Maytree News Headlines – February 22, 2011


Should we hide our foreign origins? (The Just Landed Blog)
As an expat, Ive asked myself many times if I should hide my foreign origins or not. I wonder about how people perceive my background and if this is going to be helpful or not. I know I am not the only one who worries about this. A few days ago, I came across an article explaining the positive effects of showing your foreign background in the workplace. I was pleased to read some good news on the topic; my expat experiences have not always been so positive. However, I really think that the decision to hide or not to hide your foreign origins is a lot more complicated than it looks. I believe that this decision may depend on the stereotypes attached to your cultural background and specific circumstances.

Canadians rarely say bad things, but what are we thinking? (CTV)
Most companies advise that when diversity and language are concerned, co-workers should simply be respectful and open minded. But Ms. Broer has noted a shift. The focus, she says, is becoming one of inclusion, rather than diversity, which emphasizes differences. Its more about accepting that we are all different. Its also about developing awareness of our unconscious biases, a minefield when it comes to discrimination in the workplace. As a society, Canadians are quite evolved, and weve learned what not to say, but we might not have taken on what that means at a more unconscious level, says Ms. Broer. We all have biases, whoever we may be.

Immigrants raised concerns about nominee program (Daily Gleaner)
Officials from local cultural groups say they’ve heard stories from many immigrants who have had poor experiences with New Brunswick’s provincial nominee program. But they also said it has played a significant role in the provincial immigration strategy over the past decade and recent improvements to the initiative are making the transition easier for new immigrants.

Youth summit aims at future (Times & Transcript)
“What’s great is that we have kids here who are from multimillion-dollar families and those who are living in poverty. We’ve got this great diversity, both in cultures and in socioeconomic status and origins as well,” Couture said. “I think the main point of the summit is having anglophones, francophones, First Nations and newcomers to New Brunswick all together, working together. If you walk around, you hear English, you hear French and if you listen carefully, you

Black History Month recognizes contributions of black community (Daily Gleaner)
“The reason why we have Black History Month is to celebrate the black contribution, the black culture, who we are,” he said. “What’s interesting is that this culture is becoming part of Canadian culture. We don’t have just one colour in Canada – Canada is a mosaic of people. And they each contribute to making Canada even more Canadian. “That’s what Canada is: diversity. We help do that through our music, through our artifacts and through the dances that we’re having.” Mbarga said celebrating the historical significance of the black community helps encourage social inclusion and create a positive environment for newcomers.

Canadian Youth Take the Mathieu Da Costa Challenge and Explore Canada’s Diverse Origins (Live PR)
Ten young Canadians were honoured today in the 15th annual Mathieu Da Costa Challenge for their winning essays or art demonstrating Canada’s diversity. “It is important that Canadians develop an understanding of our country’s rich history and that we combat racial discrimination,” said Senator Stephen Greene on behalf of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, at a ceremony at the Halifax 2011 Canada Games. “Through their creative writing and artwork, these young people are helping to build bridges and increase intercultural understanding among Canadians.”

Immigrants involved in multiple marriage watching polygamy test case: imam (Winnipeg Free Press)
But members of that tiny sect of the Mormon church aren’t the only ones watching for the outcome of the landmark court case challenging Canada’s polygamy law. Leaders in the country’s Muslim community say the decision will have wide implications. Aly Hindi, an outspoken imam at Salaheddin Islamic Centre in Scarborough, Ont., said there are more than 200 polygamous Muslim marriages in the Greater Toronto Area alone. The figure is impossible to verify as polygamy among Muslim and other immigrant groups in Canada is often shrouded in mystery.

Celebrating Woodstock’s diversity (Woodstock Sentinel-Review)
The West’s story was one of several to be found at a Heritage Festival held Friday at Blossom Park School. The fair was designed to raise awareness about the English As a Second Language (ESL) program and of multiculturalism and diversity, organizer and ESL instructor Sara McCreery said.

