Maytree News headlines – April 27, 2011


Diversity in Governance Celebration 2011 (Maytree event)
Join the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Nitin Kawale, President, Cisco Canada, Alan Broadbent, Chair, Maytree, and Ratna Omidvar, Co-chair, DiverseCity to celebrate

The information you need to vote in Canadas federal election on May 2 (Maytree blog)
With all this recent talk about the ethnic vote, you may have started to wonder if the voter eligibility has changed in Canada! So, with less than a week to go lets review voter eligibility, the voting process and what you need to do to cast an informed vote.

Toronto Community Services Resource Guide for Non-Status Immigrants now available in Urdu (Social Planning Toronto)
Social Planning Toronto has just released its Urdu version of the Toronto Community Services Resource Guide for Non-Status Immigrants 2010 edition. The resource guide is a directory of community services and programs in which residents lacking secure immigration status in Toronto can access, including health, housing, shelter, settlement, food banks and education.

Skilled worker faces three-year wait for immigration (Toronto Star)
Three years ago, Ottawa overhauled the federal skilled worker program, touting that the changes would cut processing time down to less than a year. But prospective migrant Pedram Yousefi was shocked to find out recently that there is a two-year delay in his application to immigrate to Canada under the program.–skilled-worker-faces-three-year-wait-for-immigration

Candidate says queue-jumping caused by Tory cutbacks (Surrey Now)
A Conservative plan to deport foreign nationals who marry Canadians to jump the immigration queue is wrong-headed, according to the NDP candidate in Fleetwood-Port Kells.

Canada bars autistic teen from immigrating (Ottawa Citizen)
What Canadian immigration has done to an English teenager and his parents is cruel, embarrassing and hypocritical. The federal government has barred 17-year-old Lewis Crowe, who lives with his mother in England, from living in Canada because he has autism. Furthermore, he cannot visit the country without the permission of the immigration department. Stranger still is his father and stepmother, Robert and Pauline Crowe, are inadmissible as permanent residents because of Lewiss disability.

Canadian parliament may see more Indian-origin MPs (Economic Times)
With main three national parties putting up 23 Indo-Canadian candidates for the May 2 general election, the Canadian parliament may see more MPs of Indian-origin this time.

Toronto key to majority for Canada’s Conservatives (Montreal Gazette)
The Conservatives, in power since 2006, are using their record on the economy and family-centric “traditional values” to appeal to voters in the suburbs of Canada’s largest city, home to 10 of the tightest races for the May 2 election. Three of the hottest ridings, or electoral districts, are in Brampton, just northwest of Toronto, where half the residents are immigrants, and one in three is from South Asia. Buoyed by an immigrant vote that has traditionally backed them, the Liberals won here in the last election, but only just. Now, the immigrant vote isn’t necessarily Liberal.

Wooing the ‘ethnic’ vote with hot-button issues (Vancouver Sun)
How do you attract the so-called ethnic vote in Canada, particularly in immigrant-saturated cities such as Toronto and Vancouver? That is the pivotal question for the major political parties as Canadians go into their fourth federal election in seven years.

Newcomers receive election education (Niagara Falls Review)
The Multicultural Network of Niagara Falls partnered with Elections Canada to help new people in Canada overcome barriers to accessing services in various civic organizations. They held the event at the network’s Morrison St. facility. Organizers hope those new to Canada will embrace the importance of voting and exercise their democratic rights whenever possible. Elections Canada representative Darla Bell spoke to visitors about the May 2 federal election, the parties in play and the makeup of Parliament.

Business apologizes for racial slur (CBC)
An international student at l’Université de Moncton has accepted an apology from a local business after complaining that an employee insulted her by using a racial slur… Lorraine LeClair, executive director of MAGMA, said there have been other cases of racism in Moncton and MAGMA has hired a public education co-ordinator to help businesses to set up policies to prevent the problem.

Canada welcomes new Irish emigrants with open arms (Irish Central)
A large increase in the number of Irish arriving to Canda to take up job opportunities has been evident. Canada has become the perfect fit for the Irish: a country that speaks English, recognizes the qualifications they worked hard for and plentiful jobs. Ne visa rules allows thousands of Irish professionals to emigrate there.–with-open-arms-120768554.html

Candidates say they’ll work it out (Kelowna Capital News)
Immigration issues also arose out of the conversation after it was pointed out that some of the countrys most educated and under-utilized citizens were immigrants. They say the safest place in Vancouver to have a heart attack is the back of a cab, said Cannan, before noting hed like to see grants that allow immigrants to renew their professional accreditations from abroad, within a Canadian context. Independent candidate from Okanagan Coquihalla Sean Upshaw said theres something wrong when theres a doctor driving a cab noting hed favour policies to change those conditions.

Jonathan Kay: Why Im grateful that Britains immigrants chose Canada (National Post)
About a million Brits came to this country in the 25 years that followed the Second World War. Much of the Canada we know was built by the likes of George: bright, restless, underemployed men who were fleeing British rationing, class prejudice and economic stultification each emerging with his own wrapped-fish story about how they ended up in this or that corner of our country. Because they blended in demographically with older generations of established Anglo-Canadians, we do not make a special point of celebrating their contributions, as we do with Jews, Ukrainians, Italians or the more recently arrived New Canadians. But we should: For these industrious, unassuming yeoman legions gave Canada much of its modern character. Their accomplishments deserve recognition now that they are passing into their graves.

