Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 13, 2012


DiverseCity documents benefits of diversity in nonprofit sector (Yonge Street)
A report released last Wednesday by Toronto’s DiverseCity Counts project documents the positive contribution diversity makes to nonprofit boards. The report, Leadership Diversity in the Nonprofit Sector: Baby Steps, Big Strides and Bold Stances, analyzes the results of three surveys distributed to more than 420 nonprofits in the GTA.

June 20: Maytree Event to Explain Recent Changes to Immigration and Refugee System (Maytree)
Recent changes to the immigration and refugee program are fast, furious — and confusing. The federal government has made a number of policy announcements which are changing the way newcomers are selected and welcomed to the country. What do the changes mean for newcomers to Canada? For people working in the settlement sector? What can we expect the impact to be on the economy and society more generally? Join Naomi Alboim, Senior Fellow at Maytree and Professor at Queens University and Peter Showler the Director of the Refugee Forum for a discussion on recent changes to immigration and refugee policy.

Diversity group planning on turning a profit (Hamilton Spectator)
The breakfast events keynote speaker Alan Broadbent, chair and CEO of Avana Capital Corporation and Maytree Foundation, also spoke about how agencies can thrive in a market with declining government funding. He was invited to speak about the role of the private sector in civic inclusion, and called on agencies to spend less time complaining about problems and more time finding realistic solutions. One of the mistakes we often make is failing to define what we want people to do, he said. Knowing the motives and constraints of potential investors or supporters is more important than spending time marketing your own needs.–diversity-group-planning-on-turning-a-profit

Report: Do immigrants settling in Canadian cities help integration into Canadian Society? (Research Impact)
Looking at the settlement patterns of immigrants in three of Canadas largest Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs): Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, the report reviews literature trying to answer why immigrants like to settle in and around Canadas biggest cities and often in enclaves within these cities.

Future of immigrant investor program uncertain (Tobi Cohen, Vancouver Sun)
Less than three weeks before a hugely popular immigrant investor program is set to open to new applicants, the government has not yet said whether it will issue a moratorium, push back the intake date or proceed with the status quo for this year while the program is being overhauled. The cash-for-visa scheme is considered so attractive that last year’s application window closed within 30 minutes. Some wealthy foreigners even chartered private planes so they could be the first to submit their application to the central intake office in Sydney, N.S., when the program opened July 1 after the government capped annual intake at 700. That was deemed the number of applications that could be processed within a year.

June 15 marks 50 years for Ontario’s Human Rights Code (Canada Newswire)
June 15 is the 50th anniversary of Ontario’s Human Rights Code – the first such code in Canada. To mark this important event, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the OHRC) is working with partners across Ontario to look back at human rights over the 50 years, and look ahead to the human rights of tomorrow. Highlights include a commemorative plaque and the “Proclamation Project” with municipalities across Ontario. Municipalities play a critical role in nurturing human rights and creating equitable environments where everyone is included in work and services, and can enjoy the benefits of their community. That’s why we invited every municipality in Ontario to proclaim June 11 – 15 as Ontario Human Rights Code Week, or June 15 as Ontario Human Rights Code Day. Proclaiming the day or the week gives them an opportunity to encourage all residents to think about how far we have come in 50 years, and where we still need to go.

Canadian Muslims Feed Needy (OnIslam)
Dozens of Canadian Muslims in the western city of Edmonton have volunteered to prepare free meals for the citys poor residents to help break stereotypes about Islam. Its a human obligation, Ahmed Ali, one of the volunteers, told CBC news. We all might succumb to this type of situation, so its good to give back. Dozens of Muslim volunteers gathered at the Hope Mission on Sunday, June 10, to prepare meals for Edmonton needy. For the whole day, they managed to prepare and hand out 800 roast beef dinners. The meal has been a tradition in Edmonton for a decade.

A celebration of diversity (Kristie Pearce, Windsor Star)
For Windsor, Canada’s fourth most multicultural city, the Carrousel of the Nations’ fusion of cultures is only fitting, according to the festival’s chair. “Since the 1950s we’ve had the immigration, originally from Europe and now from so many parts of the world. We really need to celebrate all of that diversity and all of the different cultures that are a part of our community and that’s what this is about – celebrating the differences,” Janice Forsyth said at the Riverfront Festival Plaza for the weekend kickoff of the 2012 Carrousel of the Nations. “What also brings us all together is we’re all Canadian.”

