Maytree News headlines – May 12, 2011


Media Advisory – New Maytree publication highlights 50 policy ideas to make Canada stronger (Canada Newswire)
Join us for an online webcast with Alan Broadbent, Chairman of Maytree, and Sherri Torjman, Vice-President of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, to discuss policy ideas that are both practical and ready to implement.

TRIEC releases research findings on why GTA employers are hiring skilled immigrants – PDF (TRIEC)
In spring 2011 TRIEC engaged EKOS to poll employers in the Greater Toronto Area on the reasons for
hiring skilled immigrants.

DiverseCity Perspectives: Christy Luo – “I feel like growing up it was very difficult to have a role model that I could aspire to – someone who is a visible minority and female and not in the field of business.” (DiverseCity blog)
Hear from Christy Luo, an economist at the Ontario Ministry of Finance and President of Power Unit Youth Organization. Power Unit is a youth-driven non-profit organization that focuses on youth development, empowerment and philanthropy. Its flagship project is Night it Up!, an annual two-day night market and celebration of pan-Asian multiculturalism in Toronto.

Toronto Board of Trade pushes for solutions to Toronto’s immigrant participation challenges (YongeStreet)
“Ford was elected with a particular mandate on the fiscal and financial front,” she says, “and there’s a lot of attention needed to be paid to that. So the days are still very early.” And yet, as the hunt for gravy continues, so do the socio-economic challenges faced by Toronto’s immigrant population, an ever-bursting demographic with a lot to offer and a lot to overcome. Nationally, it’s thought that between $3.5 billion and $5 billion are lost to the Canadian economy because immigrants are not able to fully participate. In Toronto, the figures are $1.5 billion and $2.25 billion. The social fallout is well-documented, be it poverty-begot contact with the health and criminal justice systems, or geographic marginalization of disadvantaged groups.

Schooling for Democracy (Canadian Education Assocation)
A lot of persuasion is needed to make the case for community engagement by students as the best way to enhance future citizenship. For many reasons, it’s a very hard sell.

“A Land Where merit means more than privilege” Really? (South Asian Generation Next)
“We’re lucky to live in Canada, a land where merit means more than privilege, where who you are matters more than who you know or where you came from. A country that is a symbol of freedom, democracy and opportunity, a country that stands up for these beliefs here and around the world..A country of opportunity, united by pride in our history and optimism for the future.” These are Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s words in one of the Conservative Party ads. Respectfully Generation Next stands to disagree with these words. It seems to be an unusually harsh criticism for a country that is believed to be a beacon of an opportunity. But it’s not just Generation Next’s stance, there are thousands of other Canadians especially new Canadians who feel that Canada is unfair to them, that Canada needs their talent and hard work, yet does not give them the same opportunities that were bestowed to people who came a couple of decades ago.

Government Policies Informed by Multicultural media – Minister Jason Kenney (South Asian Generation Next)
In his first teleconference with ethno-cultural media after getting “strong, stable, national government,” Minister Jason Kenney acknowledged the role ethno-cultural media played in reporting real issues facing diverse communities of Canada.

We need to encourage social and cultural integration Canada is the only country with pro-immigration consensus Liberals are to be blamed for long wait times – Generation Next’s chit chat with Jason Kenney, Conservative Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Multiculturalism (South Asian Generation Next)
When he became Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, he had “underestimated” the immigration problems faced by the immigrant communities. These problems range from foreign credential recognition resulting in lack of better jobs, long wait times for parental and grandparental sponsorship, refusal of visitor visas for parents and grandparents and so on. “I haven’t had a personal life in the last two-and-a-half years,” he tells Generation Next. He had spent this time carefully to make Conservative inroads into the community. Without a doubt many South Asians brag that Minister Kenney spent an evening with them with a great sense of privilege

Oreo gets multicultural in rare new Canadian ad (Marketing Mag)
“What we were trying to do with this spot was make Oreo relevant for Canada and make sure we reflect our cultural fabric and diversity, which is what Canada is today and how it’s growing,” said Emmanuelle Voirin, senior brand manager, Oreo. Exploring the new Canadian experience makes the ad relevant and contemporary, she said.

Celebrate rich cultural diversity of South Asia this month (Stoney Creek News)
Community members have an opportunity to enhance their understanding of the culture, heritage and traditions of the South Asian community, as part of South Asian Heritage Month. “South Asian Heritage Month celebrates the diverse cultures of countries in the South Asian subcontinent, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and other countries,” said South Asian Heritage Association of Hamilton and Region committee supporter Khursheed Ahmed.

Macedonians Demand Resignation of Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis (Marketwire)
As expected, the Liberal Party of Canada has, once again, completely ignored racism within their own party. As reported by Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) on March 8, 2011, Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis spewed out more anti-Macedonian hate, caught on video, at a lecture titled “Insight to Hellenism” at the University of Toronto on March 5, 2011.

