C U LT U RwestS
Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007
hortly after AMSSA was born 30 years ago, Cultures West
emerged as a newsletter for keeping member agencies
in this issue... AMSSA is an affiliation of Member Agencies providing from the and stakeholders abreast of multicultural interests, news
immigrant settlement and multicultural services in and issues in BC. In celebration of amssa’s 30th anniver-
communities throughout BC.
FEATURES sary, Cultures West is getting a makeover. However, do not be
3 Message from the President dismayed as the changes are not of the extreme kind. They are aes-
Emese Szücs VISION
4 Reflections on Working in the Immigrant AMSSA believes in a just and equitable society which values thetic and we continue explore important themes with with infor-
Settlement Sector Canada’s cultural diversity.
Sherman Chan, Jean McRae, Timothy Welsh
mative and thought provoking content.
7 Immigrant Settlement Services in Portugal MISSION
AMSSA provides leadership in advocacy and education in British This edition of Cultures West is all that are emerging to meet the needs of
Columbia for anti-racism, human rights, and social justice. AMSSA about issues relating to settlement and newcomers as well as those who are still
8 An Immigration Strategy for Newfoundland supports its members in serving immigrants, refugees and culturally immigration. For many years demogra- in the process of immigrating to Canada.
diverse communities. phers, economists and think tanks have These include a couple of interesting
9 Immigration Trends in Alberta been citing immigration as the leading websites like www.canadaimmigrants.
Jim Gurnett GOALS factor in Canada’s economic well-being. com and www.notcanada.com from
22 Partnering for Success: The Story of the Association To build Member Agencies’ capacity through effective It’s a theme that is catching on. which we share some of the engaging
of International Medical Doctors of BC communication, facilitation, and collaboration. Consider this — the June 28, 2007 dialogue between immigrants and
Patrick Coady edition of the Globe and Mail reports prospective immigrants.
24 It’s Not about the Money: Stories from Front Line To advocate for social justice and equity in immigration,
that “The most critical issue facing And since immigration is all about
Settlement Workers multiculturalism, anti-racism, and human rights.
Canadians is immigration.” Fortunately, people, we bring you personal experi-
Cecelia Chong, Sharon Pannu
To increase AMSSA’s profile as a provincial organization. Fortunately, the the provincial and federal governments
are also coming to terms with this real-
ences from long term workers reflecting
on changes to the sector while front line
ARTICLES & STORIES provincial and ity: immigration is redefining Canada workers talk about why they do the work
10 Canada’s New Government Delivers Funding AMSSA and remains essential to our future. they do.
for Settlement Sector 205-2929 Commercial Drive federal government In this edition of Cultures West we Not to be forgotten of course are our
11 Provincial Funding to help Immigrants Settle, Vancouver, BC V5N 4C8 take a broad look at settlement services. popular departments. Again, while we
Access Work are also coming A quick examination of the federal have updated our look, our content
Tel: 604 718-2777 1 888 355-2777
16 Federal Initiatives: Improving Information for
Fax: 604 298-0747 to terms with this immigration program in Portugal shows remains vital. Challenge yourself with
Email: email@example.com us what other countries are doing. the MindBuster Quiz, see what’s been
18 Provincial Initiatives: Settlement Workers in Schools
Website: www.amssa.org reality: immigration Closer to home, we look at immigration happening with our member agencies in
and settlement trends in Alberta and our Member Achievements section (for-
19 Provincial Initiatives: Skills Connect for Immigrants AMSSA STAFF is redefining Newfoundland. With service funding be- merly Regional Roundup) and read our
Executive Director: Lynn Moran
20 The Emergence of Mutual Support Groups
23 Support Networks: BC Internationally Trained
Program Director: Timothy Welsh Canada and ing an important factor in this sector we
also review what’s happening both at the
PostScript on the changes taking place
at Metropolis BC.
Accountant: Brita Fransvaag
Professionals Network (BCITP Net) Administrative Assistant: Inna Tomashuk remains essential to provincial and government levels. There’s a lot of information between
Calendar Coordinator: Bernard Bouska There are several new and fairly these covers, so sit back, relax and enjoy
IN EVERY ISSUE Safe Harbour Project Coordinator: Lindsay Marsh our future. innovative programs aimed at helping the new Cultures West !
6 Mind Buster Quiz EDITORIAL COMMITTEE newcomers settle in Canada more easily. Emese Szücs, President
12 Member Achievements Editor: Leslyn V. Johnson Check out federal initiatives such as ciip
Jean McRae, Lynn Moran, Kelly Pollack, Timothy Welsh and the Canadian Foreign Credential
26 Answers to Mind Buster Quiz
26 Kudos Referral Office, while the BC government
DESIGN AND LAYOUT
weighs in with Skills Connect and Settle-
26 Welcoming New Members John McLachlan – Gliss Media
ment Workers in Schools.
27 Post Script:
Metropolis BC – New Kid on the Block or Old Neighbour? This issue of Cultures West funded by The discussion would not be com-
Vicky Baker BC Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch. plete without including mutual support
groups and community organizations
28 List of AMSSA members (as of October 20, 2007) ISSN 0844-1715
2 AMSSA – Cultures West Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 AMSSA – Cultures West 3
Reflections on Working in the
Immigrant Settlement Sector
Reflections on Settlement Service Training and Standards My Reflections on Working in Immigrant
Sherman Chan – Director of Settlement Services, MOSAIC
he first settlement organi- In 1998 the Canadian Council for ism Division released a BCSAP Training
Settlement – 15 Years In
Timothy Welsh – Program Director, AMSSA
zation was incorporated Refugees published a book on Best Framework in 2007, and a BC Settlement
in 1922 as the Jewish Settlement Practice, while the National and Adaptation Program Conference:
started in immigrant settlement “Thanks to my son, there will be work-
Immigrant Aid Society. Settlement Conference Working Group Redefining Immigrant Settlement in BC
somewhat by accident. I had ers to take care of us in our retirement
85 years later, settlement IV produced a discussion paper on was held in 2007.
worked in many positions in years.” And I have lived an amazing range
service has become a specialized service National Settlement Service and Settlement services extend beyond
government, but decided that of experiences working in community
geared to facilitate the full and equi- Standards Framework in 2003. immigrant and refugee serving orga-
wasn’t a “fit” for me. That includ- non-profit settlement services.
table participation of all newcomers in Locally, the Multilateral Task Force nization, and therefore much more is We now get calls ed working as an Immigration Enforce- I am equally excited and concerned
Canadian society. Settlement services on Training, Career Pathing and Labour needed. It is essential to have competen-
are not just provided through immigrant Mobility produced a final report on cy based training, sectoral standards and daily from media, ment Officer at the Vancouver airport. I
subsequently discovered that jobs with
about the future of this unusual social
serving sector. I truly value the great
and refugee serving organizations; they Occupational Competencies Frame- settlement workers’ support networks
are also provided through neighbour- work for Immigrant and Multicultural that are committed to ensuring quality
professional non-profit organizations were a much respect that our many community
better personal “fit,” including manag- partners show for our expertise and
hood houses, community centers, school Service (1998), the Ministry of Attorney service provision to new immigrants and associations, sector ing a Labour Market Language Program commitment. But I see that the
districts, private sector and others. General Settlement and Multicultural- refugees all across BC.
at iss and helping refugees at Welcome community-based agencies that have
councils, academics, House. But I learned quickly that no-one done this work for years continue to
students, private understood what I did! My parents tried face the same old challenges: increasing
to show interest, but even they were service demand and insufficient and un-
Reflections of working in the immigrant settlement sector 1981 – 2007 confused.
