Maytree News headlines – May 25, 2011


Profession putting diversity on the agenda (Law Times)
As the keynote speaker, Ratna Omidvar of the Maytree Foundation, pointed out, Torontos DiverseCity research project is wrapping up a study of 20 law firms, Crown prosecutors, judges, and law schools to look at the representation of diverse groups in senior leadership positions in the legal profession. She wasnt yet able to release the results but said, I can tell you that theres lots of room for improvement. At the same time, a group of 40 general counsel in Canada came together this month to sign onto Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusiveness, a pledge to promote diversity by considering it in their hiring and purchasing practices.

2011 ALLIES Mentoring Conference: Learn +Lead (SmartCity blog)
The ALLIES Conference reiterated that everyone has a role to play with immigration. It takes time, but we need to begin to invest in our own capacity to connect immigrants to opportunities in our communities. This will make Halifax more diverse and vibrant and bring practical, tangible benefits for our economy. You can do your part today by becoming a Connector!

Immigrant selection process should focus on job offers: Study (Canadian HR Reporter)
With the aging of Canadas population and the growing unfunded liabilities of social programs, Canada simply cannot afford to absorb the growing cost burdens imposed by poorly selected immigrants, said Grubel. As a result, Canadas immigration selection process should be reformed to emphasize a reliance on market forces to replace the failed system of using points to select immigrants, said the authors.

Frontline Workers Survey – settlement and other frontline workers are invited to answer this survey (FCJ Refugee Centre)
Frontline Workers Survey: settlement and other frontline workers are invited to answer this survey related with family violence within refugee and immigrant communities and how refugee and immigration legislation affect services offered to survivors of family violence

A festival that celebrates a fusion of cultures (Globe and Mail)
Thats why this Indian-Canadian Kathakclassical dancer and choreographer is working hard to establish a new festival at Harbourfront that would encourage musicians, dancers and food vendors to create cross-collaborations. She calls it Spectrum Festival. Usually music and dance festivals feature only one cultural heritage, and the majority of the audience that goes to that festival is from that community only, she explained, citing Masala! Mehndi! Masti! and Afrofest as examples. You run the risk of ghettoizing, or segregating, communities this way. Where is the Canadian element?

Affirmative Action: Denied! e We Losing the Fight Against Workplace Discrimination? (Arbitrage Magazine)
Is Canada taking a huge step backwards in the fight against discrimination? In July of this year, Treasury Board Director Stockwell Day announced that the federal government would be reviewing its Affirmative Action policy. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has backed the decision, asserting that it will not cause discrimination to re-emerge, but rather will elicit a more transparent process of hiring based on merit and not on race… Affirmative Action has proven extremely helpful for the case of minorities, but the fight wasnt won in one day. In fact, even the complaints werent heard in one day. It seems woeful that what took nearly a decade to implement as policy from the day it was first suggested has been threatened and changed by a single complaint.

Square roots (Winnipeg Free Press)
Quilt of Belonging consists of 263 squares, representing all of Canadas 71 First Nation, Inuit and Metis groups and 192 immigrant nationalities. Measuring 3.5 metres high and 36 metres long, the massive collaborative artwork has just been installed in Eckhardt Hall on the main level of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Indo-Canadian honcho dons army fatigues (
In a first for the million-strong community, a top Indo-Canadian honcho has donned military fatigues by joining the Canadian armed forces as an honorary lieutenant colonel. Hari Panday, who launched ICICI Bank in Canada eight years ago and currently heads PanVest Capital Corporation, has already undergone tough training with Canadian armed forces as part of his new role. A known Indo-Canadian face in corporate Canada, Kanpur-born Panday landed in Canada in 1975 with just $5 in his pocket.

New Partnership for a Diverse Canada: Diversity Business Network and Centerplate Make It Official (Diversity Business Network)
The Diversity Business Network (DBN), a Toronto based company leading the development of diversity in the supply chain in Canada, announced today that Centerplate, the largest hospitality partner to North Americas premier sports stadiums, convention centers and entertainment venues, has joined DBN as its hospitality consortium leader.

Diversity a factor in raising fitness levels among Toronto’s young (Globe and Mail)
Diversity is Torontos strength, but it is also one of the challenges for boosting physical activity rates among the citys young people. A report to be released Wednesday by Get Active Toronto shows activity rates among children and adolescents in the city vary with gender, income levels and proximity to school. It also discovered that the children of foreign-born parents are less likely to take part in fitness programs than those whose parents were born in Canada.

City workforce still too white: Harel (CJAD)
Vision Montreal chief Louise Harel says the city’s workforce is still too white, despite a years-long drive to hire more minorities. Visible minorities make up about a third of Montreal’s population but only about 13-percent of municipal workers.

Money replaces hard work in Canada’s immigration narrative (StraightGoods)
In recent decades, new ways to enter paradise have been invented. If you’re really wealthy, you can enter as an entrepreneurial-class immigrant. The Mulroney Conservatives introduced this category to encourage people who had the money to launch businesses to come to Canada… This program stands in sharp contrast to the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program, which has become a principle means of entry to Paradise, last year surpassing regular immigration.

City launches multimedia campaign for public feedback on migrant workers (The Vancouver Observer)
For the first time, city councillors, community representatives and residents have the opportunity to discuss the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and its impact on Vancouver. As part of a multimedia campaign to raise awareness, the Vancouver Public Library will host a documentary film screening followed by a public discussion on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Defining interculturalism (Montreal Gazette)
What’s in a name? Is interculturalism just a new, more acceptable label for multiculturalism? Or is it a different animal? The ambiguity hovers over an international symposium on interculturalism that opens Wednesday evening at the Bibliothèque nationale. Organized by Gérard Bouchard, the Chicoutimi history professor who co-chaired the 2007-08 Bouchard-Taylor Commission on accommodation of minorities, the threeday meeting will hash out strategies for grappling with increasing cultural diversity in Europe, Quebec and the rest of Canada.

