Maytree News Headlines – February 23, 2011


Maytree Discussion Paper: Six Ways to Improve the Federal Skilled Worker Program (Maytree)
This discussion paper is part of a series that provides updates and commentary on recent immigration policy developments, evaluating recent changes which relate to the recommendations presented in the 2009 paper Adjusting the Balance: Fixing Canada’s Economic Immigration Policies, by Naomi Alboim. Maytree will release 6 discussion papers, one each month. For the entire discussion paper series, visit Join the discussion on the Maytree Facebook page and encourage others in your network to do the same!

Canadian MIPEX immigration data release (Maytree)
Online press conference on Monday, February 28 at 10:00 a.m. EST: Release of the study “Migrant Integration Policy Index III”, with new integration data comparing and ranking countries in Europe, the United States and Canada. Join Maytree for this online press with Jan Niessen, Director, Migration Policy Group, Jack Jedwab, Executive Director, The Association for Canadian Studies, and Howard Duncan, Executive Head, Metropolis, for the first look at this year’s findings on Canada.

Improving Outcomes for Newcomers: Developing Tools to Address Language Barriers to Services across the Public Sector (CIC)
In January 2011, Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) contracted PSTG Consulting Inc. to improve newcomer access to the services they need beyond settlement. Language and interpretation services have been shown to be a critical element to improving access therefore PSTG has been requested to facilitate the development of service delivery tools and resources that address language barriers, which can be adapted and used by diverse organizations and service providers in the human services sectors, including health, legal, education and employment.

The changing face of Chilliwack (Chilliwack Progress)
At first blush, immigration has not changed the face of Chilliwack all that much. We seem to remain the “country” community with a soft industrial base providing jobs that allows us a measure of self-containment. But when the B.C. government announced a $116,000 grant last November to deliver English language instruction to immigrants and refugees in the Chilliwack area, The Progress decided to take a closer look at the immigration picture.

Pro-Immigration and Xenophobia: the Conservative Double-Take (Prince Arthur-Herald)
So, in summary, I have a hard time understanding the exact basis of Tarek Fatah’s contention that Canadian right-wingers are xenophobic. Maybe he was referring to some of the early 20th century policies of Borden. It is important, however, to realize that during that time nobody, socialists and conservatives alike, considered visible minorities or immigrants equal to Canadian-born citizens. Our society has evolved and, throughout this process, the facts speak for themselves. Conservative governments, right-wing governments, have always supported visible minority rights and immigration policies, not the other way around.

Burnaby library online project embraces diversity (BC Local News)
Elmasri was participating in a project at Burnaby Public Library to promote cross-cultural understanding. An Arabic speaker, she was one of several people who sang children’s songs or recited rhymes in their mother tongues which were then recorded and posted online at

Multiculturalism lives – in Canada, at least (Toronto Star)
I have news for non-Canadians. Multiculturalism is alive and well – in Canada. It could be better, but it is alive. Both multi and cultural are here – we are in the streets, in the neighbourhoods, in workplaces, in schools, colleges and universities, in community centres, in shopping malls, in food and music and some of us are even in our governing bodies – albeit sporadically.–multiculturalism-lives-in-canada-at-least

The Multiculti Tango (FrontPage Magazine)
The tango nuevo is fine and dandy on a Rioplatense dance floor, but it does not belong in the multicultural ballroom. This means, of course, that there is no room for the separating hyphen in forming one’s national identity. Responding to the current events in Egypt, an Egyptian-Canadian interviewed on CBC radio affirmed, without the slightest awareness of the discrepancy, “I am proud of my country.” The question that naturally arises is: which country? For this particular individual, who has been long settled in Canada, the answer is dismayingly clear. He is not dancing to Canada’s tune, but to the exotic strains of another cultural and political world… This is not to say that the newcomer must slavishly adhere to every single cultural demand and practice or that he or she cannot lobby for change and amelioration. Canada at one time refused women the vote. Before and during WW II, Jews were not welcome in this country—“None is too many,” advised a minister in the Mackenzie King government. Such aberrations should be—and were—addressed, and nothing prevents an immigrant from participating in the social discourse to bring about needed reformations.

Europe’s got it wrong (Calgary Sun)
While Canada’s 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 Canada faces real challenges in integrating its new citizens. But the alleged failures of “multiculturalism” in Europe are no reason for alarm among Canadians. Whatever is happening in Europe has little to do with us, especially as our histories and prevailing attitudes are different.

