Maytree News Headlines – November 12, 2010


Bibles Return to Canadian Citizenship Courts (The Gospel Herald)
Relaxing a ban imposed in citizenship courts in 2004, Canadian immigration officials are preparing to once again allow the distribution of Bibles to new immigrants who wish to use them for the swearing of allegiance ceremony… Once Immigration and Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney officially gives them the nod, dozens of citizenship courts across Canada will once again be free to make arrangements with local groups willing to make the Bibles available.

Anti-Semetic comment stirs controversy for Lake Shore trailer (National Post)
The inclusion of anti-Semitic and other offensive comments in an online promo for a new Toronto-based reality show is raising questions about the program’s future even before the cameras begin to roll… But while Lake Shore is poised to begin production as early as next week, media and advertising experts say the program’s search for a major network backer could be in jeopardy thanks to a publicity-grabbing trailer posted on YouTube in which one of the show’s characters expresses her hatred for Jews.

Feds were told Canadians’ support for immigration has its limits (Montreal Gazette)
Canadians’ enthusiasm for accepting more immigrants has marked limits, according to research commissioned by the Harper government before it announced last week that it was holding the line on immigration next year. The research warned Canadians are less inclined to feel that immigration strengthens Canadian culture than they were earlier in the decade and that fully 36 per cent of those surveyed said they believe immigration increases unemployment among Canadians. The findings — based on a wide-ranging survey — said Canadians hold generally positive but “somewhat conflicted” views on immigration and diversity in Canada.

Portraits of a Scarborough strip mall (EYE Weekly)
Welcome to 4800 Sheppard east, which abides by the defining rules of great Toronto strip malls: a) they house a variety of mom-and-pop shops; b) they’re run by a multicultural cast of families; and c) they serve up great food at shockingly low prices.

Failure of academics on multiculturalism (The Trinidad Guardian)
The international presenters were Dr Jack Jedwab (Canada), Dr Jack Menke (Suriname), Sayed Shah (United Kingdom), and Dr Dennison Moore (Canada). Dr Jedwab showed that multiculturalism is alive and well in Canada, but there are still vigorous debates, which seem to crop up during hard economic times, over its suitability as a mechanism for the integration of the various cultures which comprise the Canadian mosaic. Dr Menke provided an interesting socio/anthropological account of the peoples of Suriname. According to him, there are about 12 different cultures in Suriname and there is very little cultural exchange between them. Suriname has not attempted to integrate its various cultures via a policy of multiculturalism. But given Dr Menke’s account of the culture of its peoples, multiculturalism appears to be the only policy capable of doing so. Sayed Shah, who is in the British diplomatic service, gave a personal account of his growing up in the UK, the gist of which was that it is now possible for non-whites to move into positions in British society which were previously denied them.

Anti-immigrant ad draws fire (
The election is over, but a campaign advertisement that appeared on Mississauga Transit buses – and was still running as late as last week – is firing up residents. The outsized ad, placed prominently on the back of the vehicles and touting mayoralty candidate Paul Fromm, read: “Fight Gridlock: Freeze Immigration.”–anti-immigrant-ad-draws-fire

Speaking two languages delays Alzheimer’s symptoms (
People who are bilingual seem to be less vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease. A study from Canada found that bilingual people with dementia first started getting symptoms five years later than people who spoke only one language.

Metro is ethnically much different than experts predicted in the 1980s (Vancouver Sun)
What a startling difference 26 years can make, particularly when you’re talking about immigration patterns in Metro Vancouver. I recently uncovered an old, yellowing Vancouver Sun clipping by the excellent retired writer, Doug Sagi. It was a Saturday Sun feature from 1984 headlined: “As Canada’s Faces Change … We Seem to be Growing Up.”

More Asian? (Maclean’s)
It’s a veritable blitz the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada has launched in India this month, in an attempt to put Canadian universities higher on the list of options the best Indian students consider when they head off to higher education. Fifteen Canadian university presidents are in India, along with federal science and technology minister Gary Goodyear. The AUCC is running a blog on the events here. AUCC president Paul Davidson curtain-raised the trip with a Times of India op-ed you can read here. Eight universities banded together to announce a $3.5 million program to ensure that top-tier Indian students who’ve already checked Canadian universities out are encouraged to stay here to continue that education.

2010 International Cities of Migration Conference – some proceedings & insights, with more to come!
Conference feedback has been exceptionally strong. Overwhelmingly, what we heard was an endorsement of the politics of optimism: positive messages about the value of diversity and practical lessons based on the success of local integration initiatives by police, health professionals, municipal leaders, educators, activists and media –and many other city actors.

DiverseCity videos (YouTube)
A series of new videos highlighting DiverseCity programs have been posted on the Maytree YouTube channel.


