Maytree News Headlines – April 6, 2011


Federal Elections and Canada’s Immigration Policy (Vancouver Sun)
Rather than continuing to identify migrants as suspicious strangers to whom our hospitality is conditional, we should see ourselves as part of a universal humanity. The rhetoric of migrants stealing jobs and their dehumanization as ‘illegals’ is a powerful tool to destroy solidarity between working people. There is far more reason to be suspicious of opportunistic politicians, rather than those who live, work, play, and love alongside us every day.

Immigrant vote in PM’s sights (Toronto Sun)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper starts Wednesday back in the Toronto area – his third visit to the region in less than two weeks. He has a message that he hopes will rope in some votes from more recent immigrants to Canada.

Tories courting immigrant voters in GTA (Globe and Mail)
Stephen Harper is promising loans to help foreign-trained immigrants get their education credentials recognized in this country as he visits Greater Toronto Area ridings Wednesday heavily populated by new Canadians. It’s another attempt to solve what’s been called the doctors-driving-taxis problem, where immigrants find themselves shut out of the skilled job they trained for before coming to Canada.

Tories woo newcomers in TO, Liberals go rural (CTV)
Harper will begin his day courting the ethnic vote in the Southern Ontario communities of Markham and Ajax — considered key battlegrounds in the Conservatives’ bid for a majority government. Harper is expected Wednesday to highlight a plan to cut red tape for new immigrants trying to transfer their credentials to Canada. The announcement is expected to include loans to help pay for the process of upgrading professional skills to Canadian standards.

Family reunification a key issue in battle for the ‘ethnic vote’ (Yahoo News)
Both the Liberals and the Conservatives have identified the ‘ethnic vote’ as critical to their election aspirations and to date, family reunification seems to be the prevailing issue.

Refugee bashing an odd tactic (Straight Goods)
Despite leading the polls, the Conservative Party is taking unnecessary risks by bashing the environment and immigrants, moves that seem sure to cost them votes in urban ridings they need to win for a majority government.

“Courting” the Ethnic Vote (Wealth blog)
The ‘ethnic vote’ has taken center stage this election, as the votes of ethnic minorities and recent immigrants will decide key electoral battle grounds across the country. However, discussions regarding the ethics of courting the ethnic vote have also emerged. Many consider advertising in ethnic media outlets to target and influence ethnic minorities as ethnic pandering.

Live Blog: #NetCulture: Stories of Culture + Diversity in Social Media (Tracy Bains)
Live blog archive from Vancouver event April 5th – Speakers from our culturally diverse communities will share how social media has helped them strengthen their identities, roots and friendships.

Video: KPMG at Diversity (YouTube)
Michael Bach speaks about KPMG’s recognition as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2011 as well as one of Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians for 2011 and for 4 consecutive years.

Want to Work for a Company That Leads the Pack in Diversity? (Marketwire)
Last week, Canada”s Top 100 Employers announced that KPMG was again named one of Canada”s Best Employers for New Canadians. In addition to this win, KPMG was also named among Canada”s Best Diversity Employers in February 2011. KPMG is the only organization to be selected consecutively for both awards since 2008.

In profile: Capital Health — one of “Canada’s Best Diversity Employers” (Daily Business Buzz)
Ask questions, but don’t make assumptions — these are two vital lessons community health worker Michael Poworoznyk has gleaned from Capital Health’s award-winning diversity and employment equity training.

Scholarships offered in honour of Lilian To (Vancouver Sun)
Newcomers to Canada who are interested in furthering their education at Ashton College are invited to apply for scholarships created in honour of Lilian To, a longtime advocate for immigrants in B.C. To was the executive director of S.U.C.C.E.S.S., a multi-service immigrant support agency, until she died in 2005 at age 59 from heart failure.

