Maytree news headlines – June 9, 2011


Perspectives: “The idea of someone of my genre, my culture, my background leading a large symphonic group…. Maybe our community needs to see more of that so that they can appreciate that there is talents in all different colours, shapes, sizes.…” (DiverseCity blog)
As the Founder and Artistic Director of the Toronto Youth Orchestra, a widely recognized musical group will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Colin shares his story of how he has been able to challenge preconceptions and bring his unique experiences and strengths to the table.

School gateway to attracting skilled immigrants (The Guardian)
Institutions such as UPEI and Holland College could be doing more to lure and retain skilled immigrants, says one of Canada’s foremost speakers on immigratin policy. Naomi Alboim was the keynote speaker at a Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday to launch the P.E.I. Connectors Program — Connecting New Islanders with the Business Community. Alboim said Canada has been doing a good job of attracting immigrants for years now but there are some concerns about how those immigrants are doing once they arrive, particularly skilled immigrants.

New report shows that diversity is lacking within leadership teams of Canadian Law Firms (Promoting Diversity and Equality within the Recruitment Industry)
Lawyers and judges are influential decision makers who shape the laws and the administration of justice,” explains Wendy Cukier, the lead author and founder of the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University. “Lawyers lead in other areas too, such as in elected office – in fact, 73 per cent of Canadian Prime Ministers have also been practising lawyers. They are also at the forefront of advocacy and social change. Representation in this sector is critical to a democratic society.”

Peel CAS recognized as leader in diversity (Caledon Citizen)
DiverseCity on Board recently recognized Peel’s Children’s Aid with a Diversity in Governance Award. The award was for changing the face of leadership at the board level by creating and maintaining an inclusive board of governance. The agency has embraced diversity in board and makes it a priority to recruit members from diverse backgrounds.

One hundred years of healing at Women’s College Hospital (Globe and Mail)
In searching through the hospital archives, she found that women of visible minorities appear to have been left out of the school’s yearbooks – even when some were clearly in class photographs taken in the same year. She found just four Asian women among the yearbook photographs. Ms. Levitt said the hospital archivist told her the yearbooks were likely student-produced, which could help explain the anomaly. “It’s cliquey, so maybe some women were not part of the student body in the same way [as others] due to racism,” Ms. Levitt said.

Immigrant students gain significant ground in literacy tests (Waterloo Record)
There has been a huge improvement in the literacy levels of high school students who have immigrated to Canada and are still learning English, provincewide figures released Wednesday show. About 68 per cent of so-called “English-language learners” passed the Ontario Grade 10 literacy test this year, up 16 percentage points from the 52 per cent who passed it four years ago. “What a great increase,” said Marie Parsons, chief assessment officer for the province’s Education Quality and Accountability Office, which administers the Ontariowide tests in Grade 3, 6, 9 and 10.–immigrant-students-gain-significant-ground-in-literacy-tests

The Imagined Politics of Sunblock (renee sylvestre-williams)
The third reason, and I’m not proud to admit this, is that I don’t want to get any darker. I’ve never consciously thought of this, but I’ve realized I’ve absorbed some colonialist (post-colonial?) thinking while growing up in Trinidad. I once tried to explain to a friend that it’s not just black/white/indian/etc. It’s the shades of colour that matter as well. The lighter you were, the better jobs you could get or the better social connections – ie. marriage – you could make. Of course, money and class played a role, but the shade of brown helped as well.

Immigrant integration a priority for new MP (My Town Crier)
With 61 percent of Don Valley East’s population composed of immigrants, the recognition of foreign credentials was a frequent concern among residents. Daniel, originally from Tanzania, sees himself in an ideal position to help immigrants integrate into Canada. “Just the fact that I am a new Canadian and I have been through all these processes, of getting my qualifications recognized, putting a resume together and finding appropriate jobs,” he said. “I know what they’re going through.”

A civil society free of hate needs nurturing (Vancouver Sun)
It’s difficult to comprehend the alarming increase in hate crimes in Canada reported by Statistics Canada this week. The number of policereported incidents soared 42 per cent in 2009 on top of a 35-per-cent jump in 2008. Of the 1,473 incidents substantiated by police as hate crimes -that is, criminal offences motivated by hate towards an identifiable group -283, roughly 19 per cent, targeted the Jewish community, an increase of 71 per cent from a year earlier. There are more offences against Jews than any other group, including blacks (272) and homosexuals (175). The number of hate crimes targeting Muslims was up nine per cent to 36. StatsCan said about seven in 10 religiously motivated hate crimes targeted Jews, an astounding figure considering only 315,120 Canadians identified their cultural or ethnic origin as Jewish in the 2006 census. That’s 0.9 per cent of Canada’s population. Of the top 25 ethnic groups in Canada, Jews are 25th.

