Category Archives: Affirmative action

2010: Lt.-Commander Wafa Dabbagh is the first member of the Canadian Forces to wear a hijab

The first member of the Canadian Forces to wear a hijab

A Tenacious Spirit; As the first member of the Canadian Forces to wear a hijab, Wafa Dabbagh is a pioneer and has risen to the ranks of lieutenant-commander.

By Louisa Taylor, Ottawa Citizen December 7, 2010 7:24 AM

Lt.-Commander Wafa Dabbagh was the first member of the military to wear a hijab. Her latest challenge is battling cancer, something the busy, energetic woman treats like a bothersome cold. Photograph by: Chris Mikula, The Ottawa Citizen Continue reading

Spencer Fernando: “This is why I oppose the creation of a Racialized Representative.”

We are more than the colour of our skin

Posted November 5th, 2012 by Spencer Fernando
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verb (used with object), ra·cial·ized, ra·cial·iz·ing.

1: To impose a racial interpretation on; place in a racial context.
2: To perceive, view, or experience in a racial context.
3: To categorize or differentiate on the basis of race. Continue reading

Toronto: Black students Devon Morris and Loyan Issa graduate from UCC after the school pays full freight for both

Principal Jim Power-The school hopes to see about 20 per cent of its 1,150 students on financial assistance in the next few years.

Two black youth graduate from UCC after studying there through a special scholarship
Published On Wed May 23 2012

Donovan Vincent
Staff Reporter

Devon Morris and Loyan Issa have the smarts to succeed at Upper Canada College in Toronto, but they didn’t have the financial means.

But thanks to a special scholarship launched by the prestigious school in 2007, the two young black men graduated Wednesday night and plan to move on to university educations.

Both started at the all-boys school in Grade 8. They learned about UCC’s financial assistance program through the African-Canadian Christian Network, which represents churches and support organizations in the black community.

A primary focus of the group is helping black youth succeed in school. The network has already sent 11 boys to UCC, and seven more will attend in September.

Under the program, UCC paid the full freight for Morris, 17, and Issa, 18. Tuition for the day program runs up to $30,000 a year, while the boarding program costs as much as $53,000. Continue reading

Immigrants should learn English to join civic culture

Immigrants should learn English to join civic culture

Harry Reid

By: | 

Published: April 08, 2012

Canada was settled by both English and French. It had no choice but to be a bilingual nation. By contrast, the United States was originally blessed with a single common language.

Canada has experienced social unrest, threats of separation and a referendum that came within a hair’s breadth of breaking up the nation.

One of the major reasons for America’s great success as the world’s first “universal nation,” for its astonishing and unmatched capacity for assimilating immigrants, has been that an automatic part of acculturation was the acquisition of English.

When it was proposed to make English the “official” language, to be used in business with the government, tax forms, court proceedings, ballot boxes, etc., the best the Senate could do was pass an amendment to the immigration bill declaring English to be the “national” language. Even that was too much for Senate leader Harry Reid who called the resolution racist. Continue reading

“Champion for diversity”: Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair holds on to his chair while promoting diversity

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair holds on to his chair while promoting diversity /DAVID COOPER/TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair honoured as ‘champion for diversity’
Published On Mon, 19 Mar 2012

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair will be honoured on Friday for his efforts in promoting diversity.
Kirsten Parucha
Staff Reporter

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair is being honoured as a “champion for diversity.”

The award, to be presented Friday by the Diversity Business Network, honours Blair for his success in the implementation of diversity strategies. Blair is credited with promoting diversity in the workplace and for his commitment to building positive relationships with the diverse communities across the city, the business group says. Continue reading

Race-based hiring practices still a hurdle for White federal job candidates

Fed race-based hiring rolling on


OTTAWA — The federal government is continuing to set aside jobs for specific groups based on race, gender and ability, more than a year after it pledged to end such practices.

In November 2010, Stockwell Day, the treasury board president at the time, told the House of Commons that he was instructing departments to end the practice of setting aside jobs for specific groups, such as women, aboriginals, visible minorities and the disabled.

“We have also communicated that all department postings must not shut out any specific groups and must be open to all qualified candidates.

“Final decisions must be based on merit and on qualifications,” Day said at the time.

The move was in response to a QMI Agency story about an Ottawa-area woman denied a job because she was white. Whi le applying onl ine for a position with Citizenship and Immigration Canada the woman was asked to reveal her race.

Once she selected Caucasian the application process was shut down and she was unable to proceed with the application.

Continue reading

GTA scrutinized for being too white in municipal politics

Visible minorities in the GTA

Visible minorities vastly underrepresented in municipal politics
From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Nov. 07, 2011 10:10PM EST
Last updated Tuesday, Nov. 08, 2011 7:29PM EST

Immigration has changed the face of Canadian cities, but the complexion of their city council chambers remains much the same.

Visible minorities, too scarce at all levels of government, are vastly underrepresented in municipal politics. “We think of local governments as the most grassroots and closest to the people,” said Myer Siemiatycki, a Ryerson University professor who looks at the discouraging numbers in a new report, to be released Tuesday, for DiverseCity: the Greater Toronto Leadership Project. Yet “they are by far the worst in terms of having diverse identities elected.”  Continue reading

Former GG Michaelle Jean catapulted from UNESCO’s special envoy for Haiti to chancellor of the University of Ottawa

Michaelle Jean dances with a group of women during the inauguration ceremony of the Consolidated Credit Union of Magnambougou

Michaelle Jean named chancellor of University of Ottawa
(…)  Updated: Tue Nov. 08 2011 6:51:44 AM
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Former governor general Michaelle Jean has been named chancellor of the University of Ottawa.

Jean, UNESCO’s special envoy for Haiti, will become the 13th chancellor in the university’s history as of Feb. 1, 2012. Continue reading

NDP eyes young Muslim voters

Getting the Muslim youth vote out in Ontario


Concerns have been raised about the lack of political engagement of Canadian youth. During the federal election, voting flash mobs at Canadian universities were seen as a way to get young voters excited and eager to vote.

Unfortunately, most efforts to engage youth have been initiated by groups and organizations that I feel do not reflect the ethno-cultural diversity of Canada’s major cities. As an activist in Ottawa’s Muslim communities who is passionate about civic engagement, I wanted to take a lead in addressing what I’ve seen as a lack of engagement among young Muslims of voting age. Continue reading