TRIEC is pleased to congratulate our inaugural executive director and chair emerita Ratna Omidvar following Friday’s announcement of the Prime Minister’s intention to recommend her appointment to the Senate of Canada. Ratna has been a tireless advocate for immigrants and for building a Canada that prospers through the contributions of all its inhabitants. We know that she will bring that drive and commitment to building an inclusive Canada to Ottawa.
Originally from India, Ratna together with her husband and daughter lived in Iran and had to escape the change of government and imminent war. She is an example of the value that immigrants bring and the contributions that they can make to our region and our country. For the past 30 years, Ratna has been at the forefront of a range of initiatives to tackle inequality in Canada, including as President and Executive Director of Maytree where she helped to found TRIEC.
TRIEC was established in 2003 as a multi-stakeholder council that brought together leaders, from business, government, education and the immigrant-serving sector among others, to better integrate skilled immigrants into the labour market. A unique initiative at the time that has since been replicated across Canada and around the world, Ratna was a driving force to get it off the ground. In particular, she worked tirelessly to engage employers in hiring skilled immigrants and building more inclusive workplaces.
Ratna’s passion and commitment served to propel many TRIEC initiatives from idea to reality. She was instrumental to the establishment of TRIEC’s flagship program, The Mentoring Partnership. To date, this program has paired over 12,000 skilled immigrants with mentors in the same size profession, 75 per cent of whom found work in their field within one year of completing the program.
The Mentoring Partnership is just one example of how Ratna’s work has had a profound impact on the lives of individuals as well as for Canadian society as a whole. We applaud Prime Minister Trudeau for his intention to recommend such a committed individual to the Senate of Canada. Her appointment will be a testament to the value of immigrants to Canada and the importance of diversity and inclusion to our future prosperity and well-being as a country.
Once again, congratulations Ratna!
TRIEC looks forward to continuing to work with Ratna in her new role in the Senate.