Every year Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada) helps thousands of refugees settle in Canada. Through various organizations, immigrants can learn English and French, find a job, get integrated into society and begin their lives anew. Canada has a long tradition of being a safe haven for refugees. With each passing year, that tradition becomes stronger and deep rooted in its culture. Places like Vancouver welcome and readily accept newcomers. These immigrants are forever grateful to Canada for giving them a fresh start. They begin to love Canada not by force but by choice.
Vancouver is Canada’s Pacific gateway for thousands of newcomers who arrive every year to start a new life.
For Carolina Garcia and her family, Vancouver is also a safe haven from violence. They were forced to leave their home in Cali, Colombia when Carolina’s father, a former union organizer, was threatened by guerrillas.
Canada has a long tradition of providing protection to people like the Garcia family. Each year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada helps over 10 thousand refugees resettle here.
Carolina’s family took their first steps into this country through the Welcome House of Immigrant Services Society. Many similar organizations provide settlement services for newcomers. The counselors can help you learn to speak English or French, refer you to other services within your community and help you find a job.
Counselor Paula Hokama has set up the Garcia family with English classes, schooling, affordable housing and health care – a life path. She knows that integrating people to a new society is a balancing act.
Paula Hokama/Integration Counselor
“The attitude they come with the moment they arrive in Canada – that is crucial. The hardest part is to be able to overcome their past and move on to the future.”
With help, Carolina and her family have found work, a new purpose and are ready to become Canadian.
Carolina Garcia/Permanent Resident
“I love this country. Because they gave me the opportunity to start again. It’s my country right now.”
Video length: 2:03 minutes