Maytree news headlines – June 23, 2011


Maytree discussion paper: The role of postsecondary institutions and employers in two-step economic immigration (Maytree)
The federal government should undertake consultations with provinces, the postsecondary sector and employers to define the role of all partners in facilitating the settlement and integration of those international students and temporary workers who may apply for transition to permanent residence.

Expect new faces on your doorstep: School4Civics provincial election Bootcamp (Maytree blog)
Who spends a sunny, Saturday morning in June indoors learning about how to volunteer in an election campaign that doesnt officially start until after Labour Day? The answer is a group of forty committed, dynamic and engaged emerging leaders from Peel Region and the City of Toronto.

Webinar July 19: Raising the Curtain on Cultural Diversity: Integrating Inclusion into the Arts (Cities of Migration)
Join Cities of Migration for a 60-minute webinar to learn about successful strategies for community engagement, creative mentoring, and promoting immigrant integration through the arts. Presenters from Auckland and Toronto will share innovative ideas about how music, performance and new literary voices are building stronger communities through the arts and changing the way we see ourselves in the city.

Catholic trustees e-mail slams undocumented student (Globe and Mail)
Activists are calling for the resignation of a Toronto Catholic District School Board trustee after he suggested that an undocumented immigrant student applying to Catholic schools should apply for Canadian Citizenship ASAP.

Immigration rights advocates demand trustee resign (Toronto Star)
Immigration and refugee rights advocates are demanding the resignation of Toronto Catholic District School Board trustee Frank DAmico over a controversial email he sent last month about an undocumented student. Organizations like No One Is Illegal, alongside Social Planning Toronto, are calling for disciplinary action against the Ward 6 trustee at a special meeting of the board on Thursday evening.–immigration-rights-advocates-demand-trustee-resign

Getting in tune with Ottawa’s youth (Ottawa Citizen)
This is the world of OrKidstra, a social development program disguised as music lessons, that has been changing the lives of children at some of Ottawa’s inner-city schools since 2007. The program is now putting Ottawa on the map. “OrKidstra gives our children a sense of belonging, like being part of a family,” says executive director Tina Fedeski. “There are 24 languages spoken among our children and the universal language of music gives them a common language. This is our Canada. And they are very much part of the Ottawa community.”

learnIT2teach – Free professional development for LINC & ESL professionals (Settlement AtWork)
The LearnIT2teach Project with the support of Citizenship and Immigration Canada offers LINC and ESL professionals the tools and the training to integrate computer-assisted language learning (CALL) into Ontario classrooms. The project offers four stages of training for any instructor with basic computer skills. An additional stage for program administrators is in development. Threaded throughout the training are good teaching principles as applied to online learning. Ready made e-resources enable teachers to implement their PD training with their learners immediately.

Settlement Roadmap” online tool launched (Settlement Atwork)
The Settlement Roadmap is a web tool that helps people find a full range of settlement services from across the country, providing free directory listings of settlement agencies, schools, universities and employment programs and projects.

Quebec teen told she can’t referee soccer with hijab on (CTV)
A Quebec teen who has been told she can no longer referee soccer while wearing her hijab says she’s going to fight the red card. Sarah Benkirane, 15, said her Montreal-area soccer association informed her she could no longer referee games wearing her traditional Muslim head scarf after someone filed a complaint with the league.

Magazine founder named top immigrant (North Shore News)
North Shore resident Nick Noorani has been named one of the top 25 Canadian immigrants via a people’s choice ballot by Canadian Immigrant Magazine.

Sponsors must repay immigrants debt (The Lawyers Weekly)
Governments have a procedural duty to act fairly unless that duty is displaced by clear statutory language or by necessary implication, the Supreme Court of Canada has reaffirmed in an immigration case of note to all administrative law practitioners.

Toronto Catholic school board tries to put religion above human rights (Xtra!)
The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) may soon try to pass amendments to its equity policy that allow religious doctrine to trump the Ontario Human Rights Code. Among the eight amendments, only two passed at the last board meeting, on May 16. The meeting came to an end before trustees had time to vote on six other proposed amendments that appear to directly target queer students. One proposed amendment states that the Catholic boards denominational rights take precedence over human rights protections.

Manitoba population booms (Winnipeg Free Press)
Statistics Canada estimates that Manitoba received 15,707 new immigrants between April 2010 and April 2011. And there were 16,214 newborns in the province during that period. Bjorn accredited the Provincial Nominee Program for 75 per cent of all immigration to Manitoba. The program encourages skilled workers from abroad to apply for permanent residency.

It’s time to make Metro a choice destination for immigrants (Times & Transcript)
There could not have been a better spotlight shone on our tri-city. Nor a better time to talk about why it is so important to increase immigration in our region. An aging population, low fertility rates, significant out-migration of youth to other provinces and sluggish economic prospects make for a very frightening forecast in our province.


