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Newcomers’ choice of destination in Canada makes a difference


Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary. These are the cities most newcomers think of when planning their move to Canada.

Big cities offer big opportunities, they reason. Others find smaller towns can offer big rewards for newcomers. 

Deciding where to settle becomes easier if one is armed with information about the lifestyle, healthcare and quality of education newcomers can expect in the cities of their choice. Information provided by Canadian Immigrant Integration Project (CIIP) at sessions it conducts for newcomers in their home cities. 

Here, a few newcomers share their stories: 

Raman Jha, Senior Business Analyst, Telus, Vancouver, British Columbia: “Equipped with the information provided by the CIIP session in New Delhi, India, my wife and I made a well-informed decision about our destination in Canada. We arrived in Vancouver fully prepared for the new life that awaited us. We had a great experience with CIIP. Owing to the information we received at the orientation session, we made our destination choice around a variety of factors such as job search, accommodation, money and banking, healthcare, education, and driving. I landed a job as a Senior Business Analyst with Telus, which would not have been possible without CIIP. CIIP is making a real difference in the preparation to help newcomers hit the ground running and this very likely translates into higher success rates for new immigrants.”

Pravin Kedar, Occupational Therapist, Promed Rehabilitation Clinic, North York, Ontario: “I have a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from India. I practised as an occupational therapist for seven years before I decided to move to Canada. I am currently employed with Promed Rehabilitation Clinic in North York, Ontario. I also work independently and do assessments of patients suffering from accidental injuries. 

“I believe the most important thing that the CIIP counsellor provided me was the referral to a Canadian Overseas Mentorship Experience course. So while still in India, I enrolled in a free online course where I met an occupational therapist from Canada who volunteered to become my mentor during my transition phase. We communicated regularly during the course and after I landed in Canada. We discussed the occupational therapy examination preparation, and my mentor informed me about the licensing procedure as well as of the practice course that is offered free-of-charge by McMaster University. Attending this course helped me tremendously to get familiarized with Canadian occupational therapy practice. Since my occupation is regulated in Canada, my first goal was to get licensed. I developed many contacts with Canadian occupational therapists through the preparation course I enrolled in. I prepared my resumé with the help of my mentor, and I sent it to as many potential employers as possible. I also attended job search workshops, read about the interview process in Canada and practised having mock interviews with colleagues. I heard about my current job through a friend who attended the same preparatory course with me. I applied and was offered a job as an occupational therapist in a rehabilitation agency.

“I would advise immigrants to research the licensing procedure for their occupation and have their credentials assessed while still in their home country. Be prepared for initial shocks; enrol in free, online courses such as Orientation to Canadian Healthcare System, Culture and Context; mentorship courses; and, the occupational therapy examination preparation and practice course. Be prepared for clinical placements in Canada; they are very useful for gaining knowledge about the Canadian health care system.”

Pathik Shukla, Sales and Marketing Agent, Diversey Inc., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan:  “I arrived in Toronto from India in August 2010. I found employment 20 days after landing in Canada in my field,  sales and marketing. I started looking for jobs with an open mind to settle anywhere. I very well remembered the advice given to me by CIIP counsellors that getting a job in smaller cities could sometimes be easier and would be good for earning and saving. The following month, I received an offer to join Diversey Inc. as a Sales and Marketing Agent, if I would consider moving to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

“I was in sales and marketing in India and I was interested in a job in the same field. So I moved with my wife and child to Saskatoon and we love it. It is really a wonderful city to live in.

“Attending the CIIP session taught me how and where to start looking for a job in Canada. I was referred to COSTI Immigrant Services so I contacted the organization by e-mail while still in India. COSTI advisors cleared many of my doubts with regards to settlement. Besides job placement, I found answers to my questions concerning my son’s school admission, applying for a SIN card, etc. I had a feeling of relaxation after the CIIP session and I felt more confident to face the challenges in this new country. I am grateful to the CIIP team for giving my family a realistic picture of Canada before we landed.

“I also used the Working in Canada Tool before leaving India to make myself well-acquainted with the skills and knowledge required to hunt for a job. This tool helped me to understand clearly the entire job search process. The tip I would like to share with newcomers is to be ready to relocate to small places, rather than look for jobs only in large cities like Toronto or Vancouver. 

“Small places have better living standards and a lower cost of living. There is less competition, and facilities are more or less of the same standard as in big Canadian cities.
                             – Courtesy CIIP
                             – Courtesy CIIP


Posted: Sep 1, 2014

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