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Cablegate: Canada: Experience Engaging Diaspora Communities

VZCZCXRO6330
PP RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHMT RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #0720/01 2581957
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151957Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9851
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 000720

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAN, S/GPI - M. WALKER, AND S/P

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL SMIG SCUL EAID TSPL BTIO BEXP
EINV, OEXC, OIIP, CA
SUBJECT: CANADA: EXPERIENCE ENGAGING DIASPORA COMMUNITIES

REF: A. STATE 86401
B. OTTAWA 639
C. OTTAWA 596
D. OTTAWA 501
E. OTTAWA 260
F. TORONTO 200
G. TORONTO 149
H. TORONTO 93
I. TORONTO 86
J. TORONTO 84
K. TORONTO 52
L. TORONTO 40
M. TORONTO 6
N. VANCOUVER 196

1. (U) Like the United States, Canada is a nation of
immigrants. Immigrants make up twenty percent of the overall
population in Canada, according to the most recent census
data (2006). The largest Diaspora in Canada is from the
United Kingdom (579,620) followed by China (466,940), India
(443,690), the Philippines (303,195), Italy (296,850), U.S.
(250,535), and Hong Kong SAR (215,430). Sri Lankans,
Jamaicans, Pakistanis, Iranians, and Vietnamese also make up
large immigrant populations of around 100,000 people each.
Since 2001, the largest amount of immigrants have come from
China (155,105), India (129,140), the Philippines (77,880),
Pakistan (57,630), and the U.S. (38,770), with other large
communities from Iran (27,600), Colombia (25,305), Sri Lanka
(22,305), Mexico (16,520), Afghanistan (16,240), Algeria
(16,235), and Lebanon (11,355). Canada accepts about 250,000
immigrants each year, and the "wooing of new Canadians" is
now an important part of Canadian politics (ref e). Toronto
is the most diverse city in Canada, with 47% of residents
foreign-born (ref l).

2. (U) The most publicly active Diaspora communities in
Canada during 2008 and 2009 have been Iranians and Sri
Lankans. Supporters of the Tamil Tigers have engaged in
public protests throughout Canada to generate public
awareness for their cause (refs i, j, and k). Iranians came
out in force during the disputed elections in their homeland
(ref d).

3. (U) Embassy Ottawa has compiled an extensive list of
Diaspora organizations in Ontario, including the following:

Canadian Friends of Burma
Afghan Women's Organization
Afghan Association of Ontario
Armenian National Committee of Canada
Belarusan Canadian Coordination Committee
Canadian Jewish Congress
B'Nai Brith Canada
Ottawa Kurdish Community Association
Canadian Arab Federation
Council on American-Islamic Relations (Canada)
Canadian Islamic Congress
Canadian Tibetan Association
Algerian Cultural Centre
Committee for Democracy and Justice in Cambodia
Chinese Canadian National Council
Tamil Canadian Congress
Cypriot Federation of Canada
Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations
Latvian National Federation of Canada
Lebanese and Arab Social Services Agency of Ottawa--Carleton
National Council of Barbaidan Associations in Canada
National Council of Jamaicans in Canada
Portuguese Canadian National Congress
General Group of Canadian Senegalese
Serbian National Shield Society of Canada
Slovak Canadian National Council
Vietnamese Canadian Federation
World Sikh Organization
Canadian Palestinian Foundation
Canadian Friends of Somalia
Canadian Friends of Sudan

4. (U) Following responses are keyed to ref a questions:

A) Diasporans listed above form identifiable communities and
networks, including on-line;

B) Diasporan communities in Canada focus mainly on kinship
but also serve as important sources for community, social
services, educational, and remittances assistance;

C) The Canadian government has engaged in extensive Diaspora
outreach, in particular to support its involvement in both
Haiti and Afghanistan;

OTTAWA 00000720 002 OF 002

D) N/A

E). N/A

F). N/A

G). N/A

H) The Canadian Friends of Somalia, Sudan, and Burma are
leading Diaspora organizations geared toward
democracy-promotion in their homelands;

I) The Canadian government provides extensive funding to
Diaspora groups, including budgetary support and grants for
conferences and seminars;

J). The Embassy has extensive, on-going contact with all
three organizations in response H and their executive
directors.


5. (U) Embassy points of contact for Diaspora issues are:

Kurt van der Walde, Deputy Political Counselor
Emily Fertik, Human Rights Officer

Visit Canada,s North American partnership community at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /

BREESE

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