MV Sun Sea crew member cleared of people smuggling (Vancouver Sun)
The Immigration and Refugee Board has ruled that a crew member aboard the MV Sun Sea did not engage in people smuggling and can continue with his refugee claim. The federal government has been arguing for months that crew members of the ship which brought 492 Tamil migrants to Canada last August weren’t just passengers but played “integral” roles in helping to execute a large and sophisticated smuggling operation and should therefore be deported.

A misguided refugee policy (Ottawa Citizen)
Cracking down on smuggling and trafficking is one thing. Punishing the victims in a misguided attempt to control demand is another. So long as there is war and oppression, people will try to escape it, and this bill won’t stop that.

Saskatchewan sees net interprovincial emigration (CBC)
The province’s overall population was up 0.2 per cent from the final quarter of 2010 to 1,053,960, the federal statistical agency said. About half that gain was from natural increase, or births minus deaths. The rest comes from net immigration to the province: More than 1,500 people arrived from abroad, offsetting the hundreds who left for other provinces. In a news release, the Saskatchewan government hailed the latest population number as a “new all-time record,” saying it shows “Saskatchewan continues to be a province of opportunity.”

Kenney Lauds Canadas History as a Haven for Refugees (The Epoch Times)
In a speech marking World Refugee Day on June 20, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney saluted Canadas tradition of providing refuge to those in need of protection from tyranny, violent oppression, and persecution.

Rebel with a cause (Winnipeg Free Press)
Dolin has seen and heard a lot in his 21 years working with refugees, as evidenced by a collection of 5,000 letters received from torture victims. “I used to respond to all of them, write to them and explain how to come to Canada.” He recalls the moment when one of the many hed advised walked into his office and said, Here I am, I followed your instructions. “Even if it was two out of 5,000, its worth it,” Dolin says. Dolin thinks bureaucrats are out of touch. “Injustice pisses me off. Evil and stupidity make me angry. Educate the stupid, overcome the evil,” says Dolin, who describes himself as an apathetic agnostic. “If people do the right thing, I dont care about their beliefs.”


Greater political, public focus needed on poverty (Guelph Mercury)
Less than two months after a whirlwind of a federal election and less than a year after the municipal elections, it is time to start thinking ahead to the October provincial election. While some of us may be feeling defeated by the current political landscape, it is more important than ever to ensure that poverty is an election issue and that poverty eradication is on the agenda of all political parties and candidates.–greater-political-public-focus-needed-on-poverty

Opinion: The messy task of defining poverty (Vancouver Sun)
The Ontario Liberal government got an untimely update this week on the lack of progress in its promise to reduce poverty in Canadas largest province. Ontario poverty rate up since last election, headlined the Toronto Star. Levels rising faster in province than elsewhere across Canada. The 17-per-cent surge, highest in the country, came with Premier Dalton McGuinty and his colleagues facing a fall election on a fixed calendar

City of Kitchener kills Cedar Hill bylaw (Waterloo Record)
A city bylaw that banned some types of housing from a downtown neighbourhood was repealed in the face of continuing challenges based on the Charter of Rights and the Ontario Human Rights Code. Instead of trying to bring the bylaw into conformity with the charter and human rights code, the city struck it from the books. The bylaw applied to Cedar Hill, a densely populated residential neighborhood adjacent to the downtown. The case breaks new legal ground where human rights law intersects with urban planning, said Ken Hale, a human rights lawyer with the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario.–city-kills-cedar-hill-bylaw

Ford’s decision on nurses ‘bizarre, strange’ (Toronto Sun)
Ontarios health minister blasted Mayor Rob Ford for turning down provincial cash to hire two public health nurses. Councillors on Torontos executive committee voted Monday at Fords urging to defer indefinitely any decision to hire two more nurses for Toronto Public Health. The $170,000 a year to pay the nurses was entirely funded by the province.


Alberta jobs luring more Canadians to province (Calgary Herald)
The StatsCan numbers showed that while the numbers moving to Alberta from other provinces were solid, the number of those moving from other countries was the lowest first quarter since 2004. “I think that number is a report card of the fact that Canada’s national immigration policies are simply lacking and are not reflective of what the western provinces and the industries in the western provinces require,” Lukaszuk said, adding that other countries do a better job of attracting workers.

The Attack on Workers: Back(sliding) (in)to the Future (Behind the Numbers)
The public response to recent labour disputes has been a disturbing sideshow to the return of Parliament. Whats remarkable is the level of nastiness that gets tossed around, littered with references to union stooges and the ubiquitous socialist dinosaurs. Perhaps the most obvious line of attack is based on a backdrop of selfishnessI dont have benefits/vacation/job security, so why should they? It is an argument borne of misplaced resentment.