Well how times have changed!
stable service funding. And now they see
mainstream organizations moving into
Jean McRae – Executive Director, Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria school boards, the
Everybody not only understands the our sector to provide similar services.
hen, in 1981, I Now, there are esl programs and general public and importance of immigrant and refugee
settlement now, it seems like everyone
After years of benign neglect by govern-
ment and the public, all eyes are now on
started to study settlement services available for all
to teach English immigrants, in addition to more special- every imaginable wants to deliver settlement and integra- us and the work we do.
as a Second ized employment programs available to I think, overall, things tion services. In the last few years work-
Language, very all immigrants. Most of the programs government body. ing at amssa, responding to requests to
few people were aware of what esl was. are now funded by the province and as
have gotten better share our expertise and to collaborate
Several years later all the students in my a sector we had a lot of influence on the and that there is has become unmanageable. We now
get calls daily from media, professional
high school esl classes were refugees. nature of the services. I think, overall,
When I started working at a settlement things have gotten better and that there a much greater associations, sector councils, academ-
agency, part of my job as a settlement is a much greater awareness in our ics, students, private sector companies,
worker was overseeing an esl program communities of the value immigrants awareness in our school boards, the general public and
every imaginable government body.
for refugee women and all our clients
were refugees. The services were limited
bring to our society and the importance
of good services to ease their entry into
communities of the “Please serve on our advisory committee,”
and the eligibility was limited. All the their new community. Some things value immigrants “Please act as a research informant,” “Do
programs were funded by the federal haven’t changed for the better. The you know where I can find research on
government. Service providers pulled sector is still under-funded and we are bring to our society... how great immigrants are assimilating?”
together and advocated for expansion of constantly forced to prove our worth I am happy to say my mom has
Jean McRae grown to be very proud of my work, and
services and more reasonable levels of as providers. There is still work to do to
funding. improve the services. she loves to tell her friends what I do:
4 AMSSA – Cultures West Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 AMSSA – Cultures West 5
Mind Buster Global Trends in Immigration:
quiz Immigrant Settlement Services in Portugal
by Timothy Welsh
ortugal and the City of
Lisbon are experiencing
➊ How many new immigrants arrived in Canada in 2006? ➏ What percentage of immigrants to BC in 2006 arrived
and responding to a fairly
new trend, the welcomed
a) 151,511 with official language skills? arrival of increasing
b) 251,511 a) 57%
increasing numbers of immigrants of
c) 351,511 b) 64%
mass emigration. Portugal’s economy is
d) 451,511 c) 67%
d) 74% strengthening with the eu, after decades
at the trailing end of European economic
➋ Which province had the largest share of Canada’s performance. Along with ongoing arriv-
business class immigrants in 2006? ➐ In 2006, which of the following was not one of the top als of refugees, primarily from former
a) Ontario five intended occupations of principal applicants in the Portuguese colonies in Africa, Portugal is
b) Quebec Skilled Worker Class? now promoting organized immigration
c) British Columbia a) Computer programmer from its former colonies and Eastern
d) Alberta b) Mechanical engineers Europe. Ukraine is now the primary
c) Sales, marketing and advertising managers source country, followed by Brazil and
d) Civil engineers
➌ BC Welcomed 42,000 new immigrants in 2006.
a range of African countries including
Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde,
These new arrivals came from how many countries or
➑ In order of number, rank the following immigrants to BC
Mozambique and Sao Tome and
a) 76 by World Source Region.
b) 110 a) Africa, Middle East In Portugal, the federal agency re-
c) 180 b) Asia, Australia and Pacific sponsible for immigrants and settlement
d) 203 c) Europe, except the UK is the National Immigrant Support claims and social services). Portuguese very readily due to common
d) Latin America, Greenland Centre (acime). There are two ACIME Immigrant and settlement serv- pronunciations.
e) United Kingdom locations. One is in Lisbon, the main ing ngos are represented by Cultural acime also includes a cultural
➍ Which are the top three source countries for the Live- f) United States destination of newcomers to the Interpreters, who must first demon- forum, a food bar, client work spaces,
in-Caregiver Program? country. The second is in the only other strate their strong active connections a supervised child’s play area and an
a) Philippines, India, Russia Data taken from Immigration Trends 2006 published in May significant immigrant receiving centre, to communities and who are trained to independent Immigration Observatory
b) Philippines, Slovak Republic, England 2007 by the Multicultural and Immigration Branch, Government the smaller northern city of Porto. acime do language and cultural interpretation research office that has organized access
c) Philippines, England, Russia of British Columbia. is primarily staffed by government to all acime offices. All staff wear some to a broad range of their own and others’
d) Philippines, India, Slovak Republic employees and presents an interesting form of colour coded clothing (ties, research reports.
and dynamic approach to supporting scarves etc.) which correspond to wall
➎ Which are the top three source countries for Refugees immigrants and refugees. signs that code service types by colour Timothy Welsh is a Program Director AMSSA.
to BC? There is a very new Portuguese and number. Services include triage,
a) Thailand, Afghanistan, Iran Secretariat of Immigration, which brings immigration (including refugee claims),
b) Sudan, Iran, Pakistan together staff from a range of govern- health, social supports, employment,
c) Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran Answers can be found on page 26 ment ministries and functions into a legal support and education. Interest-
d) Thailand, Afghanistan, Pakistan single integrated service centre. Staff are ingly, only the Ukrainians don’t speak
specially trained for the particulars of as- Portuguese as a first language, so the
sisting immigrants and refugees, and in provision of immigrant language train-
some cases are given clear roles as ing is new to Portugal and not done by
advocates within government systems acime but by community organizations.
on behalf of their clients (e.g. refugee However, the Ukrainians, it seems, learn
6 AMSSA – Cultures West Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 AMSSA – Cultures West 7
An Immigration Strategy Immigration Trends in Alberta
for Newfoundland and Labrador by Jim Gurnett
by Bridget Foster
ver the past number of foundland and Labrador Immigration or many years Alberta has ary migrants now coming to Alberta statement and a number of practical
years, the face of im- Strategy, the provincial government not been very noticeable in from other parts of Canada. This creates programs.
migration has changed announced that it would establish an the area of immigration in service challenges since federal funding Another recent and troubling
considerably in Atlantic Office of Immigration and Multicultural- Canada since it only attracts remains connected to landings. Thirty issue in Alberta is the huge growth in
Canada. In fact, in my ism. With a commitment of six million about six or seven percent percent or more of new clients at many temporary foreign workers, especially
twenty-five years involved in the settle- dollars over three years, the strategy of immigrants and has little overall immigrant serving organizations each those in lower skilled occupations. In
ment sector, first as a volunteer, then as outlines 18 goals with identified approach to settlement and integration month are now secondary migrants. some rural municipalities there are now
Executive Director of the Association for Bridget Foster at the March 21 launch of activities and initiatives to ensure issues. In addition to specific funding more temporary workers than citizens.
the Immigration Strategy for Newfoundland
New Canadians, I have witnessed signifi- and Labrador. implementation. The government has Now, for the first time there is a support for services to immigrants, Immigrant-serving organizations gener-
cant growth and a renewed interest in also established targets and within five ministry that recognizes this element of community organizations, educational ally are not funded to provide assistance
the sector. attention and dedicated resources on years hopes to attract between 1200 to Alberta life in its name (Employment, institutions and for-profit companies to these people but they are increasingly
Historically, immigration has been immigration. 1500 immigrants annually, with a Immigration and Industry) and, in late also receive significant funding largely showing up at the door. The provincial
the responsibility of the federal govern- Over the past few years in New- retention rate of approximately 70%. 2005 a policy framework for government for immigrants from other provincial government remains keen to support
ment. However, in more recent years, foundland and Labrador, there has been Out-migration, the shortage of skilled action was approved. This past spring departments. Much of the employment employers clamouring for this “solution”
there has been a move to involve both significant interest in immigration at workers and declining birth rates are all the province signed a new agreement and family literacy services are funded in to labour needs, but has not developed
the provinces and municipalities. In both the provincial and community key demographic concerns for New- with Ottawa, with the goal of moving this way. procedures that provide assurance of it
fact, the commitment from provincial levels. Immigration is seen not only as a foundland and Labrador. Indeed with towards Alberta having more control The desperate shortage of low- working well.
and municipal partners and the genuine means to attract skilled workers and a growing economy and looming skill selecting immigrants. A weak provincial income affordable housing in Edmonton There are about 20 immigrant
interest from the community and other offset out-migration, but also as a poten- shortages, increased immigration and nominee program is being revamped and Calgary and smaller “boom” cities serving organizations in Alberta who
stakeholders is remarkable. There is ob- tial solution to revitalizing rural commu- improved retention rates can provide with new ambitious targets. such as Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray work together as Alberta Association
vious momentum in the Atlantic region nities. In December 2004, the provincial potential solutions. I am very optimistic The framework has four strategic and Red Deer, is a huge difficulty for of Immigrant Serving Agencies (aaisa).
as each of the provinces move forward in government appointed a Director of Im- about the future of immigration in New- directions: creating welcoming commu- immigrants. One organization reports Its website at www.aaisa.ca offers good
establishing inclusive policies, programs migration Policy and Planning. In 2005, foundland and Labrador and, with the nities, attracting more immigrants, that two years ago settlement staff could information and links. The provincial
and practices to make Atlantic Canada a following the release of an immigration current level of commitment and coop- supporting people to live success- typically find appropriate housing for a government’s site is at
viable resettlement destination. discussion paper and province-wide eration, I am certain that we will achieve fully and ensuring better labour market newcomer family within three hours, but http://employment.alberta.ca.