Guelph festival celebrates cultural diversity (Guelph Mercury)
It was a sight to behold as the Guelph and District Multicultural Festival got off to a boisterous start, president Delfino Callegari says of the opening parade Friday. We never had a parade like last night, Callegari said Saturday, noting a record 40 community organizations participated, including some, like an Aboriginal drum group, making their first appearance at the annual summer salute to the Royal Citys rich cultural mosaic. Ive never seen such a beautiful parade, he added.–guelph-festival-celebrates-cultural-diversity

Immigrants with assets make the perfect recipe for unscrupulous folks’: agency director (Globe and Mail)
Melissa Holman, 40, a pianist turned entrepreneur, has said on the website of the Temporary Foreign Workers Association of Canada that she was moved to help newcomers after a chance encounter with a nanny who dreamed of a better life in Canada. She later became head of an agency that places caregivers around the world and then founded the TFWA, a support organization for foreigners. On the organizations website, Ms. Holman says immigrants are sometimes unwitting targets of those looking to profit from Canadas booming trade in international workers. Unfortunately, some lawyers, immigration consultants and agencies have the tendency to hold monetary power over immigrants, she wrote.

Immigrant centre opens new doors (Jeremy Warren, Star Phoenix)
The Global Gathering Place always seems to need more room, a sign of the growing immigrant population in Saskatoon. The organization, which offers numerous programs for newcomers in Saskatoon, in April opened its new space at 100 Fifth Ave. North, the third location in the non-profit’s 14-year history. “We started with no budget, a handful of volunteers and two plastic boxes of toys and books,” said executive director Belma Podrug at Tuesday’s open house for the new location. “Change isn’t always easy, but we know this move is good for our clients. It’s confirmation we’re a recognized and reputable organization.”

June 27: Improving Representation in the Judiciary: A Diversity Strategy (Ryerson University)
Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute and Law Research Centre would like to invite you to the panel discussion.
Research presentation
Wendy Cukier, Vice President of Research & Innovation
Founder, Diversity Institute
Ryerson University
Laurie Pawlitza, Treasurer, Law Society of Upper Canada and
Thomas Conway, Treasurer Elect, Law Society of Upper Canada.

C.D. Howe Institute Book Co-authored by Carleton Professor Wins Prestigious Purvis Memorial Prize (Exchange Magazine)
The C.D. Howe Institute’s groundbreaking study of immigration policyreform has won the 2012 Doug Purvis Memorial Prize. The Canadian Economics Association announced that Toward Improving Canada’s Skilled Immigration Policy: An Evaluation Approach by Charles M. Beach, Alan G. Green and Christopher Worswick won the prize. The $10,000 prize, one of the most prestigious in the field, is awarded by the Purvis Foundation to the author or authors of a highly significant written contribution to Canadian economic policy. The award wasestablished in 1994 in memory of noted Canadian economist Doug Purvis and the winner is selected by an independent committee nominated by the Canadian Economics Association and the Canadian Association for Business Economics.

Carleton University scholar receives book award (Ottawa Citizen)
Carleton University scholar Christopher Worswick is the recipient of a prestigious award for a book on immigration policy reform that he co-authored. The book, Toward Improving Canadas Skilled Immigration Policy: An Evaluation Approach, has won the 2012 Doug Purvis Memorial Prize, which includes an award of $10,000. Worswick, a professor of economics, shares authorship with two Queens University economists, Charles Beach and the late Alan Green. The 2011 book analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the point system used to screen new immigrants and identifies the policies that affect how well they do after arriving in Canada.

Toronto Muslims Tackle School Drop-out (Muneeb Nasir, OnIslam)
A Muslim charity, a leading Canadian service organization and local schools and parents have banded together to conduct an innovative pilot project to mitigate the high drop-out among Somali students in a Toronto neighborhood. The Olive Tree Foundation was very pleased to be able fund this important project of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto, Imran Yousuf, Secretary of the Foundation told This project will help prevent young people from dropping out of school, drawing on a culturally competent approach and build a positive community among the youth based on mentoring.

