Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 22, 2011


Remembering Tom Kent – a Giant of Canadian Social Policy (Alan Broadbent, Maytree)
On November 15, Tom Kent died at the age of 89 in Kingston, Ontario. Tom was a giant of Canadian social policy for a half century, and a principal architect of some of the most important and transformational policy initiatives in history. Tom Kent’s work was of particular importance to our work at Maytree. In addition to being an exemplar of policy development and implementation, with outstanding achievements in health care and social policy, Tom played a strong role in immigration policy. Under his direction, the Points System was developed which transformed the face of Canada. By selecting immigrants on their human capital rather than their place of birth, newcomers arrived with higher educational, language, employment and skills capability, enabling them to contribute to the building of Canada more ably. And as an added benefit, it made our immigration process colour blind, leading to the rich diversity which is now such a great strength of our country.

Who Votes Matters (DiverseCity Toronto)
For several years, advocates have been calling for a local vote for permanent residents at the municipal level in Toronto. In any given City of Toronto election, for example, 200,000 permanent residents are excluded. These city residents, having attained permanent residency status, have long planned to make Canada their home, and indeed, within ten years, close to 90% of them will be Canadian citizens. Efforts to expand municipal voting rights have new life now that a legal front has been opened by Scott Bernstein, a U.S. born lawyer claiming that the section of the Vancouver City Charter that bars non-citizens from voting is unconstitutional. As Bernstein and Ontario advocates argue, they are excluded from having a political voice with the order of government that provides direct service to them and their families.

Bridging the gap: diversity in municipal politics and beyond (Fiona O’Connor, Samara Canada)
In a recent post on the Samara blog we highlighted the point made by public affairs consultant Robin Sears that riding associations offer a key point of entry for citizens to not only get involved in the political process, but to ultimately exercise power within it. Speaking as a panellist at the DiverseCity Post-Election Update, held Tuesday November 8th, Sears acknowledged that while several “push” factors work to facilitate citizens’ engagement in politics, there is a host of “pull” factors that simultaneously deter everyday Canadians from making the leap into political life. “The challenge for parties is to convey to those skeptical of politics that [political leadership] is an honourable profession in Canada,” he said. Perceptions about politics, however, only represent part of the problem, according to a new study conducted by Ryerson University’s Myer Siemiatycki on behalf of DiverseCity’s Greater Toronto Leadership Project.

Warning sounds about crime bill’s sweeping implications for foreign workers (Kim Mackrael, Globe and Mail)
The Tory crime bill will hand the Immigration Minister a mandate to reject visas for foreign workers considered vulnerable, which immigration lawyers say could add moral and political ambiguity to decisions on who is allowed into the country. The Conservatives first introduced the legislation in 2007 in a bid to keep strippers out of temporary work programs, and say it could apply to any foreign worker who might be subjected to humiliating or degrading treatment in Canada.

Prairies increasingly attractive for newcomers to Canada (Amy Chung, Postmedia News)
More immigrants are flocking to the prairies and turning their backs on Ontario — a traditional hub for newcomers to Canada — according to new statistics. Figures released by Citizenship and Immigration Canada earlier this month reveal that the province experienced a drop in new settlers to 118,114 in 2010 from 148,640 immigrants in 2001. Toronto, a traditional immigration magnet, saw 92,185 new immigrants in 2010, down from 125,169 in 200

Video: Diverse City Council (Sandy Hall, CFJC Kamploop’s TV)
Kamloops’ newest city council will be sworn in December 5th In all, council will have four new faces on board, and a Mayor that barely got re-elected to a second term. As Raffelina Sirianni reports the age of the new council members spans five decades, making it one of the most diverse in years.

Kenney lauds provinces’ immigration success (Louise Elliot, CBC)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says he has no plans to scrap the backlogged federal skilled worker program despite numbers that show a provincial program has been more successful in settling immigrants more evenly across Canada. Kenney was commenting on statistics from his department that show the federal government’s expansion of the Provincial Nominee program has been wildly successful at moving immigrants out of the Toronto-Montreal-Vancouver corridor.

Canada: Muslim Youth to Host Largest Blood Donor Clinic (Ahmadiyya Times)
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association in partnership with the Canadian Blood Services will hold the largest single blood donation clinic in Canada on Saturday, November 26th, 2011. A volunteer from Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association chats with the Nurse, during a blood donation campaign held at Baitul Islam Mosque, Maple , Canada. This clinic – the youth group’s 9th – will be held at the community’s newest facility, Tahir Hall, located at 10610 Jane Street, Maple, ON from 9:30am to 4pm. Targeting 225 units of blood, the youth group will be looking to improve on its previous best of 130 units of blood.

