Maytree news headlines – May 30, 2011


‘Colony of wives’ thrives in Mississauga (Toronto Star)
Begumpura is an Urdu expression (literally, “where women live”) used for the GTA’s “colony of wives” — some half-dozen neighbourhoods in Mississauga where hundreds, perhaps thousands, of South Asian women, most of Pakistani origin, live with their kids while their husbands work in the Middle East.–colony-of-wives-thrives-in-mississauga

Event June 1: Resisting Precarity: An Immigration-Labour Policy Forum (Migrant Workers Alliance for Change)
An immigration-labour policy forum to introduce MWAC’s work and campaigns and to strategize with our allies about organizing against further repressive immigration legislation that the recently elected Harper majority is soon to bring. This is an invitation only forum and we ask that you send a few members of your organization to attend.

Inter/multiculturalism, and what’s really at issue (Montreal Gazette)
A recent poll found that more than half of Quebecers are unclear on the difference between “multiculturalism” and “interculturalism.” For this they can be readily excused. What difference there is between them is mostly semantic. In practice they amount to much the same thing.

Montreal ponders joining European intercultural cities network (Montreal Gazette)
As the three-day conference drew to a close Friday, Bouchard said it had already started to produce results: Montreal has opened talks with a European network of 21 intercultural cities with a view to joining.

Immigrants key to Tory victory in Ontario, Kenney tells provincial cousins (Toronto Star)
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says immigrants allowed the Conservatives to take Ontario away from the Liberals in the federal election. He says the Ontario Tories can do the same this fall if they stick to their conservative values and keep courting new Canadians.–immigrants-key-to-tory-victory-in-ontario-kenney-tells-provincial-cousins

ELN in Dialogue: Diversity in City-building with DiverseCity Perspectives (ELN)
Interested in hearing different perspectives on diversity in the GTA and exploring your leadership opportunities to take action? Join us for this interactive session, which will bring together CivicAction’s ELN and DiverseCity initiatives for an evening of collaboration and discussion.{%22go_to%22:%22events/681531%22,%22referrer%22:%22public%22}

Another economic council? (OurLondon)
There was an item on the agenda of the Finance and Administration Committee last week that piqued my curiosity. Item 9 consisted of a request from Ward 14 Councillor Sandy White that council establish “a Multi-Cultural Economic Council” and that someone from the city administration “assist the London Multi-Cultural Committee in preparing Terms of Reference related to this new initiative.” The letter goes on to suggest that “[t]he Terms of Reference should consider linkages to the Mayor’s Economic Council; sources of finance and required staff resources.” It concludes with the assurance that “We will be available to speak to this issue, as well as answer any questions.” I was interested to find out who the “we” were and, indeed, what the “London Multi-Cultural Committee”is. Unfortunately, the answers to those questions were not forthcoming.

Immigration can be an antidote to urban decay (Troy Media)
Manitoba did not have a reputation as the most attractive place for new immigrants to settle. Only 1.8 per cent of immigrants to Canada settled in the province between 1996 and 2000. In 1998, Manitoba introduced the Provincial Nominee Program, which allowed the province to recruit immigrants over and above federal immigration quotas. Soon after the introduction of the nominee program, immigration to the province increased by 250 per cent, the majority of whom went to Winnipeg. Increased immigration ended Manitoba’s population decline, and the province now enjoys consistently positive net migration. Key to the program’s success: 78 per cent of Manitoba immigrants stay in the province.

Accountant earns provincial award for paying it forward (The Province)
It was 1976 when Mohammed Yasin first came to Canada from Fiji to study commerce at Simon Fraser University. Now, 35 years later, he’s being honoured for his successful certified general accounting firm and his commitment to the community.

New immigrants facing discrimination (Times of India)
Does adapting mean losing our identity like perhaps the melting pot of the United States or be a multicultural society like Canada? Canadians are so serious about this that multiculturalism is the law here. The multiculturalism act of 1988 called Bill C -93 makes the principle of racial and cultural equality, law. Inspite of this racism and discrimination still exists. How long does it take for a society ( lets say South Asian ) like ours to be accepted totally as an equal?v We may be the second or third generation ,own our homes ,pay our dues (taxes),be gainfully employed ,eat ,dress and talk like the next guy on the street yet be referred to as Indian ,Pakistani etc. This is the broader picture and perhaps springing from a phobia of losing jobs to the immigrants etc. a myth attached with every country allowing immigrants into their fold.

