Immigrant Advisory Council

About the Immigrant Advisory Council

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In addition to NSIIP members, the work of this Local Immigration Partnership is supported by an Immigrant Advisory Council. The Council provides feedback on the NSIIP and its work, shares and promotes promising practices and research, serves as a resource for community service providers and reaches out to ethno-specific communities to share committee information and encourage participation in its work.

The council is comprised of 12+ immigrants who live and/or work on the North Shore. Members are selected by the NSIIP membership for two-year terms and represent a range of countries of origin, length of time in Canada, occupational backgrounds, age and gender. They also have experience, knowledge, abilities, or skills related to immigrant integration and are non-partisan.

Learn more about each individual Immigrant Advisory Council Members below.

Country of origin: Philippines
Languages spoken: Tagalog, English
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 10 years & 4 months

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Philippines. I taught chemistry, physics and math to secondary school students for my first job. I then worked in a mining company that supplies Feldspar to glass, ceramic and tile industries for ten years.

I then finished a caregiver course and went to Ireland to work for two years. I was lucky to be approved to work in Canada as part of the Caregiver Program. I came to Canada in August of 2004. After I finished the program, I sponsored my children. They came to Canada in September of 2009. I chose to stay on the North Shore because I felt that it was my home. It’s such a quiet, safe and beautiful place to live.

At first, though, it was tough for me to settle here. At the time, I had limitations on where I could work. I was not allowed to enroll in school because of my working visa. The salary was not great and I needed to send money to my children.

Now, I have my permanent residency and my children are happy working and studying on the North Shore.

Deng-F

Country of origin: China
Languages spoken: English and Mandarin
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 4 Years 

I am originally from China. I started my career as a salesman. Since then, I have accrued nearly 20 years of experience as a business professional and more than 10 years in executive positions in leading, global companies. With two master degrees, in business administration and engineering, I have worked in various industries and multicultural environments.

More than four years ago, my family moved to the North Shore and hasn’t lived anywhere else since. Being an immigrant, my experience with regards to integration is that you need to proactively interact with the community instead of waiting to be welcomed.

I am very happy to be a member of the immigrant advisory council. We need everyone’s help to make the North Shore an immigrant friendly community. Let us know what we can do to help you.

Country of origin: Iran

Languages spoken: Farsi, English
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 40 months

I moved to Canada in June of 2011. I have a Ph.D. in Physiology. I worked as an assistant professor at Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Science in Tehran, where I spent several years teaching, training and doing research in the field of neuroscience.

I chose Canada and the North Shore because the environment is a better place to raise a family. The North Shore is quite multicultural and therefore it has been a great experience from day one. There are many activities to do in this beautiful, peaceful environment.

In my opinion, immigrants need to be involved and participate actively in their local communities in order to bridge cultural and language barriers and gain confidence in expressing themselves. We can develop a shared vision that can help immigrants successfully assimilate socially and economically into their new communities, and take action to contribute to community planning.

Although many North Shore residents are new immigrants, few are engaged in civic life or are able to find a proper job due to language barriers and/or difficulties having their qualifications recognized in Canada. Personally, I hope after I have improved my language skills, I will be able to move closer to my professional goal of re-establishing myself in Canada in my specific field.

Ghorbandaiy-N

Country of origin: Iran
Languages spoken: Farsi, English, Turkish
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 2.5 years

I have a civil engineer degree from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. I have more than 20 years of experience in both London and Tehran. I am working on a single-family building project. I chose to live in Canada for its diversity of culture and opportunities.

I enjoy the convenience of being close to Iranian community, public transports, shopping malls, recreation centres, etc.

I had adequate settlement support on the North Shore and I was able to find employment opportunities that allow me to use my education and skills.

I would like to see the North Shore develop and grow and this is only possible if more people settling in the area.

Moon-B

Country of origin: Korea
Languages spoken: Korean, English
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 2 years

Originally from Korea, Barb first came to Canada in 1996 to learn English and later complete her Ph.D. She has had what she calls a “back and forth” life between Korea, China and Canada for the last twenty years. Barb has lived in North Vancouver since 2014 and works as a policy researcher and journal assistant editor. She volunteers on the Council to get involved in her North Shore community, which she loves for its mild and peaceful people and beautiful nature. “I hope to see every one of us get happier through multicultural understanding and integration,” she says.

