Maytree News Headlines – February 16, 2011


Toronto Young Leaders Forum – “A World Without Stigma” April 12, 2011 (Centre for Diversity)
What would a world without stigma look like? Will we ever see a day when discrimination, bigotry and hatred are things of the past? These are the questions senior high school students explore in a day-long Young Leaders Forum as they engage in intense discussions about the complex issues that we face in an extremely diverse world.

Safeway lives up to its name as new Safe Harbour in Comox Valley, B.C. (Comox Valley Record)
Courtenay Safeway joins 38 other Canada Safeway stores in B.C. that are also Safe Harbours. Similar to Block Parent, Safe Harbour-certified locations offer a temporary sanctuary for people needing an immediate safe space. In the Comox Valley, Safe Harbours include coffee shops, credit unions, restaurants, offices, service organizations and recreation centres.

“Family Dynamics” bulletin examines the struggles newcomer families may face during the settlements PDF (AMSSA Newcomer Children Information Exchange (ANCIE))
This edition of the ANCIE Bulletin entitled “Family Dynamics” examines the struggles newcomer families may face during the settlement in Canada such as role reversal, housing, and working with services. It includes case studies, resources, and strategies when working with newcomer children and their families.

Early Education Programs & Children of Immigrants: Learning Each Other’s Language (Urban Institute)
Children from immigrant families are the fastest growing group of children in the United States. High-quality child care and early education opportunities will be critical to these children’s success in school and in life. Yet, the early experiences of children in immigrant families are as diverse and varied as immigrant families themselves. While many immigrant families face numerous barriers to accessing high-quality child care and early education for their young children, these barriers are not insurmountable. The paper discusses state and local solutions to improving access for immigrant families and specific strategies and collaborations among providers, policymakers, and immigrant-serving organizations.

Edmonton families worried about immigration targets (News 880AM)
Imagine moving to Canada for a new life and a new job, and then finding out that your chances of getting the rest of your family here are slim to none. That’s the situation for many families in Edmonton. And they’re worried that the Harper government will only make it harder by cutting the number of family reunification visas. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has suggested it’s necessary so “priority” applicants can be processed first.

Family of immigrants important for success of multiculturalism (Green Party of Canada)
The Green Party of Canada is troubled by the unfriendly immigration policies of the Harper government. “Canada’s multiculturalism is an essential part of our national identity. New Canadians are a source of incredible skills and potential for our country. Immigrants and refugees come to Canada in search of a safer, more fulfilling life for themselves and their families, and to be full participants in Canadian society. It is not fair to now place limits on family members joining immigrants. We should be supporting them in achieving their hopes and ambitions, not putting up roadblocks and splitting up families,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May.

Immigrating into Canada to become more difficult next year (Sympatico news)
According to Citizen and Immigration Department figures, the government is planning to reduce immigration by five per cent next year. An application for a visa today could take a whopping 13 years to approve.

Getting the facts straight on Kenney’s story (Embassy)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney launched a rant against the judiciary last week in which he blamed the country’s judges for delaying the removal of failed asylum seekers. Anyone reading the newspaper articles that were written after the speech would have seen numerous legal and refugee experts criticize the minister’s remarks, particularly his apparent failure to understand how Canada’s legal system works. Well, anyone who didn’t read the edited version of The Globe and Mail report that was posted on the minister’s own website.

Canadian immigration has “gone crazy”: lawyer (Montreal Media Co-op)
Victor Morales has lived in Montreal for 32 years, and is the father of three Canadian kids. Yet when the Chilean-born musician, who is the primary caregiver for his terminally ill Canadian mom, applied for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) rejected his application, citing petty crimes the Montrealer committed years ago. He now faces deportation to Chile, a country he has never once visited since he was six years old, when his family fled the terror of the Pinochet regime and were accepted as refugees to Canada.

Alberta soldier draws stares in Afghanistan by speaking local language (
Pashto is spoken by more than 50 million people worldwide, and is well-known as a difficult language to learn. For the past nine years, the Canadian Forces have relied heavily on local Afghan translators. But halfway through his second tour in the country, Grove decided there was a better way… “In hindsight, it’s a simple thing,” he said. “It’s a sign of respect to learn someone else’s language.”

Getting past the ‘honour’ code (National Post)
One of the specific negative consequences of multiculturalism Cameron cited was “the horror of forced marriage.” (The U.K.’s “Forced Marriage Unit” has handled more than 1,500 reports this year alone.) He says organizations that do not believe in women’s rights will no longer get state funding. Cameron is right to home in on the issue of women’s rights. A cultural community’s perception of the norms of sexual relations provides a good litmus test for what stage of integration into Western society they have reached. For a variety of reasons, integration happens more smoothly in some countries than others. While Canada has on record “only” 12 murders of girls and women officially recorded as honour-motivated, in Britain there are about 13 honour killings every year. For a 2006 BBC poll, 500 Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Christian youth between the ages of 16-34, some second-or third-generation British citizens, were interviewed. Alarmingly, one out of 10 of the subjects believed that honour killings of girls and women can be justified.

