Maytree News Headlines – October 28, 2010

IMMIGRATION/SETTLEMENT/DIVERSITY

Federal government slashes funds for Ontario’s newcomers (South Asian Generation Next)
The federal government will be cutting $50 million in 2011 and $59 million in 2012 from settlement agencies across Canada. Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Dr. Eric Hoskins is “devastated” at the federal government’s “unilateral decision” to cut funds from the settlement organizations that provide necessary support to “our newcomers.” The news comes “at the worst possible time coming out of the economic downturn,” Minister Hoskins said to Generation Next.
http://www.sagennext.com/2010/10/27/federal-government-slashes-funds-for-ontario%E2%80%99s-newcomers/

Adult ESL students celebrate diversity (Hamilton Spectator)
It’s a change from eight years ago when the big influx consisted of Somalis according to Bob Goodwin, principal of St. Charles Adult Education Centres. The Somali numbers have slowed down while the surge of Iraqi students, many of them Kurdish, started about five to seven years ago after the start of the second Gulf War. Now, the major inflow is from South and Central America, primarily Colombia, followed by Mexico and El Salvador, he said. The third largest group is from east Asia, primarily China and South Korea.
http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/271446–adult-esl-students-celebrate-diversity

Multiculturalism has been Canada’s solution, not its problem (Globe and Mail)
Have Canada’s past practices and policies hurt attempts to forge common citizenship out of diversity? Absolutely not. Consider how many immigrants become citizens. The least multicultural countries count the lowest levels of citizenship; the moderate multicultural countries have somewhat more. In comparison, an overwhelming majority of immigrants proudly take up citizenship in Canada and Australia, the two countries that went furthest in the multicultural experiment.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/multiculturalism-has-been-canadas-solution-not-its-problem/article1775471/

Citizenship (CBC Metromorning)
Matt galloway spoke with Gilian Hewitt Smith. She is the CEO of Institute for Canadian Citizenship.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/2010/10/citizenship.html

Thorncliffe Students on Citizenship (CBC Metromorning)
Mary Wiens listened in as three Grade 5’s coached their classmate, Mansoor Niazi about getting ready for the big day, and what it means to be a citizen.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/2010/10/thorncliffe-students-on-citizenship.html

Toronto schools break new ground in studying black culture in Canada (Sway)
Since the first African studies program in Canada was launched in 1969 at McGill University, the field has flourished among Canadian post-secondary institutions. Early on, the focus was on studying African history and the experiences of African-Americans and African-Canadians in post-slavery society. Today, these programs have taken a multidisciplinary approach that blends social sciences, science and the arts. “Ten to 15 years ago, I wouldn’t have thought that we would be getting the funding for the type of scholarship we are doing now,” says Professor Paul Lovejoy, director of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research at York University.
http://swaymag.ca/2010/10/toronto-schools-break-new-ground-in-studying-black-culture-in-canada/

REFUGEES

New refugee legislation misses the mark (Toronto Star)
Last week the Conservative government introduced its legislation to “crack down” on human smugglers. Given the balanced approach in the recently passed refugee reform bill, we had reason to hope that the government would present a fair package. Unfortunately, the Prevent Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act misses the mark. Instead of focusing on the real problem — the human smugglers who exploit people for a profit — it directs the reprisals at their victims — the refugees fleeing persecution. The only aspect of the legislation that actually deals directly with human smugglers is the provision that introduces mandatory minimum sentences. While this might appear to be a tough response, studies have shown that mandatory minimums are not effective in deterring criminal activity.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/882104–new-refugee-legislation-misses-the-mark

Human Trafficking versus Human Smuggling (Vancouver Sun)
The distinctions between human smuggling and human trafficking are often blurred. Sometimes out of ignorance. Sometimes for political reasons. However, separate happenings on Parliament HIll on Wednesday addressed the differences.
http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/politics/archive/2010/10/27/human-trafficking-versus-human-smuggling.aspx

Immigration Support Being Threatened by Fake Refugees, Says Kenney (Epoch Times)
While the Conservatives say these numbers point to a dangerous trend that could undermine popular support for immigration, the Liberals say that if that’s happening, it is the Conservatives’ own doing… The Conservatives have gotten support for the bill from the Centre for Immigration Reform, a group that says Canada desperately needs to review its immigration policy to ensure the people coming here can succeed and Canada can absorb the new arrivals… The government has previously stated that every failed refugee claimant costs Canada approximately $50,000. Bissett extrapolates that based on that figure and the numbers of rejected refugees, the total cost to Canada is more than the total funding for the entire United Nations refugee program, which spends $2.1 billion to care for 43 million refugees annually.“It is costing the Canadian taxpayer, I would estimate $2 to $3 billion dollars a year,” he says of dealing with fake refugee claimants.
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/44973/

