Canadian Immigrant - April 2019

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volume 16 issue 2 | 2019 c anadianimmigr ant.c a

arrive. succeed. inspire.

here’s what

Publications mail agreement number 40011993 | $5.95

influence

looks LIKE Nothabo Ncube and this year’s sixth annual Immigrant Women of Inspiration

Vote now for the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards 2019 C anadian Immigrant Fairs

House hunting hurdles for newcomers



CONTENTS

Read more great content at canadianimmigrant.ca

Volume 16 Issue 2

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fusion

PROFILE: Filmmaker Elton Hubner NEWS: Canadian Immigrant Fairs in 2019

and interim pathway for caregivers 8

cover story

The Immigrant Women of Inspiration special is back for the sixth year, this time with a focus on women of influence

13 CAREERS AND EDUCATION

Immigrants are still playing career catchup Tapping into the talent of immigrant women CAREER COACH: Job simulations are a growing trend

19 SETTLEMENT

PARENTING: Joy of reading House hunting hurdles IMMIGRATION LAW: New rules for border exits WELLNESS: Spring brings new possibilities

24 MONEY AND BUSINESS

TIPS FOR SETTLING IN FASTER: Staying safe online ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Five marketing strategies for business growth

30 BACK PAGE

HUMOUR BY HEMETERIO

above Alice Cheng is one of our Immigrant Women of Inspiration for 2019.

Photo by Sariena Luy

What services are available for immigrants and refugees?

We can help.

New to BC? Download the Arrival Advisor app. Always Free. Available in multiple languages.

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FUSION

People. News. Information. Volume 16, Issue 2

profile

2019

Group Publisher Sanjay Agnihotri

Elton

Editor Margaret Jetelina mjetelina@metroland.com

Hubner

Editorial Design Terry Lankstead, Anne Nawrocka Courtland Shakespeare Digital Media Developer Kamil Mytnik

Fit for film

Sr. Ad Manager Ricky (Kawaljit) Bajaj rbajaj@metroland.com Tel: 905 273 8170

By Margaret Jetelina

Assistant Manager Laura Jackman ljackman@metroland.com Marketing & Events Jamie Coffin General Inquiries: info@canadianimmigrant.ca Circulation/Distribution Inquiries: ljackman@metroland.com ISSN 1910-4146 Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher

Publications mail agreement number: 40065097 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: 3145 Wolfedale Road Mississauga, Ontario, L5C 3A9 Printed on recycled paper. Toronto Circulation 30,000 copies Vancouver Circulation 15,000 copies Calgary/Edmonton Circulation 5,000 copies Canadian Immigrant is published four times a year in print. Canadian Immigrant welcomes submissions, but is not responsible for unsolicited material. Canadian Immigrant is a publication of Metroland Media Group, a division of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. Entire contents property of Canadian Immigrant.

canadianimmigrant.ca Toronto 3145 Wolfedale Road, Mississauga Ontario, L5C 3A9 Tel: 905 273 8111, Fax: 905 277 9917

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above Vancouver-based videographer Elton Hubner (bottom right) with some of the amazing seniors he filmed in his documentary.

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lton Hubner always has a story to share. And he has lots of inspiration to draw from. Born in Brazil to a family of European immigrants, Hubner is what you might call a global citizen, having lived in Germany, Switzerland and Italy, and having travelled to 30 countries before coming to Canada in 2012. But, while it took some time to settle on a permanent home, he always knew he wanted to tell stories, first as a journalist and a photographer, then as a videographer and filmmaker. His most recent project is an award-winning documentary called The Fit Generation. Canadian Immigrant caught up with Vancouver-based Hubner recently to talk about his film.

Why did you decide to call Canada home? Canadians have always had a reputation of being super welcoming, so I decided to come check it out. On my very first day in Toronto, I heard a voice inside myself: “This is the place you’ve been looking for.” I’ve been here ever since. Tell me a bit about your professional career before you came to Canada. I knew I wanted to tell stories since the age of 15. I studied journalism, got a master’s degree in media studies from the University of Berlin, and worked as a reporter and photographer for a few years while living in Brazil and Germany. My very first article in Canada was published by Canadian Immigrant magazine back in 2012. Meeting CBC’s pioneer videojournalist Saša Petricic opened my eyes to the amazing world of video production and it led to my transition into filmmaking.

CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019

Was it challenging to establish yourself after coming to Canada? Certainly, but it was a welcome challenge that should be perceived as a great investment in a better life and a future with plenty of opportunities. What is your documentary The Fit Generation about? It’s an inspiring documentary that challenges our concepts of aging and makes us reflect about the choices that we make in our lives. In the film, we follow six amazing individuals in their 70s and 80s in British Columbia. They are facing cancer, arthritis, heart attacks, bone fractures, knee replacements, fatigue and the loss of loved ones, but they won’t give up or stop having fun. On the contrary, they ski, play hockey, teach fitness classes and run marathons. How do they live? What motivates them to keep going?

Most importantly, what should we do if we want to be as happy and active at that age, too? These are the questions that are answered in the film. And the film is getting noticed … Yes! Our small production team and everyone involved are very proud of the recognition that the documentary has received internationally. We’ve won a handful of awards in the U.S. and in Europe, including San Francisco and London. We just got nominated into two categories at the Nice International Film Festival as well. We’re scheduling a few screenings in Vancouver, Richmond and Whistler now and the movie will be available online this summer. Everyone can find out more about the film at thefitgeneration.ca. Any new films planned next? Our next documentary, in its early production stages, is about the amazing life of Gwen McFarlan. She’s a Canadian cancer survivor who is trying to break a world marathon record run at the age of 85. This is an incredible story of resilience and the ultimate example from someone who’s teaching different generations on never giving up on your dreams.


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news

2019 series of Canadian Immigrant Fairs kicks off Immigrants all have one thing in common: they need information after they arrive to help them in their immigration journey. That’s where the Canadian Immigrant Fair comes in. The 2019 series of fairs kicks off on April 29, 2019, at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown in Burnaby, B.C. This free tradeshow and speakers’ series for newcomers is all about providing the information and inspiration people need as they look for jobs, go back to school and settle into their new home. “Immigrants are coming to Canada, and it’s our responsibility to welcome them, and help them settle in and integrate into this great country.

Through the Canadian Immigrant Fair, we offer information on the three pillars of success for immigrating to Canada: careers, education and settlement,” says Sanjay Agnihotri, group publisher of Canadian Immigrant. After the April 29 event, the Canadian Immigrant Fair will head to Halifax on May 14, Toronto on June 10, Winnipeg on July 19, September 6 in Edmonton, September 9 in Calgary, November 8 in Vancouver and November 29 in Mississauga. Register and learn more about the speakers and exhibitors at each fair at canadianimmigrant.ca/ careerfair.

Interim pathway for caregivers deadline June 4 Caregivers who came to Canada to provide care to Canadian families, while hoping to become permanent residents themselves can apply to the Interim Pathway for Caregivers (IPC). The deadline is June 4 to apply. “Caregivers came to Canada to provide care to families that need it, and it’s time for Canada to care for them in return. To demonstrate our

commitment, we are finally providing them and their family members the opportunity to apply to become permanent residents,” said Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen. Criteria of the IPC include a valid work permit; one year of work experience as a home childcare provider and/or home support worker, a minimum Canadian Language

It’s your employer’s responsibility to provide a healthy and safe workplace.

As a worker, you have the right to proper information, instruction, training and supervision. Find health and safety resources at worksafebc.com/health-safety.

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CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019

Benchmark 5 level in English or French, and a Canadian high school diploma or foreign equivalent. Applications for permanent residence through the interim pathway will be processed in 12 months. There is no cap on the number of caregivers, with their spouses/ common-law partners and dependent children, who will be accepted.

