Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 14 • January & February 2012 • Published by the Immigrant Women’s Centre
Kuwait: Daughters of this country, but not treated fairly
REFUGEE CAMP WAS ‘LIKE A PRISON’
By Melanie Teff, Refugees International
Statelessness and gender play a significant role in the oppression of the Bidun people of Kuwait.
Lway Say and May Paw came to Hamilton in 2009 with their two children after living in a Refugee camp in Thailand.
Karen family finds freedom in Hamilton - P4 ADDRESSING COMMUNITY NEEDS
Leading and Learning graduates make change Have a question about housing? Legal issues? Transfer of foreign credentials? Buying a good food box? Graduates from the Immigrant Women’s Centre’s new program, Leading and Learning, will be pleased to help you find the answer. The program, which had its first graduation in October 2011, saw two more groups of newcomer women graduate this December. After learning about community resources and services, they were trained as peersupport workers to assist others with settlement in Hamilton. As part of their training, each group collaboratively chose a settlement topic to create a project about. They brainstormed ideas based on the following questions: “Think back to the first month of your arrival in Hamilton: What information do you wish you had had? What could the community have done to support you better?” The group then chose to (1) develop a tool to help others with settlement and integration or (2) raise awareness about settlement and integration issues in the broader community. Project Facilitator Brooke Camplin explains the process: “The curriculum is grounded in popular education methodologies. We start with the experience of the participants and then examine barriers to settlement, and looked for common themes among the women. After identifying that, we brainstormed possible avenues for action so we could change that situation to help others.” Each group of women brought
Ten Years of Separation Family reunites page 3
Lay Htoo Paw, Plo Moo Htoo and Aye Mye Htoo, graduates of the Leading and Learning program, Women’s Press translate housing information into Karen for future Karen newcomers.
“They left a legacy we can use later on. It’s very hard
to navigate the system. Having information in your language is very important.” - Radenka Lescesen forward unique stories and ideas that enhanced the program. While the first group of women, from the Somali community, put on a highly successful photo exhibit for the public addressing the ‘Pathways and Barriers’ of their settlement, the most recent two groups took a different direction. Project #2: ‘Housing Information in Your Language’ Booklet This group said one of the biggest barriers to settlement is not knowing their housing rights and responsibilities. They gathered the information they
Making Hamilton Home What does it take to settle successfully? page 4
previously lacked, and compiled it into a booklet entitled “Housing Information in Your Language”. They then translated the booklet into Urdu, Arabic, and Karen, the languages represented in the group. Topics include: deposits, lease agreements, forms, repairs, subsidies, first/last name and rights and responsibilities of tenants/landlords. “This is important because before I didn’t know much information about housing, now I can share information with other newcomers,” said Aye Mye, program graduate.
Mapping Refuge A global look at refugees page 6-7
“My son heard my husband knocking some nails into the wall and he actually thought this noise was me killing his father,” a Kuwaiti woman, whom I will call Mona, told me. I am currently in Kuwait with my Refugees International colleague, assessing the needs of this country’s stateless population. It may seem strange that a son would jump to the conclusion of foulplay when only some simple homeimprovement was taking place. But his father is a so-called Bidun (the Arabic word meaning “without”), and Mona’s son said he thought she might kill his father for the chance of a better future for her children. The Bidun in Kuwait are people living without any nationality rights, despite being born in Kuwait, and generations of descendants with Kuwait residency. Their parents or grandparents, having lived in the desert and far away from towns, failed to register with the government for nationality rights after Kuwait’s independence in 1961 from England. If a Kuwaiti man marries a Bidun woman, he can pass his Kuwaiti nationality to her and to their children. However, the same right do no apply to Kuwaiti women as part of Kuwaiti nationality law. Thus when Mona married her husband - let’s call him Abdullah - he remained stateless, as did their children when they were born. As a child of a Bidun father, Mona’s son has limited rights to education and to employment, and will suffer a lifetime of discrimination. However, should her husband die, Mona could then pass her Kuwaiti nationality on to her children. Despite living in a very rich country, Mona’s family lives in extremely poor, overcrowded housing. As their children do not have Kuwaiti nationality, they were not allowed to attend government schools. They went instead to inferior private schools, making it impossible for any of them to find jobs now. Few employers want to recruit Bidun. Those Bidun who do manage to find jobs tend to be exploited and have to work long hours for a fraction of the wages that a Kuwaiti earns. - Continued on page 4 -
MPP gives community listening ear page 9
Farmers’ Market A Financial Literacy group challenge page 11
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 14 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.2
START YOUR LIFE IN HAMILTON a six week orientation for newcomers Learn about your housing and employment rights, and duties. Ask questions and learn about community services in Hamilton Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30am - 12:00pm Immigrant Women’s Centre 182 Rebecca Street Childcare is available on site. Call Brooke at 905-529-5209 x223 to register.
DOWNTOWN HAMILTON 8 Main St. E. Suite 101 Hamilton, ON L8N 1E8 P: 905-529-5209 F: 905-521-0541 HAMILTON MOUNTAIN 1119 Fennell Ave. E. #236 (Fennell & Upper Ottawa) P: 905-387-1100 HAMILTON NORTH 182 Rebecca St. (Rebecca & Ferguson) P: 905-525-9676 EAST HAMILTON 2255 Barton Street East (Barton & Nash) P: 905-573-7663
New to Canada? We can help! We provide assistance with housing, healthcare, the labour market, education, and language training. We provide counselling for forms and immigration matters, trauma support, career and employment, community referrals and more.
