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New Canadians celebrated for their commitment to healthcare careers

A virtual Canada Day ceremony saw 19 health workers representing 13 countries sworn in as Canadian citizens, highlighting the immigrant contribution to the healthcare sector.
By: Heather Marie Connors
July 02, 2020
Photo: Canadian Press

Nineteen new citizens, representing 13 different countries were sworn in during a virtual citizenship ceremony on July 1 that featured speeches from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Immigration.

Immigrants make up more than a third of those working in Canada as nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates. Many must overcome serious hardship to obtain their training, and to find a home in their new country.

Sweeny Karande, a registered nurse from India, first answered a call for personal support workers in Canada. When she arrived in Cornwall in 2011, she shared a two-bedroom apartment with three other Indian students, and often had to rely on the local food bank. Eventually, she was able to move to Halifax for nursing school and then on to N.W.T. for a full-time nursing job.

“This was my end goal, and finally I am a nurse and I’m getting my citizenship — this is really awesome,” she said.

Familiar with British colonialism in India, and having faced racism herself, Karande was drawn to stories of the Indigenous experience in Canada. Deciding to help, she searched for nursing opportunities in Indigenous centres, and now works at the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority. As a new citizen with voting rights, Karande is committed to the cause of reconciliation.

“I believe there is a lot of change that needs to be implemented in terms of Indigenous people, in terms of different races and how they are being treated in Canada. I’m very excited that I’m finally a citizen.”

Source: The Star

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