Immigrant serving agencies have consultations, a report on the consulta- the targets outlined in the Provincial achievements. it is now taking three days.
long recognized the importance of tions was released. In September 2006 Immigration Strategy. Not bad for a The number of people choosing to The City of Calgary has been thinking
attracting and retaining immigrants in the provincial government hosted an rocky island adrift in the North Atlantic! land in Alberta has increased somewhat about immigrants as part of its life for Jim Gurnett is the Executive Director of the
order to help sustain Atlantic Canada. Immigration Symposium which culmi- in the past two years and the ten percent several years and has well-developed ac- Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers
As such, in recent years the govern- nated in the release of its Immigration Bridget Foster is the Executive Director goal of the policy framework may be in tivities. The City of Edmonton has made
ments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Strategy on March 21, 2007. of the Association for New Canadians in sight. A more dramatic development has rapid progress in the past two years
and pei have moved ahead, focusing In March 2007, as part of the New- St. John’s NFLD. been the substantial increase in second- and recently adopted an overall policy
8 AMSSA – Cultures West Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 AMSSA – Cultures West 9
Canada’s New Government Provincial Funding to help
Delivers Funding for Settlement Sector Immigrants Settle and Access Work
n November 2006 the federal $77 million for all other provinces and ing important investments to ensure elcomeBC is a Multiculturalism Wally Oppal said.
government announced $307 territories except Quebec, which is the long-term success of newcomers new immigration Under the Agreement for Canada-
million in new settlement fund- covered by a separate agreement. Over to Canada, including an $18 million initiative unveiled British Columbia Cooperation on Immi-
ing to provinces and territories $138 million will be provided to Brit- investment allocated in budget 2006 to in June 2007 to gration last fall, the Province negotiated
outside Quebec. The funding will ish Columbia over the next two years, establish an agency for the assessment help immigrants an additional $71.5 million in federal
ensure services and supports are in place including $38 million from Budget 2006. and recognition of foreign credentials moving to British Columbia access exist- funding, over two years, for services
to give immigrants every opportunity to Canada’s new government is mak- (see story on page17.) ing and expanded services under one for the province’s growing immigrant
succeed in their new homeland. umbrella so they are better able to adapt population and $1.573 million for anti-
Former Minister of Citizenship and Total settlement funding allocations to life in their new communities. racism and multiculturalism services.
Immigration, Monte Solberg, said the The following chart indicates the total settlement funding for the provinces and territo- In making the announcement, Other programs are being developed
move came as a result of the govern- ries outside Quebec. This includes a renewal of the basic settlement funding received in Premiere Gordon Campbell said that in consultation with immigrant settle-
ment realizing that in recent years the previous years, plus the additional $307 million announced in the 2006 budget. “WelcomeBC will help newcomers to ment service providers, using available
number of newcomers to Canada was British Columbia find everything from funding.
growing rapidly, but settlement service Province or territory 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 Percentage of important information about English The funding is the first in a series
funding was not. He continued by saying 2005–06 – 2007–08 language courses to employment, health, of anticipated enhancements over the The initiative will
that “now, there will be more new Cana- Alberta $15,940,875 $25,123,492 $30,591,991 91.9% education and recreation services in next two years which will reduce wait
dians who can access language train- British Columbia $40,401,285 $63,288,495 $75,427,732 86.7% their new communities.” The province times for English language training and improve immigrants’
ing, orientation, referral to community Manitoba $8,819,850 $13,101,588 $14,952,888 69.5% is investing $43 million over two years increase access to advanced language
resources, employment-related services, Newfoundland and Labrador $892,475 $1,244,276 $1,311,252 46.9% through WelcomeBC to help expand training for those trying to gain employ-
access to jobs,
New Brunswick $1,012,201 $1,305,218 $1,785,240 76.4%
interpretation and translation.”
Northwest Territories $150,000 $203,647 $306,142 104.1%
these important services and help immi- ment. The initiative will improve immi- reduce barriers
Minister Solberg made the Nova Scotia $2,127,778 $27,22,534 $3,380,925 58.9% grants adapt to their new life in British grants’ access to jobs, reduce barriers for
announcement with British Columbia Nunavut $109,248 $137,812 $215,056 96.9% Columbia. refugees and assist newcomers to settle for refugees and
Premier Gordon Campbell at success, a Prince Edward Island $32,7800 $424,744 $773,702 136.0% BC continues to be Canada’s most into their communities. It will also help
major immigrant-serving agency in BC Saskatchewan $2,577,750 $3,247,595 $3,985,192 54.6% popular destination, per capita, for new immigrant youth and their families. assist newcomers
Yukon $150,000 $195,513 $287,427 91.6%
and amssa member. They were joined by
partners from settlement organizations
immigrants. About 42,200 immigrants
moved to the province in 2006.
Pilot projects will explore new ways
of helping the most vulnerable newcom-
to settle into their
* For Ontario, amounts are allocated as per the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, which
and newcomers who benefit from pro-
covers more programs than the breakdown above. The Agreement covers not only basic
“WelcomeBC sends immigrants a mes- ers, including refugees, as well as youth, communities.
grams such as community orientation sage that we all benefit when newcom- children and families. Settlement work-
services but also funding for Enhanced Language Training, an Internet portal and administration
and language training. ers can participate fully in local econo- ers, located directly in schools, will assist
costs for CIC. For 2006–07, this represents a total of $222,924,079, and for 2007–08, a total of
“Immigration is an integral part of $293 million. mies and community life,” Attorney young people to succeed in school and
British Columbia’s Pacific Leadership General and Minister responsible for at home (see story on page 18).
Agenda and we want to ensure that
newcomers who come to our country Over the next two years, WelcomeBC will provide:
through Canada’s Pacific Gateway can Immigration is an integral part of British Columbia’s $9 million to reduce $12 million to expand $8 million to increase $11 million for $1.6 million for
access the opportunities and support wait lists for begin- intermediate (level 4 information and settlement workers improved information
they need,” said Premier Campbell. “This Pacific Leadership Agenda and we want to ner English language and 5) ELSA classes; settlement services to assist new stu- and outreach services
demonstrates our continued commit- services for adults another $2 million to such as health care dents in schools in for immigrants facing
ment to work with all levels of govern- ensure that newcomers who come to our country (ELSA); expand intermediate access, employment the Lower Mainland, multiple barriers.
ELSA courses for im- and recreation ser- Fraser Valley and
ment to ensure the needs of immigrants
through Canada’s Pacific Gateway can access the migrants entering or vices to help immi- Greater Victoria; and
in the labour market grants adjust to living
The funding includes $230 million for opportunities and support they need outside of the Lower in British Columbia;
Ontario, in accordance with the Canada- Mainland;
Ontario Immigration Agreement, and
10 AMSSA – Cultures West Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 AMSSA – Cultures West 11
Agency: Kamloops Immigrant Services (KIS)
Agency: Skeena Diversity Society
Agency: Cowichan Intercultural Society (CIS)
Agency: Abbotsford Community Services
Kamloops Immigrant Services (kis) has been providing as- Program: Tastes of Terrace Project: Inclusive Leadership Facilitator Training: Skills for Project: Village of Men Project: A domestic violence
sistance to immigrants, first generation Canadians, and visible Skeena Diversity Society organized a “flavoursome” event living in diverse communities prevention project for Indo-Canadian men
minorities for over 20 years. In addition, they offer services to called Tastes of Terrace as a part of Terrace’s Riverboat Days, a In August, youth and adults from inter-cultural organizations Abbotsford Community Services is piloting an initiative in
other agencies, businesses and the public in an effort to pro- community event designed to get people out and about town and anti-racism committees on Vancouver Island, Powell the Indo-Canadian community reflecting the critical need for
mote understanding and harmony amongst different cultural on a tasting tour of local restaurants. The event was a great River, Abbotsford and Langley participated in five days of culturally appropriate and domestic violence prevention
groups in the community. These services include Settlement success and offered many a chance to experience new foods advanced training in Inclusive Leadership organized by messages in English and Punjabi.