Missed connections with Ottawa (Metro – Toronto)
In the real world, when someone does not receive a response to an important email the fix is usually a simple mattertry again. When our immigration department doesnt receive a response to an email, it can and will summarily refuse an application even though the applicant may not have received the transmission in question. This unforgiving approach to the rights of those who have paid good money, and waited patiently, to have their applications processed has created an avalanche of unnecessary and expensive litigation.–missed-connections-with-ottawa

Give Ontario a stronger voice (Toronto Star)
The federal government needs to fix its selection process, which I have expressed to my federal counterpart repeatedly. Part of that solution includes giving Ontario a stronger voice in immigrant selection something we are fighting for now as we negotiate a new Canada Ontario Immigration Agreement with the federal government.–feds-need-to-step-up-on-immigration

Mental health the final frontier in diversity (CTV)
Other accommodations, such as the width of a doorway to allow for wheelchairs, are built into building standards. Becoming compliant with the AODA is not a huge undertaking, says Mr. Bach, and diversity has a positive effect on the companys bottom line. If you become the bank of choice for the disabled community, youre not only attracting the people living with disability, but the friends and family affected by it, says Mr. Bach. Its an opportunity because there are so many people affected by these small changes. We also get diversity of thought and experience so our teams are more productive, with more creative solutions to problems. These things add to our organization and thats a motivator for us.

Immigrant parents can hear health advice in own language (Calgary Herald)
A new program designed to give health information to immigrant parents in Alberta has been launched in five languages. The 23-part audio series is available in Somali, Mandarin, Sudanese Arabic, French and Spanish. The series covers topics such as how to cope with a crying baby, what foods to feed an infant and how a baby’s arrival can affect parents’ relationship with each other.

Western Canada’s ‘last black cowboy’ a true strong-but-silent type (Vancouver Sun)
Rick Jamerson is president of the Black Pioneer Descendants’ Society of Western Canada. Like most of these pioneers, Fraser Jamerson came to Western Canada in the early 20th century when the “free” Oklahoma territory suddenly turned viciously racist…

Editorial: Cutting back on elderly immigrants makes sense (Calgary Herald)
According to a study done by Citizenship and Immigration Canada in 2009, parents and grandparents are perennially at the bottom of the income-earning scale after 10 years in Canada (sponsors must pledge to support immigrant relatives for three to 10 years, depending on the relative’s age and relationship to the sponsor). The study, entitled Elderly Immigrants in Canada – Income sources and self-sufficiency, says “elderly immigrants (parents and grandparents) reported the second-lowest annual income of all categories prior to the 10-year mark and the lowest annual income following the 10-year mark. (They) also had the highest incidence of OAS and GIS/Allowance following the 10-year mark.”

Report cited:

Multicultural memo: Be sensible (Chronicle Herald)
MULTICULTURALISM has its limits. But theres no point in drafting laws to deal with non-problems. Quebec Conservative MP Steven Blaneys recently tabled private members bill to ban veiled voting would do just that. Far more Canadians cast ballots by mail without providing any visual ID than show up in polling booths wearing a burka or a mask. Furthermore, election officials already have adequate procedures in place to deal with faceless voters, which makes Mr. Blaneys bill superfluous.

Canadas Multicultural Experience Different than Europes (Art Eggleton’s blog)
The situation in Canada is very different. Canada has one of the highest rates in the world for immigrants becoming citizens, and there are rising numbers of immigrants who own homes and who intermarry. Newcomers want to be Canadian. They see the virtue of living in a free and prosperous country which are important indicators of inclusion. That doesnt mean there are not issues. That is why the committee I chair (the Social Affairs Committee) is currently looking at social inclusion in Canada cities.

Navarro-Genie: Official multiculturalism fails immigrants (Calgary Herald)
The claim that official multiculturalism helps new arrivals to integrate is a fictitious bubble. It keeps new immigrants away from other immigrants and from the Canadian core culture.

