Maytree News Headlines – November 8, 2010


News in Review Week ending November 5, 2010 (Maytree blog)
We follow a lot of sources and send out links to many articles every day. But we know that your time is limited and you may not be able to follow them all. So, were going to try something new. At the end of each week, well grab a few stories that seem to have gotten a lot of coverage and pull out some of the themes and headlines that might be worth your time. If youre interested in our daily news coverage (and more), follow us on Twitter.

Marriages of convenience problems persist (CBC)
Marriages of convenience are a continuing issue for Canada’s immigration system, despite internal warnings by immigration officials in 2007 that they were a serious concern, the CBC has learned. In February 2007, officials with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) requested an investigation into “the high number of potential fraud cases related to possible marriages of convenience” in the Punjab region in India, according to internal documents obtained under the Access to Information Act.

Globalising the city (Open Democracy)
Best cities are flexible, innovative, and they find solutions. They create opportunities for themselves and others – and seize them.” The statement by Joe Berridge of Urban Strategies and Global Citizen, captured the essence and the ethos of the first international Cities of Migration Conference, An Opportunity Agenda for Cities. The conference was packed with speakers and innovative integration practices from nearly fifty cities around the world. It brought together experts and leaders from cities as far flung as New York and Berlin, Birmingham, Auckland and Montreal, and facilitated a very practical dialogue and exchange of ideas as well as interactive learning to inspire leadership and new thinking on migration. Participants shared their citys stories of success and enabled those stories to travel from one city to another. The tone and the feel of the conference was very positive – which seemed a bit distant from the current negative overall global tone on migration and the ever increasing restrictions and tightening of borders.

Go for skilled immigrants (Toronto Sun)
Despite leading off with the right approach to immigration in 2011 – as in the dire need for more skilled immigrants to contribute to our society, pay taxes and keep the post-recession economy moving – Kenney is actually reducing the number of skilled immigrants who will be accepted next year by upwards of 6,000. How will this, in his words, “help keep our work force strong?” We’ll answer that for him. It won’t.

The New Expats (The Walrus)
Many Somalis came to Canada looking for a better life. They found it back in Africa… Bashir Mohamed is the very picture of a proud proprietor, flitting sociably between tables at the Mug, his chic bistro in the heart of Nairobis business district. It is Friday evening, and the citys young professionals have arrived en masse to decompress over steaming lattes (no alcohol is served, this being a Muslim establishment). The wall-mounted flat screen television is tuned to Ghanas World Cup game against Uruguay, and every so often the entire place heaves with despair as the home team misses another goal not that everyone in the café is Ghanaian. Many are Somalis, like Bashir, but then the entire continents hopes are pinned on the Black Stars. More unexpected, perhaps, is that most of the Somalis here have come to Kenya by way of Canada.

Cultures engage at Diversity Cup (
There may have been trophies up for grabs this weekend, but the Peel Regional Police Diversity Cup basketball tournament is all about friendship. Hundreds of players from various cultures gathered at the University of Toronto Mississauga for the fourth annual tournament. Sgt. Andrew Cooper formed the event to build positive relationships between several diverse communities.–cultures-engage-at-diversity-cup

Canadian multiculturalism vs. German “multikulti” (Toronto Star)
Among such countries, Canada stands apart as not only being multicultural, but as a country that has actively encouraged multiculturalism through its laws and policies for decades. Rejecting a sad history of discriminatory immigration and citizenship laws that had at times actively prevented the entry or assimilation of Chinese, South Asian and Jewish immigrants, among others, and turning its back on the attitudes that had led to the internment of Canadians of Japanese descent during World War II, the Canadian government first began actively promoting the integration of immigrants through its multiculturalism policy in the early 1970s. Such policies have been pursued by both Liberal and Conservative governments ever since. And, eureka, it is working!

Unity in Diversity nominees announced (North Shore News)
Ten West Vancouver residents and organizations have been nominated for an award for their part in bringing together people from diverse backgrounds. The 12th Annual Unity In Diversity awards will be presented on Wednesday by members of the Baha’i Community of West Vancouver, with the goal of recognizing groups and people who have made significant contributions to promoting understanding and mutual respect between diverse groups.

Time to Sound the Alarm on Canada’s Immigration Policy (EpochTimes)
The Centre for Immigration Policy Reform, which has some very influential people as directors and friends, believes that while immigration is having a major impact on the lives of Canadians, there is a serious lack of accurate information about its benefits and liabilities. The Centre believes that immigration is not a practical means of providing enough workers to pay the taxes needed to support our aging population. And Lowell Green bravely steps into the fray with his new book, whose full name is Mayday! Mayday! Curb immigration, stop multiculturalism, or it’s the end of the Canada we know.

