Maytree News Headlines – February 4, 2011


Diversity is our Strength – Bob Marley Award (Maytree)
By Ratna Omidvar (Bob Marley Day Awards, Toronto, February 3, 2011 – as delivered by Tina Edan). We remember Bob Marley as a powerful influence in music and culture. He was a strong advocate for social justice, speaking out against oppression and poverty and FOR peace and human rights. His music and message of hope resonated across cultures, across boundaries, across races – and still does today. In that spirit, my message is about diversity – and hope.

Immigration attitudes hardening (Montreal Gazette)
Canadian attitudes toward immigration are hardening, but Canada remains a relative island of tranquillity compared with other western developed countries, according to a poll released yesterday. The annual survey, done by a Washington-based think-tank, looked at public perception of a wide variety of immigration issues in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

Quebec multiculturalism (The Gauntlet)
Canada is multicultural in law and practice. As long as your language, culture or religious beliefs do not harm another individual, they are welcome here. Yet the province that always appears to be the exception maintains its notoriety. Parti Quebecois spokeswoman Louise Beaudoin recently stated that “multiculturalism may be a Canadian value, but it is not a Quebec one.” And she is right, in practice and law. Multiculturalism is entrenched in the Canadian Constitution which Quebec did not sign. But at the core of multiculturalism is the no-harm clause — live and let live — so why doesn’t Quebec jump on the band wagon?

Harper, Obama to discuss trade, security (CBC)
“It is reasonable to talk about a North American security perimeter,” said Peter Showler, who teaches immigration and refugee law at the University of Ottawa. “The real issue is what does that mean and to what degree is it required that Canada mesh its security provisions and security regime with that of the United States.” Showler contends that Canadians have a clear sense of how far they will go in merging their own laws and policies with U.S. interests because human rights standards in Canada are different.

City growing quickly (StarPhoenix)
Led by a booming aboriginal population and a major spike in international immigration driven by the province’s expedited application program, the Saskatoon region, which includes bedroom communities such as Warman, Martensville, Dundurn and Dalmeny, has now passed the 265,000 population mark, a three per cent jump and a net increase of more than 7,200 people in one year.

Younger immigrants embrace new cultures faster (Sify News)
Adapting to a new country or culture can be challenging but it is easier for those under 15 years, says a research. Psychological scientists have found that many aspects of learning and development have a critical window — if it doesn’t happen by a particular age, it never will. Steven Heine, professor of cultural psychology at the University of British Columbia in Canada, wondered if this was also true for the process of learning the culture in a new place, the journal Psychological Science reports.

We want to recruit locally from our communities – Peel Police Chief Michael Metcalf (South Asian Generation Next)
Talking about Peel Police’s Diversity Relations Unit, Chief Metcalf said “it has improved a lot. It’s a recruiting aspect..I am somewhat disappointed..I’d like to get the numbers [of police officers from diverse
communities] up. But it’s a slow process.”

Diversity’s the spice of life (Regina Leader-Post)
Abdullah Hafizi talks in a quiet and matter-of-fact manner as he discusses his decision to become a Regina restaurateur. But it is not difficult to discern the pride in his voice as he relates the story behind opening the Afghan Cuisine Family Restaurant. Sitting at a table at the Albert Street restaurant, Hafizi talks about his past, from once being a pharmacist technician in Afghanistan, then an interior designer in Iran and now the owner of an ethnic food restaurant in Regina.

Gurwinder Gill, Director of Patient Relations & Diversity Services at William Osler (South Asian Generation Next)
“Not all hospitals have diversity programs. It’s a reality that there has to be a budget from the hospital to fund these services,” says Ms Gill who is also a public speaker and educates the community on the healthcare system. In her opinion, it is important for a hospital to have Diversity Services. “By a hospital having a diversity program, it’s saying something, it’s making a commitment to let the community and patient population know that we believe this is absolutely necessary in order to help you. If we’re looking at patient care, that means equitable care for everyone who is coming through the doors.”

Western Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations (via Integration-Net)
Interdisciplinary research conducted by the centre informs public policy and practice that facilitate the well-being of immigrants and ethnic minorities in Canada and abroad. The centre also provides training opportunities for students beyond the borders of their own discipline and connects academic researchers with policy-makers and community stakeholders.

The changing role of the non-executive board director in today’s world (Marcus Ventures)
Lucy spoke at TEDxNewSt about the changing role of the non-executive director in today’s world. She touched on how non-executive board directors need to demand more of themselves and their colleagues, and about being active, engaged, independent, and accountable board members and the different areas that board members need to be looking at today and tomorrow, from social responsibility to diversity, and from engaging with stakeholders to being willing to challenge the company even if it feels uneasy.

