Maytree News Headlines – March 2, 2011


Do you have something to say? Use DiverseCity Voices to amplify your voice in the media (Maytree blog)
DiverseCity Voices could be the opportunity youre looking for. More than a database, DiverseCity Voices is a tool which connects experts from diverse communities with media on a wide range of topics.

Multiculturalism – In our Middle Hour, the state of the state (CBC Sunday Edition)
Forty years ago this year, Pierre Elliott Trudeau gave the world the idea of legislated multiculturalism. Canada said to the world, you don’t have to reject your native culture when you come to Canada, that the country is not one culture but many, not a melting pot, but a government crafted and financed mosaic. Well has it worked? Multiculturalism is under fire in a number of European countries including the United Kingdom, but how is it doing in the country that invented it? 40 years of multiculturalism—a critical appraisal in Hour Two.—multiculturalism—mad-magazine/

Chinese investment surge hits Metro Vancouver housing market (Vancouver Sun)
Real estate agent Cam Good (left) and real estate consultant Hong Luo (right) show potential buyers, some from Mainland China, plans at the Avra sales centre in White Rock. Avra is a 17-storey condominium that’s slated to be built over the next two years. Across the Lower Mainland, Chinese buyers and immigrants are becoming a major part of the market. Here’s a look at what some Chinese buyers may be targetting in the market, according to a recent advertisement posted on Chinese language newspaper Canadian City Post.

Cultures in Dialogue (Dialogue Cafe)
The main idea of this project was creating a global and independent platform that permits intercultural dialogue. The Dialogue Cafe is already open and working in Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and Amsterdam and its major objectives are encouraging the exchange of experiences collaboration between organisations and individuals from very different cultures and backgrounds. This is exactly what happened when the Amsterdam café opened recently. Students doing Master’s degrees in Lisbon interacted and exchanged experiences with artists and social entrepreneurs who were in the Rio de Janeiro and Amsterdam cafés. Oslo, São Paulo, Warsaw and New York also joined the global get together via link-ups from local Cisco offices. The opening finished with a jam-session with musicians in Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro playing for a virtually connected audience.

Grad student conference on Multiculturalism, April 16th, Toronto, Canada (Refugee Research Network)
The Student Caucus at CERIS the Ontario Metropolis Centre is pleased to announce that our Graduate Student Conference will take place on Saturday April 16th, 2011 at Ted Rogers School of Management Building, Rooms 1-148 and 1-150, Ryerson University. This conference offers graduate students interested in migration research the opportunity to present and discuss their research with fellow students in an intellectually vibrant, supportive and multidisciplinary forum.

Recruiting internationally trained journalists to write for New Voices magazine (Refugee Research Network)
As announced at last week’s Settlement Working Group meetings, the Mennonite New Life Centre is currently recruiting internationally trained journalists to write for the summer issue of our New Voices magazine. In this issue of New Voices, we aim to deepen current debates about the roles of immigration and multiculturalism in Canada. For more information, please see

Cities face new multicultural challenges (Sustainable Cities Collective)
I was intrigued when, in a couple small group discussions, one divisive issue arose: cultural diversity. In trying to map out their vision of a sustainable, resilient Alberta, participants had differing views about the degree to which Canada should be defined by the values of those who immigrate here, versus the values of those whose ancestors immigrated here a generation or two earlier. This is, after all, a nation of immigrants, with the exception of our first nations people – who are often an afterthought in these discussions.

Official multiculturalism is good for Canada (Calgary Herald)
First generation or 100th, we choose to live here and have a right to lobby for our way of life. Our challenge is to provide Canadians with inspiration and opportunity to transform potential into achievement. Our diverse backgrounds are part of the solution, not the problem. This is the kind of Canada we can, and must, strive to build.