“You’ll be okay” families tell Cancer patients – Tale of Cancer Survivors (South Asian Generation Next)
The South Asian community of the GTA has become savvy enough to respond to the needs of organizations like Canadian Cancer Society. In many instances the need has been inspired by personal experiences… In the South Asian culture, the minute you find out that somebody is suffering from any disease like cancer, people narrate desperate stories leading to extreme results including death. It’s an attitude that makes patients even more depressed. Mrs. Mangat agrees, stating “People just make you even more scared,” especially “when you are going through excruciating pain of chemotherapy and you are losing your hair and going through radiation.” This kind of fundraiser helps Canadian Cancer Society to invest in research to cure cancer, said other cancer survivors who were present at the event. Swarnjit, Mandeep and Sukhbir are also cancer survivors.

Serving in Peel Police ‘rewarding career’ Constables Lovejeet Bains and Tia Suagh (South Asian Generation Next)
Peel Regional Police held a recruitment information session last week to encourage South Asian youth to look into Peel Police as a career choice. The session was attended by a large number of parents to understand the function of policing in the Region of Peel. The turnout was encouraging and to a large part the credit goes to Peel Regional Police’s Diversity Relations Unit that has worked tirelessly to outreach to the community through South Asian media.

Minister Michael Chan: Promoting Tourism and Diverse Cultures (South Asian Generation Next)
While the concept of multiculturalism has come under fire from the Western leadership, Ontario’s Minister respectfully disagrees with the leaders of the countries that have thousands of years of history. “The world is getting smaller and [multiculturalism] will happen. We should be more flexible, accept[ing] and understanding of the world..[to] live in harmony regardless of the race, colour, religion or background,” he said when asked if multiculturalism can fail in Canada. The government of Ontario has invested $20 million in a program called Celebrate Ontario. The program funds cultural festivals to celebrate various communities in the Greater Toronto Area. The $20 million sum is likely to grow steadily.

Seva Food Bank: Meeting food needs of L5B & L5C residents in Mississauga (South Asian Generation Next)
Sikh Serving Community, a not-for-profit organization, was trying to figure out a way to give back to the broader Canadian community. After working with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Mississauga Food Bank, they thought that the best way to give back is in the form of Seva Food Bank. In just eight months, Seva Food Bank has served 450 client families living in L5B and L5C postal codes of Mississauga. Most of the families it services are from Latin America, Pakistan, Middle East and Eastern European countries that have come to Canada in last 10 years

Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square announces summer programming (Digital Journal)
Yonge-Dundas Square announced another season of exciting free events for the 2011 summer season. From May 18 to October 19, programming is being presented that reflects the breadth of talent and cultural diversity in Toronto. The Square’s programs range from the hottest indie acts and musical styles from around the world, to get-up-and-dance musical film and documentary screenings. YD Square summer events offer something special for people of all ages and interests.

Aldo’s Locale footprint (Montreal Gazette)
In his speech, he said, he told the audience that Canada was the best place in the world to build an international outlook for business, crediting the French-English factor and Canada’s diversity… “We’re super-proud to be from Montreal,” he said, echoing his father’s contention that Aldo’s success could only have been possible in Montreal because of its French-English distinct culture and diversity.

Identity: Turning Japanese Canadian Internment into a Canadian Story (Vancouver Sun)
In the narrative of Identity – Ancestral Memory, the scene above takes place around 1942 when the federal government began internment of Japanese Canadians. Moments before, Jay Hirabayashi – second from the right – is dancing without a mask. Part of the spoken word during this section includes excerpts from Roy Kiyooka’s poetry which includes “Learning to speak textbook English wasn’t enough” and “I never saw the Yellow Peril in myself.”

Quebec Human Rights Commission looks to wipe out racial profiling (CTV)
The Quebec Human Rights Commission has made 90 recommendations to try and remove all forms of racial profiling from the province’s institutions, including the education system and police forces.

Introducing the Ethnic Aisle (Torontoist)
Toronto writer (and former Torontoist contributor) Navneet Alang is one of the creators of a new online writing project in the city. The Ethnic Aisle is a blog with a focus on race and ethnicity, and how these are experienced in and affect Toronto; we’ve asked Navneet to tell us a bit more about the project and how it came about.

OMNI TV & Toronto Hydro looking for customers who are South Asian or fluent in Cantonese, Italian, Mandarin or Portuguese (OMNI)
If you are a residential or small business customer who is South Asian or fluent in Cantonese, Italian, Mandarin or Portuguese, who has participated in one or more of our conservation programs, and would like to be considered for filming, please contact us by Sunday, May 15th, 2011.