Chris Selley: Canada’s refugee system incapable of embarrassment (National Post)
The mere fact the Quaids can use Canada’s refugee system means it’s incapable of being abused. It was designed to consider all claims, no matter how ridiculous… We shall see if refugee reforms recently passed by Parliament will make much of a difference. They establish comparatively ambitious new timeline targets, especially for people from so-called “designated” countries — i.e., places like the United States and European Union, which don’t (or shouldn’t) produce any legitimate claimants. Some people, including refugee reform advocate and former diplomat Martin Collacott, think the bill was weakened beyond usefulness in committee. But the current obsession is with “human smuggling.” The government proposes to treat people who arrive en masse, with the help of smugglers, more harshly than those who arrive by plane. This might prove a deterrent, but it’s not especially logical. The in-land refugee system is based on one principle: Get here, and you can claim asylum. Why punish people for getting here the only way they can if that’s by paying over the odds for a harrowing boat ride across the Pacific?

Human Smuggling Legislation Violates Refugee Rights (PSAC)
The government’s bill to prevent human smuggling does not meet Canada’s domestic and international human rights and refugee protection obligations said the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The government should tackle the problems of criminal smuggling in ways that do not punish refugees. Bill C-49, the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act tabled on October 21st, violates the rights of refugees and migrants. By restricting the rights of refugees who arrive in Canada as part of a group that the government designates to be a “human smuggling event,” the Bill creates two classes of refugees.

Public Event – Roma Human Rights: Europe’s Disgrace, Canada’s Shame (Refugee Research Network)
EU governments, right-wing extremists and neo-nazi movements target Roma — while Canada denies their legitimate need for asylum. Why are Roma being persecuted across Europe? Why are thousands fleeing to Canada? And why are they being sent back to face racist violence and dire poverty while fearing for their lives? With Canada’s immigration minister Jason Kenney raising the spectre of ‘bogus’ refugee claims, are we revisiting 1940s Canada, when a senior government official infamously proclaimed about Jewish refugees that “none is too many”? Wednesday November 24, 2010, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Event: Challenging some assumptions about ‘refugee youth’: The case of inter- and intra-generational relationships of Congolese young people in Uganda – November 25th (Refugee Research Network)
This presentation explores inter- and intra-generational relationships among Congolese refugees in Kampala and Kyaka II refugee settlement, Uganda. Based on ethnographic research with Congolese young people and key adults in their family, household and community networks, I highlight three key findings that undermine some assumptions about refugee young people. First, this study demonstrates that young people who migrate without their parents are not inherently more vulnerable than those in inter-generational networks. Second, it shows that the evolution of these peer networks is not necessarily a manifestation of inter-generational conflict, but rather a reflection of increased choice and changing generational relationships in migration contexts. Third, I demonstrate how, even within peer networks, there are hierarchies of decision-making, which challenges assumptions of ‘youth’ solidarity. The presentation will conclude with some recommendations for research, policy and practice. November 25, 2010.


The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council is now on Twitter @TRIEC. Go, say hi, follow them!


TTC train will be hard to stop (National Post)
Rob Ford promised during the recent election campaign to kill David Miller’s Transit City project of light rail trains on Sheppard, Finch and Eglinton avenues in Toronto. But a look at what is already underway underlines just how difficult this will be for the mayor-elect to carry out.

Spacing Toronto Friday Headlines
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to Election After-math, Remembrance Day, Transit, Culture, G20 After-math and Other News.


City steps up poverty fight (Hamilton Spectator)
The Spectator’s Code Red series highlighted the substantial gap in health consequences between poor and more sound neighbourhoods in Hamilton. It’s clear the city is taking the important revelations of that groundbreaking series to heart… The creation of Johnson’s new position begins to fulfil one of the key elements of an action plan developed earlier this year by the multi-sector Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction (HRPR). The HRPR advocated empowering and energizing members of communities in need through the establishment of a team of community developers. It’s an important and proven strategy, in Hamilton in the past and elsewhere in North America — think about where U.S. President Barack Obama got his start. We know there are natural leaders all over our community. With guidance and focus, they can be mobilized to channel their energy into improving neighbourhoods across the city.–city-steps-up-poverty-fight

Fighting Bullying With Babies (New York Times)
More important, we are beginning to understand how to nurture this biological potential. It seems that it’s not only possible to make people kinder, it’s possible to do it systematically at scale – at least with school children. That’s what one organization based in Toronto called Roots of Empathy has done… Roots has worked with more than 12,600 classes across Canada, and in recent years, the program has expanded to the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the United States, where it currently operates in Seattle. Researchers have found that the program increases kindness and acceptance of others and decreases negative aggression.


Aldermen eye john school (End Modern-Day Slavery)
In other provinces, that meant going to class — an eight-hour “john school” to educate the would-be first-time sex trade customer on the evils of prostitution. Ideally, learning about pimps, exploited children, poverty-stricken women and disease would get men thinking with their heads, rather than their crotches. That was the idea when the seized vehicle law was passed in Alberta — only Calgary didn’t buy in. Four years after the first cars were seized from Calgarians trolling for paid sex, Calgary has yet to open a john school. That may soon change.

The following two tabs change content below.


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.

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

City of Toronto Reunification and Adaptation Project Aceh-Malaysia-Vancouver: Settlement Among Acehnese Refugees Five Years On When Culture Conflicts…...