Skilled Immigration: Canada Prefers Cooks and Chefs to Lawyers (Modern Ghana)
Never mind if you cannot tell the difference between a cook and a chef. Just bear in mind that in Canada any kitchen worker is more important than a Harvard-trained lawyer or a top-rate computer scientist. In the revised and updated immigration qualifications for highly-skilled migrants, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has explicitly excluded lawyers, teachers and other important professionals, waving a green flag for cooks and chefs, who are recognised as different professionals, alongside many others. Canada is a very immigrant-friendly country. It is one of few G8 member countries where multiculturalism is respected and tolerated to intolerable levels by the political elite and even by the immigrant-threatened working class. Unlike in Germany where Chancellor Angela Merkel recently threatened immigrants to stick to the German ways or stick out, Canadian immigrants are encouraged and almost ‘pampered’ with attractive packages to integrate and prosper. Next year, some 265,000 immigrants will pour into the country. About the same number were expected last year. But what happens when the immigrants touch down on Canadian soil? The system tells a different story.

Government Agencies Powerless Over Canada Immigration Consultants (
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said foreign and local immigration consultants have capitalized on many Filipinos desire to pack their bags for the North American market. They are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and got business permits from local government units, so they will regulate the work of these consultants, Baldoz told the OFW Journalism Consortium. The phenomenon of immigration consultants has caught the attention of the Canadian government, with no less than Canadian Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Jason Kenney coming to the Philippines last month to assess the situation. In a press conference, Kenney said he is aware that people representing themselves as immigration consultants had been advertising and claiming they can help Filipinos enter Canada.

Newcomers learn about Canada through volunteering (
Feeba Justin was ready to give up. The Markham woman, who’d been a high school teacher with two masters degrees back home in India, was struggling to find work in her field here. She’d immigrated to Canada two and a half years ago and was disappointed to learn her experience and masters degrees in foreign trade and business philosophy weren’t enough to return to teaching; she needed a Bachelor of Education from a Canadian post-secondary institution. That required her old university transcripts, which meant a whole lot of jumping through hoops to get the paperwork and possibly a return to her school in India. She felt overwhelmed. “I just didn’t know how to start. I am so passionate about my work and I believe in my future, but I had almost given up hope. I felt like I was never going to get to do what I wanted to do.” Then she heard about the Vision Project, which provides newcomers an opportunity to gain volunteer experience in York Region schools.–newcomers-learn-about-canada-through-volunteering

Multiculturalism at its best (
Canada is muddling through its own multiculturalism but it is clear we have nothing to learn from Europe. We have a long way to go build an equitable and justice society for all the diverse people who call this a home now and it must be done by reconciling our understanding of multiculturalism to the reality of our First Nations’ struggles but we are a lot further than people give us credit.

Durham seeks grant for diversity plan (
In an move to be more inclusive, Durham Region hopes to develop a diversity training plan for staff. The Region has applied for a federal grant to help develop the plan, which would take three years to implement. Pauline Reid, policy and research advisor to the chief administrative officer, says the Region has been working on a local diversity and immigration partnership council, which had an “external focus. It made us think what we needed to do internally.

Punishing cross-burning stops the fire next time (Globe and Mail)
The burning of a two-metre cross on the lawn of a bi-racial family in rural Nova Scotia last year was an act of intimidation verging on terrorism. It is important that Canadian justice recognize its viciousness, and not simply penalize it under the bland catch-all criminal harassment. Provincial Court Judge Claudine MacDonald was right to declare it an illegal incitement of hatred, and to find 20-year-old Justin Rehberg guilty as charged.

Judges scramble for court interpreters (Globe and Mail)
A shortage of court interpreters has grown so acute that anxious judges are poaching them from one another, an Ontario judge told a legal conference Friday. Day in and day out, the courts are unable to get competent interpreters, Ontario Court Judge Casey Hill said to the annual convention of the Criminal Lawyers Association. The competition between courts has become almost cut-throat. There just arent enough to go around.

Connecting the dots (National Post)
What the fact that 75% of Canada’s population growth relies on immigration says “in effect, is that tomorrow’s a crapshoot; tomorrow is whoever happens to turn up.” When Immigration Minister Jason Kenney suggests, as he did this week, that Canadians can choose between higher immigration levels, or having more children, he leaves out one option: for Canadians to stop spending at a rate that demands population growth. In any case, Mr. Steyn says, the fact that most immigrants bring behind them older or unproductive family members is just a way to “kick the can 10 years down the line and ensure there’s an even bigger population making demands upon the state for which you’ll have to bring in even more people.” Eventually, the pyramid scheme runs out. We are, he says, engaged in nothing less than “civilizational suicide.”