NB needs more focus on immigration: expert (Times & Transcript)
New Brunswick would be blazing a new trail in Canada if it was to take control of its immigration efforts, an expert in the field says. “What we want to do is organize our immigration intake so that it complements, rather than conflicts with, the talents and resources that we have,” says Constantine Passaris, an economics professor who studies immigration issues at the University of New Brunswick. With more autonomy, he says the government could actively recruit potential immigrants who have training or skills in specific areas required in this province.

Justifiable policy on immigration to stress economy (StarPhoenix)
And, while Saskatchewan’s economy has been firing on all cylinders primarily because of growing global demand for what this province has to offer, it has been the influx of new, skilled Canadians that has helped to fuel that growth. The demand for skilled workers is not likely to abate soon. Not only is the provincial economy expected to keep expanding, but Saskatchewan’s baby boomers are lining up for retirement.

Visas for skilled workers set to drop (
Employment and industry groups are reacting negatively to a government plan to cut substantially the number of visas issued for federal skilled workers this year. New figures obtained through Access to Information show the government will cut all economic class visas by nearly seven per cent, and federal skilled worker visas specifically by 20 per cent, in 2011.

Spreading the vision of a diverse and inclusive Canada (Chronicle Herald)
Every year in February, Black History Month fills me with pride and renewed vigour for advancing the interests of black Canadians. It is a time to reflect and to remind Canadians of the profound contributions of black Canadians to our country.

Violence against Women & Immigrant/Refugee services oppose new directive from Canada Border Services (Wawa News)
Women’s rights experienced a serious set-back when the Canada Border Services Agency issued a new policy directive that will impact immigrant and refugee women who are seeking safety from abuse across Canada. Over the last two years Anti-violence against women service providers, migrant women and anti-racist organizers with the Shelter | Sanctuary | Status Campaign (SSS) in Toronto have mobilized forums, rallies, protests, press conferences, delegations and actions to ensure that women fleeing abuse can access services without fear of deportation. These actions led the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre of the CBSA to pass a policy that it would prohibit their officers from entering any space that serves survivors of violence to arrest undocumented women. The policy was originally signed in October 2010 with the endorsement of Violence against Women organizations in the GTA.

Barbara Kay: Conservatives take the lead in defending women (National Post)
Canada has not arrived at the state of social crisis we see abroad but, whether immigration rates rise or fall, our troubles could escalate without state intervention. Fortunately, strategies to diminish honour-motivated violence against girls and women in Canada are being mobilized by the federal government. One such initiative was launched last week by Minister for the Status of Women Rona Ambrose. The Edmonton Indo-Canadian Women’s Association has received $241,000 for a 24-month project designed to empower immigrant girls and women, “Elimination of Harmful Cultural Practices: A Community-Centred Approach for Education and Action.” The project is a tangible outcome of meetings and conferences sparked by a July, 2010 Frontier Centre report on the troubling persistence of honour-motivated abuse into the second and third generation of South Asian communities.


Good idea, bad wording (Edmonton Sun)
Canada is the world’s refugee dumping ground. If this were done in the kind of planned and measured response that would guarantee those people moving seamlessly into a broader society, it would make sense. But it’s not. It’s why immigrants succeed, while refugees struggle: the former enters Canada with conditions of skill and employment attached, or sponsored by someone with the means to help them attain that stability. Refugees do not. They often live six or eight to a house while struggling to fit in in a culture where the language is different, the social standards are alien and the employment opportunities purely minimum wage. That breeds poverty, which breeds crime. And that is the sole reason more refugee kids are getting into trouble.


The myth of gender neutrality (Straight Goods)
Show me a budget that is “gender neutral” and I’ll show you a budget that omits or slights women’s concerns. Despite significant gains, women in New Brunswick and across Canada still face inequalities — sometimes worsening inequalities — in employment, income, health, family responsibilities, experience of violence, access to justice and access to power. Government budgets — which are key policy and values statements for all governments — have an impact, positive or negative, on the level of equality between women and men. To ensure that they at least don’t make matters worse, budgets must be “gender aware.”

Diversity at Kraft Foods Canada
Diversity is about leveraging inclusion, respecting the individual and having a thirst to explore and understand what others bring to our business. This focus generates the innovation that brings Kraft Canada sustained growth, competitive advantage and industry leadership.

KPMG: Workforce Diversity for Competitiveness (Yahoo! Canada Finance)
In today’s globalised world there is a competitive advantage in being able to put different perspectives on the table, says Susan Ferrier, Head of People, Performance & Culture, at KPMG. A speaker at the marcus evans HR Summit 2011 at the Gold Coast in Australia, 6 – 8 March, Ferrier shares her thoughts on diversity, employee engagement and how Human Resources (HR) directors can capitalise on what motivates their people.

Caledon Institute of Social Policy on Secondary Suites (Vibrant Communities Calgary)
Here is an excerpt from a paper written by Sherri Torjman of the Caledon Institute entitled “New Ingredients for the Health Care Mix” that addresses one of the benefits of secondary suites.

