Municipal, federal agencies join for newcomer info fair

The Scarborough Civic Centre was transformed into a municipal and federal services bazaar on Nov. 8. It included every facet of community services the public should be aware of to be informed about vital information that can affect their well being.

News about employment, education, health care and volunteering needs were available with information booths and employees standing by to offer material and answer questions.

The event was organized by Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) South Scarborough, which covers the communities of Dorset Park, Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park and Scarborough Village. LIP is a division of Catholic Cross-cultural Services and funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Karen Evans of the Toronto District School Board was present to offer information on the educational opportunities provided to the community.

“We have three streams for newcomers who need language for banking, shopping and paying bills, or need to train for employment,” she said. “We offer services to have their credentials analyzed to see what next steps are needed to be taken to have their current education accredited.”

Karen Evans of the TDSB discusses integration between municipal and federal organizations for the Nov. 8 services bazaar at Scarborough Civic Centre.

[audio:http://www.torontoobserver.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/KarenEvans.mp3]

Another information agent, Barbara Binns, shared why the partnership event is helpful to the community.

“What’s happening now is we’re zeroing in on neighbourhoods and getting local community partners to look at each community to see what the public needs,” she said.

Some of the service providers in attendance were the Toronto Public Library, Toronto Public Health, Progress Career Planning Institute, Toronto Employment and Social Services and Service Canada.

“We’re here to tell the community where they can go to get health care if they’re a new Canadian waiting to receive their health card, or if they need information towards community events, education and employment,” Nasimullah Nasimullah said, an ambassador for LIP.

New Canadians are encouraged to visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website, cic.gc.ca or call 1-888-242-2100 for more information.