‘Knee-jerk’ labelling is wrong (Burnaby Now)
Crowe was responding to recent media commentary, focusing on the cultural background of parents opposed to the draft policy and charging that this was a case of Asian and Muslim immigrants importing their intolerant views to Canada. “You can’t simply say it’s those immigrants with their close-minded views bringing them here to Canada. It’s a lot more complicated than that,” he said. “This whole thing is being oversimplified.” Canada has a fairly long track record, of close-minded, intolerant views, he added.

Hate crime reports up in Windsor (Yahoo! News)
In Windsor, 10 alleged hate crime incidents were reported to police in 2009. Five alleged incidents were reported in 2008. More recently, police are investigating after racist graffiti was found on a bathroom wall of Walkerville high school earlier this year. And last year, Chris Rabideau, a gay Windsor man, was attacked and robbed by two assailants who he said used homophobic slurs against him. The two accused were not charged with hate crimes. Windsor police Deputy Chief Jerome Brannagan said the Statistics Canada numbers reflect investigations, not charges.

Conference looks at Francophonie (Times and Transcript)
“The Dieppe-Moncton ministerial conference will give ministers an opportunity to consider the make-up of Canada’s francophone diversity and to discuss steps to be taken to reflect this diversity in the provision of government services in French,” said Paul Robichaud, deputy premier and economic development minister and minister responsible for the Francophonie in New Brunswick.

Minister blames family’s plight on provinces (Telegraph Journal)
Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says it’s the provinces, not Ottawa, that decide whether the health problems of a potential immigrant would place too great a strain on the public purse.

Family faces deportation over son’s autism (Toronto Star)
The Maengs’ story has touched a nerve in New Brunswick. Local newspapers are filled with angry letters to the editor, while members of the provincial legislature have written the family vowing to support them if the government grants them status.–family-faces-deportation-over-son-s-autism

Exploring the Settlement Experiences and Information Practices of Afghan Newcomer Youth in Toronto – PDF (Canadian Association for Information Science)
This ethnographic study examines the settlement experiences and information practices of recently arrived Afghan immigrant and refugee youth in Canada.

Minister Kenney issues statement expressing concern about the increase in number of hate crimes reported in Canada in 2009 (CIC)
“The number of hate crimes reported by Canadian police increased 42 percent between 2008 and 2009. There were increases in all three main categories of hate crimes – those motivated by race, religion and sexual orientation. The greatest increase was in incidents based on religion. They rose by 55 percent, including increases in hate crimes against Catholics, Muslims and Jews. The number of incidents against Jews rose 71 percent between 2008 and 2009.

Suburban exclusive with Kathleen Weil (The Suburban)
As Justice Minister, NDG MNA Kathleen Weil introduced one of the most sweeping and sorely needed consumer protection reform package that Quebec has seen in a very long time. Now, as Immigration Minister, she is shepherding through another much needed reform — immigration levels. And she is doing it with the same concern for the vulnerable that was in evidence in her prior work.

The Co-operators Group Tops Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada list for 2011 (Environmental Communication Options)
The Best Corporate Citizen for 2011 was The Co-operators Group Limited, a Canadian-owned, multi-product insurance and financial services organization with more than $42.4 billion in assets under administration. With strong board diversity, board oversight (with a dedicated sustainability committee) relatively low resource use, an embedded sustainability mandate, and a deep integration of sustainability and climate resilience into its suite of insurance products, The Co-operators Group earned the honour of the top corporate citizen in Canada.

Three execs honoured for championship of women’s advancement (Canadian HR Reporter)
Three executives have been honoured for their championship of women’s advancement in Canadian business by Catalyst Canada, a non-profit membership organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for women and business. Monique Leroux, chair of the board, president and CEO of Desjardins Group, Jennifer Tory, regional president of greater Toronto at RBC, and Michael Bach, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at KPMG were recognized for their demonstrated commitment, passion and results.

Play sheds light on immigrant’s struggles (Prairie Post)
A Fijian playwright takes audiences Under the Mango Tree with a semi-autobiographical tale about a father and daughter’s story of immigration. “He announces to her one day that he is going to Canada to find a better life for them, so he leaves he behind with her grandparents,” said Veenesh Dubois, writer and actor.

