Maytree News Headlines – February 18, 2011


Maytree Discussion Paper Series: Paper 1 – Six Ways to Improve the Federal Skilled Worker Program (Maytree)
A revised Federal Skilled Worker Program should be the priority for economic immigration to Canada. It should be reformed by discontinuing the Occupation List; requiring standardized language tests in one official language; giving fewer points for work experience; and giving more points to younger applicants, skilled tradespeople, and family connections. Those immigrants with arranged employment should continue to be given priority processing, but more efforts should be made to encourage Canadian employers to look to federal skilled workers in the immigration inventory instead of temporary workers when recruiting overseas.

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Tories propose new immigration point system (CTV)
Future newcomers will be younger, less educated and more fluent in English or French, if Ottawa’s latest proposals for immigration become a reality. It’s a formula designed to give immigrants a better chance at success. But the changes may also skew the sources of Canadian immigration, says one expert… While today’s labour market may need tradespeople in some areas, that’s a short-term issue that may not be relevant in a generation. Still, an analysis by the Maytree Foundation in Toronto suggests tradespeople find it next to impossible to immigrate under the current system — a situation the foundation believes should be fixed.

Government of Canada consults on immigrant skilled worker program (CIC)
itizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is proposing changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program to help Canada select immigrants who have the best chance of integrating and making a better contribution to the Canadian economy. CIC will be consulting with stakeholders and the public on the proposed changes beginning today… In-person consultation sessions will take place with key stakeholders in five cities across the country beginning February 17. These sessions are not open to the general public or the media. Other organizations or interested individuals who wish to provide input can submit their feedback online until March 17.

Youth, tradespeople take focus in new immigration proposal (Globe and Mail)
Canadas immigration system will be overhauled to place more emphasis on youth, language ability and skilled trades under a new proposal from the Conservative government. But experts warn the government should be careful not to diminish Canadas record of attracting highly educated, adaptable newcomers… Naomi Alboim, an immigration expert at Queens University, said the Canadian labour market discounts foreign work experience, so re-jigging the system to reflect that reality is useful. Its also wise, in her view, to place a premium on youth, which is a good predictor of successful integration.

But while she recognizes a need to tweak the system to attract tradespeople, Prof. Alboim is strongly opposed to anything that would water down educational requirements.

Two years of accelerating prosperity help us build even more! (Maytree blog)
In 2008, Maytree and CivicAction launched DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project. We knew then that accelerating the diversity of our regions leadership will create a city region where we all prosper and thrive. Today, we know its an essential piece of our regions prosperity. As you can see from our just released Year 2 Review (PDF), we have already accomplished many of our original goals ahead of schedule.

The region is ours to shape collaborating for civic action (Maytree blog)
Last week, CBCs Metro Morning ran a five-day series focused on the CivicAction Greater Toronto Summit 2011. As Metro Morning host Matt Galloway said, the Summit brought together an eclectic assortment of civic leaders in Toronto; bankers rubbing shoulders with social activists, union leaders with corporate CEOs, environmentalists with developers. The practical goal was to take some of the citys biggest issues out of the political arena, in hope of arriving at a workable solution that everyone can agree to.

Diversity in Leadership at the 2011 Greater Toronto Summit (Canada Newswire)
There is clear evidence that diversity is one of our regions greatest strengths. We have access to an incredible pool of varied skills and talents which can be a competitive advantage for the GTA and for Canada. The myriad of incredible speakers referenced this strength over the course of the Summit. Leveraging it appropriately will be critical to driving our continued growth in the years to come, however there are a number of areas that require improvement. Among them, is the lack of diversity in corporate leadership which is especially visible among corporate boards.

Does immigration really hurt Canada? (The Bulletin)
According to The Centre for Immigration Policy Reform, these are facts about immigration? Do you think they’re accurate? Send us your opinions and we’ll publish them.

Author brings history to life (Hamilton Spectator)
Canadians are sadly unaware of the drama and richness of their own history, and woefully ignorant when it comes to the role of blacks in this country, acclaimed author Lawrence Hill told a group of Hamilton students Wednesday.–author-brings-history-to-life

Government of Canada Invests in Guelph and District Multicultural Festival (Marketwire)
The Festival, presented by the Guelph and District Multicultural Festival Inc., will take place from June 10 to 12, 2011, at Guelph Riverside Park. The free festival, now in its 25th year, will feature a number of cultural activities including traditional cultural presentations and musical, dance, and theatrical performances by local artists and groups.

