A better life is not automatic. We have many similaritiesSaturday, February 16, 2013 by: Darren Taylor
Four people, from different parts of the world, told a local audience Friday they love it in Sault Ste. Marie.
Shown, from left to right, are David Nanang, Selene Gamino, Abel Chavez and Samuel Mhlanga.
The four took part in a panel discussion at Friday’s Sault Ste. Marie Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) 2013 Immigration Forum at Comfort Suites on Great Northern Road, sharing their experiences as immigrants to Canada with the audience.
Moderating the panel discussion was Sault College Director of Marketing and Communications Susan Hunter.
Keynote speaker at Friday’s forum was Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney, who outlined the federal government’s plan to more effectively link immigrants to jobs in their chosen field.
Nanang, originally from Ghana, works in the forestry sector.
Nanang said “hard work is crucial to success.”
His advice to people wishing to settle in Canada is to remember “your success is in your hands. If you’re lazy where you came from, you’ll be lazy here. A better life in Canada is not automatic. That is my core message. You have to work with the system to be successful.”
Gamino, who hails from Mexico, said that while there are obvious differences within Canada’s multicultural mosaic, “we have many similarities,” adding she believes strong family values are important to any society.
Gamino is an architect by profession who is currently furthering her education.
Chavez, also originally from Mexico, works in Sault Ste. Marie as a financial planner.
He told the audience he married in Canada and is happy to be raising his son here.
Mhlanga, who works as a radiation therapist at Sault Area Hospital, is originally from Zimbabwe, and said he enjoys the lower cost of living in Sault Ste. Marie as opposed to that of larger centres, such as Toronto.
Each of the four noted the extremely cold Canadian winter weather was an adjustment for them.
Weather notwithstanding, the four are role models for people who love to call Canada home.
The Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) was formed in 2009 and is a group consisting of over 50 member organizations committed to welcoming and establishing immigrants in the community.