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Every day, Second Harvest delivers a portion of donated fresh and frozen food to its four Harvest Kitchens partners around the city. During a 17-week training session, students prepare over 20,000 meals for people in need across Toronto. These meals are delivered to agencies lacking kitchen facilities. Outreach workers and volunteers also deliver a number of these balanced meals to those who are unable or reluctant to go to agencies because of physical or mental challenges.
I know the uncertainty and pain of saying goodbye, not knowing when or if you will ever see your home and friends again. But I don't know what it feels like to flee with just the clothes on your back and a small bag of essentials. As hard as moving is, it is nothing compared to the trauma and constant upheaval of living as a refugee.
The first planes filled with Syrian refugees are touching down in Canada this week. We will no longer just be following their heartbreaking stories from a distance. Some of the people caught in this devastating conflict, people who have been so hotly debated about in the media, in workplaces, and around dinner tables, will now have a new home and a new life here in Canada. In order for this transition to happen, the Canadian newcomers will need much more than roofs over their heads and three square meals a day. It's absolutely essential that they feel welcome and supported.
Toronto is facing a political problem that it hasn't asked for. That problem has threatened both the trust Torontonians place in their government and how the world sees this city. We can strengthen our city. We can empower our immigrant communities, create jobs, and create a safe environment. But in order to do so, next year we have to stay focused on policy, not politics.
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During a brief vacation away with my Greek immigrant parents in sunny Florida, I had the serenity to engage them in several wonderful lengthy chats about their past (always a favourite topic of mine) and to quietly observe them. These are the additional gems that I have gained from my parents' experiences.
MONTREAL - A new study suggests Canadians have grown more tolerant of the country's immigration level