Maytree News headlines – April 21, 2011


Dont vote Conservative, immigration lawyers warn newcomers (Toronto Star)
In an unusual move, a group of Canadian lawyers and legal academics are urging voters not to support the Conservative Party in the May 2 election. The Conservative Party has been telling visible minority immigrant communities, which it calls the ethnic vote, that it is improving the immigration system, said the group in a statement released Wednesday. A review of their record shows the contrary.–don-t-vote-conservative-newcomers-urged

Full release:

‘Ethnic vote’ important; their issues not (Hamilton Spectator)
Hardly a day goes by without some reference in the media to the idea of ethnic votes. In my last column, I attempted to debunk the idea of the ethnic vote in todays Canada. But the issue is still a hot one for those on the campaign trail.–ethnic-vote-important-their-issues-not

Babies couldn’t wait, mom billed $22K (CBC)
A newly arrived couple from India was billed $22,000 by OHIP because their babies arrived prematurely. Maki Ueyama and her husband, Arvind Chandrasekar, arrived in Toronto in September 2010… The babies are Canadian, so their medical costs were immediately covered by OHIP, the Ontario health system. But their mother hadn’t passed the three-month waiting period. One day after giving birth to her daughters Ueyama got a bill.

End The 3-Month Wait For OHIP: Ontario’s Doctors (Canada Newswire)
In Ontario, landed immigrants and many returning Canadians are subject to a three-month waiting period for OHIP health insurance coverage. Ontario’s doctors are calling on the government to remove the delay so patients can access care when they need it.

Ontario Doctors Call For an End to Three-Month Wait for OHIP (Wellesley Institute)
In earlier posts, I have argued that it was especially unconscionable for the province to deploy policies that directly and knowingly make health inequities worse. Requiring new immigrants and others to wait three months for OHIP coverage is just such a policy. It has a damaging and inequitable impact on vulnerable people, damage that is entirely avoidable. The Ontario Medical Associaition has joined the large number of providers and community groups that call on this restriction to be removed.

Brockville’s Multicultural Festival celebrates 30th anniversary (EMC Smiths Falls)
In their ongoing effort to raise cultural awareness, festival organizers have added an Education Hall to the event. To be located in the memorial centre’s adjoining community room, the Education Hall will feature guest speakers, traditional arts and crafts workshops and interactive photo displays showing culture from countries around the world.

Immigration society finds new home (Calgary Herald)
It used to be that after deciding to make Canada their new home, most immigrants would opt for Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal as their choice of a place to settle down to a new life. Now Calgary has become a prime attraction with around 15,000 people annually moving into this city from many parts of the world.

City Building: People are Toronto’s infrastructure & Black Daddies Club strengthens at risk fathers (Yonge Stree Media)
In 2007, Brandon Hays founded the BDC to offer a forum for black parenting issues and larger problems in the black community. Over the past three years, the club has aimed a cannon of programming into a statistical void, going into prisons to speak with incarcerated fathers and hosting barbershop parenting workshops.

Brooks’ diversity ready to rock the vote (Medicine Hat News)
The demographics of the City of Brooks are changing. Immigrants from across the globe recruited to work at Lakeside Packers during the 1990’s and early part of this millennium now make up a quarter of the city’s population. And now a growing number of those immigrants from places like Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia can vote and are some of the most eager constituents in the riding. For Ermias Fekadu, originally from Eritrea, this will not only be his first time voting as a Canadian, it will be his first time voting.

Federal immigration policies give Ontario fewer skilled workers, McGuinty says (Globe and Mail)
Ontario is seeking a new deal on immigration that would give the province more autonomy over selecting talented newcomers and designing programs to integrate them into Canadian society. The top-down approach to immigration dictated by the federal government is leaving Canadas most populous province at a competitive disadvantage, Premier Dalton McGuinty said on Wednesday. At a time when Ontario is attempting to rebuild its economy, it is losing highly skilled immigrants with the best prospects of landing good jobs to other provinces.

McGuinty pushes immigration as federal election issue (Toronto Star)
The reality is the government of Canada cant justify having one set of rules and services for immigrants in some parts of Canada without applying some of those same rules and giving those same services to immigrants who arrive in Ontario, he added. Were not asking for special treatment, were asking for fair treatment, McGuinty maintained, noting that Ontario gets just 16 per cent of economic-class immigrants, well below the national average of 25 per cent. The problem stems back to immigration deals with previous federal governments, both Liberal and Conservative, with Ontario being shortchanged by $200 million including immigrant settlement agencies being cut by $44 million, he said.–mcguinty-pushes-immigration-as-federal-election-issue

Liberals support immigrants while Jason Kenney hides his poor record (Liberal party)
While Liberals support new Canadian families, Jason Kenney is trying to hide an immigration backlog of more than a million, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said today. This month Jason Kenneys own department confirmed that the immigration backlog has ballooned to one million applications and the Skilled Worker backlog has exceeded 500,000, said Mr. Ignatieff. Despite the fact the Conservatives claim to have reduced the skilled worker backlog, their own figures show they are playing with the numbers to hide the truth.

The new real estate protectionism is misguided (Vancouver Sun)
There are a growing number of people and politicians who profess imposing restrictions on offshore property investors as they do in countries like Australia to protect our interests. But in the last two years, our government has imposed higher standards that make it more difficult and expensive for immigrants to come to Canada. And even though weve raised the bar, immigration remains strong. The government is doing what it should. We are benefiting and the system is working. Its too late for protectionist measures anyway. There are so many Chinese here already. We are a nation of immigrants after all and Chinese Canadians are some of the best. Ive got no tolerance for this kind of attitude. In fact, I would love to see the advocates of this nonsense debate their ideas with some native people. I think they would really enjoy the irony.

