Maytree news headlines – June 27, 2011


More Visible Minorities in Greater Toronto Leadership: Study (The Link)
DiverseCity Counts is part of DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project, a multi-pronged initiative to accelerate prosperity in the GTA by enabling a more diverse leadership to emerge. Previous research has found a link between diversity in leadership and more effective, innovative and productive organizations. In terms of the overall results we are glad to see movement in the right direction. But we recognize that at this pace it will be 30 years before our leadership catches up with our demographic reality, says Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree, who together with John Tory is the co-chair of theDiverseCity Project. Our project is working to collapse natural timeframes so that we can reap the benefits of diverse leadership now.

Should the prime minister consider diversity for the Supreme Court of Canada? (Yahoo! News)
As Stephen Harper ponders filling two upcoming vacant seats on the Supreme Court, minorities, particularly aboriginals, are calling it an opportunity for the prime minister to consider diversity in the top court. The Indigenous Bar Association, a group representing aboriginal lawyers, says the highest court needs to be more representative of a country whose legal system is “rooted in common law, civil law and indigenous traditions.”

Legal Leaders For Diversity And Inclusion (Justmeans)
Bombardier Senior Vice President, General Counsel Me Daniel Desjardins signed in May 2011 the Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusion (LLD) pledge, marking our organizations commitment to diversity in the legal community. Bombardier joins over forty corporations across Canada whose general counsel have signed the initiative. LLD aims to promote diversity, encouraging signatories to not only embed diversity within their organization and to consider diversity in their hiring practices, but to encourage their peers to further advocacy as well.

Remembering hatred, restoring hope (Waterloo Record)
The paper footprints lead visitors through the schools hallways. Each bears the name of a university student, and the name of someone they were walking for in a march to remember the Holocaust a victim, a survivor, a soldier. One footprint honours those who arent remembered.–remembering-hatred-restoring-hope

As nation of immigrants, Canada must now confront its emigrants (Globe and Mail)
Canada has always thought of itself as a nation of immigrants. But new research suggests that among wealthy immigrant-receiving nations, Canada is one of the likeliest to see its own citizens move abroad. Nearly 2.8 million Canadians (9 per cent of the population) live in other countries, according to a study by the Asia Pacific Foundation, proportionally about five times higher than the United States and roughly the same as Britain.

Atlantic Dance Festival showcases diversity (Times & Transcript)
In between the competitions’ rounds, lyrical, hip-hop and a tap dancers drew in the crowd of approximately 70 people. The bass was booming and the lights were looming as dancers and families gazed at the sometimes mystic, sometimes jolting choreographed dances. Béliste says although Saturday’s event was the most well received by families around town, the whole festival was a success.

Celebrating cultural diversity (Waterloo Record)
Its not just about the shawarma and baklava. The annual Kitchener Waterloo Multicultural Festival, which ran this weekend, draws thousands of people, many of them because of the food. And organizers say the festival, which is organized by the Kitchener Waterloo Multicultural Centre, is a chance for a rich cultural diversity to be celebrated.–celebrating-cultural-diversity

Political ‘realignment’ is always temporary (Ottawa Citizen)
An Ipsos Reid exit poll shows that immigrants and visible minorities no longer automatically vote en masse for the Liberals: 43 per cent of immigrants who have been in Canada longer than 10 years voted Conservative, as did 31 per cent of visible minorities and 52 per cent of Jewish voters. These were massive inroads for the Tories that took support directly from the Liberals and helped tilt suburban Toronto seats Conservative. On the surface, this looks like a major political realignment that could last, but if history is any indicator, such prognostications are premature.

Canadas neglected (immigrant) seniors (Globe and Mail)
June is Seniors Month, a time to honour older Canadians their knowledge, experience and the contributions they make every day to our country. But theres one group of neglected seniors: those who arrive in Canada after the age 50. These immigrants are often family members sponsored to join children and grandchildren whove already settled in Canada.