Chamber proud of relationship with immigrant entrepreneurs (New Brunswick Business Journal)
Much ink has been spilled recently concerning the experience for business immigrants to Fredericton and New Brunswick. I’d like to add to the discussion in the hopes of helping to illuminate the many sides to business immigration in our capital. First, the Provincial Nominee Program, or PNP, helps expedite the approval of immigration applications by the federal government, essentially giving them the province’s stamp of approval. PNP applications are granted to skilled workers with specific education and/or experience, who have employment offers in hand, or who have family in the region prepared to support them.

Komagata Maru memorial approved for Vancouver (CBC)
The Vancouver Park Board has approved a monument at Harbour Green Park in Coal Harbour that will commemorate a dark period in the city’s history. The site is close to where a ship called the Komagata Maru tied up in 1914 with 376 aspiring South Asian immigrants on board.

Settlement assistance agencies hard hit by federal cuts get provincial boost (
Seven Toronto settlement assistance agencies hard hit by federal cuts to immigrant services will get to share in a $500,000 provincial funding boost. The one-time funding will ensure thousands of newcomers can continue to access settlement services and better integrate, while agencies develop alternative, long-term plans, it was announced Feb. 24 by Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Eric Hoskins.–settlement-assistance-agencies-hard-hit-by-federal-cuts-get-provincial-boost

March is Cultural Diversity And Race Relations Month (SasktoonHomepage)
Today (Tues) is the start to the month declared “Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Month” in Saskatoon. It was marked with a ceremony downtown at city hall and a flag raising, despite the cold weather.

Language Diversity Index Tracks Global Loss of Mother Tongues (National Geographic)
“For the past several years, we had been hearing anecdotal reports about endangered languages–how we’re losing languages by the day, how we may lose 50-90 percent of languages before the end of the century. But nobody had any reliable quantitative data to corroborate these claims,” says Luisa Maffi, co-founder and director of Terralingua, an international NGO devoted to sustaining the biocultural diversity of life through research, education, policy, and on-the-ground work.

African immigrants in Manitoba say Ottawa keeping families apart with policy (Winnipeg Free Press)
African immigrants in Manitoba say Ottawa is keeping them from their families by reducing the number of private refugee sponsorship applications it will accept in Nairobi. They say their relatives are languishing in refugee camps under horrible conditions and deserve better treatment. “Our family members are often waiting in poor living conditions and sadly many have died while waiting,” they said Tuesday in a news release asking for government action.

TO2015 Creates First-Ever Pan Am Diversity Policy (Diversity Business Network)
Today, TO2015 announced the creation of a first-ever Diversity Policy developed for a Pan/Parapan American competition. “What ‘green’ was to the Vancouver Games, multiculturalism will be to TO2015,” says Ian Troop, CEO T02015. “Toronto 2015 will be the first Pan/Parapan American Games to mandate a comprehensive and inclusive Diversity Policy providing business opportunities to our many multicultural communities.”


‘Refugee sponsorship groups face puzzling new roadblocks (Cranbrook Daily Townsman)
Recent significant changes to Canada’s immigration policy are putting a damper on local efforts to assist refugees and their families. Barb Ryeburn, with East Kootenay Friends of Burma, said in recent months numbers of refugees allowed to come to Canada have been drastically reduced. Not only that, but sponsorship agreement groups like the EK Friends of Burma – local organizations across the country that help refugees – have been informed by the Ministry of Immigration that long-standing contracts with the groups are in the process of being rewritten. This could prevent the groups from sponsoring refugees for up to a year, Ryeburn said.

‘Generous’ refugee system an embarrassment (Embassy)
If more Canadians really understood how their country’s “generous” refugee family reunification program really works, they would be embarrassed by its inefficiency and callousness. They would also be surprised at the amount of money collected and kept from applicants that are rejected.