Just what does Quebec’s official answer to multiculturalism entail? (Maclean’s)
Tiny and inconsistent, it would seem. The kirpan, of course, has nothing to do with language, and neither do face coverings. Yet even on secularism, the ground shifts. The Quebec human rights tribunal recently ordered the mayor of Saguenay to cease saying prayers before council meetings, and to remove the crucifix bolted to the wall of council chambers. Yet Beaudoins Parti Québécois, along with the governing Liberals, passed a motion in 2008 opposing the removal of a similar crucifix in the national assemblyplaced there in 1936 by the Maurice Duplessis government as a monument to the bond between church and state. That crucifix, according to the motion, is part of Quebecs heritage. Yes, a cross, much like a kirpan, isnt always what it seems.

We all share role in creating multicultural success story (
Are we laying out the welcome mat, only to slam the door in the face of immigrants? Do we celebrate diversity, or simply put up with it? Naheed Nenshi, who has made headlines as Calgarys new Muslim mayor, had me thinking as I listened to him speak at the CivicAction summit in Toronto last week.–we-all-share-role-in-creating-multicultural-success-story

Group still stewing over Kenney attack on judiciary (Vancouver Sun)
The Refugee Lawyers Association of Ontario has come out swinging against Immigration Minister Jason Kenney who argued Canadas refugee laws are being undermined by the courts in a speech last Friday.

Quebec isn’t a multicultural society (
According to the Immigration et Communautés culturelles ministry, Quebecs official way of integrating immigrants is interculturalism, not multiculturalismwhich, youll remember, is Canadas official policy since 1971.

Jason Kenney: The man who would be kingmaker (Toronto Star)
His role is to get new Canadians whom he believes are already Conservative-minded tuned into our frequency. And there are more than anecdotal signs his strategy is working. In one study, McGill University political scientist Elisabeth Gidengil and four colleagues showed an erosion of visible minority support for the Liberals began after the 2000 election. In fact, minority voters were almost as likely to vote Conservative in 2008 as they were Liberal, says the study, The Anatomy of a Liberal Defeat.–jason-kenney-the-man-who-would-be-kingmaker

‘Non-status women’ deserve full protection (London Free Press)
Immigrant women and their children make up an increasingly significant population in Canada’s women’s shelters. Those without citizenship– “non-status women”–are often seeking sanctuary from abuse here as well as from the violence that drove them from their countries of origin. Women who are trafficked into Canada are by definition both victims of unspeakable exploitation as well as illegal immigrants… The suggestion that tracking down abused women in shelters is somehow in the interests of national security is laughable. These women aren’t terrorists. They’re victims of terror within our own borders.

Understanding those immigration numbers (Ottawa Citizen)
Here’s the next installment in my ongoing attempt to understand immigration numbers. Minister Jason Kenney blogged about this today, accusing the Liberals of cherry-picking statistics to make it look like the numbers for family reunification were going down rather than up. Well, it might well be true that the Liberals were out there planting misinformation, but I didn’t get any from them (I’m not exactly awash in Liberal brown envelopes).

Government of Canada supports Black International Film Festival in Toronto (CIC)
The Ontario Black History Society is receiving $12,500 for the event under Citizenship and Immigration Canadas Inter-Action program. The Inter-Action program aims to create opportunities for different cultural and faith communities to build bridges, added Senator Meredith.

EDITORIAL: Toronto’s black history is integral to everyone’s future (InsideToronto)
All histories need to be known, all voices need to be expressed. Those are the words of ROSEMARY SADLIER, president of the Ontario Black History Society – and it’s a good thought to carry into the latter half of this, Black History Month.–editorial-toronto-s-black-history-is-integral-to-everyone-s-future


Help us stop smuggling ships: Harper (Toronto Sun)
The Harper government stepped up pressure on the opposition Monday to pass a bill that would crack down on human smuggling. Prime Minister Stephen Harper personally toured the Ocean Lady on Monday. The ship was used to bring 76 passengers of Tamil ethnic origin to Canada in October 2009. Last August the Ocean Lady was followed up by the MV Sun Sea, which brought 492 would be refugees to Canada.

