Maytree News Headlines – November 4, 2010


Canada has never offered a mosaic (Maclean’s)
For all the portentous language, it is hard to see what Wente is getting at, since the only thing Canadian and German approaches to immigration have in common is the use of the word multiculturalism. The closest parallel in Canada to Germanys Turkish problem is our treatment of Aboriginals, where, as with Germanys Turks, the official policy has long been to encourage cultural insularity and socio-economic isolation… It was only in the 1990s that Canadians figured out just what sort of country theyd been building, thanks largely to the efforts of a cohort of young academics who spent a great deal of time writing and talking to ministers and to federal bureaucrats about it. The key figure here is the Queens political scientist Will Kymlicka, who smartly observed that while Canada was not assimilating immigrants, it wasnt offering a mosaic either. Rather, the institutions and policies we had designed were aimed at the middle path of successful integration: allowing newcomers to keep as much of their cultural traditions as possible, while providing the means for their full participation in civic life.

Homophobic Tamil radio ads shows poor integration (Anthony Furey/24 Hours)
Diversity is a sham. At least youd think so based upon the way the candidates in our recent election used the catchphrase. They bent over backwards to tell religious and cultural groups how perfect they were and then acted all surprised when this came back to bite them in the rear. In the days leading up to the election some scary instances of homophobia cropped up against candidate George Smitherman (a married gay man who recently adopted an adorable baby boy). In one instance Canadian Tamil Broadcasting Corporation (CTBC) broadcast ads implying that it was wrong to vote for Smitherman because he was gay. Youd think that candidates would have denounced the radio station for promoting this kind of nonsense. Instead they blamed Rob Ford. Shame on them for not confronting the real problem: us not explaining our values to newcomers.

Video: Abdallah Daar’s Convocation Speech, University of Toronto, June 2010 (YouTube via Dialogue with Diversity blog)
Abdallah Daar is Professor of Public Health Sciences and of Surgery at the University of Toronto, and Senior Scientist and Director of Ethics and Commercialization at the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, University Health Network and University of Toronto. He is also Chief Science and Ethics Officer of Grand Challenges Canada… His major research focus is on the use of life sciences to ameliorate global health inequities, with a particular focus on building scientific capacity and increasing innovation in developing countries, in addition to studying how technologies can be rapidly taken from lab to village.

Vancouver Asian Film Festival takes on the big issues (Vancouver Sun)
Chinese-Canadians had to pay a head tax to be admitted into the country in the late 1800s and early 1900s: in 1923, the federal government brought in an act that stopped virtually all Chinese immigration until the act was repealed in 1947. In 2006, the federal government offered an official apology to the Chinese-Canadian community along with a payment of $20,000 to about 400 survivors or their widows. But even that was controversial: many Chinese-Canadians rejected it as a token apology, and one that came far too late. Like many young Canadians, Lesley Loksi Chan didnt know too much about the head tax growing up. But when she was approached to do a documentary on the subject, she jumped at the opportunity.

Little India (Canadian Immigrant)
By 2006, nearly a million immigrants from the South Asian nation have settled in the country, primarily in the larger urban centres of Toronto and Vancouver where cultural diversity is embraced and celebrated by native Canadians and immigrants alike.

Mainstream goes ethnic,,, but diversity leaves retailers scratching their heads (South Asian Focus)
Mainstream retailers are increasingly detouring into the ethnic markets as the new GTA mainstream, but also keep finding themselves nonplussed by the diversity within this demographic, says a new Ryerson University study. “Over the last four decades the cultural make-up of Toronto has transitioned tremendously, as immigrant source regions have changed from largely being European to today being more and more South and South East Asia,” study lead author and director of Ryerson’s Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity Tony Hernandez told Focus. Looking at the size, speed and trajectory of this growth, retailers are sitting up and taking note, trying to understand this new market better.

