The City of Ottawa will continue to play a lead role in the implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy, just as we did in the founding of OLIP.

Steve Desroches
City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa
We are very pleased to have done the “Opportunity Cost of Not Investing in Interpretation” report – it is so important to have clarity on these challenges and…

Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP
OLIP helps to unite and share scarce resources for greater impact by working together in the field of student education.

Walter Piovesan
Associate Director of Education, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee
In our city’s history, immigrants have always played an important role. They build our economic prosperity, diversify our culture, contribute to our social vitality.

Jim Watson
Mayor of Ottawa
The target beneficiary of the work of OLIP is the whole community. In this short period we have planted together important seeds for Ottawa’s development.  

Dick Stewart
OLIP Council
All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa
I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. WOW offers a platform for us to celebrate this history and the future it will help…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre

Speaker Biographies

November 17, 2019

Forum Opening Remarks

Yasir Naqvi
Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Canadian Citizenship
Former Attorney General of Ontario

Yasir Naqvi is the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), Canada’s leading voice on active citizenship and inclusion. Prior to joining the ICC, Mr. Naqvi served as a Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for almost 11 years, representing a downtown, urban and diverse community in Ottawa, Ontario. In that time, he served as the Attorney General of Ontario, Government House Leader, the Minister of Labour, and the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Mr. Naqvi practiced international trade, competition, regulatory and administrative law with major law firms in Ottawa, and has served as a part-time professor at the University Of Ottawa Faculty Of Law, and a guest lecturer at Carleton University. A first-generation Canadian, Mr. Naqvi is recognized by his peers as a strong community leader. He is the 2019 recipient of the Lincoln M. Alexander Award from the Law Society of Ontario.

Keynote Speech: Learning from Germany’s Experience

Ambassador Sabine Sparwasser
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Canada

Sabine Sparwasser studied political science with a focus on foreign relations at the Institut d’études politiques in Paris following her studies of German, French as well as English literature and linguistics at the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz. Before embarking on her diplomatic career, Sabine Sparwasser worked as a freelance journalist for German television and was Research Assistant on European integration to Professor Joseph Rovan in Paris.

She was posted to the German EC-Representation in Brussels, the German Embassies in London and San José. She also served as Consul General in Toronto. At headquarters, she held various positions in the press, public relations and political sections of the German Federal Foreign Office before assuming the role of Deputy Spokesperson at the Ministry. She later served as Director of the Middle East and Maghreb Division and as Head of the Foreign Service Academy. Before coming to Canada, she was Assistant Deputy Minister for Africa, Asia, Latin America, Near and Middle East and also Germany’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Since 2017, Sabine Sparwasser is Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Canada. She is married to Gary Soroka, a former Canadian diplomat and has two children. She speaks German, English, French and Spanish.

Update from IRCC: What Can We Expect in the Years Ahead?

Fraser Valentine
Assistant Deputy Minister, Settlement & Integration Sector
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Fraser Valentine is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Settlement and Integration. In this role, Fraser is responsible for the development of policies and programs that support the successful settlement and integration of newcomers into Canadian society. Fraser also oversees the effective operational management, delivery and accountability of funding agreements with organizations across Canada who provide a wide range of services to immigrants and refugees.

From 2017 to 2019, Fraser was the Director General of Refugee Affairs at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. In this role, Fraser was responsible for leading the Department’s refugee and asylum policy agenda. He was instrumental in supporting the government’s commitment to asylum system reform and managing irregular migration, and he has supported Canada in assuming a more prominent international role in humanitarian resettlement.

From 2015-2017, Fraser was the Director General of Strategic Policy and Planning at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. In this role, Fraser was responsible for leading the Department’s strategic policy agenda. He successfully led IRCC in achieving several key milestones, which include overseeing major enhancements to the Express Entry system and setting the foundation for the 2018-2020 Multi-Year Levels Plan.

