When Reinalie Jorolan’s sister urged her to move from the Philippines to Fort McMurray in 2004 she couldn’t say no. “She was alone in Canada,” she says. “I wanted to be with her.”
Her sister had a plan to help her gain residency through the Live-in Caregiver Program but not long after she arrived she hit her first roadblock. Her employer in Fort McMurray didn’t work out and she had to find a new one. “I found a new employer but then I had to wait for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) which takes three months,” she says. “I had to stay with friends while I waited.”
To fill in her time she used her previous skills in the non-profit sector to volunteer her time helping newcomers to Fort McMurray. She even started an award-winning association called the Foreign WINGSE Resource Centre to help live-in caregivers in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). The resource centre focuses on the social inclusion of live-in caregivers through volunteerism, community and cultural advocacy.
Reinalie loves her city and the sense of community she has found in Fort McMurray. “I never expected the powerful sense of community here! And the diversity, I love it.”
Angie Peralta left the Philippines in 2008 on the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program when her friend recommended she come to Canada. The Podollan Inn and Suites hired her to work in housekeeping and made the necessary arrangements. “They received the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) and the work permit for me,” Angie says. She has since moved on to work for Mary Browns who also made arrangements for Angie as a TFW. Angie believes that Canada offers her many opportunities and hopes to one day stay here as a permanent resident. “There are many opportunities here. The salary is better, the health care is better and it is a very desirable place to live.”
The Municipality and many organizations in Wood Buffalo provides support services to help all residents achieve a higher quality of life. We publish a Community Guide to Recreation, Culture and Social Services twice a year with a comprehensive list of cultural organizations, social service agencies and programs available to residents. The Municipality also offers Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), in partnership with many organizations and agencies in Wood Buffalo and the province, to enhance well-being in the region.
Settling in Canada: Services in Fort McMurray
- YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services
- Government of Alberta services to new immigrants
- The Foreign WINGSE Resource is a group that advocates for live-in caregivers in the Wood Buffalo region.
Moving to Canada
- Immigrating to Alberta
- Temporary Foreign Worker Program
- Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program
- Immigration Checklist for Alberta
Homeless Shelters and Services
- Wood Buffalo Housing Development Corporation
- Centre of Hope is a daytime drop-in centre for homeless and those at risk.
- Salvation Army Shelter - 780-743-4135
- Marshall House Shelter - 780-715-187