CBS delegation visits MP Jim Hillyer

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Canadian Bhutanese Society (CBS) is pleased to announce that a delegation of four members of the Canadian Bhutanese Society(CBS) visited Jim Hillyer, the MP for Lethbridge riding on 17th of July, 2013. Jim Hillyer gave them an audience to introduce CBS as an emerging community of Lethbridge. The team briefed him regarding the various activities being carried out by the community throughout the year as well as about the future programs.

The population of about 700 Bhutanese community members have called Lethbridge their home since 2009. Lethbridge has the highest concentration of Bhutanese population in Canada. Most members have jobs. It is due to the availability of jobs here in Lethbridge, many families from other provinces have moved here, and the trend is developing. Some are enrolled for ESL upgrades, and many who have no education at all are learning from the scratch. Some are now in a position to apply for Canadian citizenship.

One of the key issues discussed with Jim Hillyer was Language qualification for citizenship application. The new CIC policy came in effect last November which rules that any applicant for Canadian citizenship must have minimum of Canadian language benchmark level four in listening and speaking in English or French. For those who have no education of any kind, the representatives of CBS felt that even if one studies for many years it is impossible to meet the set requirement of CIC.

Therefore the team conveyed their message of concern pertaining to these groups of members. These families have come from refugee camps where they spent about two decades with out any status. One of the criteria promised before resettlement process commenced by Canada was to grant citizenship. Their hope for getting one is once more a roadblock. They are all disheartened and discouraged by the new policy of CIC. Jim Hillyer assured the delegation that he understands the situation and has promised that he will discuss the issue with other lawmakers and will let us know the outcome.

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