Maytree news headlines – June 16, 2011


Visible ‘minorities’ should assert their rights as Canadians: Shakir (South Asian Focus)
Even as delegates to a conference on Civic Participation for Immigrants were suggesting volunteering as a way into the mainstream, Shakir pointed out newcomers need to get their foot in the door, especially for the sake of their children – and if volunteering was the way forward, so be it. But “we need to keep our focus” on the central issue, she added, while pointing out the visible ‘minority’ is fast becoming the majority.

Democracy, Demography, Diaspora & Divinity: A Story of Re-emerging India (South Asian Generation Next)
The Indian Diaspora in the developed world has entered the fourth stage of assimilation like the early European settlers around the world. In first stage, new immigrants are busy settling in- finding job, buying house and finding bearing for their kids and figuring out help for the loved ones they left behind. As their family is settled, in second phase they start looking around and bonding with people like themselves and participate in community organizations (temples and cultural organizations) and start organizing/ bringing back their old country cultural and spiritual activities. In third phase, their grown-up kids or those who are professionals or entrepreneurial- they sub-consciously make efforts not to be associated with ghetto kind of engagements or associations rather want to be as successful as their mainstream counter parts and want to give back to their country of origin. In the fourth phase, the diaspora members have attained success in mainstream and great deal of confidence and start asking how they can help their adopted land and how their presence can help leverage their success in engaging with their native country for the benefit of their adopted land.

Immigrant seniors need more support, expert says (Guelph Mercury)
Older immigrants who come to Canada expecting freedom and a happy reunion with offspring often end up isolated and abused, a Guelph audience heard Wednesday morning. In many cases, older immigrants base their decision to come here on glowing reviews from relatives and government recruiters.–immigrant-seniors-need-more-support-expert-says

Dial 211 for information on community services (The Expositur)
211 Ontario has a database of more than 56,000 agencies and programs that offer help with abuse (including sexual assault, child and family services, consumer protection and complaints, emergency and crisis services, homelessness, housing, employment, education and training, financial assistance, food and clothing, general community services, government officials and more. The goal is to provide the service across Ontario by the end of 2011

Of Two Worlds (South Asian Generation Next)
For years I didnt connect to any nationality other than Canadian. It was the only one that couldnt be questioned because I was born here. It was my way of being faithful to the only real acceptance Ive ever had, my birth certificate. Despite that, no one was ever satisfied that I was just Canadian. They would always define me by where my parents were from, Trinidad, never stopping to think if Trinidadians thought I was one of them. I realized that I never considered if they were part of me. So six months ago I went back.

Six Metres of Pavement: A tale of tragedy, redemption and hope (South Asian Generation Next)
“In the early 70s, it was easier for professionals to find jobs, though racism was more overt. There were fewer immigrant resources, support and funding. Today, the racism is less explicit, but it is harder to find jobs. It is also harder to migrate here, and much harder for extended family members to come in. As a therapist, I see many South Asian women in their 20s and 30s, who confront identity issues, relationship problems and discrimination. Many have grown up in a bicultural environment but are conflicted between my needs and our needs. Depression and anxiety are common issues.

Shallow Outreach to Immigrants (South Asian Generation Next)
Its interesting that while immigrants contributions and their need in Ontario and Canadas economy is recognized day in and day out, at community events, at events designed for multicultural communities of Ontario, yet when it comes time to spend resources on them, there is a lot of hue and cry over whether or not they are worth the money. The latest hypocrisy comes from the Progressive Conservatives of Ontario. In their platform, they declare that the welfare will not be available to new immigrants till a year after their arrival in Ontario. There is little regard to the fact that many of these immigrants have jobs even before their formally settling in Canada. There is little respect for the fact that accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere and the best thing about Canada as a country is that it helps people in need. The misperception is that people go on welfare, so that they do not have to work.

