Maytree News headlines – April 4, 2011


Video: Five Good Ideas – Using Your Ideas to Raise Money (Maytree)
Launching an organization requires a compelling idea and a burning passion, but as importantly, the right funders, partners and advocates to help bring the vision to life – and keep it afloat. This session discusses the various stages of starting a new entity or re-energizing an existing one – engaging others to seed an idea, building a track record to attract supporters, diversifying the funding base, finding the right partners to help plan and execute sustainable growth, and the critical importance of communication and media outreach.

Naheed Nenshi: “Our cities have to be not only places to make a living, but fantastic places to make a life.” (DiverseCity blog)
In February, DiverseCity was thrilled to partner with the Canadian Club of Toronto to feature a keynote presentation by His Worship Mayor Naheed Nenshi of Calgary. Mayor Nenshi shared his vision for a great Canadian city where pluralism transforms urban centres into magnets for talent and engines of development.

Who’s afraid of Africentric? (Toronto Star – DiverseCity Voice Gary Pieters)
Is creating a so-called Africentric secondary school to improve education chances for African Canadian students a step forward or a step back? Based on my personal experience, I believe it can be an important step forward. In 2005 I saw first-hand how students benefited from a summer-long pilot project designed to stimulate and engage students who were performing below the provincial standard.–who-s-afraid-of-africentric

Africentric school controversy surfaces at Oakwood (National Post)
Animated debate between the mom in Gucci sunglasses and the black teen in the Blue Jays bomber jacket represent just one more shock wave from the cluster bomb that the Toronto District School Board dropped on the neighbourhood this week, announcing a plan to launch an Africentric “school-within-a-school” at Oakwood in September. Couple that with another bomb from two weeks ago, when Trustee Maria Rodrigues floated the idea of a “Portuguese-centric” school, and you have parents shaking their heads — if not running for the exits.

What It means to be an Immigrant (North Bay Nugget)
Some people believe that ‘immigrants’ have no right to be here. They resent some of the changes which have occurred since Canada really started opening its doors to immigration. I wonder sometimes if some NATURAL-BORN Canadians may not deserve to be here. I have often mused about how some of these people would feel if they were to experience themselves the life of an immigrant for a short time, in order to completely appreciate the benefits afforded them by virtue of their birth.

Opinion: Sweeten immigration ‘pie’ to win election (The Province)
Will the parent issue now sink the Conservatives? Both Liberals and Conservatives have engaged in a strategy hiding inventory numbers and have failed to disclose quotas. In 2011, over 150,000 people are waiting for 11,200 visas. The math says you wait 14 years. Family reunification will be over a crypt. Some truth in advertising: Conservatives don’t cut into all family reunification. The welcome mat is out there for spouses and children, just not for parents. And Liberal election campaign pledges such as that recently given by Michael Ignatieff to reverse Conservative cuts to parents — or anything involving immigration — will need a giant grain of salt.

Immigration limits force aching questions (Montreal Gazette)
Tatyana Skorobogatko could well be the poster child for Canadian immigration. Having landed in Montreal from Ukraine at 13, she is now an engineer for whom French and English have become more natural than her native Russian, sirloin steak or tacos more likely to appear on her dinner table than borscht or perogies. But like many immigrants who have created new stories and good lives for themselves here, she now wants to share the wealth and remember the old stories – and for that she needs her babushka.

Delays and fees equal discrimination, law prof alleges in complaint (Montreal Gazette)
The federal government is laying out a welcome mat for investors and skilled workers, but it’s slamming the door shut on parents and grandparents, says a law professor at the University of Ottawa, who has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission for discrimination based on age and family status. Amir Attaran, who applied in 2009 to sponsor his parents to immigrate from the United States, says the long delays that face landed immigrants trying to sponsor their parents or grandparents allow the government to keep them out of the country, but still pocket $1,000 in fees.

Indo-Canadians Need To Get Beyond Bhangra Dancing If They Want To Create Solid Identity In Canada (South Asian Link)
Indo-Canadian leaders should take a closer look at these subtle divisions and attempt to address them in order to create unity, understanding and respect not only within the Indo-Canadian community, but the larger mainstream of Canadian society.