Kong-L

Country of Origin: China
Languages spoken: English, Mandarin, Japanese, Cantonese (basic)
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 8 years

I am a former scientist, a professional helper and a lifelong learner with a PhD in Fisheries Recourse Management from Japan, a Master of Ecology from China, a diploma in Computer Information Systems and a Certificate in Addiction Counselling from Canada.

My family fell in love with the North Shore’s natural beauty and settled in the Lynn Valley area when we first arrived. We later moved to Burnaby, but by fate, returned to the North Shore to live in the Deep Cover area.

The settlement process was not easy for me. The community helped me raise my oldest son.. So, I want to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to Lynn Valley Elementary School, Argyle Secondary School, Lynn Valley Library, the North Shore Lego team and the North Vancouver Football Club. I also want to especially thank my son’s classmates’ families, who opened their homes to my son after school and even fed him while he waited for his dad to take him back to Burnaby after work.

Our family has really established roots on the North Shore over the years. And I am now a professional employment counsellor who helps immigrants find professional jobs. For me, the North Shore is a paradise for nature lovers, who live near and embrace the lakes, ocean and mountains. I want to give back to the community that I owe so much to and love.

Country of origin: China
Languages spoken: Mandarin, English
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 4 Years 

I hold a bachelor’s degree in medicine, a master’s degree in finance and an EMBA and have worked as an executive director and general manager in two non-banking financial institutions and one high-technology medical investment company for more than 20 years. I have an expertise in medical equipment, aviation, and shipping and leasing.

I chose Canada as my home for several reasons. I pursue high standards of living, including sustainable water, clean air and food security. I also want my children to have a better education, a happier and healthier childhood, and a more promising future than their parents.

I am proud that I have never stopped learning English, which allows me to continue to improve my language skills and learn a lot about Western culture and customs. Volunteering has also helped me to integrate in the local community and the Canadian way of life.

The North Shore is my home now. I hope I will eventually overcome all language barriers so that I can truly find a sense of belonging.

Through everyone’s efforts, I hope the North Shore can be a desirable place for all ethnic groups to settle and become integral members of our community.

Madon-P

Country of origin: India
Languages spoken: English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujerati, some French and some Farsi
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 26 years

I have lived in Canada for over 40 years and, as a woman of colour, I bring lots of skills and knowledge to help immigrants better integrate into our community. Having lived on the North Shore for more than 25 years, I am very familiar with several service providers as well.

I have a BA in Psychology and currently work as an Intake Counsellor at Family Services of the North Shore. At this agency we get a lot of referrals and are able to service immigrant families in several languages.

I am also the founding member of the North Shore Multicultural Society and was on the board for many years. I raised two children on the North Shore and tried to promote multiculturalism at Elementary and High School levels. I have organized multicultural potluck lunches and dinners at schools and my work place. As an immigrant, I am better able to understand the hardships that other immigrants go through and will be able to help them integrate, adapt and settle down in our North Shore community.

Mayan-A

Country of origin: Iran
Languages spoken: English, French, Persian, Turkish (Azeri)
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 22 years

I have more than 20 years of experience in senior level management roles and have been successful at driving growth, profitability and innovation in marketing, sales, business development and human resource management.

I am also a Regulated Immigration Consultant and have many years of experience in dealing with immigration matters.

After living in Montreal for eight years, I moved to Vancouver. Two months after living in the downtown area, I fell in love with the North Shore’s beauty and charm. I found myself a beautiful place and, 22 years later, I still enjoy the beauty of the mountains, ocean and trails along with my wife and daughter.

Through the years, I have tried to be a responsible citizen by promoting the city and contributing my time to various committees and my neighbourhood.

I have taught my daughter to do the same. She has been volunteering since the age of 12 at the community centre, library and police department.

I want to see the North Shore comprised of diverse communities. And I want to get children involved in building the community’s future.

Country of origin: Ireland

Languages spoken: English
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 2 years and 3 months 

I have a fine art and business diploma as well as a certificate in disability studies from the National University of Ireland. I have worked as an Art Tutor in Ireland with people who have a wide range of disabilities. I was also a Board member for the Centre for Independent Living (Dublin) with my focus being on advocacy and equality for all individuals.

Having visited Canada several times, we made the decision to move here with our family. Through Internet searches and communicating with the Irish Women’s Network in Vancouver, we chose the North Shore.

Settling in has been very hard for me. My qualifications that I was scored on to come to Canada seem worthless. However, I love the North Shore and would hope to see continued efforts to include local residents and immigrants in creating an inclusive cosmopolitan community.