Open Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 14 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.3
Letter from the Editor Stories of Refuge. They surround us; they inspire us. If we take the time to speak with our neighbours and those in our communities, we will uncover accounts from around the globe of overcoming obstacles and finding the hope and strength to carry on. In this issue of the Women’s Press we highlight stories from Burma, Sudan, El Salvador and Columbia, of families who now call Hamilton their home. We can learn from these stories on an individual level, but also as a city and country. The policies made by city council, the bills passed by the provincial and federal governments - these effect the lives of individuals and families in our midst. The overwhelming notion of refugees who have come through our centre is this: gratitude. Gratitude for the chance to start a new life in a new country, and gradtitude for the supports in place to help them settle. But gratitude is not where it ends. Racism and prejudice are still alive in this community and we must work to stop its force with hard work, forgiveness and hope. Cheers to Hamilton, Ines Rios, Executive Director Immigrant Women’s Centre 8 Main Street East, Suite 101 Hamilton, ON L8N 1E8 (905) 529-5209
EIGHT YEARS OF SEPARATION
Family reunites with daughter, sister By Nada Tuta, Immigrant Women’s Centre
Before Doris came to Hamilton, she and her husband were experiencing persecution. Like many Colombians, they made plans to flee unrest. Faced with a difficult decision, Doris and her husband fled to the United States leaving their four-year-old daughter, Angie, with her two grandmothers, in hopes of reuniting soon. “I thought that separation from Angie was going to be for a year until we settled in the United States”, Doris Please send feedback, press releases explained. “It was a tough decision to and submissions to: Michelle at 905make. I still remember how emotional 529-5209 x257 or mdrew@stjosephwomit was for me. That moment will stay en.on.ca. View online at www.stjowith me all my life.” sephwomen.on.ca/womenspress. In the United States, Doris and her husband faced many unexpected Founded in 1988, the Immigrant immigration issues. She gave birth to Women’s Centre is an equality seeking, antiher second daughter, Stephanie, who racist, charitable organization dedicated to was born in 2003. With no progress in the social, political and economic inclusion their immigration status, Angie was of refugee and immigrant women in a just still in Colombia unable to cross the and supportive Canadian society. The border. Centre is committed to enabling refugee and “I was very down. I missed my immigrant women to discover and build their daughter and numerous nights I new futures through skills development and planned to go back to Colombia. I settlement support. gathered the strength to fight”, she said. Seven years later, Doris lost all hope that the United States would be their new home. The separation from her daughter was very painful, and she did not know how much longer she would have to wait to hear from immigration if they could stay. “It was very hard for me to give my daughter the same explanation again and again, that soon we would be together. Every New Year we had the same wish to be together and we prayed for it”, she said. Without any progress in their situation, she and her husband decided to take a risk and head to Canada in hopes of claiming refugee status. “I wanted with all my heart to see Angie. I wanted my two daughters to get to know each other and to grow Angie and her family at the Pearson Airport in up together, but I also knew that Toronto, meeting for the first time in ten years. going back to Colombia would be
very dangerous for my family.” Soon after, the family arrived in Canada wanting to become active members of Canadian society. They began attending English classes, going to information sessions and taking every opportunity to learn more about Canadian culture. Doris recognizes the community services as what made her transition to Canada successful.
“For both of us, the news was like a dream. Angie asked her usual question, ‘When will I come to Canada?’ And this time I answered ‘Very soon’.” “I am very grateful to all settlement and community services that my family and I have received since we came to Canada. We didn’t have such help in the United States.” One year later, in 2009, Doris and her family were granted convention refugee status. They were thrilled knowing their eight year struggle would come to an end. “It is hard for me to explain my feelings when we received the letter of acceptance, the feelings of happiness, joy, and the urge to share the news with Angie immediately”,
she said. “For both of us, the news was like a dream. Angie asked her usual question, ‘When will I come to Canada?’ And this time I answered ‘Very soon’.” Soon after, they applied for Permanent Residence in Canada. Near the same time, Angie received an application from the Canadian Embassy in Columbia to come and join her parents. Desperate to celebrate her 15 birthday in Canada, Angie began setting her hopes high. In Colombia, girls have a big celebration called Quinceanera on their fifteenth birthday. Angie wanted nothing more than to have her celebration in Canada with her family. In February 2011, Doris and her family received their permanent resident card and Angie turned fourteen. “My daughter was so desperate to come to Canada before her 15th birthday, she was crying and begging me every day to bring her here. I went to my MPP, to settlement services and to any place that I heard of and I thought might accelerate the processing of my daughter’s application.” Angie received a letter from the Canadian Embassy with requirements to finalize her Canadian visa in July 2011. After 8 years of separation, Angie was able to reunite with her family in Canada. Her dream had come true. In February 2012 she will be fifteen years old. Happy Birthday Angie!
1. What challenges did Doris experience when she went to the United States? 2. What do Colombian girls celebrate when they turn 15?
Discussion: After ten years, Angie and her family could reunite. Have you ever known someone who was reunitied with their family or hopes to be soon?
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 14 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.4
The people who stay at Micah House are not just refugee claimants they are architects, civil engineers, artists, social workers, lawyers, nurses and opera singers. Juan* and his family have found community in Hamilton after fleeing Columbia, but he is still looking for work. Women’s Press
Making Hamilton Home By Alison Witt, Micah House
What does it take to feel rooted in a new place? What makes a place feel like home? These are questions we wrestle with as we walk alongside refugee claimants who have come through the doors of Micah House. Micah House provides short-term housing and settlement assistance for refugee claimants who come to Hamilton. Juan and Gloria* and their two
eight months later, how are they doing? They have found a great little apartment on the mountain. The rent eats up most of their monthly income but it’s in a great location, has adequate space, and is close to a park where they love to take their toddler to play. Through the kindness and generosity of volunteers, they have been able to furnish it in a way that is comfortable
past guests settling in the community) and other volunteers. Particularly encouraging, is knowing that their 15-year-old son is feeling connected at his high school. After only a short time in a Canadian school, he did excellent on the Education Quality and Accountability Office exam (provincewide testing) and has made some good friends.
“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul” (Simone Weil, Need for Roots) sons arrived in November 2010 after fleeing unrest and violence in their home country of Columbia. They left everything and embarked on a journey to safety that brought them here to Hamilton. They stayed at Micah House for their first 2 months, which was long enough to get all their legal processes done and begin to get acculturated to their new culture and climate. Now,
and welcoming. It takes time to build significant friendships but Juan and Gloria say they have not felt alone since they arrived in Hamilton. They enjoy the fact that they now have friends from all around the world thanks to their ESL class. They have appreciated the support they have received from their “Global Friend” (a volunteer who provides support for
When you start chatting with Juan it doesn’t take long for him to talk about his desire to be working in his field of expertise, computer software. He has explored many options for employment but so far there have been no job offers. It has been discouraging. Although they love living in Hamilton they wonder if they will have to leave in order to find employment.
