News Headlines – October 26, 2010


Spaces of Migration | an exploration of the intersection of migration & urban planning
With a global migrant population of over 200 million people, international mobility of labor is one of the most significant contributing factors to both globalization and urbanization worldwide. Our research attempts to explore the local aspect of global migration: the places where migrants settle, form communities and networks, and establish economic and social spaces. This is where we share our thoughts, maps, interviews, articles and photography documenting the efforts of planners and architects to provide inclusive and sustainable physical environments for migrant communities. 

Doctor from Ghana voted a mayor in Slovenia (Globe and Mail)
A doctor from Ghana was voted in as mayor of a Slovenian city on Sunday, becoming the first black mayor in an eastern European country. Peter Bossman, 54, became mayor of the picturesque seaside city of Piran in the second round of local elections after beating the centre-right incumbent, according to preliminary results. “My victory shows a high level of democracy in Slovenia,” Dr. Bossman, who came to Slovenia from Ghana 33 years ago to study medicine, told Reuters. He is a member of the Social Democrats, the leading party in the centre-left government. 

Call for Proposals – National Metropolis Conference – Vancouver
Please note that the submission deadline for workshop proposals is November 1, 2010. The results of the adjudication process will be announced the week of January 7, 2011. 

World Citizen: Date of birth typo keeping man from his family (Toronto Star)
…the inability to prove a date of birth to the satisfaction of Canadian immigration authorities has separated a middle-aged man from his family for four years. At this point, he is ready to give up on ever seeing them again. This man can’t be identified, for the very reasons that prompted him to seek refuge in Canada. As a journalist in a West African country, his life was threatened because of his reporting on corruption. His home was ransacked by thugs while he was out of the country and his employer evacuated his wife and children to a neighbouring country to get them out of danger.–world-citizen-date-of-birth-typo-keeping-man-from-his-family 

ESL class wins poster contest (
The ESL classes at Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services mean so much to Lin Cheng and her fellow classmates they wanted to capture their feelings in a special poster. “When I just got here I could hardly communicate in English,” Cheng said, adding the school helped her improve her English skills and learn the customs of Canada. “At this school I really feel diversity and harmony.” Cheng is in the LINC 5/6 class at the school, which is located at Midland and McNicol avenues. She and 15 of her fellow students participated in the poster contest organized by Teachers of English as a Second Language of Ontario (TESL) to help raise awareness of ESL week (Oct. 24-30).–esl-class-wins-poster-contest 

Citizenship backlog tackled by new staff (CBC)
Dozens of extra immigration staff have been reassigned to process Canadian citizenship applications to help deal with delays. In recent years, the wait time for people applying to become citizens has gone from five to 19 months. All applications go through one office, in Sydney, N.S, and about 250 were working there. Jeannette Meunier-McKay, national president of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union, told CBC News on Monday her members were complaining about workload, and that they weren’t able to process applications on time. 

‘They should be listening to us’ (Open File)
Despite her deep civic commitment, Ali had no sway in the outcome of Monday’s municipal election. As a permanent resident not yet eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship, Ali can’t vote. It’s a disappointment, Ali said, because new immigrants are big consumers of local services. Libraries, community centres and schools are key to helping them integrate and adapt to their new society. Yet, without a vote, they have no say in how these services get delivered. “They should be listening to us,” said the 38-year-old mother of four children. She and her husband moved to Canada from Saudi Arabia, but they’re originally from India. “We are working and paying taxes. We deserve to be listened to.” More than 300,000 Toronto residents are believed to be in the same position; permanent residents and refugees who have settled in Canada for good but who haven’t cleared the final immigration hurdle. 

Diaspora Dialogues: THIS WEEK IN TORONTO – OCTOBER 25-31 (DD blog)
A summary of related events this week in Toronto. 


Minister Kenney on new legislation to prevent human smuggling (CTV POWER PLAY)
Conservative MP and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says that the new legislation to prevent human smuggling is necessary. Without the new laws, criminals would continue to import people in the most dangerous way possible for financial gains. 