From 2011-2015, Fraser was the Chief of Staff to two different Deputy Ministers at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Prior to joining IRCC, Fraser held positions at the Privy Council Office, Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada. Fraser holds a Master of Arts degree in Canadian Studies from Carleton University.

OLIP Progress Report: Are we on the Right Track?

Carl Nicholson
Executive Director
Catholic Centre for Immigrants

Carl Nicholson is the Executive Director of the Catholic Centre for Immigrants (since 1994) and Executive Director of the Catholic Centre for Immigrants Foundation (since 1996), overseeing an annual operating budget of $10M and a staff of 100 people serving 6,000 clients per year who are immigrants and/or refugees.

A graduate of Carleton University and a Certified Fund Raising Executive, Carl has an extensive background (40 years) in the not-for-profit sector in leadership positions. Carl sits on several boards including Local Agencies Serving Immigrants (LASI); Vice-President of World Skills; Past-President of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI); Member of the Executive of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership Council; Member of the Executive of Refugee 613 and a former member of the Ottawa Police Services Board.

Carl has been recognized for his contributions to the community. In 2003 he was recognized by United Way/Centraide Ottawa with a Community Builder Award as part of the partnership with Local Agencies Serving Immigrants (LASI); in 2004 he was given the Investing in People Award by the Community Foundation of Ottawa and was awarded the Diocesan Order of Merit by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa; in 2006 Ottawa Life Magazine named him one of the Capital’s 50 top people who make a difference; the National Institute of Jamaican Canadians presented him with the Lignum Vitae award in 2007; Carl was recognized by the Social Planning Council of Ottawa with the Marion Dewar Defender of the Public Good award in 2008; in 2011 he was the recipient of the Ottawa Community Leadership award bestowed by the “Dream Keepers” in honour of Martin Luther King jr; the Mayor of Ottawa inducted Carl into the Order of Ottawa in 2013.

More recently, the United Way presented him with a 2016 Community Builder of the Year award as part of a group which worked to receive Syrian refugees in Ottawa. In 2017 Carl received the Ontario 150 award for his work to improve the Ottawa Centre community. In 2018 Algonquin College officially recognized Carl Nicholson with an Honorary Degree for his lifetime contributions to the community.

Elaine Medline
Co-chair
OLIP Health and Well-Being Sector Table

Elaine Medline is co-chair of the Health and Well-Being Sector Table of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP). She has been a member of the OLIP Council for a decade. In collaboration with numerous partners, Elaine played an instrumental role in the creation and expansion of the Ottawa Newcomer Health Centre. A respected health leader with a broad background in social policy, strategic planning and innovation, Elaine was most recently Vice-President of Communications and Engagement at the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). Previously, she worked for Ottawa Public Health and as a health reporter for the Ottawa Citizen newspaper.

Optimizing Ottawa’s Immigration & Talent Strategies

Sandra Saric
Managing Partner
Inclusive Path
Co-chair, OLIP Economic Integration Sector Table

Sandra Saric leads initiatives that promote diversity, inclusion, and collaboration with industry, government and education on strategies and actions to leverage talent and build capacity in Canada’s digital economy. As an inclusion advocate in Canada and globally, Sandra has particularly focused on initiatives that involve the recruitment, integration and advancement of global talent, women, Indigenous persons and youth in ICT.

In this capacity, in 2015, Sandra received a Women in Communications and Technology Leadership Excellence Award for Diversity and frequently speaks on topics that address inclusiveness, digital skills and education, and the digital labour market and in 2017 was named as one of 150 Canadian women in STEM. At ICTC, she has been instrumental in launching a Canadian Cyber Security Youth and Education initiative – CyberTitan – to prepare youth with cyber security skills. Sandra also serves as an advisor on the Planning for Canada Advisory Group; Hire Immigrants Ottawa Employer Council of Champions, and the WEC/IOE Global Forum for Migration and Development Business Mechanism.