What does it take to make Hamilton home? According to past Micah House guests 3 of the most important ingredients are: suitable housing, supportive friendships, and meaningful work. Juan and Gloria have two out of three. Meaningful work still escapes them. That is true for the majority of refugee claimants in our city. This needs to change so that families like Juan and Gloria’s can truly make Hamilton their home. The people who stay at Micah House are not just refugee claimants - they are architects, civil engineers, artists, social workers, lawyers, nurses and opera singers. Everyone in our city will benefit when they are able to use their skills and training in meaningful ways. Learn more about Micah House at micahhouse.ca. * not their real names
1. What are the three ingredients for making Hamilton home?
Discussion: Do you agree? Would you add anything?
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT EXCELS IN CANADA
Youth flees Darfur, hopes to reunite with family By Lina El-Ali, Immigrant Women’s Centre
“My dream is to be united with my family in Canada. I believe in hard work and in the importance of education. I am grateful for Canada for giving me the opportunity to start again.” “I was 13 years old when the War started in South Sudan. We feared genocide and did not know where to go. We had to seek refuge somewhere and find an escape.” Abdulraheem Jali Hasabu, a 20-yearold high school student in Hamilton, is very grateful to the Canadian government for giving him the chance to immigrate to Canada. He came under the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) which provides refugees with support to settle into a secure environment. His Story Hasabu was separated from his family at the age of thirteen when they fled Darfour, Sudan during the war. He comes from a family of ten. “We had a good life with hopes, dreams and ambition for the future. Now, my family has nothing. They live in a camp and barely have food to eat.” Hasabu’s journey on his own began during a mass exodus as many people in Sudan began walking north towards Chad. “We walked for 17 days before we ended up in Camp Tina, Chad. The
situation was not stable. The country was flooded with refugees and they were not prepared for it.” He continues: “I stayed there for four months before continuing my trip to Libya. I continued my trip on foot to Bengazi, Lybia. All this time, I had no contact with my family and did not know where they were.” “In Libya, we were considered illegal. I had to be in hiding most of the time and be very careful of where to go. There were no services or assistance for us. I had to find work to survive. I worked in a mechanic shop and my pay was much less than the locals. My pay was $60 to $70 a month. We were paid at the end of the month and many times, I did not get paid. Of course, I could not complain. If I did; I would be thrown in jail”. Hasabu stayed for one year in Tripoli, Lybia. He started hearing from his community that Turkey was a better place for refugees because they can register with the United Nations and hope for another country to resettle in. He continued to Turkey, where
he was allowed to attend high school and completed grades 9 and 10. He stayed in Turkey for 3 years until he was sponsored by the Canadian Government.
With all these tragedies and difficulties in his life, Hasabu proved to be a strong aspiring young man. His family is still in a refugee camp in Chad. His father went missing last year and he has not heard an update about him since. Husabu communicates with the rest of his family regularly but finds it very difficult. Their situation is not great. His older brother once graduated at the top in the national testing and was
awarded a scholarship to study medical science, but now is disabled and must stay at home. Two of his other siblings, aged sixteen and thirteen, have not been able to attend school since 2007. The youngest three children were diagnosed with Malaria and malnutrition and were taken away from the mother’s care to another city to be cared for by another family member. With all these tragedies and difficulties in his life, Hasabu proved to be a strong aspiring young man. He is excelling academically and has great hopes for the future. He is attending high school and working on his applications for university with hopes of becoming an engineer. He is also trying to find a part-time job to support his family back home. He feels that it is his responsibility to care for them and help them. “My dream is to be united with my family in Canada. I believe in hard work and in the importance of education. I am grateful for Canada for giving me the opportunity to start again.”
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 14 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p. 5
Over sixty years of torture, rape, murder, forced labour and village burning by the Burmese military resulted in over 140,000 Karen people successfully fleeing to refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border.
Bu Gay (12), Lway Say, May Paw, and Ku Gay (8) are 4 of the 350 Karen people who came to Hamilton as Government Assisted Refugees between 2006-2010.
Who are the Karen People?
By Semula Horlings, Immigrant Women’s Centre Over sixty years of torture, rape, murder, forced labour and village burning by the Burmese military resulted in over 140,000 Karen people successfully fleeing to refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border. Eight refugee camps have been established along the border, which are filled with people who survived the dangerous and long journey through the jungle that separates the two countries. In 1981, when Lway Say was 15 years old, he was hiding in the jungle from the Burmese Army making the journey to Thailand. To his dismay, a poisonous snake bit his ankle. With no medical attention or doctor available, the foot became swollen and after one month turned rotten and fell off. “The pain lasted a long time”, said Say(translated from Karen). “I couldn’t walk for two years. It is still very painful to walk – even today I cannot walk for more than five minutes at a time.” May Paw is Say’s wife. They came to Hamilton in 2009 with their two children as part of the Government-Assisted Refugee Program which has brought 350 Karen refugees to Hamilton. Paw and Say recall the refugee camp(s) to be “like a prison.” There, they had “no right to work” as they were under the control of the Thai authorities. To this day, the Burmese army often crosses the border and invades the camps, killing people at random and setting housing on fire. The Thai authorities have neglected to set up security or military troops to protect the refugees, even though the camps are only five kilometres away from the Burmese military camps. Refugees are legally confined to the camps and not
able to leave for work or for travel. There is no stability in the refugee camps as families live in constant fear. Often situated in valleys, natural disasters such as landslides and flooding are frequent. Families suffer from serious health conditions due to lack of adequate food and nutrition along with no medical professionals on site. The only medicine available is expired and often incorrect amounts are
Thrilled to be in Canada, the Hamilton Karen community is resilient and hardworking. They bring their rich culture, tradition, and eagerness settling into their new home. consumed. Six years ago, the Karen situation started to receive international attention and action. Countries such as Canada pledged to resettle thousands of Karen refugees. From 2006 to 2010 Hamilton received 350 Karen refugees (who are still settling into their new home). SETTLING IN HAMILTON Thrilled to be in Canada, the
Hamilton Karen community is resilient and hard-working. They bring their rich culture, tradition, and eagerness to settle into their new home. Due to the extreme hardships they have endured, they must overcome extensive barriers. The language barrier is the biggest challenge for the Karen community as there are currently no service providers with Karen interpretation in Hamilton. There is one Karen speaking settlement counselor in all of Hamilton, located at the Immigrant Women’s Centre, who is responsible for the integration of 81 Karen families. Families are taking English classes, but since many Karen adults received no education in the refugee camps, it is especially challenging to learn to read and write in English. For youth and children attending school, learning English can also be very difficult. Parents are often unable to help with school work due to the language barrier and therefore they have a harder time doing well in school. Parents are often not able to communicate with their teachers in English, and the children and youth have reported bullying in school because of the language barrier. Many men and women are suffering from arthritis and other complex health issues. Parents and grandparents require interpretation for medical appointments and often ask their teenagers or children to accompany them. This however has caused tension in the community as many youth are not interested in missing school to attend these appointments as they will fall behind in class. Most parents and grandparents are also unsatisfied with the translation due to the limited
understanding of the youth to interpret adult issues. Many Karen men find jobs in greenhouses working for minimum wage. Both facing disabilities, Paw and Say have a difficult time finding employment. “My physical body is not able to work like my friends”, says Say. “I have experience in farm work but because I have no education and a disability the greenhouses will not hire me. Because my foot is amputated, it cannot function well. I cannot stand for long enough periods to do the work.” Combined with Paw’s visual impairment, the family has seen no other option but to apply for Ontario Disability Service Program. Their case is pending, and has been continuously delayed due to language barriers and lack of medical records. “The process has been very stressful and is taking a long time. I still don’t have the answer yet”, Say explained. Despite their challenges, Say, Paw and the rest of the Karen community are very grateful to be in their new country. “We enjoy freedom in Hamilton”, said Say. “In our country Burma or the refugee camps we did not have freedom. In Canada, we are free to go anywhere we want to go.” 1. Why can’t Paw work in a green house?
