Maytree news headlines – April 13, 2011


Maytree’s election insights (Maytree blog)
Are issues around immigration, refugee and family reunification important to you? We’ve compiled some information and links to federal party platforms that speak to immigration issues.

Seeing our City afresh (SmartCity blog)
One of Halifax’s greatest challenges in the next decade is attracting and retaining highly skilled and educated talent. Over the past few years, the Partnership, in collaboration with many of you, has used its Halifax Connector Program to help immigrants and newcomers find their way to gainful and appropriate employment here in Halifax. This is the first of seven stories showing what you have made possible.

SAPP on Radio Canada International! (The South Asian Philanthropy Project)
Check out The South Asian Philanthropy Project featured in all three parts of an excellent series last week by Rashi Khilnani on RCI’s Indo-Canadian Report. The series looks at Indian and Indo-Canadian philanthropy, featuring some of the issues and people we have talked about here over the years.

Few women among Canada’s top executives: report (Vancouver Sun)
A study from executive search firm Rosenzweig & Co. shows just four of the chief executive positions at Canada’s 100 biggest public companies are female. Just 7.4 per cent of the more than 500 senior executive positions at these companies are female, the study also concludes.

Kraft calls on star chefs to capture immigrant market (Globe and Mail)
Major North American food companies have been expanding their overseas markets for decades. But targeting ethnic consumers on home turf is still relatively uncharted territory. Industry analysts say that’s changing, as shifting demographics in Canada force mainstream food companies to recognize new growth opportunities among domestic minority groups.

Canadians tolerant, hard-working: study (Montreal Gazette)
Canadians are hardworking, great readers, the most tolerant people in the developed world and enjoy more “positive experiences” than everyone but Icelanders, according to a new analysis of social trends released in Paris on Tuesday. But Canadians have a belowaverage participation rate in elections, don’t produce many babies and, in one apparently contradictory finding, are more likely to report “negative experiences,” according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Family reunification visas top list of concerns for many ethnic voters (Embassy)
While federal political parties have been addressing various immigration issues in their attempt to reach out to Canadian newcomers during this election campaign, the example above makes some observers wonder whether politicians are tuning in to the real concerns of ethnic groups. Since the beginning of the federal election campaign at the end of March, Conservative Party candidates have been very vocal about their continued commitment to bring in stronger laws to fight human smuggling—as well as tougher penalties for migrants who arrive at Canada’s shores by boat in large groups.

Canadian political leaders show teeth in TV debate to woo voters (Xinhua)
Ignatieff and New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton, responding to a question from the public, accused Harper of making it much more difficult for immigrants to bring their families into Canada.

Canada’s immigration minister sued by former British MP (CBC)
Outspoken former British MP George Galloway has made good on his threat to sue Canada’s immigration minister. A statement of claim served on Jason Kenney and his assistant Alykhan Velshi alleges they abused their official powers by banning Galloway from Canada in 2009.

France’s wardrobe-policy malfunction (National Post)
Freedom is a funny thing. Everybody is for it, until some start doing things others don’t like -such as covering their faces with pieces of cloth. The moment that happens, the number of freedomloving people is drastically reduced.

Promoting pluralism abroad must be a foreign policy pillar (Globe and Mail)
Religious intolerance is unquestionably a major factor in global instability. It’s at the root of the suppression of the civil and political rights of ethnic minorities in most authoritarian regimes. It leads to terrible violence that poses a significant challenge to the building of a stable, prosperous and just world order. So the Conservatives’ proposal to create an office of religious freedom in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is an initiative that should be welcomed by all Canadians regardless of their political stripe.

Multiculturalism & Multicultiphobia (Diverse Magazine)
Do you have anxiety of losing English Canada? Then it is time for a dialogue. Since the announcement of the 2031 outlook on population by Stats Canada: About one – third of Canada’s population will be a visible minority by 2031 and anxiety has been expressed in the media. DIVERSE is very interested in reviewing Multicultiphobia because of its timely response to this complicated issue of Multiculturalism. We believe the book has very comprehensive analysis of the comments from critics. And it helps us understand the debate on multiculturalism.

Cleaning up in Ottawa (Ottawa Citizen)
Miguel Orozco learned very quickly the difficulty of finding decent, well-paying jobs in Canada’s cleaning sector. Miguel Orozco immigrated to Canada in 2002 from Colombia where he had a job re-upholstering furniture. He began work in Ottawa cleaning stores and offices for a large company. The hours were long, pay was minimal and there were no benefits. Orozco would often be given jobs that required longer work hours to complete than allotted. Orozco said he was making as little as $6 an hour. He decided he could do better on his own.