In June 2019, the new Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot will launch. Under these programs, inhome caregivers will get occupation-specific work permits, which will provide greater flexibility in changing jobs when necessary. Caregivers will also have more opportunity to bring their family with them to Canada.

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influencingchange Our sixth annual ‘Immigrant Women of Inspiration’ special picks women who are champions of change

In today’s era of Instagram influencers, the notion of what influence is has perhaps become a little distorted. Real influence is about more than encouraging others on what shoes to buy or makeup to wear; it’s about inspiring meaningful change in thought, in action or in people’s lives. That’s why for Canadian Immigrant’s sixth annual “Immigrant

Women of Inspiration” special, we have picked four women from different cities, backgrounds and generations whose voices are inspiring others or making a positive impact Here are the stories of Alice Cheng, Nothabo Ncube, Tetyana Golota and Yasmin Ali.

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he’s an environmentalist, a woman’s rights activist and a passionate volunteer. As an up-and-coming influencer, Alice Cheng is active on social media, but her posts aren’t necessarily what you’d expect from today’s Generation Z. While she may write with a youth audience in mind, she calls it “amplifying local and global issues through a sustainable lens.” She champions environmental causes in part because nature has become so meaningful to her as a newcomer. After moving to Canada from China when she was just five years old, Cheng found peace in the outdoors. “The only respite from all the taunting and feeling unwelcome was in nature,” she says. One of the first trips Cheng took in Canada was to Algonquin Park in Ontario. “Being outdoors really made me appreciate nature,” she says. Cheng and her family also became involved in a community garden. She looked forward to helping her family tend to their plot. The outdoors became a source of comfort for Cheng. In school, she learned about factors that were threatening the very places she loved so much. This began Cheng’s involvement in advocacy work to protect the environment. In Grade 9, Cheng became involved with the Toronto Youth Environmental Council. She took on leadership roles, leading to a co-presidency position. A huge moment for Cheng was in September 2016 when she had the opportunity to present in front of Toronto City Council’s Parks, Environment and Climate Committee, urging for climate action at the municipal level. Through her participation with the Toronto Youth Environmental Council, Cheng had to overcome a number of roadblocks faced by youth organizations. Not being taken seriously and working around everyone’s high school schedules were everyday struggles for Cheng. “If you want something you have to put in effort to get it,” she says. While Cheng loved the advocacy work she was doing with the council, she wanted to do more. She was inspired to found a non-profit organization with support from Ryerson University’s DMZ Sandbox and the Sprout Ideas Fellowship programs. She founded the #HEMPower Campaign with $2,000 in funding to spread awareness on the benefits of industrial hemp, a non-water intensive material used for clothing that has a low impact on the environment. “It’s like bamboo in that it grows really easily and doesn’t need to be sprayed with a bunch of chemicals,” says Cheng.

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CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019

Alice Cheng

Climate champion Photo by Sariena Luy When she was 15 years old, Cheng also founded Global Figure, a Canadian, youth-led non-profit organization striving to better engage, empower and mobilize the next generation of global citizens to shape a more sustainable future for all.


IMMIGRANT

women OF INSPIRATION

For her work in environmentalism, Cheng was the recipient of Toronto’s Urban Hero Award in the Environment Category in 2017, an award given to recognize people who have made a difference in the lives of others. She was also the recipient of Corporate Knights Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders Award. Most recently, Cheng has been involved with the Young Women’s Leadership Network, helping with event planning and activities. “In order to properly champion any cause, it’s really important to build leadership capacity,” says Cheng. This young leader will be attending the University of Toronto in September. “I’m looking to go into general humanities, environmental ethics, east Asian studies, maybe some drama into the mix as well,” she says. “In order to be an effective leader, I think you have to be willing to learn.” We have no doubt that whatever lessons Cheng learns in the future, she will be sharing her knowledge to inspire positive change. — Lisa Evans

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othabo Ncube is a doctor by profession. For most, that would be enough, professionally speaking. For Dr. Ncube, it was just the beginning of a calling to help people live with purpose. “I believe that our words and thoughts have the power to create who we become. I am here today because of a promise that I made to my mother and the universe at large. At my mother’s death bed, I made a promise to her to be a doctor.” Zimbabwe-born Ncube was just 14 years old when her mother died. Two years later, she immigrated to Canada with her father and brother. “I found myself living in community housing in [Regent Park] Toronto, subjected to social ills that could have deterred me from my path.” Her journey has been a masterclass in overcoming adversity. “But I am now on a mission to raise consciousness, to empower, to educate, to motivate, to inspire, to uplift and to enlighten this generation to use pain as a pedestal toward the pinnacle of purpose.” Again, it was her mother who inspired her path. “My mother [a teacher] had that passion of inspiring kids to be the best they could be,” says Ncube, who determined early on that she, too, would lead a life of service. However, this wasn’t easy for girls born in her homeland of Zimbabwe. “You were taught that you’re not enough — at best a girl could become a clerk,” says Ncube. But her mother defied the stereotypes and encouraged her to reach high. “She would look me in the eyes and say, ‘You’re a star, you’re smart.’” At school in Toronto, Ncube didn’t get that kind of encouragement. She recalls an English teacher judging her for her accent and giving her low marks, but Ncube graduated near the top of her high school class and won a Fulbright Scholarship, which funded her studies at McMaster University. It wasn’t an easy path to medical school, however. She had to overcome family issues, depression and financial worries before she was finally accepted into medical school at Windsor University. It was in medical school that Ncube first used her talent for inspiration. As she began treating patients with psychological problems, she disclosed her own struggles to help them open up. “When you share your story, it gives permission to others to do the same,” she says. After completing medical school in 2017, Ncube decided to try motivational speaking. Ncube landed a spot on the prestigious TEDx Talks series. Though she was nervous and shaky before taking the stage, she moved her audience to tears and received a standing ovation at the end. Since then, she has become an internationally sought-after speaker, travelling back to Zimbabwe and South Africa and most recently in the U.K. and Dubai to speak. Ncube tries to motivate young girls to realize their ambitions and also reassures women that it’s never too late to redirect their lives. Motivational speaking has also led Ncube to a new career as a life

Nothabo Ncube A calling to inspire

Photo by Desiree Thomas coach. After every speech, audience members line up to meet her and ask for more personal guidance. While her presentations inspire people to reach for their own dreams, the coaching offers specific strategies to achieve these goals. Ncube also mentors girls around the globe through regular Skype or phone sessions. “I remind them that they are so much more than their society’s expectations of them,” she says. Ncube gets back as much as she gives. Every time she ignites hope in her listeners, she heals from her own traumas. “The moment I release my story into the atmosphere, I feel lighter,” says Ncube. “I become free.” — Vivien Fellegi

H

opefully this next story will remind you immigrant women can reach for the stars — no matter what obstacles stand in their way. Like many newcomers to Canada, Tetyana Golota discovered the credentials that allowed her to immigrate didn’t translate into job opportunities. “My master’s degree in engineering was good enough to move to Canada, but it wasn’t good enough to work here,” she says. “Plus, I spoke zero English, so I couldn’t get a job in my field right away.” Even though Ukrainian-born Golota felt completely overwhelmed when she arrived in Vancouver with her husband and toddler son 21 years ago, she didn’t allow it to hold her back. She rolled up her sleeves and got on with it: she cleaned houses for $5 an hour, all the while taking ESL classes. Soon, her English improved and the Golotas found work as building managers. Shortly after that, Golota was accepted into a desktop CANADIANIMMIGRANT.CA |