Sandra holds a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Ottawa and BA Honours in Political Science from Carleton University. After university, Sandra completed the Information Technology Professional Program, as well as leadership development and coaching programs at the Banff Centre and a Certificate in Intercultural Studies from the University of British Columbia.

An avid traveller, Sandra has also been known to rappel down cliffs in Costa Rica or up them in Santorini.

Matt de Vlieger
Director General, Immigration Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Matt de Vlieger is the Director General, Immigration Branch at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), with the policy lead for economic and family selection programming, as well as responsibility for policies related to temporary work permits and study permits for foreign nationals. Matt was previously the Director General of Strategic Policy and Planning, with responsibilities including immigration levels planning and the Express Entry application management system.

Within Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Matt previously held Director positions responsible for horizontal and emerging policy as well as intergovernmental affairs. Prior to joining IRCC, he held Director-level positions at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada in the education and income support fields and, earlier in his career, had worked at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Privy Council Office.

Pedro Antunes
Chief Economist
Conference Board of Canada

Pedro Antunes leads a team of economists responsible for the production of the Conference Board’s suite of economic forecast products, as well as other reports and economic indicators that relate to Canada and its regions. Mr. Antunes is a spokesperson for the Conference Board and has provided expert testimony before parliamentary committees. He makes numerous presentations on economic topics and dialogues with Canadian leaders, the public and media about issues important to Canada. He also leads the Conference Board’s research on immigration.

Mr. Antunes joined the Conference Board in 1991 after working with the Canadian Forecasting Group at the Bank of Canada. In addition to the regular forecast publications that he oversees, Mr. Antunes led research on the impact of demographic change on the financial sustainability of public health care, productivity and other issues affecting the long-term economic growth for Canada and its provinces. He also worked on several international projects, helping decision-makers in Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan and Ukraine develop appropriate forecasting and policy analysis tools.

Pedro is fluent in both official languages. He is married with one son and loves to hike with his dog and play soccer. Mr. Antunes holds an M.A. (Economics) from Queen’s University and a B.A. (Honours Economics) from Bishop’s University.

Natalie MacArthur
Director of Talent Strategy
Invest Ottawa

Natalie is a highly creative, insights driven strategic talent & marketing lead with experience in start-up to enterprise with local and global mandates. Her goal is to integrate agility and design thinking into the process with the end goal of creating world-class messaging that not only informs, influences and inspires audiences but also creates positive change in the workplace to support initiatives that drive acquisition and employee satisfaction. She created Invest Ottawa’s Talent Strategy & Attraction Program; a meaningful multi-year strategy to help growing Ottawa firms to attract, develop and retain the top technical and business talent required to thrive, compete and succeed in the global market.

Measuring Integration Outcomes in an Evolving Environment: Challenges & Promises

Ümit Kiziltan
Chief Data Officer
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Ümit Mustafa Kiziltan has been a Public Service executive since 2006, leading multiculturalism, citizenship, and refugee health policies and operations. Since 2011, he has been the Director General of Research and Evaluation at the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, leading research data development, research, evaluation, and knowledge mobilization functions. He was recently appointed as the Chief Data Officer of IRCC. Prior to 2006, Ümit worked in academia, civil society and with First Nations communities. For more than a decade, he worked for Tl’azt’en Nation, and later on also for the Assembly of First Nations in Ottawa, on indigenous control of indigenous education, and socio-economic community development. Ümit is currently preoccupied with the increasing fragility of liberal democracies across the world, which fuels his commitment to improving access to quality data and evidence-based analysis in support of effective and accountable public policies.

David Kurfurst
Director Evaluation & Performance Measurement
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

David Kurfurst is the Director of Evaluation and Performance Measurement at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), leading the function responsible for assessing the outcomes of departmental policies and programs. The Evaluation Division provides objective, timely and robust evidence, findings and recommendations that support policy analysis and contribute to program improvements. He and his team also lead advancement the performance measurement and results regime in the Department, which is fundamental to strong evaluations and effective program monitoring.