Ladner’s Chinese rant ignores economic boom (The Province)
Former Vancouver councillor Peter Ladner argues that wealthy Chinese homebuyers are driving Vancouver’s real-estate prices to heights unaffordable for regular British Columbians. “Mainland Chinese immigrants are moving to Metro Vancouver at the rate of 10,000 a year,” Ladner said. “These immigrants are in some sense political and economic refugees, securing citizenship in Canada as a backup plan for their children’s futures.”

Harper visits Markham to unveil plan to help immigrants (King Township Sentinel)
It was at this event that the PM announced new measures to help recent immigrants strengthen their families’ financial security by getting their foreign credentials recognized in Canada faster and more easily. “We understand the importance of credential recognition to the financial security and well-being of new Canadians and their families, as well as the Canadian economy,” said Harper. “Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, our government has invested $50 million over two years in the development and implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications.”

Ignatieff promotes learning passport at stop in Markham (King Township Sentinel)
He also said the Learning Passport is “a good deal for families and it’s a good deal for Canada.” Ignatieff also pointed to the vast cultural diversity that was represented in the room, adding that he’s most passionate about the fact they were all Canadians. The Learning Passport is part of the Liberal Family Pack.

Federal Electoral Debate 2011: The Blather Where We All Come To Gather (Torontoist)
Entertaining live blog of the election debate last night. Discussion about immigration and multiculturalism starts at 8:02 PM.

Leaders’ Debate – On Demand (CBC)
Watch debate recording and follow along with CBC live chat. Discussion re. immigration/multiculturalism, reasonable accommodation starts at 1:00:31.

50-50 Fact-checking the leaders’ debate (CBC)
Immigration: The Conservative platform says the Harper government has had the highest levels of immigration in 50 years. They say they’re also bringing in more refugees (both government and privately sponsored) than before, which does not appear to be fully the case. In 2010, 280,636 immigrants were admitted to Canada, up from 164,203 in 2001 and 251,642 in 2006 when former Liberal government rules were still in place. The situation for refugees was different: 24,693 in 2010, up substantially from 2001 but a drop from the 32,499 in 2006. For family reunification, a policy the Liberals and NDP support more strongly, the numbers are 44,149 in 2001, 70,517 in 2006 and 60,207 in 2010.

Fun “Ethnic Vote” Video – Eat it! (CCPA)
Early in this election campaign it became clear that aggressive courting of the immigrant vote was a key strategy being mobilized to put the Harper team into majority territory. But over the course of the previous couple of years the Harper government was more selective of who they were courting. Some agencies serving immigrant communities had seen their federal funding cut under the Harper Conservatives, while others gained funding. That gave one group enough indigestion to …. make a video!

Temporary immigrant women’s centre opens in city’s east end (Hamilton Spectator)
The St Joseph’s Immigrant Women’s Centre has expanded and opened a temporary location in the city’s east end. Through funding from Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC) for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, which begins April 1, the centre will open a new location at 2255 Barton St–temporary-immigrant-women-s-centre-opens-in-city-s-east-end

Cultural Capital of Canada (Our Capital of Canada)
DiverseCity is an annual event organized by the PEI Newcomers Association toCanada to celebrate multiculturalism on PEI and raise awareness on the variety of skills and knowledge brought to the community by Newcomers to Canada. It fosters exchanges and knowledge sharing between all community members, and includes a variety of performances and exhibits, including crafts, cuisine, visual and performing arts, traditions, etc.

Event: Something Else, Something Fierce | April 16th Vancouver (Schema Magazine)
Organized by the folks at the National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada, Something Else, Something Fierce is an upcoming fundraiser concert to be held at W2 Storyeum featuring a hard-hitting lineup of Filipino-Canadian artists and DJ’s, which promises to showcase some of the “fiercest” talent that the Filipino-Canadian community has to offer!

“Conditional Permanent Residences” could place women at risk (PovNet)
Residences” for sponsored spouses. This proposed measure would apply to spouses and partners who have been in a relationship with their sponsor for two years or less at the time of the sponsorship application. These sponsored partners would have an imposed period of conditional status for two years or longer from the time that the sponsored spouse or partner becomes a permanent resident in Canada, with the threat of revocation of their permanent residency if CIC believes they do not remain in a “bona fide” relationship. If passed, this proposal will place women in particular at an increased risk for spousal and partner abuse. No One is Illegal is looking for support for opposing this proposal. See their website for more details.