A celebration of home for local immigrants (Winnipeg Free Press)
It felt as though little pieces of countries had been plunked down next to each other in Central Park Sunday as hundreds of people played soccer, had their faces painted, fished with magnets, and perused stalls that displayed clothes, jewellery, and food from around the world. Immigrants to Canada flourished the colours and quirks of their native lands for an ‘Immigration Celebration’ of new arrivals to Winnipeg.–immigrants-124582534.html

Bank flies in stars to help grow cricket in Canada (Globe and Mail)
When the schools team was told this month that some of them would get to meet Indian cricket legend Sunil Joshi and his Pakistani counterpart Wasim Akram, they were ecstatic. The men, equivalent to the Wayne Gretzkys of cricket, were flown from their home countries Friday by Royal Bank of Canada to spend a week mentoring young Canadian players. RBC recruited the retired Mr. Akram and semi-retired Mr. Joshi to act as international ambassadors to the game in Canada. The bank is eager to expand its customer base among new Canadians who grew up playing and watching cricket back home.

Queer Colours, Shining Through (The Ethnic Aisle)
Its Pride Week, and were discussing the perception that immigrants and people of colour are inherently homophobic. Some stories about when thats true, when its not, and when its just confusing.

Ottawa’s diverse community finds unity in soccer tourney (Metro Ottawa)
Dubeau, who is also the community connections program coordinator of the Catholic Immigration Centre, said it’s the family aspect that makes the event so appealing. They come here and treat it as a picnic in the park with each other and to see whats going on, and to build civic pride for Canada Day coming up,” said Dubeau.–ottawa-s-diverse-community-finds-unity-in-soccer-tourney

Decoding Bollywood (Torontoist)
While many films have their fair share of kitsch, colourful dubbed song, and enthusiastic dance numbers (see: Om Shanti Om or any Karan Johar film), Bollywood is a multifaceted industry, and produces many other films with complex characters and storylines. (That this needs to be pointed out is something of a problem.) These Bollywood films arent a recent phenomenon, either, although audiences growing awareness and appreciation might be. Bollywood is not without its fair share of critics, having been accused by detractors of romanticizing, even fetishizing Indian culture. The films certainly dont reflect the reality of the masses in India, nor the countrys widespread poverty. But it should also be noted that those masses, especially those who are at the very bottom of the social pyramid, are perhaps most appreciative of Bollywood films.

Beyond Bollywood: India’s gritty independent cinema (CBC)
While Bollywood’s glamour-driven IIFA awards are underway in Toronto, India’s National Film Festival is taking place in Delhi. The much more diverse festival showcases the winners of India’s National Film Awards. The Bollywood blockbuster Dabangg opened the festival. IIFA, the International Indian Film Academy, celebrates the Hindi-language films of Bollywood; the NFA, on the other hand, honours those in any Indian language. Their winners may come from Bollywood, or from the regional or independent cinemas. All three are very important parts of the Indian film industry

India will open first North American cultural centre in Toronto (National Post)
Indias decision to locate the cultural centre in Toronto, rather than New York or Washington, is validation of Torontos status as Indias North American jumping-off point, said Rana Sarkar, president of the Canada-India Business Council. As the economy grows, being one of the cities on the global India grid is going to be hugely advantageous, he said.

Multiculturalism must be more than just a policy (Edmonton Journal)
Overall, the efforts made by the government to make immigrants feel welcome are worth applauding. The critical question, however, is at what point does multiculturalism become the code name for the construction of bio-political subjects who are made to think they are part of a system they are truly not part of? What needs to be considered now is not whether there is a day for immigrants, but whether immigrants are fully integrated into the system, including whether the opportunities available to original Canadians are also open to migrants, particularly those who have the same qualifications as Canadians.

