Note from the Editor:
Below you will read an email send to us by Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport. For considering it of the interest of our readers, we share it here.
Thank you for participating in the Hispanic/Latin American Leaders Roundtable held on January 15, 2018 in my office. The objective of the meeting was to ask how I can best serve the Hispanic/Latin American community at the federal level. Below is a summary of the meeting and follow-up:
To ensure that we have comprehensive representation from the Hispanic/Latin American community (“the community”), I would kindly request that you send my office the names and contact information for other leaders in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area who should be invited to future discussions. This information should include the name, title, organization, email address and cell numbers of each leader. We would also be grateful if you could also recommend leading Hispanic/Latin American media and publications.
One of the main issues raised during the Roundtable was education. In particular, we discussed the current high high-school dropout rate of youth within the community. I committed to examining what, if any, federal government funding exists to help address this issue.
There were two main issues regarding immigration that we discussed. The first dealt with the lack of success that some applicants from the community are having with temporary resident visa applications. As I mentioned, approximately 85% of these applications are successful, with the remaining 15% being refused due a variety of factors, including incomplete or improperly completed forms. I have attached a checklist used by my office to help ensure that future applications are completed as accurately as possible. Please feel free to distribute widely.
The second issue raised concerned the situation of undocumented Hispanic/Latin American workers in Canada. This is an issue I have been seized with for three years. I am committed to working with the community on this issue and welcome all ideas and support.
Temporary Foreign Workers
Another focus of our discussion was on the mistreatment of temporary foreign workers in the agricultural and other sectors. I mentioned that The Honourable Patricia A. Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, is conducting consultations on employment standards. This consultation will not be taking place in-person, but rather online. I would encourage you to share your thoughts on issues such as labour rules and standards that impact temporary foreign workers at the following link: https://esdc-consultations.canada.ca/modern-labour-standards. This consultation process is open until January 31, 2018.
National Housing Strategy
In response to the need that was expressed for a Hispanic seniors centre, I mentioned the Government of Canada’s recently announced 10-year, $40 billion National Housing Strategy as a possible source of funding. An agreement between the Governments of Canada and Ontario should be completed soon which will detail the ways in which some of these funds will be administered in the province. I encourage you to continue working on the proposal for a Hispanic seniors centre and look forward to receiving the details once complete.
I encourage you to get back to me with one event that is celebrated within the community to which I would be able to invite the Prime Minister of Canada. Please send me ideas and dates as soon as possible.
I am a proud Hispanic Canadian and am honoured to continue to proudly represent the Hispanic/Latin American communities in Ottawa.