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IMMIGRANT

Tetyana Golota Mrs. body positive

women OF INSPIRATION

publishing course at BCIT, and upon graduation she worked her way up until she got her dream job — finally she had it all. But, after a bout of flu that wouldn’t go away, Golota discovered that what she really couldn’t shake was a brain tumour. At the same time, she was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia and arthritis. After surgery to remove the non-cancerous tumour, Golota was left with a disability (chronic pain and limited vision), meaning she could no longer work her regular 9–5 job. But Golota persevered with her signature determination and optimism — except now she wanted life to have more purpose. “News like that, it’s a real wake-up call. I didn’t want to chase a bigger house or a better car, the usual things,” she says. “I wanted more meaning to our lives.” Despite time spent recovering, Golota kept busy. She worked in her family-owned consignment store in Port Moody, B.C., volunteered in the community and became involved with She Talks, an organization that offers women a platform to share their stories of empowerment to inspire others. She was one of the first women to stand up and speak. Today she remains a core committee member, continuing to influence and inspire the network of women involved in She Talks. When her fellow members suggested that she should compete in the Mrs. B.C. pageant, Golota says, “I laughed and said, ‘Are you kidding, who does pageants at 44?’” But when she saw the pageant was affiliated with local charities and was a chance for women to have a positive impact in their community, Golota did compete — and won Mrs. B.C., 2016. This led her to win other titles and competitions, including Mrs. British Columbia Globe, Mrs. Canada

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CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019


Member Name

License# Company Name

City

Disciplinary Ac�on

Effec�ve Date

Artem Djukic

R409919

SOKO Immigra�on Services

Mississauga, ON

Interim Suspension

19-Mar-19

Cem Turetken

R508954

ACG Immigra�on and Recruitment Services Inc.

Toronto, ON

Interim Suspension

25-Feb-19

George SW Lee

R414039

Leeger & Legal Associates

Toronto, ON & Disciplinary Suspension Haikou, China

Oleksandr Arbetov

R407007

ARIS Consultants Immigra�on Inc. Vancouver, BC Revoca�on

27-Feb-19

Robert Proulx

R417415

Robert Proulx Consultant

Revoca�on

23-Jan-19

Sunita Manhas

R507918

Simple Immigra�on Solu�ons Inc. Calgary, AB

Revoca�on

23-Jan-19

Blainville, QC

01-Jan -19 to 1-Apr-19


IMMIGRANT

women OF INSPIRATION

World Classic, Ms. Canada Universal and Mrs. Canada Globe Classic. “I never thought I’d be a plus-size woman in her 40s, representing her country on an international level.” Well, she did, and she became an instant role model for the body positivity movement. “I am not your stereotypical pageant girl or runway model, as I am a full-figured woman, so starting in the pageant world at age 44 while living with disabilities was something special,” she says. “I consider myself an ambassador for diversity, multiculturalism and equality.” While she was trailblazing on the pageant circuit, the always glamorous Golota was also forging a new career for herself in the fashion world. She began by creating an eco-fashion collection inspired by her heritage. “My first small collection of eight ethnic-Ukraine garments ended up being featured in Vogue India,” she says. Since then, she has also walked the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week, presented her collection at Eco Fashion Week and has been featured in Vogue UK magazine. Golota’s advice to other immigrant women who want to live life with a difference is simple, “Get an education. Learn the language, that’s the most important thing. Then go after your dreams, whatever they are, because everything is achievable.” — Nicola Enright-Morin

B

eing a leader can be challenging, but people who pull it off regardless of the difficulties are usually those who see the bumps in the road as stepping stones to success. Yasmin Ali’s journey has had its share of bumps, yet she has always found ways to look at them as opportunities. Today, Ali is leading a group of Muslim newcomer women, providing them with the support they need to transition to life in Canada — anything from getting a social insurance number, to opening a bank account, to visiting a doctor to finding a job. Born and raised in Trinidad, Ali made her way to Canada after high school to study zoology at the University of Manitoba, before returning to Trinidad to teach high school for 12 years. There, she got married to a Trinidadian doctor, Ben Ali. She later helped him find a plastic surgeon residency at the University of Manitoba, while she stayed back to work and raise their four kids. In 1990, the family moved to Medicine Hat, Alberta, where Ali’s husband secured a permanent position as a plastic surgeon. But they did not remain there for long, as they found that being the only Muslim family in town was too difficult. “We’ve been back in Winnipeg since 1994,” says Ali. “When we came here, my kids were little — they were seven, five, three and two. So, I stayed at home and started volunteering at the kids’ school. I have been volunteering ever since.” When Ali began taking the kids to the Islamic weekend school run by the local mosque, she started to get more involved. “My youngest daughter, when I would take her to the school, would cry. She didn’t want me to leave. So, I would stay in the classroom with her and eventually the parents were running the school. The volunteers got to know me and I became one of them.” Eventually, Ali became the lead teacher and then the school’s volunteer principal. Working so closely with other members of the Muslim community through the school, Ali saw a need for more advocacy and support for Muslim women. “In 2006, a group of us got together and decided to start an organization called the Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute (CMWI),” she says. “We noticed there were a lot of newcomers who were refugee women at

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Yasmin Ali

Advocacy with heart the mosque, and they seemed kind of lost and needed help. So, in this organization, we started up a very small board and two part-time staff. We started off just with giving them clothing, some food supplies and trying to organize a program for their kids.” CMWI was the first organization of its kind in Manitoba where Muslim women are both the leaders and participants of their own organization. The goal of the institute is to promote and empower refugee and newcomer women and their families socially, economically and spiritually through a variety of programs. At first, Ali served as the CMWI’s vice president, but, after only six months, she became president and has been leading the group ever since. For this, Ali needed to learn how to fill out grant applications, communicate with sponsors and work to find employment for newcomers. Through all these efforts, Ali has influenced the lives of so many Muslim women in Winnipeg and she has been recognized with many awards for her selfless volunteer service. Ali says that growing up as a minority in Trinidad taught her the value of accepting others and being a steward for those who need help. Today, those are values that she shares not only with the community, but with her now-adult children and first grandchild. — Rebeca Kuropatwa


careers & education

Playing catchup Is it taking too long for immigrants to catch up with their Canadian-born counterparts?

By Ramya Ramanathan

A

nna moved to Canada from Eastern Europe 14 years ago. As an internationally trained professional, she was excited to bring her teaching experience in French combined with a degree in psychology to make a new start in Canada. But she soon found she couldn’t use her European credentials in Canada. Like many others in her situation, Anna had to be practical and find a job to support herself. “I had genuinely hoped to enrich my experience and move my career to the next level; it didn’t take me too long to realize that it was just a beautiful illusion for people without strong financial support, like me.” Does Anna believe that her skills

and experience are currently being used? “Objectively, career-wise, I am a loser who has wasted her knowledge, expertise and experience working in call centres,” she says. “Subjectively, I do my best to use my skills by adapting them to the needs of the team and it feels good that I can make a difference. But given the opportunity I know I can bring much more to the table.” Joe from India is no stranger to call centre jobs. With a master’s degree in marketing and a PhD, both from the U.S., he has worked a variety of jobs in Canada — at an outbound call centre, as a census enumerator and even going doorto-door fundraising for a charity. In the last few years, he has continued to take on many one-year contract jobs. “I moved every year.

Orillia. Montreal. Toronto. London. Toronto. I was underpaid and overworked.” Today he is enrolled in a college in Toronto, “working on getting a Canadian qualification and a Canadian network of friends,” he says.

