The country's largest and most diverse school board was in the spotlight earlier this month for all the wrong reasons.
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB)'s plan to help Somali-Canadian youth better succeed in school erupted in controversy when a segment of the community denounced their efforts.
"Our children are born and raised in Canada; we don't need a special brand of education," argued one parent. "We don't need more labelling and separation; we've had enough already."
This will be the 4th Annual Multicultural Seniors Festival, planned for Friday, April 25th 2014. We will provide entertainment, including music and dancing with performances from more than 20 different multi-cultural seniors groups from the lower mainland. We also provide food tasting from around 15 different countries, which will be provided at minimal cost. In addition, we will showcase Aboriginal culture through performance and artifacts. There will be a dialogue between immigrant seniors and the urban indigenous community, focused on reconcilation.
"The world we inhabit is a world of representation. Media do not merely present a reality that exists 'out there'; nor do they simply reproduce or circulate knowledge. As active producers of knowledge, media construct and constitute the very reality of our existence." -- Augie Fleras and Jean Lock Kunz, Media & Minorities; Representing Diversity in a Multicultural Canada
Recently, a former Quebec journalist argued that Canada's mainstream broadcasters were hypocritical for seeming to lend a sympathetic ear to those opposing the proposed Quebec Charter of Values.
It’s the Friday afternoon on the last day of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) convention and Sid Ryan, President of the OFL, is tired. For a week he’s been leading the convention through its paces, which included a protest to raise the minimum wage and a whole host of eminent speakers, including Maude Barlow and the Official Opposition leader, Thomas Mulcair.
Most significantly, delegates voted to approve a new common front plan that will see the OFL expand its activism outside of its traditional labour scope.
Ryan’s exhaustion is then understandable -- but even after working hard for a week, he’s still ready to talk about labour issues. This is an edited and condensed version of our conversation.
When theatre director and spoken word artist Rhoma Spencer was growing up in Trinidad, she looked forward to Ramadan just as much as the Muslim children in her neighbourhood.
"In Trinidad, Eid al Fitr, the celebration at the end of the fasting month, is a public holiday. We always looked forward to Eid simply because it was the feast when our Muslim neighbours shared their special meat dishes with us. And we didn't have meat very often. So we all loved it!"
On moving to Toronto fourteen years ago, Spencer says, she really felt the absence of Ramadan, Eid, and other important dates from the calendar of Canadian public holidays. And it wasn't just because she missed the food at Eid.
The Media Gaze: Representations of Diversities in Canada
Alternative Media in Canada
Kirsten Kozolanka, Patricia Mazepa and David Skinner, eds. (UBC Press, 2013; $29.95)
The need for diversity of opinion in Canadian media is dire -- many groups don’t see their concerns and successes reflected in the myriad of television shows, newscasts and print journalism being published daily. Two books are a call to action for more voices in our media.
The marginalized left out of the mainstream media