I am Canada: Celebrating the art of Canadian picture books

Readers of immigrantchildren.ca will know that I am passionate about children’s literature and the role it plays in supporting and promoting integration of newcomer children and their families. The blog has regularly featured picture books related to immigration, refugees, citizenship, anti-racism, and etc. I am happy to continue by promoting an exhibit launched yesterday by the Toronto Public Library on the Canadian picture book. The exhibit can be seen at the Toronto Reference Library at 789 Yonge St, just north of Bloor St. It runs until January 21, 2018.

Content below taken from the TPL website:

I Am Canada: Celebrating Canadian Picture Book Art

Image credit: © 2017 Danielle Daniel

About the Exhibit

Hope, happiness, possibilities … home. What does Canada mean to you?

Children’s picture books tell many stories about what it is like to grow up in Canada. This exhibit celebrates the work of best-loved Canadian illustrators who bring these stories to life.

I Am Canada showcases original picture book art from Toronto Public Library’s Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books and the private collection of Scholastic Canada, which has been introducing young people to the joys of reading for 60 years.

From I Am Canada: A Celebration, © 2017 Barbara Reid

Guided Tours

Every Tuesday at 2 pm. Meet inside the TD Gallery. Drop in. No registration required.

To organize group tours or class visits, please contact: ndawkins@torontopubliclibrary.ca

From The Paper Bag Princess, © 1980 Michael Martchenko

From Jillian Jiggs, © 1985 Phoebe Gilman

Related Programming: I Am Canada Storytimes

Join us for stories inspired by growing up in Canada. Select dates feature special guests, Irene Luxbacher and Stella Partheniou Grasso.
Every Tuesday at 10 am
TD Gallery

To organize class visits, please contact: ndawkins@torontopubliclibrary.ca

From Caribou Song, © 2001 Brian Deines

From The Dragon’s Egg, © 1994 Frances Tyrrell

TD Gallery logo TD Gallery Sponor

Child detention in the Canadian immigration system

Between 2010 and 2014, an average of 242 children were detained annually for immigration reasons in Canada, according to the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto. Worth noting here that the numbers are actually higher and do not include children who are not in detention themselves, but who accompany a parent who is detained.

This week, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) responded and issued a News Release, opening with these statements (links and emphasis added):

“As part of the Government of Canada’s work to create a better, fairer immigration detention system, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today issued Ministerial Direction to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on the treatment of minors in Canada’s immigration detention system. This direction is in addition to improvements currently being made to the system.

The key objective of the Ministerial Direction is to – as much as humanly possible – keep children out of detention, and keep families together. The Ministerial Direction makes it clear that the Best Interests of the Child must be given primary consideration”.

Best Interests of the Child, or BIOC, is language from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Canada is a party. It means that the BIOC must be “a primary consideration in all state actions concerning children”.

In addition to the Ministerial Direction, CBSA also released:

A critical responses from the field comes from the Canadian Council for Refugees. Read The CCR welcomes government directives to reduce detention of children, but more needs to be done.

Resources:

Kobina: Locked Up, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Canada Keeps Kids in Detention, a resource page of the Canadian Council for Refugees CCR Youth Network

Nov 6, 2017 CBC report

Canada’s Detention of Children, Human Rights Watch

Ten years of immigrantchildren.ca

immigrantchildren.ca was founded on November 3, 2007. Ten years ago today. Initially a project of the now defunct Canadian Coalition for Immigrant Children and Youth, since 2008 it’s been a personal passion of mine. I like to gather and share information and the blog has been a great outlet for me. I hope it’s been useful for you.

Over 10 years, immigrantchildren.ca has shared fun items, engaged in policy discussions, shared calls for papers and conference announcements, posted resources, raised issues and proposed ideas.

The 10 most popular posts:

  1. bzzzspeak ~ how children around the world interpret animal sounds
  2. A re-post of Barbara Kay’s column on the Burka Barbie
  3. Santa Claus gets Canadian citizenship
  4. 10th anniversary of Baker v. Canada
  5. Interculturalism is the new multiculturalism
  6. The Drummond Commission missed opportunities to address immigrant children and families
  7. Top 10 moments for immigrant and refugee children in 2015
  8. Refugee, Aboriginal, Francophone, Multicultural = The Celebration days of summer
  9. Policy advice for the #cdnimm Minister
  10. Books for children on immigration and refugees

A big thank you to everyone who participates on and offline and especially to the five people who have shared so generously their time and insight on immigrant children and youth through my recent ‘Four questions for …’ interview series.

What’s next? I’ll keep you all posted! And, I invite you to share what you’d like to see. Leave a comment here or tweet at me.

Thanks!

Canada’s new multi-level immigration plan

The government of Canada today released details on its new multi-level immigration plan.

The “growth-oriented” plan answers three key policy questions:

  1. How can Canada best respond to its ageing population?
  2. How should Canada address its labour needs while supporting innovation?
  3. How will Canada maintain its reputation on the world stage as a humanitarian nation and ensure those who need protection get it?

Some mentions of how immigration reflects Canadian values and the importance of integration. Nothing specific to immigrant children and youth. The plan is centered on economics.

Over three years, the plan is for Canada to increase immigration levels of about one million. Details here.