Indo-Canadians explore business and cultural opportunities in India (South Asian Generation Next)
The Indian government would especially like to engage the second and the third generation of Indo-Canadians to come to India voluntarily. To encourage the youth and young professionals, the Indian government has put in place several programs like Know India for the young professionals and youth to experience India.

Muslim Friends Of Osler Raise Funds (South Asian Generation Next)
Muslim Friends of Osler is an initiative that stirred from within William Osler Health System Foundations South Asian Roundtable through the vision of founding members of the Roundtables Canadian Muslim Sub-Committee. Members of the Muslim Friends of Osler are a group of community leaders, physicians, and concerned local residents who were appointed to obtain and channel support from Muslim professionals residing or working within the Osler environs of the Northwest GTA.

What Are We Really Achieving? Building an Evaluation Culture in Migration and Development (MPI)
Much less attention, however, has been given to assessing the impact of the growing number of migration programs and projects, which either directly or indirectly affect the ways in which migration and development interact. This is an important oversight, given the recent calculation by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs that $250 million is being spent on programs specifically designed to shape migration and development outcomes. This lack of understanding about the ways in which migration programs affect development reflects a wider lack of knowledge about the effects and effectiveness of migration policymaking and programming in general.

T & T supermarket understands South Asian customer needs – Paul Ho, Marketing Manager, T&T Supermarket (South Asian Generation Next)
Mr. Ho says that T & T is a unique store in the sense that it understands its customers and the customer demand to carry the right product for them. Additionally the difference between T & T supermarket and the mainstream stores is that their variety and the selection is not that comprehensive as to what we are doing..and we can do it because we know the source of the supply and have the knowledge..of the region. We are definitely different than the mainstream markets, Mr. Ho explains to Generation Next.

Good Indian Girls Dont Waste Time Writing Books (South Asian Generation Next)
If you are a brown girl baby, you will know that we have two very neat choices (no, infanticide is not one of them): academics or marriage. Ever since I started my stint at grad school with my Masters in English, daddy dearest laid off with all the beti*, dont you want to get married? Now that my year is winding down, and I have to decide for either the PhD route, or the working girl route, there it is again. I am reminded of my expiry date, my limited shelf life, my doomed future as a single brown girl. See, Indian parents do not hand you a Kit Kat when you decide to take a break from life. A break from life is a luxury that does not exist in the Indian dictionary.

68% immigrant students passing grade 10 literacy test (South Asian Generation Next)
68 per cent Ontario students have passed Ontario Secondary School Literacy test on their first try according to the Education and Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). These students first language was not English.

Help society: Ease challenges to immigrants’ education (Vancouver Sun)
However, for immigrants, obtaining an education is highly challenging. What we need to do as a society is:
. Make English services easier to access and given to immigrants automatically.
. Reform the university credentials system.
. Increase subsidies and scholarship opportunities for immigrants.
. Introduce loans with low interest rates.

Not Your Babas Game 7 (Very Ethnic)
Whenever you reach one of lifes little forks, its worth asking: what would Stephen Harpers War Room do? Which is another way of asking: what did Tim Hortons do eighteen months earlier?

Does immigrant residential crowding reflect hidden homelessness? (Homeless Hub)
Compared to the Canadian-born, immigrants are under-represented among Canadas homeless population, when their decline in economic wellbeing is considered alongside their relative absence in homeless shelters. One way to explain this oddity, proposed in both academic and popular literature, is that immigrant communities employ unique avoidance strategies, such as within-group co-residence, to help keep co-ethnics off the streets and out of homeless shelters. In this paper I use the 2001 census of Canada to investigate the extent to which heightened levels of residential crowding might reflect hidden homelessness. I find mixed evidence to support this link, and, if anything, find some evidence to suggest that the link between residential crowding and hidden homelessness, if one exists, is strongest for the Canadian-born. Keywords: immigration, hidden homelessness, residential crowding.

