Kelly Pollack presented to the Citizenship and Immigration Committee
Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Kelly Pollack, Executive Director of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC and a member of the Surrey LIP Committee, was one of the presenters to the Citizenship and Immigration Committee on March 10th, 2015.  The presenters discussed the opportunities and challenges of promoting economic prosperity through settlement services. Below is the extract from Ms. Pollack's remarks:

"Our province predicts that 265,000 international workers will be necessary to meet its human capital needs by 2020, yet we continue to experience the ongoing issue of immigrant unemployment and underemployment, just as Mr. Allen mentioned. It's a complete waste of talent, a waste of the people who we bring to Canada.

In creating IEC-BC, our primary objective was and continues to be addressing this issue. Our mission is integrating immigrants into the labour force, which builds B.C.'s community and its economy. With that, we all win. Our role is to work directly with employers.

As our country moves and refines our immigration system to become more demand driven, so too must we refine our settlement services to engage more employers in the system. Express entry and the Canada jobs bank are key tools in the new system, but in order for employers to use these tools, they have to be informed, educated, and supported. Ultimately, they have to be willing to hire more immigrants into meaningful employment. ...

In my perfect world there would be no need for immigrant employment councils. In my perfect world Canada would continue to attract skilled people from around the globe. These newcomers would bring their energy and their innovation to our provinces. Employers would have moved past their insistence for Canadian work experience and moved beyond screening out resumés because of an international education. They would easily hire these talented people. That's in my perfect world. We're not there yet.

IEC-BC believes that developing a B.C.-specific strategic immigrant talent plan to address our province's need for skilled workers is paramount. This plan should align with B.C.'s other human capital strategies. We're committed to supporting the Canadian government, the B.C. government, and other key stakeholders in developing and executing this plan."

Read full Meeting Transcript