Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 21, 2012


Diversity quotas ‘could have a place in Canadian public sector’ (Odgers Berndtson)
Boardroom diversity efforts in Canada could benefit from the introduction of a quota system for the public sector, according to an expert. Ratna Omidvar, president of the diversity-promoting private foundation Maytree in Toronto, told the Financial Post that a quota system may have more benefits for public organisations than private companies. She pointed to the proactive efforts seen in Ottawa to improve French language education and knowledge around the time the country became bilingual, which has helped make this a reality. This shows that quotas could have more of a positive impact among public bodies than in the corporate sector, where the principle remains a controversial one.

Alternatives looking for story contributions from new Canadians (Gerard Keledjian, The Immigrant)
Alternatives is looking for story contributions from new Canadians with a professional background in scientific research and/or journalism in another country. Our goal is to produce at least four content packages of up to 1,000 words within the next year, assembling some perspective about how other countries are dealing with environmental challenges that Canadians are also facing. Pitches that are accepted for publication will be given creative direction, mentoring and support by Alternatives’ editorial staff, and writers will receive a payment at our standard rate of 10 cents per word upon completion of an assignment.

Turning a life lesson into a thriving business (Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now)
What began as a community project in 2005 morphed into a proper business in 2008. Now Palmer offers oneon-one consulting through Unlock your Future. She travels to high schools and conferences as a guest speaker, sharing her tips on how to secure scholarships. She estimates she’s presented to thousands of people in B.C. over the years – students, parents and teachers alike. In April, Palmer received a 2012 youth entrepreneur award from the Cultural DIVERSEcity Awards in Vancouver.

Video: Interfaith (Michael Pontbriand, Kingston)
Learn about Kingston’s different Faith groups at the United Church’s Interfaith Engagement Event

New Muslim cemeteries to give urgent last rites (Globe and Mail)
Now, after years of planning and work, developers in two cities are set to meet a burgeoning need by opening two cemeteries – the Toronto Muslim Cemetery on Sunday, and the Ottawa Muslim Cemetery later this summer. While there are currently five Muslim cemeteries in Ontario, as well as a few others scattered across the country, the new additions are the first to cater to Muslims in Canada’s largest city and its capital.

The Canadian Diversity Model: A possible solution to address sectarian unrest in Burma? (Student Vote)
Burma is in transition from a military dictatorship to a democratic society. However, the success of its democratic future will depend on how the country will facilitate its ethnically diverse groups while ensuring individual freedom and equality for everyone. Perhaps, the “Canadian Diversity Model” can guide the incumbent Burmese government to adapt some principles in their new democratic society to ensure ethnic peace and economic progress. A 2001 policy report published by Canadian Policy Research Network (CPRN) provides a brief overview of the Canadian Diversity Model. According to the report, Canadian identity is deeply rooted in diversity which shapes the public discourse in Canada and that “the Canadian Diversity Model is a repertoire of responses to Canada’s longstanding sociological diversity.”

Canadian TV ‘failing on diversity’ (C21 Media)
Canadian television is not doing enough to include minority groups, according to senior execs at Shaw Media and national pubcaster CBC. “We have a lot of goodwill but it’s not translating nearly as quickly – on or behind the camera – as it should,” said Barbara Williams, senior VP of content at Shaw Media, which owns the Global TV network and several specialty channels. “We’re all good at quoting stats but somehow we’re not making that translation of understanding that [diversity] is good business. Our American colleagues are way better at this,” she added, speaking at the Banff World Media Festival last week. More must be done to include different ethnicities, the disabled and other minorities, agreed CBC’s executive director of factual entertainment Julie Bristow.

Kenney closes gaping loopholes (Lorne Gunter, Edmonton Sun)
The longer Calgary MP Jason Kenney is Immigration minister and the more reforms he makes to Canada’s immigration and refugee laws, the more obvious it becomes how truly lax the rules were under the former Liberal government. Wednesday, Kenney introduced a bill – the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act – that is so sensible it will probably surprise most Canadians that the new policy isn’t already the law of the land. Kenney moved to close a major loophole that has for years permitted recent immigrants to commit crimes in Canada before they become citizens, but remain here nonetheless.

Is the word “visible minority” obsolete in Canada? (City Data)
Normally it refers to anyone who is not white, basically. But I think such term is lost its meaning in changing social context. In several Canadians cities, whites are not the majority any more. For example, Vancouver BC (white 47%), Richmond BC (34%), Brampton, ON (42%), and Markham ON (34%).

