Thursday, 12 June 2014 01:01

FIFA World Cup: Rooting for Diverse Teams

by Jennifer Cabell in Toronto

Kicking off today (June 12) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 32 countries will battle for the prestigious right to call themselves this year's FIFA World Cup football champions!

Personally, I have never really enjoyed playing soccer; I believe I bruised more ankles than scored goals. Despite my own lack of athletic talent, every four years I can't help but become swept up in the exhilarating support for this global competition here in Toronto.

Who can forget the victorious honking horns in neighbourhoods throughout the Greater Toronto Area at all hours of the night? We are global citizens and this competition is truly breaking down barriers with our mutual love of the game.

Cheers will not only be found on the streets but within our post-secondary institutions. International students across the country will be cheering for this year's teams. I am lucky to work at Centennial College with over 5,000 International Students from 104 different countries; we are a community full of global citizens who are gearing up to enjoy the games throughout the months of June and July.

In fact, one group of six nursing and eight Early Childhood Education students from Centennial will be experiencing the games from Ghana during a Global Citizenship and Equity Learning Experience (GCELE).  While working on community development initiatives in education and health, Centennial's group will lead an activity focused on development of children through sport and soccer's role in global culture . The students will also have the chance to bond with the local community while watching Ghana play USA in their first World Cup Match of 2014.  Stay tuned for Centennial’s next World Cup Blog post from Ghana!

Our students are asking each other "Where will you be cheering?" and "Who will you be cheering for?"

"I will be cheering for Germany in downtown Toronto with my friends. Football to me is the most beautiful game in the world." (Tomas De Gracia, Panamanian student, Aircraft Maintenance, Centennial College).

"I am going to go to a local bar with some friends, drink some beer and will cheer on Korea. I am a fan of all sports, and can't wait for the cup to start." (Wonjoon Lee, Korean student, Digital Animation, Centennial College).

All across our campus, international students are sharing their love of the game with each other, experiencing World Cup in a whole new way:

"Watching the world cup away from my country will be a very intense experience. Because this cup will not be a simple World Cup, the competition will be in my country, the country of soccer... when I was a kid, I used to dream of becoming a professional player. Now half a world away, watching the World Cup without all that energy of Brazilians will be very different... here in Canada I will have the chance to see the rivalry between different nations, different types of fans and how each country expresses his or her love of soccer. Watching every game of the World Cup alongside fans from various countries with all with their cultures, customs and traditions will be incredible. View as Brazilians, Argentinians, Mexicans, Russians, Chinese, Indians, Canadians rooting for their teams and their faces as games are lost or won." (Marlon Casagranda, Brazilian student, ELL Centennial College).

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]"Watching the World Cup away from my country will be a very intense experience. Because this cup will not be a simple World Cup, the competition will be in my country, the country of soccer.[/quote]

For the 2014 FIFA World Cup at Centennial College, we are reaching out to international students across the country. We invite you to join in celebrating the FIFA World Cup by learning to play the game, offering to share your skills and celebrating with others.

We would like you to share with us why you love the game!

How will you share in the excitement of the 2014 FIFA World Cup?

This post is brought to you by iStudentCanada.ca  – a one-stop resource and interactive community of Canada’s international students, in collaboration with Centennial College. Click here for more information on Centennial College study abroad opportunities. As well, click here to find out more about the international educational experience offered at Centennial College.

 

 Jennifer Cabell works in the International Department at Centennial College and is pursuing certification as a licensed immigration consultant. She has lived in Beijing, studied a second language and has travelled to many different countries.

 

 

Recommended Reading: Diversity scores in football (from Maytree Foundation)

Published in Education
Sunday, 09 March 2014 18:01

Canada is Now a Diaspora Nation

By Matthew Mendelsohn

Canadians rightly take pride in our country’s diversity. Our collective understanding and definition of the country have been shaped by waves of immigration and most Canadians cannot imagine a Canadian identity that doesn’t include diversity. We happily think of ourselves as a nation of immigrants.

Over a fifth of Canada’s population is made up of immigrants — the largest percentage in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) — and Canada grows more diverse every year. Canada’s prosperity is obviously tied to immigration, but unfortunately, we are not making the most of what should be an enormous comparative advantage. This is especially important as we seek to compete in the global economy. While much of our immigration growth is from countries with emerging economies, our trading and export patterns remain based on demographic and economic realities that existed decades ago.