David is a long-time evaluation practitioner. He has been with IRCC Evaluation for over 16 years, working on many evaluations and numerous performance measurement projects across all sectors and business lines of the department during that time.

Kareem El-Assal
Director, Policy & Digital Strategy
Canada Visa

Kareem El-Assal is the Director of Policy & Digital Strategy at Canada Visa. Canada Visa’s mission is to help make the Canadian dream a reality for newcomers from around the world. Since beginning his immigration career in 2010, Kareem has authored over 100 publications and successfully organized 15 events featuring government ministers and leaders from a variety of sectors. Kareem writes frequent commentaries on Canadian immigration and is often called upon by the media, business groups, and government to share his policy insights.

Andrew Griffith
Author & Commentator

Andrew Griffith is the author of Multiculturalism in Canada: Evidence and Anecdote, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias: Resetting Citizenship and Multiculturalism and Because it’s 2015 … Implementing Diversity and Inclusion. He is a regular media commentator and blogger (Multiculturalism Meanderings). Andrew is the former Director General for Citizenship and Multiculturalism and has worked for a variety of government departments in Canada and abroad. He is a fellow of the Environics Institute and of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

Bolanle Alake-Apata
Economist
Labour Market Information Council

As an Economist with LMIC, Bolanle Alake-Apata contributes to the planning, designing and execution of research projects in several complex areas related to labour market issues. She brings experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research from her previous research and analytic roles with Startup Canada and McMaster University. Bolanle is a board executive of the Ottawa Economics Association and actively participates in promoting its events and managing its social media presence.

A1: Breaking Down Barriers

Adrian Harewood
Co-host
CBC News Ottawa

Adrian is co-host of CBC News Ottawa. Harewood attended elementary and high school at Ashbury College, and was involved in community radio at CKCU (Carleton University) and CHUO (University of Ottawa). He has been a guest host on national CBC programs such as As it Happens, Sounds Like Canada and The Current. Before coming to television, Harewood was the host of All In A Day on CBC Radio One in Ottawa.

Rawlson King
City Councillor
Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward

Rawlson King was elected the first-ever Black city councillor in a historic by-election held April 2019, in Rideau-Rockcliffe (Ward 13), in the City of Ottawa. Previously, he was the President of the Overbrook Community Association, Board Member and Treasurer at the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, and was Co-Chair of the Ottawa Police Service Community Equity Council.

Recognized for his volunteer work, he won a United Way Ottawa Community Builder of the Year Award in 2018, conferred during National Volunteer Week.

Rawlson holds both a Bachelor of Journalism and Law, and a M.A. in Communication from Carleton University. He is an entrepreneur and communication professional with over 20 years private sector experience in marketing, strategic communication and high-technology market research.

Warren Clarke
Sociologist
Carleton University

I am a fourth-year doctoral candidate in Sociology with a specialization in Political Economy at Carleton University. I’m also a Contract Instructor and my course, entitled Gender, and Society through the Arts, encourages undergraduate students, high school students, and the broader Ottawa community to critically think about the relation of gender, race, social class, age, ability, and sexuality among young Canadians, through an anti-oppression framework. Recognizing how gender relations in mainstream society is generally perceived, it can be difficult for young people to express themselves while encountering misconceptions about their personhood.

My doctoral research focuses on how young African and Caribbean Black (ACB) Canadian men experience youth employment training programs in Ontario and Quebec. Theoretically, my study will encapsulate how Canadian social norms — emerging from Canada’s existence as a settler-colonial nation-state and its long history of racial discrimination — continue to affect the social development of young ACB men.

Naini Cloutier
Executive Director
Somerset West Community Health Centre

With roughly 30 years experience in the human services field, over 20 of which were spent working in the Community Health Centre (CHC) sector; Naini brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to her role at SWCHC. She has extensive experience in health equity, community development, health promotion, and advocacy.

