Maytree News Headlines – December 1, 2010


A Tale of Three DiverseCity onBoard Candidates (Maytree blog)
In this video, Cathy Winter, Manager of DiverseCity on Board at Maytree, speaks about three candidates of the program.

Diaspora Dialogues, a jack-of-all trades literary program, nurtures immigrant writer talent (Yonge Street Media)
The tragic underbelly of Toronto — stories of a father’s suicide, a gruesome murder, and the trial of a violent transvestite — are integral to the city’s texture, and part of some of the finely crafted works in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, a yearly publication put out by the literary jack-of-all trades organization, Diaspora Dialogues. The stories, written by established and emerging immigrant talent, are one of many ways that Diaspora Dialogues (DD) contributes to Toronto’s burgeoning literary scene. Combining teaching programs, multi-media events and a publishing house, Diaspora Dialogues is committed to bringing diverse and ethnic writers into the mainstream.

A safe space for Latino drag queens (Toronto Star)
This tiny space at the Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples in Torontos gay village at Wellesley and Church Sts. makes them feel at home a far more welcoming place than the homes they fled in Latin America. The young men also from Colombia and Ecuador are participants in the Mano en Mano program, a four-week life skills course designed to help gay Latinos, mostly immigrants, deal with adjustment issues while exploring the sexual freedom they never before had, as part of HIV/AIDS intervention.–a-safe-space-for-latino-drag-queens

Program devoted to ‘dismantling racism’ (
Northern Life publisher Abbas Homayed was among those who helped to officially launch the Historica-Dominion Institute’s Passages to Canada: Dismantling Racism program at Northeastern Elementary School Nov. 30.

Raising the race issue is not racist (Vancouver Sun)
According to Professor Henry Yu of UBC, Maclean’s recent article Too Asian? ( Issues and Ideas, Nov. 27) was designed to incite racial profiling and reinforce the white supremacy that has existed in Canada for two centuries. He predicts that the magazine will have to apologize sooner rather than later, with economic pressure being brought to bear on its parent company, Rogers, if necessary.

Victoria leads in dialogue about diversity (Victoria Times Colonist)
Victoria has become the first Canadian municipality to take action against the article Too Asian? in the Maclean’s 2010 university ranking issue. Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe’s motion, unanimously passed, casts the article’s title as “offensive and intolerant.” Its content “propagates a litany of racial stereotypes,” the motion says, and some “may be perceived as racist in nature.” The council has resolved to write to Maclean’s expressing these concerns.

Kenney defends new citizenship test (National Post)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is defending Canadas new citizenship test, saying the more difficult exam now requiring a passing grade of 75% as opposed to the previous 60% will ensure citizenship applicants have a basic proficiency in English or French, in light of data showing that more than half of all immigrants are not assessed for their knowledge of the countrys official languages.

Appointments to the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 (Marketwire)
John E. Oliver (Nova Scotia) has been appointed Chairperson; Tung Chan (British Columbia) has been appointed Vice-Chairperson; and Ralph Chiodo (Ontario), Ruth M. Goldbloom (Nova Scotia), Richard LeBlanc (New Brunswick), Phuong T.V. Ngo (Ontario), and Rosanna M. Saccomani (Alberta) have been appointed as members of the Board. The appointments of four additional members will be announced shortly.

12-part Special Report: Human Rights Commissions in Canada (Troy Media)

Job crucial for helping expats settle in Canada, report suggests (Expat Forum)
Having a job already arranged before moving to Canada helps expats to settle in better, a new report suggests.

Bible distribution in classrooms divides Ontario community (National Post)
An Ontario school boards vote to allow the distribution of Bibles in classrooms has created a rift between those who insist religion has been pushed too far outside the mainstream of society and those who believe proselytizing should never be allowed in a public school system. The distribution of these Bibles is causing division in our community and making many of our teachers uncomfortable, said Rick Pryce, a local Lutheran minister. This is an issue of justice and it is wrong to divide people along religious lines.

