Maytree News Headlines – October 27, 2010



Seniors, health, Internet and immigration changing face of grocery buying (Winnipeg Free Press)
The Canadian grocery business is undergoing major changes to meet the challenges of immigration, aging, new technology and health issues. During a conference Monday and Tuesday, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers heard from leaders in the industry. Serving the needs of an aging population is one of the top issues facing grocers, says John Scott, president of CFIG, a non-profit trade association founded in 1962 and representing independent, franchised and specialty grocers across the country.


Achieving Equity in Education: What Can Schools Do? (Canadian Education Association blog)
We’ve noted the different patterns of achievement for different students for over 40 years. Poverty, ethnicity, race and gender may be correlated with lower achievement but they are not the causes of lower achievement. We know much more about how people learn and about what good teaching entails yet equitable outcomes for all students remains an elusive goal.


Atlantic Canada’s incredible shrinking population (New Brunswick Business Journal)
There is an unprecedented demographic shift happening in the region. In the early 1970s, the population was growing at a fairly strong rate driven by natural population increases, net in-migration and at least a limited level of immigration. Then something happened. First, the limited immigration to Atlantic Canada mostly dried up (particularly as a share of national immigration)… Second, net in-migration into Atlantic Canada turned to net out-migration… The regional demographic mix in Canada is diverging. The population of Atlantic Canada is comparatively old, white and declining. The population of the rest of Canada – particularly the large urban centres – is younger, multicultural and growing rapidly.


Number of Filipinos in Canada on the uptick (ABS CBN News)
The number of Filipinos entering in Canada annually rose to a 10-year high in 2008, and over a hundred thousand Filipinos have become Canadian citizens already in that same ten-year period. Data from statistics agencies of countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showed that some 23,700 Filipinos entered Canada in 2008 compared to some 9,200 who entered the North American country in 1999.


2010 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada — Chapter 3—Service Delivery (includes CIC)
We found that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has few service standards, and these were recently developed… Considering that the Department provides more than 35 different services, this set of standards is very limited (Exhibit 3.1 – Citizenship and Immigration Canada has service targets for only 4 of its more than 35 services). There are no standards for some major services provided by the Department—for example, the Citizenship Program. Without a complete set of service standards, the Department cannot comprehensively evaluate its service performance and may not be able to ensure a consistent level of service to its clients.




The peril of refugees (Peter Showler – Ottawa Citizen)
It’s wrong to create a new class of refugees… Bill C-49, the government’s new act to deter human smuggling, has two different targets: the smugglers and the people being smuggled. The bill proposes some reasonable measures to punish and deter smugglers, although the prospects for successful deterrence are limited since international smuggling operations operate far beyond Canadian shores. The real punishment will be handed out to refugees who arrive in groups even if they have a legitimate need for protection. Read stories of two similar refugees that will have very different outcomes.


Tory refugee bill would have rejected Einstein (The Province)
Albert Einstein, an asylum seeker in the United States, would have been categorized as a “queue jumper” by the Harper government. After all, he did not attempt to obtain proper exit documents from Nazi Germany nor an entry visa to the U.S. And he was dependent upon a smuggler. When Germany’s new chancellor, Adolf Hitler, came to power, Einstein was compelled to seek refuge in the U.S. After his books were burned and the law was passed barring Jews from teaching at universities, Einstein learned that a $5,000 bounty had been placed on his head. Einstein had no options open to him to secure proper legal travel documents. Rather, Einstein fled clandestinely to Albania in 1935, where he was given what Canadians would call a “false passport” which allowed him to travel to and seek refuge in the U.S.


Tougher Measures On Human Smuggling Are Necessary (Canada’s Centre for Immigration Policy Reform)
The President of Canada’s Centre for Immigration Policy Reform, Margret Kopala, stated today that the proposed legislation announced by the Government to deal with human smugglers  constitutes an improvement, but may well prove ineffective in dealing with the majority of problematic asylum seekers, including those arriving by air.


