New Canadian Media

 By TOM GODFREY   Everyone seems to know of a new immigrant who was a doctor or engineer back home and is now driving a taxi in Toronto.   City officials to their credit have heard the similar plight of many newcomers to

Share News

Read Full Article

Published in Commentary

 

When Sairam Chinnam immigrated to Toronto in 2011, he wanted to get to know his new city.  Looking out the window of a bus lacked the personal connection that was important to Chinnam.  “I was also looking to network with people [...]

Canadian Immigrant

Read Full Article

Published in Policy
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 00:06

Royal Bank helps newcomers settle

 Local restuaurant specializes in array of speciality pizzas, in particular Neapolitan

Asian Pacific Post

Read Full Article

Published in Economy

 

Humber College has launched an updated website specifically for internationally trained professionals.  Within the site, immigrants can find information on Humber’s programs and services including: free advising service for those seeking advice on educational options and other employment services and resources. The site also offers information on bridging programs that provide technical and soft skills [...]

Canadian Immigrant

Read Full Article

Published in Policy

 

The Canadian government has recognized five organizations across the country through the International Qualifications Network Awards (IQN) for working to help newcomers better integrate into the Canadian economy. The 2014 winners include: •    Workplace Integration: International Talent Acquisition Centre (In-TAC) Employment Division of the Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre (OCCSC) •    Innovation: College of Licensed [...]

Canadian Immigrant

Read Full Article

Published in National

 

Newcomers living in the city of Vancouver will now have an opportunity to learn more about the history and contributions of First Nations people in Canada. A guidebook launched on Tuesday entitled First Peoples: A Guide for Newcomers will discuss issues such as customs and traditions, government-aboriginal relations and residential schools.  The comprehensive booklet, which [...]

Canadian Immigrant

Read Full Article

Published in National

 IF you get a call from people claiming to be Canada Revenue Agency officers and telling you that you owe the agency unpaid taxes or some kind of penalty, DO NOT give them any information at all. Instead, just ask them for their names and phone numbers and tell them that you will get back […]

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in Economy

The federal government will share travellers’ information with more departments under a new Canada-U.S. border data exchange program, officials announced.

Canadian Immigrant

Read Full Article

Published in Top Stories

by Don Curry

Providing newcomer settlement services to northern and rural areas is a challenge, especially when municipalities and employers are not prepared for an influx of newcomers, which is now just beginning. 

The North Bay & District Multicultural Centre is the only settlement agency serving the region of Northeastern Ontario from Parry Sound in the south to Hearst in the north, including the regional centres of North Bay and Timmins. Our main office is in North Bay and we have a satellite office in Timmins, a four-hour drive north.

It takes eight hours to drive from Parry Sound to Hearst, so it is a huge territory, comprising 17 per cent of the land mass of Ontario. Some of the smaller municipalities include Mattawa, Sturgeon Falls, Temiskaming Shores, Kirkland Lake, Iroquois Falls, Hearst, Kapuskasing, and Cochrane.

The population of North Bay is 54,000 and Timmins has a population of 45,000. The catchment area we serve has a population of 240,000.

We have been in existence only six years and had an entrepreneurial nature from the outset, fully appreciating the close relationship between immigration and economic development in Northern Ontario.

In our six years of operation the number of permanent residents we serve has quadrupled and we have seen a regional rise in the number of temporary foreign workers and international students.

Mining jobs

Permanent residents and temporary workers are being hired by the many international mining companies we have in the region, plus those companies serving the mining industry. Mining engineers, millwrights, welders and skilled tradespeople are particularly in demand. The health care, government, and service and hospitality sectors are constantly looking for people as well. Immigrant entrepreneurs are arriving and purchasing hotels, convenience stores, gas stations and franchise operations, or starting their own businesses, such as pharmacies and restaurants.

For Northeastern Ontario this is a new phenomenon. The last wave of immigration to fill mining jobs in the north was many decades ago.

We have two settlement workers in North Bay and one in Timmins and we are not funded to serve temporary foreign workers or international students. But, as with most settlement agencies, we do not turn people away. When we looked at the numbers of international students we served from Canadore College and Nipissing University in North Bay last year we decided to charge the institutions, not the students, for the service.  

The college readily agreed and the university is still thinking about it. Similarly, when one local employer showed up at 4:45 on a Friday afternoon with six welders who are temporary foreign workers in tow, we thought it was time employers paid as well. 