Martin Collacott: Refugee act doesn’t go far enough (National Post)
Though many Canadians haven’t heard of the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act, it is an important piece of legislation. As the Act’s name makes clear, its principal target is human smuggling, a multi-billion dollar criminal industry. Though these syndicates operate worldwide, Canada is an especially popular destination for smuggled migrants — largely because of weaknesses in our refugee-determination system. Public attention recently has been focused on this issue, thanks to the arrival of two boatloads of Sri Lankan Tamil migrants — an operation that likely was organized by human smugglers, some of whom may have terrorist connections to the Tamil Tigers. The new bill takes aim at those who organize such operations. Under the Act, penalties for human smugglers, as well as ship owners and operators, would be greatly increased. The new legislation also would make it easier to prosecute them as criminals. 

Smuggling bill could curb abuses of immigration (Ottawa Citizen)
The proposed changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act aim to decrease human trafficking with new measures, including increased penalties. More significantly, Bill C-49 would expedite administrative decision-making in situations where the current law has proven inadequate, such as the MV Sun Sea incident. I appreciate the sincere efforts in this direction by the immigration minister for the general good of genuine refugees and Canada as a whole. 

Anti-smuggler law will help refugees (Vancouver Sun)
Tough anti-smuggling legislation aimed at stopping boats of illegal migrants from showing up on Canadian shores places the punishment where it belongs, on the smugglers… It’s a welcome crackdown on a crime most Canadians would agree is heinous. On the surface, the measures introduced by the Conservative government would even allow officials to go after those on the Canadian end of the smuggling network, while introducing disincentives for illegal migrants, such as putting them on a five-year probation under the act, forbidding them from leaving Canada or applying to sponsor their families to come to Canada. 

Conservatives’ Imperfect Anti-Smuggling Bill (Vancouver Sun)
The Harper Conservatives last Thursday issued their political response to the docking last August of the MV Sun Sea on Vancouver Island… They, of course, did not acknowledge the truth at their news conference, which is that the legislation likely will be ineffective and punish many legitimate refugees while creating a double standard for those arriving by sea versus those landing at airports. Penalties for the smugglers are being increased. But if you cannot catch the smugglers in the first place how effective will the increased penalties be? Canada does not have a good record of catching up with the slugs and snakeheads who engineer the illegal voyages across oceans. 



Spacing Toronto Tuesday Headlines
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to the Mayoral Race, City Council, GTA Elections and Other News. 

Record-setting turnout in Monday’s election (Globe and Mail)
Toronto voters turned out in record-setting numbers Monday. Voter turnout topped 52 per cent with all but six of the city’s 1,840 polls counted late Monday night – a higher proportion than in any election since the city was amalgamated, when just over 50 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot.

So, Rob Ford is Mayor! What do we do now? (CSI blog)
So, Rob Ford is Mayor. I’ve been sitting on Facebook (my social media of choice) and watching the pain, fear and sadness descend on my friends and colleagues. There is shock that this happened? How could it? What does this mean? Who did this to us? But, they hate us gay, Chinese, cycling, latte drinking intelligentsia? Should I move? DON’T MOVE!  CREATE SOLUTIONS! Ever the optimist, I have been thinking about what this means for us? For democracy. For electoral politics. For the Centre for Social Innovation. For us – the citizens of Toronto… A part of me is super excited about what we can do and create together now. Just think about how powerful Rob Ford is as a magnetic attractor – think of the energy that he will galvanize. Think of the conversations and collaborations that we will be forced to have. And most importantly, think of the urgency that this deficit of progressive leadership will mean for new leadership to emerge. It will be up to us as citizens to create new solutions. It is up to us to engage and understand all perspectives. It is up to us to build solutions that transcend left-right politics.


Ottawa on anti-poverty: Pffft! (Hamilton Spectator)
It was the Parliamentary equivalent of blowing a giant raspberry. That’s how local anti-poverty advocate Peter Hutton recently assessed the federal government’s treatment of a report calling for the creation of a national poverty strategy. Earlier this month, the government in Ottawa deferred consideration of 74 recommendations from the Senate of Canada’s subcommittee on cities that sought a proactive federal response to address the unacceptable levels of poverty in Canada. Our country’s appointed Senate is often depicted in pop culture and editorial cartoons as the sleepy domain for friends of former and current prime ministers to rest until retirement. Whether you agree or not with the value of an unelected Senate, the fact remains that thoughtful proposals were deliberated in the Senate in what was probably Parliament’s most important – and wide-ranging – hearings on poverty reduction in a generation.–ottawa-on-anti-poverty-pffft