Steward: Mixed marriages are on the rise in the West (Gillian Steward, Toronto Star)
As the immigrant population swells, these questions become more and more urgent. We need no more evidence than the ongoing trial in Kingston in which a mother and father and their son are accused of killing four other female family members allegedly because of their association with young men outside their ethnic community. But while these sorts of murders (wrongly referred to as honour killings because there is no honour involved at all, they are all about control and revenge) get lots of media attention, as they should, it’s clear that there is a strong trend in the other direction. An increasing number of children of immigrants are marrying outside their ethnic communities, particularly in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, and even more are expected to do so in the future.–steward-mixed-marriages-are-on-the-rise-in-the-west

Does Canada Have The Answer To Europe’s Multicultural Problems? (Kenan Malik, Pandaemonium)
For someone like me, a European in favour of mass immigration but critical of multiculturalism, the Trudeau Foundation conference on ‘The Making of Citizens’ that took place last week in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was both intriguing and fascinating. The Foundation was set up in 2001 in memory of former Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, a key architect of Canada’s multicultural policy. Its aim is to promote and fund research in the humanities and social sciences and, while not attached to any political party, the Foundation’s work is indelibly stamped with the liberal humanitarianism that many see as Trudeau’s principal political legacy and which, in many ways, has come to shape Canada’s self-definition. Multiculturalism, in this sense, is to Canada as the welfare state is to Britain.

The Muslim Next Door (CBC Metro Morning)
“Me, the Muslim Next Door,” is a new online documentary created by Oussayma Canbarieh, that reflects the lives of young muslims in Toronto and Montreal.

Women not well represented on corporate boards: Study (Canadian HR Reporter)
While 73 per cent of corporate board members feel their boards are diverse, the reality is that women are significantly less likely than men to serve on corporate boards, according to the Canadian Board Diversity Council’s (CBDC) 2011 report card. “Directors whose boards have re-defined diversity believe they make better board decisions as a result of this diversity,” said Pamela Jeffery, founder of CBDC. “That’s because important, diverse perspectives on customers, international markets and stakeholders that were once missing are now being represented. This helps avoid groupthink and leads to better discussion and an improved ability for directors to carry out their director responsibilities and increase shareholder value.”

Deteriorating Health (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Dr. David McKeown and Axelle Janczur. Their report, “The Global City: Newcomer Health in Toronto” , is on the agenda at today’s Board of Health meeting.

Name Discrimination (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about why some people change their name , with Cheryl May. She is the executive director of Skills for Change, and with Farnaz Esfahanian, she is also with Skills for Change. The agency works with immigrants to help them qualify for programs that will help them transition into Toronto’s workforce.

The City Of Toronto’s Kaliphate Kabbie Kollege Of Islamic Knowledge (Blazing Cat Fur)
I was given a tip by a Toronto cab driver, an Asian man, and a Christian, who emigrated to Canada in order to escape Muslim persecution. He was a graduate of the City of Toronto’s Taxi College, which is located at 1530 Markham Rd. In Scarborough. He asked me to check out the prayer room. As the video illustrates a multi-faith prayer room run by the City of Toronto has been taken over entirely by a single religion – Islam. There are no other symbols belonging to any other religion in that room. This is in city whose motto is “Diversity is our strength” and whose code of conduct preaches about creating “inclusive” and “respectful” environments.


Pre-Occupy Post-Occupy (Al Etmanski)
What interests me the most about the Occupy movements is their attention to doing democracy differently. No one is in charge. All voices are welcome. Decision making is patient. Everyone is engaged. Everyone is responsible. Everyone is capable. This move to participatory democracy started before Occupy, was lifted by Occupy and will continue whether Occupy does or not. Sure it’s not perfect – there will be mistakes and diversions. I’m grateful my own miscues of youthful protest exuberance weren’t magnified in a media spotlight.

Occupy challenges all of us (Peggy Taillon, The Ottawa Citizen)
Before we dismiss it, let’s dig into the conditions that have led to this unprecedented movement. Occupy is about all of us, its about the fact that we have become a have-have not society, this is the new global pandemic, and our governments are not ramping up their crisis response systems. This is about the reality that prosperity and opportunity will soon be out of reach for our eroding middle class. This is about people; people and their economic structures not meeting their needs; people and their governments not understanding their needs; and people bumping into systems not designed to meet their needs. This is politics over policy reaping havoc with our future.

Goldstein: Occupy failure or success? (Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun)
With the Occupy Wall St. camps now being removed from many cities, including Toronto, it’s a good time to ask whether the protest was a success. The answer is yes, although the Occupiers hurt their cause in Toronto (and elsewhere) by their disregard for anyone else’s rights but their own in St. James Park and their unwise alliances with Big Labour and discredited radical groups like the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.

Community meeting Dec. 5 to explain registered disability savings plan (Kennedy Gordon, Peterborough Examiner)
When the federal government introduced the registered disability savings plan (RDSP) three years ago, it was expected that 500,000 Canadians would take advantage of a program that could help ease their financial pressures. “But the number is closer to 50,000,” said Teresa Daw, director of the Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network. “And the question is why.”