Toronto man raises over $300,000 for bullied elderly bus monitor (Globe and Mail)
Bullied to tears by teenagers on a school bus where she worked as a monitor, a New York state grandmother will be getting the vacation of a lifetime thanks to the fundraising efforts of a Toronto man. The episode, an illustration of the powers of the Internet to hurt and then redeem, began when Max Sidorov saw a video of the bullying that had gone viral. Mr. Sidorov then went online to raise money to comfort the woman and, in less than 36 hours, raised more than $300,000 and turned himself and the bus monitor into global celebrities. The money was intended to pay for a trip, but the sum is so large that she could use part of it for her retirement, he said… Now a 25-year-old nutritionist and York University graduate, Mr. Sidorov was born in Ukraine and immigrated to Canada when he was nine. He recalled being picked on when he attended elementary school in North York because he was smaller, poorer and spoke English with an accent.

“CLIC en ligne” a new website for newcomers to learn French online (Settlement AtWork)
“CLIC en ligne” is a new website for newcomers to get French language training online. CLIC stands for “Cours de Langue pour les Immigrants au Canada”, the French equivalent of the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program. The project is managed by the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB) and funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

Harper Government welcomes new members to the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security (South Asian Generation Next)
The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, and the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, released the following statement today about the importance of collaboration with communities across Canada: “Over the weekend, Minister Nicholson and I met with the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security, a body that continues to play an important role in advising us on the impact of national security matters on Canada’s diverse society. This session of the Roundtable focused on cyber space and the efforts our Government is taking to prevent, minimize and address the impact of cyber threats,” said Minister Toews. “Cyber security is a shared responsibility, and we all have a role to play. Communities across Canada can learn how to take action and Get Cyber Safe with the information they need to protect themselves and their families against a wide range of online threats.”

South Asian Community and Crime (South Asian Generation Next)
Watching Indo Canadian family on a program called ‘My House Your Money,” we were reminded of how deeply the fact that girls’ moving out before marriage and “safety” of living anywhere especially in Downtown Toronto is an issue within the South Asian community. In the show, parents of the girl who wanted to buy a place for herself in Downtown Toronto were adamant that Downtown Toronto is not a safe place to live for a home alone girl. The young girl is business analyst by profession. Which brings us to the shooting and injuries at Eaton Centre a few days ago. Will this shooting at the heart of Downtown prevent the South Asian families to let their young adult kids to move to Downtown? Downtown Toronto is the place that offers clubs and bars and many more opportunities to young adults and young professionals to meet with singles and other professionals as opposed to any other part of the GTA. Probably not, as many of these young adults have attended colleges and universities in Toronto. However persuading parents is an entirely different story.

Working for equality and fusion at once: Harminder Magon (South Asian Generation Next)
HarminderMagon is CUPE’s National Anti-Racism Co-ordinator. However, that’s not his only identity. Passionate about cuisines and cooking, he hosts a cooking page on Face book called ‘Desi Guys Should learn how to cook’. Generation Next was recently in conversation with this dynamic professional and foodie.

Sunny Uppal puts “Canadian Values in action” (Samuel Getachew, South Asian Generation Next)
The Historica-Dominion Institute has a “mission to help all Canadians come to know the fascinating stories that make our country unique”. In past years, it has hosted programs such as Heritage Minutes, the Heritage Fairs and The Canadian Encyclopedia to fulfill that ambitious public service. Last month, at the central library in Ottawa, it hosted a well-attended event to mark Asian Heritage Month in Canada. The topic focused on the children of first-generation Asian-Canadian immigrants. Sunny Uppal was one of the speakers at this important event along with Ontario Conservative MP Michael Chong.

South Asian women in Manitoba approaching private clinics for sex determination (South Asian Generation Next)
According to a CBC News investigation, some women in Manitoba’s South Asian community are approaching private ultrasound clinics to determine the gender of their fetuses. The investigation found that some privately owned 3D ultrasound clinics in Canada allow booking an appointment that would give the gender of the fetus before 20 weeks of pregnancy, a timeframe within which it is still possible for a woman to get an elective abortion.The probe features TejBains of the Punjab Cultural Centre in Winnipeg, who says sex-selective abortions are being sought out by some women in Manitoba.UC Baby, a nationwide chain of private ultrasound clinics, maintains its clinics do not reveal fetal gender before 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, staff at the UC Baby clinic in Winnipeg told CBC News they would do an ultrasound at 17 weeks.Out of the 10 UC Baby clinics across Canada that CBC News tested, only two insisted on revealing fetal gender after 20 weeks.Officials with UC Baby expression their concern with the findings of the investigation and promise to ensure that no more women are accepted for ultrasounds before 20 weeks.