Counselling, Employment, English Language Training, Wage and culture. From French fondue to East Indian butter chicken Cowichan Intercultural Society. The goal was to build skills for The Village of Men project will:
Subsidy and Diversity Education. Although services are avail- and Mexican ceviche, the sold-out event had visitors and resi- guiding others to connect with differences, communicate with n develop English and Punjabi public service advertise-
able primarily in the city of Kamloops, staff may also travel to dents alike experiencing something new as they strolled from compassion and apply anti-discrimination first aid. ments to be broadcast in the Lower Mainland using
other communities such as Merritt, Ashcroft, Lillooet, one downtown eatery to another. CIS Safe Harbour Coordinator, Christine Fagan summed partnering television, radio and newspaper outlets
Revelstoke, Clearwater, 100 Mile House and Barriere. Exceeding Skeena Diversity’s best expectations, partici- up the experience, “The Inclusive Leadership training was fan- n create a resource information booklet in English and
Over the past year kis has been involved in a variety of pants had a chance to try Terrace’s rich culture, one bite at a tastic. I have been teaching esl for sixteen years, yet I learned Punjabi for Indo-Canadian at-risk men
multicultural activities. These include Bridging Cultures, a time. Individual $5 maps were sold prior to the event, and so much in one week. The workshop gave me the skills and n pilot a men’s support group for Indo-Canadians who do
friendship program, which pairs community residents with allowed map holders to visit the seven participating restau- confidence I need to facilitate Safe Harbour workshops. We not qualify for currently available programs The
new immigrants and assists them with settling into life in rants where each had prepared samples of their cuisine. were even given time and guidance to create an action plan, participants will be Indo Canadian men who are at-risk or
Canada. kis also organized the Stand Against Racism to mark Skeena Diversity is now looking at how to expand the whatever our passion. Another thing I loved was getting the who have been involved in minor domestic violence inci-
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimina- event for the future. The feedback received was very positive chance to network with a diverse and gifted group of diversity dents, but who were not criminally charged or convicted
tion held on March 21 and in July, participated in the Charity with both restaurant owners and participants already thinking educators, youth group coordinators, counsellors and many for these offences
Challenge, an event that gives not for profit organizations the about next year’s Taste of Terrace. many more.” n develop a facilitator’s manual for instruction of mens’
opportunity to provide the general public with information on For more information about future Inclusive Leadership groups
their services. training contact cis at 250-748-3112. The PSA’s will appear on Channel M in November and
The event was December and Red FM in January.
a great success
and offered many
a chance to
foods and culture.
Participants practicing an interactive activity focused on exploring, sharing and Left to right Cofacilitators of Advanced Training in Inclusive Leader-
celebrating diversity. (photo: Linda Hill) ship Kim Citton, Raj Gill and Linda Hill. (photo: Jenny Ferris)
12 AMSSA – Cultures West AMSSA – Cultures West 13
Agency: S.U.C.C.E.S.S Agency: The Multicultural Family Agency: Progressive Intercultural Agency: Richmond Intercultural Advisory Committee
Project: Connecting Employers to Immigrants: Centre at REACH Community Health Community Services Society (PICS) Project: Bridges to Community
www.5StepSolution.ca Centre Project: 10th Anniversary Celebrations Richmond Intercultural Advisory Committee was formed in
As a result of the Employer Immigrant Success Stories proj- Project: Cross-Cultural Health Brokers PICS Vancouver celebrated its 10th Anniversary 2001 with a mandate to advise the Council on intercultural
ect, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. has developed the 5-Step Solution. This is a Program: Supporting Access to Healthcare for this year. Attending the anniversary celebrations issues of concerns to the citizens. City objectives were to make
simple, clear web portal aimed at helping employers find the Multicultural Families were several representatives from the employment Richmond, ‘The most appealing, livable and well managed
resources they need to prepare for, recruit and integrate sector, neighbourhood houses, media and government rep- community in Canada’. riac took this assignment to heart by
The Multicultural Family Centre at REACH Community Health
immigrants into their companies. resentatives including mla Richard Lee. Lee presented pics inviting various organizations to give presentations on issues
Centre is running a pilot Cross-Cultural Health Broker project.
The goal is to help employers recognize and reach the great Vancouver with an outstanding achievement award for the that could make the City goals achievable.
Trained Cross-Cultural Health Brokers from the Vietnamese,
labour resource that is available but often overlooked. With hard work that has been done in the last ten years. Initiatives of Change (IofC) came to the table with a new
African, Latin American, Afghani and South Asian commu-
some thought and planning, employers can adapt their recruit- pics Vancouver received accolades for its continuous documentary film The Imam & The Pastor, which illustrates the
nities will work to build their respective community mem-
ment practices and find the employees they need. Employers success in the hard work they have done in the last ten years. dynamics of building bridges to community. riac, partnering
bers’ capacity to access health care. The program focuses on
who visit the 5-Step Solution website will find a collection of delivering services and for the personal touch and caring with IofC, organized a public forum at City Hall in June 2007,
families with children aged 0 to 5, as well as on chronic disease
some of the best web resources available to help simplify the approach provided by pics staff to each and every client. In ad- inviting community, religious leaders and the public. The event
prevention. The services will include visits to health care
process of hiring immigrants. Other tools available include dition, pics Society was recognized for its tireless work in the was a great success with many asking that the film show be
practitioners, participation in health promotion activities and
Employer and Immigrant success story vignettes, access to a community and was invited to work on emerging issues and repeated.
accessing information about the health care system, services
monthly e-newsletter on diversity in the workplace and a link and health conditions. new projects in an effort to make Canada and the Southeast
to resources for immigrant job seekers. Brokers will work from the Multicultural Family Centre at Vancouver neighbourhood in particular a better place to live.
REACH Community Health Centre and the Bridge Clinic at
Raven Song Community Health Centre, and will respond to
Agency: YMCA Connections community requests of assistance in accessing health services.
Project: Finding Ways to Build Social Cohesion In addition, the Brokers will conduct group education sessions
as needed, and assist clients to attend existing health services
Many host matching programs face challenges when recruit-
ing hosts, especially those who are Canadian-born, native and programs. PICS Society was
speakers of English. The ymca Connections Program has
developed a creative approach to recruitment with a strategy
recognized for its
that includes public workshops on Effective Intercultural Agency: Jewish Family Service Agency (JFSA) tireless work in the
Communication. This strategy is based on the assumption that Project: Fiscal Fitness for Women
people who are interested in developing their intercultural
skills will also have a strong interest in applying them.
Since 2005, jfsa has been running a program called Fiscal Fit- community and was
ness for Women. This program is open to all women, especially
In addition to being a great volunteer opportunity that those living on a low income. It is a free program where wom- invited to work on
provides dedicated, meaningful support to new immigrants, en can meet one-on-one with a money coach to deal with their
the hosting experience provides a practicum in intercultural financial issues, be it budgeting, credit problems or talking to emerging issues and
communication your family about money. The coach provides valuable money
The workshops have been useful for recruitment and for management information, advice and referrals to professional new projects
relationship building within the larger community. ymca services all in a completely confidential setting.
Connections is now developing specific programming that Please call 604.257.5151 to book an appointment with the
combines host matching with training in intercultural com- money coach or to find out how you can book her to meet
munication. with your group.
Member Ac hievements
14 AMSSA – Cultures West Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 AMSSA – Cultures West 15
Improving Information for Prospective Immigrants
The federal government has undertaken new initiatives that are aimed at providing pro- The federal government is also providing ad- The creation of the Going to Canada the first and most frequent source of
spective immigrants with with information that would assist them during their immigration ditional funding to top up the existing Foreign Immigration Portal responds to concerns information, regardless of the reason for
process and help them succeed with their new life in Canada. On the following pages we Credential Recognition (FCR) Program. This raised by stakeholders during consultations seeking information on Canada.
highlight three of these initiatives. program, which falls under Human Resourc- regarding the lack of specific and relevant Partnerships are key to the portal’s success.
es and Social Development, successfully information available to prospective and new Accordingly, CIC has encouraged provinces
THE CANADIAN IMMIGRATION INTEGRATION PROJECT (CIIP) strengthens foreign credentials assessment immigrants to assist them in integrating into and territories to develop complementary
What is CIIP and recognition processes in Canada. Canada’s communities and labour market. immigration, settlement, employment,
CIIP is designed to help immigrants under the Federal Skilled Worker Program prepare for
Together, the new Credentials Referral Office Research conducted abroad revealed skills and learning information for their
integration to the Canadian labour market while they are still in their country of origin
and the FCR Program will improve the that the Internet is the primary source of respective websites. Both CIC and HRSDC
completing final immigration requirements.
efficiency of Canada’s labour market. information for Canada’s international target will work with non-governmental immigra-
Services Available Specifically, the office will provide new- audiences. Participants from a range of tion stakeholders on the portal to ensure that
n Information on the Canadian labour market occupations and the steps required for
comers with a clear path on where to find countries including India, United States, it continues to be relevant and that it meets
integration information on how to get their credentials Japan and Australia noted that the Internet is the needs of diverse client groups.
n Advice and guidance to assist in planning successful entry to the Canadian labour
assessed, while the FCR program will help
n Practical assistance in identifying and contacting Canadian organizations for further
FOREIGN CREDENTIALS improve foreign credential recognition
REFERRAL OFFICE (FCRO) processes in Canada.
