The Rotary Club of
St Thomas
16June21 Cultural Diversity and STELIP
23Jun21 – Changeover meeting at location of Rotary Park Aylmer 5PM
Bill Horn is back in Canada for a while. Maggie remains in Ohio with family doing her exercises and having physio. 
Skateboarder Sophi Grant will not be going to the Olympics. She fell and was injured making it impossible for her to compete this year.  She is hopeful for participation in the next Summer Olympics in three years. 
Our club is ordering 60 tulip packages of tulips; a portion of sales go to our club.
This week is the end of the International Conference, we can sign up for next year in Huston TX.
There are only 2 cases of Polio in this calendar year thus far, one in Pakistan and one in Afghanistan.
Nancy introduced Petrusia Hontar; she has an impressive and long bio.
see videos of immigrant stories:
St Thomas Elgin Local Immigration Partnership (STELIP) does not provide direct services (translation services is an exception), but works collaboratively with other community organizations to support newcomers to Canada and our region. 
Taken from their website:
The STELIP is a collaborative community initiative to facilitate the development and implementation of sustainable solutions for the successful integration of newcomers to St. Thomas and the County of Elgin.
Our Vision
St. Thomas and Elgin County communities will be a culturally diverse, welcoming, caring, and inclusive community that will retain current residents, welcome newcomers, and provide them the opportunity to successfully integrate, contribute to, and benefit from social, cultural, and economic inclusion.
Our Principles
To ensure that the work of those associated with the initiative promotes inclusivity, the following principles have been adopted:
Inclusivity – The work of the Council and the members of working committees will be inclusive of all immigrants in the St. Thomas-Elgin community regardless of their immigration status, citizenship, age, gender, health status, sexual orientation, and number of years in the community. The Council shall work towards equal participation while promoting social justice.
Collaboration – A working relationship will be developed between the host community and the immigrant community to build a welcoming, caring, and inclusive environment.
Empowerment – Our work will strive to promote new immigrants’ capacity to live their lives with the ability to be economically stable, live in adequate housing, and provide for themselves and their families through their own means and their own decisions.
Sustainability – A plan shall be developed to ensure that the work of the STELIP Council will continue to make improvements to immigrants’ experiences and the community as a whole.
Our Priorities
In 2020 STELIP began to implement their new strategic plan, increase community measurement, and work towards a Theory of Change model with the aim that by 2025 80% of newcomers to St. Thomas Elgin will progress from settlement to integration within 5 years of arriving in St. Thomas or Elgin County. With the implementation of a new Strategic Plan the priority areas have also been updated. The new areas of focus have been redefined as:  
  • Workforce Development and Employer Supports 
  • Community Readiness 
  • Equitable Supports 
  • Education 
  • Civic and Social Inclusion 
A newcomer is an immigrant that has been in Canada for less than 5 years and is not comfortable navigating life in Canada.
Re visible minorities in Canada taken from Statistics Canada:
In Canada, over seven million Canadians identified as a member of a visible minority group in the 2016 Census, accounting for 22.3% of the total population - hence, at least 23.8% of Canada's population in 2012 were individuals of a visible minority and/or of Aboriginal heritage.
By 2031, 29% to 32% of Canada's population—between 11.4 and 14.4 million people—could belong to a visible minority group, which is nearly double the proportion (16%) and more than double the number (5.3 million) reported in 2006. In contrast, the rest of the population is projected to increase by up to 12%.
Re Immigration Streams:
  1. Taken from Permanent Resident Status (rights)
  • Health care coverage plus access to most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive
  • Live, work or study anywhere in Canada
  • Apply for Canadian citizenship
  • Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
To be eligible to apply for a PR Card you must (see link above to Canadian Citizenship)
  • Have permanent resident status
  • Be physically present in Canada
  • Not be a Canadian citizen or a registered Indian under the Indian Act
  • Not be under an effective removal order
  • Not be convicted of an offense
  1. An Economic immigrant has acquired education, skills outside of Canada. They comprise 30% of the immigrant population to Canada and 25% of immigrants in Elgin.
  2. A Family sponsored immigrant has family already in Canada that sponsor them. They make up 35% of the immigrant population. They may or may not come with education or skills.
Petrucia also spoke about the origin of immigrants to the county and most come from Mexico, US and UK. One local greenhouse has workers from Honduras through the FARM program.
STELIP  wants to prevent the isolation of immigrants through the Canada Connects program. It also encourages volunteerism and our club can help with that.
Petrucia showed pictures of immigrants from Islamic, Hindu and Mennonite faiths talking to each other, in a recent forum. Your editor was unable to find that on STELIP or the library website.
International day for Elimination of Discrimination will be 26-27 June21.
Local immigrants are reaching out to us through food, see below:
STELIP offers translation services. Nancy pointed out that translation costs $40 per hour plus transportation costs. Our club has a few people who are multi lingual or are immigrants.
Nancy, Malcolm, and Stew and Trish attended at the Islamic Centre (former Trinity Anglican Church building) to pay respects. It was a sobering experience. The members there are wanting to volunteer. They have or will invite people from the community; see their website
Q&A & comments
Nancy wants to set up a time to open up to the immigrant community.
Malcom asked 2 thoughtful and excellent questions. 1-Does STELIP involve itself with other minorities like First Nations, Metis, Arctic aboriginals? Apparently not.
2- Do newcomers buy into Canadian culture? Do newcomers have mentors to help them understand Canadian culture? There was a prolonged period of silence from Petrucia followed with a vague response. They are working on this. Politicians have tried to define what Canadian culture is for immigration purposes but have been shut down.
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Jun 23, 2021
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
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