“Safe Country” Should Not Apply to Mexico, says UofT Study

Standard

The University of Toronto’s International Human Rights Program is suggesting that Mexico be removed from Canada’s “safe country” list, making it easier for sexual minorities and those living with HIV to seek asylum here.

The report, published on World Refugee Day Monday, comes at an awkward time: just when Ottawa is moving to remove visa restrictions imposed on that country by the previous Harper government in 2009.

The UofT study, co-authored by Kristin Marshall and Maia Rotman, was based on in-country interviews with 50 Mexicans, including journalists, activists, members of the country’s LGBTQ+ community, health care professionals and people living with HIV. It documents the gap between laws to protect minorities in Mexico and the on-the-ground reality of discrimination and exclusion faced by vulnerable populations.

Keep reading here.

Advertisements

Bahá’í Community Condemns Imprisonments in Iran

Standard

Before reopening relations with Iran, the Canadian government should hold the Middle Eastern country accountable for human rights violations against minority religions, say some members of Canada’s Bahá’í community.

On January 27, 24 members of the Bahá’í faith, including two of Amir Parsa’s family members, were imprisoned in Iran.

“We know the political relationship between Canada and Iran is being restarted,” says Parsa. “My expectation is that if Canada wants to restart their relationship with Iran, they have to make it based on an agreement that Iran will stop these violations.”

Keep reading here.

Crime top issue in Surrey Centre

Standard

Deanna has lived in North Surrey for 21 years. She lives with her family in the Guildford area, but she doesn’t send her kids to the local public school and tries to do most of her personal business in other communities.

“I chose private school mainly for safety reasons,” explains Deanna, a psychiatric nurse, who did not want her last name to be used. “I wanted to minimize the exposure to gangs and drugs, etc. Admittedly, I don’t see this on the streets, but heard that Guildford Park [school] does not have a great reputation.”

Keep reading here.

Newcomers scarce at national campsites

Standard

With over 45 national parks and park reserves, as well as attendance levels of 13.5 million people in the last year, it’s safe to say that Canadians love the outdoors. But not all Canadians it seems.

Visitor surveys show that new Canadians, from varied cultural backgrounds, are barely present in national parks. The numbers aren’t any better when it comes to the quintessential outdoor activity, camping.

“I just find the whole idea behind staying in a damp place, in a scrounged up way in a tent, very unappealing,” says 25-year-old Abeer Yusuf.

Keep reading here.

B.C. and Manitoba settlement agencies suffer under new control

Standard

The settlement service sector across the country is undergoing major changes and facing several challenges as a result. Unlike Ontario and the Atlantic region, both B.C. and Manitoba used to have provincial control of their settlement services. For these provinces, the largest issue has been getting used to federal control.

Settlement in the west coast metropolitan city of Vancouver – one of Canada’s top destinations for migrants with 45 per cent of its population being foreign-born – is no exception. When the federal government decided to strip control of settlement services from B.C. effective April 1, 2014, the biggest casualty was the freedom agencies had to serve a large array of newcomers.

Keep reading here