4 Province must to stop treat­ing newcomers as ‘come from aways’ A $150K re­ward for info

Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 13, 2017 Newcomers’ agency head says we must change Halifax

Metro Canada (Halifax) - - NEWS - Philip croucher/metro

Nova Sco­tia must jet­ti­son its “come from away” at­ti­tude that views im­mi­grants as out­siders if it wants to at­tract newcomers to grow the province’s pop­u­la­tion and econ­omy, the head of a Halifax im­mi­grant-set­tle­ment agency says.

“There are many in Nova Sco­tia for whom ‘come from away’ and ‘who’s your fa­ther’ is still a com­mon and fa­mil­iar part of the ver­nac­u­lar,” Gerry Mills, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Im­mi­grant Ser­vices As­so­ci­a­tion of Nova Sco­tia, said Tues­day dur­ing a panel dis­cus­sion in Halifax.

“There are still peo­ple here that are sus­pi­cious of im­mi­grants and sus­pi­cious of im­mi­gra­tion.”

The small-town slight — to call some­one a “come from away,” or CFA — is a lin­guis­tic glimpse into the ap­pre­hen­sive at­ti­tude among some At­lantic Cana­di­ans toward newcomers.

“Those words, come from away, they’re all four-let­ter words,” Mills said. “We just shouldn’t use them.”

Nova Sco­tia se­nior fed­eral cab­i­net min­is­ter Scott Bri­son pro­voked de­bate last year by sug­gest­ing the phrase should be banned from the At­lantic Cana­dian vo­cab­u­lary.

“It’s in our col­lec­tive in­ter­est, eco­nom­i­cally and so­cially, to not use terms that re­flect a neg­a­tive view of peo­ple who choose to make At­lantic Canada their home,” he said.

But it’s not just the phrase “come from away” that re­veals Nova Sco­tia’s mind­set.

For­mer premier Dar­rell Dex­ter said one of the first ques­tions peo­ple ask in Nova Sco­tia is “who’s your fa­ther,” es­pe­cially in ru­ral ar­eas.

He said there is a ten­sion be­tween what he called a “clan­nish­ness” that ex­ists in Nova Sco­tia and the need for newcomers to fix the re­gion’s de­mo­graphic crunch — a rapidly ag­ing pop­u­la­tion, a low birth rate and youth out­mi­gra­tion.

“It’s been a dif­fi­cult process but progress has been made in Nova Sco­tia,” Dex­ter said. “We’re start­ing to see more ser­vices de­liv­ered that fun­da­men­tally im­prove the op­por­tu­ni­ties for im­mi­grants to not only come to Nova Sco­tia but to stay here.”

Mean­while, Mills told a panel dis­cus­sion at Halifax’s Maceachen In­sti­tute Tues­day that some em­ploy­ers in the province only want to hire peo­ple they went to school with or who live down the road, and are re­luc­tant to con­sider hir­ing an im­mi­grant from over­seas.

“I think there is still some ret­i­cence and some fear about the dif­fer­ent, es­pe­cially if you’re in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties where there are very few im­mi­grants,” she told an au­di­ence at Dal­housie Univer­sity. “Nova Sco­tia em­ploy­ers like peo­ple who they know. But things are chang­ing. Em­ploy­ers are now hurt­ing. They can’t grow their busi­ness.”

Com­pa­nies ham­strung by a lack of skilled work­ers in the re­gion are start­ing to con­sider hir­ing a new­comer, Mills said, in part through a new im­mi­gra­tion pi­lot pro­gram de­signed to fill gaps in the labour force.

Last year, At­lantic pre­miers an­nounced the de­tails of the pro­gram cre­ated to boost the re­gion’s flag­ging econ­omy by en­sur­ing newcomers don’t join the steady stream of out­mi­gra­tion to other parts of the coun­try.

It’s in­tended to help At­lantic busi­nesses at­tract in­ter­na­tional grad­u­ates and skilled for­eign work­ers to fill job va­can­cies. The killing of a woman in Dart­mouth has been added to the province’s Re­wards for Ma­jor Un­solved Crimes pro­gram.

Po­lice ruled 58-year-old Lori Kather­ine Jol­limore’s death a homi­cide af­ter re­spond­ing to a sud­den death call on Far­quhar­son Street at 1:09 p.m. April 27.

Po­lice found a dead woman in­side.

“We want Lori’s loved ones to know that we’re pur­su­ing all av­enues to solve her mur­der,” Halifax Re­gional Po­lice Supt. Jim Per­rin said in a state­ment Tues­day. “One of the ob­sta­cles in­ves­ti­ga­tors face is a lack of co-oper­a­tion from peo­ple who have in­for­ma­tion that would help solve this case.

“We hope that adding Lori’s case to the re­wards pro­gram will mo­ti­vate some­one to come for­ward.”

The Nova Sco­tia jus­tice de­part­ment will pay $150,000 to any­one who shares in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to an ar­rest and con­vic­tion in ei­ther case. Any­one who comes for­ward has to give their name and con­tact in­for­ma­tion, and may be called to tes­tify. The Re­wards for Ma­jor Un­solved Crimes Pro­gram line is 1-888-710-9090. Calls will be recorded.

Staff

al­most 50 new Cana­di­ans take the oath of cit­i­zen­ship at the Halifax Cen­tral Li­brary last year.

Han­doout

Jol­limore

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