Maytree News Headlines – February 28, 2011


A new mentor’s story (Maytree blog)
I began my career at Maytree over ten years ago as I was completing my graduate studies. My professor at the time recommended me to assist in a research project led by Maytree. The rest is history! I continue to gain tremendous professional experience at Maytree by working on various projects using my research, communications and event management skills. I decided that it was time for me to support an individual just like my professor did. Given my work and personal interests, I wanted to see how I might be able to help a newcomer to Canada. Skilled immigrants have the education, experience, and language skills needed to succeed in the Canadian labour market. But what I can help them with is to get insights into the local industry and access to professional networks.

Canada near top in integrating immigrants, survey says (Globe and Mail)
Canada’s integration policies rank just short of the best in the world, according to a major international survey of Europe and North America. Canada place third behind Sweden and Portugal on the latest Migrant Integration Policy Index, a benchmark European study that measures a range of indicators, from political engagement and paths to citizenship to public education. Canada’s ranking crept up two places from fifth two years ago, due largely to government efforts to recognize the credentials of foreign-trained professionals and to the addition of education measures that gave high marks to the multicultural model.

Full coverage on MIPEX report –

Laying problems at the wrong door (National Post)
Not all critics are racists, obviously. So we must address their concerns; that multiculturalism allows importation of old country troubles, fuels dual loyalties and nurtures fifth columnists; permits unacceptable alien practices; encourages ethnic ghettoes; endangers gender equity; spawns a culture of political correctness that constrains free speech; and so on.

Immigrants See A Harsher Canada Since Harper Conservatives Took Power (South Asian Link)
By week’s end, Kenney’s good news announcement was in shreds, his credibility was damaged and the ethnic voters he had courted so assiduously were suspicious. But the rest of the electorate finally had enough information to see what the Conservatives have done to the immigration system.

Police concerned by gangs recruiting kids for violent crimes newcomers to Canada are most at risk (CTV)
Along with violent crimes, gangs are recruiting kids to do other work, such as looking out for police or acting as drug mules, and moving packages in school bags. “(They’re) even using infants to carry around their drugs…hiding them in their diapers and stuff like that,” said Max Cook. Now an adult, Cook was mixed up with gangs when he was nine, asked by senior gang members to carry out violent acts so that they didn’t have to do them and risk jail time. “People are actually still telling these kids you’ll just get a slap on the wrist—nothing is going to happen to you,” said Cook. Police said newcomers to Canada are most at risk.

Federal plan to reduce number of parents, grandparents allowed into Canada angers immigrant communities (Vancouver Sun)
A federal government plan to dramatically reduce the number of foreign parents and grandparents allowed into Canada on family reunification visas has upset Asian immigrant communities. Vancouver immigration specialist Richard Kurland has uncovered an Immigration Canada report showing the government is aiming to cut by 40 per cent the number of offshore parents and grandparents permitted into Canada this year.

Somali mothers step up for community (Ottawa Citizen)
Having seen enough of the city’s Somali youth on the wrong side of the law, Hawa Mohamed decided it was time to act.

ESL cut hits the most vulnerable: critic (CBC)
Refugees in Calgary could be hurt by a provincial budget cut in English as a second language education. The provincial ESL Enhancement Fund, which helps refugees who have left violence in their homelands learn English and general social skills, was cut from the 2011-12 Alberta budget.

Ontario offers relief to settlement agencies (Toronto Star)
The province will step in with relief money to help immigrant service agencies that have lost all their federal funding as a result of Ottawa’s $44 million in cuts. Thursday’s announcement by Immigration Minister Eric Hoskins is the latest public display of the province’s discord with the federal government over immigrant settlement priorities. In announcing an injection of $500,000 to support the hardest-hit agencies, Hoskins also made public the deepening dispute between the governments in negotiations of a new immigration agreement.–ontario-offers-relief-to-settlement-agencies

Adult Refugees and Newcomers in the Inner City of Winnipeg: Promising Pathways for Transformative Learning (Policy Alternatives)
This paper focuses on English as an Additional Language (EAL) for adult newcomers and draws from the experiences and voices of 118 adult refugees and immigrant learners, settlement service providers, adult educators, and administrators who work either in school divisions or community agencies.

Delays make Canada a poor choice for gay Ugandans (Xtra!)
Gay Ugandans fleeing persecution are being discouraged from applying to Canada for refugee status because of overwhelming delays at the Canadian mission in Nairobi, according to testimony at the Commons subcommittee on international human rights. University of Ottawa law professor Nicole LaViolette, who specializes in sexual minorities and refugee law, appeared before the MPs Feb 17 to lay out some of the realities faced by gays and lesbians trying to flee Uganda, beginning with those delays.

Chinese immigrants: Why they come, why one-third return (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. Such are the joys and pains of Metro Vancouver’s roughly 400,000 ethnic Chinese residents -who together make up one-fifth of the city’s population.

March 29: Launch of Road to Justice web site (historical legislated discrimination of Chinese community) (CLEONet)
The Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic and the Law Society of Upper Canada are proud to present the launch of Road to Justice — a website dedicated to increasing awareness about the historical injustices in the form of legislated discrimination imposed by Canadian governments on people of Chinese descent in Canada.

A new wave of young Irish workers head for Canada (National Post)
On a chilly night last month, nearly 300 Irish men and women gathered at a downtown Toronto pub. The catch: they weren’t there for a night of drinking, but for a sold-out seminar on how to navigate Canada’s immigration system and find a job. And they aren’t the only ones. Ireland’s Economic and Social Research Institute estimates that nearly 1,000 people are leaving the Republic each week. Most are young and educated and desperate to escape the country’s economic woes, creating the largest exodus since the 1980s. And as they look abroad for new opportunities, the Irish are increasingly choosing Canada.

