Strong landings and supported beginnings are critical in making Canadian society more immigrant-inclusive. This was the recurring theme during a recent visit to MOSAIC by the federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
MOSAIC was honoured to host the Hon. Marco Mendicino at its central office on Feb. 12.
The minister and MOSAIC staff discussed how employment and integration are critical to any newcomers’ success, and how everyone needs to work together to help create an inclusive society.
Minister Mendicino toured MOSAIC’s welcoming space where he engaged with dedicated staff, and heard about innovative projects to create a safe environment for newcomers, refugees and international students.
The minister was also serenaded by MOSAIC’s Seniors Club choir, a program designed for immigrant seniors to feel a part of the community with opportunities for learning and having fun. All were delighted when Minister Mendicino sat down to join in and played the piano.
Members of the Seniors Club shared their views on immigration and how the government of Canada and MOSAIC have helped to make Canada a stronger country by being one of the most welcoming and friendly places for immigrants and refugees.
Some refugee youth and families accessing MOSAIC services also shared their experiences, including how they are overcoming challenges, as well as their excitement about beginning a new life in Canada and a desire to give back.
The evening concluded with an informative roundtable meeting with the minister and MOSAIC’s leadership team. In the meeting, MOSAIC’s diversity in leadership and initiatives were discussed, including services for LGBTQIA2+ newcomers, privately sponsored refugees, health initiatives for newcomers, anti-violence programs and supporting the integration of people with disabilities.
“MOSAIC staff and clients were excited to meet Minister Mendicino and have a constructive conversation on the contributions newcomers make to our society and on creating inclusive communities and workplaces,” said Olga Stachova, CEO of MOSAIC.
MOSAIC is an acronym for Multi-lingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities. With over 40 programs, MOSAIC provides employment services, family services, language instruction, legal information, settlement services, and victim and family violence services from multiple sites in Metro Vancouver. MOSAIC also operates the WorkBC Centres in various locations, as well as MOSAIC Translations and Interpretations Services. To learn more, please visit mosaicbc.org/about.