There are two initiatives that have been my focus for the past few weeks that I want to share with you. While the links between the two may not be casually apparent, they are related as both their goals are about change – attitudinal and systems change.
Integration and Settlement
In December 2015, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants with financial support from the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration, and International Trade (MCIIT), undertook an environmental scan to assess the existing capacity and service gaps of refugee and immigrant-serving organizations in Ontario to meet the needs of large numbers of Syrian refugee arrivals.
OCASI letter to Toronto Star, sent on May 15, 2015
OCASI would like to commend Ontario Superior Court Justice Frederick Myers for his recent ruling on police carding in favor of a Sudanese immigrant who was profiled and assaulted by police for exercising his right. The ruling is a first step in the right direction and underscores what a growing number of people in Toronto believes must happen - the end of carding and other racial profiling activities in the name of 'public safety'.
OCASI Executive Director Debbie Douglas appeared as a witness before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration to present on ‘Promoting Economic Prosperity through Settlement Services' on March 26, 2015.
She made the following observations in her presentation:
OCASI Executive Director Debbie Douglas appeared as a guest panelist on TVO's ‘The Agenda' hosted by Steve Paikin, on January 15, 2015. The show explored changes resulting from the introduction of the new Express Entry immigration system earlier this year, and what they mean for Canada and Ontario.
Urban HEART stands for "Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool."
What are the current pathways to Canadian citizenship for Toronto's residents? Are these changing? What are the barriers and what supports can we put in place?
Date: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
(Registration starts at 9:00 a.m.)
Location: Toronto City Hall, Council Chambers 100 Queen Street West
OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants as well as other sector umbrella organizations across Canada were given the opportunity to provide a written submission to CIC NHQ with further input and suggestions on Canada's settlement policy following the conclusion of the National Settlement Conference Vision 2020.
How can the City of Toronto better connect newcomers to City services? What is working and what are some barriers?
Open Dialogue Event - Thursday, January 16, 2014
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
(Registration starts at 1:00 p.m.)
Location: The 519 Church Street Community Centre, 2nd Floor Auditorium