Multicultural BC needs to be Immigrant-Friendly (John Grasty’s blog)
Based on a growing demand for skilled, well-educated workers as Baby Boomers increasingly retire in BC, hiring an immigrant is becoming a necessity. A new website was recently launched by the Immigrant Employment Council of BC to help employers connect with immigrants to increase the diversity of the workforce:


Refugee claimants entering Quebec from US (
A legal loophole has would-be refugees in the U.S. coming into Canada through the Quebec border, CBC News has learned.

New human smuggling laws debated (Langley Advance)
The new human smuggling laws drafted by the Conservatives are being criticized by the opposition. The Harper government is delivering on its commitment to crack down on human smugglers who seek to abuse Canadas immigration system, Langley MP Mark Warawa said.

Living In Limbo (The Link)
When Simo Sandrine TĂ©claire arrived at Dorval airport as an accepted immigrant to Canada in 2006, she was surprised to learn that her file was not going to be accepted after all. The reason: the abusive husband she had fled did not arrive with her. The application for immigration listed her ex-husband as the principle sponsor on the family file and because he was not there, her immigrant status was suddenly null and void. She and her seven-year-old son learned they were to be sent straight back to Cameroon.

Centre for Refugee Studies 2011 Summer Course at York University (Settlement AtWork)
The Summer Course on Refugee and Forced Migration Issues is an internationally acclaimed eight-day course for academic and field-based practitioners working in the area of forced migration. It serves as a hub for researchers, students, practitioners, service providers and policy makers to share information and ideas.

Canada to create new class of political refugees with far fewer rights (World Socialist Web Site)
The government has said that the irregular designation will be made when it has reason to believe that a terrorist organization or illegal traffickers out to make a profit have been involved in the transit of refugee claimants to Canada. According to human rights and refugee advocacy groups, the bills language is so broad that its sanctions could be applied to the vast majority of asylum seekers and to organizations seeking to aid refugees. According to these same groups, the adoption of Bill C-49 would place Canada in violation of its international obligations under three treaties, including the International Refugee Convention, as well as violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


Farm workers deserve more protection (Calgary Herald)
It’s a nice idea per se — but the province’s new farm safety advisory council is no substitute for bringing farm workers in under workplace health and safety laws. The province said Tuesday the new council will have a diverse membership made up of safety groups, farm organizations, municipalities and farm workers, and will look at initiatives to increase safety without financially burdening small farms or indulging in overregulation.

New strategy addresses BC’s looming skills shortage (Keremeos Review)
By 2019, British Columbia will have over a million job openings. Ensuring the province has the skilled workers in place to fill these jobs and flourish economically is the key goal of a new provincial strategy titled Skills for Growth: British Columbias Labour Market Strategy to 2020, released today by Regional Economic and Skills Development Minister Ida Chong… [one of 3 priority areas] Attracting and retaining top talent from across Canada and around the world, highlighting the fact that B.C. is a welcoming environment that is internationally recognized as one of the best places for newcomers and their families to live, work, study and invest.


Rob Ford takes aim at Torontos light-rail transit plan on Day 1 (Globe and Mail)
Mayor confirms that provincially funded Transit City is in his crosshairs.

Spacing Toronto Wednesday Headlines
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Hall, TTC, Transportation, Streetscape & Culture, G20 After-math, Schools and Other News.


Engage! December 2010 (Tamarack Institute)
In this Issue…
* From Down Under
* Measuring Community Change
* How Soup Can Stir Up Community
* A Northern Focus on Poverty and Social Inclusion
* Tell Stories: Change the World
* Painted Shortbreads: The Colour of Christmas

Ontario’s proposed housing plan fails to meet five tests of Housing Network of Ontario (Canada Newswire)
“The Ontario government has proposed some new legislation and administrative procedures that are useful and important, but the essential items for a long-term affordable housing plan – targets, timeline, and most of all funding over a multi-year period – are missing. It’s like they’ve put up the scaffolding, but then forgot to give the workers the tools that they need to get the job done,” says Michael Shapcott, co-Chair of the Housing Network of Ontario. “By the end of this fiscal year, capital funding for new affordable housing is set to shrink to zero. Investment in building new homes and repairing existing rundown housing not only helps the people living in that housing, but also provides a solid boost to the economy, including jobs and even additional tax revenue for the government.”

