In the Field Newsletter Volume 43


OCASI In the Field
Volume 43
Message from the Executive Director

Debbie DouglasExecutive Director's Message January 2016

On the day that I am writing this blog, the 10,000th Syrian refugee landed at Toronto Pearson airport. This fact made a small splash in the media as the conversation about whether the federal government will meet its various deadlines and arrival numbers of Government assisted and privately sponsored or the ‘best of both worlds' (as a colleague recently said) the blended version (BVOR – Blended Visa Office Referral) continued. This ongoing ‘will they or won't they' speculation has become something of a sport for media and sector types and for the most part is discussed in light tones, with the underlying understanding that what is important is that folks continue to arrive, that receiving communities (sponsors, agencies, municipalities) are prepared and that the Province and Federal government are ensuring required resources (funds, people) are in place and easily accessed.

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OCASI Member Feature

OCASI Members Intervention Supported in Supreme Court Decision

Court of OttawaThe Supreme Court decision released on December 10, 2015 in Kanthasamy v. Canada clarified how immigration officers should decide applications for humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) consideration, as well as expanding immigration protections for women who experience gender based violence . Many refugees and vulnerable migrants must rely on H&C provisions in order to remain in Canada or to be reunited with family members. OCASI member agencies Barbra Schlifer Clinic, the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture and Justice for Children and Youth are among the intervenors in the case. Click on links to read more.

OCASI Happenings

Citizenship Counts badgeOur website has reached a phenomenal number of practice quiz questions answered. About 50.1 million questions have been answered on our site to date. The website and mobile app help young newcomers learn about Canadian citizenship and study for the Canadian citizenship test.

Ressource Francophone : OCASI dévoile leur boîte à outils pour son initiative pour les Espaces positifs (IEP)

OCASI a introduit une boîte à outils dans le but est de partager des ressources et de rehausser les capacités organisationnelles des secteurs LGBTQ+ et des services aux immigrants et aux réfugiés, afin de mieux servir les nouveaux arrivants LGBTQ francophones à Ontario.

Racial Equality in the Senate - Open Letter

Colour of Poverty - Colour of Change has sent Prime Minister Trudeau an open letter calling for racial and gender equality in future Senate appointments.

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OCASI School of Social Justice Graduates 2015

Students photo - School of Social Justice, 2015On November 10 2015, 27 enthusiastic and energetic sector practitioners from across Ontario graduated from the 2015 OCASI School of Social Justice (SSJ). A participatory capacity building initiative for new and experienced change agents, the OCASI SSJ aims to strengthen the social policy analysis, organizing, and social, political economic justice action capabilities of OCASI member agencies.

Sector Happenings

Community Safety Audit and Safety Training

Designed for neighbourhood and community groups, youth groups, service providers and school groups, these trainings raise awareness about safety, teach people how to conduct audits and build capacity of individuals and communities. Content is tailored to participants needs. METRAC incorporates equity and inclusion practices into each training.

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CLEO & OJEN Announce Launch of LawConnect Ontario

Law Connect graphicCLEO and OJEN are launching LawConnect to coordinate their work and services more closely. Through LawConnect Ontarians will find relevant and effective public legal education and information (PLEI), ranging from justice system education, legal information resources, and programs to support the development and delivery of effective PLEI. Launch - Jan 20 2016, 5:00 PM, Convocation Hall, Law Society of Upper Canada 130 Queen Street West, Toronto. RSVP.

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Call for Proposals - OWD

The Ontario Women's Directorate is seeking funding applications for province-wide and regional training of frontline workers to stop gender-based violence and support survivors. The training will target hospitality sector and health, education, justice and community service workers. Submission Deadline: Monday, February 29, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

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Peel Information Session for Private Sponsors of Refugees

This Peel Newcomer Strategy Group event is for private sponsors so they can learn about services in Peel region for Syrian refugees, and features a fair with service provider information tables and training provided by the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program. Jan 21, 2016 |5pm-9pm | Mississauga Convention Centre, 75 Derry Road West.

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OHRC Policy Preventing Discrimination on Creed

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has released an updated Policy on preventing discrimination based on creed. The first OHRC policy on creed was introduced in 1996. The update reflects today's issues and changes to case law, and provides expanded information in areas like Indigenous Spirituality and creed-based profiling.

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Symposium: Improving Access to Health Care for Uninsured

Wellesley Institute and Health Network for Uninsured Clients host a one day Symposium to identify emerging policy and research directions to improve access to care for medically uninsured populations. The symposium is intended for policy makers, researchers and health and social service providers, although all are welcome to join. Tue Feb 9 2016 - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm - Women's College Hospital, 76 Grenville Street Toronto.

Sign up here