Progress reported in battle against poverty (Telegraph-Journal)
The Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative (BCAPI) is on track to reduce poverty to the national average of 14 to 16 per cent by 2016. But if the organization has learned one thing, it’s that it’s not easy. “That’s one thing you learn very quickly,” says the group’s co-chairman, Tom Gribbons. “But we’ve made progress. We can see the goalpost. If we’re going to continue, we have to work hard.”

The ‘Culture of Poverty’ moves to the suburbs, reviving old problems and generating new complications (Internet Scout Project)
For much of America’s history, urban areas contained the lion’s share of the country’s poor, an image reinforced by popular media depictions in film, television, and evening news reports. Recent news reports from the New York Times and The Economist would seem to indicate that suburban areas have larger numbers of poor people, and many are finding it hard to locate adequate social services, food banks, and other resources. This news drew on two new reports from the Brookings Institution, which found that the number of poor people in the suburbs has increased 37.4% over the past decade. Also, these findings come on the heels of a renewed discussion regarding the so-called “culture of poverty”. When it was on the front page of policy discussions forty years ago, many politicians (including the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan) argued that there was in fact a unique set of cultural values and practices held by the poor that made it difficult, if not impossible, to make the transition out of poverty. As policy-makers continue to confront the shifting geography of poverty, all of these issues will require sustained conversation and significant soul-searching.

Fast Facts: The social and economic conditions that produce poor health (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)
The relationship between poverty and poor health is well established, both globally and locally. Locally, for example, Marni Brownell and her colleagues at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP) found in a 2003 study that those living closest to Winnipeg’s low-income city centre were least healthy, while those toward the higher-income outer edges of the city were most healthy. This was the case for the incidence of cancer, heart disease, injury, respiratory illness and virtually all adverse health outcomes.


Canada considered serious market for human trafficking – countless children targeted for labour and sexual exploitation (Canada Newswire)
On Wednesday, October 27 World Vision will join human trafficking expert Benjamin Perrin and MP Joy Smith near Parliament Hill for the launch of Perrin’s book Invisible Chains. The child-focused agency applauds Perrin’s revealing exposé that takes the blinders off of the Canadian side of trafficking. The abuse and exploitation associated with human trafficking occurs worldwide-no country is exempt from this crime. “This is the crime that shames us all,” says Carleen McGuinty, Child Protection Policy Advisor at World Vision Canada. “Children are being manipulated and abused as pawns in an incredibly lucrative underground industry. Their lives and futures are being risked. Tackling this must be a national and a global priority.”

Human Trafficking (Alberta Primetime)
Interview with Ben Perrin, focus on human trafficking in Alberta.

Kitchener man charged with human trafficking (Waterloo Record)
A 41-year-old Kitchener man has been charged 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.

Exporting Perversion (National Post)
Canada’s reputation makes it easy for child sex offenders to travel abroad and sexually abuse children. Between 1993 and 2008, the Department of Foreign Affairs provided consular assistance to more than 150 Canadian men charged with child molestation in countries including Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Thailand, and the United States. These represent only those cases flagrant enough to attract attention and action from local law enforcement officials… The federal government has yet to take decisive action on this issue. It must do so as part of a broader national action plan to combat the problem of human trafficking — a crime that is not just happening abroad, but right here in Canada. The vacation of our country’s convicted pedophiles must come to an end.


Social Finance Round Up #1: Your Weekly Fix of News, Insights, and Events (Social
A new weekly round up of social finance related news, insights, and events, with focus on Canadian & International News, Social Finance Learning and Best Practices and Upcoming Events.

Global Entrepreneurship Week (Dialogue Cafe)
Global Entrepreneurship Week  brings together millions of young people from countries around the world to join a growing movement of entrepreneurial people, to generate new ideas and to seek better ways of doing things. It is a celebration of creativity and enterprise, which aims to inspire young people to think big and turn their ideas into reality. This year, events and activities are taking place in countries across six continents from 15-21 November.
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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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