June 2019
The Island Insider is published on a bi-monthly basis.
In This Edition: 

HIGHLIGHTS - Survey identifies bright spots, challenges in keeping international students in Cape Breton; Artists work together at Friends United Centre; New immigrants made up 61% of Canada's population growth in 2018.
Newcomer Spotlight: 
Mykola Kushnir; International Student Turned Entrepreneur 

What's happening:
CBLIP Once Upon an Island Book Launch; Graduation season for the Cape Breton Connector Program; Destination Acadie Tour; Community Connects Transportation Pilot. 
CBLIP launches Once Upon an Island during Isle of Story Festival

Once Upon an Island: Traditional Tales from new Cape Bretoners was unveiled on April 25 at the Cape Breton University library as part of the Isle of Story Festival. The book features stories brought to Cape Breton by people who moved here from other countries. The book is a project of the Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership, Cape Breton Regional Library and the Cape Breton Partnership.

Read the full article from the Cape Breton Post

Federal Government delivering funds to boost employment for immigrant women

The federal government will provide funds for 22 groups to help immigrant and refugee women who are visible minorities land and keep jobs in Canada. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen made the announcement in Toronto, noting newcomer women face many barriers trying to find work in Canada, including racial discrimination, low-paid employment, and a lack of affordable child care and social supports.

Read the full article from CBC News 

Cape Breton University students strut their stuff

For a group of Cape Breton University students from India, life after a viral video has been surprising, shocking and fun. Members of the Taurified Bhangra Dance Group said they’re merely a group of friends who’d meet for the love of dance. They never expected a video of them to go viral.  

Read the full article from The Chronicle Herald

Artists work together at Friends United Centre

The Friends United Centre, located in Cleveland plays a vital role in the artistic and cultural community of Cape Breton. One of the main components of the centre is a space for artists to showcase their creations and work collaboratively. 

Read the full article from The Port Hawkesbury Reporter

Teenage brothers from the Philippines continue to adapt to life in Cape Breton

Ruby de Loyola is celebrating the one-year anniversary of her reunion with sons Jaden, and C.J. Although De Loyola has been in Canada for about six years, her boys only arrived in Cape Breton a year ago. Since then, the Filipino brothers seem to have adapted fairly well to life in their new country. 

Read the full article from The Cape Breton Post

Fish plants hoping to catch some international workers from Cape Breton University

Some local employers are fishing for seasonal workers, and hoping to catch some of Cape Breton University's international students. Many international students are already employed and employers have been impressed with their work ethic, flexibility and willingness to work for them.

Read the full article from The Cape Breton Post

New immigrants made up 61% of Canada's population growth in 2018

A new Statistics Canada report reveals how immigration to Canada continues to be the main driver of population growth, with a total increase of 321,065 new immigrants in 2018. Over the course of 2018, Canada’s population grew by over half a million, or 528,421 people. International migration accounted for 80.5 per cent of the growth, representing a combined total of 425,245 new immigrants and temporary residents to the country. By the start of 2019, Canada’s population reached 37,314,442, following a record increase of new immigrants in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Read the full article from CIC News
Survey identifies bright spots, challenges in keeping international students in Cape Breton

A study examining international retention following students’ graduation from Cape Breton University shows both encouraging signs and areas requiring improvement. The Cape Breton Island Centre for Immigration surveyed 151 foreign students — primarily from India — on what they like and dislike about Cape Breton, their inclination for opening a business or pursuing other opportunities after graduation. It also examined what can be done to keep more international students on the Island for years to come.

Read the full article from the Cape Breton Post

Immigrant-owned firms create more jobs than those with Canadian-born owners: StatCan

Immigrant-owned firms create more net jobs and have higher growth than businesses with owners born in Canada, according to newly-released research. The decade-long research, released earlier this month by Statistics Canada, distinguishes between firms owned by immigrants who entered Canada since 1980 and businesses with Canadian-born owners. Based on the raw data, immigrant-owned firms had a higher level of net job creation per firm, and were more likely to be high-growth firms than those with Canadian-born owners.

Read the full article from CTV News

International students helping fill Cape Breton labour shortages

Several international students at Cape Breton University (CBU) are getting a taste of life in some of the island's more remote communities this summer. Businesses in areas such as Pleasant Bay, Inverness and Chéticamp are turning to students from places such as India and China to help fill staffing needs. 

Read the full article from CBC News
CBRM recognizes Filipino Heritage Month

CBRM council is paying tribute to the local Filipino community by proclaiming June as Filipino Heritage Month. The acknowledgement follows federal legislation enacted last October that officially declared June as the month to recognize the ever-increasing number of Filipino nationals who now live in Canada. According to the last census, close to 900,000 Filipinos were living in Canada. An estimated 250 people from the Philippines live in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

Read the full article from The Cape Breton Post

Canada's Maritime Provinces experience "fastest" population growth in decades

Immigration is helping drive the fastest population growth in decades in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, says a new report by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. Immigration is seen as key to reversing population and labour force declines caused by migration to other provinces, low fertility rates, and their older populations. This emphasis on immigration has combined with a drop in the number of residents leaving the region for work opportunities elsewhere in Canada to spark population growth rates in the Maritime provinces unseen since at least 1991.