Punjabi set to become 4th top language in Canada (The Times of India)
A campaign is underway in that country to make Punjabis declare the language as their mother tongue and many organizations are working relentlessly to make Punjabi-origin people record Punjabi as their language. If all goes as per the wishes of Punjabis, the language is set to become 4th biggest language in Canada, moving up from the present sixth place.

My Family Fun Guide (Diversity Media Services (DMS))
The Summer 2011 My Family Fun Guide is reaching out to over 1.5 million Canadian Asians in the greater Toronto area by a dozen multicultural publishers. Availabe in English, Korean, Chinese (Traditional), Punjabi, Tamil and Urdu).

New generation of Canucks fans reflects Vancouver’s diversity (Globe and Mail)
When Arv Khera went to his first Vancouver Canucks game in the late 1980s, the young hockey fan quickly realized the ice wasn’t the only part of Pacific Coliseum that was mostly white. Mr. Khera, whose father had emigrated from India a decade earlier, said he and his brother were among the few visible minorities at the Canucks’ home rink. But the crowd chanting, “Go Canucks Go!” has grown much different. The period since Vancouver’s 1994 run for the Cup has seen a transformation in the team’s fan base, a testament to hockey’s cultural force of assimilation. Look at a snapshot of the crowd during the march to the finals 17 years ago, compare it to the 2011 run, and you’ll see a picture that looks a lot more like the Lower Mainland and the rest of Canada. The metamorphosis has spread not only to those watching the pros play, but also to those picking up a stick themselves, as local minor hockey associations welcome more players of different ethnicities.

Study shows split between children of Christian, Muslim immigrants (Montreal Gazette)
Evangelical Christian children of immigrants feel they can’t openly practise their religion and worry that Christianity is no longer a guiding force in Canadian society, while Muslims say they’re free to follow their faith in this country — but face other forms of discrimination. Those are some of the intriguing findings of new research that will be presented on Sunday at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the largest multi-disciplinary academic gathering in Canada.

US leaving Latin America up for grabs (Columbia Reports)
Moreover, Canada would benefit from stronger economic relations with other countries as it’s very dependent on the US economy (it was its exports that were hit the hardest with the crisis) and it needs to stabilize the flow of immigrants, as it is a quite underpopulated country, and Latin American immigrants would be some of the best available. Having the same (or close) time zones and a similar culture (compared to others, as Latin America is quite Westernized), then Latin Americans can effectively bolster Canada’s workforce and through family and business ties improve economic and political relations with the region.

Quick poll: Should everyone who pays property taxes to a municipality have the right to vote in municipal elections? (TVO The Agenda)
By the way, this issue came up in a totally different context last year, when I Vote Toronto raised the issue on behalf of new Canadians who live and pay taxes in Toronto but don’t yet have the vote because their Canadian citizenship is pending. The Agenda talked to Desmond Cole, who was a coordinator for that campaign and is still working to get the Act changed to that end.

Are you an Internationally Educated Professional accountant that has re-designated in Canada in the past 5 years? (LEAP blog)
LEAP is composing an article and should you be chosen to share your thoughts and experiences you will be featured in a national publication.

Study highlights attitudes of second-generation immigrants (
A cross-Canada study of second-generation immigrants shows broad support for the concept of multiculturalism. There are, however, differences of opinion when the matter of religion comes up: significant numbers of evangelical Christians felt they were being discriminated against, and overall, people felt that if there was one religion that was being treated unfairly, it was Islam.

Small towns try to jump-start immigration (Winnipeg Free Press)
The pilot project resulted when companies in the Pembina Valley told a recent survey they need at least 600 new employees within the next 12 to 18 months. Many businesses in the Winkler-Morden area have rebounded from the recession stronger than ever and, if they had more staff, could fill the void left by American companies that went out of business in the recession.

