Getting foreign environmental professionals out into the woods to make use of their skills.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  March 7, 2013  When men and woman with professional credentials from a foreign country come to Canada they often have difficulty finding the work they want because they don’t have any “Canadian experience”.  In some instances this is really a racial trick played on people from diverse backgrounds but in many situations an understanding of Canada’s history, its geography and the social mores are necessary.

Canada has an approach to its environment that is totally different from any Asian or African country.  How do foreign trained professionals learn how we handle our environment?

Conservation Halton and Future Watch have taken an interesting and proactive first step in the New Canadian Stewardship Course that offers training  for foreign trained environmental professionals.

Conserving the environment and making room for foreigners with environmental training is part of a new Conservation Halton initiative funded by a Trillium Grant

The course, which starts in April, is an intensive, eight-week certificate workshop series by Conservation Halton for New Canadians in Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville. It is designed to help participants gain valuable, introductory knowledge and enhance their employment opportunities in the community environmental sector. Expert speakers will deliver a weekly workshop on topics such as:

Planning and Environmental Management

Local Ecology and Biodiversity

Forestry Management

Natural Hazards Management and Source Water Protection

Recreation Management and Risk Assessment

Governance, Communication and Social Media

“Conservation Halton is delighted to be working in partnership with FutureWatch EDEP on the Natural Connections program to introduce new Canadians to Halton’s green sector,” said Hassaan Basit, Director of Communications Services for Conservation Halton. “The new Canadian Stewardship Course will allow participants to see how their energy, experience and skills can help protect our local environment.”

Ensuring our environment will always have a safe home – for fowl like this to keep an eye on us.

“The course also has a second, equally important objective”, continued Basit, “it promotes our environmental and recreation programs and services to new and ethnically diverse residents within the watershed. Rather than broadcast our messages through traditional media channels and hope that one-size-fits-all, we are aiming to instead have a tailored conversation about our programs by engaging with the various ethnic communities that are taking shape within the watershed”.

What can we learn from people from other countries about how to better manage our environment?

“Natural Connections is promoting environmental engagement at many levels in the community: to families, to diverse newcomer communities, and to internationally trained professionals,” said Eduardo Garay of FutureWatch EDEP. “The New Canadian Stewardship Course provides a great starting point for foreign-trained professionals, who have tremendous knowledge, to get involved with local community initiatives while gaining as well as sharing their expertise.”

Spaces in the course are limited; interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter by Wednesday, March 20, 2013 by e-mail to the program coordinator at, or by mail: Natural Connections Coordinator, 2596 Britannia Road West, Burlington, ON L7P 0G3.

The course is free except for a registration fee of $15 for candidates who are admitted to the course. Successful participants will receive a certificate of completion at a formal graduation ceremony during the Conservation Halton Awards of Excellence on June 13. Please visit the Natural Connections website, for more details.

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