Maytree News Headlines – November 18, 2010


Amnesty Denounces Anti-Human Smuggling Bill (The Epoch Times)
Amnesty International and a long list of immigration and refugee groups are coming out in force to demand the defeat of the government’s proposed act to crack down on human smuggling. “This piece of legislation is littered with charter violations,” Peter Showler, former chair the Immigration and Refugee Board, told reporters on Tuesday.

Women Entrepreneurs Awarded for Success in Diversity Contracting (Fast Pitch Press)
Ten women entrepreneurs from across Canada were awarded for their successes in diversity procurement at the 2nd Annual WEConnect Canada national conference in Toronto. These women business owners were recognized for having signed deals in three categories – International and National deals done with large corporations and those who have “paid it forward” and purchased products and/or services from other certified women business enterprises.

Library: Welcoming place and Welcoming space – Sulekha Sathi, Library Service Manager of Toronto Public Library,We go to people – Joan McCatty, Multicultural Service Specialist (South Asian Generation Next)
Library is a welcoming place and a welcoming space for all those who enter any of 99 physical branches of Toronto’s libraries. Toronto libraries offer a wide range of collection of books in different languages. The libraries also provide services to newcomers in terms of language training, employment services, after school programs for kids so that people are connected to the library as well as its community, said Sulekha Sathi, Library Service Manager of Toronto Public Library.

Scotiabank wins Canadian Centre for Diversity Award (DiverseCity blog)
On behalf of Scotiabank, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Sabi Marwah accepted the Canadian Centre for Diversity‘s 2010 Partner in Diversity award.

GUEST BLOG: Inspired to be a lawyer (DiverseCity blog)
Foraiyah Babar is a high school student and a participant in Project Inspire, a pilot program that aims to inspire and inform youth on how to pursue career goals that might be unknown or feel unattainable to them. Project Inspire was launched by a select group of 2010 DiverseCity Fellows.

Has your organization made positive steps to embrace diversity in governance? (DiverseCity blog)
If your organization has made positive steps to embrace diversity in governance, you may want to share your organization’s story with others. Apply for the 2010 Diversity in Governance Awards and become a role model for diversity. Applications are due November 22, 2010. Find the application and learn more about previous recipients here.

Government of Canada launches innovative program to help newcomer youth (CIC)
The Government of Canada is investing more than $1.6 million to help newcomer youth and their families in London, Ed Holder, Member of Parliament for London West announced today, on behalf of the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. The Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) program provides newcomer families with an interactive orientation to the Ontario school system as well as referrals to settlement agencies and other community support services. Settlement workers also engage with students, parents and school staff to increase cultural awareness and sensitivity in London area schools.


Sri Lankan Human Smuggling Worries Canada and Thailand (Asian Tribune)
Stung by the arrival of hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamil boat-people seeking refugee status, Canada and Thailand have agreed to co-operate to stem the tide and clamp down on human smugglers. Canada’s Special Advisor on Human Smuggling and Illegal Migration, Ward Elcock, had talks early this month with Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on how best to work together on the twin problems of people smuggling and human trafficking on which they share a common interest. While Canada has been ‘invaded’ by some 550 Sri Lankan Tamil illicit migrants arriving in two ships in the past one year, Thailand has become both a transit and destination country.


Seminar: Understanding the Labour Market Challenges Facing Canada’s Recent Immigrants – PDF (CERIS)
An Analysis Comparing the Paths of Immigrants and Canadian-Born Workers Into and Out of High-Wage Jobs Using Data from Statistics Canada’s Long-Form Census and Labour Force Survey. November 26, 2010, 12pm-2pm
Room 1-148 TRS (Ted Rogers School of Management, 7th floor, Ryerson University).

Voters of tomorrow say it’s time to raise the minimum wage (Vancouver Sun)
The consensus among advocates is that it should be raised to $10. Among the advocates are the B.C. Federation of Labour and the B.C. New Democratic Party. Last week, British Columbia’s Liberal-dominated finance committee suggested that after nine years with no increase, maybe it’s finally time to raise it. In a non-binding set of recommendations, the committee said the minimum wage should be increased “in small increments with appropriate advance notice.”


