Maytree News Headlines – November 11, 2010


Thorncliffe Park celebrates diversity (The Toronto Observer)
Imagine that you have a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. According to the University of Toronto’s website, your career options include aircraft design or bioengineering artificial organs; or maybe you’d enjoy being a physicist or mathemetician. Muhammad Irshad has master’s degree in mechanical engineering. But his current vocation might surprise you: “At this point, I’m driving a cab.”
But while he continues to look for a better job, Oct. 29 was an occasion for celebration by Irshad, his wife and their two daughters. They were among a group of 40 people gathered in the gymnasium at Thorncliffe Park Public School on Oct. 29 for a Canadian citizenship ceremony. An audience of more than 300 looked on, including all of the school’s Grade 5 students.

CCD: Teaching Youth to challenge Stereotypes and Assumptions (South Asian Generation Next)
Zahir Janmohamed, the new CEO of Canadian Centre for Diversity (CCD) explains that the objectives of CCD are “to promote a society without prejudice and discrimination, a society that respects differences and celebrates diversity and inclusion.” Linda McCain, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Centre for Diversity (CCD), announced the appointment of Zahir Janmohamed as the CCD’s next Chief Executive Officer, effective December 8, 2010. CCD provides educational programs and seminars to youth – elementary and high school students, college and university students – “not just to conduct and deliver interactive programs but to motivate and inspire the participants to become effective leaders of social change,” Mr. Janmohamed said while talking to Generation Next.

Catholic Crosscultural Services: Going Beyond Referrals and Information Sessions (South Asian Generation Next)
It’s not every day that you get the chance to change a life for the better. However, at Catholic Crosscultural Services (CCS), it’s looked down upon. Of course, changing a life is good, but changing two is better, and changing more is even more so. In fact, CCS has had the privilege to change numerous lives for over fifty years. Our non-profit settlement agency helps newcomers acclimatise to their adopted country on a day-to-day basis. Born as the Catholic Immigration Bureau, its steady evolution reflects the influx of newcomers to the GTA, and the cultural enrichment they bring along. As a result, today we serve immigrants, refugees, and other non-status newcomers to Canada regardless of race, age, religion or political affiliation. Moreover, we are glad to provide our services in over 30 languages, ranging from Cantonese to Urdu and from Swahili to Tigrigna.

Northernmost mosque in North America opens in Canada (BBC)
After being assembled in the city of Winnipeg, the building travelled some 4,500km (2,800 miles) along both rivers and roads to get to its destination. The mosque, which has been nicknamed “the little mosque on the tundra”, doubles as a community centre. Inuvik has roughly 3,200 residents, some 80 of whom are Muslim. They are mainly Sunni Muslims from Lebanon, Egypt and Sudan who were drawn to northern Canada by job opportunities.

DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project (Sway Magazine)
In late November 2008, the Maytree Foundation in partnership with the Toronto City Summit Alliance launched “Diverse City: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project,” an eight-program initiative that aims to increase diversity within political, economic and social leadership circles in the Greater Toronto Area. DiverseCity was created in response to a call from more than 600 Toronto region leaders at the Alliance’s 2007 Toronto Summit for a collective effort to diversify leadership to help the GTA better achieve, excel and prosper.

When Culture Conflicts… (South Asian Generation Next)
Different cultures have developed since the beginning of time as a result of the basic human instinct to survive. Every culture is unique to the society that cultivates it; so, moving from one society to another requires adoption of some of the traditions of the new society. Conflicts arise when people deem their culture to be superior to the rest and are not willing to accept any values of the new society. No traditions are bad unless they result in harmful consequences to either the society or to fellow companions. As a family physician with South Asian roots, I have experienced and also see some of these conflicts in groups ranging from kids to the elderly and from the newly immigrated to the long-term settlers. No conflict is without resolution. It does not mean that you have to give up traditions – your values make you unique and may benefit the new society also.…/

Engaging the Migrant Community outside of Canada’s main Metropolitan Centres: Community Engagement – the Welcoming Community Initiative and the case of Greater Victoria – PDF (Metropolis BC)
Political inclusion is a key component of successfully integrating im- migrants and minorities into the fabric of a society. The participation of immigrants, ethno-cultural groups, and visible minorities in the political process is perceived to be both a yardstick of their successful integration, as well as a way of managing growing diversity within a society… This paper focuses on processes of deliberating and “negotiating” questions of diversity at the urban level with respect to the Greater City of Victoria
(Capital Regional District; CRD) and the community engagement formed in the context of the government-sponsored Welcoming and Inclusive Communities and Workplaces (WICPW). This perspective shifts the focus from Canada’s main urban centres with their high density of immigrants and ethno-cultural organizations to an urban centre with a smaller, more dispersed, and less organized immigrant community.

