Gary Xie is heading to Ottawa next month.

Gary Xie is heading to Ottawa next month.

South Surrey student to shed light on immigrants’ plight

Semiahmoo student Gary Xie wants to travel to national capital

A Semiahmoo Secondary student will be venturing to the national capital in order to immerse himself in the world of federal politics, in the hopes of raising awareness about the plight of immigrants.

Gary Xie was chosen to attend the Forum for Young Canadians, a youth education program for students between the ages of 15 to 18 years old with a passion for politics.

From Feb. 26 to March 2, Xie will be one of more than 300 students from across Canada who will spend a week on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and experience first-hand the ins-and-outs of Canadian government.

Xie said his motivation for entering politics stems from a desire to have his voice heard. As an immigrant from China, Xie said he has experienced isolation and loneliness. He hopes by expressing his perspectives and opinions as an immigrant on the national stage, he can shed light on some of the frustrations new immigrants feel.

One of the problems Xie said he sees is the many highly educated immigrants doing labour work as a means to get by.

“For example, most degrees in China are not recognized in Canada and many doctors, lawyers, professors and engineers find themselves stripped of their most powerful item here: their profession,” he said. “I feel that this is a waste of human resources.”

Despite his desire to achieve his goals, Xie still requires the means to attend the forum, which costs $895, including flight and accommodations.

He has contacted businesses in the community in the hopes being sponsored, and has received some response, but is hopeful he will receive more as the date approaches.

“I’m going to keep trying and keep asking,” he said. “I don’t want to give up.”

 

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