Manitoba population grows by 16,000 (CBC)
Manitoba’s population increased by slightly more than 16,000 between April 2011 and April 2012. The province is now home to 1,261,500 people, according to Statistics Canada figures released Thursday. The main driver of the growth was a record arrival of 16,074 immigrants from around the world. As well, during the last 12 months there were 16,483 babies born in Manitoba —the highest number of births in the last 17 years.

Immigration fueling Saskatchewan population jump (CBC)
Saskatchewan is still growing fast, with immigrants making up virtually all of the people who moved to the province in the first three months of the year, Statistics Canada says. According to the federal statistics agency, Saskatchewan grew by 4,470 people in the first quarter of 2012 — and among provinces its growth rate was second only to Alberta. As of April 1, there were 1,072,082 people living in Saskatchewan. With a boost of 19,642 people in the past year, the figure now stands at 1,072,082. The strong growth is driven by immigration, with a net increase of 3,436 people coming from other countries.

Pakistani-born journalist Natasha Fatah finds her home in Canada (Karen Lloyd, Canadian Immigrant)
Natasha Fatah was excited to come to Canada when she was 10 years old. There are no snowflakes in Saudi Arabia. There aren’t even flowers. “I had this Disney-like movie image of the country,” Fatah says of Canada. So it was to her absolute delight when in 1987 her arrival in Canada was met with a crowd of pedestrians who wore bright red poppies pinned to their lapel. It was November, and Fatah soon learned what Remembrance Day was all about. More importantly, the future CBC journalist finally found a place she could call home.

Filipino cuisine gets its turn to shine in Toronto (BlogTO)
Since my family came to Toronto from Manila in 1989, Filipino cuisine has always been a staple, whether homemade or restaurant fare. Diniguan (pork blood stew), kare kare (beef and oxtail stew in peanut sauce) and ube (purple yam) ice cream are just some of our favourites. But strangely enough, in a city with 200,000 Filipinos, the cuisine – a mix of Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, American and Asian influences – has yet to penetrate the mainstream in the same way that other Asian cuisines have. This may change soon as a new generation of restaurateurs cook up awareness.

A Magazine for the 21st Century
The Project. A magazine for the 21st Century
Online & Interactive
Celebrating New Culture
Globally inspired / Home Grown
The Content. Drawn from an international collective of progressive voices working in the arts, design, and social innovation. Toronto will be our True North from which we will spread out around the world to explore other urban centres that are committed to diversity and building cities where we all thrive.

Jason Kenney’s immigration revolution chalks up another success (Kelly McParland, National Post)
Two noteworthy news events took place this week involving Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. One was a rude remark he aimed at Alberta’s deputy premier in an e-mail (now forever enshrined as “the A-hole email”), which the world learned about when he accidentally hit “reply all”. The other was yet another fundamental reform to Canada’s immigration and refugee laws. Perhaps it’s typical of the public’s addiction to the trivial that the first attracted far more attention than the second. Or maybe we’ve simply become so accustomed to momentous changes to immigration laws that we gloss over initiatives that would once have inspired fierce public debate.

Canadian Ethnic Media Association Unveils Award Winners for 34th Annual Gala, June 23rd (Digital Journal)
The Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) will present its 34th Annual Awards Gala, at 7:00 p.m., this Saturday, June 23rd at the Velma Rogers Graham Theatre (333 Bloor Street East). Each year, through this gala event, CEMA is proud to recognize and celebrate excellence in media while also acknowledging Canadian Multiculturalism Day (held annually on June 27th). Rogers Media talents Lucy Zilio and Rudy Blair will co-host the evening, which as always, will feature an array of diverse entertainment. Russian youth choir, Trinity Nightingales will kick-off the festivities as first performance of the evening and throughout, the Japanese dance group Sakura Mai and African drummers, Beyond Sound Empijah will also be showcased.