We now have an agreement with that one employer, who has a dozen temporary foreign workers—11 welders and one engineer from Tunisia and the Philippines.  Most of them want to become permanent residents and bring their families to North Bay. We are aware of discussions at both the provincial and federal levels to include service to international students and temporary foreign workers in settlement funding, but there is nothing in effect at present.

Because we hold the contribution agreement for our Local Immigration Partnership and lead that initiative, we have a broader mandate and more tools at our disposal than some settlement agencies. The LIP in Timmins is led by the Timmins Economic Development Corporation, a key partner.

Mobilizing a region

Seeing the coming changes to the immigration system--economic immigration is expected to increase to 63 per cent of the total in 2014 and the Expression of Interest program is expected to be rolled out by Citizenship and Immigration Canada in January of 2015—we saw the need to get our entire region mobilized. With the coming changes employers will be driving Canada’s immigration program more than they did previously.

While we have been responsible for servicing a huge area in fact we haven’t been doing a great job outside North Bay and Timmins. Dropping off brochures in a strategic fashion and encouraging social service agencies to have immigrant clients contact us by our toll-free number or Skype has not worked well. We now realize that personal contact is required to engage the community and newcomers.

In October we invited municipalities and government funders to attend an immigration symposium in Temiskaming Shores, a scenic city roughly in the middle of our catchment area. Pathways to Prosperity was a sponsor and presented at the event. We presented the North Bay and Timmins settlement agency and LIP models and had a panel discuss the issues they are facing.

Two economic development officers talked about immigrants purchasing local businesses and settling in their areas but having limited settlement and integration support. A business owner talked about the challenges of finding skilled labour and the LIP coordinator from Renfrew District talked about the difficulty of operating a LIP without a supporting settlement agency.

We had a working group meeting two weeks later and devised a plan to address the issues raised at the symposium.

The way forward

We are fortunate to have access to both provincial Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and federal FedNor funding through Industry Canada for economic development activities. The plan involves seeking funding support from those two bodies, plus municipalities, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and CIC to do the following:

1. Provide resources for itinerant settlement counsellors based at the North Bay and Timmins & District Multicultural Centres to visit participating municipalities to provide settlement and integration services to immigrants.

2. Provide resources for HR North to expand into the smaller municipalities. The HR North project is in its incubation period and is not yet sustainable. HR North (www.hrnorth.ca) is a project of our North Bay LIP’s Immigrant Employers’ Council and is a head-hunting service for purple squirrels—those very difficult to find people with a skill set not normally found locally. It uses the Skills International database of some 15,000 skilled international professionals living in southern Ontario and adds university and college graduates.

3. Create Immigrant Employers` Councils in each municipality. There is an urgent need for employers to educate themselves about immigration, the Expression of Interest model, the need to create a welcoming community to retain newcomers and a myriad of other issues revolving around immigrant attraction and retention.

4. Assist municipalities with immigrant attraction and retention. The project will add practical steps to existing municipal strategic plans to move municipalities’ immigration efforts forward.

5. A region-wide advertising campaign to both set the stage for creating welcoming communities and providing settlement information to newcomers is seen as a necessary project component. Immigration has not been top-of-mind for smaller Northern Ontario communities.

6. Pathways to Prosperity will assign researchers to follow this project, systematically analyze key components that contribute to success, and produce a research report and evaluation at project’s end that will supplement a ‘how-to’ manual.

7. ‘How-to’ Manual. Extensive documentation will be kept throughout the project for both the researcher/project evaluator and the project principals, who will prepare the manual.

This is part of our strategy to address the changing landscape in our region. So far it has verbal support from one major funder and four municipalities and we are optimistic that we will be in the implementation phase in early 2014.

Don Curry is the executive director of the North Bay & District Multicultural Centre. He is a member of the board of directors of Pathways to Prosperity and the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Commentary

 VANCOUVER – In his keynote speechthis week at the B.C. Business Summit,Jason Kenney, Minister of Employmentand Social Development and Ministerfor Multiculturalism, challengedemployers to seek out Canadians and newcomers to address their skills shortages. New Canadians represent a valuable source of skilled labour from which employers in Canada can recruit.”Our government’s top priorities are creating jobs and economic growth. Weare committed [...]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

The Link

Read Full Article

Published in Economy

Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
No - 46.2%
Don't know - 23.1%
The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

Featured Quote

The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit

Zo2 Framework Settings

Select one of sample color schemes

Google Font

Menu Font
Body Font
Heading Font

Body

Background Color
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Top Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Header Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Mainmenu Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Slider Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Scroller Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Mainframe Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Scroller Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Breadcrumb Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Menu Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image
Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image