Enjoying the day a multicultural way (Winnipeg Free Press)
Some of the works hinted at the difficult journey they had undertaken to reach Canada. “I painted a picture of everything I saw when I woke up in the morning in our refugee camp,” wrote Has Moo of her creation about her country of birth, Thailand. “I would see beautiful flowers, the bright sun… birds in the sky and a river flowing beside the camp.” Madhieh Hasseni, whose first language is Farsi, wrote a poetic description of her sculpture of a hand reaching out: “I painted the flag of Afghanistan and a star on each fingertip. Mountains and a desert, on the back of my hand.”

New Canadian immigration rules to expedite new, old applications (Punjab Newsline)
Lt. Col BS Sandhu (Retd) an immigration expert said that Canada is adjusting its intake of applications of federal skilled workers under federal business programs by adjusting its intake of applications. This is being done to reduce backlog and improve wait times while meeting countrys labor market needs, he said.

Changes to Economic Immigration Programs Will Help Further Reduce Backlogs and Improve Wait Times (Marketwire)
Canada is adjusting its intake of applications from economic immigrants to further reduce the backlog and improve wait times while meeting the country’s labour market needs, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

Changes Announced for Three Canadian Immigration Programs (Canada Immigration Newsletter)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced changes that will be made to three of Canadas federal immigration programs effective July 1, 2011. In order to reduce the backlog of economic applications, CIC will be adjusting the intake of applications from certain immigration categories.

Backgrounder from Canada Gazette:

A testament to youth, community (Ottawa Citizen)
On Saturday morning, three weeks after he and his family became the proudest of Canadian citizens, Moo Htaw stood up in the Ottawa church where he is a pastor, and gave the eulogy for his teenage son, Hay Mu Tha Ku. Hay Mu died in a swimming accident at Charleston Lake on June 18. He was born 16 years ago, in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border, where thousands of ethnic Karen refugees have fled civil war and the tyrannical Burmese government. In a heartbreaking coincidence, Moo Htaw and his wife Khu Htaw lost another son to drowning, while they were living in the camp

Asian Men Unpopular in Internet Dating Scene (Schema Magazine)
Asian men apparently aren’t too popular in the world of online dating, according to a recent article by Sunil Adam. A survey of 6,000 Internet dating profiles by Belinda Robnett and Cynthia Feliciano of the University of California, Irvine, found that “Asian males and black females are more highly excluded than their opposite sex counterparts.” White American women would rather date Black men over Asian men, despite the fact that the average Asian man tends to be more educated, more qualified, and better placed in the social hierarchy than the average Black

Multicultural, Tapestry festivals have much potential to grow (Waterloo Record)
There are advantages and disadvantages to clustering festival offerings this way. An event like the Latitudes Storytelling Festival, for instance a great concept brilliantly executed from the outset may not be getting all the attention it deserves. On the other hand, the collective promotion and the opportunity to connect with the tens of thousands of people who regularly attend the original festival are great assets for a less familiar project with limited resources.–multicultural-tapestry-festivals-have-much-potential-to-grow

Our city’s future – Fewer immigrants choosing Hamilton (Hamilton Spectator)
Even among those who come, the mix of immigrants is imbalanced. Hamilton attracts fewer skilled and educated immigrants than other cities, but more refugees and newcomers sponsored by family members. And anecdotal evidence suggests one-third leave the city after a short time, while many who stay struggle with poverty and underemployment. At the rate it’s going, Hamilton will continue to fall below population targets, a shortfall that threatens future growth and the city’s economy in the face of an aging workforce. It is a complex problem that is only made harder by the lack of buy-in from many Hamiltonians who question why the city is welcoming any more foreigners when it’s already struggling with the residents it has.–our-city-s-future

Exploring our diverse city (Hamilton Spectator)
Today, The Spectator launches its DiverseCity project, with stories by reporter Nicole MacIntyre. As the articles indicate, if Hamilton is to thrive and prosper in the future, it must better embrace diversity.–exploring-our-diverse-city

South Asian womens centre given grant to combat abuse (Toronto Star)
A Toronto immigrant agency that recently lost its federal funding and was forced to cut services was given a lifeline by the province in the form of a $150,000 grant for a project aimed at combatting domestic violence, forced marriages and human trafficking. Attorney General Chris Bentley announced the new funds for the South Asian Womens Centre at a news conference Wednesday at the agencys Lansdowne Ave. office.–south-asian-women-s-centre-given-grant-to-combat-abuse

Catholic school board trustee apologizes for immigrant comments (Globe and Mail)
A Toronto Catholic District School Board trustee who came under fire for anti-immigrant comments apologized at a public meeting late Thursday and avoided censure from his colleagues and from the Ministry of Education.