Pair of top immigrants hail from Surrey (Canadian Immigrant)
Daniel Igali, who won gold in wrestling at the 2000 Olympics, was awarded for his athletic endeavours and work building a school in his his native Nigeria. After establishing the Daniel Igali Foundation, he was highly involved in bringing the project to fruition, whether it was through fundraising or swinging a hammer on the construction site. The school opened in 2006. These children have the right to access computers. I want to make that school a gateway to the Western world, he says. I believe human beings should always reach out to others, especially those less fortunate. And some of us who have voices, we should harness them.

Little Mosque on the Prairies legacy lives on (Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald)
Its a story that has settled nicely into the lore of the Banff World Media Festival. Eight or nine years ago, journalist and filmmaker Zarqa Nawaz sat on one of the park benches outside the majestic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and pitched his idea to a producer. The show? A sitcom about a small Saskatchewan towns comedic dealings with a new mosque and its liberal-leaning imam. Little Mosque on the Prairie would go to become one of Canadas most successful sitcoms, lasting six seasons, breaking Canadian ratings records, playing in 90 countries and, just recently, securing a deal to be shown in syndication in the U.S.

Making Kingston more attractive to immigrants (Labiba Haque, The Whig)
Tatiana Alvarado wants people to know that Kingstons a great place for immigrants. Alvarado, along with three other Kingstonians are featured in a series of four videos put forth by Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP) as part of the Call Kingston Home campaign. Their purpose is to encourage new immigrants to come to Kingston, by providing them with information and success stories. The aim is for the video to start an informal word-of-mouth campaign amongst the members of each cultural group involved. All four videos were officially launched Friday at the Multicultural Roundtable Dinner held at the Chinese Alliance Church in Kingston. I think its an interesting concept. This way, Kingston can know that theres more people in Kingston than Canadian-born, Alvarado, whos originally from Honduras, said. The videos profile immigrants from China, India, Morocco and Honduras, providing viewers a snapshot into their daily life in the Kingston community.

Muslims protest Planned Parenthoods sexual health program for Muslim teen girls (Peter Baklinski, LifeSiteNews)
Muslims of a traditional bent hope that a lack of funding will force Planned Parenthood Ottawa to cut a program aimed at teaching their Muslim teenage daughters a version of sexual health that they say is contrary to their faith-based values and family values. Information and education is always good, but when it comes with a clear message of promoting a certain lifestyle which may be in conflict with both the faith-based values and family values [of Muslims] then I have an issue with it, Shahina Siddiqui, executive director of the Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA) in Canada, told LifeSiteNews.

Don’t scrap us (Phila Siu , The Hong Kong Standard)
A group of mainlanders will petition Canada’s top diplomat in Beijing today to vent their anger at a proposal to scrap a backlog of pre-2008 immigration applications. The proposal means 280,000 applicants, some of whom have been in the queue under the Federal Skilled Worker Program for as long as eight years, have waited for nothing. The group of mainlanders is also appealing to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to intervene, saying they are “more than mere files, we are flesh and blood.”

Stop intrusion of primitive religious practices (Gaye Smith Paisley, Owen Sound Times)
It is time for the legislatures in the rest of Canada to pass legislation to stop the intrusion of the primitive Islamic religious practice into our culture, before the Supreme Court imposes them on us. Our Canadian culture does not: subjugate women, nor force young girls into arranged marriages. We do not stone women who have been raped, or condone honour killing. We do not carry weapons in public, in school, in Parliament or on planes. We do not strap dynamite to our bodies and blow up innocent women and children. In our Christian culture we believe in peace and good will to all men and not the elimination of all infidels who disagree with us. There is no need for our Canadian modern-day culture to accommodate the primitive religious practices of the immigrant. If these primitive religious practices are a necessary part of their lives then maybe they should immigrate to a country that embraces their archaic culture.

Newcomers should embrace our culture? (Cathy Hmouda, Owen Sound Times)
A response to Gaye Smith’s letter, Newcomers should embrace our culture. I am perplexed by Mr. Smith’s assertion that multiculturalism is a theory. He speaks of a “paradox”, ignoring the fact that unless he is an indigenous person he is probably an immigrant, too. Is there a demarcation point when the new guy becomes the top guy and gets to dictate to the rest? Were his people overrun by newcomers and criticized for their language, traditions, religion, culture? Were his children kidnapped from his arms and sent to reside in government sanctioned “Christian” boarding schools? This black eye on Canadian history should serve to remind us what can happen when narrow interest religious groups try to force their will on the people. Canadian taxpayers continue to pay for that federally sanctioned crime against humanity, while indigenous people continue to pay with their lives. Have we learned nothing?