Nani-M

Country of origin: Iran
Languages spoken: English and Farsi
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 2 years

I earned my MBA in Strategic Management in Iran and then ran a travel agency for six years before immigrating to Canada. Myself and two other family members decided that we wanted to start new lives in a different country. Through our research, we found that Canada would be the best option because of its acceptance of newcomers. We chose Vancouver because it is the warmest city in the country. Our friends motivated us to settle in North Vancouver. I am happy about our decision because the North Shore is a beautiful, peaceful place. It is also a good place to raise children according to Canadian values and our cultural values. And the whole family can take advantage of the North Shore’s natural beauty.

I want to help make the North Shore a better place for new immigrants, as well as native people, and create a more respectful, peaceful, and helpful place for everyone.

Country of Origin: South Africa
Languages spoken: English, Afrikaans, little French
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 15 years

My first ‘real’ job was teaching English in South Africa. I have an Honours BA in English Literature and an Honours BA in Psychology. I teach ballet and yoga, write for a local newspaper and am the School Program coordinator for North Shore Restorative Justice. We sit in circle with North Shore students and talk about identity, diversity, conflict, and other “meaty” issues.

My family and I ended up on the North Shore purely by chance. We integrated quickly because our children were just entering school and sports. It was only when I started volunteering with Victim Services in West Vancouver that I became aware of some of the real challenges immigrants face, particularly when their culture of origin and native language is so different to what they find here.

It’s my hope that we can learn more about each other’s cultures, identities, and hopes for the future, and strengthen our community by having more honest conversations and celebrating with each other.

Ardebily-F

Country of origin: Iran
Languages spoken: Farsi, English, Turkish
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 3.5 years

I have a degree in computer science from Central London University (London, UK). I have more than 15 years of direct experience in the IT field in Iran. I have worked for many international companies, either as a leader or as a team member, in setting up their information systems. I have also taken some upgrade courses in my field at BCIT. I am currently working as an administrative assistant for a construction company.

My family and I choose to move to the North shore mainly for the reputation of its secondary schools. I also enjoy the convenience of being close to the Iranian community, public transportation, shopping malls, recreation centres, etc.

It was quite easy to integrate into the North shore Community, mainly because I had previous experience living in an English-speaking country and also because there are many immigrants living on the North Shore that face the same challenges. I often share my own experience with other newcomers.

In my opinion, the North shore is one of the most beautiful and safe places to live, but unfortunately the cost of living is very high, making it very difficult for new immigrants or young people to live here.

Yang-R

Country of origin: China
Languages spoken: English, Mandarin and Cantonese
Number of years (or months) on North Shore: 3 years and 7 months

I obtained my Master’s degree of Business Management from the University of Griffith in Australia in 2002. I went back to China and joined Citibank China until I immigrated to Canada in 2011. Now I work for HSBC as a personal banker.

The reason for my immigration to Canada can be traced back to 100 years ago when my great-grand father studied as an overseas student in Japan. At Imperial University (now called University of Tokyo), he first came in contact with western culture and it made a deep impression on him. Western civilization had a great influence on his whole life. Undoubtedly he was a legend in my family and like some magic genetic factor, two of my aunties also studied abroad and then chose to immigrate. Therefore, as the third generation, when I was young, I had been educated to step into their shoes to study or live in other country.

I decided to immigrate to Canada, and finally settle in North Vancouver, because of its pristine landscape and pleasant climate.

My vision for the North Shore is to help our society become a harmonious home for all residents.

I hope the North Shore can be a desirable place for all ethnic groups to settle and become integral members of our community

Nicole Xiaoling Liu  Immigrant Advisory Council Member
North Shore Demographics

67.6% of recent immigrants

in West Vancouver speak non-official languages most often at home.
Source: 2011 NHS

63.6% of immigrants

in the District of North Vancouver were between the ages of 15 and 44 years when they arrived in Canada.
Source: 2011 NHS

17,125 immigrants

live in West Vancouver and 17.5% are recent immigrants
Source: 2011 Census

33% of immigrants

in the District of North Vancouver speak non-official languages at home
Source: 2011 NHS

61% of recent immigrants,

age 26-64, in the City of North Vancouver have bachelor's degrees or higher.
Source: 2011 NHS

14.8% of immigrants

in the District of North Vancouver are Muslims.
Source: 2011 NHS

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