Tamils, Activists Condemn Racist Conservative Campaign and Canada’s Immigration (South Asian Link)
The refugee rights and migrant justice group No One Is Illegal is outraged at the xenophobic message of an ad campaign launched by the Conservative Government of Canada. which shows Tamil boat people as terrorists and criminals seeking refuge in Canada. “This election ad is xenophobic and borders on racism,” said Krisna Saravanamuttu, a Canadian Tamil council spokesman.

Political candidate uses unauthorized images in campaign ad (RCI)
Award-winning filmmaker Ali Kazimi was surprised when he saw a sequence of images from his film, Continuous Journey, (about Canada’s exclusion of the South Asians who arrive aboard the Komagata Moru in 1914). The images were being used without his permission in a television commercial for Conservative Party candidate Tim Uppal in Edmonton. Kazimi made repeated requests over more than a week to have the image removed but so far that has not been done. Neither Tim Uppal nor representatives of the Conservative party were available to comment.

Filmmaker peeved after Tories use his image in campaign ad (Toronto Star)
A Toronto filmmaker is angry after a Tory campaign ad targeting Southeast Asian voters co-opted a copyrighted image from one of his documentaries, and then took a week to respond to his demands for its removal. But Ali Kazimi is even more baffled as to why the Conservative party chose his image in the first place, given that it depicts one of the lowest moments in Canada’s relationship with Southeast Asian immigrants.–filmmaker-peeved-after-tories-use-his-image-in-campaign-ad?sms_ss=twitter&at_xt=4d9773a89af1e02a,0

Tories hope to make inroads with ‘ethnic vote’ (
The federal Tories are optimistic they’ll make breakthroughs in some Toronto-area ridings — shaping up to be key electoral battlegrounds — by targeting the so-called “ethnic vote.” “We think our government has increased its support levels in the GTA generally and in the 416, the heart of Toronto,” said Conservative candidate Jason Kenney, who was on the hustings in the area, stumping for candidates in Liberal ridings with large numbers of immigrants.

Japan Relief Effort an Example of Canadian Multicultural Success (Marha Hall Findlay)
Students of history will know that, over the course of time, the relationships between China and Japan, and between Japan and a number of other Asian countries, including Korea, have not been…well….exactly warm. On the contrary, there has been great conflict, and much bad feeling. (I mention Korea in particular because I was a grateful guest of a group of Korean-Canadians who bought a number of tables.) This is why, for me, last night exemplified one of the things about Canada that I am most proud of—that we stand, uniquely, as a true multicultural success. While other countries like Germany and the UK make statements about the “failures” of multiculturalism in their countries, Canada is a place where it works. Not always perfectly, of course, and sometimes it takes a while—but all told, Canada has proved that multiculturalism can and does work.

David Bezmogis: ‘I hate being interviewed’ (Globe and Mail)
His debut story collection, Natasha, which told the stories of recently arrived Soviet immigrants in Toronto, drew gobsmacked raves of the sort Alice Munro might envy – as in “scary good,” “irresistibly original,” “dazzling” and “extraordinary.” With The Free World, Bezmozgis expands his scope massively while losing none of the precision, insight and authority that so impressed admirers of Natasha. As first novels go, it is as accomplished – and as funny – as anything published since V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas 50 years ago. In his second book, Bezmozgis once again explores the marginal and displaced community of Jews from the former Soviet Union, among whom he grew up. But this time, they are not depicted in the manner traditional to immigrant fiction, as struggling to adapt to their new Western homes, but rather in mid-journey, stalled in Rome while applying for visas to here, there or everywhere.

Forum tackles voter apathy (Winnipeg Free Press)
“I think it’s important to get out there and learn the issues,” said Bage, majoring in women’s studies. The East Kildonan resident said the people who aren’t voting are the ones being left out of decision-making in Canada. She learned at the forum hosted by the University of Manitoba the groups that don’t vote are primarily women, the poor, the uneducated and visible minorities.

Wanted: Visionary leader who can inspire (The Vancouver Sun)
For a minute there last Monday, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff offered at least the beginning of a national idea when he said it’s disrespectful to call any Canadian an ethnic. “The word ethnic vote, spare us,” Ignatieff said, getting the word count wrong right off the top. “I don’t think it treats people with respect. . . . I’m going out there and saying a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian … come into the big red tent.” (That tent, of course, is the Liberal Party. Some media, avid for Harper’s defeat, are already capitalizing the phrase.) Ignatieff’s no-ethnic idea would at least be more inspiring than a tax announcement, but for the hypocrisy. The Liberals have been the prime tillers of the ethnic garden for generations, often holding power through the taxpayer-purchased allegiance of the big ethnic communities in Toronto and Montreal.