Critics don’t want refugee system fixed (Toronto Sun)
Anyone who has reported on Canada’s refugee system over the years inevitably comes to one, inescapable conclusion. That is that for decades, Canadian governments of all political stripes have acknowledged the system is broken and have repeatedly pledged to take any and all necessary steps to fix it. Short of doing anything. Yes, you read that right. Given the predictable hysteria from Canada’s powerful immigration lobby that current Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews are encountering while trying to take some baby steps to address the problems, it’s not hard to see why.


Getting tough on human smuggling (James Bissett in Ottawa Citizen)
We are hearing the outcries from members of the powerful refugee lobby that the new legislation is a blow to Canada’s humanitarian tradition. This is nonsense. The refugee lobby has played a dominant role in shaping refugee policy and as a result the system has been sadly degraded. Unfortunately, our politicians seem only to listen to this self-serving group. The lobby consists of immigration lawyers, immigration consultants, the Canadian Council of Refugees, the Canadian Council of Churches, Amnesty International and a host of advocacy groups and NGOs — many of these receive millions of dollars of taxpayer money each year to help asylum seekers. The lobby has resisted every attempt to reform the system.


Would anti-smuggling law target humanitarians? (CTV)
Refugee advocates are worried that a new law to curb human smuggling could hurt their efforts to help refugees abroad. Humanitarian organizations who act quickly to help move refugees out of danger could fall into the definition of human smugglers, according to Amnesty International. “There is a concern that people who are assisting others to move for humanitarian reasons could find themselves unknowingly prosecuted under this law,” said Amnesty’s Gloria Nafziger.


Cities of migration: what works to integrate urban migrants? (Open Democracy, with links to the Cities of Migration site)
Mayor John DeStefano led a ground-breaking initiative in the city of New Haven, Connecticut, to create a city identity card for its residents regardless of their citizenship status. In 2007, the Elm City Resident Card  (Elm City being the nickname for New Haven) became a way for undocumented immigrant residents to access financial and government services, without fear of being exposed as ‘illegals’, and for the city to deal with a number of public safety and integration challenges. Latino migrants in the city became targeted for theft as ‘walking atms’ because, without access to financial services, on payday they would carry home large sums of money… The actions of Mayor DeStefano and New Haven City Council serve to illustrate that the lived reality of settlement and integration is local… So, what can the UK learn from international cities in terms of migrant integration? …The experience of settlement and integration are felt locally, therefore it seems reasonable and justifiable to let cities take the lead on shaping their own communities. Ideally cities will seize on the opportunity to plan for long-term integration strategies that take in account the real needs of the community. In New Haven, undocumented migrants were not going to disappear and thus they enacted policy that recognised them as residents. While those working in social justice will hope that cities will use their constricted budgets as an opportunity to be creative, it is imperative that we hold local government to account in commitments on social inclusion and tackling inequalities.


Integration: a two way process (Open Democracy, with links to the Cities of Migration site)
Most people would agree that migrants should be equipped with the necessary skills and know-how that will enable them to succeed in the new place of residence, and there are multiple examples of initiatives that try to do just that. At the beginning of October a group of practitioners got together in the Cities of Migration  conference at The Hague to share their practical experiences of integration projects in cities throughout the world. They were very conscious that national governments design immigration rules, but that integration is a process that happens at the local level, mostly in cities. There were some great examples of initiatives that aid integration, ranging from projects that help migrants to find employment that reflects their skills to inclusive planning application processes for Mosques which led to community support for their construction. However, integration is not just about giving migrants the tools to be able to succeed and fit in the new society, but also about removing the barriers that stop them from doing so. These barriers are multiple and can include language barriers, racial or cultural discrimination and restrictions arising from immigration rules. Unfortunately, in the current context, at the same time that many worthy initiatives help migrants in their process of integration, tightened immigration rules mean that many migrants and asylum seekers face increased barriers to this process.