The Trojan Horse Budget Implementation Bill (Rathika Sitsabaiesan, MP for Scarborough-Rouge River, South Asian Generation Next)
Also hidden in this 400+ page Trojan Horse budgetimplementation bill are serious changes to our immigration system. Scarborough residents, and all Canadians,are proud of our multicultural heritage. While we all know that there is a serious immigration backlog, rather than presenting constructive changes that will help eliminate this backlog, BillC-38 deletesthe almost 300,000 skilled worker applications that are currently waiting to be processed. All applications submitted before 2008 will cease to exist.While there will be a refund of application fees to the applicants, this is little consolation to someone who has been waiting years to have their application finalized, nor to their family currently living in Canada who has been waiting years to be reunited. Regardless of how long people have been waiting, applicants who applied before 2008 will have to start their application from the beginning.

No Second Chance (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about significant changes coming to Canada’s immigration and refugee system, with immigration lawyer Joel Sandaluk, and then with Rick Dykstra. He is Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s parliamentary secretary, and the Conservative MP for St. Catharines.


Editorial: Cutbacks to immigrant health program may be short-sighted (Calgary Herald)
There are several problems with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s crackdown on health care coverage for refugees. Beginning July 1, refugees from so-called designated countries of origin — safe democratic countries with legitimate rule of law and respect for human rights — will no longer be eligible for free medical coverage except for emergency care or care that is necessary to protect public health. On the surface, this seems reasonable. Why should refugee claimants from European Union nations, for instance, be entitled to prescription drugs, vision and dental care that many Canadians must pay for out of their own pockets unless they have supplementary insurance plans? “If you’re coming from Europe and you say the magic word, ‘refugee,’ that should not automatically entitle you to better health care than the average Canadian,” Kenney said.

What will cuts to refugee healthcare actually save? (South Asian Generation Next)
The federal government, already under fire from the opposition over the budget and its “unenvironmental” features is facing fresh criticism following proposed healthcare cuts for refugees. On April 25, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney announced cuts to the program, which provides temporary health care to refugee applicants who aren’t eligible for provincial or territorial coverage.Effective June 30, the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) will no longer include vision, dental or supplemental health benefits for current and future refugees.Prescription drugs, vaccines and medications will be covered only to prevent or treat a disease posing a public safety concern. This week, a crowd of 500 people, comprising members of the medical fraternity—doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and social workers—protested in front of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s office on St. Clair St. at Yonge, demanding that Ottawa overturn the plan.

Suspicious hospitality: Feds reduce health coverage for refugees (Canadian Mennonite)
According to the UN, there are now 10.5 million refugees who have been forced to flee their countries due to conflict, natural disaster or persecution. About 25,000 of these people are allowed to settle in Canada each year, but Mennonite refugee advocates say Canada’s posture toward these people is changing. Most recently, Ottawa reduced health services for refugees. Under the pared down Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), certain newcomers will no longer be covered for dental care, eye care, long-term care or prescription medications, except when public health is at risk. General health care will be restricted to matters of an “essential or urgent nature” and to communicable diseases and other public risks.

Congolese refugee gets new prosthetic (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
“It’s so much fun working with him, you just want to help Cyrilo,” said Peter ten Krooden, his certified prosthetist. Simpunga lost his leg in a machete attack in Congo eight years ago. He arrived in Canada in April as a refugee. If he’d arrived in Canada after June 30, he’d be stuck with his old wood and rubber prosthetic that required a crutch and exhausted him. At the end of the month, the federal government is cutting the interim federal health program that provides refugees with supplemental services such as prosthetics, prescription drugs and vision care. Ottawa said it expects to save $20 million a year over the next five years.

Refugees facing cuts to health care (Jennifer Moreau, Royal City Record)
A local group that helps refugee claimants is bemoaning government cuts to health care that will leave the people they help without medical coverage. As of June 30, the federal government will no longer be offering supplemental health care for refugees through the interim federal health program. Currently, under the program, a refugee claimant can see a doctor, have some prescriptions covered and get glasses and emergency dental work done.

Federal cuts to health care for refugees ‘callous’ (Liz Monteiro, The Record)
Eunice Valenzuela fears refugee claimants who need medication will go without because they will be forced to spend their money on food for their children instead of medication for themselves. “What am I going to do when a family comes here with a sick child? Where do I send them?” said Valenzuela, executive director of the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support in downtown Kitchener.–federal-cuts-to-health-care-for-refugees-callous

Refugee health cuts are short-sighted (The Now News)
There is little doubt the federal government believes the majority of Canadians are more concerned with the price of gas than the plight of refugees coming to this country. In fact, the Conservatives are probably correct in thinking that most Canadians believe less money spent on refugees will mean more money the federal government can spend on their personal demands. It’s understandable. When times are tough, many people get scared and worry about their ability to take care of themselves and their families. And it’s also understandable that after years of being told stories about immigrants and refugees ripping off the system, they may have a jaundiced view of immigration.

