In the Field Newsletter Volume 8


OCASI In the Field
Volume 8
Message from the Executive Director

Debbie DouglasAbout three weeks ago, thirty ethno-racially and linguistically diverse women- concerned with issues of women's equality, immigrant and racialized women's inclusion, and with general issues of immigrant and refugee integration-gathered to talk about what they saw as the political, policy and program priorities in Ontario. The meeting, hosted by the Minister Responsible for Women's Issues and the Ontario Women's Directorate with support from OCASI, was a first of its kind. It was the inaugural meeting of a series planned across the province with various groups to mark the 30th anniversary of the Women's Directorate.

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

OCASI Member Feature

The Council of Agencies Serving South AsiansHuman Trafficking Forum

Council of Agencies Serving South Asians – CASSA

The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) is an umbrella organization of agencies, groups, and individuals that provide services to the South Asian Community. CASSA's 2nd Annual Racism Free Ontario Initiative began on International Human Rights Day - December 10, 2012 - and will run for 100 days, ending on March 21st, 2013 - the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

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OCASI Happenings

OCASI Organizes Youth Presentation to UNCRC Representative

OCASI worked with several young people, supporting them to prepare and deliver a presentation on issues of child and youth rights, to Ms. Marta Maurás, the Country Representative from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

This was one of many presentations made at an event organized by the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA), on the occasion of the UNCRC representative's visit to Canada. The presentation gave participating youth the unique opportunity to directly address the UNCRC, and to connect with other youth at the event.

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In last month's edition of OCASI In the Field an error was made regarding the Board of Director election process. Correction; the Regional Directors are elected prior to the AGM by their region. The Provincial Directors are also elected at the AGM. The Executive committee members are elected at the first board meeting of the year.

Announcing Settlement.Org Survey

Human Trafficking Forum OCASI's mission for Settlement.Org is to provide useful, comprehensive, up-to-date, and authoritative information to newcomers. The Settlement.Org survey is a check-in with our users to ensure we are delivering information newcomers can trust. It allows us to gather meaningful information about how users interact with the site and what they think should be done to improve it. Survey runs from January 30 to March 8, 2013.

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#CdnImm Event #12 - Language Services Delivery & Coordination

Join us on February 21, 2013 for the latest event which aims to discuss, gaining knowledge and sharing best practices in referrals to and service coordination of language services for newcomers; identifying and exploring hot topics in newcomer language services, including the launch of the Coordinated Language Assessment and Referral System (CLARS); and gathering information from presenters that attendees can apply to their work.

With the growth in 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. Event #12 is the latest of informal events that have been taking place regularly to help form this community of online collaborators, affording the opportunities to make connections, further the sharing of information, and expand the community of collaborators. To learn more and to register visit

Sector Happenings

Canadian Council for Refugees' (CCR) Working Group meetings

Do you want to be part of efforts to promote rights for refugees? Want to participate in in-depth discussions on pressing issues affecting refugees and immigrants in Canada? Looking for an opportunity to share information and strategies with others from across Canada?

Come to the CCR Winter Working Group meetings, which will be held in Toronto on 22 and 23 February 2013. The meetings are open to all, except media, and government employees.

The Learning Network Forum on Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a serious human rights violation and a clandestine crime. It is perpetrated primarily against women and children, and involves the recruitment, transportation or harboring of persons for the purpose of exploitation.

To learn more and to register visit Human Trafficking Forum

City of Toronto Take Action on Human Trafficking

This report responds to the Executive Committee request for information pertaining to the problem of human trafficking in Toronto, including recommendations to strengthen protection of vulnerable women and children, improve services available to victims of human trafficking and to reduce human trafficking. It also responds to the request to report on the formulation of a policy that would prohibit City advertising in publications that allow advertising that could contribute to human trafficking.

Public Consultation on Accessibility Enhancements to the Ontario's Building Code

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) is developing enhancements to current accessibility requirements in buildings and public consultation is now underway. A consultation paper and details of the potential technical changes are available online.

Stakeholders and the public have until March 1, 2013 to submit comments to MMAH.

To review the public consultation document for the Ontario's Building Code visit Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing


Workshop on Leadership in Civil Society

Ryerson University's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is launching a series of free workshops on Contemporary Global Challenges and Opportunities for Change. The first workshop in the series is Leadership in Civil Society, which will take place on Tuesday, February 26, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Led by an expert instructor with a wealth of experience in the nonprofit field, this workshop will feature guest speakers on contemporary social issues. Themes for the evening include the role of civil society in our world; how and why people get involved in creating change, whether local or global; and the challenges and opportunities facing Canadians. Advanced registration is required as space is limited. Visit to learn more and to RSVP.

Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund (OSRCF)

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport has launched the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund. The OSRCF is a grant program that supports a vision of getting and keeping Ontarians active in community sport, recreation and physical activity. Application deadline for both Provincial and Local/Regional projects is March 19, 2013 by 12:00 noon EST