THUNDER BAY The Thunder Bay Multicultural Association has been assisting immigrants and refugees in Thunder Bay for 40 years. TBMA provides settlement and integration assistance, English as a Second Language classes, translation and interpretation, volunteer programs, mentoring, youth programs and of course we host Folklore Festival.
We receive grants and contributions from the federal and provincial governments to provide their newcomer programs in our region. The funding announcement of $122,000 from the Provincial Ministry of Citizenship is for two years and is provided to our agency to offer newcomer services in 32 communities across Northwestern Ontario from our offices here in Thunder Bay and in Kenora.
Our front-line staff assist newcomers with the immediate needs of settling in a new country and offer information, referral and guidance while encouraging them toward Canadian citizenship.
[sws_pullquote_right] Thunder Bay Multicultural Association is a Diamond in Thunder Bay’s Crown. [/sws_pullquote_right] Housing, medical issues, applying for social insurance cards and subsequently looking for employment, registering children in school, learning the transportation system, finding English or French classes and all the other critical needs newcomers may have are dealt with compassionately and respectfully by our part-time, front-line workers.
We have successfully integrated, settled, helped find employment and businesses to purchase for newcomers from 27 countries in the past two years. These newcomers have become successful, participating, contributing members of our community, in many cases opening businesses and creating jobs in Thunder Bay and the region.
They have come as professionals to fill gaps and needs in our health care system and they have made Thunder Bay home. The services that front-line workers provide under the funded programs help grow and enrich our community and by no means was your cartoon of June 6 accurate or helpful in building a welcoming or prosperous Thunder Bay. It is our hope you get to know immigrants and refugees who have made Thunder Bay home and that you build acceptance rather than division.
Chair of the Board