Maytree News Headlines – January 24, 2011


Audio – Ratna’s Martin Luther King Lecture at the Körber-Foundation, Hamburg
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New Generation (CBC Metromorning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Piragal Thiru. He is one of this year’s DiverseCity Fellows.

Immigrants staying in Atlantic Canada: study (CBC)
New research indicates immigrants are no longer using the Atlantic provinces merely as an entry point to Canada but are making the region a long-term home. A study of Statistics Canada information at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax found newcomers who settle in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island fare better than people who settle in traditional immigration hubs such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Academic success of East Asian immigrants overshadows struggles of others (Globe and Mail)
The success of its immigrant students has made Canada a darling on the world stage, the only country with a high proportion of newcomers to rank near the top on international tests. But a closer look reveals the praise is overdone. Not all immigrant groups are thriving in Canadian schools, and the success of some is masking the struggles of others.

The multi-generational home makes a comeback (Globe and Mail)
While multigenerational living is not unusual in many parts of the world, the norm in Canada has historically been small nuclear households, says Barbara Mitchell, professor of sociology and gerontology at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C. Now, however, were seeing a rise in multigenerational families across cultural backgrounds, she says, adding: Immigration has shown us how other types of households can work.

Niagara has its act together (
Federal immigration minister Jason Kenney praised Welland and Niagaras various ethnic communities for their spirit of collaboration, saying they build bridges in a way not seen in larger urban centres in Canada. Speaking briefly to media Saturday afternoon following a round table discussion with about dozen ethic groups at Wellands City Hall, Kenney said the citys size serves it well in this regard, giving the various opportunities to mix together.–niagara-has-its-act-together

Kenney told tourism needs foreign workers (Niagara Falls Review)
Filling job vacancies was the focus of a roundtable discussion in Niagara Falls chaired by Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney. Kenney was in Niagara over the weekend to talk about the region’s cultural diversity and to meet with different cultural groups. On Saturday, he met with representativesfrom the Serbian community for a private break-f ast at The Holiday Inn by the Falls. Kenney said the group supports the idea of more temporary foreign workers to fill labour gaps in both the tourism and agriculture industry.

Opinion: Young African Immigrants and the Law in Canada (Digital Journal)
One of the huge problems the Canadian government is facing is the rising crime rate among young people from immigrant communities across the country. Most of these young offenders or delinquents are from poor and deprived homes where there is little or no parental supervision. These kids are usually school drop outs or come from single parent homes or from homes where the average income is below the poverty line or where the single parent is usually on income assistance. An increasing number of these youths are refugees from Africa and other parts of the so-called third world who arrive here from refugee camps with little or no formal education or zero competence in English or French, Canada’s official languages, the gateway to the job market.

Four Country survey on Racism and Discrimination (Canadian Race Relations Foundation)
Understanding the views of the population around racism and its incidence is an issue crucial to the well-being of societies like Canada where a vast majority of newcomers identify as a visible minority and where visible minorities will constitute an increasingly important percentage of the population. In several countries, debate around racism is polarized with some contending that the phenomenon is all rampant and others denying its very existence. To address this diagnosis, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and the Association for Canadian Studies commissioned a four-country survey during the months of September and October 2010 to look at various aspects of the issues of racism and discrimination. Today, we release the analysis of the results for Canada, Spain, Germany and the United States.,english/

Race relations take a back seat with Ottawa police, critics say (Ottawa Citizen)
Critics charge that the community relations work has been reduced to window-dressing. Efforts to bring the OPS into the 21st century have stalled, and minority officers are leaving, because current police brass are not committed to changing the culture. What was pursued with vigour is no longer being pursued with as much vigour, and thats the chiefs choice, says one source close to the police. You pay the price when a Stacy Bonds type of incident comes up, because the community knows which way the wind is blowing.

Raising the Bar for Canadian Citizenship (The Mark News)
Kenneys response, at the most basic level, is convincing: there is nothing wrong with expecting future Canadian citizens to know something about the countrys history. Nor is there anything wrong with requiring them to have at least a rudimentary ability to communicate in one of Canadas official languages… But there is something that Kenney can, and should, propose to his cabinet colleagues: the Canadian government should obligate every citizen on the federal governments payroll to pass the citizenship exam.

Nasty politics of intolerance plague Canada (StarPhoenix)
It was perhaps fitting that just as the Bloc Québécois was trumping up reasons to ban Sikh ceremonial daggers from the House of Commons, Immigration Minister Jason Kenny was unveiling a memorial to acknowledge the day Canada turned its back on a ship of Jewish refugees. The argument government officials put forward in May 1939 for that fateful decision is fundamentally the same as the one put forward by Bloc whip Claude DeBellefeuille now: Security trumps accommodation.


Natives hugely over-represented in prisons (Toronto Sun)
In the 2008-09 fiscal year, aboriginal convicts made up a whopping 71% of all admissions to provincial institutions. And while the statistics are particularly grim in Manitoba, they point to a larger national trend. From 1998 to 2008, the aboriginal population in federal prisons increased by nearly 20%, according to a Public Safety Canada report. Eric Robinson, Manitoba’s minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, says the numbers are troubling.


Is Canadas employment insurance system working for those who arent employed? Mowat Centre consultation (Wellesley Institute)
The Wellesley Institutes Sheila Block and Michael Shapcott were among dozens of policy analysts, economists, academics and insecurity specialists at a special consultation hosted by the University of Torontos Mowat Centre on employment insurance reform. The centre has posted resources on-line, including a workbook that explains key issues facing the employment insurance system and allows people to offer their observations and comments.

Foreign Workers Seek Legal Grand Slam against Denny’s (The Tyee)
The suit alleges that recruitment agents acting for the Canadian firm Northland Property Corporation (which is the exclusive western Canadian franchisee for the U.S.-based Denny’s Corporation) charged workers up to $6,000 each for placing them in the Canadian jobs and required them to pay for their own transportation costs to and from the Philippines. Both expenses, the suit claims, should have been borne by the employer.


Build the City, Build the Nation Part 2 (Maytree blog)
In part 1 of this two-part series, we looked at the bad news. In this part, we review some great articles about city building that recently came across our desk and are worth mentioning here, especially as we move forward to seek solutions for our city.

John McKnight – Becoming Visible 2011 – The Visible Neighbourhood (Al Etamanski)
Increasing numbers of North Americans are neighbourless. They are, in reality, little more than residents occupying a house in an anonymous place. They often admit that they really dont know the people who live around them except to say hello. It is a regretful admission, but in their view, of no more consequence than failing to wash the windows of their house. Failure to see the costs of not having real neighborhood relationships is the primary cause of our weak local communities. And it is this weakness that is eroding our ability to lead productive, satisfying lives in the 21st century.

TTC Goes Public (CBC Metromorning)
Matt Galloway spoke with transit activist Steve Munro, and with Karen Stintz. She is Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission.

Monday’s Headlines (Spacing)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Council, Election After-math, Transit, Police & Crime, Housing & Neighbourhoods, Streets & Screetscape, Venues, Buildings, Garbage and Other News.


Business makes push for charity innovation (Globe and Mail) of social finance contend its possible to do both. Its an idea thats been gaining traction in the U.K. and North America, and now a group of influential Canadians is trying to give it a push here. A task force that includes former prime minister Paul Martin and Stanley Hartt is lobbying the federal government for changes that would make it easier for charities and non-profits to issue bonds and start businesses.

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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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