Students explore diversity (
Grade 6 students at Bristol Road Middle School received a lesson in diversity yesterday. Through Junior Achievement’s Diversity in Action program, volunteers visited the school to deliver interactive lessons that explore the value of diversity and how it contributes to morale, creativity, teamwork and productivity in their lives both today and in the future.–students-explore-diversity

Richmond Hill’s ‘Too Asian’ motion praised (
A motion passed by council this week will deliver another slap on the wrist to Canadian magazine, Maclean’s, over its November article titled “Too Asian?”. The motion moved by Councillor Godwin Chan and seconded by Councillor Castro Liu, describes the article as offensive and intolerant of one of Canada’s diverse cultural groups.–richmond-hill-s-too-asian-motion-praised

TB cases in Toronto shelters up among immigrants (CTV)
A study of homeless people with tuberculosis in Canada’s largest city found that almost one in five died within 12 months of being diagnosed. The study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases identified 91 homeless people with active TB in Toronto from 1998 to 2007.

Diversity is Our Strength Honouring Torontonians for contributions to equality (Tandem)
There are two ways to make our amazing diversity in Toronto into a civic advantage celebrate it or take real action to ensure accessibility of opportunity for diverse and especially immigrant populations.
In the name of Bob Marley whose Redemption urged us to help to sing this song of freedom, this past Feb. 6, the week of his birthday, a rainbow group gathered to honour with a Diversity is our Strength Award, a variety of leading Torontonians who made valued contributions to equality and diversity. Its the decades old brainchild of Courtney Betty, a high profile lawyer who also runs the Diversity Business Network. Marley songs on a video screen rocked the room in City Hall before the awards.

Multiculturalism successful in York (
Declarations by European leaders that multiculturalism is a failure are not applicable to York Region, academics and immigration advocates said.–multiculturalism-successful-in-york

Beaudoin playing semantics in rejecting multiculturalism (Montreal Gazette)
Critics of Canadian multiculturalism define the term as they wish and rarely offer evidence of its unpopularity. In fact, the term multiculturalism is viewed positively by the majority of Quebecers. A June 2010 survey by Leger Marketing reveals that 73 per cent of Quebecers react favourably to the word multiculturalism.

Lifting the veil proves nothing (National Post)
“I think it’s a reasonable bill,” Mr. Kenney confirmed. “It simply says, if you go up to a polling station, you have to identify yourself by showing your face.” The problem is, it doesn’t say that. The main thing Bill C-623 does is mandate that “en elector shall have an uncovered face when the elector is proving his or her identity.” But it does not change the acceptable ways of proving one’s identity. One can still provide either a driver’s licence or health card (as long as it has your photograph, name and address on it), or “two pieces of identification authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer each of which establish the elector’s name and at least one of which establishes the elector’s address” — a hydro bill and a bank statement, for example… If this sounds familiar, it should. The amendments to the Elections Act envisioned in Mr. Blaney’s Bill C-623 are basically word-for-word identical to those in a government bill introduced in 2007 — Bill C-6 — after veiled voting first became an issue. That bill eventually died on the table as people lost interest in a basically non-existent problem, and when they realized that the bill didn’t actually do what it said it would do.

Kenney speaks the plain truth (Calgary Sun)
Hes not great on camera. He comes off as bumptious at times. Hes not a Twitter fiend, like Industry Minister Tony Clement. Hes is no libertarian firebrand, like Maxime Bernier. Hell never win the Hill Times award for sexiest male MP. And yet here Kenney is, doggedly threading the needle on the immigration and refugee file and doing a pretty good job. If you parse what he says, he makes sense more often than not. Expect to hear a lot more from him if we head to the polls come spring.

Canadians should ignore Europe’s misgivings about multiculturalism (Troy Media Corporation)
While Canadas massive diversity creates problems when it comes to integration and the protection of our liberal-democratic values, there is little we have to learn from Europe on managing it better. There is no doubt that Canada faces real challenges in integrating its new citizens. Some examples include the recently-arrived families to Manitoba who reportedly demanded both gender segregation of physical education and exemption from music classes based on their religious beliefs, and kirpans are back in the news after Quebec banned them from the provincial legislature, even though the Supreme Court ruled on their acceptability years ago.