Throughout her career in the CHC sector, Naini has demonstrated a strong commitment to working hand in hand with community and staff to plan and deliver services that respond to the unique needs of community members.

Outside the CHC sector, Naini has participated in various community planning bodies and boards in the area of accreditation, evaluation, funding and the non-profit sector generally. She currently sits as a member of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership Council which provides leadership and strategic stewardship in the implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy.

A2: Addressing the Unique Barriers Facing Francophone Immigrants

Saint-Phard Désir
Executive Director
Economic and Social Council of Ottawa-Carleton

Born in Haiti, St-Phard Désir came to Canada in 1990. He completed his education at the University of Ottawa where he obtained a Master in Business administration.

In 2004, commissioned by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, St-Phard Désir was the author of the guide “Finding a job, practical guide for the French-speaking newcomers” to help French-speaking immigrants find work in their fields of expertise. Then he left Canada to work in different organizations including Lutheran World Relief in the United States. In February 2007, he returned to CESOC. He was the Project Coordinator of Francophone Immigration support network of East Ontario for 5 years and since July 2012, he assumed the general management of the organization.

A3: Empowering Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Mark Sutcliffe
Broadcaster & Publisher

Mark Sutcliffe is an award-winning broadcaster and podcaster, author, entrepreneur, community leader and marathon runner. Mark hosts Ottawa Today, a daily four-hour talk show on 1310 NEWS and Rogers TV, and CPAC Today in Politics, a daily podcast. He is a partner in several local businesses, including Great River Media, which publishes the Ottawa Business Journal. Mark has completed more than 30 marathons, raising more than $200,000 for charitable causes. Mark has served on the boards of many local organizations, including United Way Ottawa and the Ottawa Board of Trade. He co-chaired the 2014-15 United Way community campaign. Mark was named Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year at the 2008 Ottawa Philanthropy Awards and was inducted into the Order of Ottawa in 2016.

Ayaa Mohamad
Manager, Community Development and Engagement
Scadding Court Community Centre

Ayaa Mohamad has over 5 years experience in the non-profit sector working with newcomers and emerging entrepreneurs. Manager, Community Development and Engagement at Scadding Court Community Centre, she leads entrepreneurship- related initiatives focusing on supporting underserved newcomers and women with early-stage business start-up and has presented at numerous conferences on project learnings. An active member of Toronto Neighbourhood Centres’ Civic Engagement Affinity group, with a U of T Honors Degree in Urban Studies, Sociology, and minor in Human Geography, Ayaa is completing a part-time post-graduate certificate in Non-Profit Management at Simon Frasier University. In her spare time she runs a side business as a florist.

Sueling Ching
Interim President & CEO
Ottawa Board of Trade

Sueling Ching is now Interim President & CEO of the Ottawa Board of Trade. Ms. Ching’s connection to the Ottawa business community began three years ago when she accepted the role of CEO at the West Ottawa Board of Trade, one of the predecessor organizations of the current Ottawa Board of Trade. Prior to her time in Ottawa, Sueling spent over twenty years working in a variety of business and community development roles, including as the CEO of the YMCA of Brockville and Area, and then as CEO of the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce. A strong community advocate, Ms. Ching has been involved in many volunteer and charitable projects over the course of her career. More recently, she pursued her interest in entrepreneurship by launching a consulting firm focusing on women’s leadership, community development, and personal wellness.

A4: Levelling the Playing Field

Heather Sheehy
Associate Assistant Deputy Minister
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

Heather Sheehy was appointed to the position of Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic and Service Policy Branch in September 2017. She previously spent three years as the Director of Operations, Machinery of Government at the Privy Council Office. Prior to this she was Chief of Staff to the Deputy Minister at ESDC. Earlier in her career she worked in various departments including Health Canada and (then) Citizenship and Immigration Canada as well as working for two years with the Canadian Medical Association. Heather obtained her undergraduate in politics from Queens University and has a Masters in Public Administration from Dalhousie University.

