February 19, 2010
Media Release

York Region appoints members to Community Partnership Council

Community representatives come together to improve immigrant settlement in York Region
Find Backgrounder at the end of this Release
 
NEWMARKET ??" York Regional Council is pleased to announce the appointment of members to the Community Partnership Council (CPC), a collaboration developed in response to the Government of Canada’s launch of the Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) initiative.
 
The 2010 York Region CPC is comprised of individuals representing a variety of community stakeholder groups who bring a wide range of professional and personal experience.
 
“York Region’s Community Partnership Council provides organizations in our community with an excellent opportunity to develop a made-in-York Region Immigration Settlement Strategy,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “By identifying strategic directions for improving immigration services, the CPC will play a vital role in the development of our communities over the coming years.”
 
The CPC will work toward developing a York Region Immigration Settlement Strategy that will:
• Improve access to and coordination of immigrant integration services (settlement services, language training and labour market integration)
• Improve labour market outcomes for immigrants
• Strengthen regional awareness and capacity to successfully integrate immigrants
 
“The Local Immigration Partnership will strengthen the role of York Region and local communities to serve and integrate immigrants,” said Town of Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Co-Chair of the CPC.  “The Council will draw from community stakeholder expertise to identify and support immigrants to York Region.”
 
According to the 2006 Census, 46,460 recent immigrants arrived between 2001 and 2006 to The Regional Municipality of York.  This represents the third-highest number of recent immigrants in Ontario behind the City of Toronto and Peel Region, and the sixth largest in Canada.
 
“It can take up to 15 years for an immigrant to integrate both economically and socially into our community,” said Town of Markham Deputy Mayor Jack Heath, Chair of the Region’s Community and Health Services Committee.  “For the first time, municipalities working with community partners and senior levels of government will play a key role to more quickly integrate and build a stronger network for immigrants.”
 
The Region has partnered on the LIP initiative with York Region’s first and major provider of immigrant settlement services, the Catholic Community Services of York Region (CCSYR).
 
“Partnering with The Regional Municipality of York on the LIP initiative and collaborating with community stakeholders is instrumental in reaching the common goal of improving integration for newcomers to York Region,” said Stephen Lam, Director of Immigrant Services and Community Programs, CCSYR and Co-Chair of the CPC.  “We need comprehensive planning and concerted effort to formulate strategy in addressing issues of settlement and integration faced by immigrants in York Region.” 
      
The initiative is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada under the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement. 
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 4016 / After-hours Cell: 905 716-9753
Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca
 

Media Backgrounder
 
Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of the Town of Markham and Co-Chair of the Community Partnership Council
Frank Scarpitti was elected Mayor of the Town of Markham in 2006 for the four-year term ending in 2010.  He is an Ex Officio member of all Town Committees as well as serving on York Regional Council.  Mayor Scarpitti was elected Regional Councillor for Markham in 1985. He was re-elected in 1988 and again in 1991 when he became Deputy Mayor of the Town.  At the Regional level, he has served as Chair of the York Region Planning and Economic Development Committee and of the York Region Inclusivity Action Plan Committee and as a member of the Finance, Transit and Solid Waste Committees.  In May 2007, York Regional Council appointed Mayor Scarpitti to the York Regional Police Services Board.  The Mayor also serves on the Markham Theatre Board of Directors, the Rouge Park Alliance, the Markham Stouffville Hospital Board and is Vice-Chair of PowerStream.  Mayor Scarpitti has championed a number of forward-thinking initiatives including the 2007 Smart Growth Summit.
 
Stephen Lam, Director, Settlement & Community Programs, Catholic Community Services of York Region (CCSYR) and Co-Chair of the Community Partnership Council
Director of Immigrant Services and Community Programs with CCSYR since 2003, Stephen is responsible for immigrant settlement and integration services funded by both the federal and provincial governments.  He also served as the Central East Regional Director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) for seven years, representing York Region, Simcoe County, Durham Region and Peterborough.  He was involved with the former Human Services Planning Coalition of York Region since its inception, representing the Immigrant Settlement Services Sector.  ¬¬¬He has advocated for a diverse strategy in addressing issues of immigrants in York Region for the past 16 years and has played a key role in the establishment of the Inclusivity Action Plan and the development of the Welcome Centre for Immigrants.  Stephen was also involved in the Diversity and Inclusivity Project of the United Way of York Region.  Stephen sits on various advisory committees of federal-funded programs.  Stephen has experience working in both government and non-government settings in the areas of policy, planning and program development in his career in social work for over 40 years.
 