Canada’s immigration song sounds (BCLocalNews)
Also in 2010, Prince George welcomed 175 immigrants, while Chilliwack had 161. Nanaimo led the way for cities in the 100,000 population range with 258. The executive director of Kamloops Immigrant Services (KIS) said the numbers can be a bit misleading. Its the number of people who have settled here in the last year, said Paul Lagacé. It doesnt represent the number of immigrants we have in the community.

Discrimination exists, even if you can’t see it (Victoria Colonist)
That’s the difficult thing with systemic discrimination: It’s too often invisible to those who don’t experience its burden. And so, on a small police force with such limited diversity, the fact that four officers have voiced concern should make us take note. Because here’s the kicker: Even if 100 per cent of the officers saw no discrimination or inequality within the department, the statistics are unavoidably stark. How is it that the police force has only 12 per cent women, and only four per cent visible minorities? This lack of diversity is partly inherited, reflecting long-standing hiring practices and beliefs about what police officers should look like.

Ottawa’s visa cutback for relatives called ‘harsh’ (Winnipeg Free Press)
A recent federal decision to cut back on the number of visas for parents and grandparents coming to Canada is “harsh” and something people should be warned about before they immigrate, critics say. New figures show the federal government is looking to reduce overall immigration in 2012 by as much as five per cent, and those feeling the effects will be parents and grandparents seeking to join their children in Canada.

Metropolis Working Papers & Conference (Forced Migraton Current Awareness blog)
The National Metropolis Conference will be held in Vancouver, 23-26 March 2011. The theme is “Immigration: Bringing the World to Canada.” Topics of plenary sessions include “Contemporary Trends in Refugee Movements” and “Migration, the Environment and Climate Change”. A number of workshops/roundtables will focus on refugees and asylum-seekers


Into the Fire (The Dominion)
While the Canadian government introduces refugee & immigration reforms they say will improve the system, others are worried that it still fails to meet the needs of asylum seekers. The Vides family, who were recently deported back to El Salvador, are one example, having faced renewed danger and death threats since being expelled from Canada.


City cutting anti-poverty program, funding sports bid (Ottawa Citizen)
A four-year program that helped a number of Ottawa social programs make ends meet is quietly being cancelled in councils budget for community and protective services. The $450,000 community sustainability fund was used to help community agencies, such as by staffing food banks in community housing projects and running youth programs… She said if council was quickly able to find $400,000 to make a bid on bringing two sporting events to the city, as it did last week in an effort to land two major womens soccer tournaments, then it should be able to reinstate the fund.

Financial literacy is linked to poverty (Northumberland Today)
Poverty is not only about money. It’s also about having access to the skills, resources, information and choices necessary to become economically self-sufficient -and to stay that way. Financial-literacy education helps people on limited incomes to build their financial skills and access information they need to manage their money effectively and plan for the future. The first step in becoming financially literate is to start the discussion about money at each and every stage of life.

Research and Policy Forum Report Back: The Real Cost of Public Education: Fees, Fundraising, Equity and Access in Ontario (Social Planning Toronto)
On February 7th Social Planning Toronto hosted a research and policy forum: The Real Cost of Public Education: Fees, Fundraising, Equity and Access in Ontario, featuring Hugh Mackenzie (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives), Annie Kidder (People for Education) and Faduma Mohamed (Labour Community Services). Several important themes emerged during the afternoons discussion.

Informal Learning Continues for APCOL Community Leaders in Kingston/Galloway (Social Planning Toronto)
The Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning (APCOL) project is a community-university action research project focusing on how people learn to engage, re-engage, and remain unengaged in various forms of anti-poverty activism. It explores learning in relation to various types of anti-poverty initiatives, campaigns, programming, as well as everyday neighbourhood life. Social Planning Toronto is one of the partners in this project with the University of Toronto.


Redragon wins chamber award for its commitment to hiring immigrants (The Record)
Prakash Venkataraman knows what its like to immigrate to a country where everyone is a stranger. When he came to Cambridge in 2001, it was to set up a Canadian office for an oil company based in the Middle Eastern country of Oman… For his efforts to help newcomers settle in this country and find jobs, Venkataraman and Redragon captured the Waterloo Region Immigrant Employment Network award at the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards Thursday night.–redragon-wins-chamber-award-for-its-commitment-to-hiring-immigrants

Video: Introduction to Professional Immigrant Networks (TRIEC)
Watch professional immigrant network leaders and members speak about their organizations and learning from other networks.