Discussion: How do you think the community could further support Karen refugees in Hamilton?
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 14 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.6
MAPPING REFUGE in a global context
Total Global Refugees & Asylum Seekers: 15,400,000* *2011 United Nations Refugee Agency
Thousands of people continue to be abducted and killed by criminal gangs. Police and military forces deployed to combat gangs are responsible for grave human rights violations. Several human rights defenders and journalists were killed, threatened and harassed. Legislative measures were insufficient to prevent and punish widespread violence against women. Many Indigenous communities continued to have limited access to basic services.
Two million people are homeless since the recent earthquake. More than a million people remain displaced in camps where violence against women and girls is increasing. Orphaned children are at risk of being trafficked to other countries.
In 2007, the island nation had the third-highest rate of reported rapes in the world, according to a UN report. Over the last decade, more women have been murdered in St. Vincent than any other country in the nine-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. Lack of social services make it extremely difficult for women facing abuse to find help.
Although developed countries contribute most of the funding to assist refugees, developing countries host the vast majority of the world’s refugees. Combined, nations with per capita GDPs of less than $2,000 hosted almost half of all refugees. Nations with per capita GDPs over $10,000 hosted nine percent of the world’s refugees. In many developing countries, refugees were a large portion of the total population.
Top Ten Host Countries of Refugees Globally in 2009 Top Ten Source Countries of Refugee Claimants in Canada in 2010 Top Five Source Countries of Government Assisted Refugees in Canada in 2010
The civilian population are continuing to deal with the longrunning armed conflict. Guerrilla groups, paramilitaries and the security forces are responsible for serious and widespread human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes.
Types of Refugees in the Canadian System
Ratio of Refugees per population:
1. REFUGEE CLAIMANT A refugee claimant is someone who: - arrives at a Canadian border and declares that he or she intends to seek refugee status in Canada - must apply to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to be accepted as a Convention Refugee - must prove to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada that he or she faces fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or association, or faces torture or cruel treatment if returned home If a refugee claim is rejected, claimants may file a review to the Federal Court to review the case. Claimants are allowed to remain in the country until the Federal Court decides whether to consider the case. If the court finds flaws in the way the IRB made its decision, it will send the matter back to the IRB. On occasion,
the case will go to the Federal Court of Appeal. At this point, the person has 15 days to apply for the Pre Removal Risk Assessment. Once that is done, the person has another 15 days to file written submissions which include new evidence to support their case. A PRRA officer reviews the case to assess the risk or threat the claimant face. This could take up to a year but is usually shorter. If denied, the claimant will be asked to leave the country. In special cases, a claimant’s last avenue to stay in Canada is to apply to Citizenship and Immigration on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds. The claimant must prove he or she will suffer unusual, excessive or undeserved hardships as a result of circumstances beyond his or her control.
2. PRIVATELY SPONSORED REFUGEE Privately Sponsored Refugees are sponsored by organizations, churches or groups. The organization must commit to providing accommodation, clothing, food and settlement assistance for one year, or until they are financially independent – whichever comes first. Refugees who are sponsored must qualify for entry into Canada under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, as well as pass a medical and security screening. There are three types of refugee sponsorships including (1) a group of five or more Canadians or permanent
residents over 18 years of age; (2) an organization, association or corporation who has the necessary finances for one year of financial and emotional support (3) an organization that acts as a ‘Sponsorship Agreement Holder’ that can sponsor themselves or work with others in the community to sponsor refugees. Most agreement holders are religious, ethnic, community or service organizations. They also have the option of entering into a Joint Assistance Sponsorship with the Government of Canada.
West Bank & Gaza
3. GOVERNMENT ASSISTED REFUGEE There are two types of governmentsponsored refugees. Both are placed in the Refugee Assistance Program (RAP). The government provides loans to cover the cost of flight, utilities and rent, along with income support for one year. 1. Convention Refugees Abroad Class includes people who are living outside their country of citizenship, usually in refugee camps. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees keeps records of these refugees and refers them
to Canada based on the desperation of their situation. 2. Source Country Class includes people who would meet the definition of a Convention Refugee but who are still in their country of citizenship or habitual residence. It also includes people who have been imprisoned or detained and suffer from a serious lack of the right of freedom of expression; the right of dissent; or the right to engage in trade union activity.
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 14 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.7
The Roma minority faces discrimination, violence and lives in a climate of fear. Romani children were segregated in primary school. International human rights monitoring bodies raised concerns over structural shortcomings of the Hungarian criminal justice system’s response to hate crimes.
Police commit human rights violations, including unlawful killings, torture and enforced disappearances. Human rights defenders and journalists continued to face intimidation and harassment. Violence against women remained widespread and the government failed to protect the rights of children. Forced evictions continued across the country.
