For some of you who didn’t know when I started this blog, I was still waiting for the result of my application for citizenship.

I want to chronicle each event in pictures.

Studying the night before…..must pass the citizenship test….004

after studying…prepared the clothes we will wear for OathTaking ceremony005


the Judge accompanied by the RCMP049The Oathtaking ceremony…taking place…033


The other 55  new Canadians058

It was afterall, a day of rejoicing……020051

Going  home to celebrate the day we became a Canadian Citizen…063


I couldn’t resist myself not to talk about diversity and immigration as key drivers of any country’s prosperity.

I want to be clear about what I mean by this, because many people believe this issue relates to current skilled labour shortages;some think it applies to our need to attract more professionals such as doctors, engineers and scientist; while others focus on the glass ceiling that many existing immigrants and visible minorities experience. I view the diversity and immigration imperative as all of the above.

The message is simple: people are the most important asset of both companies and countries.

If say, Canada is to succeed in the global marketplace, it must turbo-charge the economy by leveraging the diversity of it’s current and future workforce. It must attract the right skills, the best minds, and the required resources, while  more effectively utilizing it’s current human capital.

If they do, they will have an unrivaled advantage.

If they don’t, they will face an uphill battle just to maintain the quality of life.

Attracting and integrating immigrants into the workforce is critical to any country’s growth.

Here in Canada, as I observed, across the country, the workforce is aging and the birth rate has hit  a record -low. This can mean that the labour force will stop growing in about 10-15 years maybe.

Clearly, the country must rely on immigration to fill the pipeline and help fuel the economic growth.

Immigration as I can see it, is one of the only tools around to help build the nation for the future.

Government, business and not-for-profit sector have to look at immigration from a whole new angle.

Any country should not just be good in attracting the best minds and skills, they must be successful in retaining it.

Integration is critical and something that needed a lot of attention.

There is a need for smart social planning to make sure that immigrants are properly welcomed, housed and educated; and they are integrated quickly into workplaces, marketplaces and economy, so that they contribute to economic growth and enhance overall prosperity.

Unfortunately, recent immigrants are having a harder time adjusting than  in previous generations. They are more and educated and yet many have not found jobs that match their skill levels, or are earning less than their counterparts. Most immigrants nowadays possessed post-secondary credentials and yet not fully utilizing their skills and experience in their jobs, even worse, many are unemployed.

There is a need to foster language training progrmas, settlement programs as well as mentoring and internship programs that provide work experience for newcomers.

There is also I believed a need for programs related to recognition of foreign credentials and certification.

Lastly, if workforce hiring will try harder to integrate new immigrants and maximizing the value of diversity in the workplaces, it is a win/win situation for the individual, for the workforce, and ultimately for the country.

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