Bill Fisch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Regional Municipality of York
In his fourth term as the Region’s Chairman and CEO, Chairman Fisch is a results-oriented leader with a proven track record of bringing people and organizations together to address important community needs.  A team builder with an in-depth knowledge of a wide variety of services provided by all levels of government, Chairman Fisch is known for his ability to develop partnerships.  His visionary plans in the area of municipal service delivery and his ability to establish clear and concise policies have resulted in the introduction of new, innovative programs for the citizens of York Region.  While increasing service delivery levels, Chairman Fisch continues to enhance the Region’s position as one of the best places in Ontario to live, work and play.
 
Lina Bigioni, Director of Government Relations and Executive Assistant to the Chairman, The Regional Municipality of York
Lina is a seasoned government relations professional with more than 20 years of experience in municipal government.  In her work, she has established partnerships among all levels of government for projects such as the Viva Rapid Transit Service ??" recently recognized as the most innovative transit system in North America by the American Public Transportation Association.  Lina is also a dedicated community volunteer and activist who has worked tirelessly on many issues including mental health and has received many awards for her achievements.
 
Robert Cazzola, Director Education & Information Systems, COSTI Immigrant Services
Robert is responsible for providing a broad range of service to immigrants and refugees in the Toronto area.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Cazzola worked as Director of Social Services for COSTI and in Inuvik for the Department of Social Services of the Government of the Northwest Territories.  Mr. Cazzola has been a very active volunteer in the immigrant community.
 
Janice Chu, Director, Community Investment, United Way of York Region (UWYR)
Janice provides leadership in the area of fund distribution, community resources and community engagement and research.  “Newcomers/Immigrants” is one of UWYR’s five current funding priorities. Janice has provided staff support to UWYR’s Leading Ethno-racial Access Dialogue (LEAD) initiative promoting diversity and inclusivity in human services organizations.  Janice co-chaired the Volunteer and Leadership Development Working Group of the Region’s Inclusivity Action Plan from 2005 to 2007.
 
Patricia Cousins, Chief Executive Officer, Social Enterprise for Canada (SEC)
Pat developed, structured and launched SEC, the first blended business and benevolent service organization in Canada.  SEC is committed and focused toward public good and the provision of social services within the context of culture, community and family.  SEC has a developed expertise in the healthy development of children and youth and issues of equity, diversity and access to services for members of ethnically diverse communities.
 
Usha George, Ph.D., Professor and Dean, Ryerson University, Faculty of Community Services
A Professor and Dean at Ryerson University since 2006 and previously with the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, Dr. George held the Royal Bank Chair in Applied Social Work Research at the University of Toronto.  The focus of Dr. George's professional activity has been in the area of social work with diverse communities with focuses on social development, newcomer settlement, integration, diversity and organizational change.
 
Nella Iasci, Executive Director, Job Skills
Nella has extensive experience in the community-based employment and training sector, as well as specifically working with immigrants and newcomers.  She gained her experience through several front-line and management positions, including working as a settlement worker, teaching ESL, developing and coordinating programs which provide Canadian Work Experience, a component needed to complete the employment continuum for many newcomers and immigrants.  Most recently she has had a hand in the planning, development and implementation of the Welcome Centre Immigrant Services model in York Region.  Nella is currently a member of the Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects (ONESTEP) Board and is a member of the Opening Doors Project - a local labour market partnership in York Region.
 
Carla Palmer, Operations Director, Community Programs, Partnerships, & Alliances, York Central Hospital
Carla brings over 25 years of health care management and leadership experience across the hospital, primary health care and community sectors, including one and a half years overseas in Nigeria, West Africa as a CUSO volunteer.  She is the Operations Director of Community Programs, Partnerships and Alliances at York Central Hospital with program responsibilities including mental health, chronic kidney disease and continuing care.  She is also the corporate lead for community engagement and health equity, and chairs the hospital’s Diversity Council. 
Mirella Tersigni, Community Development Coordinator, Recreation and Culture, City of Vaughan
As Community Development Coordinator for the Recreation and Culture Department, Mirella’s areas of focus have been the development of Youth Strategy 2009 and identifying and addressing youth needs.  Mirella provides support and assists with diverse programming, initiatives and events citywide along with developing partnerships with community organizations to help deliver programs and services to priority areas/groups.
 