Family ripped apart, immigration says son with Aspergers inadmissible (Toronto Star)
Chris Reynolds wants to stay in Canada with his dad and brother. But the only way his familys application for permanent residency will be approved is if hes not on it. Immigration officials say Reynolds, 20, will be too big a drain on the health care system because he has Asperger and Tourette syndromes. He has been deemed inadmissible. His family is torn: Should they leave Canada or leave Chris off their application–family-ripped-apart-immigration-says-son-with-asperger-s-inadmissible?bn=1

Here We Go Again: Citizenship and Immigration Canada Divides Family, Rules Son with Asperger’s and Tourette’s Medically Inadmissible (Facing Autism in New Brunswick)
It remains to be seen whether people in Toronto and Ontario will exert the kind of pressure necessary to pressure politicians to take action to stop the division of this family. New Brunswick is a small province where the Cheers refrain “everybody knows your name” rings very true. Ontario, where I attended high school (Petawawa) and Toronto, where I have previously worked and lived are obviously much larger, urban and complex entities than New Brunswick. Will the plight of one family facing division drive the good people of Ontario to take the intense, sustained action necessary to move politicians and bureaucrats to reverse this family dividing decision?

Rise of Non-Resident Indians in Canada (Huffington Post Canada)
Ostensibly focused on trade, investment and youth engagement, the event was just the latest in the rising narrative of India recognizing the latent value of having 27 million of its descendants scattered around the globe. From North America and the Caribbean to the United Kingdom, South Africa up the Great Lakes region to the Arabian Peninsula, and across the Pacific Rim, from Malaysia to Fiji, it is the largest diaspora in the world after China’s (which was mock hissed by one wag during the introductory remarks). Its also grown steadily in stature as well as size: Aditya Jha, convener of the Canada-India Foundation and a major part of this year’s organization noted that today’s “Non-Resident Indian” or NRI community includes the President of Singapore, Prime Ministers of both Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago as well as the Governor General of New Zealand.

Former U.S. radical banned from entering Canada (Toronto Sun)
Former U.S. radical still banned from entering Canada Bryn Weese Parliamentary Bureau OTTAWA Former militant radical and American academic Bill Ayers is still not allowed to enter Canada and is unlikely to attend an upcoming conference in Toronto to which he¹s been invited. Ayers was scheduled to speak at a conference on higher education and the media in Toronto on Thursday, but the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations said Wednesday Ayers still isn’t allowed into Canada. He was a founding member of the militant protest group the Weather Underground, a terror movement that bombed public buildings in the 1960s and 70s in response to the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

Building Bridges to Cope with Global Realities (IDN InDepthNews)
Of a population of 34 million Canadians, more than 1.3 million are of Chinese origin and 1.3 million are south Asian (mostly Indian), with the majority in Toronto and Vancouver, with the largest single group from the Punjab. Apart from English and French, the most widely spoken languages are Chinese, Italian and Punjabi, which is now even used for broadcasts of that most Canadian of games, hockey. Despite these impressive numbers, the study of diasporas in this country is in its infancy. When I became president and CEO of the former Canadian Institute of International Affairs in 2004, only 7 years ago, I was told that diaspora studies were too politically sensitive to touch. Fortunately, that has changed. However, Canada still has yet to figure out how exactly to leverage its large Indo-Canadian diaspora.


Special days; special communities (Hamilton Spectator)
This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the UNs 1951 Refugee Convention and those working to help refugees ask that on Monday we take a moment to reflect on the plight of refugees and take action to help. This is summed up best in the words of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who, in his 2010 Message for World Refugee Day (which still resonates today), said: On World Refugee Day, let us reaffirm the importance of solidarity and burden sharing by the international community. Refugees have been deprived of their homes, but they must not be deprived of their futures.–special-days-special-communities

