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Smiths Falls: A Strategy to Welcome Newcomers


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Smiths Falls: A Strategy to Welcome Newcomers

Table of Contents Mayor’s Message

pg 3

Acknowledgment

pgs 4-6

Background

pgs 7-8

Demographics

pgs 9-13

Executive Summary

pgs 14-29

Planning Process

pgs 30-31

Community Consultation Plan

pgs 32-36

Action Plan

pgs 37-46

Conclusion

pg 47

References

pgs 48-49

Appendices

pgs 50-108

Photo Acknowledgment Photographs used in Smiths Falls: A Strategy to Welcome Newcomers are courtesy of Michele Baitley, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark County, the EMC, Simon Lunn, Filipino Choir and Town of Smiths Falls staff members.


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Mayor’s Message The establishment of our Local Immigration Partnership Council is critically important to ensure that the Town of Smiths Falls provides the necessary supports, programs and local strategies to attract and welcome newcomers to our community. The Town of Smiths Falls is known as one of the friendliest communities in Canada and offers an excellent quality of life, great shopping and services, excellent schools, abundant recreation, and just about everything a newcomer is looking for. We look forward to attracting more newcomers to our community, and the Local Immigration Partnership Project will allow the Sensational Town of Smiths Falls to continue to grow and prosper as we welcome new citizens.

Dennis Staples,

Mayor of Smiths Falls


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Acknowledgment Dianne Pinder-Moss, Coordinator of the Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) Project, and Amber Coville, Project Assistant, would like to express their appreciation to all those who contributed towards the development of “Smiths Falls: A Strategy to Welcome Newcomers”. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the efforts of the members of the Local Immigration Partnership Council (LIPC) who have provided their support to the project since the outset.

Current members: •

Peter Au, Chinese and Canadian Heritage Cultural Association (alternate Janice Ling);

Pauline Anderson, Welcome Wagon;

Rima Aristocrat, Willis College (alternate Amy Zetting);

Melinda Billett, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit (alternate Rebecca Kavanagh);

Sarah Bridson, United Way of Lanark County (alternate Fraser Scantlebury);

Karen Burns, CIBC (alternate Chris Cummings);

Yohan Byrde, Comfort Inn;

Kristina Crosbie, Dominion Lending Centres: The Mortgage Source (alternate Eileen Crosbie);

Councillor Ken Graham, Town of Smiths Falls (alternate Councillor Lorraine Allen);

Sandy Grey, Lanark County Social Housing (alternate Nancy Green);

Kevin Grimes, Century 21 Your Choice Realty Inc., (alternate Jacalyn Feenstra);

Ming Shan Gu, Education Bridge International Inc, and Mac’s Convenience Stores Inc. (alternate Chuang Wei (Victor) Mu);

Daphne Lane, TR Leger Immigrant Services (alternate Julie Case);

David Lawrence, RBC Royal Bank;

Kim Leach, Town of Smiths Falls;

Karen Schecter, Smiths Falls Public Library;

Michelle Toop, ontrac Employment Resource Services (alternate Joanne Watson);

Rev. J. Angel Valentin, Smiths Falls Free Methodist Church and Bridges (alternate Pastor Judy Finley).


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Former LIPC members: •

Nancy Metcalfe, Smiths Falls & District Chamber of Commerce (who has taken on another job);

Major Brian Fuller, The Salvation Army (who was transferred to western Canada);

Traci Brigham, community at large (who has moved to Vancouver).

In addition, we would like to thank 20 additional members of our community who were recruited for the four Work Groups, along with members of the LIP Council. Work Group members: •

Christine Mike, Member of Community;

Suzanne Geoffrion, Lanark County Planning Group for Children, Youth and Families;

Peter McKenna, Smiths Falls Community Health Centre;

Jennifer Miller, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Lanark County;

Louis Tremblay, Smiths Falls and District Arts and Culture Council;

Doris Marshall, Smiths Falls and District Centre for Youth;

Stacey Roy, Media, The EMC;

Tony Gilchrist, New Directions ;

Murray Kyte, Algonquin Perth Campus;

Al Olson, Smiths Falls Kingston Learning Center;

Joanne Watson, ontrac Employment Resource Services;

Wendy Quarry, Smiths Falls Community Health Centre;

Chris Cummings, Town of Smiths Falls Councillor;

As well, we would like to acknowledge the input of: Other members of the Town of Smiths Falls Immigration Development Team •

Bob Cheetham, Director of Economic Development;

Kim Leach, Acting Manager of Community Development and Tourism.

