York Region Immigration Settlement Strategy moves from talk to action

With one of the largest immigrant populations in Canada, York Region values its newcomers as essential to the economic and cultural prosperity of the community. In June 2012, the York Region Local Immigration Settlement Strategy moved from talk to action – with York Regional Council endorsing Leading Change for a Stronger Community: Community Partnership Council Collective Action Plan 2012-2015, a three-year plan that supports the integration of newcomers and builds welcoming and inclusive communities.

Developed under the Local Immigration Partnership initiative and funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the strategy sets a long-term vision and priorities for the well-being of newcomers.

The Community Partnership Council – which includes community organizations, school boards, labour market planning boards, local municipalities, York Regional Police and all three levels of government – has committed to 126 actions to help support the well-being of newcomers and residents.

“Through the development of the Action Plan, the Community Partnership Council has identified ways to support all York Region residents and further advance York Region’s position as an economic, social and cultural leader,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.

“New Canadians bring new energy and talent to our community. The Action Plan reinforces that we all have a role to play in building supportive and inclusive communities,” said City of Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Co-Chair of the Community Partnership Council.

Helping new Canadians integrate quickly empowers them to succeed in the community.

Key themes of the action plan include building community capacity, supporting positive attitudes towards diversity and enhancing labour market outcomes.

Specific initiatives include:

  • Hosting an Internationally Educated Professionals Conference on Tuesday,October 23, 2012. This one-day event welcomes newcomers, all levels of government, professional associations, entrepreneurs and employers to network and learn.
  • Sharing of information and services in multiple languages between all nine local municipal libraries.
  • Creating and implementing a public awareness campaign.
  • Working with community partners to expand the mentoring partnership program.

“As York Region continues to grow, it is important that all residents have access to the programs and services needed to succeed, thrive and engage in the community,” said Stephen Lam, Director of Immigrant and Community Services, Catholic Community Services of York Region and Co-Chair of the Community Partnership Council.

The Action Plan is available at www.yorkwelcome.ca

This story is from the "Newcomers in York Region" InfoBlock. To read more stories on this topic, click here.