Maytree news headlines – July 13, 2011


This45: Doug Saunders on Maytree Foundation president Ratna Omidvar (This Magazine)
Profiled by The Globe and Mail as this decade’s nation-builder for citizenship, Omidvar now works to ease immigrants’ path to prosperity as president of the Maytree Foundation, a private Canadian charity dedicated to reducing poverty.

DiverseCity Counts – A Snapshot of Diversity in Leadership in Metro Vancouver (Sparc BC)
Diversity in leadership brings a variety of perspectives to discussions affecting the political, economic, and social lives of Canadians. Research suggests that organizations with diversity in their leadership and workforces have competitive advantage over organizations which lack diversity.
This report outlines the number of visible minorities in senior leadership and executive positions in Metro Vancouver in the following sectors: Elected Offices, School Districts, Post-Secondary Institutions, Government Agencies, Non-Profit Organizations, Local Governments, Police Detachments and the Corporate Sector. It also identifies actions to undertake to create more welcoming and inclusive workplaces and governance structures to attract and retain the best talent.

Foreign-Educated Immigrants in Halton – PDF (Community Development Halton)
In 2006, there were about 5,500 foreign-educated immigrants working in the regulated occupations living in Halton Region. Many of them worked outside the region.Engineering is by far the most practiced regulated occupation. It accounts for more than half (60%) of all foreign-educated immigrants working in the regulated occupations. This percentage is higher than the provincial average of 58%. About one in 10 foreign-educated immigrants worked as teachers (11%) or accountants (10%). In the health profession, 4% of the foreign-educated immigrants worked in nursing and 4% in medicine and 2% in pharmacy. There were no foreign-educated immigrants working as chiropractors or optometrists in Halton. Very few worked as a physiotherapist, dietician/nutritionist, occupational therapist or veterinarian.

Match Rates of Foreign-Educated Immigrants by Municipality – PDF (Community Development Halton)
This Community Lens looks at the match rates by regulated occupation in each of the local municipalities. Do match rates for foreign-educated immigrants vary by occupations in various municipalities? Which occupations have higher or lower match rates?

Artists in the GTA: Ryad Assani-Razaki is telling our migration stories (Yonge Street)
Jameson Avenue’s 1960s apartment buildings, packed with new Canadians, are home to many stories on migration. But only one of its residents has won a $20,000 provincial prize for telling these tales. That’s 29-year-old Ryad Assani-Razaki, a native of Benin who settled on Jameson in spring 2008 and whose first book, Deux Cercles, won the Trillium Award for Best Book Published in French in spring 2010. The short stories in Deux Cercles are sensitive portrayals of the frustrations of immigration, and Assani-Razaki’s anticipated first novel Le main d’Iman, due out in September, promises to more deeply explore these themes.

Community Research Symposium 2011 (CERIS)
On May 13th 2011 CERIS hosted its annual Community Research Symposium alongside its community partners: OCASI, Toronto Social Planning, and United Way Toronto. This symposium was geared towards addressing the challenges inherent in evaluating the immigrant serving sector. The need for effective settlement services is at an all time high, with the recent changes in the classes of immigrants settling in Ontario as well as with the rapidly changing funding opportunities for the immigrant serving sector. This symposium was therefore an attempt to put funders and service providers in dialogue on matters of evaluation, performance and accountability.

Minister Kenney launches national consultations on immigration levels and mix (Canada News Centre)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has launched a series of cross-country consultations on immigration issues, beginning today in Calgary. The Minister is meeting with stakeholders and the public to discuss the important issue of immigration levels and mix. Following the Calgary session today, the Minister will meet with stakeholders in Vancouver on July 18, Toronto on July 20 and Montreal on July 22. Online consultations will take place later this summer and will be open to the public.

Jason Kenney seeks stakeholder input on immigration issues (Calgary Herald)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney kicked off a series of national consultations in Calgary on Tuesday, asking shareholders to provide input on issues and programs in hopes of better determining appropriate immigration levels for Canada. “We want people’s views on what is the right mix of our various immigration programs, how do we ensure that immigrants succeed economically, because when immigrants get good jobs, Canada succeeds,” Kenney said. About a dozen attendees from immigrant settlement organizations, employers, industry groups and community associations joined the minister in a private meeting to discuss everything from which programs to focus on, how to ensure skilled workers are selected to fill job shortages, and how to reduce backlogs and maintain reasonable processing times

World financial crisis has led to sharp cut in migration, says OECD (Guardian)
The world financial crisis has led to a decline in migration and a sharp drop in people moving within the EU, according to the west’s leading economic thinktank. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned governments it was wrong to say that migration, both legal and illegal, was “out of control”. But immigrants have been hit hard by unemployment since the economic downturn and governments must address this problem or risk the “stigmatisation” of foreigners and social unrest.