George Brown
Urbanist and Integral Associate Coach
Integral North

George Brown is a lawyer, urbanist and Integral Associate Coach. He is Principal of Integral North. Prior to this, George spent nine years as President of the Ottawa Community Loan Fund, (OCLF) as well as 9 years as a City and Regional Councillor in Ottawa. As a Councillor, he served as Chair of the City’s Economic Affairs Committee and the Region’s Environmental Services Committee. He has a Master’s of Science Degree in Community Economic Development from New Hampshire College’s Graduate School of Business (now Southern New Hampshire University) and an LL.B. degree from the University of Ottawa Law School. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in September, 2003. George is a Part-Time Professor at the University of Ottawa Law School. He is Chair of United Way Ottawa’s Community Impact Cabinet and a Member of its Board of Directors.

Jane Duchscher
Executive Director
Ottawa Community Loan Fund

Jane Duchscher has been the Executive Director for Ottawa Community Loan Fund since 2017. Prior to her role in Non-For-Profit, she spent 35 years in the Banking Sector where she retired as the Senior Vice President of the Branch Network for Ontario North and East Region.

With an MBA, she is well versed in finance, risk management and developing strategies for sustainability. Jane is committed to making an impact in the community in which she lives through mentoring and community service. She has been a member of several foundation boards and currently serves on the Foundation Board of the Royal Ottawa Hospital.

Jane’s passion is sharing information to make an impact on those newcomers to our city.

Stéphane Giguère
CEO
Ottawa Community Housing

Stéphane Giguère, MPA C. Adm./Adm. A., is the Chief Executive Officer of Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC), the largest affordable housing landlord in the National Capital. With a portfolio, close to $3 billion, OCHC is the fourth largest affordable housing provider in Canada.

Mr. Giguère leads an award-winning organization that directly impacts the lives of over 32,000 residents in 15,000 homes. Stéphane provides strategic direction and leadership to more than 450 employees, 600 contractors and 1,200 volunteers whose specialized skills provide affordable housing to seniors, families, single persons and those living with special needs.

He is committed to serving the community as a board member of Housing Services Corporation, University of Ottawa, Crime Prevention Ottawa as well as the OCH Foundation. He has also served as the Co-Chair of Community Development Framework of Ottawa.

Before joining OCHC in 2014, he spent 20 years in the technology, financial, and broadcasting sectors managing and leading key business, financial and technology transformations across several industries, municipalities and governments.

Mr. Giguère is a seasoned executive and a leader in the development of business partnerships and customer service. His leadership is defined by his steadfast passion for client services and people, seizing business opportunities and leveraging assets. Mr. Giguère has held senior management and executive positions at CBC/Radio-Canada, Scotiabank and Telesat Canada, and was vice-president of Cognicase (acquired by CGI) in Canada and internationally.

A graduate of l’École Nationale d’Administration Publique in Québec City, he holds a Masters degree in Public Administration. As well, Mr. Giguère has completed executive management programs at Queen’s and McGill universities. Since 1994, he has held the designation of Chartered Administrator. He is also a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

A5: Good Practices & Promising Pathways to Employment

Corinne Prince
Director General, Integration Policy
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Corinne first joined Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) 10 years ago as the Director General of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO). She has served as the Director General for Settlement and Integration Policy Branch with IRCC since January 2013, a role that has expanded her connections to settlement partners across Canada.

Between October 2007 and December 2008, Corinne was the Director General of the Labour Market Integration Directorate at HRSDC, responsible for the work of the Foreign Credential Recognition Program, Labour Mobility, the Going to Canada Immigration Portal, and the Skills and Labour Market Information Division (National Occupational Classification system, occupational information and Essential Skills research).

Corinne graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Ottawa in 1985 and received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Calgary in 1991.

Corinne grew up in northern Saskatchewan and now makes her home in Ottawa, Ontario, with her two children.