Ontario’s Community Health Centres provide innovative programs to drive health equity (Wellesley Institute)
In addition to primary health care, CHCs also explicitly address the social determinants of health through programs like community kitchens and academic support for youth. They work toward health equity by designing services with and for health disadvantaged communities.

Education is the fast road to get kids out of poverty (Chronicle Herald)
They usually preach from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but last week two public policy think-tanks found themselves on the same page over the impact of child poverty. The methods they are advocating to reduce those impacts may differ, but there is common ground on the issue between the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, a regional right-wing think-tank and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which leans hard to the left.

Ontario Launches Comprehensive Social Assistance Review (Government of Ontario News)

Poverty issue of urgency: speaker (
It comes down to an issue of urgency, said keynote speaker Mark Chamberlain, chair of the Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction. If a child isnt fed, theyre hungry. If a child isnt fed and goes to school, they typically dont learn. If they dont learn they usually dont graduate and if they dont graduate or do poorly in school, they use the health care and justice system more. Their health outcomes are poor and, like in Hamilton, they die 21 years earlier than their counterparts, he said. If a child is hungry, and they go to school, feed them.–poverty-issue-of-urgency-speaker

Business needs to provide help for less fortunate, John Tory tells Waterloo audience (The Record)
The business community needs to be involved in addressing poverty to create a strong economy and improve their bottom line, John Tory said Tuesday in Waterloo. You cannot have a strong economy without reducing poverty. The two are intertwined, the former leader of the provincial Conservative party told about 80 municipal, business and community leaders.

25 in 5 Welcomes Social Assistance Review; Recommends Interim Steps – Canada NewsWire (Canada Newswire)
The 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction welcomes the news that Ontario’s long awaited Social Assistance review will start in January and be led by two very able commissioners: Frances Lankin and Dr. Munir Sheikh. “We’re very pleased with the broad terms of reference for this review. It will provide recommendations not only on how to transform social assistance but on how it should connect to other income security programs that many of us need to rely on at some point in our lives, such as disability support programs and Employment Insurance,” said Jacquie Maund, Coordinator of Ontario Campaign 2000.

Faith groups draw attention to poverty (
For the first time in the 24 years the provincial Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition has published audits, a landmark York Region poverty report will be included. Behind The Masks – testimonials from those marginalized by income – an 80-page analysis a year in the making. It is the work of Poverty Action for Change Coalition chairperson Tom Pearson and York Region Food Network program co-ordinator Yvonne Kelly.–faith-groups-draw-attention-to-poverty
Full report (PDF)

POVERTY: First Nations youth fights to overcome obstacles (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
According to the B.C. All Chiefs Task Force about 26.7 per cent of Aboriginal families are living at or below the Canadian povery line compared to 17.7 per cent of non-Aboriginal families. About 80 per cent of employed First Nation peoples have incomes below $30,000 a year and more than half arent employed. The lack of household incomes spills into the home and as a result, according to the Assembly of First Nations, Aboriginal children are believed to be the poorest in the country. One in four First Nations children live in poverty compared to one in six non-Aboriginal children.


Federal government gives $750K to Ryerson for business innovation collaboration (Yonge Street Media)
Ryerson University has received $750,000 in funding from the federal government to assist in developing partnerships to commercialize its innovative research. The money, granted under FedDev Ontario’s Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative, will allow Ryerson’s newly established Digital Media Zone to partner with small and medium-sized businesses in southern Ontario to move university-based innovations into the marketplace.

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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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