Multiculturalism comes under fire (Canadian Jewish News)
Canada was not immune to the trend of public pronouncements. Around the time Cameron was voicing concerns that Britain had “encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream,” political science professor Salim Mansur issued a policy document titled The Muddle of Multiculturalism; A Liberal Critique. It argued that Canadian multiculturalism was based on a lie, is divisive and should be overturned… Contacted in London, where he lectures at the University of Western Ontario, Mansur said multiculturalism “undermines liberal democracy,” which promotes individual rights and freedoms, not group rights.

Oh, Canada: A cultural debate (BC Local News)
In a politically bold move, Conservative immigration minister Jason Kenney proposes a 40-per-cent reduction in the family reunification immigration category. To date, not even the most rationally convincing arguments on immigration issues are likely to subdue the passionate backlash that has dogged all efforts to reform a system that has long been hijacked by the multicultural dictates of ethno-electoral politics.

Immigrants must mesh better: Kenney (Calgary Sun)
The children of immigrants must join mainstream society if Canada is to avoid the multicultural collapse now plaguing parts of Europe. That was the notion presented by Jason Kenney, federal minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, Tuesday in a meeting with the Sun’s editorial board, where he said Canada needs to focus on reducing the amount of ethnic enclaves locked out of mainstream society for generations.


Opposition won’t support human smuggling bill (Toronto Sun)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s call for opposition politicians to back his plan to crack down on human smuggling is being met with a flat ‘no’. “No amount of photo ops by the PM will make me – or any other Liberal MP – vote for a bill that is ineffective, unconstitutional, and just plain wrong,” Liberal immigration critic Justin Trudeau told QMI Agency.

B.C. Civil Liberties blasts feds over Tamil detentions (Vancouver Sun)
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association called on the federal government Tuesday to “observe due process” and to “stop using endless appeals” to keep some of the recent Tamil migrants in detention. The comments represented growing concern over the government’s tactics, which have been described by critics in recent days as being “abusive” and a potential “abuse of the court process.”


Investing at the Bottom of the Ladder – PDF (Capacity Builders)
While organizations have long been accustomed to using high wages and good working conditions to attract and retain quality professionals, they often pay relatively little attention to the benefits, wages, and incentives provided to their lower level employees. The assumption is often that employees at the bottom of the ladder are more readily replaceable or are not as valuable to an organization’s performance and therefore investing in them is not seen as essential in meeting strategic objectives or deliverables.


Employers recognized for exceptional workplace diversity (Canadian HR Reporter)
Several big names — such as Boeing Canada, Canada Post, CIBC, Deloitte & Touche, Home Depot, Loblaw, Procter & Gamble, Shell Canada and Xerox — have been recognized as Canada’s Best Diversity Employers by Mediacorp in its annual competition. The list recognizes employers that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs covering five major employee groups: women, visible minorities, people with disabilities, aboriginal peoples and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transsexual (LGBT) people.


10 Best Cities to Live Abroad: 2011 – Part 1 (Shelter Offshore)
Shelter Offshore’s editor explores the Economist Intelligence Unit’s index of the 10 best cities to live abroad in 2011 – but she doesn’t always agree with the survey’s rankings!

Partnering for a better community: Living in York Region – A Community Indicators Project (MobilizeThis!)
The Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York is partnering on a project, Living in York Region, to support community development in York Region that links data, research and residents’ experiences to identify significant trends, and assigns ‘grades’ in areas critical to quality of life. The KMb Unit is pleased to be working with the project lead, the York Region Community Foundation.

LORINC: Subways in the suburbs, a contrarian view (Spacing Toronto)
Yes, the Sheppard subway is seriously under-used right now, and represents a drain on the TTC’s operating budget. Will it ever be thus? Absent concerted efforts to significantly boost densities along the route proposed by Mayor Rob Ford, there’s little doubt that a conventionally-developed Sheppard line will remain under-used for decades, draining resources from the rest of the TTC. But I’d argue that we should resist the temptation to reflexively dismiss Ford’s pitch last week to finance the line by auctioning off the project to a private consortium while aggressively promoting corridor intensification as an inducement to builders and crystallizing the value of all that up-zoning with transit-oriented development charges and some kind tax increment financing scheme.


Pimp posters sent to strip clubs (Welland Tribune)
Mugshots of dozens of suspected pimps are being circulated across Ontario to 10,000 dancers at 115 strip clubs to help prevent them from being lured into prostitution… The clubs have been accused by federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews of being hubs for human trafficking.

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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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