IRAQ Since the United States invasion in 2003, serious human rights violations have been committed by both Iraqi security forces and US troops. Three million Iraqis have been displaced. Hundreds of civilians have been killed by suicide bombings and targeted attacks carried by armed groups opposed to the government. Women continued to face discrimination and violence since the American invasion, and both women and children live in fear of being kidnapped by militia groups.
Massive floods displaced millions of Pakistanis. More than 2 million people were displaced by an insurgent group conflict. Torture, deaths in custody, “honour killings” and domestic violence persist.
The government continues to jail and persecute people for expressing their views, holding religious beliefs not sanctioned by the state, advocating for democratic reform and human rights especially reporters, writers and activists were violently abducted and denied legal rights and tortured (Enforced disappearance). Tibetan, Uighur, Mongolian and other ethnic minorities continue to be repressed.
Ongoing clashes between armed Maoists and state security forces continue. Torture and other illtreatment, extrajudicial executions, deaths in custody and administrative detentions remained rife. Human rights workers have been harassed.
The Sri Lankan government failed to effectively address impunity for past human rights violations, and continued to subject people to enforced disappearances and torture and other ill-treatment. Thousands of Tamil people remain detained without charge.
Armed conflict between armed Islamist groups and pro-government forces continue in southern and central Somalia. Thousands of civilians have been killed or injured as a result of indiscriminate attacks and generalized violence, and at least 300,000 were displaced during the year.
Legislation that severely limits human rights activities came into force. A recent election took place in the context of intimidation, harassment and restrictions on freedom of association. The media is now severely restricted. State resources, and assistance are used for government control of the population.
CONGO Due to ongoing conflict, approximately 2 million people remain internally displaced and there are more than 450,000 Congolese refugees in neighboring countries. Armed groups continue to uproot families, destroy their livelihoods and murder people. Along with the national army, they continue to commit acts of sexual violence specifically against young women and girls.
In Darfur and south Sudan, hundreds of thousands of civilians continued to suffer the effects of armed conflict and restricted access to humanitarian aid. The conflict in Darfur has escalated and includes attacks on villages which have newly displaced people. Sexual violence against women remains a primary issue. Abductions and attacks on humanitarian convoys also increased.
Numbers of Newcomers to Canada (2006-2010) Category
Economic Class includes federal skilled workers, entrepreneurs, investors, provincial and territorial nominees, live-in-caregiver and Canadian experience class. Family class includes spouse, dependent children, parents, adopted children and other family members. *All Country Information Sourced from Amnesty International’s 2011 Annual Report (www.amnesty.org) and Refugees International (refugeesinternational.org).
Get the tools you need to succeed in the Canadian job market.
Job Search Workshops Call the IWC at 905-529-5209 for more information.
Immigration helps to offset the effects of our declining birth rate and aging population. Studies show that refugees and immigrants contribute positively to the Canadian economy. Each year Hamilton receives about as many temporary migrants as permanent residents. These are mostly comprised of foreign students, with Hamilton receiving below par of its share of foreign workers, humanitarian cases, and refugee claimants.
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 2011 •• p.8 p.8 Issue 11 14 •• May Jan. & June Feb. 2011
D E S O P
Opinion: Immigration Watch By Layla Mashkoor, Master’s Candidate, Globalization Studies at McMaster University Canadian culture has become one that is synonymous with diversity and multiculturalism. However, recent transitions in Canadian immigration law and discourse are shifting this long held reputation. With a depressed economy, high poverty rates and bleak economic future, some Canadians find immigrants an easy target to blame. Organizations such as Immigrant Watch Canada make arguments that immigrants are stealing jobs or increasing crime rates, but these claims are simply not true. In fact, immigrants face much more pressure to obey the
With a depressed economy, high poverty rates and bleak economic future, some Canadians find immigrants an easy target to blame. law because they face stricter consequences, such as deportation, if they are convicted of a crime. It is more likely for a Canadian born citizen to break the law than an immigrant. Furthermore, as the immigration population rises, crime rates continue to fall in Canada. When it comes to the labour market, the reality is that without immigrants, many Western economies would collapse. In her book, Making People Illegal, Catherine Dauvergne, points out that London would literally stop functioning overnight if all the immigrants were removed. Further, the types of jobs being held by immigrants are those, which are not appealing to Canadian born citizens. It is much more difficult for immigrants to find work, so they are willing to work below minimum wage, in poor conditions, for long periods of time. Dauvergne calls this labour market the three D’s: dangerous,
dirty and/or degrading jobs. For example, immigrant women, in particular, have a difficult experience finding work, as the unemployment rates for women in this group between ages 15 and 24 was about 19.9 per cent in 2006, according to the Hamilton Spectator. This is twice the rate for women in this age range who are born in Canada. Immigration Watch Canada believes that Canada’s immigration rates should be lowered to 50,000. That is about 20% of the current annual intake that is over 250,000. They also advocate for the removal of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker program, which currently allows another 250,000+ nonCanadians to work in Canada every year. If Canada were to suddenly stop allowing in immigrants, it would drastically hurt the labour market. The Canadian job market projections include an immigration population, Hamilton doesn’t have enough Canadian-born residents to fill the 29,000 jobs expected to be created by economic expansion and 21,000 positions made available because of retirement between 2006 and 2016. These kinds of organizations only help to enforce the crackdown on immigration that is overtaking Canada and other Western countries. These organizations, alongside the media have been criticized of creating a moral panic in Canadians, by trying to normalize some of the myths that have just been dispelled. This is done to ensure that strict crackdowns on immigration occur without protest. In fact, it has been proven that the stricter the laws surrounding immigration, the bigger the problem it will become. In 2006, the Canadian government increased the difficulty of the citizenship test and doubled the results required to gain entry.
They have also introduced Bill C-49, which is aimed at controlling smuggling, but critics have declared the victims of this cruel bill will be refugees, many of whom are women and children escaping violent lifestyles and searching for peace.
