Category Archives: Politics

Can an ethnic-sounding name take you out of the competition for a job?

Last week, I was reading an interesting article on the Globe and Mail’s website about career advice. It revealed that job applicants with an ethnic-sounding name may actually be subconsciously discriminating against you and assuming that you may not have the right language and social skills for the job.

I think it’s quite shocking in this day and age that an ethnic-sounding name might reduce your chances of landing a job. Even if it’s not a conscious decision, now that a study has revealed that recruiters are more likely to pass over a resume with an ethnic-sounding name, employers should make sure that they aren’t making these mistakes and missing out on top talent.

According to the article, “the researchers sent out more than 7,000 hypothetical résumés to hiring managers at companies in three cities that had advertised jobs requiring that applicants have a bachelor’s degree and fluency in English. The positions covered a number of professional fields.” The study found that employers are 40% more likely to choose an applicant with an English sounding name than an ethnic-sounding one.

If employers want to increase diversity in the workplace, then this is a great way to start. Employers should be looking over their hiring ways and examining if they’re prone to these errors – and if they are, start correcting them before missing out on great candidates.

Have you ever felt that an ethnic-sounding name may reduce your chances for landing a job?

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Costs of establishing Africentric high schools in Toronto

Less than fifty years after the last racially segregated school in Ontario closed its doors, another one will open – but this time by choice. The Toronto District School Board approved the creation of an Africentric high school, to open once they find space or a school willing to share quarters. It won’t be easy. The project was put on hold last year when parents were furious at the notion.

I’m not sure if this is necessarily a set-back for Black rights but it certainly makes you question why the need to re-introduce segregation after spending so long fighting to end it. Proponents of this idea claim that it helps students feel more self-confident, have a sense of belonging and have even boosted academic grades.

But at what cost? At the steep price of telling these students that it’s easier and better to create your own separate school than learn to integrate with the rest of the population. Maybe that will be too difficult so soon we will be hearing demands for Africentric universities and even workplaces.

I’m not trying to minimize the benefits of these schools but I feel strongly that we should not be reverting back to old ways. How will students learn about different cultures, religions and races when the only people in their schools are all the same culture, religion or race? How do you learn to get along with diverse types of people if you grew up segregated?

Instead of segregation, we should be encouraging schools to promote inclusion when there is a mix of races, religions and cultures in the school. If students can’t attend a non-segregated school without feeling lost and out-of-place, then schools have a bigger responsibility to make students feel a sense of belonging. If Black families want their kids to receive a certain type of education about some aspects of their history and culture, then let’s incorporate those subjects into the classroom.

As Canadians, we often pride ourselves due to our multiculturalism. Let’s not revert back to archaic ways and instead promote inclusiveness, not segregation.

Who Should Students and New Graduates Vote for in the Ontario Provincial Election?

I doubt that the majority of Canadians have glanced at the PC’s forty-four page “changebook” or the Liberals’ sixty-page party platform. This means that the average Canadian will decide who they will vote for based on issues they read about in the news, ideology, political affiliation and party leader attachment. It’s hard to navigate through all the different speeches Ontario leaders have made and follow which promises are being made by which leader.

Students and new graduates should think carefully about what the leaders are promising to help them pursue their post-secondary education and find a meaningful job after graduation.

On Thursday, October 6, Ontario will vote for a new premier. Ontario has the highest undergraduate tuition rates in the province and second highest graduate school tuition rates.

Ontario also has the lowest per-student funding in the country. Student debt in Ontario has also risen by 20% over the last decade.

