AMSSA Insider

December 2011
In This Issue
2011 Child Poverty Report Card
2012 Multifaith Calendar
Staff Movement
AMSSA receives a Nesika Award
Congratulations to Safe Harbour Champion: Comox Valley Airport
Informing Minister Kenney about Settlement in BC
Pan-Canadian Immigrant Settlement Meeting
2012 Vancouver Diversity Health Fair

2011 Child Poverty Report Card


AMSSA is pleased to present the 2011 Child Poverty Report Card completed in collaboration with First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition. This year's report includes a special section on poverty among immigrant children and families. Poverty rates among recent immigrants have been rising in recent years and it is taking longer for immigrant family incomes to catch up to the incomes of Canadian-born families. To access the report card, click here.


Early Childhood Forum 


AMSSA's Newcomer Children's Coordinator presented AMSSA's new report, 'Promising Practices' of Early Childhood Education Principles and Practices for Immigrant and Refugee Children in British Columbia, at the Early Childhood Development Fall Forum held by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Participants recognized that specialized supports are needed to support immigrant and refugee children and strategies can be learned from newcomer children specialists who already work with immigrants and refugees. 


Watch out for the official release of the report in December.


AMSSA's Research Database


Do you need health related information to write a proposal? Are you interested in a particular multicultural health topic? 


Find answers and relevant literature at AMSSA's Research Database:  




The Perfect Gift


The holiday season is fast approaching. Get your friends, family and colleagues a 2012 Multifaith calendar.


The 2012 Calendar features beautiful artwork as well as accurate dates and descriptions of over 370 observances and events from 14 world religions.



Please click here for more details or call AMSSA at 604 718-2780 or toll free at 1 888-355-5560 to order.


Staff Movement


AMSSA would like to welcome Thien Phan our new Safe Harbour Coordinator.


Lindsay Marsh will be away until the New Year as she embarks on an educational journey in India. 


 Quick Links




2012 Vancouver 
Diversity Health Fair


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AMSSA receives a 2011 

Provincial Nesika Award


We are pleased to announce that AMSSA's Safe Harbour program received the Organizational Category Provincial Nesika Award. On behalf of AMSSA, the award was accepted by Lynn Moran, Executive Director of AMSSA and Koyali Burman, Community Development Coordinator at South Vancouver Neighbourhood House and Safe Harbour Community Organizer. The awards ceremony was held at the Museum of Vancouver on November 18, 2011.

Please see our website,, for more information.
(From left to right: Ashli Komaryk-De Lucio, Lynn Moran, Koyali Burman, Minister Harry Bloy)

Thank you to everyone who was involved in creating and implementing the Safe Harbour program. This award is a testament to your hard work and dedication to welcoming environments, diversity, anti-discrimination and Respect for All.


AMSSA would like to extend congratulations to all the nominees and recipients of the 2011 Nesika Awards. 


The Provincial Nesika Awards celebrate British Columbia's diverse communities by recognizing the people, organizations and communities who bring together British Columbia's diverse cultures. For more information about the Provincial Nesika Awards please click here


For the 2011 Provincial Nesika Awards announcement released by the BC Government please click here


Congratulations to Safe Harbour Champion: Comox Valley Airport


Community organizers, elected officials, businesses and non-profit organizations came together to celebrate Comox Valley Airport at the 2011 Safe Habour Champion's Breakfast on November 1 hosted at the Holiday Inn, Vancouver Centre.


Please see our website,, for more information.
(From left to right: Ashli Komaryk-De Lucio, Alex Robertson, Eric Wong) Photo by: Myungshook Lee


Comox Valley Airport was recognized as a leader for providing a safe space for staff and passengers.


"The Comox Valley Airport is honoured to accept this award that represents our commitment to promoting the Safe Harbour principles within our airport and the community," said YQQ CEO, Shirley de Silva. "We are proud to offer an inclusive workplace, where employees, customers and passengers know that they will be respected and safe from discrimination."


Safe Harbour issued a press release for Comox Valley Airport which can be viewed here.


AMSSA would also like to extend congratulations to the finalists: Canada Safeway, The Alano Club in Courtenay, Cook Street Village, Mission Community Services, MLA Raj Chouhan's Community Office, MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert's Community Office and the Service BC centre in Duncan.


Thank you to Vancity, the title sponsor of the Champion's Breakfast and thank you to all the attendees who came together to celebrate each other and their Safe Harbour committment.


Informing Minister Kenney about Settlement in British Columbia


Jason Kenney, Federal Minister for Citizenship and Immigration, accepted an invitation to meet with AMSSA's Immigrant Integration Coordinating Committee (IICC) member agency network to learn about the leaps forward made in recent years in the development of immigrant services and welcoming communities throughout BC.  


On October 13, a delegation of IICC representatives met with the Minister in his Vancouver office in order to provide a frontline service perspective of how expanded federal funding has been rolled out in practical, effective, and collaborative programs and initiatives within the WelcomeBC provincial framework.  Minister Kenney asked targeted questions indicating his interest in the unique approaches undertaken in BC relative to other provinces, and AMSSA has since learned that the Minister described the meeting in glowing terms to senior Ottawa CIC staff.


Pan-Canadian Immigrant 
Settlement Meeting


The Settlement and Integration Joint Policy and Planning Council (SIJPPC) group met in Ottawa in early November, and AMSSA's three representatives brought information from BC forward to promote national connectedness, inform parallel processes in other jurisdictions, and bring back valuable information to the BC settlement service network. 


The Settlement and Integration Joint Policy and Planning Council is composed of representatives of immigrant service providers from all provinces as well as staff from Citizenship and Immigration Canada's Ottawa and regional offices, and from provincial ministries responsible for immigration. The SIJPPC is a venue for linking together immigrant services across Canada into a national framework.  


AMSSA holds the national contract with CIC to organize SIJPPC meetings, and AMSSA's SIJPPC representatives stay in close communication with the BC government's Immigrant Integration and Multiculturalism Branch preparing for and de-briefing from SIJPPC meetings.    


2012 Vancouver Diversity Health Fair: Mark your calendars! 


The Eighth Annual 2012 Vancouver Diversity Health Fair is taking place on Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 10 AM to 3 PM at the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Dr.). 


This free event, the largest health fair of its kind in Canada, will include free health screenings, cooking demonstrations, an exhibition hall with over 50 health-related organizations, the Healthy Kids Activity Zone and a multicultural performance stage. We are working hard to ensure this year's fair will be bigger and better than ever!


For more information about the event, including exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities, please visit our website here or contact Jessica Chant, Diversity Health Fair Coordinator, at or 604 718-4220.  


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