Mainlanders swell Canada immigration backlog (The Standard)
Hongkongers seeking to emigrate to Canada are among a backlog of 28,000 – the majority believed to be mainlanders – who applied here and have been waiting for at least four years. The situation will worsen following new caps on applications by skilled workers worldwide after Canada halved the maximum limit to 10,000 a year from July 1.

Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services gets $495,000 Trillium grant to expand and consolidate (Yonge Street)
A formerly Polish and now universal immigrant assistance agency has received almost $500,000 to expand their Etobicoke offices. The 18-year-old Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services will use the $495,000 Trillium grant to built a third floor on its centre at 3363 Bloor Street West, as well as make it more accessible.

When July 12 was a big part of Canadian life (Troy Media)
These days, when we think of summer parades we think of Gay Pride. But there was a time when English-speaking Canada’s big summer parade was the July 12 Orange Order celebration. And it was one of the major events of the year. Toronto is a case in point. Referring to the late 19th century – when the city’s population was a small fraction of its current size – the historian Brian Clarke has described the post-parade picnic as “by far the largest social event of the year, with as many as 40,000Torontonians in their Sunday finest thronging the pitch and patronizing the refreshment tents.

Secular extremists ignore tradition of diversity (Toronto Star)
All students regardless of their faith must be accorded religious accommodation when requested and when it does not infringe on the rights of others or cause undue hardship. Similarly, students with no faith or with secular and agnostic beliefs should be accorded recognition and appreciation for their values. This can be achieved without succumbing to fear-mongering or the belittling of any single faith community to which the students may belong. This is the Canadian way, after all. The fact that these inquisitions are being conducted in Canada reflects to what depths we have sunk when it comes to fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims.–secular-extremists-ignore-tradition-of-diversity

Be emotionally prepared – Newcomers to Canada offer move-in advice: RBC poll (PR Newswire)
The best advice newcomers to Canada have for anyone looking to follow in their footsteps is to be mentally prepared, including being ready for any sacrifices involved in settling in this country, according to an RBC poll. More than half (58 per cent) say mental preparation is key, with almost a third (30 per cent) noting that sacrifices or tradeoffs may need to be made and 28 per cent saying being positive and patient will help achieve long-term results.—newcomers-to-canada-offer-move-in-advice-rbc-poll-125474133.html


The Paradox of the Refugee (Doug Saunders)
In August of 2010, a rusty and dangerously overcrowded ship departed from Indonesia and made a long passage across the Pacific Ocean to Canadian coastal waters off British Columbia, where it was intercepted by the Canadian Coast Guard. Its passengers, 492 Tamil-speaking people claiming to be Sri Lankan citizens, were processed by immigration authorities under Canadian law before being sent to temporary camps and then allowed to settle while awaiting hearings. They became the subject of immediate nationwide controversy, in part because they posed a classic question of conflict migration: why had they come?

Tamil asylum-seekers may have been headed for Canada (Globe and Mail)
The federal government suspects a ship of more than 80 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum-seekers was bound for Canada until it was apprehended by Indonesian authorities. “I can’t talk about any details in intelligence reports. There are indications that it may have been destined for Canada,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told reporters Tuesday. “… Our intelligence and police agencies are working very hard. They are getting great co-operation from the transit countries, as we’ve seen this week.”

Intercepted Tamil ship was Canada-bound, Kenney says (Toronto Star)
A migrant ship carrying nearly 90 Sri Lankan Tamils that was intercepted in Indonesian waters was heading to Canada, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Tuesday. The MV Alicia remains moored offshore after it was intercepted Saturday by Indonesian marine police. The 87 people on board are reportedly refusing to leave the vessel and have held up signs and flags indicating they want asylum in New Zealand. The migrants told the BBC Tamil service that they are refusing to leave before their safety can be guaranteed. But Kenney said the MV Alicia’s planned destination was Canada.–intercepted-tamil-ship-was-canada-bound-kenney-says

Canadian High Commission and UNHCR recognize World Refugee Day 2011 (Government of Canada)
Around the world some 10 million women, men, boys and girls remain outside their countries of origin, having crossed an international border due to a well-founded fear of persecution. The refugees of concern to UNHCR are global, with more than half in Asia and some 20 percent in Africa. On June 20, 2011, the Canadian High Commission joined the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) in Accra to sponsor a photo exhibit, chronicling the bravery and resilience of asylum seekers living in Ghana.