Ottawa scapegoats refugees (Dr. Robert Martin, Vancouver Sun)
On July 1, physicians across the country who work with refugees will face a difficult new reality: among other changes, the Harper government will remove essentially all medication benefits for their patients, including refugee claimants in Canada, and those refugees accepted by Canada while still abroad. It will be a tough day at the office. Physicians will need to tell patients with chronic and acute illnesses that the medications that are essential to their health and life are no longer available to them. Refugees who received medication for heart failure, diabetes, seizures, and innumerable other problems in refugee camps will be cut off from these medications in Canada – unless they can pay for them by themselves.

Legitimate refugees pay price for crackdown (Hamilton Spectator)
The Harper government’s intent to keep bogus refugee claimants out of Canada has stumbled badly in its plans to curb health-care benefits for legitimate, federally sponsored refugees. It is financial folly and potentially dangerous to deny a near-destitute refugee medication for chronic disease. As part of its budget-cutting efforts, the federal government is changing the health benefits refugees now get under a short-term federal program.–legitimate-refugees-pay-price-for-crackdown

Roma in firing line as Canada moves to end abuses (Budapest Times)
The “Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act” has passed the vote in the country’s House of Commons and is heading to the Senate, where its likely passage could put a stop to Hungarian Roma flocking to Canada and claiming refugee status. Though the legislation does not say it in so many words, it is designed to repel the waves of Roma seeking asylum and then often cheating the system by returning to Hungary while still receiving aid in Canadian dollars.

Zimbabwean refugee marks first Pride in Toronto (CBC)
A gay Zimbabwean refugee who fled persecution in his homeland is celebrating his first Pride Festival in Toronto. Dalu Buhle Ndlovu arrived in Canada just under a year ago. In an interview with CBC’s Metro Morning on Friday, a day before the official kickoff of Toronto’s Pride Week, Ndlovu said his move to Toronto came after members of his family caught him with his partner in Zimbabwe, beat him up and reported him to police.

“They Beat Me Up” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Dalu Buhle Ndovu. He arrived in Canada just under a year ago, fleeing persecution as a gay man in his homeland of Zimbabwe.

Refugee board wrong in ruling claimant had nothing to fear from bride’s parents: judge (Douglas Quan, Vancouver Sun)
A federal judge has ruled that the Immigration and Refugee Board erred in denying the claim of a Pakistani man who sought refuge in Canada on the grounds that his wife’s parents set police on him because they disapproved of their marriage. Citing a corrupt police force and the high number of “honour crimes” committed against couples who marry in defiance of parents’ wishes, the judge said it was unreasonable for the IRB to suggest that the man could “live in hiding” in another part of Pakistan. Nadir Saleem met his wife through his sister in the city of Sialkot. Because her parents did not approve of their relationship, the couple fled to the city of Mardan and took refuge with the family of a friend. They married in 2007.

News Release — Canada announces plans to resettle more Bhutanese refugees (CIC)
Canada’s plan to welcome up to 500 more Bhutanese refugees was unveiled today by Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, as World Refugee Day is celebrated around the world. “In May 2007, the government committed to resettling up to 5,000 Bhutanese refugees who had been living for nearly two decades in refugee camps,” said Minister Kenney. “I’m pleased to announce that Canada will welcome up to 500 more Bhutanese refugees who have family connections in Canada.” Bhutanese refugees have been living in several United Nations-run refugee camps in eastern Nepal since the early 1990s. As part of Canada’s commitment to working with the international community to find long-term solutions for these refugees, Canada agreed to resettle up to 5,000 Bhutanese.

ManpowerGroup Marks World Refugee Day and Encourages Public Support for Refugees (Business Review Canada)
ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions, is observing World Refugee Day today to recognize the courage, strength and determination of men, women and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence, and to unleash the human potential of refugees.


Harper government, UN engaged in war of words (Tim Harper, Chronicle Herald)
It was about a decade before he began a stint as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations that John Bolton offered his famous appraisal of the institution: “If the UN secretariat building in New York lost 10 storeys, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” There are Conservatives in Ottawa with much darker appraisals of the New York-based institution these days. In fact, there is a war of words between the UN and the Harper government that may be unprecedented. Time and again in recent weeks, Canada’s human rights record has been the subject of UN criticism. Initially, thin-skinned Conservatives acted like cliquish kids overreacting to some schoolyard slight at recess, yelping loudly at any UN admonishment.


