Maytree News Headlines – February 25, 2011


The State of inclusion – what would Dr. King think? (Maytree blog)
On January 17, 2011, Ratna Omidvar spoke about immigration, integration and inclusion at the second Martin Luther King lecture organized by the Koeber Stiftung in Hamburg. Titled “The Next Dream,” Ratna noted that it is now more and more unlikely in countries such as Canada to witness open acts or expressions of racism. But systemic barriers to inclusion still exist. While much has been accomplished in the battle for equality, Dr. King would agree that much still needs to be done.

Diaspora Dialogues Call for Submission (Diaspora Dialogues)
Diaspora Dialogues invites submissions to its annual publishing/mentoring program from emerging GTA writers of short stories or creative non-fiction less than 3,000 words in length; or up to 5 poems, with each poem being no more than 75 lines. (See below for definition of “emerging.”) Applicants are welcome to enter more than one category, but no more than one submission per category, please. (Please note: Our mentoring program for emerging playwrights will be changing this year. As a result, a separate call for plays will be released shortly.)

Ethnic consumer the goal for new Loblaw president (Globe and Mail)
Today, as it starts to see tentative signs of a rebound, the iconic Canadian retailer is rushing to embrace the ethnic consumer as an engine of growth. The stakes are higher than ever: Foreign merchants are preparing to expand into Canada and by 2013 one of the savviest – U.S. discounter Target Corp. – will open its first stores here.

Literacy Huge Problem for Newcomers (Career Developer’s blog)
In this talk Craig Alexander, Senior VP and Chief Economist, TD Bank Group, discusses the importance of literacy to the Canadian economy. Although he emphasises that newcomers typically have good or excellent literacy in their own languages their difficulties in acquiring English and French skills in Canada markedly retards their progress here. This is not just their problem. It’s a problem for all of us because we will depend on their productivity as our population ages. We need to invest in our new citizens, and in the literacy skills of all Canadians.

Dots on a map: Why newcomer funding is taking a hit (Toronto Star)
In a conference room at Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Toronto headquarters on St. Clair Ave., Heidi Jurisic lays out a colour-coded map of the city. The map — a crucial tool in determining where federal settlement dollars go — shows the location of scores of proposals by community groups for the fiscal year starting April 1, each meant in some way to help new immigrants integrate. Across Ontario, 452 organizations filed 700 proposals this year, including 145 in Toronto, asking for money for everything from language training to job search workshops. The combined price tag: $734 million.–dots-on-a-map-why-newcomer-funding-is-taking-a-hit

Ads warn of crooked immigration consultants (Toronto Sun)
A series of television ads warning would-be immigrants against crooked immigration consultants is being blasted by a lobby group for consultants. The ads, running in English, French, Urdu, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, and Punjabi, warn that consultants cannot guarantee that immigration applications will be approved, cannot make an application fool-proof or ensure your spouse will get into Canada.

Ontario Pushing For Fair Deal For New Canadians (Ontario Newsroom)
Ontario is fighting to help newcomers integrate more quickly and strengthen our economy, and needs the federal government to treat Ontario fairly. Ontario is in negotiations with the federal government and is pushing for the same treatment already given to Manitoba, Quebec and British Columbia. However, Ontario’s proposals for fairness from the federal government have only been met with inflexibility.

Time for Canada to burst the multiculturalism bubble (Troy Media)
Their integration is not conformity or denial of heritage. It’s an acknowledgment of one’s surroundings and the fulfilment of a natural desire to belong. They want their children to integrate, to de-hyphenate, to connect, to achieve the promises of this land for their children that will justify their hardships. Doctrinal multiculturalism misguidedly pushes people to be with their own as a form of state-induced therapy. The isolation of communities along ethnic lines keeps individuals from the very experience of variety that official multiculturalism celebrates, and shuts them from the core culture. As such, official multiculturalism fails us twice. It is time to burst the bubble.

Canadians should ignore European fears about multiculturalism (Times and Transcript)
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. 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 entirely different.

The joy and pain of Chinese arrivals (Vancouver Sun)
They tend to be educated, with almost one out of four recent arrivals holding PhDs. Many seek a better lifestyle in Canada, revelling in its clear blue skies rather than grey pollution. Most are middle-class or wealthy, able to afford big Metro Vancouver houses and be treated as “VIPs” by jewellers and automobile sales staff. Many, however, are having trouble finding decent employment in Canada. As a result, a strong minority are returning to where they came from.

Government of Alberta’s Immigration Website – Focus Group Required (ERIEC)
ZINC Research and Twist Marketing are working on behalf of Alberta Employment and Immigration to approach possible participants in focus group research about the Government of Alberta’s Immigration Website.


