MOSAIC Hosts Forum on Inspiring Participation in Canadian Elections

August 22, 2019

On August 15, MOSAIC hosted the “2019 Elections: Inspiring Participation” public forum to provide information on how to be civically engaged. The forum’s keynote speakers, former Canadian Member of Parliament (MP) Libby Davies, and former BC Premier Ujjal Dosanjh, captivated our participants by sharing how they became involved in activism.

Miley Leong from Apathy is Boring, a non-profit organization that promotes active citizenship, presented the ‘What, Where, When and Why’ of elections, after which participants were asked for their feedback on the current situation of civic engagement in their communities.

Breakout Session Highlights

Barriers to civic engagement

  • Language
  • Lack of knowledge about Canadian political system (+ terms, jargon et al)
  • Lack of connection to community + politicians
  • No trust/confidence in politicians

Solutions to improve civic engagement

  • What can be done to address barriers to civic engagement?
  • More involvement of community leaders + politicians at community events
  • Engaging with own community, through…
    • Volunteering
    • Community events (potlucks, picnics etc.)
    • Field trips to Parliament sites
    • Meet people outside one’s own circle
  • Translation of information in multiple languages

What is working well?

  • Political freedom
  • Checks + balances
  • Higher standards of political system
  • Community forums

Mariam Bilgrami, event organizer and MOSAIC’s Coordinator of Social and Civic Engagement noted: “MOSAIC is providing pathways to equitable engagement opportunities, moving beyond settlement and working towards creating a sense of belonging.”

Through this event and other projects, MOSAIC is working towards increasing access for newcomers to civic and social leadership positions. Our goal is to give them the opportunity to have their voices heard and partake in the decision making processes that affect them, their lives and their communities.

In 2019, MOSAIC has undertaken a number of activities aimed to increase awareness on social and civic engagement opportunities for newcomers in British Columbia. To learn more please visit

Click here to sign up for MOSAIC’s enewsletter to be among the first to hear about our upcoming events on social and civic engagement.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the work MOSAIC is doing for social and civic engagement please Mariam at

MOSAIC has been providing service to newcomers in British Columbia for the past 42 years. These services include pre-arrival online settlement services, in-person settlement assistance, English language training, employment programs, interpretation and translation, counselling services, and community outreach for families and individuals. To learn more, please visit