Courting our ethnic friends – Inkless Wells (
The title of this blog post is the title of a chapter in a curious book by C.P. Champion, published last fall, called The Strange Demise of British Canada: The Liberals and Canadian Nationalism 1964-1968. I’ve been meaning to write about this book since I saw it. Now, in an election when the votes of immigrants and ethnic minorities are one battleground, is as good as any time. Chris Champion is a senior advisor to Jason Kenney. His book is a complex argument about the Pearson Liberals’ relationship to the British component of Canada’s heritage. I won’t try to sum it up here. But what’s interesting is the chapter where he traces an earlier attempt by one political party to break into ethnic communities another party had considered a captive market.

Harper to pledge loans to help immigrants upgrade skills (Toronto Star)
Conservative leader Stephen Harper is setting out to address one of the greatest barriers facing new Canadians with the promise of federal loans to help recent immigrants upgrade their skills and obtain the credentials to work in the country. It’s no coincidence that he is delivering that message in the GTA, a gathering place for immigrants and a place where doctors, scientists and engineers from abroad are often forced to take on menial jobs to support their families.–harper-to-pledge-loans-to-help-immigrants-upgrade-skills

Champions of cultural diversity honoured (Edmonton Journal)
For years, Edmonton’s Yukari Meldrum considered herself a “closet poet,” keeping her words of inspiration hidden deep inside the pages of her personal journal. She finally outed herself during a writers’ conference three years ago, an event she attended not as a writer, but as a translator… It was only the beginning of a journey that on Tuesday found her at City Hall to accept an award for the 2010 Cultural Diversity in the Arts, a program that encourages and supports Edmonton artists from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Archiving Chinese-Canadians’ oral history (Metro Toronto)
The Multicultural History Society of Ontario has launched a new website dedicated to the oral histories of Chinese Canadian women during the exclusion period. Launched March 31, the website explores the impact of discriminatory immigration legislation during 1923 to 1947, with 33 new interviews conducted across Canada.–archiving-chinese-canadians-oral-history

Shareholders vote no to more women on bank boards (CTV)
Shareholders of Canada’s major banks are overwhelmingly voting down a proposal to increase the number of women on the boards of the country’s biggest companies, amid sparse support from the financial institutions themselves.

Best in the West status will challenge province (Regina Leader-Post)
It’s a piece of sage advice that has a timeless appeal to it: “Go west, young man, go west.” Though it originated in the U.S. more than 150 years ago, it has been hijacked from time to time to sell other Canadians -and international immigrants -on the virtues of Western Canada.

Manifesto creates Toronto & international talent, social change and art through hip hop (Yonge Street Media)
One of his teachers, (DiverseCity Voice) Che Kothari, 27, Manifesto’s executive director, is keen for the organization to nurture the next generation of talent, and to work with the private sector so the organization can be self-sustaining. They work with Red Bull, TD Bank, and PlayStation to fund the festival. It’s a model for other cities too. The approach went worldwide in 2008, when they co-organized a festival called “Ignite the Americas: Youth Arts Policy Forum” to use youth culture as a way to tackle high crime rates and poverty. The idea was to figure out how to build local talent, and then provide the support and know-how to launch similar movements outside of Canada. Since then, Manifesto groups have begun in Bogota, Columbia; Kingston, Jamaica; and Bridgetown, Barbados.

Saturday program pays Spanish-speaking students cash to study their peers (Parent central)
Now, in a pilot project that has drawn the attention of educators from the United States, 20 Central Tech students from Spanish-speaking families, some at risk of dropping out, are taking a Grade 12 credit course every Saturday from February until June — for which they get paid $25 each week. They’ll get paid from the University of Toronto’s faculty of education, which runs the course with the Toronto District School Board.–saturday-program-pays-spanish-speaking-students-cash-to-study-their-peers

Tolerance Foundation working to neutralize the power of stereotypes in Quebec (Montreal Gazette)
The discussion is led by the Tolerance Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit group celebrating its 15th anniversary in Quebec next month whose role is to prevent and raise awareness about the dangers of prejudice, exclusion and discrimination. Their information caravans visit more than 1,000 French and English high schools every year, reaching 28,000 students annually. With this province’s steady influx from the rest of the world, the need is acute, organizers say.


