TAN: Please share with us your professional journey before you entered politics and that of your role and appointment in the current position and its essential responsibilities?
S. Leung : Prior to entering politics, I had worked in public accounting, both in Canada and overseas, sold subway systems for the Urban Transportation Development Corporation (UTDC), which is a crown corporation, and was an entrepreneur for roughly twenty years. As an entrepreneur, I worked in exporting agricultural products, sea food products, and natural resources from Canada. My community work has centred on my involvement within local business associations as a Director, York Central Hospital, and the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority. My background, including both professional and personal work, has allowed me to do my work as a Parliamentarian more effectively.
TAN: We have realized that most citizens are not getting their fair share of benefits for advancement in our society this has become critical to have a platform that can establish a better social, economic and political integration.
What are your thoughts on this subject and how are you planning to tackle this issue?
S. Leung :I think it is the responsibility of every citizen to be exercising their civic responsibility, social, and environmental responsibilities. The government of Canada has been very fair and generous with these shared benefits when we as citizens exercise our voice in a democracy. To that point, our government has tripled settlement funding to provinces since 2005-6. Prior to this, funding had been frozen by the previous Liberal government for years. Indeed, Minister Kenney recently announced that the allocation for settlement services in BC will be $109.8 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, an increase of $4.3 million from the current fiscal year. This funding is for a long list of services to help newcomers integrate and settle into Canada (including English and French training, orientation services, and employment-related services). The focus is on delivering services directly to newcomers and away from supporting expenses such as administration, travel or capital costs for organizations.
Additional information: Citizenship and Immigration Canada works with organizations, both overseas and in Canada, who provide settlement services to immigrants. These settlement services include information and orientation, language and skills development, labour market participation, community connections, needs assessments and referrals, and needs assessments and referrals. These programs set up by Citizenship and Immigration Canada continues to help newcomers settle into Canada and become successful participants of Canadian society. More information regarding settlement services for newcomers can be found on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website, http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/newcomers/before-settlement.asp
TAN: What do you wish to accomplish and most succeed at in your role and appointment?
S. Leung :I wish to see the successful integration of people from diverse backgrounds into our pluralistic society and to make multiculturalism the main focus of our nation building.
TAN: We believe Canada’s great future will mostly rely on how well we integrate newcomers into the communities thus the need arises to form a proper structure that offers a good program and source for integration what reassurance message do you have for our youth and the Afric community at the present time and for the future integration process?
S. Leung :I would strongly recommend our youth and Afric community become engaged in their civic and social responsibility and to participate in the integration process. The structure and programs are already in place, such as the many settlement services available in British Columbia, and it is up to all of us to take the first step in participating fully in our pluralistic society. There are several settlement agencies in BC, such as SUCCESS, that have been successful in diversifying their services to greater numbers of cultural communities, and partnerships with such agencies should be explored. In addition, CIC administers the Inter-Action grant which supports meaningful inter-cultural and inter-religious encounters. To apply for a grant, please use the following link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/multiculturalism/funding/index.asp
TAN: What is your wish for Canada and what inspires you most in life.
S. Leung :My wish for Canada is to build the most successful multicultural society in the world where freedom, rights, and acceptance are exercised and enjoyed by all. I am inspired by the fact my constituents have confidence in me to represent them in Ottawa
Biography : C.S. received his Bachelor of Arts (Economics and Commerce) from Carleton University in Ottawa and his Masters in Science (Engineering and Management) from the University of Southern California. His professional training was received from one of the internationally recognized accounting and business consulting firms in Toronto. He is able to reach out and speak to the diversity of our society with his multi-lingual ability.
C.S. is a successful entrepreneur with business experiences in: disaster mitigation management, urban mass transit projects, building environmentally friendly houses, air & water purification, sports equipment retailing and red deer farming.
He is, presently, a business owner and Chief Executive Officer of four Richmond Hill small and medium size enterprises, as well as, a past director and audit chair of the Xenos Group, a Toronto Stock Exchange listed public company in software development and engineering.
His international business experience includes: being a member of numerous federal and provincial trade missions during the last two decades; the Toronto-Chongqing Sister City Twinning Mission; organizing the 1st Team Richmond Hill Mission to Asia Pacific; Richmond Hill – Shijiazhuang Sister City Twinning Mission, a member of the Advisory Board for Ontario Export Inc. and the bid team leader to host the 1997 World Chinese Entrepreneur Convention in Toronto.
As an active community participant, he has been: founding president of the Richmond Hill & Markham Chinese Business Association, a corporate cabinet director of the Conservation Foundation of Greater Toronto, a member of the Richmond Hill Naturalist, a director of the Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce and numerous other bi-lateral trade or business related associations.
C.S. was the Candidate of Record in Willowdale for the Progressive Conservative Party in the 2000 federal election and the Candidate of Record in Richmond Hill for the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2008 federal election. He also served as a member of the National Policy Advisory Committee to the Progressive Conservative Party during the period 1999-2003.