The Immigrant Experience: Where to Go? (TPL blog)
Its important to know, as non-immigrants and immigrants, that referral services for immigrants are available, which make both language and the system of things much easier to navigate. Beginning on July 5 and through to August 12, we are pleased to offer settlement services here in our very own facility. Two settlement workers from North York Community House will be available to answer all your questions and concerns about settling in Canada. They are knowledgeable, trained and experienced staff that speak a combined five languages that accommodate the linguistic needs of the community.

Trustee doesnt have to resign over immigrant slur, Dombrowsky says (
Rookie Catholic school trustee Frank DAmico ate a large piece of humble pie at a board meeting Thursday night, but refugee advocates are disappointed that it wasnt followed by disciplinary dessert.–catholic-trustee-doesn-t-have-to-resign-education-minister-says

New federally-funded services for Francophone newcomers launched in Durham Region (CIC)
Francophone newcomers to Durham Region will now have access to a suite of new federally-funded settlement services delivered by Conseil des Organismes Francophones de la Région de Durham (COFRD). Citizenship and Immigration Canadas investment of $166,669 for the 2011-12 fiscal year will ensure newcomers in the area will have access to workshops and orientation sessions, information on housing, education, transportation, employment, finance, legal issues and more.

Patchwork, Sidelining and Marginalization: Services for Immigrant Youth (Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies)
Adolescence is a challenging developmental period for all young people. For immigrant youth, their experiences are compounded by complex linguistic, acculturative, psychological, and economic difficulties. Rooted in the central premise that immigrant youth are entitled to services that effectively address their settlement needs and promote their full participation in Canadian society, this article critically reviews the selected programs and services for immigrant youth in three Canadian metropolitan centers, namely Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. The findings reveal various shades of patchwork, sidelining and marginalization of immigrant youth in the social services and education arenas. This article calls for a paradigm shift in immigrant youth services from charity-based programming to an entitlement/rights-based model of practice.

The Power of Story in the ESL Classroom (The Canadian Modern Language Review)
Although considerable research has examined the use of literature in the second language (L2) classroom, there has been less investigation into the integration of learners’ personal stories in the English as a second language (ESL) classroom. Following Wajnryb’s (2003) categorizations of story as language learning, genre, and the creation of what she termed a ‘storied classroom,’ this study explores the ways in which learners’ stories are used in the ESL classroom. Five ESL instructors and nine adult ESL learners enrolled in ESL classes at a settlement agency in Edmonton were interviewed about the practice, benefits, and challenges of incorporating personal stories into the L2 classroom. Participants perceived that story promoted language learning, an understanding of genre, and community building, while also enhancing authenticity, affect, and motivation. This article provides guidelines and recommends resources for using personal story in the adult ESL classroom.

CMRC Diversity Statement – PDF (Canadian Midwifery Regulators Consortium)
The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) believes that culture, tradition, and individual
beliefs influence how one lives and makes life-choices. The ICM believes that midwives and the
women and families they care for deserve respect and the freedom to participate fully and
knowledgeably in decisions that affect their lives (ICM, 2005). All organizational and professional midwifery practice can place value on diversity, both in fostering the diversity of the midwifery population, and in ensuring that midwifery practitioners
have the capacity to serve a diverse client population.

Study finds CSIC-accredited immigration consultants provide benefits to Canadian multiculturalism (Digital Journal)
CSIC-accredited immigration consultants benefit Canadian society by helping Canada attract greater numbers of highly qualified immigrants, according to a study commissioned by the Canadian Migration Institute (CMI).