Hey Canada, Multiculturalism Failed (One Man’s Throne)
To present ourselves as a nation of tolerance, our political figures have strived to remind us and the rest of the world in their involvement towards many important social movements such as the Underground Railroad, and the legalization of gay and lesbian marriages. We have also gone so far as to place a legislature within our constitution that protects the religious and cultural practices of immigrants. The Multicultural act was created in an effort to protect the mosaic multicultural society Canada had become (Thanks Pierre! Not working as it was supposed too!). Because we have done all these things, many foreigners view Canada as multicultural utopia where there is no racism and all live in peace. This, however, is far from the truth…and we know it.

Proposed CBRM policy aims to advance diversity in workplace (Cape Breton Post)
The first proposed employment equity policy for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality will be used as a tool to advance “diversity and competence” in its workforce, while attempting to figure out why more visible minorities don’t apply for jobs with the municipality.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas – Convention for the Indian Diaspora in North America & the Caribbean (PBD Canada)
The 2011 Regional PBD will be held in Toronto on June 9 and 10th. Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce is the nodal agency for the event. The theme is Building Bridges: Positioning Strategy of the Indian Diaspora. Indian Diaspora members in Canada, USA, Mexico and the Caribbean countries are expected to attend the PBD­Canada 2011 convention in large numbers. We are also expecting participation by the provincial governments and from Canadian mainstream organizations.

“Ties to India” 2 (CBC Metro Morning)
This morning, the CBC’s Mary Wiens asks businessman Pradeep Sood what the word, jugaad means when it comes to doing business.

Opportunities For Women (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with the Royal Bank’s Regional President for the GTA, Jennifer Tory. She is one of the recipients of this year’s Catalyst Canada Honours for work in promoting women’s advancement in business.


Winnipeg family thanks church for saving them from deportation
In 2006, a federal court judge ruled that the family’s refugee claim that they’d face persecution and sectarian violence in Pakistan because of their mixed Sunni-Shia Muslim marriage was “not credible.” They’d lived and worked in Canada for several years and the children were thriving and doing well in school. Refugee advocate Janine Legal heard about the family’s situation and took them to the church to ask for sanctuary.

‘We’re finally free’: Family granted residency after living in Winnipeg church (Winnipeg Free Press)
The couple and their six children lived in the church basement for 18 months before they were granted temporary residency in 2008. To apply for permanent residency paperwork, on June 1 they crossed the Canada-U.S. border and doubled back to Manitoba, where border officials processed their application and granted them permission to stay in the country permanently. “It was a nerve-wracking feeling,” said Rabab Hassan, 17, the couple’s eldest child. “My parents … were so nervous. Would the Canadian government let them in? They were pretty nervous about that. I kept having to say everything is going to be OK.”


Why Have Poorer Neighbourhoods Stagnated Economically while the Richer Have Flourished? Neighbourhood Income Inequality in Canadian Cities (Neighbourhood Change)
Higher-income neighbourhoods in Canada’s eight largest cities flourished economically during the past quarter-century, while lower-income communities stagnated. This paper identifies some of the underlying processes that led to this outcome. Increasing family income inequality drove much of the rise in neighbourhood inequality. Increased spatial economic segregation, the increasing tendency of ‘like to live nearby like’, also played a role. It is shown that these changes originated in the labour market. Changes in investment, pension income and government transfers played a very minor role. Yet it was not unemployment that differentiated the richer from poorer neighbourhoods. Rather, it was the type of job found, particularly the annual earnings generated. The end result has been little improvement in economic resources in poor neighbourhoods during a period of substantial economic growth, and a rise in neighbourhood income inequality.

SOUNDBITES e-Bulletin June 8, 2011 (Social Planning Toronto)
This issue:
1. Social Planning Toronto and the Toronto Working Group on Poverty Present: Thinking Locally, Acting Provincially
2. The Commitment to Community Campaign Presents: An Action-Oriented Organizing Meeting
3. Registration is Now Open for Social Planning Toronto’s June Research & Policy Forum
4. Roma Students in the TDSB: Challenges and Opportunities
5. Community Engagement in the 2011 Federal Election
6. Tracing Root Causes of Poverty
7. Partner News & Events (this is now featured in the right column)
8. Worth Repeating: Toronto’s Budget Survey Deeply Flawed

Let’s get serious about community-based education (Canadian Education Association)
It does not take much persuasion to grasp that engaging high school students in the everyday activities of the community is terribly important to their maturation. A list of reasons pours out of my fingertips.