The FCRO is designed to help internation-
The creation of the FCRO follows consulta-
Why is CIIP needed? ally trained individuals who plan to work in
tions with provincial and territorial govern-
Canada’s labour market faces looming labour and skill shortages in virtually every sector. The Canada get their credentials assessed and
ments and other key stakeholders, including
challenge for all sectors is to ensure that Canada has an adequate supply of workers who recognized more quickly. In its first phase,
regulatory and assessment bodies, post
are equipped with the skills needed for the future. Canada increasingly relies on immigration the Foreign Credentials Referral Office will
secondary education institutions and their
to respond to this challenge. However, immigrants often encounter difficulty in getting access help newcomers access what they need to
national organizations, employers, sector
to jobs at the appropriate level in their field of expertise. As a result, increased support is become accredited, both in Canada for those
councils, immigrant serving organizations
required to assist newcomers in integrating successfully to the Canadian labour market. newcomers already here, and abroad for
and newcomers themselves. Credential
How will CIIP work? those waiting for an opportunity to come to
recognition in Canada is mainly a
In its pilot phase, CIIP is available in China, India and the Philippines. Participation is our country. The new office will help people
provincial responsibility. The federal
restricted to: navigate through the complex system of
government plays a facilitative role, funding
n Principal applicants and their spouses who have applied for immigration to Canada foreign credential recognition in Canada.
under the Federal Skilled Worker Program after they have received a CIIP registration The office’s approach includes:
n in-person services and a dedicated For more information on the FCRO check out
form from Citizenship and Immigration Canada during the final stages of the
phone service operated by Service http://www.credentials.gc.ca/
Canada at 320 outlets across the
In Canada three AMSSA member agencies will share responsibilities for facilitating the CIIP:
n SUCCESS is handling referrals from the CIIP China Office and take the lead on the
country by fall 2007; GOING TO CANADA
n an expanded online service that will IMMIGRATION PORTAL
help individuals identify occupations The provincial and territorial portals will link
n DIVERSEcity is taking the lead for the India office.
in Canada for which they may be to the Government of Canada’s
n Immigrant Services Society of BC is providing the focal point for the Philippines.
qualified, provide them with detailed Going to Canada Immigration Portal
Project Services labour market information and refer (www.goingtocanada.gc.ca). This portal has
CIIP will help eligible clients prepare for entry to the Canadian labour force in three main ways: them to the appropriate regulatory been developed by CIC and Human Resourc-
n Labour market information sessions provided to groups of approximately 20 body; and es and Social Development Canada (HRSDC)
participants; n increasing employer awareness of to offer comprehensive and integrated infor-
n One-on-one counselling sessions based on an Individual Integration Plan (ITP); the processes for, and benefits of, mation to prospective and new immigrants.
n Contact with Canadian organizations that may assist in the implementation of the IIP. hiring internationally trained and Its goal is to assist these individuals in
To find out more about CIIP go to ciip.accc.ca/defaultaspx?DN=598,782,32,Documents educated professionals. preparing to live, work and study in Canada. www.ag.gov.bc.ca/immigration/before/index.htm
16 AMSSA – Cultures West Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 AMSSA – Cultures West 17
Provincial Initiatives: Provincial Initiatives:
Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) Initiative Skills Connect for Immigrants Program
by Vicki Chiu
What is SWIS? groups organized by school dis- students and families if they are: What is Skills Connect? Eligibility
SWIS stands for Settlement Workers in tricts, community agencies, social permanent residents, including The primary goal of the Skills Connect Clients may be eligible for the Skills
Schools. The swis initiative is a part- services, health authorities, etc.; refugees or protected persons, who for Immigrants Program is to see new Connect for Immigrants Program if they:
nership of the BC Ministry of Attorney assisting students or their families have been in Canada for more than immigrants secure jobs that fully utilise became a permanent resident of
General, Ministry of Education and to access relevant services through one year, or their skills, knowledge and experience. Canada within the last five years;
School Districts in the Lower Mainland, appointment-making, form filling, naturalized Canadian citizens, or The program will respond to current and have a minimum of three years of
Abbotsford and Greater Victoria. Using arranging for interpreters/ refugee claimants, or long-term skill shortages by assessing pre-arrival work experience in a
funding from Citizenship and Immigra- translators to accompany clients in Canada on Temporary Work and bridging skilled immigrants into the profession , trade or high-skill oc-
tion Canada, the initiative provides a when needed; Permits or Study Visas but are not workplace in areas that complement cupation; and
school-based outreach program that organizing workshops on fee-payers to the School District. BC’s growing economy. have an intermediate to advanced
helps immigrant and refugee students settlement related issues Fee-paying international students The Skills Connect for Immigrants level of English language profi-
and their families. swis workers are (e.g. cultural profiles, schools are not eligible for these services. Program will: ciency.
placed in secondary and elementary culture, Canadian culture, assess the skills, qualifications and
AMSSA wishes to
Skills Connect will provide clients
schools to provide orientation informa- citizens’ responsibilities etc.); Which School Districts are experiences of recent immigrants sincerely thank the
with services and supports in one or
tion and support to newly arrived fami- facilitating culturally sensitive involved in SWIS? to BC more of the following components,
communication between school
lies and connect them to services and
staff and the students and their
swis services will be launched in the enhance skills, qualifications and depending on individual needs: of our 30th
resources in the school and community. experiences to meet BC labour
families over non-educational
following ten school districts in the Fall Career Assessment and Planning Anniversary Gala
The primary objectives are to: of 2007 market standards Services
help immigrant and refugee issues; 34 Abbotsford offer workplace practice opportu- Pre-employment Skill Enhance-
children adjust to school culture providing cultural interpretation 37 Delta nities, such as mentorship, to help
39 Vancouver ment Services
and focus on learning while for all parties, school staff and secure and sustain employment
36 Surrey Workplace Orientation and Prac-
providing their parents and immigrant parents and children 38 Richmond career assessment and planning;
40 New Westminster tice Services
caregivers with an understanding (e.g. educating teachers on the and
behaviours, beliefs and culture of 41 Burnaby Skills Connect is funded by the BC
of Canadian culture and the school 44 North Vancouver provide skill and other enhance-
system; and the children and parents, and 61 Central Victoria ments, including workplace Ministry of Economic Development’s
educating parents on the BC 93 Conseil scolaire francophone International Qualifications Program,
increase their involvement in the language upgrading
school and the community. education system, the schools’ It is estimated that approximately 100 with financial contributions from the
Many BC immigrants arrive with federal government.
culture and policies); and settlement workers will be situated in
skills in occupations where there are
What does a SWIS worker do? developing networks and partner- schools within these ten districts when
shortages but face challenges entering
For more information on Skills
A swis worker assists refugee and ships with community agencies the program is fully operational. Connect visit http://22.214.171.124/Pro-
the job market, language barriers, diffi- gramsAndServices/IQU/SkillsConnect/
immigrant students in the k-12 system and government programs.
culty getting their credentials recognized
and their families in their adjustment to and lack of employment networks.
default.htm Also thanks to our
a new culture by: Who is SWIS for? Skills Connect currently focuses on many donors for their
reaching out to new arrivals, The priority client groups for the connecting immigrants with employ- donations of door
including visiting some ‘hard to program are students and families, in
reach’ families; both elementary and secondary schools,
ers in the construction, transportation, prizes and silent
energy and tourism and hospitality
providing information and orienta- who are permanent residents, including sectors. Plans are underway to expand
tion about Canadian culture and refugees or protected persons, and who the program to include the health care
service systems; are within their first year of settlement in sector beginning in summer 2007.
