It has been a very busy last few weeks as we prepared for and welcomed over two hundred sector leaders to our biennial Executive leadership conference; and marked forty years of OCASI’s policy advocacy, activism and sector development with a successful gala. It was a time of celebration, of congratulatory remarks, and acknowledgement of the resiliency of the sector and the impact it has had on the lives of tens of thousands of refugees, (im)migrants and Canadians. We laughed, we danced and we debated and we learned.
In the Field
July 2018 - The Friday before the long weekend and our national recognition and celebration by some and resistance by others of the formation of our country Canada, we were greeted with unexpected and disappointing news. The newly elected government of Ontario had decided to disregard tradition and do away with the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. The Ministry has played an important role in Ontario’s economic development plans.
It is late Spring, feeling and looking like summer, a few days after I returned to Ontario after being away for a week on vacation in Jamaica (yes, I voted in the advance poll!). I came home to a province of mixed political and emotional sentiments - A Progressive Conservative majority government which some find concerning, wondering and worrying if the public policies and programs that they’ve worked so hard and long to bring to fruition will be done away with.
Mental health providers in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal are sought to participate in interviews, for a study to develop best mental health practices for forced migrants.
The researchers would like to interview mental health providers serving any of the following groups: 1) The LGBTQ+ community; or 2) Forced migrants/refugees; or 3) LGBTQ+ individuals who are also forced migrants/refugees.
It is a windy, icy mid-April Spring morning as I turn my thoughts to the beginning of a new fiscal year and what it means, especially this year, for us as a Sector. While the new fiscal year began with the routine complaints – late contracts from funders, too tight timelines for financial claims for end of last fiscal year, inconsistency in communication from the federal funder, less than ideal communication from the provincial funder, there is a sense of anticipation in the air.