In the Field Newsletter Volume 10


OCASI In the Field
Volume 10
Message from the Executive Director

Debbie DouglasThe Federal Government Temporary Foreign Workers Program exploded onto the front page of major newspapers, lit up social media boards and started conversations in the hallways of service organizations, on buses and in corner stores this past week. This was not anticipated.

For the last couple of years advocates for immigrants and refugees have been raising flags about the program and the potential for abuse.They have told the stories of workers that have been exploited by employers and unscrupulous recruiters.

Read more of Debbie's observations on change happening in the sector.

OCASI Member Feature

Scadding Court Community Centre

Scadding Court Community Centre (SCCC) has received $127,203 in funding from the Government of Canada.

Scadding Court Community Centre (SCCC) is a multi-service agency located in the heart of downtown west Toronto. SCCC offer a wide range of programs, services, and opportunities for people of all ages and from all walks of life. SCCC believes in supporting individuals and families, strengthening communities and building a better Toronto.

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OCASI Happenings

Forming Partnerships between Settlement Agencies and Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs)

With increased popularity of the #CdnImm hashtag on Twitter, a community has coalesced online to share and discuss timely and relevant topics and information about Canadian immigration. The #CdnImm event series helps to promote connections, encourage further sharing of information, and expand the community of collaborators in order to enhance our understanding of the sector and improve services.

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OCASI e-Learning

OCASI offers self-directed and facilitated online courses on a range of topics designed to build on your existing knowledge. Last month two concurrent (6-week) facilitated sessions on Serving Youth in Newcomer Communities (SYNC) were held. The sessions were very successful, close to 30 participants completed the training. There were also two concurrent (8-week) facilitated sessions on Understanding and Responding to Woman Abuse (URWA), 20 participants completed the training late last year.

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OCASI School of Social Justice SSC Session

We are happy to report that the first OCASI School for Social Justice (SSJ) “semester” was successfully completed on March 11 and 12, 2013. The SSJ is an initiative to strengthen OCASI's social justice advocacy by building the capacity of member agencies. The first session - with 18 enthusiastic participants from OCASI member agencies across Ontario - focused on building a shared understanding of social justice and becoming familiar with tools to build anti-oppression analysis. Watch the short video, which documents a portion of the 2-day session. The next session in the series takes place on April 22 and 23, 2013. For more information about initiative and upcoming session visit the SSJ section on the OCASI website.

Sector Happenings

Register for CCR Spring Consultation, 30 May - 1 June 2013, Vancouver

Refugees come to Canada seeking safety for themselves and their families. How do we make sure that refugees and other newcomers feel safe and secure? How do we offer a warm welcome to all? Participate in the Canadian Council for Refugees Spring Consultation on the theme of Promoting Security and a Warm Welcome to explore these questions and more. Register before 10 May to take advantage of the reduced fees! For more information view CCR Meetings.

Growing Social Enterprise in the North

The Rural Social Enterprise Constellation (RSEC) is a partnership among a growing network of supporters and doers of rural social enterprise in Ontario. In so doing the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN), a RSEC partner, presents “Making the Money, Getting the Tools, Creating the Linkages” event on May 1, 2013 in the Thunder Bay area. For more information about the initiative and to register for the event visit Rural Social Enterprise Constellation

New Start-Up Visa Coming Soon

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is accepting applications for the new Start-Up Visa program as of April 1, 2013. This is a pilot program which will run for up to 5 years. Candidates for the program are required to have the support of a Canadian angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator before they can apply. Applicants must also meet certain language requirements. More information about the visa can be found on the CIC website.

New Regulatory Colleges

Starting on April 1, 2013, the Ontario government opened 2 new regulatory colleges. The College of Kinesiologists of Ontario and the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario will regulate and oversee the services of these practitioners in Ontario.

Detention Review Hearings Information

The Immigration Division recently updated its online Detention Review Hearings brochure. Written in plain language in a question and answer format, the brochure explains the detention review process. The pamphlet is available in Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi, Hungarian, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil and Urdu. Read more

New Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces

On January 1, 2013, the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (Ontario Regulation 191/11) was amended to include accessibility requirements for the Design of Public Spaces. Organizations are not required to make changes to their public spaces. The standard only applies when organizations build new or make major changes to existing elements of public spaces. The regulation can be found on the Ministry website.

A Fair Way to Go: Access to Ontario's Regulated Professions and the Need to Embrace Newcomers in the Global Economy

In 2011, the Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) embarked on an ambitious endeavour to conduct the first comprehensive assessment of professional registration practices in Canada. In 2011-2012, the OFC completed 37 assessments. While the process found regulators to be generally working in good faith to adhere to their fair-access duties, further improvement are needed. For more information read the 12 key recommendations and the full report. Office of the Fairness Commissioner