This following is an excerpt from a BRIEF, presented by the
at a meeting in Ottawa, June 3, 1985.


Honorable Ministers, we applaud your efforts at bringing us together in this forum of consultation and we look forward to a meaningful dialogue.

None of our recommendations will startle you today. They may differ in form, but in essence they are the same as those that have been put forward over the past ten years.

As immigrant and visible minority women, we have much to offer. However, because of systemic obstacles and barriers, Canadian society is being denied our strength and potential.

So far, very little emphasis has been placed on the following areas of vitality that we bring to this society:

  1. Our survival skills over time.
  2. The traditional values and the richness and variety of our heritages.
  3. Our role as consumers and producers of goods and services.
  4. Our role as an investment in the present and future development of this country.

Instead of stressing our strength, the following issues have dominated our experiences:

  1. Discrimination by professional bodies.
  2. Racism.
  3. Lack of understanding and information on the part of mainstream society.
  4. The perpetuation of negative images and stereotypes by the media
    and various other institutions.

Immigrant women at this meeting represent more than 40 organizations from several linguistic, cultural and visible minority groups from every province in Canada. From our grassroot and community interaction, we are able to experience some of the real-life concerns of our constituencies, and it is these concerns that give direction to the many recommendations that we have proposed here.

We hope that these recommendations will form the bases of continuing discussion and a productive relationship with the Federal Government; specifically in the formulation of policies and implementation of action plans.

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