Maytree News Headlines – January 20, 2011


Text of Ratna Omidvar’s January 17th speech at the Martin Luther King Lecture at the Körber-Foundation, Hamburg – PDF
But he would also likely be dismayed to see the informal barriers to full equality that still exist today, in the US and around the world. The exclusion of people, including racial minorities, migrants, and poor people, continues to occur. This injustice is both subtle and not so subtle, systemic and institutional, and we must all be concerned because as Dr. King pointed out: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. There are numerous organizations engaged in the struggle for justice and equality, and Im privileged to have the opportunity to lead one such group. Maytree is a small, private foundation dedicated to promoting diversity and fighting poverty, with a particular focus on migrant integration and inclusion. While it normally takes one or two generations to reap the benefits of migration, it is Maytrees ambition to do it sooner, faster and better. Every successive stream of migrants enriches our communities. The sooner migrants are both integrated and included in society, the sooner our cities and our country can benefit. I know this both as a refugee and a Canadian.

Indian-born immigrant gets top job at Canada Post (Canadian Immigrant)
Indian-born immigrant Deepak Chopra, former president and CEO of Pitney Bowes Canada and Latin America becomes the President and CEO of the country’s government-owned postal service, Canada Post, for a five-year term, effective Feb. 1. He previously held a number of increasingly senior executive roles with Pitney Bowes.

Canada increases new visa allocation (Irish Independent)
Irish emigrants just can’t get enough of Canada. And it seems the feeling is mutual. Under new rules, Canada has increased its working holiday visa allocation to Ireland by 1,000 and will now also allow Irish people to apply for a second visa.

Identity – especially in Quebec – is always a balancing act (Montreal Gazette)
So why should identity in Canada be a simple issue? In a country feeding its future with immigrants from all over the world, modern life is bound to be complex. In its recent municipal election Toronto supplied telephone-based interpretation in 200 languages. The ballots were published in more than 20 languages. Can you imagine how complex identity is in downtown Toronto where a majority was born outside Canada?

No to multiculturalism? (CCLA Rights Watch)
Kirpans and the debate over the accommodation of religious minorities are making headlines once again. Four Sikh men, members of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, were refused entry to the Quebec National Assembly Tuesday for refusing to comply with security regulations and remove their kirpans. The men had been invited to speak about reasonable accommodation of religious minorities in the context of public hearings discussing Bill 94. The proposed bill, if passed, would prevent individuals with face coverings from receiving or delivering essential government services.

Peel immigration Web portal celebrates its first two years and some 100000 visits (Caledon Citizen)
Peel Region and Peel Newcomer Strategy Group joined with local partners recently to celebrate the second anniversary and 100,000 visits to, the Regions immigration Web portal. Peels is one of 21 municipal immigration portals funded by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada through the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement. Peel launched its site in November 2008 to support the successful integration of newcomers arriving in Ontario and since then it has received nearly 100,000 visitors.

Toronto poised to soak up Bollywood glamour (
Premier Dalton McGuinty said Wednesday Toronto was the perfect host city for the awards show because of its ethnic diversity and leadership in the film industry. South Asians are the largest visible minority in the Greater Toronto Area, with nearly 600,000 residents calling the region home, according to the province.


Tories’ tough talk on immigration ‘destructive for our society,’ critics say (Vancouver Sun)
Refugee advocates say they are becoming increasingly concerned with what they describe as the Harper government’s negative tone and rhetoric when talking about changes to the immigration system. “When governments talk loudly and repeatedly about immigration and refugees in a negative way, it has an impact in the Canadian public,” said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees. “They may feel like they’re winning points electorally, but it is very destructive for our society.”

Human smugglers organizing more Canada-bound ships: Minister (Toronto Sun)
Canada’s public safety minister says he’s “well aware” of human smuggling efforts to send more ships full of paying refugees to Canada. And Vic Toews is calling on the opposition parties to pass the government’s tougher human trafficking bill soon to hopefully deter some of those ships from setting sail in the first place. Reports surfaced this week of security sources warning Canadian government officials of two more ships full of Sri Lankan refugee claimants that could depart for Canada from ports in Southeast Asia in March.

45 diplomats sought refugee status from Canada (Toronto Sun)
Quarterly reports released to QMI Agency under Access to Information from Foreign Affairs reveal 25 claims for 45 individuals were made between Sept. 16, 2009 and Sept. 15, 2010.

Public less supportive of refugee system: Toews (CTV)
Canada’s public safety minister says illegal migrants have hardened Canadians’ attitudes towards refugees entering the country. Vic Toews said he’s concerned that illegal migrants are undermining the usual welcome Canadians give to legitimate refugees. “Certainly the polling after the arrival of the Sun Sea indicated a serious drop in the support to our immigration and refugee system,” Toews told reporters Wednesday.

