Gold Mountain dream continues

Gold Mountain is very much alive today, says a historian who specializes in Chinese history. The Chinese people who crossed the Pacific Ocean in hopes of finding wealth at Gold Mountain, contrary to popular belief, did not leave simply because of war-torn conditions. Henry Yu notes that people who were dislocated by war didn’t travel…

Portrait of a citizenship judge

Taking the oath of citizenship is often a second step in immigrants and refugees’ settling process. The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), in partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, operates a national program aiming to ease citizenship procedures for the 1500 plus applicants each year and help them connect to their new community. Their volunteer-run…

Volunteer-run organization helps refugees deal with trauma and PTSD

A Surrey-based organization, Genesis Family Empowerment Society, was formed out of a need for mental health services for newcomers. With several years of experience working for another large non-profit organization, founder and CEO, Ershad Fawcett, worked with children who were abused and adults who suffered from grief and trauma. While working, Fawcett found that counselling…

Making sense of migration’s forces

The mass migration of Syrians fleeing their war-torn country has forced the international community to act urgently in response to the crisis. A panel of five Vancouver scholars and writers will contribute their perspectives and research on the issue in the discussion Migration or Escape: Journeys to Sanctuary on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at…

Syrian refugees in good hands

Tiny numbers despite big expectations, at least until now. Since the Federal Government announced its plan to welcome 2,700 Syrian refugees in British Columbia, only 300 to 500 government-sponsored people have made it from the refugee camps to Western Canada. These are rough numbers that Rahim Othman, spokesperson of the Syrian Canadian Council, shared with…

Work in progress: Ph.D. candidate studies Chinese integration

A doctoral student is challenging the way Canadians perceive how Chinese immigrants in the Lower Mainland adjust to life in English-speaking countries, particularly in terms of psychological and behavioural changes. Yidan Zhu, a Ph.D student in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at University of…

Immigration then and now

As times change, so does the experience of newcomers integrating into Canadian life. Farid Rohani, chair of the Laurier Institution, a foundation dedicated to understanding Canadian diversity, shares his point of view. “We were very much welcomed by those that appear to not be welcoming,” says Rohani about his neighbours in an upper-middle class area…

Breaking down barriers for women engineers trained abroad

The process of immigration begins long before newcomers first set foot in a new country. MOSAIC, a Vancouver organization dedicated to supporting immigrants and refugees, has a new online pre-arrival service to help foreign-trained women engineers immigrate to Canada. Funded by Westcoast Women in Engineering Science and Technology, the program will launch this March for…

Kinbrace: a place of solace and new beginnings

Since 1998, Kinbrace, British Columbia’s first dedicated refugee claimants housing, has been providing affordable transitional housing to over 400 refugees. According to the organization, many of these newcomers from all around the world start their new life in Canada with meagre to no resources, and often struggle with the harsh realities of poverty, isolation and…

Cultural Access Pass introduces new citizens to Canadian arts and culture

New Canadian citizens can look forward to learning more about their country’s arts scene, thanks to the Cultural Access Pass (CAP). The pass grants new Canadians free access to over 1000 of Canada’s cultural attractions during their first year of citizenship. “It gives a good introduction to the whole of Canada, different cultures and experiences.…

Career mentorship program bridges employment gap in Canadian immigration system

Vancouver needs skilled labour from abroad, but once workers arrive, they need local support to be successful. As Paul Mochrine, general manager of human resources for the City of Vancouver says, “Canada’s future prosperity is highly dependent on attracting talented, motivated immigrants and supporting their integration into our labour market. Particularly for a city that…