It’s taking too long While Anna, Joe and plenty of others manage to get a job or a contract, finding one in line with their skills and experience continues to be a challenge, as does one that unleashes their potential or enables career progression. A recently released report by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), The State of Immigrant Inclusion in the GTA Labour Market reveals that it is taking too long for immigrants

to catch up with their Canadianborn counterparts. It found that underemployment at the start of an immigrant’s life in Canada can have a long-lasting impact, and promoting and advancing immigrant professionals continues to be a challenge. Further, the study finds that immigrants are underrepresented in senior leadership positions. While immigrants constitute more than half the university-educated workforce in the GTA, they are only one-third of all senior managers with a university degree. On a positive note, the study did find that the unemployment gap between university-educated newcomers and people born in Canada is narrowing in the GTA. According to Margaret Eaton, executive

CANADIANIMMIGRANT.CA |

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careers & education director of TRIEC, “This is also a trend in the rest of Canada — but it is too early to celebrate. Universityeducated newcomers in the GTA are still twice as likely to be unemployed compared to people born in Canada with the same qualifications. Some groups — like women or racialized people — are getting left behind. To give an example, our report showed that newcomer women with a university degree earn on average half the amount of women born in Canada.”

Career integration Unpacking the process of career integration is complex and is multilayered. For instance, newcomers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field who earned their bachelor’s degrees in Canada are doing nearly as well as their Canadian-born counterparts. At the other end of the spectrum are newcomers with a bachelor’s degree from outside Canada in a non-STEM (everything else, including business, law, humanities, social studies, health care and so on) subject are much worse off than their Canadian-

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born counterparts — especially newcomer women. The pattern is the same for people who have a degree above bachelor level. Another recent study, Immigration for BC’s Future, by B.C.-based AMSSA, states: “Often, instead of focusing on the positive benefits that newcomers bring (such as international experience and education, advanced skills and an understanding of different cultural contexts) there is a focus on their deficiencies, including a lack of Canadian workplace experience or recognition of foreign credentials.” Naveen, who moved here with a master’s degree from the U.K., says: “The first few years were the most challenging. At the very beginning it was rather difficult to find relevant employment due to the lack of the so-called ‘Canadian work experience,’ which a newcomer cannot obtain unless he or she finds employment in Canada. Getting my foot in the door was very difficult. I did contract work and part-time jobs during the first two years before I was finally offered my first permanent role.” That, says Eaton, is one of the

CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019

surprising findings of the study. “I was surprised to see that employers are still asking for Canadian experience, despite many immigrants having the expertise required for jobs. The Ontario Human Rights Commission determined in 2013 that a strict requirement for Canadian experience is a form of discrimination. Employers should be asking for specific knowledge and skillsets instead to assess the candidates better.” Naveen adds, “It is possible that if I had done my schooling in Canada, I may have seen more career growth and could have saved time I lost during my initial years in Canada. Though my skills and experience are not fully utilized during the initial years, I feel that they are better utilized at present.”

Employer imperative The situation calls for a variety of targeted approaches and solutions, all seeking increased support for the integration of newcomers into the labour force. So, what can employers do? The TRIEC report reveals that employers are becoming more aware of the

benefits of diversity and inclusion and have scaled up their efforts over the last 15 years to attract and retain immigrants. “Employers, especially those with a keen interest in diversity and inclusion, are now becoming more involved in the immigrant integration process. This increases the prospects of immigrants to be employed in their own field,” Eaton says. “Immigrant integration works better with more employers on board.” Should we be welcoming 300,000+ new immigrants into Canada every year when we are still struggling to figure out how to make integration work? Immigration is critical to Canada’s economic and labour force growth in the future, says Eaton, but so is the need to “make the integration process better for both current and future immigrants. Many newcomers are forced to take on survival jobs that don’t do justice to their valuable skills and many years of experience. Employers can play a big role in addressing this, through tapping into immigrant talent to address their skills shortages.”


careers & education

Tapping into female talent Three ways to help immigrant women succeed in the labour market

C

By Sara Rose Taylor

anada is facing a labour market crunch. Research by the Conference Board of Canada shows that, due to an aging population and low birth rate, Canada needs to tap into as many talent pools as possible to keep the economy strong. Immigrant women can contribute to Canadian economic development as they are growing in numbers and significantly underrepresented in the labour force. They, however, face a variety of barriers to employment. Addressing the following challenges will open new doors.

1

Access to child care

The lack of accessible, affordable child care has a significant impact on a woman’s ability to find employment. Immigrant women may be particularly affected. They are more likely to work variable hours, have smaller family networks close by, and have lower wages than Canadian-born women in the short run. One solution is to address the cost of child care. Research by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows the cost of infant to preschool care has risen higher than inflation for much of the country over the past five years, making it increasingly unaffordable for many. Another piece of the puzzle is expanding the hours of available child care to accommodate work schedules that run later than many daycares provide. Current child care programs are based on regular 9-to-5 hours, which does not reflect varying schedules in today’s changing work environment. This is of particular concern for immigrant women, who are more likely to hold on-call, casual, and informal jobs. Child care is also critical for accessing settlement services and programs, such as language training. For programs offered by settle-

ment organizations, successful programs would pair language lessons with childcare options; studies have shown that women are more likely to drop out of language classes due to family responsibilities.

2

Education and experience recognition

Immigrant women have higher rates of post-secondary education than Canadian-born women, but these credentials and foreign work experience are not always recognized by Canadian employers. One way to address this is by providing employers with more information on qualification recognition and skills assessment. The Government of Alberta, for example, has provided employers with resources and tutorials on its International Qualifications Assessment Service. This information may be especially important for small businesses, which may not have the human resources capacity to properly recognize foreign education and experience. This is an issue for immigrant women because, per Statistics Canada, they face higher rates of education-tojob mismatches than immigrant men and the Canadian-born population.

Employers could also incorporate work-integrated learning programs. Many Canadian examples exist for post-secondary students, including co-op and internship placements run by universities. An example from outside the university system is Career Edge, which uses a paid internship model to support employment opportunities for newcomers, people with disabilities, and members of the Canadian Armed Forces, in addition to recent university graduates.

3

Professional networks

Social and professional networks lead to job opportunities. Helping immigrant women build their networks is critical to maximizing their potential in the labour force. Networking opportunities facilitated by local chambers of commerce, business councils, and professional organizations would provide greater opportunity for women to connect with employers. One example is the Immigrating Women in Science program run by

the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology in Vancouver. In addition to running networking events, the program also provides skill development workshops and mentorship opportunities. 3.5 million immigrant women and their families stand to benefit Immigrant women number more than 3.5 million but they are underrepresented and undervalued in Canada’s labour market. Better employment outcomes would improve their household situation and also contribute significantly to our economy.

Join us at the Canadian Immigration Summit 2019! Canadian Immigrant is a proud sponsor of the Conference Board’s Canadian Immigration Summit 2019! Join more than 400 people in Ottawa on May 8-9, 2019: conferenceboard.ca/immigration.

Sara Rose Taylor, PhD, is a research associate in the Conference Board of Canada’s National Immigration Centre. Her current areas of research include entrepreneur immigration, immigrant integration in labour markets and gender equality. CANADIANIMMIGRANT.CA |

15


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CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019


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Careers & Education career coach

Test your skills

T

Job simulations are a growing new hiring trend

he next time you head in for an interview, it may not be the typical question-andanswer format you’re expecting. More and more organizations in Canada are implementing creative interview strategies that go beyond the surface and dig deep into your skills, personality and behaviour. One of the emerging trends is job simulation and it certainly pays to prepare for one. A job simulation is an assessment that puts you in realistic, job-related situations and measures your behaviours or responses to help determine your qualifications for the job. It’s a great tool for employers especially if you’re an internationally trained professional with little Canadian experience.