Today, Canada attracts more immigrants from Asia and Latin America than from Europe. Of our top 10 trading partners, only two are emerging economies: China and India. We remain woefully dependent on trade with the United States.

Shifting ground

But the ground has also shifted beneath us in two important and related ways. First, immigrants to Canada are experiencing poorer economic outcomes than previous generations. And, secondly, the global economy is undergoing a re-balancing, with the rise of emerging economies and new structural economic challenges in OECD countries, including Canada.

In today’s highly-interconnected global society, immigrant communities act as diaspora networks – international networks of shared identity – which, because of their multicultural and multilingual capabilities, can play a larger role in the global economy. Diaspora networks are a dynamic and increasingly valuable but relatively untapped resource in Canada and their effective mobilization would bring significant economic and social benefits to the country.

Patterns of immigration are changing dramatically. Not long ago, immigrants would settle in new countries and maintain sporadic contact with their countries of origin. Today, we live in a world where more people move around the globe, have multiple national identities and have sustained contact with multiple countries.

No room for complacency

Canadians can no longer take for granted that we will be able to attract and retain the immigrants we need in a competitive global market for talent. We must up our game and do a better job ensuring that the economic opportunity that immigrants expect — and that is increasingly available around the world — is delivered.

We currently do not do a good enough job integrating immigrants into the Canadian economy. Our cultural diversity is one of Canada’s strengths but we’re not capitalizing on it very skillfully. This is a large and growing problem because diaspora networks are becoming more and more important to global economic growth.

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]A recent study from the Mowat Centre – Diaspora Nation – argues that Canadian businesses that discover how to tap into emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India and the Philippines will thrive in coming decades.[/quote]If Canadian businesses fail to mobilize immigrant talent and expertise, Canada will miss one of the enormous global economic developments now underway.

Diaspora networks

Diaspora networks are increasingly powerful social and economic forces with cultural knowledge and substantial connections to economies and communities beyond Canada’s borders. Canadians are connected to every corner of the world in unprecedented ways. Canada is now very much a diaspora nation.

Diasporas provide linkages. They help information circulate. They provide cultural knowledge where it didn’t exist before. They can help establish trust and deepen social capital.

Their knowledge can lower transaction costs and reduce the time it takes to enter new markets and form new partnerships. They connect people, ideas and understanding.

Canadians have a general awareness of these benefits. When Toronto hosts the International Indian Film Academy Awards or Africa Fashion Week we are briefly reminded of the cultural and economic opportunity that our diaspora networks provide. But it is not consistently a front-of-mind consideration for decision-makers in the private and public sectors.

By not recognizing the cultural knowledge, international experience and global networks they bring, we not only fail immigrants, but also fail Canada as a whole. We can do better.

We need to re-imagine the role that immigrant communities can play in helping to fulfill Canada’s global economic aspirations and support their fuller participation in the Canadian economy.

Capitalizing on our potential

The private sector could deepen its connections with ethnocultural chambers of commerce, professional immigrant networks, alumni networks and immigrant resource groups within firms. All these networks can help businesses better understand opportunities in emerging markets. Successful firms are already doing this.

But capitalizing on our potential requires more than the private sector. It requires governments to ensure that rules and regulations from a half century ago are not undermining our capacity to fulfill our potential as a diaspora nation.

Student and business visas are too frequently delayed. Small- and medium-sized businesses do not have access to the insurance they need to explore new export markets. Unrealistic residency requirements are imposed on immigrants preventing them from travelling for business. There are too many obstacles to global philanthropy. We too often require “Canadian experience” for employment when such a requirement is unnecessary. Those who process remittances are not subject to appropriate regulation and too often take advantage of their clients.

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]Diaspora networks are playing a larger role in the global economy. Recognizing and acting on this trend should be part of a thoughtful policy response to the shifts in the global economy and immigrants’ declining economic outcomes.[/quote]

Canada is particularly well-placed to benefit from the growing importance of diaspora networks. Given Canada’s successful history with diversity and accommodation, the country – and Ontario and the Greater Toronto Region in particular, given their high concentration of immigrants – should be leading discussions on how to respond to these changes.