Begging ban may face challenge (London Free Press)
London’s mayor should tread carefully with any plan to outlaw panhandling on city streets, one anti-poverty activist warns. Following reports Joe Fontana wants a bylaw against sidewalk panhandlers, the head of Canada Without Poverty says any such ban likely wouldn’t survive a legal challenge.

Faithful put poverty on fall election agenda (Toronto Star)
A coalition of faith-based social justice advocates representing more than 1 million Ontarians wants to make poverty a key issue in next fall’s provincial election. “In previous elections we have waited in vain for the public debate around poverty and social policy issues,” said United Church Minister Susan Eagle, chair of the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition.–faithful-put-poverty-on-fall-election-agenda


Carranza LLP advocates on behalf of migrant live-in caregivers seeking to enforce their employment standards rights (Carranza)
We at Carranza came to this area of law to enhance our personal injury work: some of our injured clients are temporary workers, refugees, or otherwise do not yet have permanent residence status in Canada and require assistance from immigration professionals with an understanding of their unique situations. Our highly experienced, skilled immigration consultants do not limit themselves to assisting our injured clients, but, as part of our commitment to social justice, we also coordinate with community organizations such as No One is Illegal and the Workers Action Centre on specific cases that highlight public policy problems.

Minimum wage buying power varies a lot, but it’s inching up (The Vancouver Sun)
The purchasing power of B.C.’s minimum wage over nearly half a century has been all over the map, from a high of nearly 130 per cent of the low income cutoff level for a single person in the mid-1970s to a low of barely 70 per cent in the mid-1980s. In adjusted dollar terms, it has ranged from a little over $6 an hour to almost $12. But, “Contrary to conventional wisdom of the day, minimum wages in Canada were not on a steady decline,” says an analysis by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy that I came across while trolling the Internet.

Canadian CEOs more likely to eye older workers as potential recruits (MuchMor Magazine)
Canadian CEOs differ from their global counterparts on their focus on tapping into the supply of older workers approaching retirement age. In fact, a new PwC report found 60% of Canadian CEOs plan to increasingly recruit and retain older employees, compared to just 42% globally. This focus on older workers is in part explained by the challenges with hiring and keeping people under thirty. The majority of Canadian CEOs (75%) expect challenges in recruiting and integrating younger workers into their business, compared to just 54% of their global counterparts. Despite this, less than 40% are planning to change their people strategies to incentivize younger workers differently from others.


Wednesday’s Headines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Finances, Waterfront, Transit, Construction and Other News.

Vote Ontario 2011 – Framework for a Stronger Toronto Region (Toronto Board of Trade)
This election is our chance to unleash our economic potential and VoteOntario2011 is our campaign to make it happen. This framework is our starting point for the debate Ontarians need to have as we choose our next government. In the months to come, we will explore the paths to renewed economic growth, publishing discussion papers and igniting conversations.

“Have To Look Beyond” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with the President of the Toronto Board of Trade, Carol Wilding, about its Jobs and Economic Development report, published today.

Citizens receive recognition (
Mayor Hazel McCallion and City councillors presented certificates — and gave their thanks — to more than 100 individuals who give their time to public causes.–citizens-receive-recognition


Innovating to protect seniors – the Social Impact Bond (
Fall prevention is not an issue that gains a great deal of attention, largely because small falls – which could be symptoms of more serious problems and thus precursors to large falls- are often not taken as seriously as they should be. While fall prevention programs have been instituted by many hospitals and other healthcare facilities around the country, there is still a need for giving prevention greater priority. Generally, funding preventive care is considered risky because it is often difficult to identify and measure outcomes. Should preventive investment in seniors falls be considered risky? One social finance tool gaining popularity is the Social Impact Bond (SIB), which are financial instruments that raise private capital for social outcomes.


Slavery alleged (The Province)
A man and woman are facing charges after a woman from Hong Kong was brought to Canada in 2008 and allegedly forced into a life of domestic servitude in Vancouver.

East Vancouver couple accused of domestic slavery (The Vancouver Sun)
Vancouver police investigated and found the woman was being exploited after she was brought to Vancouver from Hong Kong by the couple in 2008. “The woman was forced into domestic services and was working 24 hours a day, allegedly seven days a week, caring for the family,” Vancouver police Const. Jana McGuinness said Wednesday.

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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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