Canada: delegates to meet for Immigration, Intergration and language policy conference

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sat Oct 14 14:46:30 UTC 2006

Ceremony ushers in citizens, conference and change

Story by: Christina Lam, Gauntlet News, Thursday, October 12, 2006

The University of Calgary Dining Centre played host to a gathering more
remarkable than its usual 11 a.m. student traffic on Tues., Oct. 11: fifty
freshly sworn in Canadian citizens. In a ceremony kicking off a national
immigration conference hosted by the University of Calgary's Faculty of
Education, citizenship judge Hon.  Patricia Gleason welcomed the new
citizens to the first day of what she referred to as their new lives as
members of the Canadian family.

For the room of eager faces however, the citizenship ceremony marked the
resolution of only the first of many struggles that they each will face as
new immigrants. "My husband is still struggling to find the right job for
his field," said one new immigrant who recently joined her family in
Canada. She noted, her husband's difficulties are despite having worked in
a gas company prior to his landing in 2000 and completed a program at

Another, a young accountant from Bangladesh with a master's degree in
Finance and Banking, spoke of difficulties finding a job both in Montreal
and Calgary and having to relocate her family in search of employment.
Said Calgary-centre Member of Parliament Lee Richardson, a guest speaker
at Tuesday's ceremony, "There has been a breakdown in the system. There
are immense backlogs. [Now] is the time to say what's wrong with the
system--let's try to fix it in terms of fairness but also efficiency." It
is with these goals in mind that delegates will meet for the Immigration,
Intergration and Language policy conference here at the U of C to dissect
the issue of professional accreditation procedure as well as the delivery
of effective ESL education, social integration, and work skills training.

Drawing representatives as far reaching as government, community,
corporate business and education sectors, the conference hopes to draft
strategies that will form the basis of major immigration policy reform on
both provincial and national scales. These strategies, addressing issues
highlighted by a selection of panelists will be formally released in an
action plan following the conference.

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