Call for Proposals: City of Toronto Reunification and Adaptation Project (City of Toronto)
The purpose of this RFP is to select one (1) qualified Proponent to fully implement the Services described in this RFP to meet the objectives of the Toronto Public Health Reunification and Adaptation Project. In the context of this RFP, the range of qualified Proponents is expected to include, but is not limited to, community-based organizations and consortia of appropriate community organizations represented by a prime proponent. This project will utilize strategies to support newcomer children, youth and families who are dealing with issues arising from separation during their immigration and settlement in Toronto. These issues include but are not limited to reunification, separation, immigration, racism, and intergenerational and intercultural conflicts. The project will be administered by the City, and is partially funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Deadline: November 25, 2010 at 12:00 Noon

December 1: Criminals and Victims’ Race, Law and HIV Exposure in Ontario (CLEONet)
The African and Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario (ACCHO) is holding a symposium, Criminals and Victims’ Race, Law and HIV Exposure in Ontario, to launch our paper on the impact of the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure on African, Caribbean and Black communities.

Canada Re-Opens Immigrant Investor Program (Marketwire)
Effective December 1, 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will once again accept applications under the federal Immigrant Investor Program. Under the new program criteria, investor applicants will need to have a personal net worth of $1.6 million, up from $800,000 under the old criteria, and make an investment of $800,000, up from the previous requirement of $400,000.

Welcome Prince George (Immigrant & Multicultural Services Society (IMSS))
Welcome PG provides a forum where employers, service providers and other stakeholder groups engage and share innovative tools and resources to promote cultural competence and diversity in their workplaces and tap into New Canadians’ talent. Includes Employer resources and Skilled immigrant resources.

Presentation Slides: Human rights and social inclusion in canada; understanding the relationship between diversity and prosperity
Presentation by Reva Joshee, OISE at the global HR forum 2010, seoul, korea.

Media’s Responsibility (South Asian Generation Next)
During the course of my work with Generation Next, I have met politicians from all different levels of the government; I have interacted with members of Police, RCMP and Canadian Armed Forces, Homeland Security, the FBI and I have communicated with various school boards, hospital boards, university boards and a number of different organizations. These interactions have made me realize two things over and over again. One, our institutions need our media’s help to get their message out to our community. More so to the South Asian community than any other community given our entrepreneurial skills and economic success and large numbers in the Greater Toronto Area (South Asians will be the largest visible minority in the GTA by 2031 according to Stats Canada)… Two, we believe that responsibility in a responsible society has to be afforded by all. When the government will give its business to any media without assessing its work as a media and only because it has been recommended to them by a ‘friend,’ then the media does not need to be concerned about quality of work, it only has to worry about finding the right ‘friend’ at the right place. When corporate companies are content with ‘regurgitation’ of media releases, and the editorial content is of ‘secondary importance’ only, then, the South Asian media is on the right track of making money and not caring if our institutions need our help. Members of our institutions are desperate to engage us at the highest levels, but, as a media, we are not willing to play our part to give our community and Generation Next a chance.

Intl. students good for economy – Minister Gary Goodyear (South Asian Generation Next)
There are about 77,000 international students that give boost of up to $6.5 billion to Canadian economy in short term through tuition fees, accommodation, hair cuts, transportation, accommodation, food and other day to day expenses. In the long run, Minister Goodyear hopes that some of the students “will fall in love” with Canada to make Canada their homes. The intention is to bring the innovation from laboratories to marketplace to create jobs for people in the long run. Canadian academic institutions are worried about addressing the increasing demand for postsecondary spaces especially in the Greater Toronto Area. Many students who are new Canadians are already under the burden of debts. It’s no surprise that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s announcement of 75 new scholarships for postdoctoral international students to the tune of $20 million over next four years, enraged some here at home. Nonetheless, Mr. McGuinty notes that in next five years Ontario’s economy will be dependent on immigrants. Mr. Jeff Zabudsky, President of Sheridan College told Generation Next in an interview that in Canada we do not have trained labour force to replace baby boomers in next five years. Is the federal government making any strategic decisions to disperse the talent of international students?

Manitoba attracts and retains immigrants with fast access to jobs (IRPP)
Provincial nominee programs (PNPs) were introduced to influence the regional distribution of immigrants and allow provincial governments to address local labour needs. They represent a departure from a federal immigration policy, as provincial governments play a direct role in setting goals and selecting immigrants. In this study, Tom Carter, Manish Pandey and James Townsend provide an overview of the PNPs and their use by various provinces. The Manitoba government has been a leader in developing and expanding its PNP, making it a prime candidate for a case study evaluating the potential of these programs for attracting, retaining and integrating immigrants in smaller provinces.

New wave of women shrinks gender gap at City Hall (National Post)
Ana Bailao counts as her greatest inspiration her grandmother, who worked as a cook into her 70s in a sleepy Portuguese town called Alenquer, and had her own bank account at a time when that was uncommon. When Ms. Bailao joined her parents in Toronto at 15, Arminda Rodrigues made her promise that she would go to university one day. “It’s not about what you do,” the elder would say. “It’s about giving you the opportunities to do what you like.” Nearly 20 years later, Ms. Bailao, 34, is part of a wave of women whose election to Toronto City Council is helping shrink the gender gap in municipal politics. Fifteen women have been elected to the next term of office, 50% more than the previous council, and fully one third of the new one, which is a record.

