The Citation for Citizenship is an award that honours Canadian individuals for their outstanding contributions in helping immigrants and refugees successfully integrate into Canadian society. It was established under Multiculturalism and Citizenship Canada in 1987 as part of the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of Canadian citizenship. The award aims to recognize volunteer work in support of the citizenship values of freedom, justice, equality and respect for diversity.
2008 Citation for Citizenship Recipients
Vancouver, British Columbia
A professor of Education at the University of British Columbia, Dan Brown has worked tirelessly to help newcomers adapt to life in Canada. With minimal funding, Mr. Brown established a settlement program in 2000 to provide orientation and settlement services to newcomers to the Vancouver area. The organization has grown into a network of 24 dedicated volunteers who assist newcomers in obtaining information about housing, jobs, transportation, schools and the many other issues that immigrants face in their first few months in a new country. Since this program was founded, the former Royal Canadian Navy officer has personally helped over 300 families settle in Canada.
Josephine Enero Pallard
Soon after arriving in Canada in 1967, Josephine Pallard began inviting international students to her home for English classes around her kitchen table. From these humble roots, she helped establish the International and Heritage Languages Association, an organization that today serves about 50 community-based language schools in Edmonton and Calgary with approximately 600 teachers and 12,000 students. Ms. Pollard also founded Changing Together: A Centre for Immigrant Women, and has devoted 24 years to helping newcomers settle in Edmonton. A grade school teacher for over 30 years, she has been recognized in Canada and abroad with many awards, including an honorary degree of laws and the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.
Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan
Since 1964, Ellen Gillies and her husband Art Gillies have together supported hundreds of immigrants, refugees and international students by offering them a place to stay and helping them find jobs and improve their English. This support has also included teaching newcomers about social and everyday life essentials for living in Canada, inviting them to their home and introducing them to Canadian holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Mr. and Mrs.. Gillies have volunteered at numerous organizations throughout their lives, including the Regina Work Preparation Centre, an organization that helps newcomers connect with the Canadian job market. As an employee of SaskPower, Mr. Gillies helped newcomers find placements with the company in order to gain vital Canadian work experience. Since retirement, Mr. Gillies has taught English-as-a-second-language classes at the University of Regina and continues to help newcomers find jobs by volunteering for the CanSask Bridging to Employment Program. Mrs. Gillies spends much of her time driving new immigrants to work, helping them with medical and health issues, and teaching professionals the terminology they need to work in Canada. She can also be found teaching Sunday school, cooking meals and serving food at her local church.
Victor Oh has welcomed immigrants at citizenship ceremonies, organized reaffirmation ceremonies on a regular basis, and has become sought after as a speaker on the importance of citizenship to the community. The Honorary President of the Mississauga Chinese Business Association (MCBA), he invites newcomers to trade shows and networking business seminars that he organizes and has been known to share his personal business contacts with them in order to help them get started in their business ventures. On behalf of the MCBA and the Mississauga Board of Trade, Mr. Oh created the Peel Region Employment Preparation organization, which provides training, career counselling and job placement for newcomers.
Lucy Marco began providing settlement services at the YMCA of Brantford as the sole part-time employee. Since that time, she has built the agency into a community resource that now employs seven people. Ms. Marco has a long history of community involvement, dating back to 1976 when she was a founding member of the International Villages Festival that was established to celebrate Brantford’s ethnic diversity. More than 30 years later, the community celebration is still going strong. In the intervening years, she has served on more than 30 community boards and committees on issues as diverse as antiracism, health, education, self-esteem for teens, and employment and training.
Dr. Anthony Hutchinson is the executive director of the Brampton Neighbourhood Resource Centre which serves over 110,000 families annually. As a volunteer, Dr. Hutchinson’s focus has been on helping youths so that they can realize their potential and become productive members of Canadian society. He has done this through his work with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the Peel District School Board Future Search initiative to support English-as-a-second-language students, and the Malvern Community Coalition, a community-based agency focused on keeping youths away from guns, drugs, gangs and other negative lifestyles. An accomplished author and scholar, Dr. Hutchinson has written extensively on the social determinants of health for urban youths, youth inclusion, community safety and youth engagement.
In 2002, after working as a home care nurse for 20 years, Claudette Taschereau met a newly arrived Colombian family in Québec City. This experience exposed her to the difficulties that newcomers face – finding a place to live in a foreign country, looking for a job and learning a new language. She used her position as President of the Richelieu Club to establish a support group for newcomers that provides a range of services to help them become accustomed to life in Canada. Now retired, she is still helping her community by spearheading fundraising efforts for a streetworker program and remaining active with International Red Cross projects in South America.
Young Sup Chung
Dr. Young Sup Chung is a renowned scientist and academic, and a recipient of the Order of Canada, the Order of Korea and the National Order of Quebec. He was a full professor at the University of Montreal’s Department of Biological Sciences for over 30 years. In 1978, Dr. Chung founded the Korean School of Montreal, which he has led for the past 30 years. The School provides language and cultural training to newcomers to help them adapt to Canada. He also founded Télé-Corée, a television broadcast service to introduce Korean culture to the Canadian public. Dr. Chung is active in his church, and supports fundraising efforts for health-care facilities and the arts.
Dharam Pal Verma
Since arriving in Canada in 1974, Mr. Verma has immersed himself in community work, personally helping more than one hundred individuals adapt and settle in Canada. This work made him realize that there needed to be more support for immigrants. To address this need, he established three community organizations that help newcomers from India settle in Montréal. A successful businessman, Mr. Verma has a genuine desire to help others and he is also a strong supporter of Indian arts and culture. He has played a leadership role in his community in fundraising efforts for victims of earthquakes in India and Pakistan and the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami disaster.
Cornwall, Prince Edward Island
A long-time volunteer in his community, Ted Grant is devoted to helping immigrants settle in Prince Edward Island. In 2003, he helped an immigrant family start a restaurant in that province and became inspired by their determination and the story of their journey from Africa. He made a commitment to helping their home community of Mikinduri, Kenya. Initially, Mr. Grant started by raising funds to ship a container of goods to the village. Soon, however, he was recruiting others to his cause and is now planning the first of many missions to the African village. Mikinduri is now twinned with Cornwall, P.E.I., and has benefited from new wells for clean water, food supplies, a new orphanage and improvements in medical and vision care.
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