The Ongoing Hardships with Small and Medium-Sized Business enterprises due to COVID-19

By: Ashley Tulio, Communications Specialist Small and medium-sized businesses across Canada continue to face challenges due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Small and medium-sized businesses have had to adapt to the circumstances by creating an online presence, developing new business models, reducing hours of operations, laying off staff, applying for government funding, and seeking rent relief. However, numerous businesses have been unable to fully reopen as they only offer partial service, alongside businesses that have…

Black History Month – A Reflection Backwards and Looking Ahead

By: Omega Menkir February is a month that the world has dedicated to reflecting and remembering the histories and contributions of Black people to society, as we know it over the centuries, decades, and including their most recent innovations and contributions. This month includes updating the curriculum for children to take some time to reflect on what Black scientists, businesspersons, activists, and more have added to the world we had to make it the world…

Battling COVID-19 and Filling the Language Gap: Reflections on Language Advocacy Day

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator If there has been one common goal for people all around the globe in the past year, it would be to end the COVID-19 global pandemic. The disease doesn’t discriminate. Since last March, we have witnessed people from all walks of life with different social statuses and cultural backgrounds falling into its trap. A year has passed, and the virus still doesn’t seem to want to stop. What is…

Inuktitut Language Milestones

By: Ashley Tulio, Communication Specialist Inuktitut is an Indigenous language in North America spoken in the Canadian Arctic. It is just one part of what is known as “the Inuit language” spoken in Alaska in the west to Greenland in the east. In Canada, there are several Inuit regions aside from Nunavut, including the Inuvialuit region of the Northwest Territories, Nunavik in Northern Quebec, and Nunatsiavut in Labrador. In 2016, Statistics Canada reported 39,770 Inuktitut…

Highlights of Challenges Facing Ontario’s Language Services Sector

By: Craig Carter-Edwards The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a stress test for many essential services offered in Ontario. It has brought to light the challenges, inequities and structural flaws within systems designed to support the health and well-being of Ontarians. These challenges, of course, existed before COVID-19, but this crisis has increased the level of public’s awareness of them. Among these are translation and interpretation services. Many Ontarians with limited knowledge of English and/or…

Closing out 2020: A message from Executive Director Latha Sukumar

How have we done during this extraordinary year?! In early 2020, I had just returned from India, we were all set to celebrate MCIS’ 30th anniversary at the Ontario Science Centre, and a team of us were actually bound for a conference in San Diego the day following the celebrations. Up until then, winter had gone by smoothly and everything had seemed like more of the same. How I wish that had been the case!…

Getting Loud on Mental Health

By: Sanah Matador, May 2019 Updated by: Ashley Tulio, December 2020 **MCIS originally posted this blog in May 2019 to bring awareness to Mental Health Week. Given the ongoing pandemic and an increase in mental health crises around this time of year, we felt that it was important to repost this article with some updates.** COVID-19 has brought many changes within our lives, forcing us to adapt and integrate ourselves from within our homes. The…

Both Sides, Now

**Update** When MCIS first published this blog on February 19, 2020, the subject of the interview was in the process of appealing his refugee status. In order to protect him, and the confidentiality of his case, we did not publish his name. However, in November 2020, he successfully appealed and received refugee status. The judge in the case accepted the chapter translation of Colombia Diversa that MCIS provided free of charge, as key evidence to…

Parent-Teacher Meetings with Bilingual Families: Why You Need an Interpreter

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Located in Toronto, one of the biggest Canadian cities where over 180 languages are spoken, every year, MCIS sends our certificated interpreters to thousands of parent-teacher interviews with bilingual and multicultural families and parents with limited English proficiency both in-person and remotely. In these meetings, interpreters are the key to smooth communication between the teachers and parents, and their work is widely recognized as a crucial and irreplaceable part…

COVID Stories: An interview with Bow Valley Settlement Services

By: Sara Parker-Toulson, Business Development Coordinator As part of our COVID Series blogs, MCIS recently interviewed Jeanie Godfrey, Settlement Services Supervisor of Bow Valley Settlement Services. Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and in partnership with Town of Banff and Town of Canmore, Bow Valley Settlement Services provides essential support and information services to newcomers looking to settle in Canada. They connect immigrants and refugees with information about community services, language options, housing information,…