Canada’s ‘Jersey Shore’ Aims to Offend Every Ethnicity on the Planet (Fancast)
And we thought Canadians were laid back, uncontroversial peeps whose eccentricities amounted to saying ay?, mum, and abowt. But now that we’ve seen the preview of ‘Lake Shore,’ Canada’s answer to MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore,’ we’re starting to get the feeling that Canadians can actually be really offensive, too, and we’re like, toh-tally disturbed. Aside from casting eight 20-somethings whose goals in life follow the Jersey Shore Gold Standard of getting drunk, hooking up, and gyrating their pert bon bons at da club—the producers aimed to represent the diversity of Toronto with the most ethnically offensive cast members possible.


Centre for Refugee Studies 2011 Summer Course (May. 8 – 15, 2011 – Toronto)
The Summer Course on Refugee and Forced Migration Issues is an internationally acclaimed eight-day course for academic and field-based practitioners working in the area of forced migration. It serves as a hub for researchers, students, practitioners, service providers and policy makers to share information and ideas. The Summer Course is housed within the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), York University.

Report: Aceh-Malaysia-Vancouver: Settlement Among Acehnese Refugees Five Years On – PDF (Metropolis BC)
Ideally, the Canadian government, researchers, and/or service providers would trace the settlement outcomes of government assisted refugees (GARs) from various countries over time, but such data is expensive to collect and challenging at the national scale. In a modest effort to fill this gap, research with GARs from Aceh, Indonesia was conducted in 2005 (one year after most arrived) and again in 2009 to ascertain settlement outcomes in the areas of housing, official language acquisition, employment, and participation in Canadian society. While the 2009 findings are but a snapshot of social and economic relations among the Acehnese at the time, they offer the fullest available picture of how these GARs are doing; what their concerns, priorities, and challenges are; and what Canadian policies do to facilitate or hinder their aims as new Canadians and permanent residents. More than five years after their arrival, a number of official language and employment issues persist. Spousal sponsorship has proven a salient goal for the majority of men who are still single. Working towards, saving for, and waiting for such relationships to materialize may well be impeding integration aims in Canada. Recommendations to address these situations are offered.

Osgoode lawyer debate human smuggling act (Excalibur Online)
Several Osgoode Hall Law School professors are concerned with what they say is the unconstitutional nature of Bill C-49 which would prevent
human smuggling and enact stricter enforcement of immigration laws in Canada. Proposed by federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, the bill aims to deter refugees from arriving illegally. In an effort to deter human smuggling, the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act would impose new penalties against people and potential refugees that employ human smuggling efforts.


Maytree’s Alan Broadbent: Canada’s urban areas need more power, autonomy (Wellesley Institute)
Canada is an urban nation – 80% of Canadians now live in urban areas, a big change from our founding in 1867 when 80% of Canadians were in rural areas. But while the nation has changed, our governing structures remain stuck in the 19th century. Municipalities are, according to the Constitution, “creatures of the provinces” – and that means that they don’t have the tools and powers that they need to meet the requirements of 21st century Canada. The Maytree’s Alan Broadbent outlines the issues and calls for more power and autonomy for cities in a recorded, on-line webinar.


Health care: The cuckoo in the nest (Globe and Mail)
Health care is the cuckoo in the nest, the fat, voracious chick that gobbles all the worms, leaving the smaller birds to starve. Health consumes 46 cents of every program dollar spent by the Ontario government, and its Ministry of Finance says that could rise to 70 cents within 12 years if costs are left unchecked. TD Bank economists say that by 2030 it could rise even further to an unimaginable 80 cents, leaving just 20 cents on the dollar for everything else, from roads to schools to courts. As the bank says dryly in a report from last May, “This is not feasible.” The factors driving the rise in costs are inexorable. An aging society puts obvious pressure on the health system. Ontario’s over-65 population is expected to double to 3.7 million by 2030. Labour costs keep going up, as doctors collect fees for service and unionized hospital workers negotiate higher pay (or get it on a platter from an arbitrator, as Ontario nurses just did). Then there is the rising cost of drugs in an overmedicated world.


Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking (Things I’d Like To Remember blog)
To his credit, Perrin outlines some steps that the government, NGOs and everyday citizens like you and me could take in order to curb human trafficking and help victims. He has excellent action plans for the government, police, businesses, the community, and for parents. At the forefront? Raising awareness.


Financing for Social Innovation, Experimentation and (Yes, Sometimes Even) Failure (
My experience is that non-profit leaders are extremely entrepreneurial and resilient. They have to be when confronted by all of the roadblocks we put up. Funders require detailed business plans and proposals while providing little to no contingency funding, which means that non-profit leaders have no latitude to experiment. Funders ask for detailed reports on successes but don’t encourage stories to be shared about failures. I believe we need to embrace experimentation (and along with it, failure) in our non-profit sector and innovation will follow. This by no means assumes that we tolerate incompetence but rather that we encourage calculated risk taking.

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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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