Occupy moves us into a new era (Linda McQuaig, Toronto Star)
When thousands of Egyptian protesters took over Tahrir Square in events widely celebrated as the Arab Spring, I don’t recall anyone being concerned that they were violating local bylaws. Of course, Egypt was a dictatorship and the only way to protest the lack of democracy was by breaking laws. Canada isn’t a dictatorship, and so protesters — like the group now ordered evicted from St. James Park — don’t have the same clear moral licence to ignore bylaws that their Egyptian counterparts had. Critics argue that the Toronto Occupiers have made their point; if they want to take it further, they should join a political party — attend all-candidates meetings, put up lawn signs, eat hot dogs at summer barbecues, become backroom operatives. Of course, Occupiers should join political parties and try to change them. But part of the Occupiers’ point is that democracy has become a hollow shell.–mcquaig-occupy-moves-us-into-a-new-era

Bardell paints a brighter future for inner-city children (Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun)
Bardell has bitter memories of being bullied and mistreated as a young refugee in Sweden before the family was accepted for resettlement in Canada. “We were placed in areas where there was little empathy for refugees,” she recalled. “The local people had not been exposed to different cultures. We couldn’t speak their language. Swedish children were forbidden to play with us, so I turned to art as a way to deal with it.” On reaching Vancouver in 1952 she went to Seymour elementary on Keefer Street. She was 13 years old and placed in a class with children two years younger. However, empathy was not in short supply.

Canada Income Inequality: How A Growing Earnings Gap Is Raising Home Prices For All Of Us (Rachel Mendleson, Huffington Post)
When it comes to the eye-popping housing boom that has seen house prices in Canada more than double in just 10 years, there are a few common explanations. Despite sluggish wages, bulls and bears alike generally cite some combination of easy credit, tight supply and, until recently, a relatively strong economy for opening the floodgates to an unprecedented housing binge, ratcheting up house values — and mortgage debt. But there is evidence to suggest that income inequality — a trend that has been widening the gulf between Canada’s very rich and everyone else for the last three decades — may also be part of the equation.

No Room for Debate (Anne White, The Mark)
Ever wonder who all those “experts” quoted in the news are? They, and the organizations or “think tanks” they work for, make up the knowledge-production industry in Canada. They influence our beliefs and help frame our understanding of our country – how it is, or should be, governed. The most sophisticated among them are savvy in their outreach activities and regularly make headlines in newspapers and talk shows. Journalists use them regularly as the centrepiece for “news” articles, and rarely question their evidence base. Furthermore, politicians use them to justify their positions. But who are these “experts,” and what do we understand about what they do?

“Have To Work Together” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with three rookie MPPs, PC Jane McKenna, Jagmeet Singh is with the NDP, and from the Liberal party, Soo Wong.


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

Toronto youth inspired by visit to Parliament Hill (Joanna Smith, Toronto Star)
Ramanio Palmer peers out the window of the observation deck at the top of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill and marvels at the majestic masonry of the buildings below. “I’ll come to Ottawa and work for the government,” the 17-year-old visiting from Toronto’s Jane St. and Finch Ave. W. neighbourhood says quietly before chuckling. “Irie. I see it.” He is a long way from the stress at home, where he sometimes feels helpless as friends choose paths far away from the dream just inspired at the window.–toronto-youth-inspired-by-visit-to-parliament-hill

More Riders, Less Service (Steve Munro)
TTC ridership numbers for September 2011 are up 5.1% over 2010, a level 2.4% above the budget projection. Under normal circumstances, this would be cause for celebration, but not in Rob Ford’s Toronto. Here we cut service even when riding goes up, all in the name of wrestling with a fictitiously inflated City deficit.

Citizens rally against shortened library hours (Patrick White, Globe and Mail)
Facing demands from Mayor Rob Ford to cut 10 per cent from its budget, Toronto Library board members met late into the night with dozens of residents rallying against cuts to branch hours. Thirty residents signed up to speak on the issue, with just one expressing support for compressed hours at some of the city’s 98 branches as a way of saving the $7.3-million needed to meet the mayor’s request.

Improving Our Parks (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Dave Harvey, Executive Director of Toronto Park People. The group has just released the first of several reports designed to improve city parks. The report is called “Pathway to Parks – November 2011 – A New Way Forward for Toronto’s Parks.”


Once upon a time, there were Five Good Ideas… (Tina Edan, Maytree)
Let me tell you a story we’re excited about. Maytree just published the book: Five Good Ideas: Practical Strategies for Non Profit Success. It has been eight years in the making. Here’s an inside look at our listening strategy…

Setting a course for innovation success (Tom Jenkins, Globe and Mail)
Business innovation is the ultimate source of any country’s long-term economic competitiveness and quality of life. Sadly, studies have repeatedly documented that business innovation in Canada lags behind other highly developed countries. To ensure success and prosperity in the decades ahead, Canada must become an innovation leader. With this in mind, the federal government last year appointed our panel to prepare a review of federal support to research and development. The charge was to provide advice about the effectiveness of federal programs to support business and commercially oriented R&D, the appropriateness of the current mix and design of these programs, as well as possible gaps in the current suite of programs and what might be done to fill them.

The following two tabs change content below.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

RT @RWW: The Internet Will Get a Peer Review Layer Next Year RT @tillzen: Oakland Pepper Spray Cops is...