Name change tightens focus on immigrant newcomers

·1 min read
Craig Mackie, executive director of the P.E.I. Association of Newcomers, says he understands it will take some time for people to get used to the new name. (CBC - image credit)
Craig Mackie, executive director of the P.E.I. Association of Newcomers, says he understands it will take some time for people to get used to the new name. (CBC - image credit)

The Prince Edward Island Association for Newcomers to Canada is officially changing its name on Friday, in the hopes of giving people a more clear idea of what the group does.

It will be known as Immigrant & Refugee Services Association P.E.I. That can be shortened to IRSA, which can be read as a word rather than spelled out, as PEIANC was.

Executive director Craig Mackie said the association received calls regularly from people confused about what they did.

"There are people who think we're a multicultural association. We often get requests for, could we reach out to your members and then we have to explain, oh, we have clients," said Mackie.

"Then we get people coming from other parts of Canada who, 'Oh, you know, I'm a newcomer from Newfoundland,' or 'I'm a newcomer from Alberta,' and they see us as a welcome wagon."

Mackie is hopeful the name change will make what they do more clear for Canadians, but also for the immigrants and refugees who are their potential clients.

He acknowledges it will likely take some time for people to get used to the change.

The old name was often shortened to Newcomers, and Mackie said they will make an effort to ease people into the new name by using the phrase IRSA is for newcomers.

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