Organization seeks nominations of diverse employers for Immigrant Success Awards (Yonge Street Media)
Zabeen Hirji, the chief human resources officer of RBC, says that those companies whose employees reflect the diversity of Canada see an advantage in the market. “The more employers tap the full range of capabilities of our workforce — to innovate and adapt, develop new markets and foster new relationships — the more competitive Canada will be in the global economy and the more prosperous we will be at home.” That’s why, Hirji says, RBC has been proud to sponsor the Immigrant Success Awards for its five years in operation.






Is Rob Ford the real candidate of inclusiveness? (National Post)
You only had to walk through Mr. Ford’s victory party last night to see how the city’s electoral allegiances are changing.  The crowd was a representative mix, ethnically speaking, of the city the new Mayor is now to govern.  Turbaned Sikhs partied with Chinese families.  Black kids and white kids chased each other around the tables.  Jews, Muslims, and Christians cheered and applauded Mr. Ford’s speech. This should not come as a surprise; an EKOS poll published two days before the vote gave Mr. Ford 51.7 % of the vote of respondents born outside of Canada, compared to only 30.1 % for Mr. Smitherman.  This, despite statements made by the Etobicoke Councillor about Toronto’s difficulty in absorbing more newcomers, which were characterized as anti-immigrant by his rivals. Indeed, throughout this campaign, Mr. Ford’s chief opponent, former provincial Liberal cabinet minister George Smitherman, repeatedly claimed that he was the candidate who embraced diversity.  But it didn’t return the favour.  That’s because Mr. Smitherman’s definition of diversity is actually quite narrow.  It is shared by people who, like him, believe in the ideals of feel-good multiculturalism, but don’t live the reality of immigrant life.


Toronto’s angry (non-white) voters (National Post)
Mr. Ford’s victory represents more than just a backlash against busybody government and big spending: It represents a potential right-turn in the voting patterns of Canada’s immigrant communities… True inclusiveness for immigrants in Toronto — and everywhere in Canada–means getting a good job so children can enjoy a higher standard of living than their parents. Participating in society is not achieved through parades or earnest bus shelter posters (a staple of urban Toronto), but by climbing the economic ladder. And that means electing politicians, at all levels of government, who will create an atmosphere where business can flourish and create jobs, and where the taxpayers’ interests come before those of big labour and special interests.


Op Ed: Being Disenfranchised Sucks (CCLA)
We seriously need to question the implications of the citizenship requirement. Maybe I’m less creative than I might be, but I can’t imagine what the policy concerns might be.  Local political blogger PolicyFrog notes, pretty reasonably, that: “Municipals councils and school boards aren’t dealing with matters of national defence or foreign diplomacy. So what “risk” would it pose to allow immigrant residents — who live in the same neighbourhoods, pay the same taxes, drive the same streets, ride the same buses, send their kids to the same schools — the power to have some say over how their new communities are governed?” The point is well taken.






Anti-poverty fighters still have lots to do (Telegraph-Journal)
Gary Lawson absolutely brimmed with optimism as he glanced at the business heavyweights gathered around the table at the inaugural meeting of Saint John’s Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative (BCAPI) 13 years ago. “I thought, ‘We’re going to make a big difference in a big hurry with all these bright minds gathered around the table,’ ” Lawson says, chuckling. “What monstrous naiveté.”


More Help For Low-income Nova Scotians (Canada Views)
Thousands of low-income Nova Scotians who rely on government help to make ends meet will soon find it easier to regain their independence and pay for family priorities. The province is making changes to the Employment Support and Income Assistance Program to help make life better for Nova Scotians in every region… Improvements will help ensure people are not denied benefits because of decisions made in the best interests of their families. For example, shelter benefits will not be reduced when a youth turns 19, if the youth is a college or university student living at home. As well, people on income assistance, who move in with a partner, will keep a substantial portion of their benefits for the first year of the relationship.


Presentation: Toronto – segregated by income, housing and health; issues and options (Wellesley Institute)
Toronto is an increasingly segregated city – by income, by housing and by health. Michael Shapcott’s presentation to a health policy class at York University today sets out the issues and pragmatic solutions.