Jean Augustine one of Canada’s top immigrants (
When she first arrived in Canada, Augustine was told she needed more education to qualify for teachers’ college despite having completed credits through the Oxford and Cambridge overseas program. “They said I had to go back to Grade 13 but I told them ‘no, I have more than Grade 13 already,'” she said. “That was the first time I pushed back against the system.”–jean-augustine-one-of-canada-s-top-immigrants

The big picture shows immigrants a good bet (Vancouver Sun)
Researchers Herb Grubel and Patrick Grady -both of whom are also immigrants and presumably don’t consider themselves a burden on the economy -conclude that in 2006, immigrants received on average $6,051 more in benefits than they paid in taxes. On the basis of this snapshot, they advocate restrictions upon immigration. However, the narrowness of the data set suggests the broad conclusions don’t have sound foundations.

Ontario PC Party Changebook (PC Party)
References to immigration: We will create more opportunities for newcomers to Ontario. We will make Ontario a magnet for the world’s best and brightest by reducing barriers for potential new Canadians, particularly for people who settle in Ontario’s small towns. To ease our newcomers’ transition we will improve transparency of foreign credential recognition, and create a tax credit for employers who sponsor language training (page 12)… We will require welfare recipients to be residents of Ontario
for one year before collecting benefits (page 30).

McGuinty holds massive rally in attempt to steal Tories’ platform thunder (Toronto Star)
However, the Tories do veer from Liberal doctrine by taking aim at unions, welfare recipients and immigrants to Ontario… Echoing former premier Mike Harris’s cuts to welfare, Hudak would require newcomers to Ontario to wait one year before being eligible to collect social assistance benefits. It’s unclear how much that would save.–mcguinty-holds-massive-rally-in-attempt-to-steal-tories-platform-thunder?sms_ss=twitter&at_xt=4de2f9bc198aa812,0

The new Tory constituency: Far less francophone, far more multicultural (Globe and Mail)
Stephen Harper finally won his majority government, but in the process lost more than half of his party’s seats in Quebec. Gains in the rest of the country made up for these losses, however, and with the Conservatives winning a swathe of new seats in the Greater Toronto Area the ridings represented by Tory MPs has become far less francophone and much more diverse. These are the findings of an analysis of the changing face of the Conservative constituency, a comparison of the demographic profile of the ridings represented by Tory MPs before and after the May 2 federal election.

The Komagata Maru Ship carrying 376 South Asian immigrants reached the Shores of Burrard Inlet in Vancouver seven weeks later on May 23rd, 1914. The news of the coming of the “Orientals” was published in local newspapers in a very negative fashion. The Premier of British Columbia, Sir. Richard McBride, reacted sharply. He stated : “To admit Orientals [in British
Columbia] in large numbers would mean in the end the extinction of the white people, and we always have in mind the necessity of keeping this a white man’s country” The newcomers were greeted by angry and hostile mobs who had lined up in the thousands to see the Komagata Maru.

Medical students’ attitudes on diversity when applying to Toronto’s ophthalmology residency program (Can J Ophthalmol)
Affirmative action is a controversial admissions policy practised by universities in the United States and other countries around the world. It is currently not used at the University of Toronto ophthalmology residency program. A survey was conducted to determine the opinions of applicants as to the role that affirmative action and quotas should play during the admissions process and to determine the current ethnic breakdown of the applicants to ophthalmology.


Why Alvaro’s arrest matters (
The issue here is not that Alvaro, and million of others like him around the world, break immigration laws. Or that one IRB judge was homophobic and therefore denied his refugee claim because he did not “look gay enough” to her. The issue is that the law itself is broken.

Support Newcomer Youth Voices in Canada (CCR)
The Canadian Council for Refugees Youth Network is offering funding and support to groups of newcomer youth from across Canada to develop creative public education or advocacy resources designed to communicate the realities and concerns of refugee and immigrant youth.

Refuge for sexual minority (Hamilton Spectator)
Sebastien, now an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) refugee, arrived in Montreal in June 2010 on a tourist visa. He’s waiting for his immigration hearing and would not give his last name for fear of interfering with his case. “I’ve done some research that there about 3,000 inland refugee claims of people who come to Canada who make a refugee claim based on sexual orientation,” said Sean Rehagg, an assistant professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and one of the panellists at the Canadian Council for Refugees’ Spring Consultation held in Hamilton this week. One of the ongoing challenges with this type of refugee claim is how to prove it. How does one prove they are, in fact, a sexual minority?–refuge-for-sexual-minority

From Refugee to Rebuilder in South Sudan (The Province)
In 2005, Lual banded together with a group of other Sudanese-born Canadians to found a charity called Padang Lutheran Christian Relief, with the goal of improving the lives of their countrymen back home. Padang means, “different peoples coming together to fulfil a common goal,” in one of Sudan’s tribal languages, Dinka. “When I came here, I knew how hard it is for the refugees and the returnees, so we decided to found the organization to help people there,” explained Lual, the PLCR’s executive director.