The case for intercultural dialogue (Montreal Gazette)
Over the past decade or so, immigrant integration has become an important issue in Quebec, the rest of Canada and many other places. In 2010, Quebec welcomed a record number of immigrants, and the level for Canada as a whole was the highest since 1971. As our population continues to age and labour shortages in certain sectors persist, immigration levels will probably remain quite high. Along with the growing diversity of the flows, this means that immigrant integration will, if anything, become a more pressing concern.

Minister Kenney issues statement on Asian Heritage Month (CIC)
Asian Heritage Month was first celebrated in May 2002. According to the 2006 Statistics Canada Census, more than three million people in Canada self-identify as being of Asian heritage.

Event May 28: Toronto Talks 2011: Immigration (Oye! Times)
Immigration is an issue that affects all of us as Canadians. There are many questions and different positions. Does the system need reform? Does Canada need more immigrants for economic well being? Should there be a moratorium on immigration for a while? Should there be policy reform? Is immigration being misused?

Event May 26: Cedar and Bamboo | Thursday May 26th at the MOV (Schema Magazine)
Cedar and Bamboo is a 2009 documentary, created by Diana Leung and Kamala Todd, which examines the complexities of intercultural relations, focusing on the stories of four people of mixed Chinese and Aboriginal backgrounds. Their stories reflect the importance that both cultural groups play in the history of BC, and the hardships they had to overcome that inevitably led to their crossing paths.


Announcing a Study to Assess Ways of Improving Outcomes for Government Assisted Refugees in Ontario (Settlement AtWork)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada invites you to support a project that will improve the health of Government Assisted Refugees in their first year in Ontario. We are establishing a standard model for health services that leverages partnerships between the health and settlement sectors, and we look forward to collaborating with you on this project.

Raising awareness for Burma’s Karens(Star Phoenix)
In 2007, there was an announcement that anyone in the camp who wanted to go to Canada should give their name, Bwe says. We had no idea what Canada was. The leaders kept moving us around, so we thought Canada was just another camp. But the family applied, and in 2008, they arrived in Vancouver and were then transferred to Saskatoon where, Bwe says, an uncle was already living. It was only after they arrived in Saskatoon that they discovered there were other Karen people already here.

Refugee process ripe for abuse (Winnipeg Free Press)
The disturbing facts underlying the recent Federal Court decision overturning the rejection of Pentecostal Eritrean refugees by a Canadian visa officer in Cairo should not be seen as unique. These cases are but the tip of a troubling iceberg. Under the radar for most Canadians, our overseas officers frequently reject the applications of refugees who have been already sponsored to come to Canada. It is a source of devastation for the refugees with hopes now crushed, and it is also a source of anguish for their Canadian relatives who are behind the sponsorship and who are often remitting regular support to keep these refugees alive. It is estimated that up to 95 per cent of privately sponsored refugees are linked to families already here, families who came out of the same hell as the rejected ones, and with similar stories.

Event June 20 – 22: Canada and Refugee Resettlement: Research and Innovation for the 21st Century (Refugee Research Network)
This conference intends to bring together approximately 300 academics, policy analysts, policy makers and service delivery practitioners to discuss innovation and best methods and approaches for what will be an on-going need in the 21st Century. The conference will also look at the impact of the Federal Bill C-11 recently completed. The conference is national in scope but it is intended to also look at successful practices from the international community.

Firebrand speaker triggers ban bid (Winnipeg Free Press)
A group of Eritrean refugees and the Bnai Brith are urging Ottawa and a Winnipeg community group to ban an incendiary advocate of the Eritrean government from ever speaking in Canada again.


Gearing up for a new labour crunch (CTV)
PCL Industrial Contractors Inc., the arm of the construction giant that is heavily involved in building the oil sands, hit 350 temporary foreign workers in the last boom. Today it has little more than a dozen, but is laying plans for a spree starting early next year that far outstrips the past. Were looking at the 1,000-person mark for a prolonged period, probably peaking in late 2012, said Gary Truhn, the companys director of construction and labour relations. We think theres some major projects that are going to be there for quite a while. The hiring will begin months before, however. Depending on the country of origin a factor that affects the speed of visa processing at local embassies it can take between four and six months to gain government approval to bring in a foreign worker. Thats why companies are working now to start the process. In the first four months of this year, Alberta companies applied to bring in 9,910 temporary foreign workers, according to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

‘Wage theft’ common in low-paying jobs: survey (Edmonton Journal)
A third of the lowest-paid workers in Ontario, many of them earning minimum wage, complain of wage theft and say they arent being paid in full for their work or are denied benefits to which they are legally entitled, says a survey conducted in Toronto and Windsor, Ont.


Wednesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to Pride, City Hall, TCHC and Other News.


Quebec’s new Declaration on Social Innovation (Al Etmanski)
A group of prominent Quebec activists, government representatives, researchers, academics and community practitioners has just published a Declaration on Social Innovation which is well worth a look. Quebec is a global leader in social transformation. Its leadership in creating a social economy (Chantier de léconomie social), has set a standard the rest of Canada has not yet equalled.


A Day in the Life of a Sex Trafficking Victim (Hope for the sold)
A great abolitionist friend of mine, Seth Johnson, is going to Cambodia with his wife Marlo. They are working with Transitions Global, and you can read my recent post about their trip for more information.

The following two tabs change content below.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

Double rainbow tonight in Toronto. Fantastic weekend with buskers, pirates and jugglers down @HarbourfrontTO Thanks, as always, for amazing...