Newcomers should -Not- Embrace our Culture (M. Len Blakely, Owen Sound Times)
A response to a letter by Gaye Smith of Paisley First of all go ahead and tell us; what is Canadian culture? Generations of Canadians have been trying to answer this very question without success. The simple reason for this? There is no Canadian culture, it doesn’t exist. Put together a bay boy from Newfoundland, a city kid from Toronto, a stubble jumpin’ farmer from the gap, un etudiant de la basse ville de Quebec, and an aboriginal Canadian from Haida Gwaii. Then ask them what Canadian culture is. You will never get one upon which everyone will agree. But go ahead and ask the same group of people what are Canadian values? Probably you will quickly hear the term peace, order and good government. I would bet that tolerance, helping people less fortunate than oneself, bilingualism and multiculturalism would all be values upon which everyone could come to a consensus.

Response to the Demise of Sec. 13 in “Maclean’s” (Anti-racist Canada)
We think that the government was incredibly short sighted in their decision to eliminate Sec. 13. It was a useful and cost-effective tool in the effort to eliminate some very vile, hateful, and potentially dangerous rhetoric online and in the public sphere. Now we have only the criminal code which, in a few cases, is like using a machete when a scalpel would have been more prudently utilized. Those individuals and groups who were called before the Human Rights Tribunal and who were found to have violated Sec. 13 were not innocent lambs who were victimized by Big Brother. They were people and groups who were causing real harm in their communities. Their words did result in harm, and I don’t mean hurt feelings. People’s homes were vandalized. People have been assaulted. And these criminal acts had, in many cases, began with the dehumanization of fellow Canadians for no other reason than their ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual orientation.

Strippers to be stripped of work visas: Kenney (Jessica Hume, Toronto Sun)
With the passage of its massive budget Bill C-38, the government says it will end giving work visas to foreign strippers once and for all. In Opposition, Stephen Harper was against a Liberal program that effectively expedited work permits for foreigners intending to work in the adult entertainment industry. Though the Conservatives trashed that program soon after taking office, roughly 100 of those visas have been renewed each year since 2006.

Ex-immigration consultant sentenced to community service (Paul Cherry, Montreal Gazette)
An immigration consultant caught up in a major fraud investigation that saw her former fiancé sent off to a federal penitentiary has received a sentence she can serve in the community. Svetlana Kiryanova, 44, of Dollard des Ormeaux, required the services of a Russian translator at the Montreal courthouse Wednesday to understand the sentence rendered by Quebec Court Judge Gilles Cadieux.

Sex Selection (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Amrita Kumar-Ratta. She is the co-founder of Save the Girl, a grassroots initiative in Brampton that works to raise awareness of sex-selective abortion. She is also the author of a study called “Sex Selective Abortion – Looking at Canada”.

Trans Gender Bill (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Toronto trans activist, Susan Gapka, about a bill expected to be passed today at Queen’s Park. The bill would protect transgendered people under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Regent Park Quilt (CBC Metro Morning)
Mary Wiens talked to some Bengali women in Regent Park, about the art, and emotion, of quilting. The quilt will be unveiled at Paintbox Condominiums, part of the ongoing revitalization of Regent Park later today.


Denying health care to refugees: is that really the Canadian way? (Paula Kline, Rick Goldman, Montreal Gazette)
Starting July 1, Canadians can expect to see something new on our streets: people begging for money to pay for medication or hospital care. Canada, which prides itself on being more compassionate than its rough-and-tumble neighbour to the south, will soon have its very own underclass of people unable to obtain life-sustaining medication and treatment. This is because, with no prior consultation with the provinces or health-care professionals, the federal government recently announced that it will make drastic cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program the health-care program for people seeking refugee status in Canada effective June 30.

Controversial refugee legislation passes in the House of Commons (Tobi Cohen, National Post)
Two years after the federal Conservatives reached a widely celebrated consensus with the opposition to revamp Canadas refugee system, the government has effectively used its majority muscle to replace that legislation with a new version that continues to draw widespread criticism. Bill C-31, the Protecting Canadas Immigration System Act, which seeks to deport so-called bogus refugees quicker and crack down on human-smugglers and illegal arrivals, cleared the House of Commons on Monday in a vote of 159-132, split along party lines. Billed as a replacement to the Balanced Refugee Reform Act adopted during the previous minority Parliament but only set for implementation this month, the new legislation effectively reintroduces contentious elements that were omitted so the Tories could get the earlier version of the bill passed.

