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…

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,…

COVID Stories: An Interview with Project Abraham

By: Ashley Tulio, Communications Specialist As a part of our COVID Series blogs, MCIS recently interviewed Debbie Rose, Executive Director of Project Abraham. Project Abraham’s mission is to provide aid and assistance to refugees and immigrants who are in need and who are victims of war, persecution, unfair discrimination, or natural disasters. They does this by operating a sponsorship program to Canada. Once the refugees and immigrants come to Canada, Project Abraham’s mission is to…

COVID Stories: From The Neighbourhood Organization to the Neighbourhood

By: Alanna Quinn, Engagement Coordinator Darcy MacCallum, Director of Family & Wellness at The Neighbourhood Organization (TNO), sat down with MCIS to discuss the support that TNO provides to Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park, St. James Town, and Crescent Town. Thorncliffe Park and area has been supported by TNO since 1985, and Darcy shared TNO’s successes and some of the hardships endured in the neighbourhood. Last month, MCIS had the privilege of translating TNO’s Emergency Food…

The Magic of Language Services in Health Care

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator As a non-native English speaker, ever since I came to Canada, I set this ground rule for myself: my future life partner has to speak English well. He doesn’t need to get a perfect 9 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests, but he needs to be able to communicate with a doctor if I unfortunately am ever found to be in the position that I cannot….

COVID-19 Stories: Hanen Nanaa, Campaigning for An Inclusive Canada

MCIS recently had the pleasure of interviewing Hanen Nanaa, a young, passionate individual dedicated to supporting newcomers in feeling welcomed and connected to their communities. Hanen is very special to MCIS as she was the youngest recipient to receive the Interpreter Training Scholarship in 2016. She has only been in Canada for four years and has already been accepted to Ryerson University, volunteered with many newcomers’ organizations, and began leading Books, Arts, and Music Collective…

Meet Tareq Hadhad

by: Craig Carter-Edwards from WelcomeHomeTO One of the best parts of the work we do at WHTO is the people we get to meet – Canadians, new and old, who are starting lives, joining and establishing communities, sharing their talents in support of others, and working together to strengthen our very special cultural mosaic. Last summer, I had a chance to meet one of our newest Canadian citizens – Tareq Hadhad, founder of Peace by…

Starting from “How Are You” – How Communication Barrier Goes Beyond Language

by: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Seven years ago, when I first came to Canada, the first culture shock I ever experienced was the question “How are you?” It was my biggest fear at the time, that someone would show up in front of me and burst out the words: “how are you?” I, feeling attacked, would have to answer in return, without having developed the conditioned response of replying with “I’m good.” Before I…

Letter to Premier Doug Ford Regarding Cuts to LAO

Please find below, a letter to Premier Doug Ford, from MCIS Executive Director Latha Sukumar, written in response to the Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) funding cuts announced as part of the 2019 budget. April 10, 2019 Honourable Premier Doug Ford Government of Ontario doug.ford@pc.ola.org Honourable Premier Doug Ford Re: Proposed cuts to Legal Aid funding for Refugees and Immigrants I am writing to express my concerns about the proposed cuts to provincial legal aid funding…

The What, Why, Who and How of the Language Policy Hackathon, Part II

The What, Why, Who and How of Language Policy Hackathon, Part II By Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager Who (The Alliance and Audiences) With some ambiguities around what exactly our hackathon experiment “should be or should deliver,” we needed to find strong and trusting partners. Early in the planning process, we identified a young, immensely competent group of soon-to-be graduates from The Policy Innovation Initiative (Pii) at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public…