Liberals and Conservatives fight over “ethnic” vote (Decision Canada)
“I don’t like the word “ethnic,” Ignatieff said, in French. “A Sikh is a Canadian, a Hindu is a Canadian, a Muslim is Canadian, a Tamil is a Canadian.” “I think it is contemptuous to tell people we are going to target your religion, we are going to target your ethnicity, we are going to target your national origins. No! We must target the fact they are Canadian citizens.” Liberal MP John McCallum, however, had no problem explaining how the Liberals are reaching out to minority communities with specific policies.

Video – Election 2011 : Ethnic vote (CTV Winnipeg)
How the parties are reaching out to ethnic communities in the country.

Why old-school teaching fails new Canada (Toronto Star)
The public grew more complex through immigrant waves: German, Jewish, Italian, etc. They often arrived poor, without knowing English or “our” public values. The schools taught their kids those values along with the skills they needed to rise economically. As prosperity came, the values tended to follow. So public education was an exercise in assimilation, and it generally worked. Public schools created public citizens. More recent immigrants pose additional challenges. Most aren’t white and many aren’t Christian (or Judeo-Christian). Some arrive wealthy, but lots don’t. The traditional route to integration and Canadianization is through the pubic schools. But not all kids are thriving there; African-Canadian boys are a striking example, but some Latin American, Portuguese, Vietnamese and other kids are also struggling. The schools aren’t doing their traditional job for these groups–why-old-school-teaching-fails-new-canada

Parkdale Community Legal Services deplores proposed conditional permanent residence period of two years or more for sponsored spouses (CLEOnet)
The current proposal, to introduce a conditional resident status for sponsored spouses, for a period of 2 years or more after ‘permanent’ resident status is granted, is a step in the opposite direction, increasing the vulnerability and the inequality of the sponsored spouse, even after being landed in Canada. This proposed probationary period for sponsored spouses, ostensibly intended to discourage fraudulent immigration marriages, will have the very serious effect of undermining the equality rights of immigrant spouses, increasing the power imbalance caused by the sponsorship agreement and potentially placing immigrant spouses and their children in danger of abuse, without recourse to the law except at the risk of losing their resident status in Canada.

Op-ed: Bill C-304 and the problem of housing in Canada (CCLA)
Canada has a looming crisis which both our previous and present governments seem to be content denying. It is the problem of homelessness and it has grown worse over the past few decades and needs to be addressed. Fortunately the problem of homelessness which affects at least 200,000 Canadians a year, may receive its long needed treatment as NDP MP Libby Davies tries to pass Bill C-304: “An act to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians”[1]. The issue of homelessness and adequate housing is a complex and politically charged one, as there is much debate about what it means to be “homeless” along with empirical concerns regarding the data that is collected and it’s faithfulness in representing the reality of the situation across the country. What we do know for certain is that as of today, Canada has no national housing plan, a gap which Bill C-304 wishes to fill[2].

Celebrations in Toronto after India wins Cricket World Cup (CTV)
Celebrations broke out in Toronto Saturday afternoon after India defeated Sri Lanka in the Cricket World Cup. Cars drove up and down through the city’s Little India with their horns blaring and flags flapping in the wind.


What to do about asylum seekers (Ottawa Citizen)
The real problem, Lamey writes in his new book Frontier Justice: The Global Refugee Crisis and What to Do About It, is that “human rights” don’t apply to all humans, at least not in practice. He begins the book by telling the story of Hannah Arendt, the political theorist who fled Nazi Germany, an experience that caused her to proclaim that rights only apply to members of political communities -and thus not to refugees. He quotes Arendt: “The conception of human rights, based upon the assumed existence of a human being as such, broke down at the very moment when those who professed to believe in it were for the first time confronted with people who had indeed lost all other qualities and specific relationships -except that they were still human. The world found nothing sacred in the abstract nakedness of being human.” Lamey sets out to prove Arendt wrong -to prove that there are ways to recognize the human rights of stateless people in a world made up of states. But he acknowledges that by and large “we are still living in an Arendtian universe.” Around the world, even in countries with profound respect for the rule of law, refugees are arbitrarily detained or sent back to danger without so much as a hearing. And, perhaps most problematically, the only methods of escape available to them are, in many cases, incredibly dangerous.