Bill C-31: Empowering Jason Kenney, endangering refugees (Karl Nerenberg, rabble)
The Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney, was jubilant on Monday when he came to the government microphone in the House of Commons’ lobby to exult in the pending passage of his government’s refugee reform bill, C-31. The vote in the House happened later that evening, and the government prevailed. Now, the Bill goes to the Senate. The Minister said he hopes it will all be wrapped and declared law by the end of June.

Refugee bill passes final hurdle in House (Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC)
The government’s controversial bill that further reforms Canada’s refugee system passed a third reading Monday night in the House of Commons. Bill C-31, which passed by 159 to 132, will now move to the Senate. Earlier in the day, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said C-31 is designed to combat human smuggling and to ensure the asylum system is “fast and fair.” He said the bill’s passage is a “long time coming” and that he hopes the Senate will pass it before Parliament breaks for the summer. The bill proposes changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, which made a series of reforms to the refugee system when it was passed in 2010.

Passage of Bill C-31: A threat to refugees and ‘a black eye’ for Canada (Suleyman Goven, rabble)
As a refugee advocate, I was saddened to find out that Bill C-31 had passed the final hurdle in the House of Commons. This most oppressive bill will tarnish the prestige and reputation of Canada at the international level. The Minister of Immigration claims that the Bill is designed to combat human smuggling. However, the real Conservative agenda is to punish the most vulnerable people of the world. Once those traumatized refugees are thrown behind bars, their suffering will be enormous. The social and psychological dimensions of their suffering cannot be measured. Critics have also noted that the Bill puts too much power in the hands of the Minister and that it will politicize what’s supposed to be a fair and impartial judicial process. The definition of a ‘safe country’ will be dependent on business interests. In this context, refugees will be sacrificed as commercial commodities.

Human smuggling case highlights two agencies at cross purposes (Globe and Mail)
One arm of the government sent him away. Another wants to bring him back as the purported kingpin of the human-smuggling operation that carried 492 Tamils to Canadas shores two years ago. The RCMP announced last week that Sathyapavan Aseervatham was one of six men charged in connection with the arrival of a migrant ship, the MV Sun Sea, off the British Columbia coast in August, 2010. The Mounties said Mr. Aseervatham was out of the country and efforts were under way to have him brought to Canada. But The Globe and Mail has learned Mr. Aseervatham was in Canada until last July, when he was deported back to Sri Lanka. The Canada Border Services Agency carried out the deportation despite the fact that the RCMP were investigating Mr. Aseervathams role in the smuggling operation.

More North Korean refugees likely to eye Canada (Daniel Proussalidis, Tillsonburg News)
Immigration authorities are preparing for ever-increasing numbers of refugee claimants from North Korea. “The flow of North Korean defectors to the Republic of Korea has recently turned from a trickle to a flood,” said Canadian immigration officials in a January assessment obtained through an access-to-information request by immigration lawyer Richard Kurland. The documents indicate that between 2007 and 2010 around 10,000 people escaped the communist dictatorship in the north to seek refuge in the south. Canadian officials warn defections will increase following the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il last December, eventually meaning “increasing numbers are likely to seek asylum in other countries, including Canada.”

Minister Kenney’s Office Releases Statement Regarding Article in La Presse (Marketwatch)
The Office of the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, released the following statement today regarding an article that appeared on Monday in La Presse: “On June 11, 2012, La Presse journalist Anabelle Nicoud wrote an article about Joanna Martinez. Ms. Nicoud did not approach CIC before writing the article. “Stories presenting only one side of a story can lead to public distrust of the rule of law. Factually incorrect or incomplete reporting usually leaves the impression that Canada’s refugee determination system is unjust or heartless. In fact, Canada has the most generous and fair refugee determination system in the world. Less than one per cent of the decisions made by the highly-trained adjudicators on the Immigration and Refugee Board are overturned by the federal courts on appeal. That is a remarkable record, and one of which Canadians should be proud.