C-4 – Anti-smuggling or anti-refugee? (CCR)
On 16 June 2011, the government reintroduced the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canadas Immigration System Act as Bill C-4 (formerly Bill C-49). Despite the title, most of the provisions in the bill punish refugees, not smugglers. The people who will suffer if this bill is passed are people fleeing persecution, including children.

Thompson: Human smuggling bill lacks logic, and justice (Toronto Star)
The Conservative governments decision to reintroduce legislation that would crack down on refugee claimants who arrive on Canadas shores by boat is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and will almost certainly be struck down by the courts. In a nutshell, you just cant treat one group of refugee claimants differently than another. Yet that is precisely what the government proposes.–thompson-human-smuggling-bill-lacks-logic-and-justice

Churchgoers offer refugee new life (Regina Leader-Post)
Every year more than 20,000 people come to Canada as refugees, people for whom life in their home country is no longer safe. Many arrive and ask for asylum; others are brought here by the Canadian government for resettlement; and roughly 4,000 of them are sponsored by Canadian citizens. Louisa Taylor spoke to Dave Hall, Margaret Hall, Robyn Osgood and Wilma MacDonald of an Ottawa group that sponsored refugee Molly Kokole and her family when she arrived in Canada from Sudan. Below are excerpts of the story of escape, struggle and starting over

Archdiocese pledges to ensure refugee families will get help they need (Ottawa Citizen)
The Archdiocese of Ottawa has vowed to ensure that refugee families sponsored by Blessed Sacrament Parish will receive the financial help they need. The Citizen has learned that two individuals donated a total of $50,000 last year to assist two refugee families, which have yet to arrive in Canada. That money, although earmarked for the refugees, went into the church’s main bank account and was not set aside in a trust account

Government of Canada announces the reappointment of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada Chairperson (CIC)
Mr. Goodman was first appointed as a member of the IRB on August 7, 2001, and was assigned to the Convention Refugee Determination Division (now known as the Refugee Protection Division) in Toronto. He was reappointed on August 7, 2003. Mr. Goodman was designated Deputy Chairperson of the Immigration Appeal Division on May 8, 2006, and became interim Chairperson of the IRB March 17, 2007. He was designated Chairperson on June 20, 2007.

Canada immigration minister commits to helping refugees (Global Visas)
Canada immigration minister Jason Kenney has renewed his countrys commitment to helping refugees, announcing an increased refugee intake. Kenney announced the number of refugees accepted into Canada will increase by 20 per cent, with a further 2,500 places created. Kenney described Canada as the most welcoming nation in the world in a statement released today.

Once, We Welcomed Tamil Refugees (The Dominion)
In the wake of the Sun Sea’s arrival, the Canadian government has pledged to pass a bill that critics say will punish refugees deemed “illegal,” with measures including a one-year mandatory jail sentence without judicial review. “We see a very different government now,” says David Poopalapillai, spokesperson for the Canadian Tamil Congress. “The compassion is not there.”

Canadian Human Rights Lawyer launches Refugee Week (J-Wire)
Canadian Human Rights lawyer David Matas was the guest speaker at the 2011 Multicultural Week Celebration in Brisbane Matas has represented Bnai Brith at the United Nations and was key activist for the Jewish cause at the ill-fated Durban Conference. J-Wire publishes his address Promoting respect for human rights by protecting refugees


EPISODE ONE: Demographer’s Dilemma (CBC The Current)
The first episode of our summer series examines the work of demographers and what they’re saying about how demographic trends will shape Canada’s future. We’ll hear an excerpt from a documentary called “The Demographer’s Dilemma”.

Not allowed to talk about poverty (Behind the Numbers)
What is irksome is someone from a stats agency, in this case working for the BC government, saying that because the official agencies refuse to define a measure of poverty and release the results, we the public cannot talk about how large poverty is. BC Stats released a similar such piece about a year ago so it clearly is a bee in Mr Schriers statistical bonnet. But really, until you (Statscan, BC Stats or Dan Schrier) develop an official measure of poverty, stop the condescending finger-wagging at people who care about poverty and use LICOs.