Canadian Social Research Newsletter – May 29, 2011
A weekly, virtual resource centre for Canadian social program information. Covers Canadian and international content related to social policy, poverty and government data.

Five questions with a poverty researcher (Hamilton Spectator)
Hayes, a Hamilton native who is now a professor at the University of Victoria in the faculty of human and social development, will be the keynote speaker at a forum on Wednesday titled Code Red: One Year Later. The award-winning Spectator series uncovered disturbing health disparities between residents of Hamilton’s most and least affluent neighbourhoods.–five-questions-with-a-poverty-researcher

Access to primary health care among homeless adults in Toronto, Canada: results from the Street Health survey (Open Medicine)
Despite experiencing a disproportionate burden of acute and chronic health issues, many homeless people face barriers to primary health care. Most studies on health care access among homeless populations have been conducted in the United States, and relatively few are available from countries such as Canada that have a system of universal health insurance. We investigated access to primary health care among a representative sample of homeless adults in Toronto, Canada.


Caregiver sues former employer, claiming $162,000 in lost wages (Toronto Star)
At 21, Lilliane Namukasa left Uganda to make a new life in Canada as a live-in caregiver for two small children. But after working full-time for two years, she was paid just $2,100 by her Brampton employer and then fired without cause, forcing her into a homeless shelter, Namukasa says in a claim filed in Ontario Superior Court. This is despite an employment contract that entitled Namukasa to receive approximately $22,000 a year, before taxes, minus $2,860 for room and board, she says in the claim.

Nanny sues boss for $195K over ‘wage theft’ (CBC)
Deena Ladd, co-ordinator at the Workers’ Action Centre, a Toronto-based organization fighting to improve working conditions for people in menial jobs, said Namukasa’s “wage theft” woes are typical of what many live-in caregivers and other temporary labourers face. “It’s really important for her story to come forward, to let people know what’s happening to live-in caregivers, to many workers who maybe don’t know what their rights are, who come from immigrant and racialized communities, who are vulnerable to wage theft, ” Ladd said.’

Foreign workers uniting to seek better treatment (Toronto Star)
Foreign farm workers, nannies and other temporary labourers in Canada are forming a united front to fight for better treatment by employers. “What we are seeing now is a shift and expansion of the temporary foreign workers program from agriculture and live-in care to food industry, restaurants, hospitality and tourism,” said Sonia Singh of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, the coalition to be launched this week.–foreign-workers-uniting-to-seek-better-treatment

Wage Theft Continues: Two Live-in Caregivers owed over $350,000 in unpaid wages and wrongful dismissal 0 PDF (Workers’ Action Centre)
On Monday, May 30 at 10 am WAC will hold a press conference at the Queen’s Park Media Studio in support of two caregivers forced to take court action to recover over $217,000 in unpaid wages and over $137,000 for wrongful dismissal.!docs/ma_Caregivers-05-11.pdf


Small steps toward more walkable suburbs (Globe and Mail)
Toronto’s suburbs were not built for walking… Jane Farrow aims to change all that. A writer and broadcaster best known for her CBC Radio shows and Wanted Words books, she is executive director of Jane’s Walk, the annual series of neighbourhood walking tours named after urban thinker Jane Jacobs. She is determined to make walking the suburbs a better experience.

Live in Calgary
An information and attraction site about living in Calgary.

Metro Morning podcast Monday May 30 (CBC Metro Morning)
Are we taxpayers, citizens, residents or Torontonians? With Dave Meslin.
MP3 link –


Sheila Fraser’s last Speech a Call to Action for Social Innovators (Al Etmanski)
The blunt, plain speaking Sheila Fraser is retiring as Canada’s Auditor General. She has become a household name over the past 10 years often referred to as a ‘rock star’ – a seemingly impossible tag for an accountant. She has a unique view of Canada, looking behind the promises, rhetoric and policies to the inner workings of government. She has seen the promise and failings of implementation, despite best intentions.

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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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