Which party is the more ‘pro-immigrant’ (Metro Canada)
If it’s just about numbers, it’s clear that the Conservatives have brought in more immigrants in the last five years than their Liberal counterparts did in the previous five-year period. However, being “pro-immigrant” is not just about numbers. The Tories have created, and are continuing to create, havoc with many aspects of our immigration program. For example, they are in the midst of a full-frontal assault on the rights of Canadians to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada. Also, they are about to seriously impede the ability of refugees to make out their case before our Immigration and Refugee Board. In the past five years, the Tories have made promises they didn’t keep and made blunders which could have been avoided by listening to others.–which-party-is-the-more-pro-immigrant

Councillor fighting a proposed cut to immigration program (News1130)
It’s the program that allows thousands of immigrants to come Canada to live with their families, and now the federal government wants to give it the axe. A Vancouver City Councillor is fighting to make sure that doesn’t happen. When someone immigrates to Canada from another country they can enroll in the Family Reunification Program so they can bring relatives with them at a later date.–councillor-fighting-a-proposed-cut-to-immigration-program


Courts clash with Ottawa on refugees (Calgary Herald)
Federal Court Justice Richard Boivin overturned the officer’s finding for failing to assess whether the risk to Paul would give rise to unusual, undeserved or disproportionate hardship -the required legal test. The disposition of the cases could suggest that the IRB and immigration officials are putting less weight on the 1993 gender guidelines than they once did. If so, however, the trend is not yet apparent to those who work with or study refugee cases. “I don’t know that it shows a shift. I hope not,” said Joan Simalchik, a former director of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture who now co-ordinates the University of Toronto’s Study of Women and Gender Program.


A tale of how two cities deal with poverty: GUEST COLUMN (The Barrie Examiner)
Cambridge is a city of about 130,000 and similar to Barrie in many other ways. This past December, staff, directors and volunteers from the David Busby Street Centre in Barrie visited “The Bridges”, a community-built homeless shelter and drop-in facility completed in 2005… So what are the lessons Barrie can learn from looking at a sister city?


Canadian-born visible minorities earn less (Globe and Mail)
One of the cherished notions of Canadian multiculturalism is that the children of immigrants succeed economically in a way that makes them indistinguishable from other Canadians. But since Canada opened up its immigration policy in the late 1960s, those children are much more likely to belong to a visible minority. Now that the eldest are in their 40s and have established themselves in the work force, it’s evident that Canadian-born visible minorities (and those who came to Canada as young children) earn less than their similarly qualified white counterparts.

Immigration officials target bad employers (Toronto Sun)
Federal immigration officials are creating a database of “bad employers” who are blacklisted for abusing a foreign worker program and banned from bringing employees to Canada for two years. The so-called bad employers will have their names posted on a government website, starting April 1, as part of a crackdown on abusers of the Temporary Foreign Workers and Live-in Caregivers programs, federal officials said.

Employers worry some use caregiver program as front to enter Canada (Winnipeg Free Press)
Confronted with an aging population and the soaring cost of daycare, Canadians who need help caring for their loved ones are turning more and more to the live-in caregiver program, which has its own specialized category within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The caregiver program can lead to permanent residence for applicants who successfully complete 24 months or a total of 3,900 hours of authorized full-time employment. The changes made by the Conservative government last year shifted more financial responsibility onto would-be employers to improve protections for caregivers.–117006118.html

Foreign caregivers at risk of exploitation (Vancouver Sun)
Demand for foreigners to work as live-in caregivers for seniors in Canada is growing, but while some see the program as a potential answer to the needs of a rapidly aging society, others say it’s rife with problems and inherently exploitative. Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Program admits temporary foreign workers to care for children, seniors or people with disabilities, ultimately opening the door to permanent residency.

Translated job-seeker websites to attract skilled workers (Vancouver Sun)
In an attempt to better attract the attentions of skilled foreign workers, the province announced Friday the launch of five foreign-language micro-sites on the website – “the one-stop source for people considering moving to B.C. and for those who have recently arrived,” according to a media release. Translated in Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, French and Chinese, the new micro-sites (the first of their kind in Canada, the government says) are formatted “to best serve prospective and recent immigrants.”

Diversity, an absolute necessity (Canadian Immigrant)
D.P. Murphy Inc. is one organization that sees embracing diversity as an “absolute necessity.” It is working with community groups to hire internationally trained workers (ITW) who demonstrate the ability to offer quick and courteous service. Dianne Griffin, human resources manager at the company that owns prominent Canadian businesses like Tim Hortons and Wendy’s restaurants among others, estimates that about six percent of D.P. Murphy’s 1,200 employees are internationally trained workers.


Monday’s Headlines (Spacing)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Council, Transit, Roads & Parking, Architecture & Development, Police & G20 After-math, Housing, Community & Identity, City History, Culture Attractions and Other News.

Toronto city hall braces for damning auditor’s report on social housing finances (Globe and Mail)
The Toronto Community Housing Corporation is bracing for an aggressive overhaul in anticipation of a damning auditor’s report that will detail questionable procurement practices and thousands of dollars in “inappropriate expenditures.” The report into TCHC finances is expected to be made public at a press conference Monday; the corporation’s board members said Sunday they hadn’t yet received copies themselves.

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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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