China’s top fugitive could be sent home (Montreal Gazette)
An Immigration Canada official determined, after four years of deliberation, that Canada does have adequate assurances that Lai – accused of running an extensive $10-billion smuggling operation – would not be tortured or arbitrarily executed in China. A Federal Court judge in Vancouver granted his application for the stay Monday. At a hearing scheduled for July 21, lawyer David Matas said he will argue that assurances Canada has secured from the Chinese government are inadequate and Lai should be allowed to remain in Canada.

Backlog will remain with new refugee system (Embassy Magazine – subscription required for full article)
By the time Canada’s reformed refugee legislation kicks in next year, tens of thousands of refugee claimants will still be waiting for a hearing—and the Immigration and Refugee Board says it won’t have the resources to deal with these leftover files.


Hamilton releases report on “Poverty, Racism and the Impact on Health” (Settlement AtWork)
The Inner City Health Strategy Working Group of Hamilton has released its summary report of the groundbreaking Inner City Health Strategy Policy Summit: Poverty, Racism and the Impact on Health. The Inner City Health Strategy Working Group is a collaborative partnership developed under the auspices of Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre. It is based on the premise that through the combined thinking, energy and efforts of a focused group a more ambitious vision of what must be done to address health disparities in the inner city will emerge. The Strategy posits that poverty, racism and the racialization of poverty are key co-determinants of health and their relationship is one of cause and effect.

Social housing should be spread around (Edmonton Journal)
The City of Edmonton will be bringing forward a social-housing policy shortly and it should be one that gives both clients and communities greater optimism. Experts across North America have repeatedly stated that in concentrating poverty, we are simply creating one-dimensional communities of poverty in perpetuity -or ghettos. American social scientists should know, because they and politicians helped create the “projects” in the late 1940s. Just as urban sprawl was taking hold, they attempted to house everyone, irrespective of poverty or mental health issues, in concentrated city-centre areas, further facilitating the sprawl effect. The net result was the infamous doughnut hole throughout big-city America, creating inter-generational poverty and crime.

Census decision a slow-motion train wreck (Globe and Mail)
The census story is a train wreck in slow motion; the latest car to pile on the flaming ruins is the recent report that Statistics Canada has resigned itself to accepting incomplete responses to the National Household Survey (NHS). Many readers may have thought that the census issue was settled last summer; it wasn’t. We haven’t even begun to deal with the consequences of the decision to replace the mandatory long-form census with the voluntary NHS. As Economy Lab contributor Kevin Milligan and his UBC colleague David Green note in Canadian Public Policy, one of the most striking features of the census is its ‘hidden ubiquity’. The census is an invisible — and yet essential — element of virtually all the data that inform policy debates.


Video debate: Does Canada have enough skilled workers? (Globe and Mail)
In the third of four video debates moderated by James Milway, executive director of the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity, two economists face off. Watch Armine Yalnizyan, senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and Mike Moffatt, an economist, consultant and lecturer in the Business, Economics and Public Policy group at the Richard Ivey School of Business, go head to head over the future of manufacturing in Canada.

New in-home rules coming (
If someone hires you to work in their house, as a domestic worker, in New Brunswick, you are not an employee and your employer is not an employer. What you are is vulnerable. But there may be hope. New Brunswick’s Employment Standards Act says that the definition of an employer does not include a person who hires someone directly to work in their home. Therefore, domestic workers — caregivers, nannies, housekeepers — who are hired this way, are not protected by any employment laws in this province. They work with no protection regarding maximum number of hours worked, minimum wage, or days off.


Tuesday’s Headines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Hall – Budget Cuts, Transportation – TTC & Cycling, Development and Other News.

Toronto ranked 12th most innovative city in the world (Yonge Street)
Toronto is the 12th most innovative city in the world (and the most innovative city in Canada), according to a list compiled by Melbourne-based city-ranking agency, 2thinknow. Over 1,540 cities were analyzed and compared based on factors of health, wealth, population, and geography.

What Chicago can learn from Toronto and its Luminato arts festival (Yonge Street)
The Chicago Tribune writes on the lessons big cities can learn from Luminato, Toronto’s week-long festival of arts, culture and ideas. The festival, the largest multi-arts festival in North America, is lauded for its unique programming and its ability to promote Toronto culture on the international stage.

Ford not ruling out layoffs if buyout insufficient (Globe and Mail)
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says the city has “thousands” too many employees and is not ruling out layoffs if a staff buyout package fails to eliminate enough jobs. “We have too many employees down at City Hall,” the mayor told reporters Tuesday. “We have to find ways of giving them packages to move on or entice them to move on. We just can’t carry 53,000 employees any more.”

Rob Ford votes against community grant programs (blogTO)
Although the real fireworks at today’s City Council meeting are expected to take place when it comes time to debate the removal of the Jarvis bike lanes, here’s a little tidbit from the morning that’s worthy of note. Mayor Rob Ford voted against each and every community grant program today.

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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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