Maytree News Headlines – November 17, 2010


What Cities Said: November 2010 (Cities of Migration)
New Ezine, includes: Interview: CBC Sports and Diversity, Featured Good Idea On the Front Lines of Integration, review of recent Cities of Migration conference, and more.

Cites of Migration e-newsletter
In this issue:
Ready, Set, Go! The Opportunity Agenda Takes Off!
Politics of Optimism: Highlights from the Cities of Migration Conference
Marketplace of Good Ideas
Successful Immigrant Employment Idea Recognized with Award in New Zealand
Looking Ahead

Intolerance toward immigrants (Canadian Immigrant)
Though a majority of Canadians believe the policy of multiculturalism has been positive for the country (55 per cent), at least one-in-four respondents see the Canadian society as intolerant toward South Asian immigrants, Aboriginals (30 per cent) and Muslins (33 per cent.) These poignant numbers were showed on the Angus Reid Public Opinion poll, done with more than thousand Canadians by Nov.2-3. While 24 per cent of the respondents see intolerance towards immigrants from South Asia, the rates are lower for immigrants from Africa (16 per cent), rest of Asia (10 per cent), Latin America (7 per cent) and Europe (4 per cent).

Greenwashing Hate (The Dominion)
The Centre for Immigration Policy Reform (CIPR), a recently launched immigration reform lobby group based in Ottawa, is using environmental arguments and green rhetoric to push for more restrictive immigration policies in Canada. High immigration levels make it more difficult to achieve Canadas environmental objectives and inhibit efforts to reduce the extraordinary size of our ecological footprint, according to the front page of the CIPR website. Critics say this is painting a green veneer on an old picture.

PEI suspends immigrant entrepreneur program (CBC)
The province of P.E.I. has stopped taking applications for immigrant entrepreneurs in anticipation of changes to the program. It is the second category of the Provincial Nominee Program to be suspended. Immigration Canada suspended the immigrant investor portion of the program in 2008. Thousands have come to the Island as investors since the program started in 2001, but the final months it operated were controversial, with conflict of interest allegations and concerns about the quality of the companies approved for investment.

Why Transit Is Key to a Culturally Vibrant City (
Mapping where immigrants settle shows Metro Vancouver’s transit nodes are cradles of the region’s cultural diversity… Over the past few decades, Vancouver has grown as a significant landing pad for incoming immigrant populations and although the locations where incoming immigrants have chosen to start their lives in the city are somewhat known, they are really only discussed in general terms and often in reference to “cultural pockets” that have matured enough to be readily visible. Enshrouded by this blanket of generality, the underlying forces that shape the decisions of immigrant populations looking to call Vancouver home often go unnoticed.

Startup congregation: Makom aims to enrich downtown Toronto Jewish life and culture (Yonge Street Media)
The immigrants that settled in early 20th century Toronto eventually fled downtown for the suburbs in various directions. The Jews were the only group to take a linear route, straight up Bathurst, from Kensington Market… Makom wants to restore Kensington Market’s robust Jewish culture with their participatory congregation. They hold services in members homes, artist studios and, guided by Jane Jacobs’ adage that “new ideas need old buildings,” in the historic Kiever synagogue.


Chris Selley: Never mind how refugees got here. Who are they? (National Post)
A quick follow-up to my column last week about Canadas impossible-to-embarrass refugee system. According to the Canada Border Services Agency, up to Nov. 1 this year, 672 people have arrived in Canada using fraudulent documentation and made a refugee claim. Thats 181 more than were packed into the MV Sun Sea, which arrived in B.C. waters in the summer. This shines a very murky light on the governments proposal to treat mass refugee arrivals more harshly than those who arrive one, two or three at a time, as a means of combating human smuggling… Imposing special measures on people with no legitimate ID at all notably, detaining them until their identities can be verified would make a lot more sense than focusing on people who happened to arrive here in large groups by ship.

Refugee Mental Health: Promising Practices and Partnership Building Resources – PDF (CAMH)
Refugee Mental Health Practices is written for people who work with refugees, particularly those who provide settlement, health, mental health and other social support services. Promising practices are given for individual workers and for agencies, and for building partnerships within and across sectors.