Ottawa man travels land to promote gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights (Vancouver Sun)
David Pepper has formed a group to sponsor a refugee fleeing persecution for sexual orientation. Pepper will be taking his message and experience across the country by bus… It’s a simple idea: take the bus to 14 cities, meet with GLBT groups and individuals to share his knowledge of refugee issues and what they can do to help someone who has been forced to flee their home country.

Ottawa eyes axing ‘life-saving’ asylum program (Toronto Star)
A unique Canadian program that parachutes persecuted people out of their own country is on the chopping block by the Conservative government. Called the Source Country Class, it is the only program of its kind in the world that extends protection to those stuck in their homeland with no access to asylum in another country. These people, despite threats and torture, are not considered United Nations-sanctioned refugees because they are still living in their country of origin.–ottawa-eyes-axing-life-saving-asylum-program

Federal government appeals release of admitted Sun Sea crew member (CP)
The federal government is challenging the release of a crew member aboard the ship that arrived off the west coast last year with 492 Tamil migrants on board. The Federal Court website indicates the Canada Border Services Agency has filed an application for judicial review of a decision last week that ordered the man released while he waits to hear whether he’ll be deported.


Candidates silent when it comes to poverty (Openfile Waterloo)
At The Bridges shelter, where that 73-year-old woman lived until recently, Tinker has been registering the clients to vote in elections since the shelter started in 2005. And she says they aren’t hearing much that applies to them in the politicians’ talking points. “The clients don’t care about stealth fighter jets—they care that they get a home.” The shelter corporation and Elections Canada work together to register the people that are in the shelter, and on elections day they walk together to the polling station. Tinker says that about half the residents vote (similar to the 58 per cent Canadian voter turnout at the last election).

Expand EI compassionate care leave provisions to allow special leave for the care of persons with chronic conditions (Maytree blog)
The federal government should extend the compassionate care leave provisions under the Employment Insurance Act to allow special leave for the care of persons with chronic but not necessarily palliative conditions, including dementia, cancer and episodic conditions, or for care of a relative with a severe disability. The timing of the benefit should be more flexible to recognize other crises or stressful periods during which intensive caregiving may be required.


Tech sector facing shortage of qualified people in Canada (StarPhoenix)
According to a new report released Tuesday by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) -Outlook for Human Resources in the ICT Labour Market, 2011-2016 -while Canadian firms will look to hire about 106,000 employees between 2011 and 2016 for ICT-related positions, there’s a good chance there won’t be enough qualified applicants to fill positions. The report, which is the third installment in a series of labour market analysis pieces produced by the Ottawa-based industry group, warns of a widening gap between labour supply and demand in ICT causing “serious and pervasive” recruitment challenges in the next few years, particularly for companies based outside major Canadian cities and technology hubs. Shortages, which the report’s national summery describes as “alarming,” will be most severe for positions requiring five or more years of experience.


Wednesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Council, Federal Election, Engineering Visions, Architecture & Development, Roads and Other News.

Meet the Mayors (Muchmor Magazine)
We recently sent out a number of requests to the Mayors of many of Canada’s most popular towns and cities and invited them to answer a series of questions to find out more about the person behind the official face of the Mayor. We were surprised how many of them responded, and even more surprised at some of the answers to the questions we asked.

Hamilton interactive map for pedestrian problems (Spacing Toronto)
Hamilton has created an example of another way to enable people to note local problems for pedestrians: an interactive map. People can log in, identify a particular location, and use symbols and text to identify the problem there. It not only alerts the city to a local problem, but also provides an overall picture of the kinds of problems the city faces in improving its walkability. It’s a great idea, and it would be useful to do the same thing for Toronto.


Two Views of Social Innovation (Al Etmanski)
Here are two views of social innovation as expressed by Professional Ezio Manzini at the launch of the European Union’s Social Innovation Europe, March 2011. Professor Manzini is one of the world’s prominent thinkers on sustainability and social innovation.

Social Enterprise Access to Government SME Services: Challenges and Opportunities (
Enp’s recently completed research on social enterprise (SE) access to Federal, Provincial, and Territorial (F/P/T) funded services for small and medium enterprise (SME) provides clear evidence that the current gaps and barriers are by far a lack of clarity and ambiguity, while only in a very few cases due to specific regulatory restraints. In over 90% of the 100 programs we researched, actual access to the programs is unclear, ambiguous, or perceived as inaccessible from both the perspective of the service provider and the service seeker. While the research findings pose real challenges, opportunity lies in the fact that some strategic steps in delivery models and program content could dramatically improve access to SME services for social enterprises.

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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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RT @remarkk: New financing forms are emerging, including community bonds and social impact bonds, social capital markets. #onn2011