Video from the 2011 Research & Policy Roundtable WHOS IN CHARGE? is now online (Social Planning Toronto)
During this forum we were engaged in a critical discussion on the proliferation of arms length government agencies, boards and commissions in Canada, Ontario and Toronto. We discussed the impacts of ABCs on public accountability and service delivery by exploring their roles and responsibilities in specific policy areas of health, transit, public safety and security and urban/municipal planning. These organizations entities such as the Local Health Integration Networks, Metrolinx, Ontario Municipal Board, and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission have considerable authority over public services, however, very little is known about how they function, their mandate or how decisions are made. Our intention was to explore some of the key issues regarding accountability and service delivery that have emerged within these domains.

Check out the latest Issue of our e-bulletin, Soundbites. (March 1, 2011) (Social Planning Toronto)
This issue:
1. City Council Wraps Up 2011 Budget with Tax Freeze and Service Cuts
2. Call for Nominations to Social Planning Toronto Board of Directors
3. Anti-Poverty Roundtable in Etobicoke Report
4. An Update from the LIP Project
5. News From Our Partners
6. Worth Repeating


Precarious Work and Vulnerable Workers (Law Commission of Ontario)
This project, approved by the Board of Governors in June 2008, considers the degree of legal protection afforded to persons in part-time work, short contract positions and other forms of precarious work, against the background of the social issues affecting vulnerable workers. Although they are not the only persons affected, recent immigrants, other members of racialized communities and women of different communities are disproportionately engaged in various forms of precarious work. The purpose of the project is to make recommendations with respect to the statutory framework and compliance mechanisms related to precarious work, as well as recommendations in relation to the social ramifications arising from this work.

Needs Improvement: Immigrants to Canada Still Make Less than the Canadian-born (Martin Prosperity Institute)
Disconcerting as it may be, it is no secret that immigrants tend to fare worse than their Canadian-born peers (Badets & Howatson-Leo 1999; Bloom, Grenier, & Gunderson 1995; Frenette & Morisette 2005; Maxim 1992; Picot 2004; Reitz 2001). Despite building a national identity around multiculturalism and inclusiveness, economic equity while perhaps implied is actually not a prominent part of that collective narrative. In fact, if anything, pervasive income disparities, lower rates of labour market participation, and higher rates of unemployment have been part of the Canadian immigrant experience. A deep understanding of the factors that motivate this contemporary phenomenon is necessary to counter-act them with various policy tools.


Wednesday’s Headlines (Spacing)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Council, Transit, Housing, Streets, Architecture and Other News.

New poll has Rob Ford’s approval rating at 60% (blogTO)
The first poll to determine Rob Ford’s approval rating has been released, and it looks pretty good for the Toronto mayor. Based on a phone survey of just over 1000 people by Forum Research Inc., roughly 60 per cent of Torontonians approve of the job he’s doing so far. The Globe’s Kelly Grant notes that “six months into his first term, former Mayor David Miller enjoyed an 82 per cent approval rating,” but I can’t remember what the political climate was like back then, so let’s just focus on these most recent numbers.

Housing board appointees in no rush to resign (Toronto Star)
In a confrontational statement, the civilian board members said, The mayor has asked us through the media to resign. We would ask the mayor to document his reasons why private citizens who have volunteered their time because they believe in giving back should be replaced.–housing-board-appointees-in-no-rush-to-resign

The Debate: Your Vote 2011: Ottawa (TVO The Agenda)
What are the issues that matter to Ontarians in the upcoming provincial election? The first stop in 2011’s Agenda on the Road: Ottawa.


The Causes and Consequences of Re-trafficking: Evidence from the IOM Human Trafficking Database (IOM)
By exploring the 79 known re-trafficking cases in the IOM Human Trafficking Database over a 10-year period (from 1999 to 2009), this research has found that the groups who appear to be most vulnerable to re-trafficking are women, children and young adults.

Residents urged to fight human trafficking (CBC)
Law enforcement officials and advocates are urging residents to take a more active role in helping to curb human trafficking in the city. RCMP Const. Lucien Remillard, the primary speaker at a panel at city hall on Tuesday, is one of six officers within the RCMP working to raise awareness about human trafficking. “Human trafficking involves exploitation [and] it could happen right within Ottawa.”

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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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