In the Field Newsletter Volume 18


OCASI In the Field
Volume 18
Message from the Executive Director

Debbie DouglasIn early October, I opened one of my few non-bills, non-advertisement pieces of mail and wondered why the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General was writing to me. I did a quick memory scan in case I had forgotten some important legal matter, but nothing came to mind. Read the letter.

I had been summoned to appear for Jury duty in the latter part of November. I must admit I was excited. I'm one of the few people I know who had been waiting to be called on to do this civic duty. I looked forward to it. Cleared my schedule for the week I was to appear and prayed that I'd be chosen, but only for a case that would fall within this week that I'd made available.

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

OCASI Member Feature

Lives of the Family: A Historical Record

Ottawa Chinese Community Services Centre (OCCSC) enlisted author Denise Chong to create the website to discover, share and preserve stories about history of Chinese immigrants to Ottawa, and to safeguard a place in the historical record for Ottawa-area pioneers.

The website Lives of the Family was launched in 2011 as an educational initiative entitled “Chinese Historical Research Project” to document the history of Chinese immigrants in Ottawa and the contribution they have made. The site is an homage to family, to Chinese-Canadians who struggled in times of strife to adapt to a society far removed from their own. As Canada itself was transformed by war and a growing economy, Chinese immigrants seized opportunities to use their individual talents to transform their own lives. The telling of such stories is a Canadian tale, the stories of family.

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OCASI Happenings

OCASI Board Member Receives the Order of Ottawa

Carl Nicholson, OCASI President, is a 2013 recipient of the Order of Ottawa. As a community builder for many years, Carl was recognized as an advocate for immigrant rights and a visionary of immigrant services. As the Executive Director of Catholic Centre for Immigrants Ottawa, he has provided leadership to the organization and exhibited an unwavering commitment to the promotion of social justice for immigrants. Everyone at OCASI is very proud of Carl's accomplishment; we invite you to join us in congratulating him for receiving this prestigious award. For more information visit Mayor Watson inducts Order of Ottawa recipients.

LGBTQ+ Positive Space Webinar Series

OCASI defines Positive Spaces as welcoming environments where LGBTQ+ newcomers are able to access culturally inclusive services with dignity and respect, and where service providers can work free from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The Council believes that in order to create welcoming environments, awareness and education is necessary; and its latest webinars on access, equity, and anti-oppression aims to do just that.

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Job Interview Infographic

Job Interview Questions [Infographics] by BrainDeeds.comA good job search involves many key elements, one of which is knowing how to interview well. In order to have a successful interview, candidates must be able to effectively communicate their skills, experience, and good character in a way that makes sense to the employer. This infographic offers some, but not all, of the questions interviewers typically ask job candidates, as well as some things that the candidate might ask the employer.

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OCMS Demo Webinars

The OCASI Client Management System (OCMS) is a newly developed, powerful and sophisticated website that can be used by multi-service agencies across Canada to record and retrieve important client information while generating detailed real-time reports on individual and group activities. To find out how OCMS can help you, sign up for one of the training/demo webinars. You can learn first hand how the database works and experience some of its great features, including its compatibility with iCARE.

Sector Happenings

Human Right Day

Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR) and Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) presents “I am not a Stereotype” – End Racial Profiling Now, an International Human Rights Day community forum. The forum will take place on December 10, 2013 at Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 3, 100 Queen St. West from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Participants will learn more about racial profiling and what they can do about it. For more information contact or or visit International Human Rights Day December 10th Human Rights Day poster

Priority Processing for People Affected by Hurricane Haiyan

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced that they will treat cases from people personally and significantly affected by Hurricane Haiyan as a priority. Applicants who meet the criteria can contact the visa office in Manila to declare their cases a priority. Read more.

Ministry of Education Plans Changes to Funding

The Ministry of Education is keen to find ways to address the global economic downturn and the slower than expected recovery to find a balance between central and local decision making. To this end, the Ministry held consultations with key stakeholders on possible changes to the education funding formula. Find out more about the effect changes to education funding may have on schools.

Time for Bold Action on Poverty Reduction

On December 4, 2008, the Ontario government responded to community pressure and announced its Poverty Reduction Strategy – a five year plan aimed at reducing child poverty in the province. Over the past five years the strategy has netted some great results, such as a unanimous vote of the Ontario Legislature committing all three parties to poverty reduction; legislation requiring all Ontario governments to enact poverty reduction strategy every five years, with targets and policy specifics ; increases to the Ontario Child Benefit; a range of investments in children's dental services and early childhood education; and improvements to social assistance rates and regulations. However, there is still much work to be done, so as the Ontario government gets ready to craft the next Poverty Reduction Strategy let's make sure that the next it has the vision and resources needed to build on the progress made for our children during the past five years to lift all Ontarians out of poverty in the coming five years. Let your voice be heard at Together Ontario.

French-Speaking Newcomers Now Eligible for Tuition-Free ESL Classes

The Ontario government is expanding its English as a Second Language (ESL) program in communities across the province to provide francophone immigrants with more opportunities to succeed and find work. By expanding its ESL program to newcomers whose first language is French, Ontario will add approximately 1,000 additional learners to the current enrollment of 120,000 immigrants who access tuition-free language training each year. These programs are currently available through 37 local English and French school boards, at over 300 locations across the province.