Sudanese Lost Boy graduates university (Toronto Star)
The first month away at university can be tough for anyone. But Simon Kuany is one of the so-called Lost Boys of Sudan who walked barefoot for four months at the tender age of 5 to escape the slaughter in his homeland in 1988, first with his grandmother and then, after they got separated, with the human river of village boys fleeing government soldiers and stepping over dead bodies and hiding, always hiding in the bushes until reaching the hardscrabble safety of a Kenyan refugee camp that would become his home for the next 16 years.–sudanese-lost-boy-graduates-university

Without Hope: Canada offers new life to desperate refugee (UNHCR)
Not many people can remember precisely what they were doing at 9:45 on Tuesday, March 1. Muhammmed Zakaria can: it was the first time in his life he was truly happy, the moment he got a phone call that transformed his life. At the other end of the line was Severine Weber, UNHCR associate field officer in Beijing, telling the Pakistani refugee that seven long years of loneliness and despair were over and that he and four of his closest relatives were about to restart their lives in Canada.


Video: Lets start a conversation about healthand not talk about health care at all. (Health Nexus)
Lets start a conversation about healthand not talk about health care at all is a five minute video highlighting that HEALTH is about much more than access to medical care. It highlights that everyone has different opportunities for health, largely influenced by their social and economic conditions. Using this broad view of health, the video describes actions that various non-health sectors can take. It encourages everyone teachers, builders, dads, nurses, business women, students, politicians to start a conversation about health and not talk about health care at all.

Incomes in Canada Booming and Busted (Behind the Numbers)
Todays release of the annual Income in Canada report is Statistics Canadas first word on the impact of the Great Recession on Canadians incomes. The report in The Daily was presented as a non-event, but the data reveal important stories about the winners and losers since the recession.

Recession stalls progress on poverty; almost one in 10 Canadians poor: StatsCan (Toronto Star)
The recession stopped progress on poverty in its tracks, according to new data from Statistics Canada that indicates almost one in 10 Canadians is considered poor. In its first detailed, national picture of what happened to income in Canada during the recession, the agency says the poverty rate edged up in 2009 to 9.6 per cent the second straight year that poverty has grown after more than a decade of steady declines.–recession-stalls-progress-on-poverty-almost-one-in-10-canadians-poor-statscan?bn=1

Living wage to fight poverty will be burden on small businesses, group says (Calgary Herald)
As Statistics Canada released new figures showing one in eight Albertans is now earning a low-income wage, social welfare advocates pushed for ways to create a living wage to help eliminate poverty across the country.

Social enterprise can defeat poverty (Telegraph-Journal)
Social enterprise is a mechanism for discovering hidden abilities and interests, and charting a course for developing them, resulting in full inclusion. It combines learning with earning. That’s what New Brunswick’s Economic and Social Inclusion Plan is all about, and that’s why social enterprise is a priority action in the plan. Social enterprise is business with a double bottom line. It generates revenue and it serves a social purpose. While it remains uncharted territory for most non-profit organizations in this province, two sectors in particular have recognized its value and used it effectively. Both confront the issue of poverty daily.

Don’t be so choosy, landlords warned (Globe and Mail)
After studying websites, the Ontario Human Rights Commission issues a reminder about discriminatory language in advertisements for rental housing.


Retiring boomers create immigrant opportunities (Globe and Mail)
Thirty years ago when Indian immigrants came to Canada, they typically became taxi drivers. Ten years ago they frequently took jobs at local factories as engineers or as site managers. Now, when Indian immigrants move to Canada, they aspire to be business owners. Canada’s points-based immigration system has ensured that new arrivals are more educated than most second- or third-generation Canadians. Almost all of them are post-secondary graduates and many of them are professionally qualified doctors, engineers, lawyers and MBAs. Almost all of them have good language skills and a wealth of experience operating businesses. As the Indian economy has opened up in recent years, a large number of immigrants have experience working for multinationals and they have a good understanding of systems and procedures for operating companies.


Tuesday’s Headines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to Development, Union Station, Strikes, City Hall and Other News.