Report available for purchase ($125) –

Residents defend Campbellford in wake of KKK incident (Belleville Intelligencer)
A community thrown into the media spotlight by a distasteful Halloween costume is rallying even as police say they doubt criminal charges will arise from the incident. Campbellford residents up to the mayor of Trent Hills are condemning the individuals involved while insisting the incident in which a Halloween party-goer dressed in a Ku Klux Klan costume does not reflect the community. “Trent Hills is a truly welcoming place to live and visit, which makes the offensive actions of these individuals even more unfortunate and disappointing,” Mayor Hector Macmillan stated in a release. “We remain a friendly community that values diversity and openness. “The unacceptable actions of these two individuals is in no way representative of Trent Hills and should not be reflected back on this wonderful community or the Royal Canadian Legion.”

Gold for Canada’s Cultural Mosaic. Credit Education Week 2010 (For the love of money blog)
For many immigrants to Canada, financial wisdom is as good as gold. Thats why Credit Canada has made it a priority this year to focus on the financial literacy of newcomers to our country. In fact, we are pleased to announce we are working with Capital One and a number of other partners in the financial sector as well as federal and provincial governments to theme this falls Credit Education Week (November 15 19, 2010) around immigrants.

CSIC applauds Quebec government’s positive move to protect its consumers by regulating immigration consultants (CSIC)
Today, the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) launched an information campaign to promote the Quebec government’s positive move to protect its consumers by regulating immigration consultants. Starting today, Québec’s new regulation concerning immigration consultants is in force. All immigration consultants dealing with the government of Quebec have until February 2, 2011 to register with the province and obtain certification from the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC); those that do not will be shut out of the Quebec immigration process by the government.


Refugee bashing (Montreal Gazette)
“We await you with open arms -just don’t dare to actually turn up at our door.” This, it appears, is the message the government of Canada would like to send to the world’s refugees. Canada is a signatory of the Refugee Convention, which commits us to grant asylum to people with a well-founded fear of persecution who seek our protection. We can take pride in the fact that it was a Canadian, the late John Humphrey, who drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which, in 1948, enshrined the right to seek asylum in international law. Canada thus turned a page on shameful incidents such as the turning back of the SS St. Louis in 1939, which saw hundreds of refugees from Nazi Germany returned to face death in concentration camps.

Group helping refugee family (Owen Sound Times)
A local church group is work-ing to help a Somali refugee woman and her two young daughters escape a “dangerous situation” in Egypt to begin a new life in Owen Sound before Christmas. The “family at risk” is being sponsored by the Owen Sound and Vicinity Ministerial Associa-tion’s refugee sponsorship task force, which successfully trans-ferred a refugee family from Burma to the city in 2009. The group must raise $15,600, which Rev. Claire Miller of St. Thomas Anglican Church says is possible, given the generosity shown to the Lu family over the last few years. “I see it as part of our mission as people of faith, especially being in Canada and having so many blessings, that we realize how blessed we are so that we pass on some of that generosity to others,” Miller said Wednesday.

Government of Canada announces five appointments to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada to help reduce backlog of refugee claims (Canada News Centre)
James Railton, Michael Somers, Nina Stanwick and George Wang were appointed to the Toronto regional office. Richard W. Jackson was appointed to the Vancouver regional office. These experienced former members of the IRB will be able to begin hearing cases quickly after a brief training period and will help reduce the backlog of refugee claims during the period of transition to the new refugee determination system. The end of their mandates coincides with the coming into force of the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, currently scheduled to be implemented in late 2011.

Roma asylum seekers give up on Canada (AFP)
Unemployed and twice attacked in his native Czech Republic, 50-year-old Ladislav Bledy came to Canada with his family in July 2009 seeking asylum. Frustrated after 15 months of waiting for his case to be heard by Canada’s refugee board, he withdrew his application — along with hundreds of fellow Roma — and is now returning to his homeland to face yet more uncertainty. “I came to Canada along with my wife and three children for a better life. We all waited here for 15 long months but nothing happened,” Bledy said through an interpreter.