Providing a warm place to stay benefits all (Vancouver Sun)
And while the academic findings must wait until all the data are collected, experts are drawing preliminary conclusions that probably won’t surprise most people: If you give the homeless a home and support services, they will stand a better chance of stabilizing their mental illness and addictions. One of the main issues with this study is that its three-year, $110-million cheque from the federal government expires March 31, 2013 -so what happens then to the estimated 1,325 Canadians who have been provided housing and support in the five participating cities?


A Toronto immigrant mentoring program is keeping New Canadian professionals out of cabs (Yonge Street Media)
Whether it’s what to wear to work or the intricate details of consulting, volunteers with the Mentoring Partnership Program have something to say about it. Veena Balram is one of 3,800 mentors that have been part of 53,000 GTA matches over the past six years.

How apprenticeships could close the immigrant wage gap (Globe and Mail)
Now, a study to be published at the end of this month has figured out one way of closing the income gap between immigrants and Canadians: encourage apprenticeships. First-generation male immigrants who have done an apprenticeship earn, on average, nearly 20 per cent more per week than those immigrants with just a high-school education, according to a paper by Ted McDonald at the University of New Brunswick and Christopher Worswick of Carleton University. The boost also holds for second-generation males, who typically earn more than 15 per cent per week over those with just high school.

NATCON 2011: Bringing Diversity and Inclusion into the Mainstream (Canada Newswire)
Fostering a diverse, high-performing workplace will be the focus of business leaders and experts at NATCON 2011: Bringing Diversity and Inclusion into the Mainstream, hosted by The Conference Board of Canada.


CivicAction holds Greater Toronto Summit 2011 (Yonge Street Media)
“These and other CivicAction projects have demonstrated the potential of collaborative leadership. They have also shown that social, economic and environmental issues do not respect municipal borders, and neither do the lives of most Toronto region residents. Many of us live in one municipality and work in another, and we regularly travel across the region for events or to visit friends and family.The message going into the summit is clear. On every major issue the Toronto region faces, we need the strong leadership of people from all walks of life and to take a regional and better coordinated approach so that we create more coherent, efficient and effective responses. Now it is up to the summit delegates and other Toronto region leaders to make that happen.”

What’s important to you about community services in your Toronto neighbourhood?: City consultation open (Belonging Community: Being at home in an urban neighbourhood blog)
The City of Toronto is looking for our help as part of the development of its Community Partnership Strategy. The Community Partnership Strategy is an initiative that will help the City make sure that Toronto neighbourhoods have community services that work well for residents, and a strong community service sector to deliver them.

Our #Cities Ourselves: 10 Principles for Transport in Urban Life (ITDP & Gehl Architects)
“Our Cities Ourselves: 10 Principles for Transport in Urban Life” shows how cities from New York to Nairobi can meet the challenges of rapid population growth and climate change while improving their competitiveness. The publication’s purpose is to reframe the issue of transport so that it is no longer seen as separate from, but rather integral to, urban design.

The Larger the City, the Larger the Wage Gap (Fiscal Times)
The larger the city, the wider the wage gap among workers, according to a new report from researchers at the University of Rochester and Brown University. The study, which analyzed U.S. Census and American Community Surveys data from 1980 to 2007, found that while wages have typically been higher in America’s biggest cities for decades, the wage gap between the wealthiest and the poorest intensified over the last three decades as salaries surged. By contrast, before 1979, the average wage gap for an American worker was nearly equal, regardless of location.

Wednesday’s Headlines (Spacing)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Council, Transit, Buildings, Streetscape and Other News.


The power of private foundations (Globe and Mail)
Two major trends have shaped high-net-worth Canadians’ giving patterns in recent years. First, thousands of new private foundations have sprung up and brought wealthy donors into both strategic and operational levels of charity. Spurred in part by new tax rules that allowed donors to contribute equities without having to book a capital gain, the first trend was abruptly interrupted in 2008 by a second. The volatility of the stock market caused a major pull-back in giving that lasted the better part of two years.

Social entrepreneurship in Toronto is hot and may be a future direction for capital markets (Yonge Street Media)
Young Social Entrepreneurs of Canada awards small loans to to a new generation of people who think you can make money and do good at the same time, like Jam Johnson, founder of Toronto’s Neighbourhood Basketball Association.

Unicorns, Grassroots, and Silos: A (Brief) Look at the Perils and Positives of Using For-Profit Models in Nonprofits (Charity Village)
Though it’s obvious that not all for-profit marketing and management strategies will work for nonprofits, there are risks in taking a bunker approach in an attempt to keep free of any “taint” of the corporate world amidst increased competition for resources. Some organizations are averse to co-opting any part of that system, even if it could serve organizational ends. Concerns over a loss of autonomy associated with corporate sponsorship, for example, can inhibit nonprofits from considering the possibility of a partnership with the private sector. But there are equal risks for nonprofits who, for example, feel compelled to set up an ancillary business as a way to diversify their income stream when they may not have the skills or staff knowledge to do so.

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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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