40% of newcomers of working age arriving in Hamilton from 2003-2008 had a university degree or higher compared to just 19% of Canadian-born residents. There are many sorts of stereotypes that plague the issue of immigration. This is because organizations such as Immigration Watch Canada have an interest in creating intolerance toward immigrants and refugees. Stereotypes found on anti-immigration websites depict immigrants as dependent on the Canadian social system, yet the rate of newcomers with university education is double that of Canadian born citizens. In fact, 40% of newcomers of working age arriving in Hamilton from 2003-2008 had a university degree or higher compared to just 19% of Canadian-born residents. All humans have the right to shelter, food, medical attention, education and legal counsel.
Refuge from El Salvador
By Lidia Urrutia I was thirteen-years-old when I first came to Canada. Leaving El Salvador was very sad, but I was old enough to understand that we had to leave; that if we wanted to escape the violence and fear of death, then we had no choice. Through the eyes of a thirteen-year- old, the trip was a great adventure to a new world. I remember that my mother was very nervous about the situation, but I was excited. I looked forward to the many new places and faces I would get to see, as well as the train and airplane rides. I had not heard of Canada before our trip was planned. All I knew was that we would see snow for the first time; that beautiful cold, white stuff falling from the sky like rain. I couldn’t wait to see it all.
I learned to forgive so that I could succeed in the future my parents came to Canada for. When we finally made it to our destination, living in Canada became a dream come true for my parents. Not having to worry about violence every time we left the house, or fear of child abduction, were comforting changes. My experience was more complex. At first living here was great. I saw snow and it was just as beautiful as I had imagined. Our family met a community of people who wanted to support us as we transitioned. But then, the realization that I would no longer see my friends and family in El Salvador finally set in. I missed my family and friends very much. I missed my family and friends even more after I started attending school. I soon found out that refuge came with a price. Prejudice was extremely high, my fellow schoolmates were very cruel, and I faced racial remarks and disgusted looks daily. I continue to struggle in order to make this place my new home. I was shocked when I realized that as a Spanish speaking refugee, we were not wanted in Canada by some people. I learned to forgive so that I could succeed in the future my parents came to Canada for. I chose to be thankful for a future that I would otherwise not have had, if it wasn’t for this country that sheltered us when we were most in need. That thankfulness motivated me to work hard despite the racism I experienced. As the years went by I made a future for myself, and now have three beautiful children. The battles my children must fight are unfortunately not much different than mine were. They must struggle to find a place within two cultures – while both cultures have expectations of knowing them effortlessly. Sometimes I feel that I am watching my children grow further and further away from the culture that brought me life. While it is difficult and somewhat unsuccessful, it is important that I am grateful for the culture that remains in them so that they know where I came from, and through me, where they came from. Although I no longer can live in my country, my culture is ingrained in me and keeping it alive is important. 1. What surprise Lidia about Canada? 2.What motivated Lidia to work hard?
1. How is Canada’s multicultural and diverse values in demonstrated in Canadian society?
2. Why doesn’t Leyla agree with the information on the Immigration Watch Canada website?
Discussion: What could the community have done to make Lidia’s experience in school more positive? What could you do today for someone in your community?
Discussion: Have you experienced stereotypes that some Canadians have about immigrants?
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices.
New MPP promises to give constituents a ‘listening ear’
Issue 14 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.9
Infor IN YO U R L A mation NGUAG E ation ousing Information Housing InfoNrm H GUAGE NGUAGE IN YOUR LA
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Leading and Learning (cont’d)
By Maria Antelo Monique Taylor, the new MPP for Hamilton Mountain, says she knows hardship from personal experience. “I understand what struggle is about, I get it, and I have been there. I was very far from being a kid raised with a silver spoon in my mouth.” Born and raised in Hamilton, Taylor, 39, surprised many by defeating former Liberal cabinet minister Sophia Aggelonitis in the Oct. 6 provincial election. She says it was her drive that got her where she is today. “I got my first job when I was 13 years old and since then I worked very hard,” she says in an interview in her Hamilton office. “I guess I’m a bit of a workaholic.” A down-to-earth ex-bartender, Taylor says an illness prevented her from finishing high school. She had a daughter when she was 20 and became a single mom 10 years later. Taylor began volunteering for the NDP during a period when she was unemployed, and eventually was offered a job as assistant to Hamilton City Councillor Scott Duvall. She now has the NDP’s critic portfolio for children and youth services - “I’m still figuring things out in my new job,” Taylor admits -– and says she hopes to lend her support to people struggling in poverty. “I want to be the champion for them.” Taylor says many in Hamilton’s diverse communities believe they lack equal opportunities - they feel left out. “For an average individual, there are so many hills to climb. For newcomers, the barriers increase, whether they are language, education, culture, employment experience -- for newcomers it’s harder.” Her message to immigrant women is “Stay strong.” “I cannot imagine how it is to come to a completely different country. Continue to be strong, and if you need
help, don’t be shy to come and ask for help. . . . We will be happy to lead you in the right direction and make sure you access the programs you need.” She says constituents will find information and resources in her office. “They will find a caring voice behind the phone . . . We are a listening ear. It’s possible that we may not be able to help with everything, but we will always be able to listen to you and guide and refer to the appropriate service.” For women who think that life is hard and that their situation won’t change, Taylor’s advice is to be positive: “Chin up! Focus. I had to do that. Many people told me ‘you can’t do this,’ but I am living proof that anyone, women, kids, men, can do what they want if they put their heart into it. If you are a woman that feels alone or feels that you cannot do it on your own, let us find you, let’s empower each other. You can do anything you want to do.” To reach Taylor, call or visit her office. Her assistants are Steffanie Greene and Patrick McCoy.
Her message to immigrant women is “Stay strong.”
Constituency office: Unit 2, 952 Concession Street Hamilton, Ontario L8V 1G2 Tel: (905) 388-9734
1. What is Monique’s advice to women who think life is hard?
- Continued from page 1 “When Karen ( as well as Urdu and Arabic) people read this book they will understand and learn more.” Naheed, who translated the book into Urdu continued, “The booklet will be great for newcomers. I am thankful we can provide this opportunity for others.” Project #3: Newcomer Path to Education The theme this group chose was education, because many newcomers come to Canada with degrees but end up back in Grade 12. Often they haven’t heard of foreign credential assessments, and are not aware that there are more efficient ways of upgrading their education. For this reason, this group
created a map of the steps newcomers to Hamilton should take regarding education, including acknowledging foreign credentials and language skills. The map guides the reader with questions, and based on their answers they are directed to different actions. “They have left a legacy we can use later on,” said Radenka Lescensen, Settlement Services Coordinator. “It’s very hard to navigate the system. Having information in your language is very important. I think it’s awesome work and very helpful for so many newcomers.” The next session of Leading and Learning will start in January. Contact Brooke Camplin for more information at 905-529-5209 x223.
