People, Power and Impact take centre stage at OCASI conference 

The future of immigration in Canada

The future of immigration in Canada and the most critical issues facing immigrants will be the highlights of the Professional Development Conference by OCASI on October 21st and 22nd, 2021.

The theme for this year is “People, Power, Impact: The Future of Immigration.” It will cover a broad spectrum of dynamic workshops from financial health to self-care and address the biggest challenges facing immigrants in Canada.

The People, Power and Impact conference will bring together frontline workers, program coordinators, and managers from OCASI member agencies and other refugee and immigrant-serving organizations.

An OCASI statement explained that:

“As Ontario and the world emerge from pandemic lockdowns and isolation we look ahead to building more equitable and just communities where all refugees and migrants are welcome.

“The people of Ontario’s immigrant and refugee-serving sector are central to the future we imagine – a future powered by our collective potential. The Development Conference is a space for our sector to strengthen skills and knowledge, share ideas, make connections and build power.”

Power-packed speakers 

The opening keynote would be delivered by Senator Kim Pate, a nationally renowned advocate. She has spent the last 40 years working in and around the legal and penal systems of Canada, on behalf of some of the most marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized — particularly imprisoned youth, men and women.

The theme presentation on the future of immigration will be made by Corinne Prince, Director General, Settlement and Integration Policy, Settlement and Integration Policy (SIP), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada / Government of Canada.

The future of immigration in Canada

Baldev Mutta will be looking at the integrated holistic service delivery model. He is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS), which is headquartered in Brampton, Ontario. He founded PCHS in 1990 to deliver culturally appropriate health, settlement and social services to the South Asian community.

The wrap-up will be by Dr. Ingrid Waldron, the HOPE Chair in Peace and Health in the Global Peace and Social Justice Program in the Faculty of Humanities at McMaster University.

Dr. Waldron’s research interests focus on ecological violence and the structural determinants of health. She has a specific interest in the social, political, environmental, and health impacts of inequality and discrimination, as well as  disparities in racialized communities and COVID-19 in Black, Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee communities.

Some other speakers are:

Bonnie Douglas, Project Manager, Equity and the Trades (CCWESTT); Kristin Marshall, Lawyer/Trainer, Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO); Beatrice Kohlenberg, Senior Manager, World Education Services (WES); Fatima Filippi, Executive Director, Rexdale Women’s Centre.

Also on the line-up are:

Selma Tobah, Chanelle Linton, Nadia Sokhan, Élise Cotter, Lilia Esi, Sukaina Dada, Arvin Jagayat, Marcela Diaz, Ahmad-Shah Duranai, Fataneh Naghavi, Emily Mooney, Emmanuelle Lopez-Bastos, Raine Liliefeldt, Sihem Hammouda and Paul bishop.

Immigrants hold the key 

The business sector in Canada employs more than 12 million people.  Over 2.7 million Canadians are self-employed, and more than 800,000 of them have paid employees.

Immigrants account for 33% of all business owners with paid staff, creating important local jobs in all sectors of the Canadian economy.

In the health care sector, immigrants make up 37% of pharmacists, 36% of physicians, 39% of dentists, 23% of registered nurses, and 35% of nurse aides and related occupations.

With over 1.2 million new immigrants expected to arrive in Canada by 2023, It has become mission-critical to address the pressing issues facing immigrants.




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