Human trafficking charge a rare one, lawyer says (Waterloo Record)
A Kitchener man facing a rare charge of human trafficking is denying the allegation, says his lawyer. Sean Butler, 41, was charged this week with human trafficking and forcible confinement after police say a woman was lured to an apartment and violently sexually assaulted over a 24-hour period. This is the first charge of human trafficking Waterloo Regional Police have laid.


Two more alleged human traffickers turn themselves in (Hamilton Spectator)
Two more accuseds in an alleged human trafficking ring that recruits “modern slaves” from Hungary to work forced-labour in Hamilton have turned themselves in to police… They face charges of human trafficking and fraud related to the alleged ring. The RCMP has 19 alleged victims and counting.–two-more-alleged-human-traffickers-turn-themselves-in






The Philanthropist Vol 23, No 3 (2010) – Focus on Social Innovation
In this issue of The Philanthropist, we explore the concept of social innovation and the ways people are putting it into practice in Canada. While there may not be general agreement on a formal definition of social innovation, in conversations people talk about big change, taking the work to the next level, systems change, and transformation. They agree that social innovation involves deep reflection on the mission of organizations, collaboration, risk taking, working with new partners, and new ways of financing the work. So the term social innovation becomes a way of talking about how to have more impact in addressing big social and environmental issues. We hope this issue will expand those conversations.


A few articles of interest:


Patterns, Principles, and Practices in Social Innovation (The Philanthropist)
Examining how social innovation opens up new approaches to addressing complex problems, this article looks at some of the complex issues and related social innovation, including demographic problems; technology-enabled social innovation and how it has restructured work and expanded human intelligence; how conflict has been reframed as collaboration; and new types of volunteering. The article concludes with a review of some of the new social innovation tools and processes.


Reflections on Social Innovation  (The Philanthropist)
This article argues that social innovation is indeed “real,” that it is both old and new, but that it is different now from what it was in the past and that changing social and economic realities mean that social innovation is even more important today as we seek to address societal problems that are ever-more complex and urgent. The article makes a few suggests as to actions the Canadian government could take to show leadership in social innovation and encourages new ways of acting and working together to maximize social innovation’s potential.


A Kaleidoscope of Innovation: Designing Community Impact in the Waterloo Region (The Philanthropist)
A new era of deep and widespread change across organizational sec- tors is developing as a result of increased cultural diversity, turbulent global economies, complex technologies, growing generational divides in the workforce, and broad changes in organizational structures and cultures. Dramatic shifts in the economic landscape are challenging the community sector2 to adapt and find new ways to respond. The status quo is not okay. This article examines the issues and challenges around social innovation, focusing on the Waterloo Region.


Re: Point/Counterpoint on Social Enterprise Missed the Point  (The Philanthropist)
The question that we ought to be asking at the intersection of social enterprise and public policy is not just whether charity law needs to be rewritten, but also how government at all levels can support and enable those Canadians who have taken it upon themselves to serve the public good through a combination of commercial, not-for-profit, and charitable activities.






Study finds Nova Scotia’s non-profit sector highly educated, poorly paid (Cape Breton Post)
Conducted for the Federation of Community Organizations and Phoenix Youth Programs, the study found that 75 per cent of provincial non-profit employees have at least one university degree, compared to 45 per cent nationally. While the workforce is better educated than the national average, salaries are noticably lower. And despite education levels, the non-profit sector is among the lowest paid in the province.,-poorly-paid/1


November 22: 3rd Annual Howard Adelman Lecture (via CLEONet)
The York University Centre for Refugee Studies presents the 3rd Annual Howard Adelman Lecture, featuring Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, on the topic: A View From Guantanamo Bay: Omar Khadr, Citizenship and Canada’s Commitment to Human Rights.


CCLA October e-bulletin (Canadian Civil Liberties Association)
In this bulletin:
2010 RightsWatch Conference – conférence Pro Bono
A Minimalist Right To A Lawyer – Une approche minimaliste au droit à l’avocat
SLAPP Lawsuits On The Rise – les poursuites-baîllons en hausse
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Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

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