Skilled Immigrants Solution to Huawei Canada’s Talent Challenges (hireimmigrants)
When Huawei Canada established itself in Canada in 2008, they faced many challenges finding the highly skilled talent they needed. Skilled immigrants were the solution. Newcomers are more likely to be aware of Huawei’s global brand than Canadian-born talent, which made it easier for Huawei Canada to compete for high quality talent against better known brands in Canada. Internationally trained professionals also bring with them state-of-the-art technical skills that are still very scarce among the Canadian-trained talent pool.


Friday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, Getting Around, Development, World’s Biggest Bookstore, Parker the Dog and Other News.

United Way invests $800,000 in tower renewal (Toronto Star)
A handful of aging apartments in the Kipling and Finch and Kingston Galloway neighbourhoods will be getting a facelift. The United Way is chipping in $800,000, and residents, owners and community partners will decide how to spend the money. It could be an update to an old recreation room, or a splash pad where a redundant driveway once was. The buildings involved are privately owned. Pedro Barata of the United Way said the property managers see it as an opportunity to turn underused space into places that will improve the quality of life in the building and community. “Any time that residents are engaged and feeling better about the place that they live, you’re going to get safer neighbourhoods and lower turnover rates,” he said.–united-way-invests–800-000-in-tower-renewal

United Way invests in high-rise improvement projects (Globe and Mail)
A cluster of rundown high-rises in two of Toronto’s inner suburbs will be getting an injection of funds to rehabilitate shared physical space and improve living conditions. The United Way announced Thursday a $800,000 investment in pilot projects in the Kipling-Finch and Kingston Galloway-Orton Park neighbourhoods. United Way President and CEO Susan McIsaac says funds for the two-year pilot project will be used to rehabilitate underused community spaces and fund outdoor renewal projects like gardens and playgrounds. The organization will work with landlords, residents and community groups to identify what can be improved.

OCAD University’s Cities for People vs. Spacing (Shawn Micallef, Spacing Toronto)
Once again we’re going to feature the work of 3rd/4th year OCAD U students who are taking my Cities for People summer workshop. The course has been in full swing again for a few weeks now, and students are about to start posting again. We hope you, our good readers, will contribute to their work by offering observations and thoughts on their findings and ideas. Like a big public critique. In Cities for People, Toronto is our laboratory and our classroom is a sidewalk. We have been looking at interesting initiatives and designs around the city. We’ve seen a small industry tucked into a residential neighbourhood at Coach House Books; gone for a ravine and city walks; taken through the City Hall machine with Jane Farrow (formerly of Jane’s Walk) and met with Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon; been to the city of Toronto archives; and walked the waterfront with Margaret Goodfellow of Waterfront Toronto and co-author of the Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto. We visited St. Jamestown and heard about the Tower Renewal program from Graeme Stewart of ERA Architects as well as went on a Queen West graffitti walk with artist Pascal Paquette.

Should the sell-off be on? (Hoaard Akler, Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation)
Toronto Community Housing’s planned selloff of 65 single-family homes has had many stops and starts. Last June and again in March, city council approved the sale of these homes. The idea is to take the estimated $24 million in sales and use it to pay down the hefty $750 million repair backlog on many other public housing units. This June, however, Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister, wanted to delay the sale until October, when a special working group presents its plan to deal with TCHC’s 619 other single family homes. After Mayor Rob Ford complained to Premier Dalton McGuinty, Wynne reversed her desire to delay and now the sale is on again.


Redefining ourselves: Building a foundational narrative for the nonprofit sector (CharityVillage)
The 2011 National Summit for the Charitable and Nonprofit Sector set the stage for further development of four identified priority areas, including the need for a better understanding of the sector and its impact. Six months later, the development of a narrative for and by the sector is well underway and proving to have much bearing on the other priority areas. In the months following the summit, a working group was established and tasked with developing a concept paper that looked at starting to frame the conversation. A strategic and long-term piece, the narrative will give voice to Imagine Canada’s National Engagement Strategy. Foundational by nature, it will go beyond the issues specific to each nonprofit and will shift the conversation away from outdated definitions and metrics to a new focus on impact and results.

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.

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

When you don't exist is Amnesty Intl campaign for #humanrights of #migrants, #refugees & asylum-seekers in Europe #wrd RT...