Advantages of job simulations There are many advantages to

this approach in hiring, so don’t be surprised if you are asked to take part in one during your job search. Benefits for employers and candidates alike include: • Higher validity. Job simulation assessments are definitely a better way to predict future job performance. • Better job fit. By exposing candidates to various types of events,

scenarios and challenges confronted on the job, these simulations can help you determine if the job is well suited to your knowledge, skills, abilities and interests. • Positive experiences. Because job simulations replicate the real types of tasks performed in the actual job, studies have found that applicants are more likely to view them as being fair and job-related.

Different formats

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CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019

Job simulations can take many different forms, such as in-person assignments, online exams, takehome assignments, role-playing, presentations or even virtual simulations. Basic exercises. You will be required to complete certain tasks such as responding to emails, taking phone calls and handling grievances within a set amount of time. Often, these exercises are best for administrative and managerial positions. Situational judgment tests. You may be presented with a work-related scenario and be asked to use your judgment to provide a solution that can amicably resolve the situation at hand. These tests ideally lead to positions such as customer service and supervisory roles. Work sample tests. These typically hands-on tests will require you to complete certain activities

that are similar to actual tasks you would perform on the job. Examples include writing code, take-home assignments, collaborating with others to design a website or completing an onsite construction task. Role-playing exercises. Roleplaying is probably the most common of all job simulation formats. These exercises help to evaluate your ability to navigate interpersonal challenges in a work environment.

Tilt the job simulation in your favour So, what should you do if you find out a job simulation will be a part of your job interview? First things first, you should do thorough research and brush up on your abilities. This means reviewing your knowledge and skills for the position being assessed to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Then practise hard to perform the task/issue that will be assessed. You could even record yourself performing the task and ask anyone to observe and provide constructive feedback. Go online for quick help. No matter your specific field, a quick online search will reveal a lot of practice assessments. And, lastly, just relax and smile. Remember, job simulations aren’t always about judging your skills. Most of the time, the hiring team is looking to measure intangibles such as EQ and critical thinking ability. Today, job simulations are beneficial for employers and candidates alike. Candidates who ace the process and are hired are more likely to stay with the company longer, report higher levels of job satisfaction and demonstrate greater productivity.

Murali Murthy is an acclaimed public speaker, life coach and best-selling author of The ACE Principle, The ACE Awakening, The ACE Abundance and You Are HIRED!. He is also chairperson of CAMP Networking Canada. Learn how he can help unlock your magic at unleashyourwow.com.


settlement

parenting

Joy of reading

Don’t just teach your kids to read, teach them to love to read reading by making it a shared family activity that is fun, entertaining and exciting. As Dr. Seuss wrote: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more than you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

6 ways to inspire a love of reading in your kids

A

ll parents of young children are focused on teaching them to read, but some neglect to teach children to love reading. For some kids, reading is taught via direct instruction, and is often associated with negative pressure. While the ability to read is important, your kids will not reap the benefits of reading if they dislike reading. Why is it important to love reading? Beyond basic literacy, there are many benefits of reading for young children.

Learning language Nothing nurtures language skills as well as reading aloud to children. Reading contributes greatly to children’s acquisition of language. The more the children are being read to when they are young, the more likely they are to develop better language skills at an earlier rate. And, as an immigrant, that goes for multiple languages,

including English and your mother tongue!

Preparing for school readiness Children who read regularly tend to have better vocabulary, spelling and writing, as well as better listening and reading comprehension skills. Avid readers also tend to have better concentration skills and do better in all school subjects.

Enhancing relationships Reading aloud is a social and bonding activity. This is because the human voice is one of the most powerful tools a parent has for calming a child. Reading is also a great way to entertain, relax and connect with each other.

Developing imagination and creativity The richness of language and illustration in books are more

complex than the language in conversation or television. Reading transports readers to other worlds of imagination and wonderment.

Developing a thirst for knowledge Knowledge is one of most valuable assets we can have. Reading a variety of books in different topics will provide your kids with a world of knowledge. The possibilities are endless when it comes to learning through reading and exploring the world through the magic of books. Reading is an affordable, yet most valuable and meaningful way to connect with your children. Inspire and motivate children to love

1 Create a home environment conducive for reading. Ensure proper lighting, comfortable seating, and good selection of quality books. 2 Introduce reading to children starting at early age, starting with reading aloud to them. 3 Condition children to associate reading with pleasure by incorporating reading into part of daily family routines. 4 Make reading time a quality bonding time, a special uninterrupted time to connect with children on deeper level, and have meaningful discussions through books. 5 Be a role model and set good examples by reading regularly. Children are great imitators. If children see adults reading regularly, they will do the same. 6 Expose children to different types of books that are age appropriate and of interest to them. Check out local libraries, book fairs and bookstores. Ask librarians or teachers, or read online book reviews, for some good book suggestions.

Cheryl Song, an immigrant from Malaysia, has more than 20 years’ experience of working in early learning and family programs. Contact her at cheryl@learnwithsong.com or visit her website at learnwithsong.com. CANADIANIMMIGRANT.CA |

19


SETTLEMENT

House hunting hurdles

Illustration by Hemeterio

Impossibly high real estate prices, unreasonable rental landlords and credit history woes are just some of the house hunting horrors that newcomers face in Canada

S

By Baisakhi Roy

uch is the ordeal of finding a home to rent or buy in Canada that when we zeroed in on a couple of newcomer families who were in the midst of house hunting, they did not really want to speak about their experiences. They were simply too stressed out! “The first eight months in Canada were a nightmare for us,” recounts Satish Pandya (name changed for privacy), who bought a home in Mississauga this fall with his wife and five-year-old son. “Initially we thought about renting because we were told that we do not have a strong credit history in the country to qualify for a mortgage. But we were stunned by the steep rental rates — we were paying $2,100 for a two-bedroom apartment!” he says. After much debate with his wife about putting down a healthy amount for their down payment

20

and being realistic about what their first home should be (he wanted a detached, but his wife convinced him to go for a less lavish semi), the Pandyas finally settled on a semi-detached home in a reputable school district. “At least we aren’t bleeding money on rent. Though the monthly mortgage payments are going to be slightly stressful, we are hoping to manage,” he says. Some interesting stats came up recently in the annual mortgage consumer study conducted by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); 85 per cent of first-time homebuyers reported spending the most they could afford on their property. This means a lion’s share of their monthly income, leaving little for other expenses. Despite stretching themselves to the limit, 76 per cent of the respondents said they were determined to make their monthly mortgage payments. “Real estate is a great investment

CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019

and it is the immigrant dream to buy their own home in Canada. Times are difficult as prices are rising from coast to coast. But my mantra is, ‘Don’t wait too much; do your research, get your information in order … and just buy it!” advises Brazilian-born mortgage broker Andreia Guariento. That may be easier said than done.

The price is high According to the recent Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, Vancouver housing is the second least-affordable in the world after Hong Kong. Toronto isn’t that far behind. Discouraged by these high rates and not being able to qualify for mortgages, newcomers and young Canadians are flocking to rent. But the surge in the cost of homes and the number of renters have paved the way for unreasonable demands and increasing rental rates from

landlords. A Toronto realtor not wishing to be named relates how landlords have been asking for six months’ rent in advance as opposed to the standard first and last month’s rent for the deposit. “This young family from Sri Lanka was all set to move into a downtown condo in Toronto and it was a hole in the wall, with space fit only for a bachelor, but he had a family of three. He had to shell out $300 extra because he was a new immigrant. We were told it was because he was new to the country, with no guarantee of employment, though he was working with a company downtown at the time. Inflating the rent for newcomers is just adding onto the stress of renting a suitable home, especially when rates are skyrocketing,” says the realtor. Affordable housing, for both renting and buying, has been a hot topic for a while, and solutions have been hard to come by. In this year’s federal budget, the Ca-


settlement nadian government launched the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, which will see the CMHC provide interest-free loans to eligible firsttime homebuyers, equaling 10 per cent of the purchase price of their newly built home or five per cent of a resale. The government has earmarked $1.25 billion toward this “shared equity mortgage” strategy, which is meant to help first-timers take out smaller mortgages and lessen their monthly payments. But many feel that this measure, though welcome, is still not enough help for newcomer buyers. Garry Bhaura, president of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), Canada’s largest real estate board feels more can be done. “It is encouraging that the government is also proposing to increase the limit on the RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan from $25,000 to $35,000, something which we have advocated for many years,” he says. The RRSP plan allows first-time homebuyers to withdraw money from their RRSP for a down payment without paying tax. “Nevertheless, this budget leaves some important issues unaddressed, including the mortgage stress test and restrictions on 30year mortgage amortizations,” he says. Currently, you can only amortize a mortgage for 25 years. But, for families of a lower income level, affordability is just the tip of the iceberg.

