Ontario education minister hosts diversity forum in Toronto

Ontario Minister of Education and MPP for Don Valley West, the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, will host a forum on diversity along with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Honourable Michael Chan, Jehad Aliweiwi, Harold Brathwaite, Shabnum Budhwani, Tarek Fatah, Alia Hogben, Abdul Ingar, Mandeep Kaur Mucina, Barbara Landau.

From her E-News Bulletin, Jan 27/08 edition Wynne says Ontario has an “opportunity is to be an example for the world of how people from different backgrounds live together in a climate of peace and mutual respect and understanding. To realize that opportunity we must learn from each other about how best to live together“.

The event will be held Wed. Jan 30th, 6:00-8:30 at Valley Park Middle School, 130 Overlea Blvd in Toronto. Contact information: 416-425-6777 or info@kathleenwynne.com.

Ontario Newcomer Settlement program funding

The Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration has opened a call for applications for its 2008-2009 Ontario Newcomer Settlement program. The program is described as: “funding to community-based not-for-profit organizations across Ontario to facilitate the settlement and integration of newcomers to Ontario. The goal of the program is to help newcomers succeed and have the opportunity to contribute to all aspects of life in Ontario”.

Funding is provided to initiatives that:

  • Focus on finding new ways of meeting existing and emerging needs by filling service gaps;
  • Deliver effective programs and services for newcomers;
  • Improve coordination between settlement and other services – social, educational, language training, labor-market integration – needed by newcomers;
  • Increase the effectiveness of the settlement service delivery system through the development of innovative solutions to sector issues and collaboration with other service providers.

To be eligible for this funding, applicants must be incorporated as a non-profit organization for at least two years and have at least two years experience in providing services for newcomer populations.

See the website for more information.Deadline is February 15, 2008.

‘For our kids’, video from settlement.org

For Our Kids is a video that features nine parents talking about their – and their children’s experiences – as newcomers to the Ontario school system.

The video is a resource for immigrant parents and addresses several ways that parents are and can be involved in their child’s school. Teachers also talk about the importance of parent involvement.

See the video (and other supporting resources) at settlement.org.

The impact of changing demographics on maternal and child health

Best Start: Ontario’s Maternal, Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre will feature a keynote on cultural diversity at their annual conference, to be held Feb 27-29/08 in Scarborough.

From the conference website, this description:

“Ontario’s demographics are rapidly changing and the composition of our communities reflects the increasing diversity of the population. These changes have a significant impact on the planning and delivery of services across the province, in both large and small communities as well as urban and rural. Following an overview on the extent of these demographic changes, panelists will help us understand some of the specific implications for maternal and child health programs, and strategies to ensure that our programs meet the needs of our growing diverse population”.

Panelists are: Judith Bernhard, Ryerson University, Linda Kongnetiman, Calgary Health Region and Dr. Doug Norris, Environics Analytics.

Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services writes to us!

On behalf of the Early Childhood Working Group, CCICY, letters of congratulation were sent on Nov 17/08 to the newly named Ontario ministers of Citizenship and Immigration (The Honourable Michael Chan) and Children and Youth Services (The Honourable Deb Matthews).

On December 8, Minister Chan’s response to our letter was posted on the blog. It brings me great pleasure to inform you that Minister Matthews has also now written. Click the image below to read the letter from Minister Matthews.

Link to letter from Minister Chan

Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration writes to us!

On behalf of the Early Childhood Working Group, CCICY, letters of congratulation were sent to the newly named provincial ministers of Citizenship and Immigration (The Honourable Michael Chan) and Children and Youth Services (The Honourable Deb Matthews) on November 17, 2007.

The letters of congratulation were a way to introduce the cabinet ministers to us and to the CCICY. They were also an item on our workplan.

I am delighted to report that Minister Chan has responded. When Minister Matthews replies, I’ll post that letter too. Click the image below to read Minister Chan’s reply.

Link to letter from Minister Chan

Ontario appoints an early learning advisor

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has named Charles Pascal today to be his Early Learning Advisor. Promised during the last provincial election, an Early Learning Advisor would inform the province on the development of a full-day “preschool” program. Alternately described as full day Kindergarten and/or an integrated early learning and child care program, the news is being applauded by both the education and child care sectors:

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario supports the appointment as does the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

Dr. Pascal is currently the Executive Director of the Atkinson Foundation. Given the Atkinson Foundation‘s support for immigration issues, Dr. Pascal will surely recognize the opportunity for immigrant children in a full-day preschool / early learning and child care program and work with the immigration sector to ensure the needs of immigrant parents and children are addressed. Let’s send a letter of congratulations to Dr. Pascal.