Immigration Vital to Igniting Canadian Innovation (Marketwire)
One of the biggest issues inhibiting innovation in Canada is the growing skills shortage. One solution, according to One Million Acts of Innovation (OMAOI) and the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), is to encourage the public and private sectors to help accelerate the integration of international educated professionals (IEPs) into corporate innovation strategies.

Getting to Canada is the easy part of emigrating (Nanaimo Daily News)
Her situation isn’t unique. Unlike similar-sized communities that may have more manufacturing or agriculture-related jobs, most of the immigrants that Nanaimo attracts are skilled workers, said Hilde Schlosar, executive director of the Vancouver Island Multicultural Society. That’s good news for the local economy. But bureaucratic obstacles and the closed-minded attitudes of some employers can make it difficult for newcomers to find a job and settle here, she said.


Surrey mayor to speak (Abbotsford Times)
Dianne Watts was first elected as mayor of Surrey in 2005 after serving nine years on city council. She was re-elected for her second term in 2008. As mayor of B.C.’s fastest growing city, her brand of civic leadership includes forming partnerships with other levels of government and the private sector in order to build healthy, vibrant communities. She believes in bringing people together and engaging the community in order to move Surrey forward.

Friday’s Headlines (Spacing)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Council, Transit, Police & Crime and Other News.

Podcast: On subways, statues and super-power mayors (National Post)
Our panel discusses the suggestion by Doug Ford that his brother should have veto power; the plans to seek private partners to spur subway construction; and the iconic figures that might satisfy Torontos gaping need for a movie-themed statue, in the same vein as Rocky in Philadelphia and Robocop in Detroit.

I was always happy with the power I have: Rob Ford (National Post)
A jovial Mayor Rob Ford on Thursday rejected suggestions that his brother has become his personal mouthpiece, even after Councillor Doug Ford publicly advocated greater mayoral powers a concept that drew derision from many of his council colleagues. Rob Ford also disagreed with his brothers proposal to bring Toronto more in line with the American strong mayor system by giving the Mayor a veto over council votes.

What it will take to make subway plan a reality (Globe and Mail)
Mayor Rob Ford may be willing to bet long on a privately developed subway beneath Sheppard Avenue, but he’s going to need good will from Scarborough residents, Queen?s Park and council to pull it off.


New hope for human trafficking victims in Ontario (Maytree)
Todays announcement by the Ontario government to launch a new multi-pronged approach to fight human trafficking will mean better resources for police to disrupt and prosecute traffickers and greater support for victim services. This support is desperately needed to end this form of modern-day slavery. Ontario is home to the largest number of foreign human trafficking victims in Canada. Traffickers recruit and advertise girls as young as 14 for the sex trade often using coercion, deception and force. They are bought and sold like cattle to pimps or boyfriends who lie, threaten and deceive them. Until now, the province lacked a coordinated approach to combat the insidious crime of human trafficking.

Stepping Up The Fight Against Human Trafficking (Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General)
Ontario is enhancing its ability to fight human trafficking by providing additional support to prevent, deter and denounce human exploitation and provide support for victims of this terrible crime. The province is launching a coordinated, multi-pronged approach to combat the crime of human trafficking and raise awareness. Initiatives will focus on prevention, enforcement and support for victims.

Full coverage –

Invidiata fights slavery of human trafficking (
Currently we do not have a national action plan to combat human trafficking in Canada, which to me is mind blowing, said Invidiata. MP Joy Smith from Manitoba has crafted such a national action plan and is circulating a petition to force Parliament to take a second look at it. Invidiata said there were no laws in Canada that protected minors from human trafficking until June of last year when Smith brought forward a bill that established mandatory minimum sentences for the traffickers of minors in Canada. Invidiata said word of mouth about her organization and about human trafficking is important. She calls on each resident who reads this story to tell five others what they learned. For information, visit–invidiata-fights-slavery-of-human-trafficking

New Resource: Website – Home: The Child Recovery and Reintegration Network (Refugee Research Network)
The Child Recovery and Reintegration Network is a dedicated online resource for the recovery and reintegration of children affected by sexual exploitation and trafficking globally. Developed and maintained through an Oak Foundation fellowship, the site is supported by an Advisory Group of experts and hosted by the UHI Centre for Rural Childhood in Scotland.

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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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RT @EmbassyMagazine: @EmbassyMagazine has posted an update on the question of the Globe and Mail story on Jason Kenney's website....