Multiple housing barriers According to Samar Kassem, who works with the immigrant community in Surrey, B.C. on settlement and housing issues, finding a home for newcomers is a tedious process. And particularly for those who face difficulties communicating in English or who are of a certain race and colour. “Immigrants are vulnerable with added challenges when it comes to renting and buying. The families I work with have limited financial resources, they have big families, some of them are availing of government support and they have languages barriers. All these factors work against them when looking for a home. It’s heartbreaking,” says Kassem who works with nonprofit agency DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society. Kassem speaks emotionally about

a client from Africa who was looking to rent. She had all her documents in order, her deposit amount was ready, but she was rejected — Kassem believes because of the colour of her skin. “Rentals often nitpick and discriminate on the number of kids in the family. They say that it would be too noisy. Or, if they are from another country, they question if they would know how to operate the washing machine. Some of the reasons are downright ridiculous. We work with newcomer families facing these barriers, educating them about their rights and responsibilities, and also coaching them one-on-one on how to communicate with potential landlords,” Kassem says.

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From newcomer to homeowner As the Pandyas example above shows, home ownership is an ultimate goal for many immigrants, allowing them to put down permanent roots in their new country. Data shows rates of homeownership among immigrants is high, and Gauriento says, with planning and thorough research, it’s achievable. Understanding the numbers behind it is important. “If buying your first home, remember that you don’t have to go all out. Be realistic and run the numbers to make sure that you can make the monthly payments. And do your research,” says Guariento. She learned from her own harrowing experience of buying her first home in Canada; she and her husband didn’t have any knowledge of the intricacies of the system and after the bank declined their mortgage application, Guariento set about learning everything there was to know about establishing a credit history, financing and mortgages. Kassem agrees that financial literacy is critical when it comes to buying a home in Canada. “What I learned from my personal experience is that getting all the relevant information is very important. Speak to more than one financial professional and compare quotes from them. Read as much as you can about the process and seek out local financial institutions who provide workshops for newcomers. Be patient and stay motivated to achieve your dream of becoming a homeowner,” Kassem says.

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21


SETTLEMENT

I m m i g r at i o n L aw

Border crossings

Canada to start better tracking the exit of people from the country

B

under the family class • if a refugee claimant entered Canada using their travel documents • residency requirements to determine if a medical examination is required.

y the end of 2020, Canada’s system of tracking the exit of people from the country is going to look very different from now. New border crossing regulations are expected to come into force by June 2019 for land and June 2020 for air.

Cost and benefit of collecting exit information

Current system of exit tracking Under Canada’s immigration and customs laws, all persons seeking to enter the country are required to present themselves at a port of entry and answer all Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) questions truthfully. Entry information is thus collected on all travellers who lawfully enter the country. However, the Government of Canada currently does not have access to reliable exit information on all persons leaving Canada. As a result, it cannot easily determine who is inside or outside the country at any given time, nor can it easily determine when someone left the country.

An exception to this is that since June 2013, the CBSA has exchanged biographic entry records for foreign nationals and permanent residents through an information-sharing arrangement with the United States, such that an entry into one country confirms the departure from the other. However, it does not obtain de-facto exit information on Canadian citizens.

The future system for departures from Canada People who are exiting Canada

Services pour nouveaux arrivants

French as a Second Language Programs Campus de Halifax (1190 Barrington St.) 902-424-1164

22

CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019

will not need to report to the CBSA when leaving. Rather, CBSA will collect exit information from other agencies (such as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, where the arrival of a person by land into the United States would count as an exit from Canada) or commercial air carriers. The Exit Information Regulations will require that commercial air carriers provide traveller information beginning at 72 hours prior to a flight’s scheduled time of departure. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the CBSA will soon (and some would say finally) have accurate and objective entry and exit information. IRCC has announced that it will be able to use the information directly to verify: • residency requirements to process an ongoing application to objectively verify the information provided by clients for citizenship applications and permanent resident cards • if a temporary residence applicant has previously overstayed their allowable period of admission in Canada • that sponsors are residing in Canada where required by law • relationships and compliance with conditions for spouses and partners applying for or admitted

The Government of Canada estimates that it will cost $79.6 million over the first 10-year period to develop and maintain the necessary IT systems to support the collection of exit information. The government further estimates that airlines collectively will spend an additional $30.33 million to update their systems. However, the Government of Canada estimates that the benefits from tracking exits will be $357.17 million over the first 10year period of tracking exits. It estimates saving $206.11 million through reduced Employment Insurance and Old Age Security fraud as well as $151.06 million through reduced tax fraud. Of course, the government also lists numerous qualitative benefits, including reduced immigration fraud. The tracking and collection of exit data has implications beyond those stated above. If IRCC’s Global Case Management System is going to be updated to track entries, then presumably the lack of an exit data point will mean that Canadian immigration authorities will immediately be able to determine whether someone has stayed in Canada beyond their authorized stay. This could have significant consequences, and it remains to be seen whether the tracking of exits results in an immigration system that responds much more swiftly to people who overstay.

Steven Meurrens is an immigration lawyer with Larlee Rosenberg in Vancouver. Contact him at 604-681-9887, by email at steven.meurrens@larlee.com, or visit his blog at smeurrens.com.


SETTLEMENT

I m m i g r at i o n L aw

Border crossings

Canada to start better tracking the exit of people from the country

B

under the family class • if a refugee claimant entered Canada using their travel documents • residency requirements to determine if a medical examination is required.

y the end of 2020, Canada’s system of tracking the exit of people from the country is going to look very different from now. New border crossing regulations are expected to come into force by June 2019 for land and June 2020 for air.

Cost and benefit of collecting exit information

Current system of exit tracking Under Canada’s immigration and customs laws, all persons seeking to enter the country are required to present themselves at a port of entry and answer all Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) questions truthfully. Entry information is thus collected on all travellers who lawfully enter the country. However, the Government of Canada currently does not have access to reliable exit information on all persons leaving Canada. As a result, it cannot easily determine who is inside or outside the country at any given time, nor can it easily determine when someone left the country.

An exception to this is that since June 2013, the CBSA has exchanged biographic entry records for foreign nationals and permanent residents through an information-sharing arrangement with the United States, such that an entry into one country confirms the departure from the other. However, it does not obtain de-facto exit information on Canadian citizens.