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Mentoring supports skilled immigrants (Calgary Herald)
Through the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council’s (CRIEC) mentoring program, with support from United Way’s Shell Immigrant Employment Project, Luz Ka was introduced to Rebecca Watson, Manager of People Services, North America, for SMART Technologies… CRIEC started the program to help Calgary employers access the skilled and experienced employees they need, while at the same time helping skilled immigrants acquire the tools necessary to secure employment in their work field. Rebecca says it is a great opportunity for both participants.
http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/Mentoring+supports+skilled+immigrants/3739063/story.html

The Big Wait: A Film About The Doctor Shortage in Canada (via Integration-Net)
The Big Wait focuses on three foreign-trained doctors who are waiting to get accredited and on the rural communities who are waiting for them.
http://www.thebigwait.com/

CITY OF TORONTO/CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Diverse Council? (CBC Metromorning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Alejandra Bravo, she is the manager of Leadership and Learning at the Maytree Foundation External Site, and with John Campey. He is the Executive Director of the not-for-profit organisation, Social Planning Toronto.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/2010/10/diverse-council.html

Not So Surprising results of Municipal Elections 2010 (South Asian Generation Next)
Results for municipal elections 2010 are out. The biggest surprise of the election eve was the victory of Mr. Rob Ford, Toronto’s Mayor-elect by more than 93,000 votes. What was not so surprising was the victory of only one South Asian, Harinder Malhi. Harinder ran for a position of public school aboard trustee in Wards 9 and 10 of Brampton. Councillor Vic Dhillon was re-elected with more than 55% votes in Wards 9 and 10 of Brampton. Councillor Max Khan won by more than 55 per cent votes from Oakville. Councillor Logan Kanapthi has also been re-elected with ease. With over 125 South Asian candidates in the GTA, only 4 have been elected. And Generation Next’s last edition’s cover had already reflected that if we don’t unite as a South Asian community, there is no hope for South Asian leadership in City Halls and Town Halls of the GTA. We must sit and ponder why.
http://www.sagennext.com/2010/10/27/not-so-surprising-results-of-municipal-elections-2010/

Spotlighting urban issues (Telegraph Journal)
A new institute is in the works at UNBSJ that could have far-reaching effects on the way urban communities deal with pressing issues such as changing demographics, poverty and education. The Urban and Community Studies Institute will be located in Beaverbrook House in uptown Saint John and, in addition to research surrounding persistent urban issues specific to Saint John, will deliver a range of public outreach activities, including public lectures, workshops and conferences… "We can offer comments on what’s happening in Saint John – the immigration strategies that are under way and poverty initiatives." Other topics could include urban governance, heritage planning, waterfront development, community social and economic planning, inner-city revitalization and economic development.
http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/city/article/1282198

Optimism grows over Ford’s election (National Post)
Some of my downtown friends joke they are buying sandbags to hunker down and wait out the Ford years at City Hall. Others announce they are “going out to buy latte because we still can.” Mary-Margaret McMahon, the councillor-elect in Beaches-East York, conceded to me that “people are petrified,” about Mayor Rob Ford. Columnist Kelly McParland had great sport in these pages yesterday, poking fun at the plight of downtowners at the dawn of the Reign of Ford, noting, “for Toronto’s urban sophisticates, it was a wipeout. Total repudiation.” Yesterday I pedaled over to Kensington Market, epicentre of operations for besieged sophisticates, to eat a blackened B.C. snapper on a kaiser and gauge the mood. Lo and behold, people are optimistic — even calling Mr. Ford’s election an opportunity
http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/10/27/optimism-grows-over-fords-election

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

New Report on Child Poverty in Ontario (Health Nexus)
Best Start Resource Centre is pleased to release of a new report for service providers on child poverty. It is titled “I’m Still Hungry” Child and Family Poverty in Ontario. This practical guide includes a review of the realities of child poverty and promising responses. There are sections on how poverty is defined, child poverty statistics, pathways to poverty, consequences of child poverty, voices of parents living in poverty, suggestions from service providers who address child poverty, improving services, reducing the impact of child poverty, reducing the rate of child poverty, policy recommendations, and caring for staff.
http://www.blogs.healthnexussante.ca/?p=1254

Maps help fight against child abuse (Montreal Gazette)
In a step toward crime prediction that may seem ripped from a science fiction film -think Tom Cruise in Minority Report -a Quebec professor has created maps that indicate specific areas likely to harbour child abusers… "We’re not saying that just because you’re poor, you’re a likely child abuser," Carriere said. But if you live in an area with several or many risk factors the chances increase sharply. "It increases exponentially," he said. Recent immigrants to Canada who don’t speak or read much English or French are not in themselves more likely to be abusers, he noted. But language barriers could lead to missing messages to meet with a teacher or guidance counsellor about their child and eventually to discord in the home. This is why statistics on a given area’s recent immigrants are important as one of many factors indicating possible child abuse risk levels, he said.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Maps+help+fight+against+child+abuse/3737619/story.html