Former LIPC Staff: •

Nicole Sullivan, LIP Coordinator (March – October 2011)


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Special mention should also be made for the support of: •

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC);

Town of Smiths Falls;

TR Leger Immigrant Services;

Finally, we would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who participated in the public consultation phase of the LIP Project, which took the form of focus groups, key informant interviews and surveys. The input provided was valuable as the information gathered helped to form the recommendations in the Action Plan. Views expressed in this document are those of the Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership Council and are not necessarily those of the Government of Canada. The report may be freely cited without permission provided the authors are acknowledged. Information presented in this report was current at time of printing.


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Background The recently released 2011 census data was quite revealing in terms of Canadian population trends. Based on the data, two-thirds of the nearly two million people added to the country’s population since the 2006 census were immigrants.1

To illustrate the significance of these figures, the census report found, “Without a sustained level of immigration or a substantial increase in fertility, Canada’s population growth could, within 20 years, be close to zero.”

The Conference Board of Canada has reported that Ontario faces a shortage of more than 360,000 skilled employees by 2025, which is expected to escalate to more than 560,000 by 2030.

For rural communities in particular, immigration has become an essential source of population sustainability, regional economic development and cultural vitality. Reports have shown that immigrants can assist businesses in addressing labour shortage issues, and provide professional services that are in demand such as in the health care profession. Also cited as major benefits is the fact that newcomers frequently start new businesses and create jobs as entrepreneurs.2

In 2011, the Economic Development Department dealt with seven international inquiries. Three of the queries originated from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade with another two arising from the real estate sector, in terms of interest shown in investment properties. One inquiry was directly related to the Sister City Agreement between Smiths Falls and Xiangyang, China. The other involved a business plan requiring training of a foreign worker for external projects. The origin of the inquiries was as varied as the nature of the queries – Middle East, China, Asia, Europe and the United States.3 Likewise, the Lanark-North Leeds Enterprise Centre in Smiths Falls has provided information to newcomers who expressed interest in opening a business. The business interests ranged from agriculture to retail to convenience store/variety shop to delivery to service (consulting and tutoring). Some of the newcomers also attended seminars hosted by the Enterprise Centre.4 With the Town of Smiths Falls having made Immigrant Attraction and Retention a priority in its Strategic Plan and other planning documents, (see Executive Summary page 14), the Town responded to a call for proposals by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in the fall of 2010 for Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) Project funding. Consisting of regional, municipal, or neighbourhood coalitions, LIPs are designed “to strengthen local capacity to attract newcomers and improve integration outcomes, as indicated by enhanced economic, social, political, and civic participation.” 5

1

Statistics Canada 2011 census Ian Wong, Attracting Immigrants to Rural Communities, The Monieson Centre, Queen’s School of Business, Queen’s University, August 2009 3 2011 statistics, Town of Smiths Falls Economic Development Department 4 Cindy James, Manager, Lanark-North Leeds Enterprise Centre 5 Welcoming Communities website, www.welcomingcommunities.ca 2


8 Approved for funding in the amount of $219,342, the Smiths Falls LIP Project was established in March 2011. One of 45 LIP projects in the Province of Ontario and among 10 commencing Phase I in 2011, the Smiths Falls project, which includes an 18-kilometre radius from the municipality, is one of the smallest, in terms of population served.