1. Why are the Leading and Learning group projects important? What issues do they address?
LINC 5+ what would it be? 2. If you could do a project
Discussion: Have you had a difficult time navigating the education system in Canada? Why or why not?
Bidun women in Kuwait (cont’d) - Continued from page 1 When Abdullah finally retires, as a “non-Kuwaiti” he will have no right to a pension. When he dies, the family will probably be unable to even get a death certificate for him, making it impossible for them to inherit any of his assets. It is with this bleak future in mind that Mona joined an organization called Justice for Kuwaiti Citizens, in order to push for a change in the Kuwaiti nationality laws. As she said to me, “The loyalty of Kuwaiti women is equal to other citizens. We are daughters of this country, but they are not treating us fairly. A Kuwaiti man can pass his nationality to his wife and children. Why can’t I pass my nationality to my husband and children?”
Kuwait came before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in October 2011, and the Government of Kuwait was questioned on this issue. Kuwait’s constitution guarantees equal rights to men and women and it has more progressive personal status laws than many countries in the region. Thus the gender discrimination in Kuwait’s nationality law is not only unjust, but also unconstitutional. Refugees International is urging the United States and the European Union to press the Kuwaiti Government to modernize its nationality law and grant equal rights to its female citizens.
2. What is Monique’s advice to immigrant women?
1. Why is the Kuwait legal system unjust for Bidun people?
Discussion: Do you have an issue you think the provincial government should know about? Would you consider contacting Monique?
Discussion: What is Refugees International doing to try and change the why Bidun people are treated? What ideas do you have to bring change?
2. Why is it unjust particularly for Bidun women?
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 14 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.10
A WALK THROUGH NATURE
How-to feel grounded admist city life By Devon Ridge, Knowing the Land is Resistance The city landscape— especially a grey winter city— can be a draining place. The daily downtown experience can mean crossing continuous streams of traffic between loud and busy sidewalks as cold winds tear between tall buildings. But today, we are out searching for some kind of escape from our city lives. We head south on James Street, with our eyes set on the rise of leafless trees on top of the escarpment ahead. As we walk, we consider the many ways in which the city restricts our senses: streetlights, traffic noise, the stench of exhaust, the whine of electrical lines. This constant stimulation can add to our disconnect from the world around us. By shedding our city-selves, we can come more deeply into our senses. Once there, we can find space for grounding and healing ourselves from the daily grind, difficult changes, conflicts, and traumas that we may be dealing with. Thankfully, the most beautiful thing about living in Hamilton is that we are never very far away from natural places to find a quiet place. Even forgotten alleyways, forested corners of city parks, and hydro tower meadows are some of the many places we can find healing through building a connection to natural spaces. As we walk, we ask other women how they find wild places amidst their city lives. Jen, a new Hamilton resident found escape through summer gardening at the Churchill community garden—
something she describes as “a very grounding and natural thing we can do”. Her garden plot lies on the edge of the deep forests that surrounds Cootes Paradise marsh. One day, as Jen was tending to her tomato plants, a mother and baby deer pranced by. From this experience, Jen has learned “to look out for the (easily crossed) boundaries between urban and wild in the city”, something that, with a little practice, can make walks in your own neighbourhood as rewarding as a faraway retreat.
“We can find space for grounding and healing ourselves from the daily grind, difficult changes, conflicts, and traumas that we may be dealing with.” Another woman describes finding a daily connection with nature even closer to the city’s downtown— right in Gore Park. By planning to visiting the usually busy park at 5am, she found a quiet space to relax. Inspired by these women, our pace quickens until we come to the south end of James Street and begin to climb the escarpment stairs there, up the Sugar Maple covered slope.
TIME WELL SPENT MAIN SITE 8 Main St E Suite 101
MOUNTAIN SITE 1119 Fennell Ave E #236
REBECCA SITE 182 Rebecca St
BARTON SITE 2255 Barton St E
MONTCALM SITE 45 Montcalm Dr #43
With each step, the grinding noise of traffic falls away, our gaze widens and our pace slows. Almost without noticing, we fall deeper into each of our five senses. The patterns of trees branching, dried wildflowers, and deep winter shadows calm our minds. The presence of the Sugar and Manitoba Maple trees growing in this area resonates within our bodies and stabilizes our nervous systems, reducing stress and clearing our minds. We listen to the voices of the trees, notice the cool breath of the forest, and feel healthy and strong. Passing the moss covered ruins of the old Hamilton Incline Railway that once stood where the maples now grow, we reflect on how a part of the stress and irritability we feel in the city is perhaps a symptom of our alienation from the natural world. We feel grateful for the rewilding that’s happened here, a little slice of sanity and health we are lucky enough to connect with today. At the top of the stairs, we continue along the Bruce Trail which runs East to West along the escarpment. A little way down the trail, we run into a good friend, Jacqueline who also finds peace being in the forest. She tells us, “I find there’s a certain kind of mildly hypnotic element to watching thousands of little leaves shimmy or millions of blades of grass sway and have nothing else compete for my attention. The novel ability to be passive in my environment when there’s nothing immediately requiring my reaction or assessment is a really special kind of peace”.
Our little adventure has only been a 45 minute walk in total, but we agree that there was nothing better we could have done with our time. We feel recharged and ready to return to our city lives. We agree to return to the same space often. Maybe we will begin to know the birds living there, or follow animal tracks in the snow. After all, it won’t be too long before the magic stillness of winter passes. And we can watch patiently for the Silver Maple’s buds to burst in early March. For more local wild stories, visit us at knowingtheland@ wordpress.com.
Grounding involves detatching yourself from emotional pain by focusing on the outside world rather than what’s going on inside you. Describe your surroundings to yourself in as much detail as you can. Use all of your senses— vision, hearing, smell, taste and feeling. Press your heels into the earth and notice how it feels. Touch textures in the forest, explore them with all of your senses. Places to adventure in Hamilton: Escarpment stairs, Bayfront park, Cootes Paradise, Dundurn Park, Hamilton Cemetery, Alleyways, Parks.