Read the full article from CIC News

Once Upon an Island Book Launch 
Saba Mohsin, Louisa Esangbedo, Alona Stutzinger, Pankaj Joshi, Perla Macleod and Dr. Pushpa Rathor, who contributed stories to the Once Upon an Island book. 
'Once Upon an Island: Traditional Tales from New Cape Bretoners' was launched on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at the Cape Breton University Library, as part of the Cape Breton Regional Library's Isle of Story Festival. 

Once Upon an Island is a collection of traditional folktales, legends, myths, and stories from around the world, told by new Cape Bretoners. This project showcases the diversity of storytelling traditions that exist here on Cape Breton Island. 

View the flip book online or download the e-book on the CBLIP website.

The book is free and available to the public. If you'd like a hard copy please email or by calling the Cape Breton Partnership at (902)562-0122. 
Atlantic Immigration Summit
Omar Tag, Alona Stutzinger, Louisa Esangbedo, Femi Adesina. Sam Elgebeily, Kathleen MacLeod who participated in the Atlantic Immigration Summit as roundtable leaders. 
The Atlantic Immigration Summit held May 7-8, 2019, in Halifax brought together business leaders, entrepreneurs, municipalities, educational institutions, newcomers, students, settlement agencies, industry specialists, and citizens for a proactive dialogue and exchange on immigration, diversity, and inclusion.

The focus of the summit was geared towards innovative, practical, and actionable solutions to strengthen Atlantic Canada’s immigration system and improve economic performance with a focus on building inclusive communities.
Be sure to check out the Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership's website: Email to submit your events, news or service map data. 
Graduation Season for the Connector Program

Spring is Graduation season for the Connector Program! Connectees from Port Hawkesbury to Sydney are donning their caps and gowns and celebrating a job well done. While most of the Connector Program's participating international students come from India and China, connectees from Nigeria, Egypt, Ukraine, and Bahamas are also celebrating their graduation and finding ways into the workforce. Their areas of study are diverse, with MBA students showing a strong interest in non-profit and economic development organizations and hospitality and tourism graduates finding work in both rural and urban settings. Engineering is the highest discipline enrolling in the Connector Program, with 70% international student enrollment, typically attracting international students working on their second engineering program.

The Connector Program is also helping students with specific professional experience learn how their CBU or NSCC programs can be leveraged in Cape Breton. See how this is helping Ramneek Kaur Ratra, a dentist with a Public Health diploma, discover unexpected opportunities in Cape Breton in the video below.

Photo: Connectees Nour Hesham BBA (Finance & Administration) and Nourhan Taha BBA (Marketing)
Destination Acadie Tour
The Cape Breton Partnership has partnered with the NS Office of Immigration on their Francophone Immigration Action Plan 2019-2021 to address the declining populations of our French speaking communities. The Cape Breton Partnership feels very strongly about the importance of maintaining and growing our French communities across the island and recognizes the advantages of a bilingual region.  The Partnership recently participated in Destination Acadie (April 2019) tour with partners from the Atlantic region, including the NS Office of Immigration and Immigration Francophone Nouvelle-Écosse to promote Cape Breton island, its French speaking Acadian regions and their opportunities.Partnerships and connections were developed to meet the needs of employers in various sector with bilingual speaking candidates to reinforce and grow our heritage.

Multicultural Potluck in Port Hawkesbury
   Attendees of the Multicultural Potluck in Port Hawkesbury.  
On Sunday, May 52019, YREACH Port Hawkesbury held their Spring Multicultural Potluck at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre. Many newcomers and community members came to celebrate the diverse cultures in the Strait Area, with 146 in attendance. The Strait Area Filipino Society supported the event with traditional dancing and the afternoon was filled with food, music, and sharing by everyone.
   Nani's Esthetics located on Philpott St. in Port Hawkesbury. 
Newcomers Launch Small Business in Port Hawkesbury
On May 15, 2019 newcomers, Nani and Abey, originally from the Philippines, opened the doors to their new business Nani's Esthetics & Laser Center on Philpott Street in Port Hawkesbury. Nani's offers a full range of esthetic and laser removal services. 

Visit Nani's Esthetics website to learn more about the services they offer. 

Congratulations Nani and Abey! 
YREACH Port Hawkesbury supports the Refugee Hub

On May 17, 2019, YREACH Port Hawkesbury hosted the first of three sessions in Cape Breton with The Refugee Hub at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre. 

Housed at the University of Ottawa, the Refugee Hub works to increase protection and rights for refugees by engaging in research, collaborative partnerships, and innovative programming on the community, national, and international level.

Chiedza Pasipanodya, National Programs Officers with The Refugee Hub spoke to attendees about the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program. From May 2 to August 31, 2019, qualifying Canadian groups can apply to have the sponsor-side settlement costs through the Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) program fully covered by the fund (excluding start-up costs). 

For more information, please contact:
Chiedza Pasipanodya
The Refugee Hub
(613) 562-5800 ext. 1136 

Have you ever wanted to sponsor refugees? Until August 31, 2019, you can have the settlement costs of sponsorship fully covered through the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program. 