Among the stated objectives of the LIP initiative in Smiths Falls: •

Work to develop a sound understanding of newcomer trends and requirements in the community. By utilizing an employee dedicated to the program, the Town of Smiths Falls will be able to facilitate data collection to enhance the LIP initiatives and provide a framework for them to act upon;

The researcher will collect and review stories from newcomers to Smiths Falls and the surrounding area, including a 18-kilometre radius from the municipality;

Conduct local focus group sessions to discuss areas of immigration growth and gaps in existing systems, and how these can be addressed;

Interview local service providers on available programming and services for newcomers and agency thresholds;

Interview and engage employers to understand local market requirements. Along with Employer Information Forms and Employer Challenges Forms being distributed to approximately 250 local employers, employers were also consulted through interviews and a focus group session. The feedback received from those that participated in the consultation process was 83 per cent were interested in hiring newcomers.

Facilitate the introduction of trainer newcomers with local employers;

Create a Local Immigration Partnership Council;

Create a Terms of Reference for the partnership council established by the LIP Project;

Assist in the development and creation of an Action Plan with the LIP Council to address yearly priorities and ensure these are implemented into the Town of Smiths Falls Strategic Plan. The Smiths Falls LIP Project was officially kicked off on June 16 with a Celebration Evening at the Memorial Community Centre. A full house of approximately 60 people was in attendance for the official announcement of the project by Mary Barr, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). “I’m so pleased to see a focused effort on the welcoming and integration of newcomers to Sensational Smiths Falls. We will all be richer for the experience in the end.” Jennifer Miller, Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark County and LIP Work Group Member


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Demographics Strategically located between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, the Town of Smiths Falls is a separated municipality in the County of Lanark in eastern Ontario. Encompassing approximately 8.5 kilometres geographically, the town currently has a population of 8,978.6

Officially incorporated on January 1st, 1883, Smiths Falls is located at the heart of the Rideau Canal, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 and is the sole UNESCO site in Ontario.

Over the next 25 years, the number of seniors aged 65 and over is projected to more than double in Ontario from 1.8 million, or 13.9 per cent of the population in 2010, to 4.1 million, or 23.4 per cent, by 2036.7 In Smiths Falls, that could even be more pronounced as already 38.1 per cent of Lanark County’s population is 50 years of age or older. The average age in the county is 43.1, which exceeds the provincial average by four years.8

From the 2006 to 2011 censuses, there was a two per cent decline in the population of the Town of Smiths Falls. In comparison, the average population growth nationally was 5.9 per cent.

In 2011, Smiths Falls had 4,070 occupied private dwellings, an increase of 6.8 per cent from the 2006 Census.9 Along with its many other amenities, the lower housing prices in Smiths Falls, as compared to neighbouring communities, makes the town an attractive place to live. The average residential sale price in the Town of Smiths Falls in 2010 was $155,895 with that increasing to $164,927 for the first eight months of 2011.10

6

Statistics Canada 2011 Census Statistics Canada, 2010 and Ontario Ministry of Finance projections 8 Statistics Canada 2006 Census 9 Statistics Canada 2011 Census 10 Rideau St. Lawrence Real Estate Board MLS statistics 7


10 In Canada’s rural and small town areas in 2006, immigrants accounted for 5.3 per cent of the population, numbering 312,555 individuals. 11 There were 448 immigrants in Smiths Falls in 2006, which is five per cent of the population. Projections for 2010 were 510 with that number expected to rise to 671 by 2020.

Of the town's immigrant population, the largest number were from Europe (320), followed by the United Kingdom with 139, the United States with 57 and Asia and the Middle East with 51. There were also small pockets of immigrants from the Caribbean (16) and Central America (3). 12

11 12

Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 2, Statistics Canada, June 2009 2006 Census based data, Environics Analytics


11

From January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2010, 49 new landed immigrants planned to settle in the Smiths Falls census subdivision. The top four birth countries of these newcomers were the Philippines, United States, India and Korea. With regards to their mother tongues, the majority spoke English, Tagalog, Gujarati or Korean. The largest number of newcomers (28) was in the 25 to 44 year age group.


