filipinos in new brunswick
Jerome Salamana is a member of the growing Filipino community in New Brunswick. Via @PierreFournierCBCNews

Settlement organizations all across Canada are tasked to help welcome Newcomers to their new communities, including Filipinos in New Brunswick.



SETTLEMENT ORGANIZATIONS HELP FILIPINOS IN NEW BRUNSWICK

Last year, CBC News spoke with Sharla Goodwin of the Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area.

Goodwin is a settlement counsellor. She sits down with Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who arrive with their families.

Life in Canada is so vastly different from what OFWs are used to in the Philippines, and, like most Newcomers, could use all the help they could get.

Everything from finding a home to rent, how to register kids to school and how to find jobs are discussed by Goodwin with her clients.



FILIPINOS IN NEW BRUNSWICK ARRIVING UNDER DIFFERENT IMMIGRATION PROGRAMS

When she spoke with CBC, Goodwin had 26 families from the Philippines. Almost all of them worked for a company called Imperial Manufacturing Group.

The company, which installs heating and ventilation systems, has been bringing in OFWs to Canada.

Val Lagumbay had moved to Richibucto, New Brunswick last year. Richibucto is more than 80 kms north of Moncton.

Like every single OFW before him, Lagumbay told the CBC that he moved to Canada because of his family.

“I was thinking about the future of my kids,” Lagumbay told the CBC.

The veteran OFW said that the move was pleasant and that the Richibucto community was very welcoming. Lagumbay was particularly grateful for settlement organizations like the Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area.

Lagumbay had never seen anything like it before. Having worked in different countries as an OFW, it came as a pleasant surprise that there would be someone like Goodwin to help him become a productive member of his new community.

Goodwin doesn’t help Filipinos exclusively, all Newcomers from many different countries are made to feel just as welcome.



FILIPINOS IN NEW BRUNSWICK ADAPTING WELL IN CANADA

She told the CBC that Filipinos adapt well to their new environments. Goodwin has found that most Filipinos that arrive in her little corner of Canada are independent, highly educated individuals whose unique skill sets definitely benefit the community.

Another OFW the CBC spoke with last year was Jerome Salamana, who came all by himself. He was still waiting for his family to join him in New Brunswick at the time of the CBC report.

Salamana told the CBC that even with modern technology, he still misses his family.

“We always chat every day through video chat, but I still miss them, “ he told the CBC. He also told the CBC about his plans for the future.

“Probably in five to 10 years from now I’ll have my own house, still living here, with my family, and probably one of my kids or both of them will probably have their own jobs as well.”



WHERE IS NEW BRUNSWICK?

New Brunswick is one of the four Atlantic provinces of Canada.

New Brunswick is the only bilingual province of Canada, with 2/3 of its population considering themselves English-speakers while the other 1/3 consider themselves French-speakers.

Unlike the rest of Canada, only half of the people in urban areas like Moncton, St. John and Fredricton.

The rest of New Brunswick lives in rural areas.

New Brunswick has an estimated population of 776,827.



HOW FAR IS MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK FROM MANILA, PHILIPPINES?

There aren’t any direct flights to Moncton from Manila, with most itineraries having multiple stopovers.

A two stop itinerary currently averages USD858.00.

Moncton is 13,234 km away from Manila.



HOW MANY FILIPINOS ARE THERE IN NEW BRUNSWICK?

Last time they checked in 2016, there are more than 1,975 Filipinos in New Brunswick.

New Brunswick has been pretty aggressive in recruiting foreign workers under the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP), which allows Canadian Employers to nominate OFWs to come to Canada.

OFWs are allowed to bring their families, provided everyone meets the minimum requirements to apply for Work Permits.

Once OFWs meet the minimum requirements, they can then apply for Permanent Residency.




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