Eight years on, Burmese refugee still waits for landed status (Toronto Star)
Ler Wah Lo Bo fought against the autocratic regime in Burma, fled the country and received asylum in Canada in 2002. Eight years later Ottawa still refuses to grant him permanent status, because he fought against his former country. The Toronto man has been left in a legal limbo, unable to become a full-fledged citizen, denied the right to travel abroad and worse, unable to sponsor his family to join him. Lo Bos plight highlights what critics say will happen to many more legitimate refugees under the federal governments bill aimed at cracking down on human smuggling.–eight-years-on-burmese-refugee-still-waits-for-landed-status

Rwandan refugee explodes onto Ottawa running scene (Your Ottawa Region)
On the shores of the St. Lawrence River, he speeds across the fields at Fort Henry, his stride so smooth and effortless it almost seems like hes flying. The other runners in the lead pack manage to stick by his side for the first two loops of the 10-kilometre race, as they keep the first-time cross-country competitor guessing with frequent accelerations and decelerations. But they cant keep up forever. The athlete with a smile on his face the whole way coasts in almost 20 seconds faster than the best runner from the hometown Queens Golden Gaels. Informed that he was only 17 years old, observers say it simply couldnt be true. Who was this kid that came out of nowhere and just blew away some of the top university runners in the province? And where the heck did he come from?–rwandan-refugee-explodes-onto-ottawa-running-scene

Canadian Tamils oppose proposed ‘human smuggling’ bill C-49 (Digital Journal)
If passed, the Federal Government will have the ability to arbitrarily jail refugee claimants, deny permanent residency status, bar refugees from reuniting with their families in Canada, and revoke refugee status after it has been granted, amongst other draconian measures, said National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) spokesperson, Krisna Saravanamuttu. Many of the measures in Bill C-49 contravene the 1951 Refugee Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The NCCT is urging all members of parliament to reject the bill and further the countrys commitment to protecting human rights. But would the bill even deter refugees?

New website: Refugee Space Project (via Refugee Research Network)
“Refugee Space Project”, as its name suggests, is a “Project” created on Tuesday December 01, 2009 by MacGoddins Lushimba (Denver, Colorado, USA) in very close consultation and collaboration with Souleymane Kabwe (Providence, Rhode Island, USA) to honor all those folks that were or are still victims of war, political, ethnic, religious conflicts and many other natural or man-made calamities. n other words, the Refugee Space Project is a “Space”, a “Platform” or “Network” intending to connect refugees among themselves first of all, and then with other non-refugee people (friends of refugees) so that they can reason about the life of these people of concern and share their stories, ideas and ideals to raise public awareness about the reality of life they are leading in the world.


Scotiabank Receives Prestigious 2010 Partners in Diversity Award (Canada Newswire)
Scotiabank is honoured to be named the recipient of the 2010 Partners in Diversity Award by the Canadian Centre for Diversity (CCD). The award recognizes Scotiabank’s strong and ongoing commitment to the Centre. The Partners in Diversity Award was accepted by Scotiabank’s Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Sabi Marwah. He has worked closely with the Centre in championing its goal of promoting inclusivity, respect and understanding amongst Canadians from all backgrounds and communities.


The millstone and David Miller (Eye Weekly)
Leading an impossibly big and mixed up city aint easy, but David Miller did an admirable job… Miller himself often had a difficult time communicating his successes, which could be complex and have long-term goals. But Millers annual Remembrance Day speeches, given at the cenotaph in front of Old City Hall, were some of the best Canadian speeches of late, with writing approaching West Wing standards (sadly, the fictional TV show set the benchmark for great political writing). He saw Toronto as the living breathing evocation of Canadian values. From 2005: More than half of Torontonians come from countries other than Canada. That includes places like Rwanda, Afghanistan, Bosnia, El Salvador, East Timor and dozens of other regions that have been devastated by civil war, terrorism, oppression and genocide. Our city is home to many people who fled armed conflict. Who feared for their lives, and for their childrens lives. Seeing Toronto as a site of salvation places it among the great cities of the world. I will also miss having a leader who was involved in (and leading) the growing global-city movement, where cities are becoming transnational players. When Miller was abroad, he represented Toronto in a statesman-like (and, yes, cool) way, leading climate change talks at Copenhagen even as our federal government became the butt of global jokes.–the-millstone-and-david-miller

