Maytree News Headlines – March 10, 2011


Taxi Driver Syndrome (Literary Review of Canada)
Behind-the-scenes immigration changes are creating new problems on top of old ones
Are immigrant professionals still driving taxis? The answer is yes. They are also mopping floors, bagging groceries, guarding office buildings, delivering pizzas, waiting tables and working at call centres. Once in Canada, many skilled immigrants, particularly those with Indian, Caribbean, Chinese or Arab backgrounds, wind up in occupations far below their educational levels—despite having been selected for high levels of training and experience in professions such as health care, engineering and education. The problem is known as “brain waste” and some economists estimate its cost to Canada as totalling at least $3 billion a year, not to mention the ruined dreams suffered by the immigrants themselves. Countless organizations have experimented with solutions to this underemployment, with only modest effect. Now the federal government is weighing in—or, depending on your perspective, backing off—and radically changing who is arriving in Canada and what this country expects of them.

Spending in immigration office soared under Kenney (Chronicle Herald)
Jason Kenney has boosted spending by 35 per cent in the immigration minister’s office in the three years since he took over the portfolio, government financial records show.

Shots fired at immigrant centre (Toronto Sun)
Police were investigating Wednesday after reports of shots being fired into the window of an Exchange District agency for immigrants that was the backdrop days earlier for a federal government announcement about beefing up security at organizations often targeted by hate crimes. A small hole could be seen Wednesday morning in a front window of Immigrant Centre Manitoba Inc., at the corner of Adelaide Street and Bannatyne Avenue. On Friday, the centre hosted a news conference by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews announcing money for organizations that are victims of hate crimes to upgrade safety measures.

Fake Chinese chefs arriving in Ontario (Toronto Sun)
Canadian Embassy officials in Beijing have turned up the heat on Chinese nationals posing as chefs to fraudulently obtain visas to enter Canada under a provincial work program. The so-called Chinese dim sum and gourmet cooks use phoney letters they claim are from Canadian restaurants offering them a job because of their skill.

New Canadians may help Ottawa labour crunch (
An Ottawa agency that helps skilled immigrants find work in the city celebrated a milestone Wednesday — helping its 1,000th new Canadian find a job. But while Hire Immigrants Ottawa celebrates, both new Canadians and local business executives say there is more work to be done.

Immigrant resource program to get newcomers road ready (Central Plains Herald Leader)
The local immigration centre aims to get newcomers road ready for Canada. Luis Luna, program co-ordinator for the Portage Learning and Literacy Centre’s immigrant resource program, announced Wednesday that the program would offer driving lessons for newly arrived immigrants who don’t have driving experience.

Immigration is good for grocery stores (Chatham Daily News)
Those Canadian cities which enjoy a diverse population rarely face such problems. In fact if you step into a typical supermarket in the Greater Toronto Area, you could find a variety of products that target different niche. Even if you are from a background that does not fall into those niche categories, you may still approach the products and buy them just because of their presence or because of your friends or relatives who encourage you to buy those products. I have seen many people from European or other backgrounds in Iranian stores of Toronto. One of their favourites is chelo kebab our traditional meal which is a combination of ground beef kebab, barbequed tomato and Basmati rice. In my humble opinion, if there is a group of business people here in Chatham-Kent that should advocate retention of new immigrants, it is the owners of grocery stores. Newcomers bring variety to their stores and more sales at the same time. One positive side effect is a deeper knowledge of what “others” eat at our local level.

Defying the odds: the seniors of dance (Globe and Mail)
SASHAR ZARIF, a mere 42, has choreographed for the series twice. He prefers to set his pieces on older dancers. “Context is important to me,” he points out, “and mature dancers have the experience to deliver meaning. They can give me what I want.” For example, Zarif’s acclaimed Anar (2008), exploring the impact of cultural migration, featured veteran fiftysomethings Holly Small, Susan Cash, Terrill Maguire and Anderson. The moving piece explored the impact of cultural migration.

DiNovo seeks support for Victim Services (
“Victim Services is a critical component of our response to crime, performing an essential role in terms of supporting the victims” says Dr. ALOK MUKHERJEE, Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board. “At a minimum, those who provide this service are fully deserving of a cost of living increase. Such increase is necessary for sustainability in any industry, and that includes those who give support services to victims” he concluded.