Event Dec 7-8: Diversity and Inclusiveness 2011: The New Competitive Advantage (Conference Board of Canada)
Canadas workforce is among the most diverse in the world, and in the future its anticipated to be even more so. Diversity is one of Canadas great strengths, yet many organizations still put too few resources into ensuring they capitalize on diversity and inclusiveness. These organizations will be left behind, as more enlightened competitors recruit, engage, and develop their people more effectively and efficiently.

Immigrants receive English assistance in west Edmonton (West Edmonton Local)
A study conducted by Statistics Canada in 2006 found Edmonton already had quite a few immigrants. There were 189,775 residents recorded as being born outside of Canada. This is 19 per cent of the citys total population. Though many of the immigrants who come to Edmonton join family and friends in the heart of the city, many have branched out to other areas, including the west end. To help the spread of immigrant families throughout the city, more services were needed in different areas. The conversation circle is one such program. It was organized by Catholic Social Services as part of their Learning and Community Enrichment program (LACE).

Canada promises faster immigration, more student visas for India (Economic Times)
Just days before Canadian parliamentary elections on May 2, political leaders are wooing Indo-Canadians by promising less waiting time for immigration and more student visas from India. Speaking at a roundtable organized by the Canada- India Foundation (CIF) here, top leaders of the opposition Liberal Party promised a comprehensive relationship with India. They said their party government will take the bilateral ties beyond trade to increase immigration and tourism from India and foster deeper education and research cooperation.

Tory candidate’s access to Kenney questioned (CBC)
There are allegations in the Ontario riding of Brampton-Springdale that Conservative Party candidate Parm Gill has inappropriate access to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Brampton has a large South Asian population, so the ability to get visas for family members of voters is an issue in the riding.


Tri-Cities draw refugees (Coquitlam Now)
Coquitlam was British Columbias top spot for government-assisted refugees to settle from January to March. According to the Immigrant Services Society of B.C., 123 government-assisted refugees arrived in B.C. between Jan. 1 and March 31. The Tri-Cities became the settlement destination for 27 of these newcomers (22 per cent). Other top destinations included Surrey (12 per cent), Vancouver (10 per cent), Langley (eight per cent) and Richmond (seven per cent).


Increase the size of the House of Commons by adding more seats to the most populous, urban provinces (Maytree blog)
Debates about representation by population are a long-standing feature of Canadian democracy. Urban ridings have historically been assigned significantly larger populations than rural ones, thereby diluting the votes of urban Canadians. As a result, the interests of urban Canadians are under-represented in Parliament.

Harper’s Road to Canadian Majority Runs Through Once-Liberal Working Poor (Bloomberg)
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harpers quest for a majority government may hinge on whether his economic policies win the votes of a group historically inclined to support his rivals: the urban working poor. The 51-year-old leader has targeted about 10 suburban seats around Toronto and Vancouver — now held by opposition parties – – he aims to swing to the governing Conservatives to move them closer to a parliamentary majority. All 10 districts have a greater proportion of low-income earners than the average of other areas the Conservatives hold.

Poverty reduction is the missing election issue (The Province)
It’s odd to see Stephen Harper continuing to crow about his economic management prowess, even while almost 1.5 million Canadians remain unemployed, nearly one in 10 people live in poverty and, according to one recent survey, one-third of Canadians can’t afford basic expenses. Yet isn’t dealing with such issues at the heart of what we look for in economic management? For their part, the opposition parties have some good poverty reduction commitments and policy measures in their platforms, but they haven’t highlighted these issues in their campaigns. That’s too bad.

Time to give the poor a break (Winnipeg Sun)
Have you ever gone 18 straight years without a single cent increase in income? Some of Manitobas poorest families and individuals have. Thats because welfare rates for basic needs in Manitoba havent changed one bit since 1993. Taking inflation into consideration, people relying on social assistance today have only 65% of the money they did back then. And its only getting worse for those on the bottom rung of the ladder.

Regional council endorses York’s first social audit (King Township Sentinel)
York Regional council recently endorsed, in principle, the themes and recommendations of the York Region social audit, Behind the Masks Testimonials from Those Marginalized by Income. The report, co-convened by the Poverty Action for Change Coalition and the York Region Food Network, is the first Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC) Social Audit ever conducted in the region.


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


Conservative government determined to fight human trafficking (
The objective would be to establish a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, support organizations providing assistance to victims; and help ensure female immigrants aged 15 to 21 who arrive in Canada alone are not subjected to illegitimate or unsafe work in cases of individuals at high risk, during their first six months in our country we will provide for regular contact with the Canadian Border Services Agency, she said.

Police thwart human trafficking ring (
Peel Regional Police say they’ve rescued several teenaged girls and women following a two-month human trafficking probe. They’ve also made multiple arrests in the case, but beyond that aren’t providing any more details pending a press conference tomorrow morning at police headquarters in Brampton.–police-thwart-human-trafficking-ring

Conservative fears ‘local women being lured into prostitution’ (
I dont think it is a decision-making aspect, but we do introduce federal laws; we have influence there and a lot of it is in the provincial and municipal space. But I would like us to do programs to help to go after specifically human traffickers, not just from the viewpoint of bringing in women from out of country, which is something that I am very concerned about as well, and I am very proud of the fact the federal government, the Conservative Party, is acting on it but in addition even at the local level. Local women being lured into prostitution is what I mean. I dont know how much of that is in the federal jurisdiction, but again this is just a personal opinion.

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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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