Proposed human trafficking bill a shameful act of bullying (Troy Media Corporation)
A bill introduced by the federal government in the last session of Parliament would, if reintroduced in the new Parliament after the May 2nd election and passed into law, represent a shameless act of bullying in the context of how Canada treats refugees. It might also violate section 7 of the Charter: the right to life, liberty and security of the person.
Proposed human trafficking bill a shameful act of bullying | Troy Media Corporation

Changing Faces, Changing Neighbourhoods: Government Assisted Refugee Settlement Patterns in Metro Vancouver, January 2005 – December 2009 – PDF (Immigrant Services Society of BC)
The purpose of this report is to highlight some of the settlement patterns and trends of government-assisted refugees (GARs) settling in Metro Vancouver based on the mapping of a snapshot of GAR postal codes taken in April 2010.

Children Arriving Alone (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with the artistic director of Topological Theatre, Ed Roy. He has written a play called “Lost Voices”, exploring why children are arriving unattended at our airports.

Refugees Reunited: enables refugees to reconnect with family via search tool or SMS (Refugees United)
Our mission is simple – Reconnect refugees with their families, no matter where in the world. Our online forum is the most active and up-to-date tool for finding your loved ones.


Restoring Minimum Wages in Canada – PDF (Caledon Institute)
To preserve the value of minimum wages, governments should arrive at a definition of what constitutes adequate rates and methods of indexing them. To undertake this work, we urge jurisdictions to develop minimum wage boards along the lines of the UK’s Low Pay Commission, and create a provincial/territorial/federal task force on low incomes to share their knowledge and experience. The federal government should play a leadership role by restoring its practice of paying a single minimum wage to all workers across Canada falling under federal jurisdiction, as it did before 1996. A restored federal minimum wage should pay an adequate amount (e.g., pegged to the after-tax low income cutoff or, alternately, half of average earnings) and protect its value over time via indexation.

Health Care in a Renewed Federalism (Caledon Institute)
In this paper, Tom Kent argues that confusion and conflict in our fiscal federalism are inhibiting nation-wide economic, social and environmental policies of which Canada has urgent need. The impending negotiation of new financing arrangements for Medicare can be the occasion for a wide reshaping of federal-provincial relations.

Goar: Here’s $5.92 — make it last a month (Toronto Star)
According to Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, the cost of living will rise by 2.3 per cent in Ontario. Welfare rates will increase by 1 per cent. That means an individual who is now living on $592 a month — $368 for shelter, $224 for everything else — will get $597.92, starting in November. That is 61 per cent below the poverty line set by the National Council of Welfare.–goar-here-s-5-92-make-it-last-a-month

United Way lobbies for youth after alarming dropout report (660 News)
The United Way has released the findings of a comprehensive study that looks to break down barriers to success for young people fighting poverty. According to the report, there are 27,000 young people in Calgary fighting poverty and a great many are willing to make changes. The report was designed to generate awareness in the community and to convince the province to consider changes.–united-way-lobbies-for-youth-after-alarming-dropout-report


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

Fiorito: The high cost of running for council (Toronto Star)
Why did he run? “I’d had some issues in the neighbourhood, and my councillor wasn’t much help.” So Ken, who is on disability, decided to enter the race. It cost him a hundred bucks. “It gave me a platform to talk about poverty, housing — issues that don’t get addressed.” The ward skews poor. “Maybe poverty isn’t being talked about because poor people aren’t running . . . I figured I could reinforce the messages.” Which is what he did, at four or five public debates.–fiorito-the-high-cost-of-running-for-council

FCM To Unveil Platform: Strong Cities, Strong Communities, Strong Canada (FCM)
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) will unveil their federal election campaign platform titled Strong Cities, Strong Communities, Strong Canada.


See Change – What Mainstream Media Misses (Al Etmanski)
SEE Change Magazine is Canada’s first publication for and about social enterprise and entrepreneurship. It was created in response to a need – the need to spread the word about an important social-business movement that has the capacity to change the way we live and engage with our communities. Something mainstream media is missing.

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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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