Canadian government advertising overseas led Philomena Wong and her family to believe they would be “needed” here.
In addition to obstacles to employment, Wong tells ‘Canvas’ about confronting prejudice not experienced as an immigrant elsewhere. Here, she has endured overt discrimination in the form of verbal harassment as well as wage disparity (she left an instructor’s position with the City of Edmonton after discovering her pay was less than her half what coworkers earned).
Wong is now a banquet server. Before her current workplace became unionized, racism was much more prevalent. She has filed and won a discrimination case, and certainly feels support from the union in helping workers fight for their rights.
Like others interviewed by ‘Canvas’, Philomena believes the government should better support immigrants’ integration by offering courses and help with finding employment in their field of training.