How Torontos election changed one candidate (Toronto Sun)
Even though our motto talks about the possibility and greatness of diversity, in real practice, we are far behind even compared to the United States, and in recent days, Calgary, where a Muslim is now mayor. But the possibility of those words keeps the fire burning and I always try to find the possibility and magic of public service close to my heart. During the election Id visit buildings written off by political leaders only because the majority of the residents are landed immigrants. Why are prospective Canadians who pay their taxes, send their children to the area public schools, and care about the safety of their environment denied a city vote? These are the issues that influence the direction of the city you live in. I cannot see any possible harm in inviting more potential Canadians to take part.

Spacing Toronto Thursday Headlines
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to the Election Aftermath, Waterfront, Transportation, Chemical Cloud, G20 Aftermath and Other News.


Engage! November 2010 (Tamarack)
In this Issue — Idea Dancing and Pebbles from Heaven | Making Saskatchewan Poverty Free | Discovering and Building On What Works | 500 Voices: On Belonging to Community | Community Engagement, Leadership and Schools | The Soul of Community.


UBC Dialogues in Ottawa on Nov. 16: Can we stop human trafficking? (End Modern-Day Slavery)
Human trafficking has become a world-wide problem. From prostitution and forced labour to the sale of individuals for their organs, the market for human slaves seems inexhaustible. On Thursday, November 18, at 6:30 pm join fellow alumni, donors and friends and leading UBC and community experts for this provocative dialogue in Ottawa and find out if putting a stop to human trafficking is realistic. The event will be held at the Canadian Museum of Civilizations, Voyageur Room, 100 Laurier Street, Gatineau.

Canadas government takes aim at Craigslist (End Modern-Day Slavery)
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has written Craigslist, appealing to the free online advertiser to remove classifieds for erotic sex services, which have been abandoned in the U.S. following an outcry that they promoted prostitution and human trafficking.

Feds Applauded for Demanding Craigslist Shut Down Erotic Services: Victims Groups, Aboriginal Leaders, Experts (End Modern-Day Slavery)
Benjamin Perrin, a law professor at the University of British Columbia and author of Invisible Chains: Canadas Underground World of Human Trafficking, eight leading Canadian organizations committed to the issue, five provincial governments and almost 10,000 members of the public have called on Craigslist to immediately shut down its erotic/adult services section in Canada as recently done in the U.S. They are joined today by the federal government. Minister of Justice and Attorney General Rob Nicholson announced today he has written the Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster demanding the website shut down its erotic services ads in Canada, just as done in the U.S. in September 2010.

Justice Minister presses Craigslist to remove erotic-services ads (Globe and Mail)
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says he has asked the online classified giant Craigslist to remove any ads for erotic services. With respect to newspapers, there are editors, I am sure, who take precautions to make sure theyre not getting into the business of child exploitation or human trafficking and so on in their classified ads, Mr. Nicholson said after the Conservative caucus meeting on Wednesday. It seems to me with Craigslist theres no regulation at all as to what goes on.

Quebec fails human trafficking victim (Laval News)
The author of a new book that exposes the widespread extent of human trafficking in Canada for the first time takes aim at the government of Quebec for not cracking down on a branch of criminality he compares to modern-day slavery concealing itself behind escort services and violent street gangs. Unfortunately the Quebec government has not put a system in place to help trafficking victims, Benjamin Perrin, author of Invisible Chains: Canadas Underworld World of Human Trafficking, said in a phone interview with the Laval News. He said failure to have a plan in place, as is the case with the Quebec government, is having a severe impact on human trafficking victims. When Perrin, an assistant professor with the University of British Columbias Faculty of Law, initially started researching the issue of human trafficking in Cambodia a decade ago, he didnt expect to see the same phenomenon not only manifesting itself, but becoming widespread in this country.