The Centre for Environmental Health Equity congratulates Joyce Rock, inaugural recipient of the 2011 3M Health Nexus Community Leadership Award (Jeff Masuda, Centre for Environmental Health Equity)
Joyce’s longstanding commitments and contributions to the health and social justice aspirations of the community that inhabits Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside exemplifies the spirit of this new award in advancing the social determinants of health to inspire change in communities across Canada. I am personally pleased that Health Nexus has chosen to use the inaugural award to bring national attention to a community that has proven to be fertile ground for innovative, grassroots health promotion action that responds to some of the most pressing and unjust health inequities in the country.

Canada best in G20 for women or is it? (Globe and Mail)
They apparently have a high quality of health, laws that protect them from domestic violence and better job opportunities than their global counterparts. A bounty of freedoms and opportunities makes Canada the most women-friendly G20 country, according to a poll released Tuesday of 370 gender experts around the world. But a leading Canadian gender-equality expert says the countrys top ranking is proof of a lasting misconception of the status of women within its borders, which has actually been steadily declining since the late nineties.

Toronto Disaster Relief Committee Folds (Cahty Crowe, The Bulletin)
After 14 years of advocacy, activism and action, Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (TDRC) is closing.


Working in ethnic enclaves limits newcomers’ opportunities: Report (Peter O’neil, Kim Nursall, Vancouver Sun)
Immigrants who work in ethnic enclaves in major cities earn less than other Canadians and have a tougher time adapting to the economy, an internal federal government document states. Studies found that enclaves have a negative impact on the earnings growth for male and female immigrants, says a report obtained by Vancouver-based immigration lawyer Richard Kurland under the Access to Information Act. The point was included in a federal report prepared in early 2011 assessing minimum language standards for immigrants brought to Canada under the provincial nominee or PN program.

Diversity: It’s About Improving Your Business, Not Checking Boxes (Jessica Stillman,
Kashoo’s approach to diversity is just what Shirley Engelmeier, CEO of InclusionINC and author of Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage, recommends. Forget ticking boxes or political correctness, hiring a heterogeneous team is all about bringing the competencies necessary for success into your business, according to Engelmeier. She recommends looking at diversity “through the lens of, what are the diverse competencies you need to build your business, and those diverse competencies are going to show up in different people. Don’t just do it to get numbers. Don’t just do it to make your team look different. That’s part of corporate diversity fatigue. For a couple of decades we’ve been counting women and people of color without linking it to what the bottom line business rationale is for that, and the bottom line business rationale is about skills,” she says.

CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses (Conference Board of Canada)
This profile spotlights CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses, a bridging model that has helped immigrant nurses successfully move from pre-registration to achieving registration and moving into nursing in Ontario.

Profession-Specific Language and Communication Assessment in Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy (Conference Board of Canada)
This profile spotlights an online assessment tool designed to provide internationally educated physiotherapists and occupational therapists with information about their competency in language, communication, and soft skills as they seek licensure and employment in Canada.


Tuesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, Waterfront, Transit, On the Streets, Condos and Other News.

Wednesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Riverdale Farm, Trnasit, TCHC, City Hall, Euro2012, Build Toronto and Other News.

Census Portrait #2 (CBC Metro Morning)
One of the most surprising headlines from the latest census was the toddler trend. Thorncliffe Park is part of the reason why, a quarter of the people living in Thorncliffe Park are under the age of 14. Metro Morning’s Mary Wiens visited the neighbourhood.

A City Divided is a City Susceptible To Gun Violence (Bronwyn Kienapple, Torontoist)
Community activist Kofi Hope spoke to a lack of hope, of a population in Toronto that feels so disconnected that they turn to gangs, guns, and drugs to feel empowered. We are slowly becoming a city divided, he said. A city divided between a wonderful middle-class world of gleaming towers and a vibrant downtown and a city of tower blocks filled with the working poor and visible minorities who feel more and more disconnected from the rest of the city. The consequences are real and heartrendingspeaker Elaine Lumley lost her only son to gun violence. She advocated for tighter gun control, decried the end of the long-gun registry, and also warned the audience that the shooting at the Eaton Centre should be a wake-up call to Torontonians regarding the gun violence that has long existed in this city.

4 GTA municipalities rank top 10 for resident satisfaction (Yonge Street)
A nationwide poll by Forum Research suggests that residents of Mississauga, Oakville, Markham and Richmond Hill like what they get for their tax dollars. The four GTA municipalities all made the top 10 in a ranking of resident satisfaction with municipal services across Canada. Respondents ranked their satisfaction on everything from fire and garbage services to libraries and public transportation. Although Quebec City came out on top, the GTA managed to dominate the list in other ways.


