ESL funding cuts impact those who want to succeed

I began taking ESL courses at Camosun College in January. My experience so far has been excellent. They teach us far more than language.

I am a mechanical engineer with a specialization in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. For many years, I was a sales manager for an air conditioning systems company in Saudi Arabia.

In 2010, my wife and I made the decision to move our three daughters and one son to Canada for all the opportunities this amazing country could offer us. My wife was accepted to a masters program at Western University in London, Ont.

After initially coming to settle my family, I returned to Saudi Arabia to my job, so I could continue to financially support my family.

It was very difficult to be separated from them. They were always asking me to come over and join them, telling me how wonderful Canada is. I needed to provide for my family, but I soon realized my job as a father was more important than my job as an engineer.

I quit my job one year ago to join my family and reunite with them after three years of being apart. After my oldest daughter was accepted to the University of Victoria, we all moved out to the West Coast.

I began taking ESL courses at Camosun College in January. My experience so far has been excellent. They teach us far more than language. They teach us about the culture: how to greet someone, how to write a resume, etc.

It’s not just ESL – it’s how to adapt to the new society. These are extremely useful skills I am very grateful to be learning.

I was shocked when I heard they will no longer be offering these ESL courses after next year. I will likely be able to finish my courses before the program is eliminated, but what about those that will come after me? How will they get the training and skills they need to succeed?

We don’t want to sit at home and wait for handouts. We want to do something good for this country. We want good jobs. We want to pay taxes. We want to support our families. Programs like ESL support new immigrants and help us succeed. We want to contribute to this wonderful country. Please give us that chance.

Hossam Rezk



Just Posted

Deep Cove man running 50 km every month through his 50th birthday year

Ultrarunner hopes Deep 50 Challenge will raise $5,000 for Help Fill A Dream

Oak Bay to host secondary suite open house on Thursday

Online secondary suite survey will run April 25 until May 10

Local author wins gold medal for new book Fat Cats

Former parks warden’s series welcomes new addition to the canon

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Saanich rental project wins silver by going ‘green’

The Verve rental housing project stands at the corner of Boleskine Road and Whittier Avenue

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Most Read