Sandra Tam, Manager, Markham Small Business Enterprise Centre, Town of Markham
Sandra successfully established the Markham Small Business Enterprise Centre (MSBEC) as one of the leading resource centres for the small business community in Markham.  The MSBEC is a co-venture of the Town of Markham and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.  Sandra develops and implements programs to meet social and entrepreneurial needs of new Canadians and works with small to medium-sized companies, immigrant agencies and ethnic business groups. 
 
Elizabeth McIsaac, Executive Director, Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC)
Established in 2003 by the Maytree Foundation, TRIEC has focussed on creating and championing solutions to better integrate skilled immigrants in the labour market.  TRIEC has focussed particularly on working with employers to address the challenges they face and to build their capacity to include and integrate immigrants in their workplaces.  Elizabeth has also held various positions at the Maytree Foundation, most recently as the Director of Policy.
 
Tricia Myatt, Manager, Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of the CAO,
Town Of Richmond Hill
Tricia is responsible for leading overall corporate projects on behalf of the organization.  Recently, Tricia has been involved in the implementation of the Town's newest Strategic Plan, "A Plan for People, A Plan for Change," approved in 2009.  In addition, she led the development of the Town's Customer Service Strategy approved by Council in 2005 and the establishment of the Town's one-window contact centre, known as Access Richmond Hill, which began operations in 2008.
 
Serge Paul, Community Liaison Officer, Conseil scolaire de district du Centre-Sud-Ouest
Centre de formation (French school board for the south west centre region of Ontario)
Serge is involved with organizations that assist with immigration, employment integration and settlement services for students and their families.  Serge fosters and maintains relations between various organizations and the school board and works diligently to seek new resources, ideas and concepts around immigration, employment integration and settlement services, providing the best resources available to a number of school communities in the south west centre region, which includes York Region.
 
Cecil Roach, Superintendent of Education, York Region District School Board
Mr. Cecil Roach has had the opportunity to have a very profound impact on the lives of young people.  Mr. Roach believes that schools are places where students, regardless of their ethnic background or socio-economic status, can expand dreams on their journey towards full participation in Canadian society.  He has served as High School Principal, Board Leader for the York Region District School Board’s Student Success initiative and Special Assistant to Director of Education. 
 
Leanne Rosteing, ESL/ELD Teacher, Assessment, York Catholic District School Board
A high school English and French teacher, Leanne has taught with the York Catholic District School Board since 1991, primarily teaching English, ESL and serving students as a Guidance counsellor.  Leanne is currently working at the board office in the ESL/ELD Newcomer Reception Centre.  Leanne manages the centre and performs assessments on newcomer students, providing orientation for students and their families on high school programs.
 
Inspector Ricky Veerappan, York Regional Police
Inspector Ricky Veerappan is currently the Officer in charge of the Diversity and Cultural Resources Bureau.  The Bureau’s mandate includes the building and maintenance of strong police/community relations and partnerships, the monitoring and investigation of Hate Crime and coordination of the YRP Hate Crime Investigation Team.  In addition this work includes training for all members of YRP in the areas of Diversity, Hate Crime, Racial Profiling, and Discrimination/Workplace Harassment, as well as overseeing the YRP Chaplaincy program.
 
A.C. (Al) Wilson, Executive Director, Workforce Planning Board
Since 2006, Al has been involved in the labour market issues affecting our community.  The Workforce Planning Board (formerly the York South Simcoe Training and Adjustment Board), sponsored by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities is mandated to develop plans to meet the needs of the community labour market, provide a link to resources, programs and services and foster community labour market partnerships and support the integration of foreign trained workers.
 
Moy Wong-Tam, Executive Director, Centre for Information and Community Services Ontario
Ms. Moy Wong-Tam is a principal partner representative on the Welcome Centre Governance Council.  She assumed the role of Executive Director for the Centre for Information and Community Services Ontario in 2008, a settlement services organization serving York and Toronto regions.  She brings previous experience as a senior management consultant with background in policy and standards development for settlement services, and was formerly the executive director of a crown corporation and a settlement agency.
 
The CPC will also include the following ex-officio members.  The ex-officio members do not have voting rights on the CPC.  Their purpose will be to provide advice to the CPC on funding opportunities and federal and provincial policy developments.  All members were nominated by their organizations.
 
Richard Lecours, Settlement Operations Manager, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
Paul Trustham, Manager - York/Durham, Service Canada
Catherine Campbell, Regional Advisor, Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI)
Sandy McMillan, Service Delivery Manager, Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (MTCU)

Contact Information
 
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