Once we put the goal of harnessing our diaspora networks as a top strategic priority for the country, the unintended consequences of many of our rules and regulations become apparent. We need to start to act like a country that takes the opportunities presented by diaspora networks seriously.

Matthew Mendelsohn is the Director of the Mowat Centre, an independent public policy think tank at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy & Governance and Ontario’s non-partisan, evidence-based voice on public policy.

{module NCM Blurb}

Published in Commentary
Saturday, 08 February 2014 18:22

Brazilians getting over it

by Humberta Araújo

The October allegations that Canada’s surveillance agency was spying on Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy took Brazilians in Canada by surprise. The so-called “industrial espionage” has strained the relationship between both countries. The incident became a serious diplomatic embroilment overshadowing bilateral relations.

These allegations seem contrary to Canada’s official statements that Brazil is a key partner for Canada. "Brazil is at the nexus of the Government of Canada’s Strategy for Engagement in the Americas, Global Commerce Strategy and International Education Strategy,” reads the Government of Canada’s web site.

Raul Papaleo, president of Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce (BCCC), said there was no justification for Canada’s espionage. "This incident was an unwise and serious act. Canadian companies with interests in Brazil have always had open channels of communication. There was no need for such an attitude. The Canadian ambassador and the Brazilian minister have daily and direct contacts with each other, in case they need to discuss any kind of issue.”

The Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce was established in 1973 as a business association to foster stronger commercial relations between Brazil and Canada, and, in fact, hosted a meeting between Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy and Canadian mining corporations last December, just a few weeks after these spying allegations were front page news in Brazilian and Canadian media.

"We all know that countries are concerned with their own national security sector. However, this kind of industrial and commercial espionage is not good and no one accepts it," added Mr. Papaleo.

While Brazilians may be upset by these actions, Mr. Papaleo believes that the work of the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) will have no impact on ongoing business. "The Brazilian Government will not implement specific regulations to restrict business in the wake of this incident. But, of course, this cannot happen again," he warned.

The allegations

Allegations of espionage arose in October, after documents leaked by former (U.S.) National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden claimed that the CSEC was targeting metadata of phone calls and emails to and from the ministry.

José Francisco Schuster is a Brazilian-Canadian journalist who has been following this issue. For him, the "allegations of espionage caught Brazilians in Canada by surprise. Until then, Brazilians saw Canada as a sympathetic and supportive neighbour."

These claims "could affect the bilateral relationship between Brazil and Canada, endangering a 10-year history of important diplomatic partnerships and trade growth," said Mr. Schuster.

While more than three months have passed since these accusations "the situation seems to have vanished from front page news, while Brazilian cordiality gives way to caution," he said.

When the news broke, Brazilian foreign minister, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, summoned the Canadian ambassador to demand explanations.

Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed concern about the situation, and announced that government officials were reaching out to their counterparts in Brazil, he did not issue an official apology — a gesture that Brazil, including its president, Dilma Rousseff, hoped for.

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]Brazilian Secretary of Geology, Mining and Mineral Transformation, Carlos Nogueira da Costa Júnior, said in an interview with New Canadian Media that "questions relating to this matter are being taken care exclusively by the Ministry of External Relations." He also said these allegations they won’t impact future bilateral relations. "Currently, Brazil and Canada enjoy a very positive bilateral environment with good expectations for current and future business."[/quote]

Mr. Nogueira visited Canada last December and met with Canadian corporations working in Brazil. "In Toronto, I had the chance at the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce, to present the forecast for the mining industry in 2014. As we all know, both countries have important business interests in the sector, the reason for my get-together with the many public and private Canadian companies, who are active in the mining industry."

Canada leading investors

Currently, there are 55 Canadian companies working in Brazil. "The majority are mining gold and iron in Minas Gerais, Pará and Bahia. Canadian companies are also active in the equipment and services sector," said the Secretary.

The Brazilian Mining Institute estimates that between 2012 and 2016, investment in this sector will reach $75 billion U.S., with Canada as one of the leading investors. "The rate increase in commercial relations between the two countries tells us that the mining industry will continue growing in the next few years," he said.

In Toronto, Mr. Nogueira met one-on-one with investors and new corporations interested in exploring Brazil's potential. Kinross, MBAC Fertilizer Corp, and Jaguar Mining Inc.  were some of the companies present.