Government of Canada Taking Action to Increase Labour Mobility for Nurses (Benzinga)
The Government of Canada also recognizes the importance of helping foreign-trained healthcare professionals get jobs in their fields of expertise. That is why, under the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, service standards were established so that internationally-trained professionals in eight priority occupations, including nurses, can have their qualifications assessed within one year, anywhere in Canada. Once licensed in Canada, internationally trained practical nurses will also be able to move freely between provinces and territories.


Listening to the People: The Components of the Ideal City (Martin Prosperity Insights)
During Doors Open Toronto (May 28 and 29), the Martin Prosperity Institute encouraged visitors to Build Your Ideal City in our War Room. People drew, wrote, and commented on a large whiteboard on which a map of the City of Toronto was projected. Over the course of the weekend, the board was transformed through the ideas of our guests and by a range of ideas while some seemed to be standard calls for city improvements, others offered provoking imaginings for a better city.

Thursday’s Headines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Hall, Transportation, Arts, Culture & Pride, Mississauga and Other News.

MY CITY LIVES: David Miller, Transit Mayor part III (Spacing Toronto)
David Miller Transit Mayor is an unprecedented web series that explores the life and leadership of Torontos 63rd Mayor as explained by Miller himself. Each chapter in this seven part series, launched on the Spacing Toronto blog every Wednesday, explores the issues that defined Millers time in office including the economy, creativity, accessibility and of course, transit.

Councillor Bailão forms private-sector housing roundtable (City of Toronto)
Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18 Davenport), Chair of the Affordable Housing Committee, has convened a roundtable of private-sector experts to promote prosperity in the City of Toronto through partnerships, innovation and the creation of housing opportunities during a period of limited government funding.

Mississauga opens of Celebration Square to develop a citywide spirit’ (Globe and Mail)
As she inaugurated the plaza, Mayor Hazel McCallion recalled the difficulty of building community in Mississauga, which was stitched together from three established villages and subsequently constructed suburbs. In its early days, for example, the city tried unsuccessfully to launch a civic fair that died because of a lack of attendance, she said. This square will do what weve struggled to do over the years, and develop a citywide spirit, she said.

Philanthropist Martin Connell honoured with award in his name (Toronto Star)
He spent a decade at the helm of the Toronto Community Foundation, helping it grow into one of the citys most effective philanthropic organizations one that supports hundreds of community organizations through millions of dollars in grants. So when Martin Connell stepped down this week as chair of the TCFs board of directors, his leadership was commemorated with an annual award in his name.–philanthropist-martin-connell-honoured-with-award-in-his-name

Mayor misses out on opportunity to celebrate diversity (Globe and Mail)
Mr. Fords decision to absent himself is an unmistakable snub, not just to an important city festival but to the whole gay community. When mayors march in Pride, it sends a signal of acceptance to a once-marginalized and still vulnerable minority. Even in these days of broad tolerance and legal same-sex marriage, men and women are still shunned, bullied and beaten for being gay or lesbian. Is the mayor aware of that? Does he give a damn?


Preston Mannings Barometer of Canada (Al Etmanski)
Since leaving politics he has become the President and CEO of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy. The Centre describes itself as a leading Canadian conservative do-tank, believing that Canadians and Canadas purpose are best served by timeless conservative principles rooted first in liberty, dignity, responsibility, and tradition. Their focus is moving ideas into action about some of our toughest challenges including market based solutions for environmental conservation and science technology and innovation. They believe political parties, including the Conservative party, have mainly become marketing mechanisms for fighting elections; they do very little in terms of idea development. So they’ve stepped into the vacuum.

Ontario Ombudsman calls for open government (Techvibes)
Ontario Ombudsman André Marin has seen his share of secrecy as the head of the agency that oversees the provincial government. And with the rise of information technology, he says, theres an opportunity and a responsibility for government to be more open and transparent. Embracing open government is like a root canal at the dentist, it fixes a problem in the long run, but its not obvious when youre getting the procedure done, Marin says to a packed room at Yorkville bar The Pilot as part of the Third Tuesday Toronto meetup.

Following Up on the Recommendations for the Task Force on Social Finance (
This blog post is the sixth in a series related to the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance. In this series, Task Force members explore ideas and research that will help to catalyze a robust social finance marketplace in Canada.

New, more open data sharing on Toronto websites (Belonging Community)
Toronto data geeks can be excited about three new websites breaking onto the Toronto scene.


National Online Course on Human Trafficking Launched (End Modern-day Slavery)
The online training program has four modules and takes approximately 5 7 hours to complete, and is an initiative of the BC Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, with funding from Public Safety Canada and Justice Canada. UBC Law Prof. Benjamin Perrin was part of the advisory committee for this initiative and his research is featured in both the written and video course materials.

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. Jennifer Bacus was arrested after police rescued 25 people in Davao City who had been promised jobs as bellboys, housekeepers and hotel receptionists, reported ABS-CBN News.

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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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