Ontario Award for Leadership in Immigrant Employment

WIL Employment Connections was recently recognized by the Province of Ontario by receiving the province’s first-ever award for Leadership in Immigrant Employment.  On December 3rd, 2013, the Hon. Michael Couteau, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, recognized the 5 recipients of the 2013 Award in the Ontario Legislature.

Hon. Michael Coteau: I rise today to recognize the first recipients of the Ontario Award for Leadership in Immigrant Employment. Our government created this award to acknowledge the important role that employers play in the success of newcomers and the economic growth of our province.

It has been a very exciting year for new and prospective Ontarians as we continue to implement our government’s immigration strategy. We’ve reached some milestones and have laid the groundwork to meet many more in the months to come.

If I had to give this year a theme, it would be job creation. Over the past several months, I have been travelling the province in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to speak with employers about immigration policies and their hiring practices. It has given me a better understanding of the needs and chal-lenges that Ontario employers face, and it has given me insight into what is needed to find the right approaches for our diverse communities.

The message from those consultations is that employers need all levels of government to make the process as smooth as possible when hiring the best and the brightest. Through the various pillars of the immigration strategy, we are doing our part. Our government is committed to ensuring that newcomers and their families receive the training and supports necessary to be successful here in Ontario.

But it’s ultimately employers who put the talents of newcomers to work. So to recognize the good work that is already under way in the province, we created the Ontario Award for Leadership in Immigrant Employment. Five outstanding recipients from across the province received the award this year at the Ontario Economic Summit.

Marion Annau was recognized in the champion category as the founder of Connect Legal in Toronto, the first legal services clinic of its kind in Canada. It has helped over 1,000 low-resource small business owners get started through one-to-one legal advice and inter-active workshops.

WIL Employment was also honoured in the champion category. Since 1984, WIL Employment has been helping immigrants achieve success in London, Ontario, by helping them find opportunities and adapt to changing expectations in the workplace. They leverage their broad scope and community connections to provide personalized help to the clients they serve, which also has a direct impact on the community at large.

Dyversity Communications took home an award in the employer category for connecting Canadians and global brands with a growing number of ethnic consumers in Canada. Based in Thornhill, almost the entire team is first-generation immigrants, and the company invests its resources towards hiring, training and retaining its employees.

Joseph Ng was recognized in the entrepreneur category, as the founder of JNE Consulting Ltd., a full-service, multidisciplinary engineering firm in Hamilton that serves a wide range of industries. His group of companies employs hundreds of professionals, many of whom are new Canadians.

Mount Sinai Hospital was also selected in the employer category, as an employer of a diverse team of nurses, physicians and clinicians, which serves the diverse Toronto community. They support their staff through mentorship, training and strategic partnerships, so that their patients benefit from culturally sensitive, expert care.

Representatives from the hospital are here in the gallery today. Welcome. Let’s give them a big round of applause.

Mr. Speaker, these champions of immigrant success in the workplace are vital to building a stronger economy. They are innovators and job creators. These are organizations that look beyond origin and recruit based on attitude, drive and skill.

It gives me great pleasure to celebrate employers who are making the most of the province’s diverse workforce. They support our government’s economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

These employers are a model for others to follow for the continued growth and prosperity of Ontario’s economy and society. I am happy to hold them up as examples and to share their successes here today with my colleagues here in the Ontario Legislature.