The last week of the Multicultural Council’s Q&A project deals with background checks and cultural exposure

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The Moose Jaw Multicultural Council ends its Q&A round with a final round of answers, as organizers reflect on the success of the project.

The Moose Jaw Multicultural Council ends its Q&A round with a final round of answers, as organizers reflect on the success of the project.

Kaleigh Pousett, Community Connections Coordinator, thanked residents who submitted questions to the Q&A Project and those who took the time to read the articles.

“This Q&A project has been very eye-opening for me and my colleagues and I hope it has enlightened you as well,” she said. “It gave us insight into common questions as well as misconceptions people have in our own community about newcomers.

“I did a lot of research for this, so I also learned a lot in the process. The classic cliché, ‘Don’t believe everything you hear,’ rings really true here,” Pousett continued. we can learn so much from the internet, it’s a good reminder to be careful and not believe everything you hear.

Pousett encouraged people to check facts, read deeply and widely, conduct independent research, find different sources of information, and get to know new immigrant residents.

“It’s amazing what we can learn just by making a new friend,” she added.

Week 1 of the Q&A is here, week 2 is here, and week 3 is here.

Q&A Week 4

The final week of the Multicultural Counseling Q&A series focuses on background checks and exposure to new cultures.

Why does the government not do proper background checks on people who come to live in Canada? My family in the 1900s had to stay at Ellis Island for three months before they were allowed to enter Canada. Now it seems our government doesn’t care who they let in, criminals and all. The crime rate has increased dramatically over the past three decades. Visit the Corrections Canada information site.

It is commonly accepted that immigrants, especially refugees, are allowed to come to Canada no matter who they are. But it’s wrong. Although security screening has changed a great deal since the arrival of your ancestors, it is no less rigorous.

Rather than 3 months, individuals and families can wait up to several years to come to Canada, and they undergo a series of rigorous checks before arriving. The difference is that we now have technologies and communication systems that allow us to start this process in advance, rather than waiting for them to arrive.

These checks include background checks, fingerprinting, interviews, and document authentication. The Canadian government works with the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the RCMP and foreign law enforcement (if possible) to conduct these checks.

If there is reason to believe that individuals pose a danger to the Canadian public, they are refused entry. In addition, they undergo medical examinations before and after their arrival in Canada.

Unfortunately, I (Pousett) couldn’t find the information you cited about rising crime rates. I put your question to a local police officer, who informed me that tracking crime rates is complicated. The types of crimes have changed over the past 30 years, as have the news and police coverage of crimes.

Crime has fluctuated due to many variables, but there is no statistical evidence that newcomers contribute to higher crime rates in Canada.

When minority ethnic groups are overrepresented in crime, this correlates with vulnerability and poverty rather than with immigration and past criminal behavior. Security checks do their best to prevent dangerous individuals from immigrating to Canada, but that cannot prevent people from becoming involved in crime once they arrive here.

It is possible that people who enter Canada are often vulnerable and, once they arrive here, are more likely to be involved in organized crime.

Remember, everyone: check the facts! Check these answers, even. Many myths circulate.

As a relatively newcomer – but having had the good fortune to live in different countries and societies – my perception is that Moose Jaw still needs to amplify exposure to new cultures in the community. Am I right?

Yes, we still have a lot of work to do in Moose Jaw regarding cultural exposure. Racism and cultural isolation are still prevalent, and minorities can have a very hard time here. This shouldn’t be excused, but a tiny bit of context might be helpful in understanding where we’re coming from.

The pioneers who came to southern Saskatchewan were largely of European descent, and many came here to farm. Agriculture developed as an industry during the 20th century and remains a driving economic force in our region. For this reason, Moose Jaw exists among many rural and farming communities made up primarily of people of European ancestry.

This, combined with its small population, means that people living here long-term have had fewer opportunities to interact with immigrants from places such as the Middle East, Africa or Asia. The demographics have changed significantly over the past 10-15 years, and there is a rapidly growing multicultural community here now.

But the opportunities for cross-cultural interaction are even less than they would be in a large urban center, and people can resist this demographic change. People often fear ignorance. It’s a slow process.

That being said, there are good changes happening in our city. Committees, initiatives and events in Moose Jaw actively seek greater cultural exposure and integration.

These include the City of Moose Jaw Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee, the Prairie Skies Immigrant Advisory Table, the Welcoming Francophone Communities initiative, the Motif Multicultural Festival, the Center d welcoming newcomers and others.

If you want to work on community integration for newcomers to Moose Jaw, Prairie Skies Integration Network is a good place to start. There is a place for everyone to engage in this work. If you are looking for other ways to connect with newcomers, you are welcome to contact Kaleigh at MJMC by emailing [email protected]

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