Foreign-trained MD, dentist couple open ‘dream’ clinic (InsideToronto)
Last August, the Ukrainian-born couple’s dream became reality when they opened Dr. O.K. Medical Centre on The Queensway at Kipling Avenue. In their native Ukraine, Oleg was a medical doctor, Olena a dentist. A decade after their immigration to Canada, both are now licensed to practise their professions in Ontario.–foreign-trained-md-dentist-couple-open-dream-clinic

Canada needs more immigrants (Troy Media Corporation)
During the recent federal election campaign, all major national party platforms expressed support for immigration and provided some specific proposals but none addressed the over-arching issue of how many immigrants Canada needs.

In-demand nurses struggle in tight job market in Canada (Xinhua)
Last year, Canada started streamlining foreign credential recognition in eight target occupations, registered nurses among them. This year, the framework was expanded to include licensed practical nurses and physicians, among others. Under the country’ s “Economic Action Plan,” introduced in 2009, the federal government is working with the individual provinces and territories to address barriers to foreign credential recognition. The main premise is to quickly get foreign trained professionals working, exercising their skills in the jobs they have been trained for.


Why do Aussies’ dirty work? (Malaysian Star)
The problem of asylum seekers is a serious one and Malaysia is right to cooperate with other nations to curb human trafficking. However, any cooperation should not be to our disadvantage… Australian law, with its emphasis on human rights, makes it extremely difficult and costly for illegals to be summarily deported once they become subject to the Australian judicial system. Other western countries also face the same conundrum. Over the last two years, for example, several hundred boat people from Sri Lanka have managed to reach the west coast of Canada. Within months, all but a handful of them were released pending a review of their cases. No one is under any illusion that any of them will eventually be deported


Complex social and policy problems require sophisticated planning tools and strategy (Wellesley Institute)
This is a presentation to the policy and management staff at the Canadian Mental health Association — Ontario on how Health Equity Impact Assessment, Mental Health Wellbeing Assessment and others tools can be used to ensure mental health is embedded in health equity strategy — and equally important, that equity is embedded in mental health strategy.

Freeze on Toronto’s ‘Welcome Policy’ means low-income families missing out (Toronto Star)
Syed Bedom and her family arrived in Toronto from Bangladesh just three months ago. Her husband found work as a security guard, bringing in about $1,500 in the last two months. The couple settled into Scarborough, in a small apartment near Victoria Park subway station, with their 7-year-old daughter and an infant. By these standards, the Bedom family should have access to the city’s Welcome Policy, which subsidizes rec programs like summer camp and fitness classes for low-income families. But, right now, they don’t. The Welcome Policy’s funding is tapped out until June–freeze-on-toronto-s-welcome-policy-means-low-income-families-missing-out

Lower city issues are focus of summit (Hamilton Spectator)
The people of the lower city are a mixed group. The area is home to many new immigrants attracted by its cheaper housing, as well as some of the city’s most established families in the southwest corner… Poverty remains a major issue for Hamilton — almost one in five city residents lives below the poverty line. Many of those people are clustered in the lower city — in fact five of the poorest neighbourhoods in Hamilton are in the lower city.–lower-city-issues-are-focus-of-summit


Many low-wage workers not being paid at all: report (Toronto Star)
About one in three low-wage workers in Ontario is a victim of “wage theft,” according to a report being released at Queen’s Park on Thursday. The report, based on a survey of 520 casual, temporary and non-standard workers in the Greater Toronto Area and Windsor, is among the first attempts in Canada to document how often vulnerable workers go unpaid or suffer other violations of employment standards.–many-low-wage-workers-not-being-paid-at-all-report?bn=1

Wage Theft Video 3 (Workers’ Action Centre)
Bad Bosses, No Consequences, May 2011


Thursday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Hall, TTC, City Services, Waterfront and Other News.

City Launches Public Consultations on Core Services (Torontist)
As we mentioned earlier this week, Toronto is facing a huge budget crunch in 2012, and in order to help decide on service areas where things can be cut back, the City is conducting a round of public consultations. Pictured above is a website, which includes background information on City services and the budget process, as well as an online feedback form which residents can use in order to share their views with the municipal government. The form includes a fairly extensive set of questions about priorities, including the option to answer additional questions on specific service areas (e.g. the police, parks) if they are of interest to you.

Eye Weekly relaunches as the “hyperlocal” The Grid


Sexual exploitation of youth can be prevented (The Boundary Sentinel)
The Society not only provides the workshops for prevention, they also give free support service by telephone and online. They can manage disclosures to help families, and have been involved in bringing human trafficking cases to court. As a result of increased community awareness throughout the province of British Columbia about the issue of sexual exploitation, a greater need for support was identified, which Children of the Street Society offers to youth, parents and caregivers.

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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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