In the Field Newsletter Volume 12


OCASI In the Field
Volume 12
Message from the Executive Director

Debbie Douglas At the end of May, I received an e-mail from my colleague-friend Anon who indicated that news was expected from the federal Minister of Citizenship and Immigration - news that would be pleasing to OCASI. Now news from the Minister isn't surprising. We've had at least one policy announcement or regulation change or musings from the Minister on a daily basis (or so it seems) since he was appointed the Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism portfolio. But pleasing to OCASI? Long story short, a few days later Twitter was abuzz with the news.

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

OCASI Member Feature

A Path to Home: Supporting Housing Needs for Newcomers

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity focused on community support and development. The organization aims is to provide every individual in the community with opportunities for personal growth, community involvement, and leadership.

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is the lead agency for A Path to Home: Supporting Housing Needs for Newcomers (APTH), which is a national pilot project that employs best practice principles to the resettlement support process of newcomers to Canada.

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OCASI Happenings

Proposed Immigration Sponsorship Changes Will Keep Families Apart

The changes to family sponsorship announced recently by the federal government will make it more difficult to sponsor children, and parents and grandparents and will ultimately keep Canadian immigrant families apart.

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OCASI Celebrates 35 Years of Immigrant Advocacy

For the past 35 years, OCASI has been actively involved in the promotion of the rights of immigrants and refugees in Canada.

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National Settlement Council

This update is of interest to agencies that are funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

During the spring meeting of the National Settlement Council (NSC - joint policy and program table of CIC and sector umbrella organizations from across the country), the recent CFP and negotiations processes were reviewed and areas for further work discussed and prioritized.

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OCASI's OrgWise Resources

OrgWise electronic resources offer users a wide range of resources to assist organizations in addressing their capacity building priorities, which were identified in their self-assessment.

The resources have been collected from a variety of sources including but not limited to non-profit organizations operating within and outside of the immigrant and refugee-serving sector, government bodies, consulting firms, Think Tanks, institutes, businesses, and academia. Resources include: manuals, ‘how to' guides, information videos, news articles, and scholarly research, checklists, workbooks, webinars, and policy templates. Along with these resources are OCASI developed webinars on key organization development priorities in the sector. These webinars are facilitated by leading experts, and designed to provide participants with an opportunity to learn, share, and discuss priorities identified through the OrgWise online self-assessment. We invite you to visit the OrgWise website to take advantage of the resources.

Settlement.Org Survey Results

In the February 2013 edition (Vol. 8) of this newsletter we told you about the Settlement.Org survey, which allowed us to gather meaningful information about how users interacted with the site and whether there were changes to be made to improve their experience. In total, 300 newcomers and settlement professionals completed the 23 question survey and provided valuable information in the areas of demographics, content relevancy, and Internet usage. The results are in and we are happy to report that Settlement.Org has a 95% satisfaction rate. Read the full report.

Sector Happenings

CultureLink celebrates 25th Anniversary

CultureLink is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. There will be many celebratory events planned throughout the year, all leading to the main event Gala Dinner at the Old Mill Inn Toronto on Friday, October 18, 2013. It will be an evening full of entertainment, fabulous food, fun, and great networking. To find out more or to purchase tickets, please contact Ibrahim Absiye or Claudia Rivera

Support of Francophone Students

The Government of Ontario announced a new support program that will help more Francophone students study in French in the field of their choice. Starting in 2013-2014, Ontario's Francophone students who travel a minimum of 80 kilometres to attend full-time studies in French will qualify for the Ontario Distance Grant, no matter where they live in the province. The grant will expand opportunities for approximately 1,000 more Francophone students to study in French anywhere in Ontario.

New ePassport Program

As of July 1, 2013, Passport Canada will introduce the new ePassport which will be valid for 10 years for adults. Although there will no changes to the application requirements, there will be changes to the fee structure and to the application from.

Leadership Survey for the Non-profit Sector

If you are a non-profit leader with paid staff the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) is seeking good Ontario-based data to create a labour force leadership strategy for the sector. The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete and will provide vital data on what you are facing on the ground, and will inform a much-needed plan to support and grow sector leadership. ONN is interested in data from all sectors, including the immigrant-serving sector. Please complete the survey today.

Does Leadership in the GTA Reflect the Population?

That question is answered in a study commissioned by DiverseCity. The study polled 1,000 Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents in April 2013 and found that visible minorities make up almost 50% of the GTA's population; however, that number is not reflected in the rooms where authority gathers and decisions are made. In fact, only one in ten (10.5%) residents polled believe elected officials reflect the population in the GTA.

Research findings and the Parth Forward [PDF]