All-white council fails to reflect Guelph’s diversity (Guelph Mercury)
The 37 municipal election candidates vying for your votes last month were, in many ways, quite a diverse group. Ranging in age from 24 to 70, the 24 men and 13 women who put their names forward represented a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds, political viewpoints and experience. But they were not as diverse in at least one way the colour of their skin. All of the candidates were white.

Id like to see student diversity reflected in Sheridans Board of Governors and staff Jeff Zabudsky, President & CEO of Sheridan College (South Asian Generation Next)
Sheridan College prides itself for 93 per cent employer satisfaction rate, record breaking enrollment, on graduating more than 100,000 graduates in over 1,000 programs, for largest Arts school program, for 27 per cent awards from ACCC and much more says Mr. Jeff Zabudsky, President and CEO of Sheridan College. Mr. Zabudsky was addressing an audience of more than 700 people who have gathered on the occasion of Sheridans Big Picture Gala at Mississauga Convention Centre. The Chair of Gala is Jake Dheer, Rogers Station Manager in Mississauga.

MARTIN MORDECAI: Diaspora Dialogues Mentor in Fiction 2010 (Diaspora Dialogues blog)
Over his lifetime, Mordecai has worked in newspapers, radio and television. His intriguing observation about television is that it is “the great wasted technology of the twentieth century” having not lived up to its potential to deliver quality work, unlike film, a medium created around the same time. Mordecai also spent twelve years in the diplomatic service for his birth country, Jamaica, much of it in England. He remarks on the delightful coincidence of the daughter of his one of his former diplomatic colleagues being one of his mentees in the Diaspora Dialogues’ program.

CIC – NHQ: Call for Proposals for a National Repository Initiative that Support the Settlement of Newcomers (CIC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is requesting proposals from suppliers to develop a national repository to share resources for adult language training services. CIC, together with provincial and territorial governments, identified the need to create a national repository of adult language teaching resources. In addition to its function as a free resource database, the repository is to provide a suite of interactive tools to facilitate exchanges between Canadian professionals involved in language training for adult newcomers. Ultimately, these tools should improve teaching practice and increase efficiency of service delivery. The deadline for submissions is December 10, 2010.

Have your say: Increasing cultural diversity in the nonprofit sector (HR Council for the NPO sector)
The HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector is exploring the challenges nonprofit organizations face when hiring and retaining new immigrants and members of visible minorities. Graybridge Malkam (Consultants hired by the HR Council) will be developing an Issues paper to identify the issues that nonprofit employers face when hiring and retaining new immigrants and members of visible minorities. The aim of this exercise is to initiate a dialogue to address these issues – and we are looking for your input. As part of this initiative, we invite you to share your thoughts and perspectives on this matter in a brief survey. The survey should take between 10 and 15 minutes of your time to complete.

Community hubs connect newcomers with vital services (Toronto Star)
For more years than anyone can remember, 3079 Danforth Ave. was a busy paint and wallpaper store. These days, residents of Crescent Town are doing a different kind of shopping there. The paint and tiles are gone and the building transformed into a gathering place for the community where a slew of health, social, youth and community services are all under one roof. Located just east of Victoria Park, AccessPoint Danforth has been operating since August but celebrated its official opening a few days ago. Already, its becoming the heart of the community. More than 400 people, many of them who rely on the centres services, attended the housewarming for the citys second so-called community hub.–community-hubs-connect-newcomers-with-vital-services

James: City facing questions about KKK dress-up in Parkdale (Toronto Star)
Google strange fruit and lynching and you may never again think it funny or a joke to dress up in a Ku Klux Klan robe and drag a black man around, his neck in a noose. The hateful Halloween costume fiasco in Campbellford, Ont., suggests that the horrors of a racist American South are somehow lost on small-town Ontario, a few decades removed from the despicable era. Alas, even in downtown Toronto, today, people dont get it. City officials are now facing questions as to why three caretakers have not been disciplined after staff complained in 2008 they dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan outfit and chanted White power slogans at the Masaryk-Cowan community centre in Parkdale.–james-city-facing-questions-about-kkk-dress-up-in-parkdale

Reel Asian Preview: Kung-Fu, Political Thrillers, and More Kung-Fu (Well, Wing Chun) (Toronto Star)
The fourteenth annual Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival kicks off on Tuesday, November 9, and for those of you curious about exploring the fests endless East Asian bounties, well be previewing a few of the dozens of film and video titles screening this year. Today, Torontoists John Semley and Ryan West look at a few martial arts set pieces, and Yoshihiro Nakamuras follow-up to Fish Story, which took home the Audience Award at last years festival.