Lessons in poverty help expand minds (Straight.com)
The author of a new online teaching resource about homelessness says she hopes the guide finds its way into high-school classrooms throughout B.C. “My main hope is that teachers use it and that students learn something from it, and perhaps it will shift some attitudes to understanding that we all have a role as citizens to contribute to making our society a better place for everyone,” said Jennifer Hales, a Vancouver-based educational consultant and former teacher. Released in early October, Learning About Homelessness in British Columbia was created by Hales and SFU economics professor Krishna Pendakur.
http://www.straight.com/article-354701/vancouver/lessons-poverty-help-expand-minds
Teaching resource – http://www.sfu.ca/~pendakur/teaching/homelessness/

HUMAN TRAFFICKING/MODERN-DAY SLAVERY

MP targets human trafficking (Winnipeg Free Press)
Manitoba Conservative MP Joy Smith is applying pressure to get her government and the provinces to adopt a national strategy to combat human trafficking. Smith said Canadians have ignored human trafficking for too long. "Canadians have always thought this happens in another country," she said. "They are wrong. Our country needs a national action plan and we need it now." She said it’s time for governments to develop a common plan that includes more investigations and prosecutions, better victims’ services, increased awareness campaigns and an attack on the demand for prostitution by criminalizing the purchase of sexual services. Those are the elements of Connecting the Dots, a plan Smith unveiled last month. It was developed with the guidance of B.C. law professor Benjamin Perrin, a human trafficking expert who recently wrote a book on the issue in Canada. On Wednesday, the plan received the backing of more than 20 national and local agencies, including the Canadian Police Association, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Beyond Borders. Perrin said human trafficking — the recruitment and transportation of people for the purpose of exploitation — is "all about the money."
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/mp-targets-human-trafficking-105988823.html

Strip clubs address human trafficking (Toronto Sun)
Toronto-area strip club operators say they’re being good citizens with a plan to air public service warnings about the perils of human trafficking. Members of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada will vote on Nov. 18 on whether to go ahead with a public awareness campaign at their 18 Toronto strip clubs. The association decided to go on the offensive following a campaign against human trafficking that was launched Sept. 7 by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and the RCMP.
http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/10/27/15856056.html

Activists call for greater efforts on human trafficking (Toronto Sun)
A coalition of activists, police, aboriginal leaders and an MP called for a national strategy to combat human trafficking. The federal government recently unveiled an awareness campaign called Code Blue aimed at raising awareness of the problem. But while the activists applaud that move, they say making the public aware of problem is only part of the solution: There must also be more done to help vicitims. Conservative MP Joy Smith pointed to arrests since the start of October in Toronto, Hamilton, Ont., Kitchener, Ont, Milton, Ont., Burnaby, B.C., to prove that the problem is real. Victims included Canadians and foreigners smuggled into the country for forced labour or as forced prostitutes.
http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/10/27/15855041.html

DIVERSECITY VOICES

‘I think we won this election,’ Ward 42 runner-up says (The Toronto Observer)
“I know a lot of people are sad today, but I think we won this election,” NEETHAN SHAN said in his concession speech. “Today we have shown that when people from different communities come together, we can mobilize and get support from all walks of life.”
http://www.torontoobserver.ca/2010/10/26/i-think-we-won-this-election-ward-42-runner-up-says/

Canada’s Largest Solar Rooftop, Case Study Part Four (Carbon49)
Written by DEREK WONG, a Toronto based climate change and sustainability consultant.
http://www.carbon49.com/2010/10/canada%E2%80%99s-largest-solar-rooftop-case-study-part-four/

Second time not the charm for Dhanani (The Toronto Observer)
Campaign worker IQBAL DEWJI called the candidate a “minority among minorities.” He considered Dhanani’s campaign to be “very reinforcing,” and one that appealed to people because he spoke about the “bigger picture” facing the ward. “He is a person that can actually reach out to those (under-represented) communities,” Dewji said.
http://www.torontoobserver.ca/2010/10/25/second-time-not-the-charm-for-dhanani/

Students chosen for Aboriginal Journalism pilot program (The First Perspective)
"We’re so pleased that this program is now a reality. It’s been in development for some time,” said DEREK LUIS, CEO of Canada’s National Screen Institute. “This is a groundbreaking initiative, training Aboriginal journalists to bring an authentic voice and cultural perspective to Canada’s media community.”
http://www.firstperspective.ca/index.php/releases/804-students-chosen-for-aboriginal-journalism-pilot-program

Leaked reports detail Iraqi civilian strife, torture (CTV)
Still, war historian SUNIL RAM pointed to the statistics and reports about civilian casualties as a significant trove of information. "I think the critical one is the rise in about 15,000 to 20,000 Iraqi casualties," he told CTV News Channel Friday evening. Ram based that number on previous reports from the group Iraq Body Count, who used press reports of killings as their main reporting tool.
http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20101022/wikileaks-europe-101022/

OTHER SOCIAL COMMENTARY

CCLA RightsWatch Conference videos available (CCLA)
The CCLA successfully held its second annual CCLA Rights Watch Conference on October 15th-16th 2010, in Toronto.
http://prism-magazine.com/prism-tv/

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marco

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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