Join us at the Immigrant Women’s Centre! Free childminding with all daytime programs.
CIC Services & Permanent Residence Jan 10 10am-12 noon (Mountain) Education System in Canada January 18 10am-12 noon (Main) Healthcare System January 25 10am-12noon (Mountain) Landlord/Tenant Matters January 27 2-4pm (Main) Ontario Works & ODSP February 9 10am-12noon (Main) Cultural Awareness & Settlement February 16 10am-12noon (Mountain) Budgeting and Money Management February 22 10am-12noon (Main) Family Law February 27 10am-12noon (Mountain) Looking for a Job March 14 10am-12noon (Mountain) Power of Attorney & Wills March 14 2-4pm (Main) Understanding the Legal System March 27 10am-12 noon (Main)
Hamilton Public Library Central, Dundas Room January 9 to February 22 Mondays & Wednesdays 9:30am - 12:00pm Delta Secondary School January 10 to February 23 Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30am - 12:00pm 1284 Main St E, Room 202 St. Peter’s HARRRP January 11 to March 28 Wednesdays 7:00 - 9:00pm 705 Main St E
Job Search Workshops The Job Search Workshops (JSW) program is a three or four day workshop that will give you the job search tools that will help you succeed in the Canadian job market. The program runs Monday to Friday, 9am - 12pm. January 10 - 13 (Module I) January 24 - 27 (Module II) (Rebecca) February 7 - 10 (Module I) February 20 - 24 (Module II) (Main)
Prepare for the Citizenship Test! Every second Monday and Tuesday of the month from 2-4pm (Barton) Every third Monday & Tuesday from 2-4pm (Main) Every fourth Monday & Tuesday 10am-12pm (Mountain)
Senior’s Club Thursday drop-ins from 3:30-5pm (Rebecca) Monthly trips and special events! Call Morena at 905-388-5048 for more info.
Learn, work, grow.
A Practical Orientation Workshop Six week orientation for all newcomers. Learn about housing and employment rights and responsibilities. Contact Brooke for more information and upcoming workshops at 905-529-5209 x223 or firstname.lastname@example.org. January 10 Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30am - 12:00pm (Rebecca)
Improve Your Language Skills! English: LINC classes start January (Main, Rebecca, Mountain) Telephone Skills & Workplace Communication: Obtain practical customer service experience! Monday - Friday 9am -12pm (Main).
Computer Classes Microsoft Word, Basic Computer & Internet Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Excel Call sites for more information, dates, and registration (Rebecca, Main, Mountain).
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 14 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.11
Budgeting Tips: a Trip to the Farmers’ Market Do you find it hard to eat healthy on a budget? Program participants in the Financial Literacy workshop at the Immigrant Women’s Centre took a trip to the Hamilton Farmers’ Market to participate in a challenge: to buy as many healthy groceries as possible for $15. Unlike the grocery store, the market has many different vendors with different prices. You must look around to find the best deals and freshest foods.
(L to R) Roquay, Kelly, Nima, Elza and Angeline are graduates from Financial Literacy at the IWC.
(Below) Since tomatoes are a popular food, Roquay had to look around to find the best deal. She found some for 1.99/ lb but decided to keep looking. Shortly after, she found a better deal, tomatoes for 1.29/lb. Both sets of tomatoes were grown locally in Ontario. She was happy with her purchase.
(Above) Elza looked for inexpensive bananas – she noticed that each vendor was selling them for .59/lb. Kelly mentioned the bananas are cheaper on Saturdays because vendors want to sell their food before the market closes for a few days. She bought some bananas.
(Above) Nima found bagels for a low price, which would be great for making sandwiches for her children. She bought six for $1.50. Angeline also found the same deal. She decided to buy 12 for $3.
The women added up their results. They made a list of their purchases and how much each item cost. They were asked if they were pleased with their results. (Left) Nima’s purchases included: six bagels, one bag of spaghetti noodles, 2 zucchini, one carrot, five bananas, two potatoes, one head of lettuce, a few cloves of garlic, one onion, two tomatoes, one pepper, and king fish. Nima was pleased with her purchase. (Above Right) Angeline’s purchases included: twelve bagels, seven bananas, three sweet potatoes, three onions, one head of broccoli, three avocado, and three lemons. Angeline was happy about what she bought for $15.
For more information on Financial Literacy, contact Kelly at 905-529-5209 x261. This program will only be offered three more times in the future, all starting in January. 1. What was the Financial Literacy challenge? 2. What foods did the women buy? Who got a good deal?
Discussion: Do you shop at the Farmers’ Market? Why or why not?
Women in Hamilton, Raising our Voices. Issue 14 • Jan. & Feb. 2011 • p.12
Who Will You NOMINATE? Nominate a local artist today for the City of Hamilton Arts Awards Program! For more information or nomination assistance call: 905-546-2424 ext. 7612
Award Categories: Arts Administration Performance Arts Education Community Arts Theatre Visual Arts Media Arts Writing Fine Craft Music Lifetime Achievement
DEADLINE FEBRUARY 17th
NEED HELP WITH A LEGAL PROBLEM? Hamilton Community Legal Clinic/Clinique juridique communantaire de Hamilton has a new location. We are at:
100 Main Street East, Hamilton (Corner of Main and Catharine) (2nd Floor) 905-527-4572 The Clinic provides a variety of services including legal advice & referrals, legal representation, public legal education, community development and law reform. Some areas of Law we deal with: Tenant Rights; Workers’ Compensation (WSIB); Ontario Works (OW); Ontario Disability Support (ODSP); Canada Pension Plan (CPP); Employment Insurance (EI); Notary services. The Clinic represents financially eligible individuals and sometimes groups in the areas of law listed above. Our services are free. The three former independent community legal clinics (Dundurn, Mountain and McQuesten) are now closed. The new Hamilton Community Legal Clinic/Clinique juridique communantaire de Hamilton is happy to serve you. Services are available in French/Services en français. La Clinique est fière de vous offrir tous nos services en français également. N’hésitez pas à communiquer avec nous pour vos besoins juridiques en matière de droit de la pauvreté. For more information please call us at 905-527-4572 or visit our website at www.hamiltonjustice.ca.
This issue of the Women's Press highlights stories from refugees who have come to Hamilton from Burma, El Salvador, Columbia, and more.