Northern Policy Institute (NPI) partnered with the Greater Sudbury Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) to provide strategic actions for the City of Greater Sudbury to take in order to successfully encourage economic integration of newcomers.
Given a slow population growth, a rising demographic dependency ratio, and the introduction of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, as well as the Francophone Welcoming Communities Initiative, it is important for the City of Greater Sudbury to ask: What assets and resources can we enhance in order to effectively attract and retain newcomers? Specifically, how can the City encourage long-term economic integration of newcomers?
To answer these questions, the Greater Sudbury LIP held a discussion with its Economic Working Group, which was facilitated by NPI. Through an analysis of the comments made in this session, as well as in key informant interviews, NPI was able to identify barriers to newcomer economic integration as well as recommendations for strategic actions.
“There are several actions the City of Greater Sudbury could take to tackle the demographic trends. First, it could encourage the economic integration of the domestic population, such as Indigenous peoples and other economic groups. It could also attract and retain Anglophone, Francophone, and other newcomer groups (i.e., immigrants and secondary migrants),” stated author Rachel Rizzuto.
In terms of barriers, there are various kinds of challenges newcomers can face including a lack of a permanent immigration and passport office for newcomers, discriminatory behaviours, language barriers, issues regarding recognition of credentials and many more. In addition to identifying these barriers, there are also challenges on the service provider and employer side of the equation, which can include the scope of organizations’ mandates and communication issues.
In order to eliminate and/or mitigate these identified issues, actions must be made. The author has 10 recommendations for the City of Greater Sudbury, here are some examples:
- Construct an Asset Map: an inventory of a given community or organization’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Engaging Employers Appropriately: Educating employers about what is available and how the newcomer process operates should be conducted in a manner that accommodates their work schedules.
- Collect and Utilize Data to Fill Needs and Improve Efficiency: In order to appropriately measure success and identify opportunities in filling needs and improving efficiency, collecting and analyzing newcomer data is crucial.
- When Planning, Plan for Families too: Some newcomers may bring their families with them. It was noted that spouses must be taken into consideration, otherwise a family may not be inclined to stay in the community.
To read more about the barriers to newcomer economic integration or to find out what the other recommendations are, go read the research report here: https://www.northernpolicy.ca/building-a-home
About Northern Policy Institute:
Northern Policy Institute is Northern Ontario’s independent think tank. We perform research, collect and disseminate evidence, and identify policy opportunities to support the growth of sustainable Northern communities. Our operations are located in Thunder Bay and Sudbury. We seek to enhance Northern Ontario’s capacity to take the lead position on socio-economic policy that impacts Northern Ontario, Ontario, and Canada as a whole.