Book examines experience of Somali student refugees (Brantford Expositor)
Author and documentary film producer Debi Goodwin says she wanted “to appeal to the heart and the head” in her new book profiling the experiences of 11 Somali refugees, during daily life in an overcrowded Kenyan refugee camp and then in a new world offered them by way of enrolment in Canadian universities… Eleven of these students -eight men and three women -were sponsored by World University Service Canada to come to Canada and enrol at university.

$100K donation to help foster diversity (Regina Leader-Post)
Luther College High School is opening doors for international students with a scholarship to help immigrants get an education they might not otherwise have been able to afford. The school recently created the Newcomer Bursary, for first- or second-generation refugees living in Canada, thanks to an anonymous donation of $100,000. “It’s always staggering when someone gives that kind of money and does so anonymously,” said principal Mark Anderson. “The challenge is how do you thank someone like that?” he added. The bursary is a four-year academic scholarship, which covers expenses like tuition, busing, meals and residence.

Iranian refugee lives dream as bespoke tailor (Canadian Jewish News)
This self-made businessman and talented bespoke (custom-made) tailor chose to take the second option when he arrived in Toronto in 1986 with nothing. Two years earlier, he and his cousin, Mike Haie, now a successful restaurateur, had escaped from post-revolution Iran with a few hundred dollars sewn into their undergarments and a dream of reaching America, where they could live freely as young, Jewish men. Today, Ely creates stunning bespoke suits, pants and shirts for some of Canadas most accomplished men, including Toronto Maple Leaf Tomas Kaberle and Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney. He designs signature, hand-sewn suits ranging in price from $3,000 to $32,000 for CEOs, bankers, professional athletes and entrepreneurs.

Iranian gays: Canada their sanctuary (Toronto Star)
There are no gays in the Islamic Republic of Iran. At least thats what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed, improbably, in New York two years ago. In reality, his security forces appear to be doing everything in their power to make it so. Harassment, discrimination and imprisonment mark the governments treatment of homosexuals in Iran. Its an echo of the continuing mistreatment of the Bahai religious minority in Iran, the persecution of women who try to make their own choices, the recent imprisonment of an Iranian Canadian blogger anyone, in fact, who challenges the official values and world view of the clerical dictatorship in that country. For many of those victims, Canada has become a sanctuary, as the Stars David Graham has described in a series that began last weekend. The articles describe a virtual underground railroad that helps to spirit gays out of Iran, into refugee limbo in neighbouring Turkey, and ultimately to Canada, where many already have family among émigrés who have come since the Iranian revolution.–iranian-gays-canada-their-sanctuary


Free workshops for HR pros, “Are You Ready? (CONNECT Strategic Alliance)
Despite the current economic situation, Ontario is set to experience severe labour shortages in the coming years; certain industries have already started to feel the pinch. Ontario community colleges have taken a lead in finding unique workforce development solutions. Through CONNECT Strategic Alliances, Ontario colleges are rolling out free Are You Ready? workshops that will help you to effectively source, select and hire an under-tapped resource internationally trained immigrants. Fourteen Ontario colleges Algonquin, Centennial, Conestoga, Confederation, Durham, Fanshawe, George Brown, Georgian, Humber, La Cité, Niagara, Sault, Seneca and Sheridan are delivering these workshops.

Bias blocks foreign-trained MDs: panel (Montreal Gazette)
Two thirds of immigrant doctors are shut out from practicing medicine in Quebec because of systemic discrimination, a human rights investigation revealed Tuesday. Gaétan Cousineau, head of the Quebec Human Rights Commission, said physicians trained outside Canada or the United States face obstacles in Quebec, especially in the selection process at the university level. Although these doctors pass the Quebec College of Physicians qualifying exams, they are not successful in applying for a residency – a paid hospital position that is the final step to gain a licence to practise medicine in this province.