Sovereignist intelligentsia fail to find a vision for the future (Montreal Gazette)
Kotto told the 50-member audience at UQÀM that an independent Quebec would do a better job integrating immigrants into society. No longer would Quebec and Ottawa share responsibility over immigration; the new country, totally in charge of it, would be able to better select immigrants according to the needs of the labour market. No longer would Ottawas multiculturalism ghettoize cultural communities; Quebec would make sure all newcomers learn French, and it would bring them into the mainstream. Comment: Kotto ignored the elephant in the room: How would Quebec try to attract immigrants in the first place?

Families kept apart by Harper government’s immigration policy (Canada Newswire)
Immigrants can wait up to 14 years to be reunited with their parents and grandparents because of a government that claims to support families, it’s not fair, and voters should make it an election issue, according to a video and a national ad campaign from the Canadian Migration Institute.

Vaisakhi parade floats checked by Surrey RCMP (CBC)
RCMP officers in Surrey, B.C., will be checking floats at the annual Vaisakhi parade on Saturday to ensure images promoting hatred are not included in this year’s event. About 100,000 people are expected to attend the massive parade and police are planning to close 54 intersections in the Newton neighbourhood along the route. Cpl. Drew Grainger said police are already working with the organizer to ensure the floats created by the Sikh community don’t incite hatred.

Ottawa Centre candidates talk immigration, foreign credentials (Your Ottawa Region)
Issues ranging from reuniting immigrant families, refugee rights and recognition of foreign credentials dominated the Ottawa Centre all-candidates debate held on April 17 at the Chinese Canadian Heritage Centre.–ottawa-centre-candidates-talk-immigration-foreign-credentials

AMSSA Newcomer Child Information Exchange e-Bulletin: Family Dynamics (
The latest edition of the ANCIE (AMSSA Newcomer Child Information Exchange) looks at the issues, challenges and experiences of refugee families, their children and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the complexities of family dynamics. The e-Bulletin includes a case study, lists useful resources and offers strategies for working with refugee children.


Refugee Update (FCJ Refugee Centre)
Refugee Update is a journal published by the FCJ Refugee Centre which is linked to the Canadian Council for Refugees. The journal aims to reflect the life, experiences and issues facing refugees in Canada and other countries, assist Canadian refugee rights workers with information to support their advocacy activities, as well as to provide critiques on Canadian refugee policy and practices. With a circulation of 250 individuals and institutions, Refugee Update is published three times per year.

Refugees share personal stories (Winnipeg Free Press)
What’s it like to be the refugee kid? An after-school program at IRCOM House got a bunch of them to write the book on it. “They’re very, very personal stories,” Mavis Matenge, a volunteer who helped with the book, titled Give Voice, Open Your Ears, said on Wednesday.

Teen to get new refugee hearing (Montreal Gazette)
A teenager who was living in Canada for two years as a refugee claimant should not have been sent back to Mexico before getting a risk-assessment hearing, Ontario’s top court ruled this week.

HELP WANTED. But at what cost? (Martin Prosperity Insights)
The labour market is not responding to federal government projections: only half of Creative Class immigrants obtain creative employment once in Canada. A new Working Paper published at the Martin Prosperity Institute illustrates that the Canada labour market misallocates the talent/human capital of new immigrants to Canada, despite federally-set immigration goals.

HRSDC Announces Changes to LMO Application Procedures Effective April 1, 2011 (First Reference Talks)
Last year, the governor-general-in-council published amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), which affected the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). These amendments became effective on April 1, 2011. New Labour Market Opinion (LMO) application forms have been available on the website of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) since March 25, 2011; these new forms are specific to each stream under the TFWP (i.e. Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP), Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, etc.).


Candidates must take on poverty (
There is one issue that all federal election candidates in Saint John seem to agree upon: the city’s high level of generational poverty is an issue that must be addressed.

Time for some federal leadership on poverty (Windsor Star)
With a federal election on the horizon, the time has come for a national poverty reduction plan. Pathway to Potential, Windsor-Essex County’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, is raising awareness about poverty in our community and working toward solutions that will reduce poverty and ensure the social and economic well-being of all residents. We are one of about 80 collaborative efforts in Canada that are tackling poverty at a local level.

Ensure inclusion of people with disabilities, says May (Northumberland View)
The Green Party of Canada believes it is time to treat Canadians with disabilities with dignity. We endorse the Basic Income Program proposed by the Caledon Institute, including an income security program for people with disabilities. We would also work to create a Canada Disabilities Act (CDA) to express Canadians’ vision of a more equitable society, rather than the current confusion resulting from the multiplicity of acts, standards, policies and programs that prevail, said May.


Event: WAC Stop Wage Theft Campaign Launch at Mayworks May 13 (Workers’ Action Centre)
HEAR from Workers Action Centre leaders on our fight to stop employers from stealing our wages. WATCH undercover footage of employers breaking the law, and see how workers are resisting through Bad Boss actions around the city. FIND out how you can get involved!


Thursday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Council, Transit, Street Meat, Architecture & Development and Streets.

Federal parties should be talking transit, group says (The Toronto Observer)
According to Statistics Canada almost 80 per cent of Canadians live in urban centres. Julia Deans, CEO for the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance, says despite the large urban population, the federal election campaign has had little focus on the needs of urban voters. Deans spoke at the Innis College Town Hall panel discussion, Who Cares About 15 Million Voters. She said congestion costs the GTA about $6 billion a year and is expect to rise to $15 billion by 2031 if nothing is done. She said it is essential for Canadians to have a federal funding commitment for transportation and infrastructure.

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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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