Minister stands by ‘abuse of process’ in Tamil cases (CTV)
Canada’s immigration minister says he will not apologize for tactics that have kept Tamil refugee claimants in prison despite court orders for their release. And in a comment that sounded alarm bells for some observers, Minister Jason Kenney said he would tell government lawyers to continue using a tactic a Federal Court judge said went too far.


The shame of Legal Aid Ontario (Lawyers Weekly)
Ontario is providing third rate legal services to the poor, and it is time it stopped… This decision to starve this tiny part of the justice system affects justice as a whole. Only a few actually get legal aid for trials. But they are the most vulnerable few. The poverty line in Ontario is approximately $19,000, but legal aid will only be granted to someone who is earning less than $12,500. Most poor people never get near legal aid.

Eggleton speaks out on poverty (London Free Press)
Its up to the Canadian public and the business community to get the issues of poverty and homelessness on the national radar if change is going to come, says the senator who helped author a major report. Sen. Art Eggleton told The Free Press Monday its disgusting that more than one million Canadian children live in poverty and its time to fix the system that keeps them poor.

Event: Income Security, Race and health: The Racialization of Poverty and Health Inequities (Metropolis)
Brown Bag Seminar Ottawa/Webcast
Thursday, February 24, 2011
12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Income Security, Race and health: The Racialization of Poverty and Health Inequities
Speaker : Grace-Edward Galabuzi
Ryerson University


Canada’s best diversity employers in 2011 (The Globe and Mail)
Richard Yerema, managing editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, says diversity programs, policy development and commitment have become more formalized since the first diversity competition in 2008. We have very much tightened our focus to ensure that employers who venture down the path of creating more inclusive work environments do so in a way that evolves into program and policy versus a preference that may simply change with personnel.

The Government of Canada helps visible minority youth in Montreal prepare for the job market (Canada News Centre)
With assistance from the federal Skills Link program, the Côte-des-Neiges Black Community Association will help 16 visible minority youth develop the skills and experience needed to find a job or the confidence to return to school. The project participants will take part in life and employability skills workshops focusing on topics such as job preparation techniques, teamwork and stress management. They will also attend presentations by guest speakers, visit workplaces and post-secondary institutions, and gain practical skills through collective assignments aimed at building their confidence and self-esteem.

Nearly a third of global businesses have non-representative management teams: Ernst & Young (
Most companies believe diverse teams and experience improve both the financial performance and the reputation of their organizations. Yet many struggle to put their beliefs into action, says Ernst & Young, named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2011 for the fourth consecutive year.

Pilot project launches in British Columbia to offer more opportunity to international graduates (CIC)
The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program already allows students who have graduated from an eligible program at a post-secondary institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Under the program, graduates can apply for open work permits for up to three years, depending on the length of time they studied. Until now, only international students at public universities and colleges and private degree-granting institutions were able to apply.


The Liveability Ranking and Overview February 2011 (Economist Intelligence Unit)
Vancouver (Canada) sits at the top of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking, a position that can only have been cemented by the successful hosting of the 2010 winter Olympics and Paralympics, which provided a boost to the infrastructure and culture and environment categories. Harare (Zimbabwe) is the lowest-scoring city at just 37.5%. Despite hopes of elections in 2011, stability and healthcare scores of just 25% and 20.8% respectively highlight a bleak situation.

Vancouver mayor says diversity is citys ticket to future prosperity (CTV)
Torontos MediaCorp Canada Inc., which carries out the annual survey, found that Vancouver has maintained an equal employment opportunity program for nearly 40 years that includes diversity, accessibility, inclusiveness and employment equity. It also provides new staff with diversity training in four languages: Hindi, Punjabi, Chinese and Tagalog… Gregor Robertson says Vancouvers diversity doesnt just provide it with an identity and reputation for being welcoming its also the citys ticket to future prosperity.

