Maytree news headlines – June 22, 2011


Corporate sector lacking diversity – report (Caribbean Camera)
Perhaps the reason that the public sector typically has more visible minority leaders is the higher level of transparency and scrutiny that inspires action, explains Wendy Cukier, the lead author and founder of the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University. Organizations that make a point of tracking and reporting on their results tend to have higher levels of diversity. What gets measured gets done. While visible minorities in the GTA are still under-represented in leadership positions, great strides have been made. Over the three-year timeframe, elected officials show the largest growth across sectors studied from 16.1 per cent in 2009 to 19 per cent in 2011 an 18 per cent increase. Within this category, the Town of Markham stands out with visible minorities comprising 30.8 per cent of Council.

Canadian Immigration A Factor In Supporting Rental Housing Demand (MuchMor Magazine)
Immigration continues to be a factor in supporting rental housing demand. Recent immigrants tend to rent first before becoming homeowners, said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHCs Market Analysis Centre. In addition, condominium completions moved lower in the past months, while rental apartment unit completions remained relatively stable. As a result, the overall demand for rental apartment units increased faster than supply for this type of housing. Accordingly, this pushed Canadas vacancy rate downward.

Many faces (Financial Post)
Diversity has its challenges, from leadership issues to recognizing the skills of immigrants to the need for education. But, says Iris Almeida-Côté, one of three trend-setters highlighted here, diversity shouldnt be feared, but celebrated.

Bollywood stars arrive in Toronto (Globe and Mail)
Indian stars have started flying in en masse for the highly anticipated Bollywood Oscars.

Letter from Mumbai: India’s scant knowledge of Canada (CBC)
With the IIFA awards descending on Toronto this week, it’s likely the GTA and any place in Canada with a sizeable Indian population is having an outbreak of Bollywood fever right now. But here in Mumbai, I don’t see any signs that the reverse is true.

Immigrants survive wet and wild Canadian wilderness (National Post)
Last weekend, thousands of new Canadians headed out into the woods for their first wilderness experience, part of a Parks Canada program to teach recent immigrants the joys of Canadian camping. For some, that included a lesson in the harsh realities of Canadas fickle and sometimes frustrating weather, where a spring snowstorm or a June downpour isnt an impossibility and camping can be an exercise in extreme patience.

About Canada: Immigration (Generally About Books)
Immigration is published by Fernwood Publishing as part of its About Canada series. The series publishes books on a variety of subjects that provide basic but critical and passionate coverage of central aspects of our society. The slim treatise is a shocking documentation of all that is wrong with Canadas immigration policy and practice. Though there are definite improvements from the racially discriminatory practices of the past, the official policy that seemingly treats everyone equally doesnt necessarily translate into equal acceptance of the newcomer.


Quality of refugee decisions in question (Toronto Star)
Canadian visa officers do not always refer to the law when accepting or rejecting refugees awaiting resettlement to Canada, a federal report says. In fact, more than a third of cases were refused simply because the visa officer did not believe the refugees story. No analysis appeared to be made using set criteria that determines refugee status, says the internal report prepared by Citizenship and Immigration Canada staff–quality-of-refugee-decisions-in-question

In defence of human smuggling (United Church Observer)
Human smuggling sounds dirty. It conjures images of migrants being duped out of their life savings and forced into dangerous journeys or some type of modern slavery. But this is only part of the picture. Missing in the condemnation is the recognition of networks that can provide a vital service to people like Tabe fleeing persecution.

Eritrean refugees reborn in Toronto (Toronto Star)
When Selam escaped Eritrea a tiny, secretive country in the Horn of Africa that doesnt let its young people leave human smugglers were her salvation. They were the only way out. She fled to Sudan, where she began a two-week trip through the desert of Libya, stuffed in a dark suffocating container on the back of a gas truck. When she reached the Libyan capital of Tripoli, Selam handed over her last $1,200 to board a boat to Europe.–eritrean-refugees-reborn-in-toronto

Program ensures speedy health care for refugees (MJ Times)
Getting into Canada as a refugee is often a long, arduous process, and one must be in relatively good health to obtain entry. Ensuring the needs of refugees are met once they finally make it to Canada and Moose Jaw is the goal of an initiative within the Five Hills Health Region.

