenship and Immigration

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration is also responsible for complementary policies, programs and services that assist the socio-economic integration of individuals in Canada.

In 2009—10, the Department continued to promote the integration of individuals and communities into Canadian society by supporting a number of key initiatives that contribute to an integrated and socially cohesive society.

Citizenship Action Plan

In 2009—10, the Department introduced a Citizenship Action Plan, a set of integrated initiatives that aim to strengthen the integrity of the Citizenship Program.

The main objectives of the Plan are to provide access to an essential knowledge base for citizenship, to enhance respect for democratic values and the status of Canadian citizenship, and to ensure the integrity of the naturalization process and promote civic responsibility among all Canadians.

One of the initiatives under the Citizenship Action Plan during the reporting period was the release, in November 2009, of the new citizenship study guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship. The guide focuses on the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship and presents an overview of the diverse people, events and accomplishments that have shaped Canada into the country it is today.

While the guide is meant primarily for citizenship applicants, all Canadians can refer to it for a better understanding of their shared history and values. Between November 2009 and March 2010, approximately 112,000 printed copies were distributed. The website received more than 471,000 visits, resulting in more than 97,000 downloads of the electronic version of the guide.

Foreign Qualifications

The Government of Canada, together with provincial and territorial governments, released the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications in November 2009. The Framework articulates a new, joint vision for concerted action to improve the timely integration of internationally trained workers and immigrants into the Canadian labour market.

The departments of Citizenship and Immigration and Human Resources and Skills Development are responsible for the key federal initiatives in place to support the pan-Canadian implementation of the Framework. The Department of Human Resources and Skills Development’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program aims to improve the integration of internationally trained workers into the work force. The Department of Citizenship and Immigration’s Foreign Credentials Referral Office provides information, path-finding and referral services—in Canada and overseas—to help internationally trained workers succeed and put their skills to work in Canada more quickly. In 2009—10, more than 23,000 clients received assistance in person at 329 Service Canada centres across the country, and 2,921 calls were received from individuals seeking information on foreign credential recognition.

Also in 2009—10, the Foreign Credentials Referral Office updated and added new products to its website. These included the updated the Employer’s Roadmap to Hiring and Retaining Internationally Trained Workers, which encourages employers to understand how their cultural expectations may affect their human resource practices; and new fact sheets on specific professions and sectors to provide internationally trained workers with information, tools and resources to help them to navigate the Canadian labour market.

Local Immigration Partnerships

Local Immigration Partnerships are designed to create the conditions for cooperation and collaboration necessary in communities to assess needs, to engage in meaningful dialogue and to plan how to best meet the needs of newcomers in individual community contexts. Partnerships represent a collaborative approach to the settlement and integration of newcomers, actively engaging many diverse stakeholders to encourage a locally driven strategic planning process with the ultimate goal of creating welcoming, inclusive and sustainable neighbourhoods and cities. This holistic approach to addressing complex social issues encourages community-level cooperation and the active involvement of mainstream institutions, municipal, provincial and federal governments. Community organizations representing diverse and varied cultural groups and viewpoints play an important role in many partnerships by informing the planning process. In the reporting period, 26 new projects received funding in Ontario. Similar projects are under way in British Columbia under the provincial government’s Welcoming and Inclusive Communities and Workplaces Program.

1.5 The Way Forward
An integrated society with a strengthened commitment to citizenship

Canada ranks among the world’s most diverse and culturally rich societies, with Canadians enjoying a shared history, identity and common values. The Department of Citizenship and Immigration is implementing policies, programs and services that support equality of opportunity and help remove barriers to full integration. Three areas of focus in this effort are: the newly launched Inter-Action program, a coordinated approach to integration across the Department, and a pan-government commitment to multiculturalism.

Inter-Action Grants and Contributions Program

Inter-Action, Canada’s new multiculturalism grants and contributions program, was launched in July 2010. Inter-Action assists the socio-economic integration of individuals and communities in building an integrated and socially cohesive society. Funding is available through two streams: projects and events.

The Inter-Action Projects stream provides funding for long-term, multi-year community development or engagement projects to promote integration. Applications are usually considered during a call for proposals process. In 2010, priority was given to projects in which youth, youth-at-risk, faith communities and organizations, or immigrants were the primary beneficiaries. Priority was also given to projects that addressed citizenship rights and responsibilities, or that facilitated positive interaction among different cultural, ethnic and religious communities in Canada. More than 750 proposals were received in response to the first call. The strong response demonstrated applicant organizations’ commitment to cross-cultural engagement and exchange. Future calls for proposals may identify new priorities in response to specific national, regional or local emerging issues.