See also Beyond Optics: Why Board Diversity Really Matters –

The Muddle of Multiculturalism (Frontier Centre for Public Policy)
Although it started as a harmless ploy to attract votes to Pierre Trudeau’s government, the official policy of multiculturalism in Canada is now weakening basic principles of our democratic traditions and is being used as an instrument to promote radical ideologies. In a new collaborative effort between Frontier and the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, author and columnist Salim Mansur, challenges us to rethink our Trudeau-era policy of multiculturalism in light of the numerous unintended consequences and contradictions that this has brought to Canadian life.

Guest reflection: Black and Anglican in Canada (Anglican Journal)
Indeed, the annual diocesan celebration is held during Black History Month, which was born out of the realities of racism and can cause us to imagine racism as being inauthentic—a virus that endangers the health of the Body of Christ. The Anglican church in Canada, and particularly those who celebrate Black heritage during the annual service, need to face some truths. First, we must recall a dark period in the history of Canada—slavery existed in Canada in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 1767 census of Nova Scotia, 104 enslaved Africans were listed. This number remained “small” until the United Empire Loyalist influx after 1783. During that period, the church played a pivotal role.

Filipino community looks for official status as numbers boom (Drumheller Mail)
A growing population in the community over the last couple years has now formed as a group, as the Filipino Community Association hopes to gain official corporate status this month, after organizing itself as a valley entity since last November. The association, headed up by chair Ceasar Pulvinar, has been formed not only to organize themselves, but to give back to the Drumheller community for which they left their home country. “It’s not only about what we can do for ourselves, but what we can do for Drumheller as a community,” said Pulvinar at their association meeting on Sunday night.

New Canadians making most of volunteer opportunities (Your Ottawa Region)
“Ottawa is one of the top four Canadian cities that’s a destination point for newcomers, so our landscape is changing. We’ve taken more of a role in helping people to engage this demographic,” he said, adding that newcomers are often looking for personal benefit while at the same time a chance to help the community. “A lot of these individuals who want to engage their community, there may be a real purpose and goal behind it. They’re looking to gain Canadian experience, develop skills, or develop a Canadian network. This is a great way to achieve those goals.”–new-canadians-making-most-of-volunteer-opportunities


Refugees set to depart (Phnom Penh Post)
The majority of a group of Montagnard refugees being housed at a United Nations-administered refugee centre in Phnom Penh has been approved for resettlement in Canada and the United States, less than two weeks ahead of the scheduled closure of the site… The closure of the site will bring to an end a 2005 agreement between Cambodia, Vietnam and the UNHCR governing the processing of Montagnard asylum seekers. Coughlan said it was as yet unclear how the Cambodian government would process future cases involving Montagnard refugees.

Refugees from Africa: Are We Being Fair? (Canadian Council for Refugees)
In this pamphlet, the Canadian Council for Refugees maintains that refugees in Africa routinely wait years for their Canadian applications to be processed. These delays have a negative impact on the lives of refugees and their families.


‘Special’ bulletin for February 4, 2011: Poverty (Health Nexus)
This week’s bulletin provides an overview of poverty, with a particular focus on child poverty, including
recent reports and studies, resources, and links to organizations and programs. This selection of
information is based on a preliminary scan and is not exhaustive.

What can Toronto learn from Calgary when it comes to ending homelessness? Lots, actually! (Wellesley Institute)
The Calgary Homeless Foundation is almost one-third of the way through their 10-year plan to end homelessness in that city, and the latest progress report shows remarkable achievements. A new video also documents the personal accomplishments. In addition to pointing to the lessons and challenges that Calgary has learned, Tim is working to build support for a new national alliance to end homelessness in Canada – an initiative that the Wellesley Institute is also supporting.


No choice but to look elsewhere for help, employer says (Truro Daily News)
A local restaurant owner is spending thousands of dollars bringing in foreign workers because he can’t find enough local help to accommodate the demanding schedules of his business.


Friday’s Headlines (Spacing)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Council, Transit, Atractions, Streetscape, Winter, Police & Crime, Media & Tech, Election After-math..

But What Is Customer Service, Anyway? (Torontist)
Customer service is, along with the halting of gravy trains, the rallying cry and rhetorical signature of Rob Ford’s administration. And we have a general sense of what he means by that, primarily as exemplified by his “I’ve always called everyone back” refrains. But that is unsatisfyingly vague—we still lack a clear articulation of the principles that underpin this service-oriented approach to governance. Fortunately, someone has stepped up to help add some substance to the generic notion of customer service, and the person is the City of Toronto’s Ombudsman, Fiona Crean.

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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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