referring students or their families Canada.
to appropriate school/community Subject to the availability of
programs, workshops or support resources, services may be provided to
18 AMSSA – Cultures West Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 AMSSA – Cultures West 19
Mutual Support Groups
or many immigrants to
Canada, the process of Posted: September 25 – 2007 D. Toronto, Ontario Posted: July 22 – 2007 G. G.
integration is not quite as I thought that Canada would have been a good place to migrate to. I left excellent
smooth as they were led jobs back in Guyana and now I am here with a M.Sc. in Agriculture and employers I am a young 29 year old university graduate from India …I came to Canada in
to believe before coming treat me less than a high school kid. Everyone is saying that we immigrants need 2003 and quickly found out that my degree was useless. The universities I
here. This is especially true when they Canadian experience. How are we going to get Canadian experience if no one contacted said that I would basically have to repeat my degree in Canada and I
are not able to find meaningful work wants to hire us? would get no credit for my existing one. …
in their area of expertise. This sense of
Word of advice to people out there: please for your own sake, for your family’s
I feel sorry
frustration has led to the emergence of Posted: September 1 – 2007 A. F. Cebu, Philippines
mutual support organizations, including My husband and I have been seriously considering moving to Canada since early
sake, do not make the mistakes that I have. Canada has nothing to offer
immigrants, except lies, bankruptcy and racism.
web portals. Two of these portals are this year. … Reading all the angst in this forum, I have come up with this very
www.canadaimmigrants.com and www. distressing conclusion: Indeed, Canada is not for professionals wanting to work Thank you to the makers of such a website. I wish I had known about it four or five minorities
notcanada.com. as professionals in their respective fields. What Canada needs are labourers and
wage-earners who are willing to take on the jobs that Canadians do not want,
Canadaimmigrants.com is an online
magazine which serves as a platform like taking care of their old folks for example! Posted: July 3 – 2007 A. M. Belle River, Canada in Canada.
to dialogue on current immigration Thank you for this forum. We might reconsider our options. I came to Canada seven years ago and the employment situation has been one
and employment issues in Canada. The big joke since then. The moment I go into an employment agency and they see They’re being
my dark skin they are thinking of a factory job to assign me. The people who have
contributors include both immigrants
sharing their experiences and prospec-
Posted: August 20 – 2007 A. H. cushy jobs have the attitude that you should be honoured to work in a factory or fed the lie
I am a resident of Canada since 2005. I was only able to get a telemarketing job drive a taxi, that’s a small price to pay for living in Canada. Hah! I ‘m from the
tive immigrants expressing their views where I sell advertising space over the phone. I am unhappily employed for the U.S. and my work future will be over there from now on. … that because
and concerns. last two years.
NotCanada.com is run by a team I have an MBA from California State University and I have many years of
We have to embarrass Canada into doing the right thing and ending Canada is
discrimination in the work place. I feel sorry for visible minorities born in Canada.
of former Canadian citizens who have
now permanently left Canada, and are
experience as an Executive with Coca-Cola International. I have tried to get an
entry level sales position in my field for the last two years. I have applied to more
They’re being fed the lie that because Canada is multicultural, that it is racially multicultural,
tolerant. We know that is bull. Canada will tolerate you driving taxis or doing
helping potential immigrants and work- than 300 positions advertised in Workopolis and other job search sites. menial labour. That’s about it. Multiculturalism doesn’t equal racial harmony. that it is
ing abroad. Its overall goals are to help Unfortunately I did not receive any response for an interview.
potential immigrants to Canada make a My wife works as a cook to help me with the bills. My daughter is happy in Posted: July 01 – 2007
complete and accurate informed deci- Toronto. We did not face any prejudice. We have many Canadian friends as well
sion about whether or not to immigrate Turkish friends … Last week a rich friend of mine moved to Canada as an
What most Canadians simply cannot understand is that the Canadian government tolerant.
invites thousands of highly skilled immigrants to Canada under the false
here. The site includes posts, articles, immigrant. He bought his house in Oakville yesterday. He brought a few million assumption that we and our skills will be used. We did not come to Canada fleeing
reports and video clips of immigrant dollars from Turkey. I don’t think he will have any problem. If you are rich, you from war, disease, hunger or political instability. We, professional immigrants, were
stories. may enjoy Canada. … told by the Canadian government that we would be able to get professional jobs in
Here are a few examples of some of If my skills and experience in my field were not needed in Canada I wish I knew this country. We were deceived, lied and fooled in a very bad way. Canadians have
the recent discussions that have been that before I came here. all the right to chose the immigrants they want and they have all the right to
taking place on these sites. Some of the Good luck to other immigrants. protect their country from foreigners, but they do not have the right to lie to
posts have been edited for brevity. people? In other words, if Canada needs factory workers and cleaning staff they
should say so SINCE THE VERY BEGINING. They should HONESTLY say that there
Posted: August 14 – 2007 N. Ukraine are no professional jobs for new immigrants, no matter how well qualified. …
I have spent three years in Canada, now I am back in Ukraine, having a good job
Canada is a great country, but only for Canadians and immigrants willing to work in
and salary which is higher than my Canadian wages. To be honest, I do not know
menial jobs for minimum wage for the rest of their lives, not a good country for
whether I want to return, because I am very happy here. A couple of days ago I
SERIOUS people looking for SERIOUS opportunities. WHAT A WASTE OF POTENTIAL!
met a new employee in our company, who is....a Canadian citizen!!!!!
20 AMSSA – Cultures West Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 AMSSA – Cultures West 21
Partnering for Success: BC Internationally Trained
The Story of the Association of International Medical Doctors of BC
by Patrick Coady
Professionals Network (BCITP Net)
any internationally government allocated $75 million for the he BC Internation- find it easier to talk with recognized employment assistance, skills and pre-
trained profession- provinces to license more imgs. ally Trained Profession- associations rather than with a large employment training, English language
als (itps) believe aimdbc continued to focus on als Network (BCITP number of unassociated individuals. instruction, and settlement and integra-
Canada can do providing solutions and ensuring that Net) is a partnership of By helping to organize internation- tion in the Greater Vancouver area.
a better job of people understood their message which internationally trained ally trained professionals, BCITP Net MOSAIC – One of Vancouver’s
integrating immigrant labour. Some is that: “Internationally trained medi- professionals from around the province also hopes to help bring their opinions, largest agencies, MOSAIC offers a wide
have tried to change things by confront- cal doctors are ready willing and able to working cooperatively to improve access experience and ideas to the attention variety of programs for employment,
ing stakeholders and going to battle. assist BC with its current medical doctor to meaningful employment for all immi- of policy-makers. family support and counselling, bi-
This has generally resulted in very little shortage.” The next big break came when grant professionals in BC. The purpose BCITP is assisted by three major, lingual counselling and legal advocacy.
progress and recently internationally mla’s Lorne Mayencourt and Harry Bloy is to help build associations and non-profit, immigrant-serving organiza- DIVERSEcity – The largest agency
trained medical doctors decided to take became key allies and champions of the networks among internationally trained tions all of whom are amssa members. in the South Fraser region, DIVERSEcity
a different approach and the results have cause and were instrumental in getting professionals. It hopes to encourage These organizations are: provides settlement and integration ser-
been quite extraordinary. various provincial government stake- Dr. Alfredo Tura constructive dialogue between immi- Immigrant Services Society of BC vices, English language training, employ-
The Association of International holders to the table. grant professionals, regulatory bodies, (iss) — One of the largest multicultural, ment assistance, clinical counselling,
Medical Doctors of BC (aimdbc) formed In the fall of 2005 aimdbc had its more to be done? Absolutely. Can we do industry and government. immigrant-serving agencies in western interpretation and translation services.
in 2003 with the objective of increasing first audience with deputy minister of things better? You bet...but the progress Government and regulatory groups Canada, it provides many services for Visit http://bcitp.net/ for more information.
access to licensure for all international health and then they were invited to be that has been made in the past few years
medical graduates (imgs) in British full members of the newly formed ‘IMG shows what a long way the doctors have
Multifaith Calendar 2008
Columbia. They wanted to partner with Integration Taskforce.’ This monthly come. I think that Dr. Alfredo Tura, now
stakeholders but found that the heroic roundtable of key healthcare stakehold- past president of aimdbc, put it best
actions of previous imgs who had used ers continues to allow imgs to be part- when he said “You cannot stay true to
the Human Rights court and hunger ners in moving forward on all img issues what you want if you are spending all Since 1977 AMSSA has actively worked to create a just and equitable society for
strikes to force change had adversely within the province. Soon after these
all Canadians. For over a decade the Multifaith Calendar has played an integral
your time pushing against what you role in AMSSA’s educational efforts. It offers insight into 14 major
affected the interest of healthcare stake- meetings started the provincial govern- don’t want. Our goal was to stay focused faiths by providing a complete source of accurate dates, times, and
holders to cooperate any further. ment announced they were increasing on solutions, build constructive relation- descriptions for over 140 cultural and religious occasions.