The spying claims were clearly on the minds of the investors during those meetings. "Obviously, there was some concern, but not enough to hurt each one's trust. The Brazilian government is open to dialogue and the ongoing projects were not impacted by the news," said Mr. Nogueira.

Commercial ties

Today, the volume of bilateral business in the mining sector is around $35 billion:  $19 million for Brazil and $16 million for Canada, after the purchase of Inco. Canadian commercial ties to Brazil are not limited to the mining industry, however. Investments in education, technology, health, aeronautics, satellites and transportation infrastructure are on the rise. All in all, some 500 Canadian companies are active in Brazil. In 2012, Brazil was the 7th highest source of foreign direct investment in Canada with $15.8 billion in cumulative stocks.

If the trend continues, Canada’s investment in Brazil will likely increase and although it looks like the recent espionage will not affect its business and commercial relations, they do leave a bad taste for the more than 20,000 Brazilians that live in Canada, especially as Brazil waits for an apology.

The first significant wave of Brazilians came to Canada in 1987 and Canada has recently become the largest recipient of Brazilian students, surpassing the United States. In 2011, 20,000 Brazilian students came to Canada. The program Science without Borders is sending thousands of Brazilian students for under-graduate and post-doctoral degrees in Canada. Most Brazilians in Canada reside in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. Canada has had a trade office in Brazil since 1866, and in May 1941, Brazil opened its embassy in Ottawa and now has consulate offices in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. 

{module NCM Blurb}

Published in Latin America
Friday, 31 January 2014 01:45

Brazilians getting over it

by Humberta Araújo

The October allegations that Canada’s surveillance agency was spying on Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy took Brazilians in Canada by surprise. The so-called “industrial espionage” has strained the relationship between both countries. The incident became a serious diplomatic embroilment overshadowing bilateral relations.

These allegations seem contrary to Canada’s official statements that Brazil is a key partner for Canada. "Brazil is at the nexus of the Government of Canada’s Strategy for Engagement in the Americas, Global Commerce Strategy and International Education Strategy,” reads the Government of Canada’s web site.

Raul Papaleo, president of Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce (BCCC), said there was no justification for Canada’s espionage. "This incident was an unwise and serious act. Canadian companies with interests in Brazil have always had open channels of communication. There was no need for such an attitude. The Canadian ambassador and the Brazilian minister have daily and direct contacts with each other, in case they need to discuss any kind of issue.”

The Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce was established in 1973 as a business association to foster stronger commercial relations between Brazil and Canada, and, in fact, hosted a meeting between Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy and Canadian mining corporations last December, just a few weeks after these spying allegations were front page news in Brazilian and Canadian media.

"We all know that countries are concerned with their own national security sector. However, this kind of industrial and commercial espionage is not good and no one accepts it," added Mr. Papaleo.

While Brazilians may be upset by these actions, Mr. Papaleo believes that the work of the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) will have no impact on ongoing business. "The Brazilian Government will not implement specific regulations to restrict business in the wake of this incident. But, of course, this cannot happen again," he warned.

The allegations

Allegations of espionage arose in October, after documents leaked by former (U.S.) National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden claimed that the CSEC was targeting metadata of phone calls and emails to and from the ministry.

José Francisco Schuster is a Brazilian-Canadian journalist who has been following this issue. For him, the "allegations of espionage caught Brazilians in Canada by surprise. Until then, Brazilians saw Canada as a sympathetic and supportive neighbour."

These claims "could affect the bilateral relationship between Brazil and Canada, endangering a 10-year history of important diplomatic partnerships and trade growth," said Mr. Schuster.

While more than three months have passed since these accusations "the situation seems to have vanished from front page news, while Brazilian cordiality gives way to caution," he said.

When the news broke, Brazilian foreign minister, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, summoned the Canadian ambassador to demand explanations.

Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed concern about the situation, and announced that government officials were reaching out to their counterparts in Brazil, he did not issue an official apology — a gesture that Brazil, including its president, Dilma Rousseff, hoped for.

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]Brazilian Secretary of Geology, Mining and Mineral Transformation, Carlos Nogueira da Costa Júnior, said in an interview with New Canadian Media that "questions relating to this matter are being taken care exclusively by the Ministry of External Relations." He also said these allegations they won’t impact future bilateral relations. "Currently, Brazil and Canada enjoy a very positive bilateral environment with good expectations for current and future business."[/quote]

Mr. Nogueira visited Canada last December and met with Canadian corporations working in Brazil. "In Toronto, I had the chance at the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce, to present the forecast for the mining industry in 2014. As we all know, both countries have important business interests in the sector, the reason for my get-together with the many public and private Canadian companies, who are active in the mining industry."