Find out what the candidates are promising students and new graduates here to counter these challenges:

Dalton McGuinty – Liberal

  • Cut post-secondary tuition by 30% for middle-class families (total joint income of less than $160,000 annually) which will save around $730 annually per student in college and $1,600 per student in university
  • Create another 60,000 post-secondary spaces in Ontario
  • Build three new undergraduate campuses to encourage students to study in Ontario
  • Provide grants for low-income Ontario families
  • Keep the cap on student debt to $7,300 per year of undergraduate study
  • Reduce graduates’ loan repayment until they can find work and, if they cannot, loan payments may be reduced to zero
  • Give an additional six-month grace period for loan repayments for graduates who work in the non-profit sector
  • Triple the number of start-ups in Ontario within the next five years to increase jobs for new graduates
  • Have eight “trade missions” where the premier advertises Ontario businesses around the world

Tim Hudak – PC

  • Increase spending on K-12 education by $2 billion by the end of first term in office
  • Reduce unnecessary bureaucracy in school boards
  • Increase technology in the classroom: allow parents to view their children’s standardized test results online
  • Create up to 60,000 post-secondary spaces in Ontario
  • End Liberal foreign scholarship program
  • End the “one-size-fits-all” funding of Ontario’s education system by evaluating the individual needs of each schools
  • Redirect the $30 million the current McGuinty government gives to foreign students to Ontario students instead

Andrea Horwath – NDP

  • Freeze post-secondary tuition for four years
  • Eliminate interest from the provincial portion of student loans, saving students $300 million annually

Not sure how to vote? Check out Elections Ontario‘s “We Make Voting Easy” site.

Which issues do you want your future premier to address to help you pursue your undergraduate education and find a good job after graduation?

Note: A similar article was first published on TalentEgg.ca, Canada’s number one career resource for students and new graduates. 

Who are you voting for on October 6th?

I’m usually pretty opinionated when it comes to politics. I like following political debates and knowing the different candidates’ platforms. But even though I like to consider myself ‘informed,’ I still have no idea who I’ll be voting for on October 6th.

In the past few elections, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to choose a candidate I truly admire. It seems like all the parties are offering similar things and if they’re not, it doesn’t matter anyways because campaign promises are so often broken. Yes, I would like to see an Ontario Premier not raise taxes, as per Tim Hudak’s platform. But why should I trust him any more than Dalton McGuinty?

In the past, I’ve considered myself a “Conservative” and voted for the Conservative Party of Canada federally. But I’ve become increasingly disheartened and unimpressed with the federal Conservatives that makes me question my support for the Progressive Conservatives provincially. Today, media outlets revealed that Harper paid a consultant over $90,000 a day for a total cost of almost 20 million dollars to help the government figure out where they can cut costs. Let me help you: I can save you about 20 million to start.

That’s just one issue among many that bothers me about the Conservative party and I know I’m not supposed to base my vote provincially on those views, but it’s hard to separate the two.

So why will Tim Hudak be better than any other politician making empty promises, wasting taxpayers’ hard earned money? He vows to put more money in our pockets and guarantees to offer the services we need. But at the end of the day, what does that mean?

Every other politician I’ve believed in has let me down. Why would this be any different?

In Memory of Jack Layton

He was one of Canada’s strongest leaders, who truly believed that you can succeed if you work hard enough. That’s what he proved when he was elected the leader of the Official Opposition of Canada this past spring, in a landslide victory that garnered his party the most seats in Canadian history.

Even if you did not believe in his views, Canadians admired Jack Layton for staying true to his beliefs and attempting to change the Canadian political landscape. Skeptics like myself didn’t even consider the NDPs a party to watch until this election, when Layton’s expertise, vision and strong leadership  touched millions of Canadians. I was once told at a conference that, realistically, only two parties in Canada were competing to lead Canada: the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. Layton proved that those who underestimated him were wrong.

Jack Layton was passionate about change in every aspect. He brought five young students to Ottawa, elected as Members of Parliament. When faced with criticism over their lack of experience and knowledge, Layton stood by them and again emphasized that youth were not apathetic or indifferent.

When I met Jack Layton in Ottawa a few months ago, I was struck by his charisma, strong interpersonal skills and his clear passion for what he did. I don’t agree with the majority of his party’s platform, but it is evident that he did with every fibre in his being and would never be told that his party was a mere fringe party that could never make a difference. He spoke proudly for what his party believed in and took countless questions from the audience – tough ones too I might add. I left the room feeling that he was definitely cut out to be a leader of Canada.

In this difficult time, my sincere thoughts go out to his family and friends. Ottawa won’t be the same without him.