In Canada, Filipinos worry about relatives back home

The Philippines is now Canada’s largest source of immigrants. Somewhere between a quarter and a third of Filipinos in Canada come either as caregivers or their dependents, according to geographer Philip Kelly of York University (just 44 per cent of Filipino Canadians are male). There is significant demand for their labour. As an aging society with uneven access to daycare, there are a great many families and communities that need caregivers. And the Philippines produces them. It encourages its young graduates to go abroad, hailing them as heroes and building training academies and recruitment agencies to facilitate migration. The remittances they send back every year, including $2 billion from Canada, are the equivalent of 10 per cent of the national GDP. Every family needs at least one foreign worker just to bear local prices for education and real estate, said Professor Kelly in The Globe and Mail Nov. 17. But the consequences are borne by the children left behind. Read full story.

The new retiree: Renovating and on a spending spree
Popular myth has it that the retired don’t spend money, that they fret and fuss over small purchases and harrumph that everything costs too much anyway. . . . “The baby boom is recreating and redefining retirement,” said York University political science Professor Thomas Klassen in the Toronto Star Nov. 17. “They do not see themselves as old, but in their prime. They are going to be active and that includes employment, not just sitting on the couch and watching TV all day.” Klassen’s recently published book Retirement in Canada (Oxford University Press, $17.95) looks at the changing nature of retirement and how the trends are influencing family life, employers and politicians as they grapple with changes to the Canada Pension Plan and other entitlements. Read full story.

Are we too quick to cry bully?
While bullying is a real issue that causes real damage to kids who are victimized, psychologists say the ease with which these terms are thrown around is actually hurting the same children we want to protect, reported Nov. 15. . . . One of Canada’s leading experts on childhood aggression and victimization, Debra Pepler, says creating restrictive legislation around bullying sends another wrong message, which should be about improving education, not punishment. “Does isolating a child and sending him or her home for a week or two teach that child anything?” asked Pepler, a York University psychology professor. “It really doesn’t.” Read full story.

Man who gave Vaughan moniker ‘city above Toronto’ to run in 2014 municipal election
The man who coined the phrase of Vaughan being “the city above Toronto” is considering a run for city council in next October’s municipal election, reported the Vaughan Citizen Nov. 15. Frank Miele, a former, longtime economic development commissioner for Vaughan, left that post in 2007. He currently teaches regional economic development at York University, economic development at Ryerson School of Planning and municipal finance and accounting at Seneca College. Asked today if he is considering throwing his hat in the ring in 2014, Miele said, “never say never.” He added that a move into local politics is something he’s been considering for some time. Read full story.