Magdalene Cooman
Director, Employer Engagement
World Skills Employment Centre

Magdalene Cooman is the Director of Employer Engagement at World Skills Employment Centre and the Manager of a new research project, Empowering Visible Minority Newcomer Women to Succeed in the Canadian Labour Market, which is part of a national research project, Career Pathways for Visible Minority Women. This project is being studied by the Social Development and Research Council and funded by the Government of Canada.

Magdalene has been working with World Skills Employment Centre for the last fifteen years with a focus on increasing labour market integration for newcomers by using a variety of strategies from conceptualizing and writing proposals to working hands-on in the classrooms with newcomers, developing curriculum and training for front line workers and developing employer partnerships to support in the hiring, mentoring and retention of newcomers. In recognition of her contributions, she received a Community Leader’s Award by Immigrant Women Services in 2009.
She is also an entrepreneur with a focus on Inspirational Leadership. She facilitates retreats and workshops for groups and organizations. Her Magazine and blog – Mags Magazine provides inspiration for others to live their ‘soul mission’ through deep reflection and taking action. She embodies ‘empowerment’ for women as part of her soul mission.

Laurie Beckstead
Director, Trades-Talent Link
YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region

Laurie Beckstead is the Director of the Trades Talent Link project at the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region. As a long-time advocate for careers in the skilled trades, Laurie has practical experience in the residential construction industry, as well as teaching in trades diploma and certificate programs at the post-secondary level. Laurie believes that there are good jobs in the trades and takes great pride in demonstrating this to her clients. Since joining the YMCA-YWCA in 2018, she has witnessed the success of clients as they progress through the Y’s trades programming and celebrated their victories when the client has found employment in the trades. Being able to assist clients in their settlement journey is one of the most fulfilling accomplishments in Laurie’s career.

Michelle James
Coordinator, Career Transitions for International Medical Doctors and Health Professionals
Catholic Centre for Immigrants

A Program Coordinator at the Catholic Centre for Immigrants for five years, Michelle also spent 10 years living and working overseas in very diverse environments. After joining CCI in 2014, she began working with the Career Transitions program for International Health Professionals. The program collaborates not only with newcomers, but with health care employers and organizations in the community including Bruyère Research Institute, the Ottawa Heart Institute and CaRMS. With a BA in Psychology from the University of Windsor and post-graduate training from Humber College, Michelle has 20 years of experience in education, employment support, marketing and business. She brings her unique skill set and experience to help internationally trained health professionals integrate into Canada’s health care system.

Closing Remarks

Hindia Mohamoud
Director
Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP)

Hindia Mohamoud has close to twenty years of experience with building community solutions through research, partnership development, and program design. She is currently the director of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership, where she is responsible for facilitating the establishment and implementation of community-wide vision and strategy for improving the settlement and integration of immigrants in Ottawa. Previously, she worked as the director of research at the Social Planning Council and as a director of impact and investment at United Way/Centraide Ottawa. Hindia’s academic background is varied – she holds a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Ottawa and various diplomas in business, management, technology, and communication. She is also fluent in four international languages, including both official languages. Hindia is widely engaged with local social development process and activities.

Ingrid Argyle
Managing Director
Ottawa Employment Hub-Local Employment Planning Council

Ingrid Argyle is the Managing Director of Ottawa Employment Hub, Ottawa’s Local Employment Planning Council. She brings more than twenty years of human capital consulting experience with both public and private sector organizations, including nine years with the global firm Watson Wyatt. She was previously Labour Market Ottawa Project Manager, running the initiative on behalf of the community since it launched in 2011. Ingrid holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, from the Co-operative Program at the University of Waterloo.
She is currently engaged with more than 155 community partners, employers and other stakeholders on nine LEPC strategic initiatives. Ingrid is proud to be an active member/partner of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership, Ottawa Immigrant Data Task Group, Ottawa Board of Trade, and Hire Immigrants Ottawa. Ingrid is an immigrant from Australia who has called Canada home for more than 50 years!