Canada leading investors

Currently, there are 55 Canadian companies working in Brazil. "The majority are mining gold and iron in Minas Gerais, Pará and Bahia. Canadian companies are also active in the equipment and services sector," said the Secretary.

The Brazilian Mining Institute estimates that between 2012 and 2016, investment in this sector will reach $75 billion U.S., with Canada as one of the leading investors. "The rate increase in commercial relations between the two countries tells us that the mining industry will continue growing in the next few years," he said.

In Toronto, Mr. Nogueira met one-on-one with investors and new corporations interested in exploring Brazil's potential. Kinross, MBAC Fertilizer Corp, and Jaguar Mining Inc.  were some of the companies present.

The spying claims were clearly on the minds of the investors during those meetings. "Obviously, there was some concern, but not enough to hurt each one's trust. The Brazilian government is open to dialogue and the ongoing projects were not impacted by the news," said Mr. Nogueira.

Commercial ties

Today, the volume of bilateral business in the mining sector is around $35 billion:  $19 million for Brazil and $16 million for Canada, after the purchase of Inco. Canadian commercial ties to Brazil are not limited to the mining industry, however. Investments in education, technology, health, aeronautics, satellites and transportation infrastructure are on the rise. All in all, some 500 Canadian companies are active in Brazil. In 2012, Brazil was the 7th highest source of foreign direct investment in Canada with $15.8 billion in cumulative stocks.

If the trend continues, Canada’s investment in Brazil will likely increase and although it looks like the recent espionage will not affect its business and commercial relations, they do leave a bad taste for the more than 20,000 Brazilians that live in Canada, especially as Brazil waits for an apology.

The first significant wave of Brazilians came to Canada in 1987 and Canada has recently become the largest recipient of Brazilian students, surpassing the United States. In 2011, 20,000 Brazilian students came to Canada. The program Science without Borders is sending thousands of Brazilian students for under-graduate and post-doctoral degrees in Canada. Most Brazilians in Canada reside in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. Canada has had a trade office in Brazil since 1866, and in May 1941, Brazil opened its embassy in Ottawa and now has consulate offices in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. 

{module NCM Blurb}

Published in Economy

Canada’s diversity is not reflected in its economic activity.  While much of its immigration growth is from countries with emerging economies, only China and Brazil are among its top 10 export destinations; the remaining eight top trading partners are developed Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

This imbalance is a missed opportunity for Canada as a whole and for immigrants themselves, says new research released by the Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto.

While collective understanding and definition of the country have been shaped by waves of immigration, things today are different from the early days, said Matthew Mendelsohn, director of the centre.  First, immigrants to Canada are experiencing poorer economic outcomes than previous generations. And secondly, the global economy is undergoing a re-balancing, with the rise of emerging economies and new structural economic challenges in OECD countries, including Canada.  Mendelsohn said that while much of this is well-known, “what is less obvious is that the mental maps we use to understand immigration also need to change.”

The report, Diaspora Nation: An Inquiry into the Economic Importance of Diaspora Networks in Canada, examines this issue and the related matter of stagnating economic outcomes among new comers to Canada by reconceptualizing immigrant communities.

“If Canadian businesses fail to mobilize immigrant talent and expertise, Canada will miss one of the enormous global economic developments now underway,” Mendelsohn said.

“Patterns of global trade and the nature of immigration to Canada are changing. Canada has an enormous opportunity – but it must do more. Bringing a disaspora lens to private sector and public sector decision-making must be a front of mind consideration, ” Serene Tan, one of the authors of the report, said. Maurice Bitran is the other author. – New Canadian Media 

Published in Economy

New Canadian Media provides nonpartisan news and views representing all Canadian immigrant communities. As part of this endeavour, we re-publish aggregated content from various ethnic media publishers in Canada in an effort to raise the profile of news and commentary from an immigrant perspective. New Canadian Media, however, does not guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views and opinions contained in content from such other sites. The views expressed on this site are those of the individual writers and commentators, and not necessarily those of New Canadian Media. Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved