Maytree News Headlines – March 18, 2011


Ratna Omidvar and John Tory on diverse leadership (DiverseCity blog)
Ratna Omidvar and John Tory, DiverseCity Co-ChairsIn an article by Siri Agrell of The Globe and Mail, DiverseCity Co-Chairs Ratna Omidvar and John Tory argue that the Toronto region is not taking full advantage of its diversity. “If you were in the business I used to be in, cable television, would you ever think of wiring up only half the city? I think we’re denying ourselves part of the opportunity in this region by not more fully and completely integrating people from diverse backgrounds.” – John Tory, quoted in The Globe and Mail (February 8, 2011)

Nominations for the Newcomer Champion Awards are now being accepted (MCI)
Nominations for the Newcomer Champion Awards are now being accepted. The awards were created in 2007 and expanded this year to include three categories: ChangeTheWorld Youth Ambassador, Community Leader and Newcomer Champion.

The future: Trudeau vs. Kenney (Maclean’s)
Kenney came down on Trudeau like a ton of bricks. “Despite Trudeau’s opposition,” Kenney’s spokesman Alykhan Velshi said, “we make no apologies for letting immigrant women know their rights.” Kenney followed up in person, first via Twitter. “Liberal cultural relativism is precisely what undermines public support for multiculturalism,” he wrote. “It’s wrong & irresponsible.” Soon Kenney was falling back on favourite tactics. The media-savvy minister was on nine open-line shows the day after Trudeau’s remarks were published.

‘Barbaric’ exactly the word that’s needed (Toronto Sun)
How did we get to the point where the first reaction on the part of an elite member of the political culture is to shudder at the sight of a blunt word to describe the brutal murder of women whose behaviour is deemed dishonourable (such as when they get raped) and the barbaric practice of mutilating young girls’ genitals to keep them “pure”? What on earth is a “neutral” response in such cases? If the government had issued a guide on good old-fashioned Canadian spousal abuse, Trudeau and the Liberals would probably have complained the government’s language was not strong enough. The only reason they wanted to mince words in this case is because the government guide in question, Discover Canada, is aimed at newcomers as a way to help them study for citizenship.

Entrepreneurial mentoring (
The Business Development Bank of Canada and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation teamed up to create the CYBF Newcomer Entrepreneur program that assists new Canadians start up their own businesses.

Good welcome for immigrants (Edmonton Journal)
Canada’s minister of immigration has been stirring the melting pot quite a bit lately with all the upheaval in Europe over the so-called failure of multiculturalism, but it has been a consistent theme during his tenure… Kenney insists that when he says integration, he does not mean “forced assimilation,” but he concedes that just the word “integration” was a politically incorrect word just a few years ago in this country. It remains a term that must be used with caution. We don’t want to strip newcomers of their traditions and beliefs, but we do want them to embrace Canadian values and laws.

Durham welcomes its newest Canadians (
Love the old country, but love Canada more. Those gentle words of advice from Citizenship Judge Philip Gaynor continue to resonate after 40 new Canadians took an oath of citizenship this week in Durham Region.

Japan is a true friend of Canada and is now in great need (Ottawa Citizen)
Most importantly, contacts at the personal level between Japanese and Canadians are strong and continue to grow. The first Japanese immigrants came to Canada more than 100 years ago. Every year thousands of Japanese students come to Canada to see the country, to learn English and to attend our universities and every year hundreds of young Canadians travel to Japan, many to teach English to Japanese secondary students.

Toronto man accidentally mailed box of immigration applications (Toronto Star)
A Toronto man says he was the accidental recipient of a box full of protected immigration applications packed with personal information belonging to eight people from Cuba and their Canadian sponsors. Bruce Messner’s jaw dropped when he sliced open the big brown box that arrived at his home in North York on Wednesday. “I was completely flabbergasted,” Messner said. “There is so much private information in there that can be misused.”–toronto-man-accidentally-mailed-box-of-immigration-applications

Web startup crosses the language barrier (Toronto Star)
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video may be worth many more — especially if you’re trying to learn those words in another language. Two MBA grads, Danny Wang and Barbara Tassa, are hoping to revolutionize the way people in China learn English through their new web video business. Called WeblishPal, the system connects Chinese learners with native English speakers half a world away for real-time video chats.–web-startup-crosses-the-language-barrier

A story-driven Web platform for communities (Socialbrite)
Chances are you haven’t yet heard of Shelbyville, a small rural community in Tennessee, much less than the upcoming “Welcome to Shelbyville” documentary or the online project that is forging a pilot, or prototype, for communities to tell and share their own stories. So let me share my initial impressions of this remarkable, ambitious, exciting effort. On Monday I was lucky enough to be a part of a “digital braintrust” of 20 progressive media and nonprofit representatives at the Bay Area Video Coalition headquarters convened by Active Voice, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that uses film, television and multimedia to spark social change.

Feds clear Montrealer to fly home, but airline won’t let him on-board (Montreal Gazette)
Montreal resident Mohammed Khan, a Canadian citizen who was stuck in Frankfurt, Germany, since Tuesday after an Air Canada agent told him he was on a blacklist and not allowed to fly, is coming home Friday. But he won’t be flying with Air Canada, because the airline still won’t let him board its plane, despite the fact Immigration Canada has said he’s clear to fly into Canada.

