Atkinson researcher finds the immigrant’s dream isn’t working now

Tony Fang can hang hard numbers onto a decade of "brain surgeons driving taxis" stories and they prove, he says, that the immigrant dream doesn’t work anymore, wrote the Toronto Star Oct. 24. Fang, a professor of human resources management in York’s Atkinson School of Administrative Studies, recently unveiled his evidence to CERIS – The Ontario Metropolis Centre, an Ontario migration research think-tank. It used to be, he said, immigrants would work hard and do well. "It isn’t working anymore."

The points system heavily weights education in choosing newcomers. Yet 51 per cent of new immigrants are in jobs they are over-educated for, nearly double the proportion of Canadian-born workers, but they earn $3 an hour less, Fang found.

The gap isn’t closing the way it did for people who emigrated in the 1970s. His research does find positives: immigrants with Canadian experience earn more than Canadian-born workers; immigrants who use the Internet to find jobs earn more than Canadian-born workers.

The Conservative government’s recent changes to the immigration system are supposed to tie migration more closely to job skills, by hand-picking skilled new permanent residents, letting higher-skilled temporary workers with Canadian experience apply to stay permanently and increasing the number of temporary foreign workers. How it will work has yet to be disclosed. "That doesn’t deal with the people already in the system," says Fang. "We’re bringing in hundreds of thousands of people every year."

Independent commission can’t be a cat’s paw

The resignation of Justice Harry LaForme (LLB ’77) as chair of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission is unfortunate and will cost the commission valuable time as a replacement is recruited and appointed, wrote The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon, Sask.) Oct. 24. However, it’s difficult to assign blame for the sad set of circumstances that sent the commission off the rails.

LaForme is a member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation in Ontario. He attended York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and was admitted to the Ontario bar in 1979. He later served as commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario and was appointed the chief commissioner of the Indian Specific Claims Commission on aboriginal land claims.

Instead of having the time to develop a strategy and policies, LaForme took over the controls of a commission that was already in full flight. It became apparent early on that he would not compromise the independence of the commission.

Mural project in Parkdale is led by a York grad and students

The Revue Cinema hosts a public event that’s been christened Painting Parkdale’s Stories, a free and public event to help promote the Roncesvalles Top to Bottom Mural Project, wrote the Bloor West Villager Oct. 23. As part of the second phase, students from York University‘s Community Arts Practice Certificate program will mentor local youth from various high schools to create murals. "The students will learn the process of creating art, identifying spaces and applying for grants," said York grad Teresa Emmanuel (MSW ’00), who spearheaded the project early this past summer with the intention of beautifying the neighbourhood, while ridding it of graffiti. "It’s a collaborative process," Emmanuel said. "It illustrates the diversity of the community and helps build links between community groups.” The event at the Revue has been organized in the hopes of inspiring people to get involved.

Competition opens up

The Financial Post MBA Portfolio Management Competition is back for a fourth go around, and this year’s edition has a brand new look, wrote the National Post Oct. 24. This time, students from 16 of Canada’s top MBA programs will be flaunting their investing chops in conjunction with the Stock Challenge contest that began in September. Not only will teams be vying for bragging rights among their MBA peers, they can also find out how they stack up to some of the country’s top investors and traders, said the Post. Its team list included:

Schulich School of Business at York University
Team members: Jennifer Lau, Steve Cocchetto, Dhammika Talwatte, Tonino Orsi, Shruti Madhukar, Chris Pileggi, Ronald Ruslim, Raj Mody, Mandeep Singh Bedi, Sasha Kaplun, Justin Yang, Ponram Gopalakrishnan, Hussain Jaffer, Andrei Poliakov, Hakim Benaissa, Viktor Dmitrievich Vorobiev.
Current portfolio value $99,452.67

On the case with Inspector Banks

It seems only fair to wonder about the future plans of Canada’s Peter Robinson (PhD ’84), whose Inspector Banks novels are among the best detective fiction in the world, wrote the Edmonton Journal Oct. 24. Robinson took his PhD in English in York University’s Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Robinson has penned 18 Insp. Banks novels over 21 years, starting with Gallows View in 1987, which introduced Banks as 36-year-old police detective with a wife and children, and continuing to the latest in the series, All the Colours of Darkness.

Reached at his home in Toronto, Robinson, 58, says he’s already working on the 19th Banks novel and still sees no end in sight. "I don’t make plans, even for each particular book, so I’m never quite sure what’s going to happen next," Robinson said. "But the next one will be Banks, the one after will probably not be. I do have an idea for a non-series book."