Multicultural society helps newcomers to Canada

ouver Island Multicultural Society is celebrating its 35th anniversary and it has come a long way in that time.

According to Hilde Schlosar, society executive director, it was formed in 1979 to deal with an influx of Vietnamese refugees due to the Vietnam War. The scope has broadened since then to include such groups as immigrants, new citizens and more recently, temporary foreign workers.

There have been stories of people taking advantage of the foreign workers, something said Schlosar said the society hears about often.

“Especially the last five or six years with the large number coming for low-skilled jobs, we have heard about labour standard abuses and in fact, we’ve recently had a case you might’ve seen on [the news] about what was actually a human trafficking case,” she said.

She said the society is now able to assist with recent funding from the provincial government. It is able to help the workers navigate systems and understand Canadian customs and way of life.

“They’re shopping, they’re doing business, they’re banking, they’re participating in many different things in the community and we’re the ones that give them the tools to be able to do it and understand what our processes are. Everything from our traffic laws to our medical system to our banking system to how to do a Canadian-style resumé and what employers expect,” Schlosar said.

With the 35th anniversary, the society partnered with Nanaimo Museum  for Canada: Day 1, an exhibit about immigration from the early 20th century, which runs until Sept. 1.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

VIDEO: Witnesses describe scene at Parliament Hill; Raw footage of Ottawa shootings
Security stepped up in B.C. after attacks in Ottawa
Fire burns old high school library in Alberni
UPDATE: B.C. legislature to get security scanner
Soldier killed in Parliament Hill siege
Rough weather keeps Marine Search and Rescue busy
Victoria MP caught in Ottawa shooting drama
Dateline: Cowichan 1947: Basketball excitement grips the valley
Loan your car to a drinking driver and pay the loss

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 21 edition online now. Browse the archives.