Refugees share their experience (Regina Leader-Post)
Now Panchol wants others to know what his life was like. He is one of three refugee students at the U of R who will share their stories during a two-day mock refugee camp hosted by the World University Service of Canada (WUSC). Interactive tents will be set up in the Research and Innovation Centre today and Tuesday (8 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m.) to tell the stories of Panchol, another student raised in a Kenyan camp and a third who lived in a refugee camp in Nepal.

Refugee Rights Day 2011 – Official City Proclamation (blogTO)
Refugee Rights Day is celebrated each April 4th to bring attention to the advances made in the protection of refugee rights in Canada as a result of the Supreme Court Singh decision in 1985. Join us to commemorate April 4th – Refugee Rights Day. The Official City of Toronto Proclamation will happen at City Hall, Rotunda on April 4th at 6PM. This event also marks the official launch of the Refugee Art Show and Community Fair

Border officials disciplined for masked man leaks (CBC)
A number of border officials have been given a rap on the knuckles for leaking information about a man who used an elaborate disguise to try to get into the country.


Liberal platform to focus on help for struggling families (Toronto Star)
Called “The Family Pack,” the platform will embrace themes that aim to prove the Liberals are offering not simply a free ride, but a way forward for strapped families seeking to balance the needs of students aiming for college with those of the elderly in need of care.

We need an electoral system where every vote counts (
But, in the long run, we need PR. Adopting it is not just a topic for political junkies. The renewal of democracy is a serious moral issue. It is wrong to thwart the will of the people by sticking with FPTP. All candidates and parties, federal and provincial alike, have a moral responsibility to take a position on PR. And the political pay-off could be enormous. Young people and political idealists – of which there may be many more than the cynics can imagine – may flock to a party that supports PR. We could have another “purple revolution” like that which brought Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi into office and see a re-engagement of young people and other alienated voters. How good would that be?

To be effective minimum wages must be indexed (Star Phoenix)
The reality is that setting the minimum wage always remains a balancing act in an economy. While it’s not a perfect way to fight poverty, it remains a valuable tool along with income tax policy and other measures to help low-wage earners. Coupled with the government’s recent $1,000-increase to the basic tax exemption and measures to address the shortage of affordable housing, a sensible minimum wage policy can make a difference to the lives of Saskatchewan’s working poor.


Hiring foreign workers covered by new rules (Montreal Gazette)
The rules governing temporary foreign workers changed yesterday when new regulations took effect that will change the way companies hire everybody from oilpatch workers to live-in caregivers. Labour shortages lead to complications whenever they occur, says Evelyn Ackah, a business immigration lawyer in Calgary. “There definitely was some exploitation of foreign workers,” says Ackah. “Underlying all of these regulatory changes for the foreign worker program is that we recognize … that we are an aging population and that foreign workers – skilled and lowerskilled – are going to be key to our future growth.”


Monday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Council, Transit, Roads, Police & Crime, Outdoors, History and Other News.

Angry Finch commuters: ‘Tell the mayor to walk in our shoes’ (Toronto Star)
Christopher blames the area’s transit woes on racism — not overt racism but something more subtle, a pattern of thinking that’s deeply embedded in this country’s social structures, something unconscious and insidious. “We’re being penalized by the people who don’t walk in our shoes,” says Christopher, now 58, who moved to Canada 15 years ago from Kenya. “Them, they’re born and raised here. As a result, the ones from the Third World countries are suffering. And we’re the ones who are bringing up the economy. We’re working hard.”–angry-finch-commuters-tell-the-mayor-to-walk-in-our-shoes


New businesses are cooking up more than just profits in Toronto (Globe and Mail)
It’s what’s known as a “social enterprise” – a business with the twin goal of generating an income and serving a social purpose – and it’s a model that’s increasingly popular in Toronto. At least 150 for-profit and non-profit social ventures have sprouted up in the city, half of them in the last five years, according to Social Innovation Generation, a program that advises them.

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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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