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Creating a Welcoming Community
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Sault and Area Local Immigration Partnership
As part of an initiative of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Sault Ste. Marie Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) is designed to encourage communities across the province to develop extensive and comprehensive local settlement strategy plans for the development and implementation of services for newcomers, to ease the transition into the work force and social integration into the City.
The City of Sault Ste. Marie is the lead organization of the Local Immigration Partnership. LIP is fully funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and is made up of approximately 50 members representing many local organizations, institutions, service providers and cultural groups.
The main goals of the Sault Ste. Marie LIP are to:
Identify and eliminate gaps in programs and services for new arrivals and immigrants
Consolidate and centralize community resources and services for new immigrants
Address current and pending labour shortages through Immigration Strategy Development
Develop and construct a working community strategy/plan
Research Phase (September 2009 – June 2010)
Local program and service providers eagerly embarked upon the LIP process, not as a means of evaluating their own performances or shortfalls, but as a means of identifying opportunities to enhance the entirety of the system as it was in order to better meet the needs of newcomers and immigrants in Sault Ste. Marie.
From September 2009 to June 2010, the Local Immigration Partnership conducted focus group sessions with different sectors in the community including: Education, Social Services, Business and Employers, Recreation, Culture and Newcomers. Community consultations were also held and were open to all members of the public. Surveys were also distributed to many groups/ organizations and made available for the public through the Discover the Sault website. The Local Immigration Partnership conducted community research using the methods for the following purposes:
Collect information and report on newcomer service delivery in Sault Ste. Marie;
Recommend improvements to program and service delivery;
Planning and conducting needs assessments;
Identify duplication of service;
Building or enhancing the capacity of service providers for delivery services to newcomers.
The information gathered throughout this research phase was the key component to the development of the community based settlement strategy prepared by the Local Immigration Partnership.
In June 2010, the Local Immigration Partnership delivered a community based settlement and integration strategy for newcomers to Sault Ste. Marie based on the research gathered during the above time period. This strategic plan entitled “Creating a Welcoming Community” was approved and endorsed by City Council.
Since the approval of the community settlement strategy, this report has become the main source guiding the Local Immigration Partnership through each of its phases. The Sault Ste. Marie Local Immigration Partnership is dedicated to the delivery of the recommendations in the “Creating a Welcoming Community for All” Settlement Strategy, through the continuous formation of community partnerships and community awareness projects such as the Immigration Forum’s held in 2011 and 2012.
Implementation Phase (June 2010 to Present)
Further funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada allowed the Local Immigration Partnership an opportunity to form a LIP Council which is made up of 15 members. The LIP Council is responsible for the guidance of the partnership and to provide oversight for the planning to deliver recommendations outlined in the “Creating a Welcoming Community” Strategic Plan.
Along with the evolution of the LIP Council, there was also the formation of sub-committees:
Community Awareness Campaign Committee
Community Forum Committee
Newcomer Welcome Centre Committee
Each LIP sub-committee is comprised of approximately 8 members. These committees are made up of individuals with expertise and knowledge about event planning, attraction and retention, community trends, local business and education and government.
The Local Immigration Partnership, LIP Council and LIP sub-committees make up a collaborative community working group represented by all sectors. They maintain the commitment to promote programs and services within the community & identify and eliminate gaps for newcomers and immigrants following the guidance of the settlement strategy with an end goal of “Creating a Welcoming Community for All”.
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