In the Field Newsletter Volume 11


OCASI In the Field
Volume 11
Message from the Executive Director

Debbie DouglasThe gorgeous weather we've been experiencing here in Southern Ontario makes one hopeful that we've turned the corner on winter's cold and damp and that we're settling into Spring. There's a sense of hope in the air as I meet and converse with my colleagues from across the province and country; a particular optimism, a sense of ‘can do' that we haven't seen in many years.

This sign of change is welcomed given the many challenges we continue to face as a sector, a province and a country.

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

OCASI Member Feature

Immigrant Women Services Ottawa - ‘The Most Important Thing'

Immigrant Women Services Ottawa (IWSO) is one of Ontario's leaders from the immigrant and refugee-serving sector in advocating for and working towards equity and justice for immigrant, refugee and racialized women. To that end, IWSO is working with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) World Refugee Day - marked by the UN on June 20 each year - photo project, `The Most Important Thing`, to help bring awareness to the impact war has on families

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OCASI Happenings

Research Project: “Mitigating the Risk of Homelessness for Immigrant and Refugee Women through Effective Service Linkages”

The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) is working in partnership with COSTI and WoodGreen Community Services (the Management Team), to undertake a research study on mitigating risk of homelessness among immigrant and refugee women.

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Debbie Douglas speaks at ‘Dare to Become Great'

OCASI Executive Director Debbie Douglas will be speaking on the Distinguished Speakers Panel at the event celebrating the 20 year anniversary of Management Advisory Service (MAS).

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OCASI Media Release: Voluntary National Household Survey does not capture true state of Canada

OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants is deeply concerned that the Statistics Canada Voluntary Household Survey released today does not capture the full reality of Canada's populations, such as racialized residents, and foreign-born individuals.

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OCASI 35th Anniversary Celebration and Annual General Meeting - HOLD THE DATE!

OCASI will be celebrating 35 years as Expert on Immigrant and Refugee Issues and Advocate for the Immigrant Serving Sector on the evening of Monday, October 21 in Toronto. Please join us for the celebration. More details will be announced in future issues of In The Field.

OCASI Position: Ontario Budget 2013 Offers Limited Gains

The Ontario Budget tabled in the legislature on May 2, 2013 includes some benefits for immigrants and refugees. However, the continuing emphasis on austerity and balancing the budget will have an overall negative impact on these populations. OCASI is deeply disappointed that the Budget fails to make equity-focused investments that would make a positive difference.

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Sector Happenings

Service Collaborative and Centralized Intake process at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health CAMH.

The Toronto Justice Service Collaborative is an initiative that is part of the 10 year mental health and addiction strategy. "Open Minds, Healthy Minds: Ontario's Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy” commits to the formation of 18 Service Collaboratives to support coordinated services for children, youth and adults.

For more information vist

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Consultations for Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Strategy

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) has launched consultations on the development of a province-wide integrated occupational health and safety strategy, the first of its kind for Ontario. MOL is interested in hearing about how vulnerable workers needs can be addressed. Vulnerable workers are identified as young workers, recent immigrants, aboriginal peoples, older workers, those new to their jobs or working for new businesses, temporary foreign and seasonal workers, workers holding multiple, part-time or, low-paying jobs, and workers involved in temporary employment.

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FCJ Refugee Centre Open House

You are invited to FCJ's Open House on May 15th from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., when their new space will be unveiled. This is an opportunity for you to get familiar with FCJ's programs and services and see how they are helping more and more people each year.

Ribbon cutting ceremony to open new Refugee Centre space Performance by FCJ Youth Network will commence at 4:30 p.m. For more information visit

Rethinking Pedagogy in Changing Times

The Community Worker Program at George Brown College is pleased to announce the 1st Summer Institute Rethinking Pedagogy in Changing Times on May 16th, 2013 at George Brown College (St. James Campus). The one-day event of focus sessions, interactive exhibits and a community forum and facilitated panel discussion, will open with the keynote address "Critical Pedagogy in Dark Times" delivered by celebrated author and cultural critic, Henry Giroux. For more information visit the Community Worker Program or email to register. logo

Voice Out for Medicare - Public Education Videos from OHC

Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) has produced two new public education videos - Voice Out to Protect Medicare and Voice Out for Improving Medicare - to build support among immigrant and refugee communities for publicly funded medicare. The videos feature the voices of immigrants and healthcare providers from community health centres.

The OHC is a non-partisan network of over 400 grassroots community organizations across Ontario. The Coalition empowers members to actively engage in making public policy on matters related to health care and healthy communities by providing them with ongoing information about the health care system.

OCASI was pleased to support the OHC in the production of the videos.

Planning Your Choices . . . Protecting Your Rights

Recently the Consent and Capacity Board of Ontario (CCB) launched a new public education program entitled, “Time to talk about the end of life”.

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