‘Experts’ running the asylum in Canada (Toronto Sun)
Did you know there is a man we’ve been trying to deport for nearly 23 years? …Yet when Immigration Minister Jason Kenney complained in a speech that the courts were slowing down cases that should be over, the Refugee Lawyers Association of Ontario claimed the minister “crossed the line.” The Refugee Lawyers Association would prefer no one question judges, or lawyers for that matter.


Canada performs very well compared to most of the world (Times and Transcript)
We have it good in Canada and today I put some of our perceived problems into a global perspective. This isn’t to be like Voltaire’s Candide, blind to shortcomings, and I suspect our success may be despite, rather than because, of our governments. Yet, whatever our shortcomings (they do exist), when you look at the global picture, Canada is faring well.


Making it: Cabbie’s quick solution became life in the driver’s seat (Toronto Star)
There are those who decide early on what they want to do in life, acquire the necessary skills and live happily ever after. But for many, maybe most, of us, there isn’t a straight line between what we think we’d like to do and our eventual career. Skill, opportunity, compromise and circumstance all play determining roles, and thank heavens for that because life would be dull indeed if it all went according to plan. In Making It, a 12-part series that will appear every week, Mary Albino introduces us to the very human stories about the lives behind the jobs. Today, we meet Hooshang Atef and his son Nick. The father started as a structural engineer and is now at the wheel of a successful limousine fleet. The son, who thought a fashion career beckoned, works by his side.

Burnaby BC Board of Trade video series on Diversity in Workplace (YouTube)
Highlights of the recent Diversity in the Workplace tour in the City of Burnaby. Featuring interviews from some attendees and talks by representatives of the various businesses visited.

Using Human Rights to Build New Relationships: Migrant Workers in Ontario (KAIROS)
When? March 19, 2011, 9:30 – 4:00pm
Where? 2200 Argentia Road, Mississauga, Ontario
Interested in connecting food issues with migrant worker justice issues? Interested in building connections between migrant workers and allies? Come and learn about the human rights of agricultural, domestic and other migrant workers in Ontario and the rest of Canada. This workshop is a valuable opportunity for networking across grassroots, faith and labour communities. Join us to discuss about local education and action.

Goar: Law Commission goes to bat for vulnerable workers (Toronto Star)
The Law Commission of Ontario wants to hear from workers in precarious, low-wage jobs, the temporary agencies who employ them, the businesses that use them, the advocates who speak out for them, the bureaucrats who are supposed to protect them and the public.–goar-law-commission-goes-to-bat-for-vulnerable-workers


Connect the T-Dots wins inaugural grant from Toronto Awesome Foundation (blog TO)
I have to admit, it was my favourite one of the bunch. Stephanie Avery has won the first $1000 grant from the Toronto branch of the Awesome Foundation for her idea to turn the city into a huge number puzzle. Should the artist successfully convince building owners to let her place her markers on their roofs, the plan is to “Connect the T-Dots” to create neighbourhood-specific shapes that can been seen from aerial photographs of the city.

2011 Toronto budget roundup and reaction (blogTO)
Shortly after Toronto City Council passed the 2011 budget by a vote of 31-14, Rob Ford proclaimed that it was a “great day for Toronto residents.” Although major questions loom on account of the $774-million hole facing the City in 2012 — a subject bizarrely decried off-limits by Speaker Frances Nunziata — as promised, there will be no property tax increase this year. And while Ford and his supporters claim that there were no major service cuts associated with the budget, not everyone was buying it.

Ford says budget has kept his promises (Globe and Mail)
Mayor Rob Ford has his first budget behind him, saying he has come through on his promises – to balance the books and to keep more money in taxpayers’ pockets with no “major” cuts to the services on which they depend. But as the city draws down on the last of its reserves and the previous administration’s surplus, Mr. Ford’s detractors argue the modest savings he has found do not close the gap created by sliced revenue and planned expenditures – including $3-million earmarked to pay private consultants who’ll scrutinize city finances.


Social Enterprise Development in Canada with Ann Armstrong (
Late last year, Dr. Ann Armstrong, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business, presented a workshop at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) outlining the various forms of social enterprises and the challenges they face. The session included an open forum discussion that highlighted a number of social enterprises and allowed guests to learn from each other. We would like to thank Dr. Armstrong for sharing her slides with the community.


She Has a Name: A Play About Human Trafficking (Sex Trafficking Must End – Hope for the Sold blog)
Description: Jason, a young lawyer, fights to build a legal case against a human trafficking ring in Thailand. His investigation centres on Number 18, a young prostitute working in a Bangkok brothel whose testimony could make or break the case. Thrust into circumstances beyond his control, Jason is haunted by Voices that usher 18 to her fate. Can he win the trust of 18 and convince her to risk her life to testify for the sake of justice.

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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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