Multicultural Meltdown (Vancouver Sun)
An Angus Reid poll on Monday suggests some broad discontent with Canada’s traditional policy on multiculturalism. While we have long touted ‘the mosaic’ strategy on immigrant integration, it turns out a majority of Canadians in 2010 — 54 per cent — prefer the U.S. style ‘melting pot’ approach, in which newcomers are expected to blend into the broader culture rather than hang on to their particular customs and traditions. Young people and British Columbians are most supportive of the mosaic model, while Quebecers, Albertans and older people are least supportive. On whether multiculturalism has been good or bad for Canada, Canadians are split with 55 per cent feeling positive, 30 per cent feeling negative.


Bogus refugees target Ontario (Toronto Sun)
About 440 failed refugees from the U.S. are streaming to Ontarios border crossings each month to file claims in a bid to avoid deportation, federal statistics show. Bogus refugees from the U.S. accounted for 3,100 claimants who arrived at Pearson airport or border crossings from January to July of this year, according to immigration department figures obtained by the Toronto Sun. The statistics reveal that even 300 U.S. citizens made refugee claims for asylum in Canada during that time. Many other claims were made by citizens of visa-free European Union countries like Hungary and Slovakia who are flooding here to work, immigration officials said.

Papers: Stories of undocumented youth (
Papers follows five undocumented youth and tells their stories with the backdrop of the DREAM Act movement. The DREAM Act, a bipartisan initiative developed by Sen. Orin Hatch [R-UT] and Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL], is a progressive policy response to the issue with one caveat for the use of the word alien in the acronym DREAM Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. The DREAM Act would provide qualifying undocumented youth eligibility to enter into a conditional path to full citizenship (for example, requiring youth to complete a college degree or give two years of military service prior to applying for citizenship).

Assessing Bill C-49: An Act to Prevent Human Smugglers from Abusing Canadas Immigration System (will also be live streamed) (Refugee Research Network)
In response to a few hundred Tamil asylum seekers who arrived in Canada onboard two ships over the past year, the government has introduced Bill C-49. In addition to modifying the definition of human smuggling and the penalties imposed on human smugglers, the Bill seeks to di……scourage asylum seekers from coming to Canada without valid visas. It does so by allowing the government to designate as “irregular” any group of asylum seekers who come to Canada, and then imposing penalties on asylum seekers, regardless of whether they subsequently obtain refugee status. The penalties include: mandatory unreviewable detention, limits on appeal rights, and five year bars on obtaining permanent residence (during which time refugees cannot bring family members to Canada and cannot leave the country). 2010/11/12 – 12:00 – 14:00


PODCAST: Post-election, post-Katrina, and winter island living (Spacing Toronto)
The votes have been counted and Toronto has a new mayor. But what now? We sit down with Alan Broadbent, chairman of the Maytree Foundation, for his take on what lies ahead.

Audio direct link – (Alan is the lead item)

Spacing Toronto Monday Headlines
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to the Election Aftermath, Rebel Mayore, City Building, Transportation, G20 Aftermath, Community, Animals and Culture.


Root causes (Hamilton Spectator)
The Conservative government made good last week on its budget promise with its $10-million package to address the high number of aboriginal women who go missing or are killed every year. Its a move that was welcomed by organizations across Canada, including the Native Womens Association of Canada. But as solutions go, its still a $10-million Band-Aid on a $1-billion problem.–root-causes

WI presentation to Cities Centre forum on Torontos Tower neighbourhoods (Wellesley Institute)
Toronto has the second highest number of high-rise communities in all of North America but many of the structures are decaying and the neighbourhoods are distressed. Inclusionary housing is a zoning tool that could help to ensure that redeveloped Tower neighbourhoods are healthy and inclusive. Here is the WIs presentation to the University of Torontos Cities Centre for a forum on Tower neighbourhoods that includes academics, private and non-profit practitioners and government policy-makers.


Trafficking cases face legal struggles (Calgary Herald)
A 25-year-old man is facing charges of human trafficking, one of only a few dozen Canadians to be accused of the crime under new legislation introduced in 2005. Yet, despite the blustery rhetoric and promises to put an end to this modern-day form of slavery, only five people have been convicted of human trafficking in Canada. All of those cases involved Canadians who were exploited within the country. The law has so far done nothing to stop those who traffic people from abroad.

New Books on Human Trafficking (Forced Migration Current Awareness blog)
A list of recently released books on human trafficking.


Lagging behind (Winnipeg Free Press)
Aboriginal people and especially First Nations youth continue to fare far worse in school, which may explain some of this province’s results. The contrast with immigrants is arresting — 25.8 per cent of First Nations youth living off-reserve and 19 per cent of Métis did not graduate from high school (or its equivalent); only 6.2 per cent of immigrant youth dropped out.

Crisis? What crisis? Toronto Star investigates Broken Peoples, Broken Policy (Toronto Star)
The national chief’s renewed call to “move beyond the Indian Act” comes in the wake of “Broken Peoples, Broken Policy,” a Toronto Star investigation into Canada’s broken Indian Act system.–crisis-what-crisis?bn=1

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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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