CORNWALL, Ontario – To showcase support for new Canadians, TR Leger Immigrant Services commemorated Welcoming Week.
From September 10-19, 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) celebrates Welcoming Week, an international celebration that brings together new and long-time residents to build strong connections and foster a sense of belonging.
TR Leger Immigrant Services (TRLIS) celebrated at the TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education, Cornwall Campus in collaboration with its Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and English as a Second Language (ESL) students.
“For TR Leger School, Welcoming Week is about inspiring people to think about what we can do to ensure everyone thrives and feels welcomed,” says TR Leger Principal Sandy McInnes. “We affirm the importance of the values that unite us as neighbors, friends, and colleagues, regardless of where we come from.”
TR Leger Immigrant Services Settlement Outreach Worker, Rabia Zeeshan, moved to Canada in 2003 and says this experience can last more than a moment. From language barriers to cultural differences, feeling excluded can take years to overcome, which is why she says it’s so important to recognize Welcoming Week and the message behind it.
“Because we all know how it feels to be excluded, we also know how to make others feel they belong to our community,” she says. “When that happens, communities can fully harness the strengths, talents, and contributions of each person to build shared prosperity. This Welcoming Week, let’s declare that we all have the power to help others, regardless of their background and to make them feel like they are seen, embraced, welcomed, and included in our communities.”
“All people, no matter where we are from, our backgrounds, and how we got here, deserve to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect,” says TR Leger Vice-Principal and Immigrant Services Manager Tracy Armstrong. “Welcoming Week is more than being nice and saying welcome to our community. It is also about the benefits for our region and our economy. We need more high skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs for our community to prosper.”
TR Leger Immigrant Services has been assisting newcomers to Eastern Ontario since 2008. TRLIS is a part of the Upper Canada District School Board and operates under the TR Leger School. TRLIS is funded by IRCC, and is dedicated to serving permanent residents, live-in-caregivers and convention refugees with settlement and immigration needs.