This grand branding exercise (Maclean’s)
“We will also continue to focus on ensuring that the credentials of immigrants are appropriately recognized and employed. “Having the relatively largest immigration program in the world, especially at a time of looming demographic challenges in the advanced countries, is one of our country’s great strengths. “But Canada, and immigrants themselves, must reap its full potential. “How many times have you got in a cab and found that you’re being driven by an accountant, a doctor, a man with more degrees than a thermometer? “It’s a waste of talent. We must use those skills. We don’t have immigration so that we can have the best-educated cab drivers on earth. “So that will continue to be a focus.

SUCCESS Gala 2011 – A hug SUCCESS (The Story of skilled immigrants in Canada)
We get an invitation to the Gala for our involvement with Gustavo Herrera. Thank you to Tony Moy for having us there as guests. The video was very well received. We had the opportunity to network and feel glamorous amongst the who’s who in Vancouver. There was the Lieutenant Governor Steven Point, and Mayor Greg Robertson present at the gala. We were offered a delicious meal, and the chance to experience some wonderful opera, and entertainment.

Canada launches reverse brain drain programme for expats (Expatforum)
A new pilot programme has been launched in Canada to encourage expat Canadians to return home and contribute to the country’s economy. The initiative by the Canadian immigration has been called ‘a reverse brain drain’ and officials want to maker it easier for Canadians with much needed experience and skills to return.


Salvadoran refugee heads to Ottawa for relief (CTV)
With the Tories on the verge of an election, a Salvadoran father and refugee claimant who helped guerilla forces resist a brutal dictatorship in the Latin American country is heading to Ottawa to press the prime minister on immigration. Jose Figueroa and his 12-year-old son depart from Vancouver Friday on a cross-Canada bus tour, aiming to raise awareness about flaws in immigration law.

Second Tamil migrant ordered deported (Globe and Mail)
A Sri Lankan man who arrived aboard a cargo ship last year has been ordered deported after admitting to once being a member of the Tamil Tigers, but insisting he quit the banned terrorist group nearly two decades ago and never participated in combat. The man is the second passenger on the MV Sun Sea to be ordered out of Canada because of membership in the Tigers, but his lawyer signalled Thursday he’ll appeal directly to the federal public safety minister to fight the deportation.


OP/ED: Increased minimum wage won’t solve poverty (The Boundary Sentinel)
It’s a good thing Premier Christy Clark announced increases to the minimum wage this week otherwise many people will not be able to put gas in their car or pay their electrical bills. It took over 10 years for the government to increase this rate, but the timing is good and bad… There needs to be better solutions to the poverty in our communities. As more and more children report that they do not have enough to eat at home, and the line ups at the food bank grow, it is clear that Clark has a lot of work ahead of her if she truly wants to put families first.

Soundbites March 16, 2011 (Social Planning Toronto)
This issue:
1. Registration is now open for our March Research & Policy Forum, “The View From Here: New Research on Affordable Housing in Toronto”
2. Reporting back from SPT’s 2011 Research & Policy Roundtable Forum, “Who’s in Charge?”
3. Partner News & Events (this is now featured in the right column)
4. Worth Repeating: The 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction on the Minimum Wage


Montreal firm mistreated Filipina domestics, agencies contend (Vancouver Sun)
Government agencies have turned a blind eye to abuses by a Montreal immigration firm that recruits Filipina domestics, advocacy groups charged Thursday. The Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) and PINAY, a Filipinas women’s organization, called for an investigation into John Aurora, an immigration consultant and landlord who recruited Filipina domestics in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. Aurora died in September 2009 but CRARR said his family business is still in operation.

Small businesses good for economy (Sherwood Park News)
It’s hard to deny Canada is still undergoing the effects of a worldwide economic recession, but Jason Kenney, federal Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, said things are not as bad as they seem. Kenny spoke at the Sherwood Park and District Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon on March 16, saying small and medium-sized entrepreneurs represent the energy and dynamism that has led Canada to its position of leadership in the developed world’s economic growth. And in Kenney’s eyes, people aren’t hearing about it enough.

Best Employers for New Canadians (Canada’s Top 100 Employers)
Our 2011 winners will be announced in a special editorial supplement to be published by The Globe and Mail on March 28, 2011.


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


Ottawa launches open data portal (Vancouver Sun)
The federal government launched a new open data portal Thursday, making more than a quarter million sets of data available for free. “Raw information and data that departments accumulate in huge amounts is now going to be available in an accessible manner,” Treasury Board President Stockwell Day announced at a news conference in Vancouver.

Canada launches – what works and what is broken (
The launch of is an important first step. It gives those of us interested in open data and open government a vehicle by which to get more data open and improve the accountability, transparency as well as business and social innovation. That said, there is much work to be done still: getting more data up and, more importantly, addressing the significant concerns around the license. I have spoken to Treasury Board President Stockwell Day about these concerns and he is very interested and engaged by them. My hope is that with more Canadians expressing their concerns, and with better understanding by ministerial and political staff, we can land on the right license and help find ways to improve the website and program. That’s why we to beta launches in the tech world, hopefully it is something the government will be able to do here too.

Insights into The Best (and Worst) Practices in Social Finance (
There clearly a lot going on in the world of social finance in Canada. As a result, it can sometimes be a challenge to keep track of the range of organizations and initiatives that are involved in building the infrastructure and practices on the ground. And perhaps more importantly, to gain an understanding of what is being learned, what isn’t working, and why.

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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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