Undeterred, aimdbc focused on the number of img post-graduate ships and stay positive. The results speak The easy to follow layout of the Multifaith
educating the public about the “img residency training positions from six to for themselves...” Calendar is designed for use as a quick
solution” and worked with sister 18...affectively tripling the number of For more information please visit reference. Get in the habit of check-
organizations in other provinces to get imgs who can be licensed doctors within http://aimd.bcitp.net/index.cfm. ing these important references prior to
the federal government to free up more the province. scheduling meetings or contacting clients. They
money for the provinces earmarked Since that time aimd bc has partici- are designed to help you stay informed of any special days your staff,
Patrick Coady is the co-coordinator of the
clients or friends might be celebrating. Printed in full colour on recycled
specifically for img integration. They pated in the documentary Health Care BC Internationally Trained Professionals paper and measuring 13 by 10 inches, our wall calendar adds beauty
became trained on media relations, 9-11 – the Plight of Immigrant Doctors Network (BCITP Net) and the Immigrant and interest to any office.
negotiations and advocacy work and that aired on Global TV and have met Talent Integration Project.
began to slowly repair important with the Minister of Health, the 1-9 calendars: $15.95 each | 10-24 calendars: $14.95 each
relationships within British Columbia. Honourable George Abbott, on two Further discounts apply to larger orders. Please call, e-mail or visit our
They stayed positive and were patient occasions and have even supplied him website for more information.
and gradually doors began to open. They with a “Solutions” document. They are * Prices quoted in Canadian dollars. Shipping and handling extra.
talked to over 20 mlas, the federal health currently planning their third meeting BC residents, please add 7% PST.
The Calendar is
minister and even managed an audience with the Minister for late November AMSSA
produced by the Multi-
205–2929 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5N 4C8
with the Prime Minister of Canada. This 2007 and will be talking about how their Tel: 604.718.2784 or 1-888-355-5560 Fax: 604.298.0747 faith Action Society and
all paid off in late 2004 when the federal ideas can be implemented. Is there still Email: firstname.lastname@example.org marketed by AMSSA.
22 AMSSA – Cultures West Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 AMSSA – Cultures West 23
It’s Not about the Money: 2007 Immigrant Settlement Conference:
Stories from Front Line Settlement Workers Redefining Immigrant Settlement in BC
entral Vancouver Island admired and learned so much from their award announcements, read about their ur rapidly changing Net and the Settlement and Multicultur- training, professional development,
Multicultural Society perseverance, hard work and deter- outstanding academic achievements environment is present- alism Division, Government of BC. The information sharing and planning
(cvims) in Nanaimo mination in re-establish themselves in and have seen them being recognized in ing new challenges and conference gave participants a chance to opportunities. Networking and team-
provides elsa English Canada. Over the years, I have witnessed many professional fields. opportunities for the learn, reflect and discuss the impact of building opportunities were also
classes, Employment and numerous immigrants’ success, achieve- The settlement services work could immigrant settlement our changing environment on policies, available as part of the conference
Settlement services to new immigrants ments and valuable contributions to be overwhelming. Sometimes it can give sector in British Columbia. A number of client characteristics, program design program. The 2007 conference was the
from around the globe. Immigrants Canada that made me feel me a headache as I often environmental factors are expected to and service delivery. first major one of its kind in BC since
come with good skills and talents to proud. find myself mentally solving impact and influence the sector in com- Approximately 300 front-line, admin- 2000. It was, therefore, a wonderful
contribute to Canada. But nothing In Nanaimo, a variety of problems even when I am ing years. These include changing global istrative and managerial staff who deliv- opportunity to meet or reconnect with
comes easy when one starts a new life successful businesses are not physically at work! But I migration patterns, improvements in er services under the BC Settlement and colleagues from across the province,
over in a new country. As an immigrant operated by immigrants; love my job because it is very the BC economy, new research, tools, Adaptation Program (bcsap) attended learn from one another, plan and get
settlement coordinator for more than 20 some of them are fairly new fulfilling especially when I resources and program models and the the conference. Other participants were re-energized.
years with cvims, I feel very fortunate to in Canada. Immigrants work see my current and previous availability of new funding. external representatives whose work To read conference proceedings
be able to work in the field helping im- in many professions and many sectors clients doing well and enjoying their new The 2007 Immigrant Settlement intersects with the settlement sector. including plenary sessions and work-
migrants adapt to the new country and of the work force. I have noticed the life in Canada. Conference, Redefining Immigrant Set- Participants were all able to benefit shops, visit the conference website at
to overcome the many barriers. I have names of many younger immigrants on Cecilia Chong tlement in BC, took place in May 2007. It from conference workshops and panel https://www.venuewest.com/2007/isc/
was a joint effort between amssa, elsa discussions which included a mix of
have been with the Immigrant from employers, service providers and want their issues to be known by other Conceptual Framework for the 2007 Immigrant Settlement Conference
and Multicultural Services Soci- international workers. I have travelled community members. We serve people
ety (imss) for more than 25 years, to some neighbouring communities to from all over the world, and I am fluent Environmental Scan
working first as a volunteer, then provide information sessions and create only in English and Punjabi, but to my
as a coordinator for women’s networks between clients and service amusement, I serve clients from every
Changing Changes New New Tools, New
and seniors’ projects. Today I work as providers. However, due to limited funds, ethnic background, culture, language
Global in the BC Research Resources Funding
a Settlement Counsellor, and although I am unable to travel to them all and it and religion. At the end of the day, I leave
Migration Economy and Program
based in Prince George, I am the only really frustrates me when I am unable with a smile on my face because I have
settlement counsellor worker in the to help those immigrants and refugees created a long term relationship with a
whole north! whose rights are being violated. different part of the world, and helped
There is no immigration consultant My clients truly inspire me. There are someone on the road to becoming a
Redefining Immigrant Settlement in BC:
in the north, so I am the only resource limited services available to the immi- proud Canadian in this beautiful country
How does our changing environment impact the following... ?
for neighbouring communities and I grant community here so once a client of ours. I have never forgotten how I felt
assist them with walks through our when I first moved to Canada and I go
sponsorship, work door they develop through the same excitement with every
visas, extension a kind of family client. I share their dreams, their aspira-
of status, student relationship with tions, give them hope, empower them to Policies Client Characteristics Program Design Service Delivery
visas etc. Due to us. Even long after survive the first few days and so on. For
changing immigra- they stop using our me this is not a job; this is part of who I
tion and labour services, they stay am. I get so energized by my clients.
market trends in touch with us, I thoroughly enjoy my job and even get Settlement Collaboration Areas for
Client groups practices and
practitioners occurs future
most employers, coming back to paid for something I love doing. and their innovative
obtain new outside of research are
service providers and employment share stories and family accomplish- Sharon Pannu needs are service
tools and the agency identified
better defined approaches
counsellors are unaware of the process ments. Clients like to share everything resources and sector
to hire a foreigner. I receive ongoing calls with me, because most of them don’t
24 AMSSA – Cultures West Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 AMSSA – Cultures West 25
Kudos Post Script
Congratulations to Baljit Sethi, Ex-
ecutive Director of the Immigrant and
known for organizing and participating
in events that address cross-cultural Metropolis British Columbia – New Kid on the Block, or Old Neighbour?
Multicultural Services Society, (imss) understanding, diversity, racism, family by Vicky Baker
who has been awarded this year’s Prince violence, seniors’ issues and employabil- Post Script is a Cultures West tradition. Each edition gives readers a chance to revisit the issues we covered in our previous
George Citizen of the Year! ity and educational skills. She also serves edition. In our last regular edition (Fall 2006) we published highlights from the 2006 Metropolis Conference held in BC.
