It was my honour to stand with Sharon Ching Wai Kan as she received one of our City’s most prestigious awards, the Order of Ottawa, on Thursday November 16th.
Ms. Kan is an immigrant from Hong Kong who studied in the UK, arrived in Canada, and graduated with MSW in Social Work Policy and Administration in 1985. Ms. Kan later worked as a research consultant for the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture to set up accredited courses of training settlement counselors, and managed the Reception House and later, Settlement Services at the Catholic Center for Immigration.
Ms. Kan has been the Executive Director of the Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre (OCCSC) since 2006, securing funding and expanding the centre from near closure to over 50 employees and a new office in downtown Ottawa. Under her leadership for more than two decades, the OCCSC has provided exceptional support for all new immigrants and refugees, including people of Chinese heritage, offering settlement, integration, and employment support, notably in high-paying professional fields, community programs, language training, and pre-arrival services, helping over 6000 people from over 130 countries.
Ms. Kan led historical recognition efforts, documenting the history of Chinese Canadians affected by discriminatory policies, contributing to education and awareness. She continues to actively support new immigrants and promotes multiculturalism and inclusiveness in the Ottawa community.
The Order of Ottawa, a prestigious civic award, was established by City Council at its meeting of June 13, 2012. This award honours residents who have excelled in their field and who have made outstanding contributions to life in our communities. The recipients of the Order of Ottawa have contributed to many areas of city life – arts and culture, business, community service, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, entrepreneurship, sports and entertainment, and many others – all to the benefit of the residents of our city.