Toronto deemed fourth most livable city in the world (blogTO)
Toronto has once again been ranked the fourth most livable city in the world by the Economist, trailing Vancouver, Melbourne and Vienna. According to the magazine, “the ranking scores 140 cities from 0-100 on 30 factors spread across five areas: stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. These numbers are then weighted and combined to produce an overall figure.”

Monday’s Headlines (Spacing)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Council, Transit, Roads, Buildings, Streetscape, Culture & Neighbourhoods, Police & Crime, City History and Other News.

Tuesday’s Headlines (Spacing)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Rankings, Transit, Roads & Streets, Neighbourhoods.

Vancouver, an exemplary diverse city (UNAOC)
Robertson concluded affirming that being an intercultural city is a good thing.() Our future is directly connected to waves of immigration and how newcomers connect to our city. Theres no majority here anymore, and that seems to be just sinking in everyone now accepts that diversity is who we are and its our future.


Awesome Foundation releases its first Toronto shortlist (blogTO)
A few weeks ago I wrote about the arrival of the Awesome Foundation to Toronto. At the time, the trustees were in the midst of soliciting ideas for its first monthly award of $1000. With the submission process which was a pretty much anything goes affair having closed on February 15th, the Foundation has now released its shortlist of 16 ideas (culled from the more than 250 it received).

Shawn Smith – Becoming Visible 2011 – Harnessing Undergraduate Business Education for Social Innovation (Al Etmanski)
Undergraduate business education, for better or worse, attracts huge numbers of future leaders at a time in their lives when their goals are crystallizing. Among this cohort, there is immense appetite, in my experience, for learning about social innovation and entrepreneurship. However, schools are struggling to expose students to anything significantly beyond “business as usual”, let alone equip them to deal with these challenges. All business is by its nature social, and I believe there is immense power for change in markets. We have a group of emerging leaders facing an inflection point in their lives that should be learning how to harness that power.

Good Ventures, Good Deals: The Centre for Social Innovations Community Bond (Social Finance)
Tonya Surman, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) in Toronto, is a dynamo. Dedicated to fostering innovation and positive social and environmental change through collaboration, Tonya has been practicing what she preaches for over 20 years. Her current venture, CSI, is an innovative collaboration space whose mission is to catalyze, connect and support new ideas that make positive change in the world1. The missions latest manifestation is in the form of a unique social capital-raising tool, utilized towards the purchase of the organizations second location CSI Annex.


Mississauga man arrested in alleged human-trafficking ring (Globe and Mail)
Thursdays arrest coincided with an announcement by the Ontario government that it is committing just under $2-million over the next three years to support victims of human trafficking in the province. The money scorned by opposition critics as paltry will be spent on specialized prosecution in the shape of two dedicated Crown attorneys, a 24-hour crisis hot-line, intelligence-gathering by the Ontario Provincial Police and extra officers for the vice unit of Peel Regional Police.

Age-old debate rages (The Kingston Whig-Standard)
Last in a series of stories looking at the sex trade in Kingston, in advance of this spring’s appeal court ruling on the decriminalization of prostitution.

A former prostitute’s story (Toronto Sun)
Walk With Me has partnered with Free-Them to raise awareness about human and sex trafficking in Ontario with a campaign called Free-Them February 28 days to Love. The groups want to raise money and educate as many people as possible about the reality of human trafficking.

Students join fight against human trafficking (Toronto Sun)
These poor people are being violated. Some people dont even know this is happening (in Toronto) so no one can help them… Its just awful, said Kristin Gottshalk, 17, a Grade 12 student who has taken lead of the schools Free-Them month awareness team. Walk With Me has helped rescue 50 victims of human and sex trafficking in Southern Ontario during the last 10 months.

The following two tabs change content below.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

Nowhere to Hide: Assessing Your Work Reputation Online Insights into effective social media policies Stranded by war, refugee...