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Canadian Government Launches Tool Box to help attract Immigrants to smaller communities

Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, joined provincial, municipal and community partners to launch the "Tool Box of Ideas for Smaller Centres," a resource aimed at attracting & supporting immigrants to smaller communities in Canada. The Tool Box was funded through a contribution agreement from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The objective of this Tool Box is to help smaller communities across the Canada to benefit from immigration and develop their own immigration strategies.

Immigration offers long-term potential for the growth and sustainability of a community. “Attracting and Retaining Immigrants: A Tool Box of Ideas for Smaller Centres” is a comprehensive guide for communities wanting to create their own immigration strategy. It was created in response to an expressed interest by smaller communities in attracting newcomers. It includes information on immigration and employment realities, and recommendations on strategies for building support, reducing barriers and creating welcoming communities.

Specifically, the Tool Box addresses topics such as: creating local opportunities; setting practical objectives; building consensus; involving the community; the importance of family ties, employment, and housing services; accessing existing opportunities under current immigration rules as they relate to skilled and business immigrants, provincial nominees, refugees and temporary residents; and, factors needed to create a welcoming community, such as respect for diversity, accessibility of public services and educational facilities, health, safety, faith and spirituality and leisure activities.

"The Tool Kit is a practical tool for smaller centres to use as they build a strategy to address the issues surrounding the attraction and retention of immigrants to their community," said Jean McRae, Executive Director of the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, one of the members of the National Working Group. "It allows communities to be creative while encouraging active participation from existing community members as they build an inclusive plan for newcomers."

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