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…

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….

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…

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…

A Personal Reflection on Women’s History Month

By Latha Sukumar, Executive Director When I was a young girl, my mother used to take us to the village where my uncle and his family lived. It was a village steeped in rituals and practices that I had never witnessed growing up in Mumbai. On one of these visits my mother moved outside of the house, into a little room by the well; it was a pretty shabby room, with just a small light…

Becoming Storytellers for the Day: Recapping #StoriesofUs

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator In early March MCIS partnered with the Department of Imaginary Affairs (DIA) to host newcomer interpreters and translators for the Stories of Us workshop. The goal of the workshop was three-fold: 1) Empower newcomers by providing them with an open space to share their stories. Allowing them them to do so should help participants feel that, as Canadian citizens, they have a voice 2) Create resource books from the…

Keynote Speaker for the Language Policy Hackathon – Director Min Sook Lee

MCIS is honoured to be hosting Min Sook Lee as our keynote speaker for the Language Policy Hackathon, held in collaboration with the Policy Innovation Initiative (Pii), of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. Min Sook Lee and MCIS first formed a relationship in 2015, when Ms. Lee was invited as the keynote speaker for the Docs for Change Conference. Min Sook also donated her time as an instructor…

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

By Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager What Depending on the angle, a policy hackathon could be a simple gathering of interested parties having a conversation about political processes – how policies are being made or articulated. After all, policies are the main instrument of a government’s agenda and the key to public spending. In that context, some see policy hackathons as a disruption to top-down delivery by introducing fresh and creative public input. Hackathons are…

Year in Review: Top 5 Moments of 2018 at MCIS

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator Another year come and gone. As we reach the end of 2018 and begin our celebrations to ring in the new year, it feels inevitable to reminisce over the past 365 days. While major and minor events – political and apolitical – shifted the global landscape, MCIS had a few of its own moments worth remembering. As a result, we’re proud to present MCIS’ Top 5 Moments of 2018…

Does Canadian education help International students? Statistics Canada study elaborates

“It is when the moon covers the sun that you see a solar eclipse,” says a mother turning to her son in Hindi on the way to the Ontario Science Centre. On the left, traffic is blocked, as everyone is scrambling to check out the one of a kind solar eclipse viewed by thousands on Monday afternoon. A block away from the centre, a Chinese couple walks fast towards the centre holding special glasses meant…