Charities, Political Activity and Rhetoric: Imagine Canada presents at the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance (Marcel Lauzière, Imagine Canada)
Last week I accepted an invitation to appear in front of the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance. While the federal budget legislation (Bill C-38) hasnt formally been referred to the Senate yet (it is still being debated in the House of Commons), the Senate Committee is carrying out a study of its subject matter and wanted to hold a session on the provisions affecting charities. I felt it was very important to accept the invitation, particularly in light of some of the rhetoric about charities we have been hearing from the Senate in recent weeks. In my opening statement I briefly discussed the changed reporting requirements for political activity and foreign funding the budget announced. I emphasized our commitment to transparency and accountability, but reminded Senators that there needs to be a balance every new requirement adds to our overhead and administrative costs and they need to be cognizant of this in crafting new laws and regulations.

Tangible Impact: Financing the YWCA Elm Centre (Nabeel Ahmed, Social
The YWCA Elm Centre has received a great deal of attention for its size, unique focus on women, and sustainability aspects. However, there is another aspect of this project that deserves attention: the use of social finance by issuing a promissory note, referred to as a community housing bond.

Community-based organizations receive $200,000 from The Co-operators (Digital Journal)
Today, The Co-operators announced more than $200,000 in funding for 11 community-based organizations across the country. The funding is provided through The Co-operators Foundation Community Economic Development (CED) Fund, which supports programs that help disadvantaged people gain skills and move toward self-reliance


LexisNexis Introduces the Human Trafficking Awareness Index (Digital Journal)
LexisNexis UK (, a leading provider of content and technology solutions, today introduced the Human Trafficking Awareness Index (HTA Index). The Index uses the respected Nexis® service to track and analyze the volume of news articles related to human trafficking. It is hoped that the service will provide a valuable tool for campaigners looking to raise awareness of human trafficking on an ongoing basis. Using a licensed collection of almost 6,000 of the most influential news sources from more than 120 countries, the HTA Index highlights emerging trends and patterns of awareness within and across national borders. Activists working to combat human trafficking can use this information to highlight and raise awareness to inform their efforts and gain greater understanding of the news.

Two 15-year-old girls arrested in Ottawa in shocking human trafficking case (National Post)
Two 15-year-old girls in Ottawa have been arrested for human trafficking. Its shocking, quite frankly, said police spokesman Staff Sgt. John McGetrick. We asked the RCMP, who take the lead on human trafficking, and they didnt know of any similar case in Canada. In a written statement, Ottawa police said they found three female victims from 13 to 17 years of age, who had been taken, on three separate occasions, to a residence in the 2400 block of Walkley Road. The victims were then driven to other locations and forced into prostitution, police allege. Police said there was no indication pimps or men played any role.

Suspected teenage human traffickers used social media to lure victims (Global)
Social media is at the centre of a shocking human trafficking ring run by a trio of teens uncovered in the nations capital. Two 15-year-olds are facing multiple charges amidst allegations they lured three of their teenage peers, ranging in age from 13 to 17, and sold them for sex. A third 17-year-old suspect is still at large in what is believed to be the first crime of its kind in Canadian history. Ottawa police believe the teens acted alone, using social media to lure and trap the victims under the pretense of a social activity.

Teen girls at the centre of alleged prostitution ring likely themselves victims: prof (Sarah Boesveld, National Post)
As Ottawa police search for a third teenage girl believed to have pimped out peers as young as 13, observers say there is a high likelihood the girls accused of running a local prostitution ring have been victimized themselves. The shocking case, as police have called it, turns the conventional idea of prostitution and human trafficking on its head, but those who study sexual exploitation and work with the exploited were not at all surprised when they heard that two 15-year-old Ottawa girls were charged with human trafficking and a slew of other related charges over the weekend.

The National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking Is YOUR Chance to be PM (Michelle Brock, Hope for the Sold)
Thanks to the petitions many of you filled out and sent in, last week a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking was launched by the Canadian government! I am excited about this for the following reasons:
It shows that human trafficking is considered a priority in Canada
It means we actually have a PLAN to deal with this crime (traffickers are organized, and if we seriously want to tackle this problem, we must also be organized)
It involves many sectors and emphasizes the need to work together
Though much more money is needed to fight exploitation, the pledged 25 million is a good start.

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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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