Baljit was recognized for improving as an interpreter and translator and has In this Post Script you will read about all the changes taking place at Metropolis British Columbia
the quality of life for the Prince George developed programs for new immigrants
community, particularly by providing to help them understand Canada’s laws ell, a bit of both
extraordinary care and help to immi- and court procedures. Advancement of Women. actually. Although
grants and refugees. She has also made Baljit is also considered an ambas- Baljit Sethi’s dedication to better- the name is new,
a great contribution toward eliminat- sador and “voice from the north” in the ing the community was recognized in you may be famil-
ing violence against women, advancing province. She has mentored volunteers 1997 when she received the Outstand- iar with the work
women’s equality and assisting senior and lent her support to many fledgling ing Community Service Award for the we do. Metropolis BC is a University
citizens. organizations in communities across the City of Prince George, and in 1992 when network of researchers working on areas
A Prince George resident for over region and has devoted her time to a va- she was awarded the Commemorative of immigration, settlement, and ethnic
thirty years, Baljit is an active volunteer riety of committees and boards includ- Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the diversity. The network links researchers
in addition to her work as the Execu- ing the Provincial Advisory Committee Confederation of Canada in recognition with frontline workers and policymak- Citizenship and Social, Cultural In order to develop a stronger and
tive Director of the imss where she has on Working and Living in BC, the of significant contributions to Canada, ers to achieve research outcomes that and Civic Integration more formal relationship with the
been employed since 1976. A talented Visible Minority Labour Board, and her community and fellow Canadians. are rigorous, evidence-based and useful Economic and Labour Market immigrant services sector, mbc has
artist and workshop presenter, she is Canada Research Institute for the Congratulations Baljit! to policymakers and practioners. If that Integration created a charter which serves as a
sounds familiar, it’s because after a suc- Housing and Neighbourhoods framework for academics who conduct
cessful proposal for the renewal of funds, Justice, Policing and Security research with community organizations.
riim (Research on Immigration and Settlement, Integration, and This charter ensures that community
Integration in the Metropolis) is now Welcoming Communities organizations are consulted and par-
Metropolis British Columbia – Centre of The first four domains exist at other ticipate in every aspect of the research,
New Members Excellence for Research on Immigration
and Diversity (mbc, for short).
The new name reflects a wider scope
Metropolis Centres across Canada while
the last is unique to mbc. Under this
new structure mbc will not only fund
from planning through to knowledge
transfer. It also empowers ngos to
participate more fully in the process.
Please join amssa in saying a hearty to include the entire province of British research projects, but also projects that The strength of Metropolis
1. How many new immigrants arrived in Canada in 2006? b. 251,511 British Columbia lies in the willingness
welcome its newest member agencies: Columbia, plus the support of Multi- allow for dissemination. This helps to
2 Which province had the largest share of Canada’s business class immigrants in Victoria Immigrant & Refugee culturalism and Immigration Branch, get research findings into the hands of of stakeholders — ngos, governments
2006? c. British Columbia
Centre Society Ministry of Attorney General, which now practitioners and policy-makers which is and academia — to cooperate. From
3 BC Welcomed 42,000 new immigrants in 2006. These new arrivals came from how Skeena Diversity Society – Terrace provides a quarter of mbc’s funding. an important innovation in making the participation in the Research Retreat
many countries or regions? c. 180
Centre d’integration pour Other changes include restructuring Centre more effective. and other events to collaboration on
4 Which are the top three source countries for the Live-in-Caregiver Program? immigrants Africains (ciia)/ the research domains and broadening We are also broadening research projects, we include these stakeholders
d. Philippines, India, Slovak Republic
Centre of Integration for African the types of projects that it funds to in- opportunities for graduate students and in directing, conducting and disseminat-
5 Which are the top three source countries for ing research and its findings.
Immigrants (ciia) – Vancouver clude both communication and research postdoctoral fellows through an intern-
Refugees to BC? a. Thailand, Afghanistan, Iran
We are happy to have them join our projects (see http://mbc.metropolis. ship program. mbc collaborates with
6 What percentage of immigrants to in BC in 2006 arrived with official language skills? Vicky Baker is an Administrator with
net/research/). We also provide more mitacs (and the Accelerate BC pro-
b. 64% family and look forward to working
opportunities for graduate students gram) to provide placements for up to Metropolis British Columbia.
7 In 2006, which of the following is not one of the top five intended occupations of with them.
including internships co-funded with four interns a year with relevant organi- The co-directors are Dan Hiebert (UBC) and
principal applicants in the Skilled Worker Class? d. Civil engineers
mitacs (Mathematics of Information zations. This will not only increase the Krishna Pendakur (SFU).
8 In order of number, rank the following, immigrants to BC by World Source Region.
1 Asia, Australia and Pacific 70% Technology and Complex systems), and research capacity of partner organiza-
2 Europe, except the UK 7% allow ngos to have a stronger voice in tions, but also give the interns valuable
3 Africa, Middle East 9% the working of the centre, including the ‘on-the-ground’ experience. For more
4 United States 5% adjudication of research proposals. information on the mitacs program, see
5 United Kingdom 4%
The research domains, or themes, http://mbc.metropolis.net/research/
6 Latin America, Greenland 3%
have changed. The new domains are: proposals/mitacs.html.
26 AMSSA – Cultures West Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 Vol 25, No. 2: Fall 2007 AMSSA – Cultures West 27
NORTH LOWER MAINLAND
Immigrant & Multicultural Services Society (IMSS) 411 Seniors Centre Society
Multicultural Heritage Society (MHS) – Prince George Association of Neighbourhood Houses of Greater Vancouver (ANH)
Skeena Diversity Society Burnaby Family Life Institute
Terrace & District Multicultural Association (TDMA) Burnaby Multicultural Society (BMS)
Centre d’integration pour immigrants Africains (CIIA)/Centre of
VANCOUVER ISLAND Integration for African Immigrants (CIAI)
Campbell River & Area Multicultural & Immigrant Services Chimo Crisis Services – Richmond
Association (CRMISA) Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH)
Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society (CVIMS) Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS)
Comox Valley Family Services Association (CVFSA) Family Education and Support Centre
Cowichan Intercultural Society (CIS) Family Services of Greater Vancouver (FSGV)
Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISS)
Victoria Immigrant & Refugee Centre Society Inland Refugee Society of BC (IRS)
Jewish Family Service Agency (JFSA)
FRASER VALLEY Kiwassa Neighbourhood Services Association
Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) Little Mountain Neighbourhood House Society (LMNHS)
Chilliwack Community Services MOSAIC
DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society (DCRS) Multicultural Family Centre
Langley Community Services Society Multicultural Helping House Society (MHHS)
Mission Community Services Society (MCSS) Multifaith Action Society (MAS)
North Shore Multicultural Society (NSMS)
INTERIOR OPTIONS: Services to Communities Society – Surrey
Community Connections Society of Southeast BC Pacific Immigrant Resources Society (PIRS)
Kamloops Cariboo Regional Immigrant Society (KIS) Progressive Inter-Cultural Community Services Society (PICS)
Kamloops Multicultural Society Richmond Intercultural Advisory Committee
Kelowna Community Resources Society Richmond Multicultural Concerns Society (RMCS)
Nelson Community Services Centre South Vancouver Neighbourhood House (ANH)
South Okanagan Immigrant Services Settlement Orientation Services (S0S)
Vernon & District Immigrant Services Society (VDISS) SUCCESS (United Chinese Community Enrichment Services)
Vancouver & Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Services
Association of BC TEAL (Teachers of English as an Additional Language) Vancouver Cross-Cultural Seniors Network Society
BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils Vancouver Multicultural Society (VMS)
BC Human Rights Coalition (BCHRC) Volunteer Vancouver
BC Teachers Federation – Social Justice Program (BCTF - SJP) West Coast Child Care Resource Centre
Canadian Cancer Society – BC & Yukon Division West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association (WCDWA)
Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) – Pacific Region Westcoast Family Resources
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – BC Division West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund
Canadian Red Cross Women Against Violence Against Women/Rape Crisis Centre
Institute for Media, Policy & Civil Society (IMPACS)
Legal Services Society of BC (LSS)
Scouts Canada - Provincial
Social Planning & Research Council of BC (SPARC)
YMCA - Connections
YWCA Vancouver International