It’s time Canada scrapped oath to Queen: Hepburn

Bob Hepburn on the citizenship oath and some of the silly commentary regarding those who oppose the current oath to the Queen:

“Forget the legalese,” wrote Naomi Lakritz, a Calgary Herald columnist. “Here’s a little populist language: If you don’t want to follow a basic rule for becoming a citizen of this great country — the best place in the world to live — then, don’t come here.

“And if you insist on coming here, don’t think you’re entitled to dictate how you are to become a citizen,” she added. “Go home, all three of you, because it’s not the oath that’s repugnant, it’s your attitude.”

A Toronto Sun editorial wailed about people who, like me, don’t like having the Queen as Canada’s head of state or who don’t like seeing the Queen’s face on our stamps and coins.

“If you don’t want to be a citizen of such a country, this may not be the place for you,” the Sun said.

Such attacks are unjustified and unwarranted, given that so many Canadian-born citizens are as outraged and disgusted as the three court challengers that Canada, which brags of its independence, still maintains ties with the British monarchy.

While judges may have decided they can’t change this law, there is nothing stopping Parliament from amending the Immigration Act.

Nothing but political will, that it.

It’s time Canada scrapped oath to Queen: Hepburn | Toronto Star.

Fighting for more diversity at the top: Hepburn

More on DiverseCity onBoard:

And the latest Annual Report Card by the Canadian Board Diversity Council shows the proportion of visible minorities on corporate boards fell from 5.3 per cent in 2010 to 2 per cent in 2013.

So why isn’t there widespread outrage over these troubling statistics? Why do our leaders, especially in public agencies, tolerate such situations?

Is it a question of a lack of talent in minority communities, which is hard to believe? Or are we missing something here?

“We have to see more diversity at our decision-making tables,” Toronto Mayor John Tory admitted this week at an event showcasing a small program that identifies, trains and helps place talented ethnic and minority candidates with boards of public and voluntary agencies.

The event, attended by political, business and community leaders, marked the national launch of DiverseCity onBoard, a successful made-in-Toronto program that traces its roots back to 2005.

This unique project was started by the Maytree Foundation with the goal of addressing the lack of diversity on boards of directors at public agencies, boards and commissions in the GTA.

Operating without much fanfare, DiverseCity onBoard has recruited more than 1,700 candidates, registered 650 organizations and successfully matched some 720 people from visible minority groups and under-represented communities to boards of directors with such bodies as hospitals, museums, local agencies and voluntary community associations.

The program staffers pre-screen candidates, teach them about how governance boards operate, and try to match qualified people with board openings.

Indeed, the program is so successful that it’s now being launched in six other major cities across Canada, including Hamilton, London, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa.

At the same time, the program is unveiling a new online training program that will let residents learn about corporate governance practices at home, at work or anywhere they have access to a computer.

If the program can succeed in Toronto, then there is little doubt it will work in these other urban centres, said Ratna Omidvar, executive director of the Global Diversity Exchange at Ryerson University, which now oversees the DiverseCity onBoard program.

Fighting for more diversity at the top: Hepburn | Toronto Star.