Emerging from COVID-19: Canadian immigrants share their experiences during these pandemic times

July 30, 2020

By Canadian Immigrant Magazine |

As the world continues to learn to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the newcomer and immigrant communities in Canada are facing unique challenges of their own and finding ways to cope.

While more recent arrivals to Canada are learning to deal with new jobs, paying rent, income insecurity and building a social network in this environment of social distancing, some more established immigrants are working hard to keep their businesses going. The challenges created by the pandemic have led to new government assistance programs, a focus on mental health and innovative offerings from settlement agencies serving immigrants.

Working through a lockdown

Like many parents, Ukranian-born Oksana Kandiller has found it hard to respond to her three-year-old asking when she’d be able to meet her friends at daycare  again. Kandiller, her husband and daughter moved to Canada in October 2019 and were just about settling down into their new lives when the lockdown happened.

“The hardest part of this entire experience so far has been that my husband and I haven’t been able to give our child the attention she craves and deserves at this age,” says Kandiller. With daycares shut, the couple is struggling to keep up with office work, studies and household chores, not to mention keeping their child in good spirits. “She’s a very sociable kid and fits in very well at her daycare. She misses her friends and when she asks us tearfully when all this will end, we have no answers for her. It’s hard,” she says.

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