Poverty reduction does make a difference (Toronto Star)
In Ontario, child poverty actually fell between 2008 and 2009, inching down from 15.2 per cent to 14.6 per cent. That means 19,000 Ontario children and their families were moved out of poverty, despite very tough times. Granted, the change is small, but its a stark contrast to other provinces that were also hit hard by the recession. In Alberta, for example, child poverty soared by 25 per cent in the same period. Whats the difference?–poverty-reduction-does-make-a-difference

Connecting employment conditions and health inequalities (Wellesley Institute)
As the Parliamentary debate on the back to work legislation for postal workers moves into its 16th hour, it was interesting to come across this blog post from the Inequalities blog on the impact of unions on inequality. It talks about a recently released working paper, from the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health that investigates the impact of higher union density rates on the wages of non-union workers. This research is consistent with the role of unions in a model that was developed for the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health to describe the potential links between employment conditions and health inequalities.

First Nations people now covered under rights act (CLEONet)
First Nations people living on reserves will get the same human rights protections as other Canadians for the first time, following the closing of a 30-year legislative gap.


Newcomers Face Under-Employment Challenges: RBC Poll (Digital Journal)
Almost half (49 per cent) of newcomers who have been in Canada for one year or less feel under-employed, according to a recent RBC poll. Even after six-to-ten years in Canada, a third (32 per cent) of newcomers continue to feel that their current job is at a lower skill level than they had, or would have had, in their country of origin. According to the poll, a majority of newcomers (52 per cent), measure success based on their career, which includes having a good paying job in their field of expertise. Additionally, men (43 per cent) are much more likely than women (28 per cent) to believe that their current job is a step down from what they had, or would have had, in their home country.

Toronto immigrants find it difficult to land jobs (Digital Journal)
Their story isn’t the minority, either. For newcomers to Canada the dream of a good life is often dashed once immigrants land. The lack of employment in professional fields has caused some to tell others in their native lands not to aim for Canada according to a report from the Vancouver Observer. Others understand that it can take years before they will be able to work in their chosen fields.

Immigration issue could force doctor off Coast (Coast Reporter)
That temporary work permit expired in the first week of June this year, but Hughan assumed she would be issued a new permit, as all of her paperwork was filed well within the time limit needed for processing. She also applied for permanent residence, but said that paperwork has been taking a very long time to process, so a new temporary permit was needed. However, two days after her original temporary work permit ran out, she was contacted by Immigration Canada and told she needed updated versions of some paperwork before the new work permit could be processed.


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

A sneak peek at the TCHCs controversial selloffs (Globe and Mail)
When city council voted last week to sell 22 single-family homes owned by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, bringing in an estimated $15.7-million in revenue for the beleaguered agency, it sparked a debate about the future of social housing in the city. But when the properties actually hit the market, likely some time next year, prospective home owners may forget about politics and call up their mortgage brokers. Because these houses arent what or where youd expect them to be.


Taking their first steps (Winnipeg Free Press)
One helps give shoes and boots to needy children, another helps new immigrants, while a third uses boxing to help youth stay on the straight and narrow. But all three do have one thing in common: they are all new to helping people. Two of the organizations — More Than Shoes and the New Immigrant Chai Centre — have only been around for little more than a year while Pan Am Place, a proposed charity arm of the Pan Am Boxing Club, is awaiting the charitable green light from the Canada Revenue Agency.


Launch of first anti-human trafficking online training for service providers in BC (The Nelson Daily)
The Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP) launched a training curriculum aimed at enhancing the ability of first responders and service providers to identify, assist and protect victims of human trafficking in British Columbia. Support for this training initiative is part of the federal governments strategy to combat human trafficking.

Thai victims of human trafficking can stay in Canada (CBC)
Nineteen 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.

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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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