Video: The Municipal Bottom Line (TVO The Agenda)
In the recent municipal elections, voters in several Ontario cities chose candidates who emphasized fiscal restraint and lower taxes. Yet changing needs mean that budgets and revenues aren’t keeping pace. Since cities must balance their books, something has to give. Either taxes go up, or services and infrastructure go down. In a province that wants to boost its innovation quotient and revitalize local economies, what can cities do to make ends meet? And do they have the tools they need to make that happen? Debate with Joe Berridge, Ernie Hardeman, Michael Prue, Andrew Sancton and Enid Slack. Watch video online or download.
(direct video link)

Is the revitalization of Regent Park crumbling? (Globe and Mail)
Its supposed to be an urban-planning model an example of what millions of dollars and decades of prepping, razing and rebuilding can do to transform a 60-year-old poverty enclave into a mixed-income downtown neighbourhood. But right now, Regent Park is reeling after a string of shootings left three dead in as many weeks. Parents say they are afraid to let their children out after dark, even for the areas free tutoring programs. Police have set up a neighbourhood-specific unit, in which officers conduct around-the-clock patrols that are as much about community engagement as they are about stopping crime.

Remembering David Pecaut (CBC Metromorning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Helen Burstyn. She is the wife of the late David Pecaut.

Councillor Wish List (CBC Metromorning)
Matt Galloway spoke with CBC city hall reporter Jamie Strashin.

“Fighting” City Hall (CBC Metromorning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Dave Meslin. He is the co-editor of, “Local Motion: The Art Of Civic Engagement in Toronto”

Spacing Toronto Wednesday Headlines
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to Election After-math, Transit, Airports, Neighbourhoods, Culture and Other News.

How to build a rail link to Pearson (National Post)
A decades-long plan to launch a train service between Toronto and Pearson International Airport has become job one at the regional transportation agency known as Metrolinx, with officials underscoring a pledge to have it running in time for the Pan Am Games in 2015.

The little guys: a look at the Toronto developers who are filling in the city’s in-between spaces (Yonge Street Media)
I’ve talked to a lot of developers over the years, mostly the big ones. They refer to their projects as communities, and in a way, they are. They mostly look for prime sites in out-of-the way places, places that aren’t neighbourhoods yet, neighbourhoods the City wants to help develop, and so is more generous with the zooming approvals. Then a big podium with two or three towers attached rise out of former parking lots or brownfields. Sometimes the towers become the seeds of new neighbourhoods, as happened a decade or so ago on King Street West. Other times, they become tower ghettoes, like 1960s projects like St James Town, or Flemingdon Park, or Dixon Road. But however they end up, big cities need big developers, and Toronto would be a lesser city without Tridel and Menkes, Empire and Cityzen, Fernbrook and Concert. But we need to fill in the space between those towers, so many of which have been and still are going up around the city, both on its outskirts and in its core. And so we have what are known as infill developers like Streetcar, Context, Freed and new kids on the block, BSaR. They build mid-rises in the middle of neighbourhoods that already exist, adding to communities rather than trying to create them.


Lingering recession forces food-bank use to soar in 2010, report says (Winnipeg Free Press)
Food-bank use has risen sharply across Canada in the past two years and organizers are scrambling often unsuccessfully to stay ahead of the demand. In a report that provides a window into how the recession has affected the poor, Food Banks Canada has issued its assessment on hunger and food-bank use for 2010. It found that almost 900,000 people used food banks in March. That’s the highest level on record 9.2 per cent higher than a year earlier and 28 per cent higher than in 2008. Almost 40 per cent of the recipients are children. It’s a sobering reversal of the declines in food-bank use between 2004 and 2008.

Tackling poverty in Brantford (Brant News)
People need to take a broader view of poverty if Brantford wishes to gain any ground in fighting the problem, says the recently hired co-ordinator of the Brant-Brantford Roundtable on Poverty. Do we want Brantford to look like a city that just has a bunch of poor people who have to line up for food? Teri Hibbs said. Or do we want to transform this community into something different? What was formally a 100 per cent volunteer group working on issues of poverty in the region, the roundtable was granted money from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to hire a co-ordinator.