The future system for departures from Canada People who are exiting Canada

Services pour nouveaux arrivants

French as a Second Language Programs Campus de Halifax (1190 Barrington St.) 902-424-1164

22

CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019

will not need to report to the CBSA when leaving. Rather, CBSA will collect exit information from other agencies (such as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, where the arrival of a person by land into the United States would count as an exit from Canada) or commercial air carriers. The Exit Information Regulations will require that commercial air carriers provide traveller information beginning at 72 hours prior to a flight’s scheduled time of departure. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the CBSA will soon (and some would say finally) have accurate and objective entry and exit information. IRCC has announced that it will be able to use the information directly to verify: • residency requirements to process an ongoing application to objectively verify the information provided by clients for citizenship applications and permanent resident cards • if a temporary residence applicant has previously overstayed their allowable period of admission in Canada • that sponsors are residing in Canada where required by law • relationships and compliance with conditions for spouses and partners applying for or admitted

The Government of Canada estimates that it will cost $79.6 million over the first 10-year period to develop and maintain the necessary IT systems to support the collection of exit information. The government further estimates that airlines collectively will spend an additional $30.33 million to update their systems. However, the Government of Canada estimates that the benefits from tracking exits will be $357.17 million over the first 10year period of tracking exits. It estimates saving $206.11 million through reduced Employment Insurance and Old Age Security fraud as well as $151.06 million through reduced tax fraud. Of course, the government also lists numerous qualitative benefits, including reduced immigration fraud. The tracking and collection of exit data has implications beyond those stated above. If IRCC’s Global Case Management System is going to be updated to track entries, then presumably the lack of an exit data point will mean that Canadian immigration authorities will immediately be able to determine whether someone has stayed in Canada beyond their authorized stay. This could have significant consequences, and it remains to be seen whether the tracking of exits results in an immigration system that responds much more swiftly to people who overstay.

Steven Meurrens is an immigration lawyer with Larlee Rosenberg in Vancouver. Contact him at 604-681-9887, by email at steven.meurrens@larlee.com, or visit his blog at smeurrens.com.


settlement wellness

Warming up to new possibilities

I

Spring can bring a renewed sense of optimism for immigrants

t can be chaotic settling into a new life in a new country, especially during the cold winter months. The arrival of spring can provide a renewed sense of optimism and energy. Daylight hours extend, spring flowers emerge, temperatures warm up and new beginnings can feel more achievable.

Good time to take stock Spring is a great time to pause and review, to take stock of how we feel and where we are at in our life, compared to where we would like to be. It is an opportunity to think about what we have experienced and achieved so far in 2019 and what more we would like to experience. Research suggests we spend 95 per cent of our time operating from our subconscious, i.e. not paying attention to what we are thinking, feeling or doing because it has become a routine, or a habit. When we pause and consider whether we are attending to what really matters to us, we can find the motivation we sometimes need for change or continued effort. It is possible that you have achieved more than you realize or give yourself credit for. We often overlook the smaller triumphs; the day-to-day wins that we take for granted, as we get busy with the everyday routine and distracted by the bigger challenges in life. When we take time to acknowledge this and even celebrate the small wins, it frees up more mental energy to keep us moving forward. Spring can be a great time to gather energy for those things that are important to us. You may decide to find one or two new ideas, or take one new opportunity, that will help you build your new life in Canada. Maybe you have a habit you would like to change or would

like to complete a task you have been avoiding. Now is the perfect time to come out of any hibernation you may have fallen into over the colder months and become more conscious about the choices and decisions you are making in your life so that you don’t get to the end of another three months (or longer) and look back with regret.

trust you will find what you’re looking for. Consciously direct your attention and energy toward your being the person you want to be.

Be mindful of getting distracted by: • Negative comments and influence from others. • Negative self-talk (unhealthy thought patterns that become a critical voice in your head dragging you down). • Settling for less (the “good” can be the enemy of the “best”). • Comfort and convenience — they can stop us from growing. • Challenges and setbacks — while these are usually inevitable, what matters most is how you handle these. If you are thinking, “I don’t have time to slow down and reflect” remember two things: 1. Research shows that people who think and plan are happier, more productive and less burned out. 2. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” — Lao Tzu.

Operations/back office

Right frame of mind for moving forward New ideas and fresh thinking occur when the mind is open and we feel relaxed. You won’t find inspiration when you’re feeling anxious or frustrated. Spend some quality time daydreaming, in a place where you feel at ease. Whether that is outside in nature, or in the comfort of your home, set aside some time for yourself where you won’t be interrupted for a while. Stay curious and positive, ask great questions and listen to the answers from your heart (as well as your head). Get clear about what you want for the rest of the year, take regular small steps, believe and

Hazel Morley has worked as a trainer, facilitator and coach for more than 25 years, in England and after immigrating to Canada in 2009. After her own personal health crisis, she shifted gears to focus on strategies for enjoying optimal health.

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ifse.ca/your-future-in-financial-services

*IFSE Institute (IFSE) is a distance education institute wholly owned by the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC).

CANADIANIMMIGRANT.CA |

23


money & business T i p s f o r S e ttl i n g i n F a s t e r

Digitally safe

Keep personal information secure online trust. For most online services, a password-protected login will be required. Creating strong complex passwords that are void of any personal details is essential to keeping your personal details safe and secure. Storing passwords in your internet browser or using the autofill option can leave you susceptible to hackers, so while it’s convenient to use these features, it’s safest to disable any features that automatically fill in your password information.

L

ots of everyday services like banking, the post office and even some medical care providers offer digital services that can be accessed from a computer and likely a smartphone or tablet as well. Most of these digital services require you to provide personal infor-

mation in order to use them, which can come with risks such as fraud, identity theft and more. Trust and strong passwords a must Before you provide any personal information online, always make sure you are dealing with an established business that you can

ASK ABOUT OUR EVENING CLASSES THAT FIT YOUR SCHEDULE

No personal information via public Wi-Fi Another convenience that comes with security risks is public or free Wi-Fi networks. Criminals can intercept information that you send

while using public Wi-Fi, including passwords and online banking information. Avoid logging into any accounts or sending any documents with private or sensitive information while on a public Wi-Fi network. They may ask, but don’t tell Most importantly, know that there is never a reason for someone to ask you for your password. For example, RBC will never ask you to confirm your online or mobile banking password over email, text message or on the phone. By being vigilant, we can enjoy the convenience of online services while protecting our information. elves.

Ivy Chiu is the senior director, cultural markets, at RBC. Once a newcomer herself, Chiu is interested in helping newcomers integrate to life in Canada. Are you new to Canada or know someone who is? Visit rbc.com/newcomers for more advice.

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Services provided at no cost to eligible individuals. Job Skills receives funding from the Government of Canada, provincial and municipal governments, United Way Greater Toronto and Ontario Trillium Foundation


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money & business entrepreneurship

Business boom

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Five marketing ideas to skyrocket your small business in 2019

usiness today is changing at a faster pace than ever before. The internet has transferred a lot of power into the hands of the market and transformed how businesses operate. If you are not evolving as a business on how you acquire clients, then you will eventually go out of business. All this change has also opened up a new world of opportunities. There is exponential growth in the marketplace for businesses that know how to grow a business in 2019. From my experience of having helped 100+ enterprise clients grow their businesses, I share with you five innovative ideas that are relatively low cost and will help you skyrocket your small business in 2019.

1

Social media

If your business is not active on social media today, then

tremely powerful. For example, if you are a financial planner that helps entrepreneurs invest their savings, you could start a Meetup group, where you organize inexpensive bi-weekly or monthly networking events for small business owners. This would not only connect you with your target market, but also position you as an organizer that brings a community together, helping you build trust and credibility.

it simply doesn’t exist. More than 60 per cent of buying decisions by customers today are based on your online presence. This includes google search results, reviews, website views, social media

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pages — anything that supports prospects in making an informed decision. Therefore, putting more resources and time into social media, posting regularly on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube will allow you to build social proof around who you are and what you stand for.