Ottawa cracks whip on refugees (South Asian Focus)
Soon illegal refugees and asylum claimants will no longer be able to obtain supplementary health benefits, says Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. The Tories last week honoured one of their election promises and once again tabled Bill C-4, previously called Bill C-49, that aimed at cracking down on human smuggling and illegal refugees.

‘Ethnically-motivated’ violence drives Guyanese family’s refugee claim in Canada (Starbroek News)
A Guyanese family of six, seeking refugee status in Canada on the grounds that they fear ethnically-motivated violence at the hands of African-Guyanese criminal gangs here, may still get their wish as a judge recently overturned a decision to refuse their claim.


Access, availability and design: Can Danielle Svec find affordable, accessible housing in Toronto? (Yonge Street)
Enter that warden. Svec is on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Because she works, ODSP takes 50 per cent of her earnings. If she saves too much money, she’ll lose a portion of her benefits. Her rent allotment is about $450, this in a city with average rents of $1,000. If she works full-time, the benefits evaporate completely. But what about her scooter? ODSP shelled out a few grand so she could have it. Few people make enough money to manage medical expenses like that on top of all the other swollen costs of living.

Caregiving work recognized (Straight Goods)
An agreement adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on June 16 regarding decent work for domestic workers is precedent setting and it will bring about real change in the living and working conditions of those workers, says Barb Byers, the Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Debunking the ‘Grey Tsunami’ Meme (The Mark News)
Feeling anxious about the fact that Canadas publicly funded health-care system is soon to be crushed by the grey tsunami sweeping the nation? Then take some comfort in knowing that your anxiety may not be due to your genes, but your memes. Whats a meme, you say? British scientist Richard Dawkins defined it as a unit of cultural transmission, analogous to a gene. Genes transmit biological information, whereas memes are ideas that transmit cultural information. Malcolm Gladwell said that a meme behaves like a virus that moves through a population, taking hold in each person it infects. Just as some people blame their ill health on bad genes, its time we blame the poor health of some of our public institutions on bad memes. Memes transmit current notions and ideas about health care, and they can be highly communicable, can spread like a pandemic, and can infect quickly and broadly. They can also be extremely virulent and hard to subdue, even when patently false. They can be destructive by raising unnecessary panic and fear, and can fuel irresponsible political responses.


Tuesday’s Headines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Hall, G20 Aftermath, Development and Other News.

Arts group fears end to programs if city stops backstopping loans (Globe and Mail)
Artscape, the non-profit group that revitalized the Wychwood Barns and helped bring new life to the Distillery District says plans by the city to end loan guarantees will jeopardize future projects.


Survey: Understanding the State of Professional Development in the Nonprofit Sector (HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector)
The HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector (HR Council) is currently fielding a survey to better understand the state of professional development in the nonprofit sector, and we invite you to share your thoughts on this important matter. The survey results will provide information of value to the nonprofit sector, and also practical information and tools for organizations that wish to strengthen their professional development and training efforts.

United Way funding changes draw ire (Ottawa Citizen)
In an attempt to satisfy demand from donors for greater accountability, the United Way has moved to a competitive request-for-proposals system, more focused on specific goals and on measurable results. As a result, many agencies have seen changes in their funding. The difference in outcomes and the way in which the change has happened brought criticism from the open microphones on the meeting room floor. The ire also translated into a motion from Stewarts group to review the allocation process and the impact of the new funding process on the people who depend on community services.


Thai victims of human trafficking can stay in Canada (CBC)
Nineteen 19 Thai farm workers who were victims of human trafficking are being allowed to stay in Canada another two years so they’ll have time to apply for permanent residency. In what could be a precedent-setting case, the workers no longer face being sent to jail or deported.

Canada destination for Philippines human trafficking ring: Report
A suspected human smuggling ring that would have brought several dozen Filipinos to Quebec was broken last week, according to a Philippines news site.

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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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