Should we pay needy students to attend school? (Toronto Star)
In a bid to help its neediest students, Torontos public school board will examine the idea of paying them to attend school, get good grades and spend time mentoring others. Its one of several options a new anti-poverty task force will investigate and comes after Chris Spence, education director for the Toronto District School Board, solicited public feedback on the issue via Twitter earlier this week. Should we pay kids in our more disadvantaged communities to do well in school? Perhaps, as part of a poverty reduction scheme? he wrote.–should-we-pay-needy-students-to-attend-school

Toronto charity fights bullying with babies (Yonge Street Media)
The New York Times writes on Roots of Empathy, a Toronto-based charity that is brightening elementary classrooms across the globe (see our August Yonge Street story on the organization). Launched in 1996 by educator Mary Gordon, Roots brings mothers and their babies into school classrooms with the goal of increasing empathy among students. Researchers studying Gordon’s innovative program have concluded that the babies do indeed have positive effect on student behaviour, kind and accepting behaviours increase while negative aggressive behaviours decrease. Roots has now been active in over 2,600 classes across Canada, and has recently expanded to classrooms in the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the United States.

Helping homeless save pays off (Yonge Street Media)
The Toronto Star writes on the Independent Living Account, an program that helps struggling Torontonions living in shelters save and manage their money. By providing $3 for every $1 participants save up (to a maximum of $400), the Independent Living Account helps people move from the shelter system into permanent housing. Launched by national charity Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI) in 2005, the program has been a tremendous success, helping 300 people in eight Toronto shelters.


Video: Press Conference to Call for a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking in Canada (End Modern-Day Slavery)
The profitable and clandestine nature of trafficking in persons in Canada requires a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach that draws together the existing frameworks, stakeholders, and agencies, says MP Joy Smith. I am convinced that a federally led national action plan would address these challenges by implementing an integrated response to target the traffickers and provide relief and protection for the victims. A national action plan to combat human trafficking should be a priority for our federal government to end this atrocious crime that is flourishing in Canada, said Benjamin Perrin, author of Invisible Chains: Canadas Underground World of Human Trafficking. We need to commit to end this hidden national tragedy today and restore Canadas promise as a free and just society. MP Joy Smith and Professor Benjamin Perrin are calling for a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking that contains the following key components.

Human Trafficking – Too Close To Home (Brampton News)
On Tuesday, October 19th, 2010, the Business and Professional Womens Club of Brampton (BPW) had guest speaker Timea Eva Nagy join them at Portobello Ristorante in Brampton to inform the club about the human trafficking currently occurring right in the heart of the cities in the GTA… Brampton and the Region of Peel area are in fact the worst regions guilty of this crime. Commercial trafficking is currently 85%, restaurants is 5%, migrant farming is 2%, domestic servitude is currently 3%, and other types of trafficking fall under the 5% of the total trafficking occurring in the GTA.—Too-Close-To-Home/Page1.html

Shining light on human trafficking (Winnipeg Free Press)
Recent trips to Ukraine and Cuba has opened one Winnipeggers eyes to the horrors of human trafficking.
“I was very disturbed about it,” says Vicky Adams, who visited both nations in the last year during vacations. “Once I saw it happening with my own eyes, I realized it could happen anywhere, and is happening in Winnipeg.” Adams was so outraged by what she saw overseas that she decided to get involved in the fight to stop human trafficking here at home. She joined Nashi Winnipeg, a local group attempting to raise awareness of human trafficking on both a local and global level.

Book Review of Invisible Chains (Salvation Army)
A great strength in the book is Perrins in-depth insight into the trauma and psychological manoeuvring used by traffickers to traffic Canadian women. Metal chains and physical force are used to traffic people and this has been portrayed in the media, but Perrin shows how invisible chains (such as traffickers convincing women they are their friends and boyfriends) are just as powerful to trap victims. In this book you clearly hear the voices of Canadian women who have been trafficked, and their stories will haunt you.


First Past The Post Is Preposterous (The Mark News)
One could write that Canadas first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system is bound to eventually fail, but lets face it it already has. Its failing us right now. The question is, when is it going to be fixed?

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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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