Paying students: Wrong answer to problem (Toronto Star)
By floating the idea of paying poor students to attend school and pass exams, the Toronto public school board’s education director, Chris Spence is, once again, shining a spotlight on the problem of inequality in our schools. Poverty, more than any other factor, contributes to the achievement gap: students from the poorest neighborhoods consistently have the lowest test scores and are more likely to drop out. However, paying them for good grades is not the way to tackle the problem. Nor is and paying their parents to attend parent-teacher interviews. These types of cash incentive programs have been tested in the U.S., including a comprehensive three-year pilot project in New York. The educational improvements there were so minimal that the city decided not to continue the expensive program earlier this year.–paying-students-wrong-answer-to-problem

Bucks for school books?: MacDonald (Toronto Sun)
Well-known U.S. education critic Alfie Kohn has argued incentives fail in the long-run and even kill student motivation. But a Harvard University study last spring on more than 250 schools in Chicago, Dallas, New York City and Washington, D.C. found incentives improved achievement if they were given for improved work, study and school habits — such as reading books and getting homework done — but didn’t work when applied to test performance. They worked especially well for boys, black and Hispanic students — groups where the TDSB would especially like to see improvement.

Ottawa needs plan to fight poverty (Toronto Star)
Ottawa needs a comprehensive plan and dedicated funding to ease the plight of 3.1 million Canadians living in poverty, including more than 600,000 children and 700,000 working poor households, says a landmark parliamentary report. The 300-page report, tabled in the House of Commons Wednesday, calls on Ottawa to start work immediately on a federal poverty reduction plan in consultation with provinces, municipalities and Aboriginal governments.–ottawa-needs-plan-to-fight-poverty

Access report (PDF):

Idea Dancing and Pebbles from Heaven – Reflections on Tamarack’s 2010 Communities Collaborating Institute (CCI) Conference (Maytree blog)
I assess the success of a conference in terms of how it challenges my ideas and practices; fosters the exchange of questions and perspectives; and, as John Ott would say, “welcomes all that arises.” Reflecting on the 2010 Communities Collaborating Institute I would say, “Bravo Tamarack and all of us who participated in creating success.” All of the keynote speakers shared ideas that did not stand alone but rather danced together. In the short time since, I have used Thomas Homer-Dixon’s ideas about how biases create resistance to change and had them dancing with John Ott’s ideas about creating collective wisdom, in particular John’s call to suspend certainty and welcome diversity.


Ready, Set, Open: Launches Open Business Planning Initiative (
Our primary objectives for undertaking this process in the open with contributions from the community are:
* To develop a more complete and viable business plan than would have been possible had we relied only on internal review and contributions;
* To model collaborative, open, and innovative leadership in Canada’s growing social enterprise community; and
* To equip social entrepreneurs across Canada with a process for developing strong business plans of their own, which may in turn attract social finance.


Indo-Canadians Prosper, Canada Slow to Take Advantage (Commerce Times)
“The sought after entrepreneurs and professions are very mobile, they move from one place to the other,” SANDEEP AGRAWAL said. “What they bring with them is not just wealth but a lot of skills [and] a tremendous [number] of linkages and connections.”


Bring me sunshine – The sudden popularity of a controversial American economist (The Economist)
When governments search for guiding thinkers and ideologies, the results can be dispiriting. Tony Blair, for example, came up with the grandiloquent ‘third way’ and the waffly ‘stakeholder society’. For his part, Mr Florida is an interesting—and controversial—choice as an influence on the coalition government’s thinking. Although less well-known in Europe, he is as close to a household name as it is possible for an urban theorist to be in America. In his best-selling books, highly paid speeches and frequent television interviews, Mr Florida has extolled one core idea: that the creative sector is the growth engine for Western economies as menial work migrates to developing countries.

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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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