Second suspect arrested in rare human trafficking case (Waterloo Record)
A second suspect was arrested Wednesday in connection with a rare case involving alleged human trafficking of a woman in exchange for drugs. The young man was detained and handcuffed outside a Kitchener courtroom while he was waiting to testify at a bail hearing on behalf of a suspect already in custody. Police confirmed the arrest was related to human trafficking a charge never before laid locally but didnt provide details.

New Publication: Trafficking’s Links to Gender, Migration, Labour, Globalisation and Security (Refugee Research Network)
The lives of migrant working women are complex. In their realities, labour, migration, gender, trafficking, globalization and security are embedded and cannot be seen separately. However, in most literature, in the practice of many NGOs and international organizations, and in the policies of many governments, these aspects of their lives are taken to a more abstract level and/or treated as separate specialties. While this can have benefits, the 2007 GAATW study Collateral Damage revealed that this separation can also be harmful… GAATW would like to contribute to a more nuanced and grounded understanding of trafficking, and how it relates to other sectors and, ultimately, to move away from stereotypes and a single focus on crime control, towards a nuanced understanding of trafficking and related issues, awareness of agency of the person involved, and most importantly, a focus that includes human rights. TheWorking Papers are one step in this direction.


New Urbanism pioneer embraces ‘smart growth’ (
If you’ve heard about New Urbanism, theanti-sprawl philosophy practised in many planning circles, chances are it’s because of Andres Duany, the Miamibased architect, urban planner and evangelist-in-chief for the popular design movement. Mr. Duany, born in America but raised in Cuba and Spain, has for three decades boosted the ideals of New Urbanism in forums from Rome to Sydney to Harvard Square… Q How has New Urbanism been received in Canada, compared with the U.S.? A Well, it’s always easier in Canada, because the New Urbanism is closer to the British planning tradition of the garden city, the small-town tradition. And it’s closer to the Canadian planning system. I’ve verified this because we have since done six projects in Scotland. There is an Anglo-Canadian connection.


At Digital Marketing Awards, Manifest took home Gold in the Public Service category for Renew the World (via email)
At last nights Digital Marketing Awards, Manifest took home Gold in the Public Service category for Renew the World, the website we created for the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation. ( ) The Digital Marketing Awards represents Canadas highest honours for interactive marketing. Judging is based on creativity, results and the ability to leverage the interactive environment to its full potential. Were pretty happy that the site was recognized on home turf after winning a Webby in New York last June. But were especially thrilled that the award will bring even more awareness to the need to support stem cell science and its potential to renew the world. Stay tuned in 2011 as we get ready to mark the 50th anniversary of the discovery of stem cells.
(no link)


Tabling of the 2009-10 Departmental Performance Reports and Canada’s Performance 2009-10 (Canada News Centre)
Of interest:
Canada Border Services Agency
Canadian Heritage
Canadian Human Rights Commission
Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Human Resources and Skills Development
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission Secretariat
Statistics Canada
Status of Women Canada

Why progressives need guns in populist knife fight (Globe and Mail)
As goes Toronto, so goes the U.S. Congress. Who knew that Canada’s least-favourite city was so influential? Toronto elects a focused right-wing populist. Next thing you know, the minority of Americans who bother to vote do the same. What’s going on? It is worth remembering, to begin, that all politics really are local. The world is not being swept by impersonal forces, and history is not ending. But it is clearly not a great time to be an incumbent… So if the rest of us want to beat the nostrums on offer from our friends on the political right, both here in Canada and there in the United States, we need to offer something other than lists of complicated new government programs.

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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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