Canada C3: Diversity & Inclusion

In the short essay I submitted as part of my Canada C3 application, I chose to reflect on a theme which resonates with me on a personal level: diversity and inclusion.

My elementary school was full of mainly first-generation children from a diverse array of backgrounds. This is a photo of my grade five class in 1997.

 

I am from the most diverse city in the world. Toronto – a metropolis where over half of the residents, my parents included, are born outside of Canada.

Yet as a young child, I didn’t realize how unique this environment was. I had no idea that growing up amongst mainly first-generation peers whose parents had come from countries such as Sri Lanka, Poland, Egypt and China wasn’t common in many other parts of Canada.

I took multiculturalism for granted.

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The press covering the press!

Local German newspaper The Braunschweiger Zeitung has featured my article about living in Braunschweig as an expat.

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[The text above translated from German into English:]

Brunswick!

The online news site The Local Germany presents an international audience with the best of Germany – in the English language. Braunschweig is mentioned rather often, just like recently.

Journalist Shelley Pascual from Toronto summarizes her life experiences in Brunswick. For her, it’s probably the most underrated city in Germany. She’s even met people from Berlin who don’t know where Braunschweig is.

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A Trip up to Eagle’s Nest

After joining a Leger Holidays tour group on their visit to Eagle’s Nest in southern Germany in June, it was plain to see why so many visitors flock to Hitler’s former holiday retreat.

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What is today a seasonal restaurant and beer garden with sweeping views of the Bavarian Alps was actually a gift the National Socialist party gave to Hitler on his 50th birthday.

Perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the town of Berchtesgaden close to the Austrian border, Eagle’s Nest is just one of the various “iconic and infamous” sites included in the itinerary of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a tour which examines the “dark charisma of Adolf Hitler.” The group I had the pleasure of joining consisted mainly of British pensioners who all seemed to have one thing in common: a healthy fascination for history.

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Social Media and Trudeau’s 2015 Campaign

By mobilizing potential voters and personalizing his campaign via social media, Justin Trudeau used digital technologies to his advantage in Canada’s federal election last year.

Trudeau appeared relatable on social media in his openness to having selfies taken with potential voters. Photo: Canadian Press

 

When Justin Trudeau won the leadership position of Canada’s Liberal Party in 2013, social media was widely viewed as a key element of his success (Gruzd and Roy 2014). The use of social media in political processes and debates, however, was not new at the time. While few candidates were committed to using social media to its full potential in the UK’s 2010 general election (Southern and Ward 2011), Barack Obama’s exploitation of social media in America’s 2008 primary and presidential election continues to be heralded as the model for the full potential of digital technology in an election campaign (Strömer-Galley 2014).

Today, the use of social media in political campaigning has become seemingly prevalent; it is valuable to examine how – if at all – it is changing the nature of election campaigning. In order to explore this topic in-depth, I have chosen one political campaign to analyze.  

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The Refugee Crisis in Canadian News Media

A closer look at how the refugee crisis has been represented in Canadian news reveals how powerful the media can be in the reporting of global crises.

Since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, millions of people in Syria and surrounding war zones have fled their homes. They have sought asylum in neighbouring countries, nations in Europe, and countries as far away as Australia and Brazil. This mass displacement of people to different parts of the world can be considered not only a refugee crisis, but a global crisis.

A global crisis occurs when internationally legitimate humanitarian, political or military intervention is needed to resolve it (Shaw 1996). However, it can be asserted that crises today are principally defined and dramatized in and through media and communications (Pantti et al. 2012) and “it is mainly through media reports that the world perceives international crises” (Joye 2009: 3). Therefore, when analyzing global crises, it is crucial to look at how they are reported in the media.

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When impartiality is sacrificed for politics

In search of the truth, this column questions how Canada’s trash ended up in the Philippines as well as critically assesses an article that covered the dumping scandal in terms of journalistic concepts and principles.

Cut-off date: 11 December 2015

Filipino environmental activists hold a protest outside the Canadian embassy in Manila on 7 May 2015. Photo: AP Photo

 

When I first read Tristin Hopper’s newspaper article, I felt angry and ashamed. I didn’t want to believe that my native country had sent 50 shipping containers full of metro Vancouver waste to Manila. Over the past two years, Filipinos have been asking Canada to take back their trash. Whether the containers had actually been labelled “scrap plastic materials for recycling” or not, inspectors reported finding “rotting household waste and soggy paper” inside them.

After the initial shock, I took a closer, more critical look at the article. What was so important about this story that it made front page news? And why was it published on 13 October 2015 if the trash was sent to the Philippines two years earlier?

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Germany: The Migrant Crisis

As hundreds of asylum seekers continue to enter Germany each day, the country faces more and more challenges. The question is, how well is Germany coping with the migrant crisis within its borders? 

Cut-off date: 1 December 2015

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People often queue for days at the central registration centre for refugees and asylum seekers in Berlin’s Moabit district. Photo: REUTERS

 

He was sick of waking up in the middle of the night to music blasting from someone else’s cell phone. He could no longer bear living with a hundred others in a crowded gymnasium. He hated being unable to work and the resultant boredom. Most of all, he was frustrated by the uncertainty of whether his family would be able to join him and fearful for their safety.

“I would rather die in my homeland than stay here,” Murad Kulli told Der Tagesspiegel before he left.

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