The Inter-Action Events stream provides funding to community-based events that foster one or more of the following: intercultural or interfaith understanding, civic memory and pride, or respect for core democratic values. Applications are considered year round. The primary goal is to create concrete opportunities for interaction among cultural and faith communities. Events funded through this stream are intended for and open to all Canadians. Funding is provided in the form of a grant of up to 50 per cent of the total cash expenses of the event, and in an amount not exceeding $15,000.

A Coordinated Approach to Integration

Immigration, citizenship and multiculturalism are linked across a spectrum and together contribute to the process of each individual’s full integration into Canadian society. The Department of Citizenship and Immigration’s coordinated approach to integration will provide improved programs and services to Canadians, with the ultimate aim of fostering an integrated society and a strengthened commitment to citizenship.

Settlement

Settlement refers to the short-term transitional issues faced by newcomers. Integration is an ongoing process of mutual accommodation between an individual newcomer and society. The Department’s $641.7 M Settlement Program helps immigrants and refugees overcome challenges specific to their experience as newcomers, including a lack of official language skills and a limited knowledge of Canada.

Speaking English or French is key to newcomers’ successful integration. A pilot was launched in October 2009 to see whether giving newcomers a language training voucher would motivate them to use language training programs funded by the Department. The pilot project ends in early 2011 and will be evaluated.

Under the Department’s stewardship, the Government of Canada will strengthen settlement programming that contributes to the longer-term economic, social, cultural and civic integration of newcomers, including an increased focus on local immigration partnerships and language assessment.

Following the successful launch of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications in November 2009, in partnership with provinces and territories, CIC will continue to advance foreign credential recognition efforts overseas.

Citizenship

Strengthening citizenship is key to having all Canadians understand, value and practise their citizenship. Citizenship is being strengthened through the medium-term initiatives being carried out under the Citizenship Action Plan.

In 2011, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration will update the Discover Canada study guide as part of the implementation of the Citizenship Action Plan. It will also develop supplementary materials to help people learn the content of the guide and will continue its efforts to promote the value of citizenship, including broadening the use and distribution of the guide.

The Department will continue to develop policy approaches and programs to improve the integrity of the Citizenship Program and to protect the value of Canadian citizenship, including ensuring the adequate language proficiency of newcomers. It will also work to strengthen the citizenship process and to make it more efficient and transparent.

Key initiatives include developing methods to more systematically assess the language requirements for citizenship, making citizenship ceremonies more meaningful, improving citizenship education and promotion tools, improving client service through faster processing times, introducing measures to address fraud, and streamlining the citizenship revocation process.

Multiculturalism

Since fall 2008, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration has enabled a greater emphasis on the longer-term integration of all Canadians, no matter how long they and their families have lived in Canada.

New multiculturalism policy objectives will contribute to greater intercultural understanding, a shared sense of citizenship, and an enhanced respect for core democratic values, civic memory and pride. Launched in 2009, the new objectives focus on:

  • Building an integrated, socially cohesive society;
  • Making institutions more responsive to the needs of Canada’s diverse population; and,
  • Engaging in international discussions on multiculturalism and diversity.

The integration process can be seen as a multi-generational continuum, running from arrival and settlement to naturalization, and finally, to full participation in the economic, social, and cultural life of Canada. The Department’s coordinated approach to integration through settlement programming, referral services in relation to foreign credentials, the Citizenship Action Plan and the multiculturalism policy objectives provides a full range of programs and services that benefits all Canadians, both new and established.

A Pan-Government Commitment to Multiculturalism

Horizontal coordination between partners is a key component in achieving the Government of Canada’s new multiculturalism policy objectives. The Department will continue to promote and implement multiculturalism through sharing information with other levels of government and with other federal and public institutions.

The Federal-Provincial-Territorial Network of Officials Responsible for Multiculturalism Issues continues to be a key vehicle for collaborating with provinces and territories on multiculturalism issues. The Multiculturalism Champions’ Network, coordinated and led by the Department, continues to provide a federal forum for discussing multiculturalism to ensure that programs, policies and services are sensitive and responsive to Canada’s growing diversity.

The Department will continue to engage in national and international partnerships to advance the Government of Canada’s anti-racism framework, including combating anti-Semitism. The November 2010 Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism conference, organized in collaboration with the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism, is a key element of the anti-Semitism strategy.

 

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