Tally Ho! Exposing the Citys Mindless Math (Dave Meslin)
One year ago, I wrote a blog post about the Citys John Street Corridor Improvement Study. I called into question the validity of some of the measurements in the report. Specifically, the study claimed that there was not enough road width to include bike lanes and wider sidewalks. It was presented as a choice: bike lanes OR a wider sidewalk. I took advantage of a high-tech quantifying device called a tape measure and proved them wrong. But the width measurement wasnt the only questionable item in the report.

Are the City’s John Street traffic counts accurate? (blogTO)
Over on his blog, Mez Dispenser, Dave Meslin has a pretty fascinating post regarding the City of Toronto’s cycling counts on John Street. Compiled as part of the John Street Corridor Improvement Study, the City’s data indicates that, on average, a (relatively) steady two per cent of traffic on John Street comes in the form of cyclists. That seems bizarre when one considers the degree to which the vehicular and pedestrian traffic fluctuates.

So You Just Bought A Subway Station! (Steve Munro)
Let me be the first to congratulate you on buying the naming rights to one of our fine subway stations! Youre probably wondering if there are extras in the contract, things you should know about your new home.

Toronto calling ? Welcome and Cheers!!! (Times of India)
The city that thrives on diversity and entertainment .The perfect choice for the IIFA awards . Vibrant , glamorous and the happening place of Canada. It is the capital of Ontario and is a major scene for theatre and other performing arts with more than fifty ballet companies, dance , six opera companies two symphony orchestras and many theatres. It is the home of The National Ballet of Canada, The Canadian Opera and the Toronto symphony orchestra. It boasts a high standard of living with a clean environment and diversity. Crime rate is low compared to any metropolitan city in North America. Almost all of the world’s cultures are represented here. All major languages are spoken here and for the foodie enthusiast the place offers every choice possible .

City expects $15M from house sale (National Post)
City council voted Wednesday to sell a batch of single family homes owned by the Toronto Community Housing Corp. and kicked off a heated debate about the future of public housing in Toronto.


How To Launch A Career in Social Finance (
for a field like social finance that has expanded rather explosively over the past five years, why does it seem like young people are at a loss as to where to start and how to get in? To start with, the field of social finance is extremely ambiguous. The range of career paths, companies, models, geographies and impact sectors is large and as this sector has grown in popularity so have the number of companies, products and talent in the marketplace. Add the newness of the sector, jargon, metrics, certifications, degree programs, networks and associations on top of all of this and one can easily become overwhelmed, if not turned off of the space all together.


Religious and atheist groups tackle $42-billion human trafficking industry (Vancouver Sun)
In a rare coming together with religious groups, the American Humanist Association, made up largely of atheists and agnostics, has also taken on the issue. So have actress Demi Moore and her husband Ashton Kutcher, who together sponsor a foundation to combat child sex slavery.

This Week in ON Courts: Appeal to Re-Examine Prostitution Laws (Sex Trafficking Must End – Hope for the Sold)
The governments appeal regarding last summers decision is taking place all this week. The hearings started on Monday and will conclude Friday. I personally know some abolitionists who are part of the hearings, including Trisha Baptie from EVE (Formerly Exploited Voices Now Educating). From the sounds of it, this will likely end up being a Supreme Court case.

Prostitution Policy Must Be Evidence-Based (Raise the Hammer)
There are a number of occupations in which the workers tend to be paid and treated poorly, but as one Netherlands-based human rights advocate put it, “We know, for instance, that there is exploitation in the textile industry but we don’t scream ‘Stop buying clothing’ – we talk about labour rights and working conditions.” Human trafficking remains a serious problem in the Netherlands sex trade, but again it was taking place before legalization and there was less recourse then to distinguish sex slaves from voluntary prostitutes… Advocates argue that the Dutch authorities are not doing enough to protect the rights of sex workers, but it’s clear that the solution is not to make voluntary sex work illegal – any more than the solution to poor working conditions in textile plants is to make sewing illegal.

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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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