To get involved, or for more information: Contact The Refugee Hub via email or visit their website 
Cape Breton organization taps into provincial funding to hire a recent grad
Rebecca Borchert, Project Coordinator with the Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association.

Winnipeg is about as far away from the ocean as you can get, but that didn’t stop Manitoba-born NSCC grad, Rebecca Borchert from setting foot on Cape Breton and launching her career in the fishing industry.

Hiring recent grads is made easier for small businesses, non-profits and start-ups with salary funding program: Graduate to Opportunity

As the new Groundfish Project Coordinator with the Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association, Rebecca’s already having a big impact.

“Rebecca’s hard work and innovative perspective is directly impacting the way we support and empower fishermen in making important, sustainable decisions,” says Veronika Brzeski, Executive Director, Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association. 

Read the whole story here.

Community Connects Transportation Pilot
Community Connects is a pilot transportation service that will run from May to the end of September 2019 in the CBRM The aim of the pilot is to help anyone who experiences barriers to transportation get to work or school. The service is provided by participating taxis in the CBRM and managed by Community Connects Coordinators, who answer calls and work to build out routes for users traveling to similar destinations at similar times.

The cost of the fare is shared amongst the users on the route, so it is more affordable than a personal taxi fare. For example, if you were heading from Glace Bay or Sydney to CBU and there were three users on your route you would pay $5 each; if there were 4 users on your route you would pay $4 each. If there is enough demand to build a route, the Community Connects service can run at any time of the day or night.

If you would like to learn more about the Community Connects service, and whether it may work for your transportation needs, please call our Coordinators at 902-304-8311.
PB Shuttle Service 
CBRM to Victoria County Transportation Service
PB Shuttle is now offering scheduled trips to serve the transportation needs of employees who live in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and work in Victoria County. Daily scheduled stops include a variety of central pickup locations (such as Cape Breton University, Mayflower Mall, and Centre 200) and then drop off riders in Baddeck, as well as return trips each evening.

For more information, or to register for daily shuttle trips, contact Rick at or 902-979-2001.
Nova Scotia Quality of Life Survey: A Friendly Reminder

A friendly reminder that the Nova Scotia Quality of Life Survey is still active in communities province wide. While thousands of surveys have been completed online, Engage Nova Scotia expects there are a number of people who have intentions to fill it out and may need an extra prompt – reminder postcards started arriving in mailboxes the first week of June! Survey participation is open until July 5, 2019.
Please encourage anyone who has received an invitation to complete the survey to do so! If you did not receive a survey invitation and would like to participate, please contact Engage Nova Scotia at 902-407-2582 or After completing the survey you can enter for a chance to win one of 25 Sobeys gift cards (valued at $400 each!).
Mykola Kushnir - International Student Turned Entrepreneur
Mykola Kushnir and Nagy Abdou featured with one of the CB Eats delivery cars. 
Meet Mykola Kushnir, owner-operator of CB Eats. Cape Breton's own online-based food delivery company, connecting customers in Sydney to 25 local restaurants.

Mykola, originally from the Ukraine, has called Cape Breton home for two years, coming to Cape Breton University to study Petroleum Engineering. Part of the reason Mykola continues to call Cape Breton home post-graduation is the astonishing nature and beauty of Cape Breton Island, not to mention the friendly people, who help in any way they can.

“So far, I have traveled to 32 countries all around the world, and I can say with 100% confidence that Cape Breton is on my top 5 recommended places.“

In his free time, which as a young entrepreneur is hard to come by, Mykola can be found travelling around the Cabot Trail, playing soccer or taking advantage of the activities at the local YMCA. 

With an online platform and mobile App, CB Eats allows customers to place a pick-up or delivery order from their computer or smartphone, with the ability to track their delivery driver from the restaurant, right to their front door. In just over 7 months, CB Eats has grown to have 25 restaurant partners in the Sydney area, with a fleet of 8 drivers. 

"Fast delivery time along with authentic customer service is what makes CB Eats different and unique."

Everyday Mykola continues to learn something new from his business, his partners and mentors. His biggest challenge being that there are only twenty-four hours in a day, and time management skills are key to making the most of each and every day. What keeps him going and motivated is his vision, "If you want to be successful in business, you need to believe in whatever you doing and be passionate about your product/idea. In other words, you need to ‘fall asleep’ and ‘wake up’ with your business idea."

Skip the line - order from CB Eats online:

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is warning people about an escalating scam targeting members of the immigrant and refugee community.

Victims have reported receiving telephone calls from persons claiming to be representatives of the IRB and being told they are under investigation and owe money. In some cases, these calls seem to be coming from the IRB or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Recently, fraudulent calls are being made to appear more legitimate by using the publicly available names and contact information of IRB representatives.

The IRB will never ask its clients for money. If you get a call from someone saying they are with the IRB and asking for payment of any kind, it is a scam. Immediately hang up and contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

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285 Alexandra Street | Sydney, NS | B1S 2E8
609 Church Street, Suite 101 | Port Hawkesbury, NS | B9A 2X4

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