Second-Class Canadians

Martin Boyd

No Second-ClassWith the passing of Bill C-24 last month, every immigrant who has obtained Canadian citizenship has now become a “second-class Canadian”. According to this new law, ironically titled the “Strengthening the Canadian Citizenship Act”, the citizenship of many Canadians is actually now much weaker. The new law effectively divides the country between citizens who are definitive Canadians, i.e. people who were born here and do not have the possibility of obtaining citizenship from another country, who cannot lose their Canadian citizenship under any circumstances, and provisional Canadians: the millions of immigrants, including more than 300,000 Hispanic-Canadians, who were not born in the country or those who, although born in Canada, hold dual citizenship or are eligible for it, who can be stripped of their Canadian citizenship under certain circumstances at the discretion of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

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The Best of Mexican Popular Music Comes to Toronto

Isabel Martínez

Lila DownsThis summer, two of the most important artists in Mexican popular music are coming to Toronto as part of the Pan American Games’ Panamania programme: Lila Downs (July 15) and Café Tacvba (July 22). If your knowledge of Mexican music is limited to mariachi, this is a chance to expand your vision of the rich cultural heritage of a country with an increasingly significant presence in Canada’s multicultural mosaic.

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Opening of a New Mexican Cultural Centre in Toronto

Paulina Derbez

Casa Cultural MexicanaIn recent years, the Mexican community has become one of the fastest growing communities in Toronto, in terms both of population and visibility. This growth can be seen in the increased number of Mexican cultural events in the city, as well as the growing number of businesses, media and academic initiatives dedicated to promoting Mexican culture in this city. The need to represent Mexico and its culture in Canada is rapidly growing, motivating Mexicans to find new spaces and platforms where these needs can be met, with a huge impact not only on the Mexican community but also on the Hispanic and Canadian communities in general.

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Mexico: Land of the Recurring Crises

Armando Palacios-Sommer

AyotiznapaSeptember 2014 changed Mexico. The consolidation of a stronger nation, where democracy, the rule of law and human rights are respected suddenly became a distant dream. Mexico today is racked by economic instability, unemployment, states effectively at war (Guerrero, Michoacán and Tamaulipas), others where rights and freedoms are suppressed (Mexico State and Veracruz), and a general contempt for the rule of law and respect for human rights (Iguala and Tlatlaya). What can explain the current situation? The general assumption is that the source of Mexico’s current problems is its government. Is this true, or is there a deeper problem?

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The Orchid

Martin Boyd

OrchidThe orchid had been a gift from Mrs. Zarowsky, to welcome them to their new home. They didn’t know much about plants, but they were grateful for the gift, which they placed beside the front door of the little two-bedroom apartment that the kindly old Ukrainian woman had rented to them. They’d found the apartment in their first few days in Toronto, and the moment they met Mrs. Zarowsky, who had welcomed them so warmly, and the moment they saw the bright, cozy apartment, they knew it was just the place for them, and they signed the lease at once.

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Day of the Dead Festival in Toronto

400px-Day_of_the_Dead_GirlDay of the Dead Festival
When: November 8-9, 2014
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto

Harbourfront Centre celebrates the contemporary stories, rituals and practices of Mexico and other Latin American countries with Day of the Dead/Dìa de los Muertos Festival (Nov. 8 & 9). Produced in partnership with Scotiabank, Harbourfront Centre’s two-day festival runs each day from 12 to 6 p.m. and offers patrons an opportunity to explore celebrations from Mexico, and other areas of Latin America, with handcrafted ofrendas, concerts, films, family activities and more.

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An Important Precedent for the Future of Canada’s Refugee Policy

Martin Boyd

LuluSince the 1970s, Canada’s Hispanic community has grown from a tiny group of pioneering Spanish and Latin American immigrants to a vibrant, multifarious community of well over half a million. A key factor in the development of this community, which today has become such a vital element of Canada’s multicultural mosaic, has been Canada’s positive approach to immigration, and in particular, its historically compassionate refugee policy. Indeed, a significant proportion of the first major waves of Hispanic immigrants to Canada were refugee claimants from the military dictatorships of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay in the 1970s, and from war-torn El Salvador in the 1980s, who played an important role in building and consolidating an infrastructure for Hispanic arts and culture in this country, and whose positive contribution to their adopted home has added a very welcome dimension to Canada’s cultural fabric.

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The Immortal Cantinflas

Martin Boyd

cantinflasThroughout the Spanish-speaking world and in Mexico in particular, Cantinflas is, beyond all doubt, a cultural icon. With Cantinflas, the Mexican comedian Mario Moreno created a character who featured in more than 50 films and became an emblematic image of Mexico’s national identity: the archetypal “pelado”, obtuse, at times insane but always hilarious, with a strong dose of social satire.

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Mexico proudly showcases its identity in Toronto

Nicolás Lucas

Photo: Notimex

Photo: Notimex

Last weekend at the University of Toronto’s MacMillan Theatre, a musical theatre performance of Mexican folk dance was presented under the name Mexico, History and Dance. The university campus theatre, which has a capacity of 800, was filled with an enthusiastic audience, who were delighted by a show in which 122 dancers and musicians took to the stage.

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