Female guilt strikes when work comes home (Toronto Star)
“I would feel bad taking them,” says REVA SETH, 34, founder of the Center for Career Innovation, a Toronto research group. “My kids are in daycare all day. This is the time I’m supposed to be with them.”–women-more-stressed-than-men-when-work-interrupts-family

Facts about Immigrant Children (Immigration Matters in Canadian Social Work)
A fact sheet on Immigrant Children is now available on Approximately one in five new immigrants to BC are children.


2011 Regional Operations Profile – North America and the Caribbean – Canada (UNHCR)
In North America, UNHCR will pursue its support of national refugee protection mechanisms, build awareness of the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers, and seek to secure political and financial support for its operations. The Office will continue to work with the Governments to achieve the highest standards of refugee protection. Such standards include ensuring that asylum-seekers are granted full and meaningful access to refugee status determination (RSD) procedures; that persons of concern are not unnecessarily detained; that all RSD claims are considered in a manner consistent with international standards; and that separated children are treated appropriately. The Office will also work to ensure that stateless people can enjoy their basic rights, such as the right to liberty, work and travel.

Treat refugees fairly (Toronto Star)
At the very least, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney should ensure that the IRB’s internal auditing system is functioning effectively, identify adjudicators whose decisions consistently tilt one way or another, and take remedial action if warranted. There’s a lot at stake – including peoples’ lives.–treat-refugees-fairly

Slideshow: Toronto’s refugees find community at Romero House (Networked Streets)
Welcome to Romero House, an organization in the West Bend that helps refugees through the settlement process. Instead of a bureaucratic system, Romero House uses an “accompaniment” model where interns and refugees walk together and learn from each other.


Special Section: Immigration & Employment (Toronto Star)
Stories of immigrants who have embarked on new careers in Canada, and firms that benefit from their unique skills and experience.

Top performers recognized for leveraging skilled immigrant talent (Canadian HR Reporter)
“Employers are now realizing the benefits of a more diverse, globally-aware and connected workforce,” said Elizabeth McIsaac, executive director of TRIEC. “IS Award winners are real examples of the benefits that can come from mobilizing the best and brightest in our city.” Three organizations and one individual have been recognized for their leadership and innovation in recruiting and retaining skilled immigrants.

Skilled Immigrants (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Catherine Parsonage, she is Executive Director of Toronto Foundation for Student Success, and with Yezdi Pavri. He is a Vice Chair at Deloitte Canada.

Congratulations to the 2011 Employer Excellence Award Recipients! (hireimmigrantsottawa)
The following Ottawa employers are recognized for their outstanding practices in recruiting and retaining skilled immigrants in their workplaces.

Barra Thiom talks about skilled immigrants getting work in Ottawa (YouTube)
Barra Thiom came to Canada 17 years ago from Senegal. “At the beginning I think it will be easy to find a job in Canada because when you see the statistic of Canada, of employment is so low so im my mind I say ‘oh my god, that’s a country of opportunity.'” But it took Thiom two years to finally get a job. His employer is the Vanier Community Service Centre. It has 50 workers, almost half of them are skilled immigrants like Thiom.

Mentoring provides chance to give back – Helps ease transition for immigrants (Calgary Herald)
CRIEC started the program to connect skilled immigrants with the Canadian workforce by helping them gain important job search strategies, build professional networks and acquire the tools necessary to secure employment in their desired field of work. Joseph says it’s a great opportunity to gain satisfaction from helping someone and to learn from them as well. “My mentor and I both studied international development and share many of the same skills, like facilitation, event planning and community development,” Joseph says.


Thursday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Council, TCHC, Transit, Streets, Buildings, Police & Crime and Other News.

Ford allies propose waiving development charges in poor neighbourhoods (Globe and Mail)
After years of channelling public dollars to social services in Toronto’s 13 poorest neighbourhoods, the city should try to kick-start revitalization by waiving development charges on new private-sector projects in those areas, according to a proposal tabled in council by two of Mayor Rob Ford’s closest allies.


Human trafficking a city problem (Metro Canada – Edmonton)
Humans are the second-most trafficked item in the world behind drugs, a group at Grant MacEwan University heard as part of Sexual Exploitation Awareness Week. “The legislation that came out in 2005 was connected to a case in Calgary where it came to people’s attention that human trafficking was happening,” said Kimberly Ferland of Edmonton’s Action Coalition on Human Trafficking (ACT).–human-trafficking-a-city-problem

Sex consumers fuel human trafficking (Toronto Sun)
Eliminating the worldwide problem of human trafficking starts with the consumers, say experts. “We have to be aware that there are sex consumers who fuel the demand,” says Kate Quinn, executive director of the Prostitute Awareness and Action Foundation of Edmonton (PAAFE).

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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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