From Daniel Libeskind, a machine of shame (Globe and Mail)
George Orwell described in his novel 1984 a bleak vision of the future as a boot stamping on a human face forever. The author had been left shaken by totalitarian violence made possible by bland bureaucrats and fanned by hateful ideologies. Its those underlying factors that Daniel Libeskind says he was seeking to highlight as he designed a memorial to the St. Louis that is to be unveiled on Thursday in Halifax. The ship carrying nearly 1,000 refugees, mostly German Jews, was turned away from Cuba, the United States and Canada before returning to Europe in 1939.


Pressure rises to tackle EI inequality (Globe and Mail)
Regional bias is just one of the bizarre anomalies facing unemployed workers trying to collect EI in Canada. Those chronically left outside the system include young people, new immigrants, part-timers and residents of the countrys largest cities, according to the latest in a series of research papers by the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation at the University of Toronto. A special EI task force, which is meeting in Toronto Friday, is conducting public consultation sessions and plans to release recommendations for overhauling the EI system early next year. Its all part of a renewed push, endorsed by the federal NDP and the Ontario government, to nudge EI modernization back to the top of the political agenda.

Yesterday’s EI is failing today’s Canada (Montreal Gazette)
What follows is the first in a five-part series of articles about Employment Insurance from researchers affiliated with the Mowat Centre EI Task Force at the School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Toronto. The Mowat Centre’s EI Task Force Toronto conference and consultations will be held this Friday. Employment Insurance in Canada is broken. The Ontario government has said this for two decades. Many groups across the country have joined in this chorus, urging the federal government to fix the program.

Mowat Centre’s EI Task Force
The Mowat Centre has convened a research-driven Employment Insurance Task Force that is examining Canada’s support system for the unemployed. The objective is to develop an Ontario proposal for modernizing the EI system – conscious of the national context – that works for individuals and businesses.

Living on a food bank diet (
A coalition of social agencies, medical professional associations and anti-poverty groups has been shining a light on the need for more money to be put in the system to help those living on Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program since the campaign kickoff last October and is calling on the provincial government for the additional funds to help those on social assistance have a shot at eating healthier.–living-on-a-food-bank-diet

Poverty a topic that makes sense (
Poverty and its impact on academic success should be a topic covered by students studying to become teachers. That’s the suggestion the Peel District School Board has made to the University of Torontos Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and faculties of education at York and Brock universities.–poverty-a-topic-that-makes-sense

Do educational attainment, gender and age affect labour market outcomes of immigrants? PDF (TIEDI)
How do educational attainment, age and gender influence the labour market outcomes of immigrants
in terms of earnings, unemployment rate and participation rate?

Income inequality: A defining public issue in 2011 (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)
Picking through the wreckage of the global recession, former Privy Council Clerk Alex Himelfarb takes stock of what happened and points to two trends he predicts might shape politics and policy in 2011: the “extraordinary resilience of neoliberal ideology” and the “reemergence of inequality as a defining public issue”.


City launches mentorship program to aid new immigrants (Vancouver Sun)
Claros told her story at a special meeting held at city hall Wednesday where she was introduced as one of 19 skilled new immigrants chosen to participate in a unique four-month career mentorship project launched by the City of Vancouver… The program is a joint initiative between the City of Vancouver, Immigrant Services of British Columbia, MOSAIC, SUCCESS and the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia.

Vancouver kicks off mentoring program for immigrants (The Province)
The city of Vancouver announced a mentorship program Wednesday to help skilled immigrants find work in B.C. The pilot project is pairing 19 city employees in three departments to immigrants finding it difficult to continue their careers in Canada.

Canada invests in credential recognition of skilled immigrants (People’s Daily Online)
Canada has granted more than two million Canadian dollars (about 1.99 million U.S. dollars) to develop a national assessment process for foreign-trained occupational therapists to help them find jobs in their field. The funds, which have been earmarked to the Victoria-based College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia, came as part of the Canadian government’s ongoing efforts to recognize the qualifications of skilled immigrants.


Spacing Toronto Thursday Headlines
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Council, GTA Council, Transit, Sidewalks, City Sites, Police and Other News.

NS: Halifax joins with nations largest cities to promote business in Canada (OCRI News)
C-11 Coalition, a group of the 11 largest Canadian cities met in Ottawa this week to announce a new way for Canadian cities to work together to mutually attract and promote business in Canadas diverse metropolitan areas. Today, the group helped to launch Consider Canada, a website sparked by the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation to promote investing in Canadian cities. The idea is to foster collaboration rather than competition between Canadian cities to foster a better overall business community.

Consider Canada –

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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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