Le travail et l’expertise que le PLIO apporte à notre communauté est si important que cela nous aide à construire des ponts et à briser les silos. Je suis impatient…

Jim Watson, Maire d’Ottawa
Le Canada a été façonné par des gens venus des quatre coins du monde pour bâtir ce pays. La Semaine d’accueil à Ottawa offre une plateforme aux résidents d’Ottawa…

Alex Munter, président du Conseil du PLIO et président-directeur général du Centre hospitalier pour enfants de l’est de l’Ontario et Centre de traitement pour enfants d’Ottawa.
Le séminaire de la SAO sur la nutrition et la santé des femmes immigrantes était un pas dans la bonne direction pour réduire l’écart entre les chercheurs en milieu…

Joséphine Etowa
Professeure agrégée , École des sciences infirmières, Université d'Ottawa
Les immigrants sont essentiels pour Ottawa. Il est crucial de reconnaître leur contribution à notre vitalité culturelle et économique.

Jessica Brichta
Le Conference Board du Canada
Notre partenariat avec le PLIO est d’importance cruciale pour assurer la réussite de nos clients. La participation du PLIO a dynamisé nos projets.

Ying Xie
Gestionnaire, Ottawa Chinese Community Services Centre
Le PLIO contribue à regrouper et à partager des ressources limitées en maximisant l’effet d’une approche collective dans le domaine de l’enseignement.

Walter Piovesan
Directeur adjoint en éducation, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
Je suis très impressionnée par le niveau d’énergie et l’engagement des intervenants autour de la table et j’ai hâte de prolonger la collaboration entre le PLIO et…

Marcela Tapia
Santé publique d’Ottawa
La collectivité dans son ensemble, y compris les immigrants, profite du travail du PLIO. En peu de temps, nous avons semé ensemble des graines pour le développement d’Ottawa.

Dick Stewart
Conseil du PLIO
Le Collège Algonquin a vraiment accueilli le monde entier hier! D’Irak, d’Iran, ou de Russie, et bien d’autres pays, nous avons accueilli près de 150 nouveaux arrivants…

Collège Algonquin
Comité organisateur pour la SAO 2014
La Ville d’Ottawa continuera à jouer un rôle prépondérant pour la mise en œuvre de la Stratégie pour l’immigration à Ottawa, tout comme pour la fondation du PLIO.  

Steve Desroches
Conseiller municipal et maire suppléant d’Ottawa

Coming Out & Coming In

July 2, 2015

By Louisa Taylor

(disponibles seulement en anglais)

We humans like our words, and we like them simple. We throw around the word “immigrants” as if somehow the 250,000 people who migrate to Canada every year can be summed up in one term, when in fact their diversity is staggering. They are skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, temporary workers, family members, refugees and more. They are men, women, children. They are young and old, from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and every possible corner of the world.

Increasingly there is recognition of the diversity within diversity – what academics call intersectionality and what I call the double- or triple-whammy: people whose journey as migrants is complicated by characteristics that amplify their vulnerability – such as aging immigrants, immigrant women, refugees with disabilities, and the growing population of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) migrants.

This last group was the subject of a fascinating public discussion at Raw Sugar Cafe on Monday, the first day of #2015WOW. Organized by uOttawa researcher Patti Lenard, Coming In & Coming Out featured five experts sharing their knowledge of the challenges and opportunities associated with the Canadian immigration policy of recognizing persecution based on sexuality as grounds for asylum.

alex
Alexandre shares his story at Raw Sugar Cafe

 

Speakers included Lisa Hébert of Capital Rainbow Refuge, a grassroots organization that organizes LGBT refugee sponsorships and mentors other groups wanting to do the same; David Pepper of North Star Triangle Project, a longtime LGBT activist and member of CRR; Mego Nerses, a mental health counsellor at the Centretown Community Health Centre; Jamie Liew, a uOttawa law professor with an expertise in immigration law; and Alexandre Inkingi, a former international student from Burundi,  via Zimbabwe, now working at the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.

The format was simple: each speaker took to the microphone for 5 minutes to share his or her experience or expertise, then the issues were explored in greater depth in conversation with an extremely attentive audience. The easygoing vibe of Raw Sugar Cafe was perfect for attracting new audience members who stumbled on the event, pulled up a chair and lingered.

Whether it was the mechanics of becoming a refugee sponsor, the historical and political perspectives on government policy or the stories of social and health services simply unable to keep up with the growth of this population, the different threads of the theme came together in an informal but powerful conversation.

Oh, and I owe you full disclosure – or is it a disclaimer? I didn’t just love the event because I was the moderator – even if it meant I got to sit up close and personal with the speakers. I loved it because it was one of those times when it felt like everyone in the room was listening with open ears and an open heart, and everyone was learning.

The message came through clearly: there is something each of us can do to smooth the path for LGBT immigrants in need of safe haven: by volunteering, by sharing information, by lobbying for policy extensions. As Alexandre shared his intensely personal tale of transition from in-the-closet international student to out-of-the-closet refugee spurned by family, he reminded us that we also help simply by opening ourselves up and saying one very important word: Welcome.