2

Awards and recognition

3

Growing a community

This is a hack for growing any small business. There are a variety of local, regional, national or international awards, for different industries — from the chamber of commerce, magazines, publications, etc. Many of these are not very competitive to attain. Winning these awards will give you high credibility in the market, making you an obvious choice for your customers. You will be able to command higher prices, get more customers and grow your business at an exponentially faster pace. This offline strategy is ex-

4

Email marketing

5

Customer referral program

This is essentially keeping in touch with current or potential clients, who want to keep in touch with you. You can start with sending your current or past clients a monthly newsletter with ideas that will add value to their lives. The critical part here is to add value to your subscriber’s life as opposed to just advertising your services. Keeping in touch with your clients, helps you grow your connection and stay on top of their minds, which will help you get recurring business. Referrals are the cheapest and the most effective way to get clients. Build a referral program that rewards people who refer customers to you. Your rewards do not need to cost thousands of dollars. In fact, they could be intangible in nature, for example, monthly coaching or consulting calls, early access to privileges, special discounts, etc. Anything that is relatively inexpensive for you to offer, but has some value in the customer’s mind. Consider incorporating these five strategies in your business strategy, and your business will skyrocket in no time!

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CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019

Indian-born Harry Narang has consulted for some of Canada’s leading companies in areas of business strategy and operations improvement, and also trained more than 25,000 executives and entrepreneurs on effective business skills. Learn more about him and his book Legendary Consulting – How to Consult Like the Top 1% at harrynarang.com.


Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants

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This project is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia


Homecare advantage Mary Lee heads up Homecare Group Canada Inc., providing homecare services for diverse clients, and career opportunities for immigrant women

By Johnny Zhang

reliable records for both basic client information and shift history, so as to keep clients and caregivers organized and easily accessed.

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hinese-born Mary Lee is the successful entrepreneur behind Homecare Group Canada Inc., providing high-quality homecare services for clients, while offering hands-on professional training programs for those who want to be a nanny, a live-in caregiver or a live-out caregiver. Lee started her business a decade ago, and it has blossomed into a multimilliondollar enterprise with thousands of caregivers hired to work for diverse clients across Canada.

Empowering her caregivers and clients Lee has recruited thousands of caregivers in the past decade,

Life is not easy, and I understand how difficult it can be for immigrant women who need to work or study and who also need to take care of kids and parents.”

A new life, a new business After university in China and a few years in southeast Asia, Lee arrived in Toronto in 2003 as a new immigrant. Like other newcomers, she faced many challenges — language barriers, cultural differences, unemployment, no connections with the local community and so on. She decided to get some more education, and went to George Brown College and studied hotel management, a two-year program. Meanwhile, she was a dedicated and efficient mom and wife, working tirelessly to take care of her two-year old daughter with her husband. “Life is not easy, and I understand how difficult it can be for immigrant women who need to work or study and who also need to take care of kids and parents,” says Lee. “Starting a homecare business can help busy women and particularly immigrant women.” Over the last three decades the need for childcare has grown steadily, coinciding with the rise in employment rates among women. But homecare services are not just for children; they are also in demand for seniors, new mothers or other adults with rehabilitation or special needs. That gave Lee the idea to start her first business.

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above Mary Lee. In 2010, she started her first company in Canada, now known as Homecare Group Canada Inc., providing homecare services for Canadians and immigrant families.

Quality work is key to success As an entrepreneur, Lee’s biggest challenge was how to effectively manage her caregivers. Clients

CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019

wanted her to ensure that caregivers would be on time, shifts not missed and that they’re being billed fairly. To build and maintain the trust between clients and caregivers, Lee spent a lot of time providing training and recruiting highquality caregivers from Asia. Step by step, she developed a reputation for staying on top of every detail. Also, it’s equally important to keep

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providing them with training sessions, support and professional development so they will succeed in their homecare roles. She encourages caregivers to adopt a positive mindset and to do their best for the services they provide. In 2015, Lee received a New Business Award at the 10th annual Chinese Business Excellence Award. “We try to make it easy for our clients to collaborate with us,” says Lee. “We do everything we can to establish and maintain trust with clients and caregivers. I am happy when I see them happy, and this is what I am looking for.”


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CANADIAN IMMIGRANT Volume 16 Issue 2 | 2019

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Mentoring Matters

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How three different mentorships have led toward successful careers for newcomers

nowledge is a powerful thing. At Skills for Change, we understand the value of career experience and the practicality of industry familiarity. Providing newcomers with employment opportunities is one of our most important responsibilities, but there is also great value in partnering a new immigrant with a mentor who understands an industry from the standpoint of an insider. The Mentoring for Change program at Skills for Change has contributed 25 years toward assisting internationally educated professionals in their settlement processes, language skills development, and entrepreneurship guidance. These partnerships have led toward countless rewarding careers and often contribute to a stronger understanding of their respective workplace cultures. The following three examples will highlight exciting mentorship experiences, including a civil engineer, a lawyer and the story of a mentee who became a mentor herself. Each of these success stories examines the importance of a professional mentorship and proves just how impactful these relationships are for immigrants who find it difficult to adjust to the Canadian workplace.

Santaji’s mentoring story Santaji Patil is an internationally trained civil engineer with more than 13 years of experience in the construction industry. Santaji was matched with mentor Javier Mena Diep, an established civil engineer working in Canada. Through this mentoring, Santaji was able to learn more about how to successfully use the core engineering skills in transformation process. He also received relevant job leads from his mentor who encouraged him to apply for work in his field. He soon found contracting related to civil engineering field and has even participated in the development of a high-rise building

in downtown Toronto. And today he is about to complete his first assignment of 52 storey high-rise tower in downtown Toronto.

Nabil’s mentoring story Nabil is an internationally educated lawyer who, with the help of Skills for Change, was connected with mentor Ron Booth, an established Canadian lawyer. Ron had retired from formal practice, but he effectively coached and encouraged Nabil and made him confident in applying for work in the Canadian legal field. Nabil’s hard work and determination to excel combined with his positive attitude and resilience soon enabled him to find an exciting and rewarding employment opportunity related in his field as a lawyer. Even after his employment, the young mentee and his mentor stayed connected and Nabil continued to be helped throughout the Ontario’s Bar licensing process.

above Santaji Patil.

Ron has also connected Nabil with other legal professionals in Toronto and this helped him improve his professional network. The mentor’s dedication and the mentees determination to succeed are the ingredients that formed a mentorship connection which thrives on professional success.

Celia’s mentoring story When Celia first arrived in Canada, she came with her resume prepared and had already researched several organizations where she could apply for work. She quickly realized that Canada and Brazil had considerably different job markets and found it very challenging to find opportunities in her field. Celia eventually found the Skills for Change Mentoring for Change program and she knew it was the right place to develop her job searching skills and improve the chances of getting hired in her chosen professional field. Through

above Nabil. sponsored content

above Celia.

her mentors, Celia learned how to properly draft targeted resumés and cover letters for specific jobs she wanted to apply for. Her mentors also encouraged her to attend job fairs and workshops where she began to build her professional network. “The Mentoring for Change was so helpful that now I want to be able to share this with other newcomers,” Celia tells us about her experience with the program. “I think I can relate, and hopefully inspire them to stay focused and not give up, as hard as it may seem in the beginning”. Celia is currently working as a health and safety manager at “Modern Niagara”, Toronto Inc. She is now an active mentor in our program, in addition, she shared job leads from her company. As a former mentee, she has definitely payed it forward. Are you interested in finding or becoming a mentor at Skills for Change? We welcome individuals from all professional backgrounds to become part of the mentoring program. To participate in Skills for Change’s mentoring program, you can register directly here via our ementoring portal. For more information about these services, please contact us at: Phone: 416-658-3101 ext. 0 E-mail: mentoring@skillsforchange.org

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