Executive Director's Message

I Had A Dream

April 2021 / Toronto

The Trudeau government has just announced that all who are resident in Canada with irregular immigration status can now submit a one-page application online requesting permanent residence. Those who are refused refugee claimants, undocumented, visitors with visas about to expire- all regardless of disability or health status or engagement with carceral systems (police, jails, prisons) are welcome. The only exceptions are those who have been found guilty in this country or any other of crimes against humanity.

2021: Who You Be?

January 2021 / Toronto

Mitho Makosi Kesikansi, Bonne année, Happy New Year, Heri ya Mwaka Mpya- regardless the language, the message is the same, best wishes/hopes/joy and happiness for the coming new year.

It is 2021 and a world of possibilities are opened before us as we continue to evolve our responses to the health pandemic and the social and economic inequities it has surfaced including the centuries old anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racisms; pandemics in their own right.

Status For All - If Not Now, When?

December 2020 / Toronto

It was less than a day after the declaration of a pandemic and the closing of most workplaces when we received the first call of concern. It was a colleague in the sector working with Caregivers who raised the alarm. Her concerns were mirrored by my policy and membership colleagues at the Council that the shutdown of services, of work places including home care would exacerbate the problems faced by Ontario residents with precarious immigration status and those who are undocumented.

Hell No – We Ain’t Going Back

September 2020 / Toronto - About ten years ago, the OCASI staff had a heated argument during one of our monthly all staff meetings about shifting most of our offerings to the membership online. We were split into two fractious camps. The in-person is always better crowd and the get with the program, technology is the way forward crowd. Luckily we had a few thoughtful souls in the middle who didn’t get what the argument was about since they held a vision where mixed modes of information transfer, training and professional development, policy and advocacy and public education exist.

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