12 Over 80 per cent of all immigrants to Smiths Falls who arrived between 2006 and 2010 were English-speaking. 13 Over the past century, immigrants have played an important role in Smiths Falls' business community. Some examples of thriving businesses during that time period were the Smiths Falls Candy Kitchen opened by Greek immigrant Mack Katinas in 1920, a dry goods business founded by Lebanese newcomer Saul M. Aboud in 1922 and the real estate business of Emilio and Sylvia Camara who emigrated from Spain in 1967.14

In recent years, Smiths Falls has become home to a number of newcomer entrepreneurs who have established restaurants, retail businesses and travel accommodations. Many employ local residents to work at their places of business.

Newcomers are also employed locally in various job sectors from retail to health care to live-in caregivers to the hospitality and food wholesale industries to temporary farm workers. 15

The unemployment rate for the EI Economic Region of Eastern Ontario, which encompasses Smiths Falls, currently stands at 8.7 per cent.16 The town has experienced the loss of nearly 1,700 jobs since February 2007 through the closure of its two largest employers, the Hershey’s chocolate factory and Rideau Regional Centre, as well as the loss of other manufacturers like Stanley Tools and Flakt.

On the job front, between 2001 and 2006, Lanark County experienced the greatest employment increases in the sectors of retail trade, health care and social assistance and other services with the exception of public administration. These figures suggest that the county, including Smiths Falls, like other regions in Ontario, is transitioning from an economy with a strong industrial base to one 13

2006 Census based data, Environics Analytics Glenn J. Lockwood, Smiths Falls: A Social History of the Men and Women in a Rideau Canal Community, 1794-1994, Motion Creative Printing, 1994 15 Interviews with local employers and Employer Information Forms 16 Unemployment Rate & Benefit Table (for the period of February 5, 2012 to March 10, 2012), EI Economic Region of Eastern Ontario, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada 14


13 that is more retail and service focused. This is reinforced by the fact that industries in Lanark County reporting the greatest increases in the number of employers from 2009 to 2010 were specialty trade contractors, general merchandise stores and personal laundry services.

Likewise, the largest employment increases during that time period were reported in small and medium businesses, in nursing and residential care facilities, health and personal care stores, and food services and drinking places. 17

Between April 2011 and September 2011, 33 employers requested services from ontrac Employment Resource Services. A breakdown of the employer requests were as follows: •

Construction/Landscaping – 30 per cent;

Retail – 16 per cent;

Food Services – Two per cent;

Transportation – Five per cent;

Warehousing/Movers – Five per cent;

Sales – Seven per cent;

Office – Seven per cent;

Education – Five per cent;

Trades – Seven per cent;

Health Care – Five per cent;

Manufacturing – Seven per cent;

Cleaning – Two per cent;

General Services – Two per cent.

Of the 46 clients referred for job opportunities, 34 were hired as a result of the referral. 18 Interestingly, many community leaders and employers in Lanark County have indicated that they might benefit from an influx of newcomers to Canada to address skilled trades and workforce shortages.19

17

Statistics Canada and 2011/2012 TOP Report, The Labour Market Group of Renfrew and Lanark Job Matching, Placement & Incentive Statistical Data, ontrac Employment Resource Services 19 Consultations with employers and community partners by The Labour Market Group of Renfrew and Lanark 18


14

Executive Summary Immigrant Attraction & Retention (IAR) has been an ongoing focus of the Town of Smiths Falls.

In the Town of Smiths Falls’ Economic Development Statement of Objectives released in October 2009, the need for immigrant and newcomer attraction was identified in two of the objectives. These were:

8.5 Put People First by Focusing on Talent Retention & Attraction 8.5.1 Tracking post-secondary student pursuits (and recruiting as appropriate) using a database and outreach program; 8.5.2 Develop physician recruitment strategy; 8.5.3 Pursue relationships with community colleges such as apprenticeship programs; 8.5.4 Developed a lifestyle strategy/campaign to attract young families/professionals and retirees (promote existing community assets and continue to work on adding more.) 8.7 Attract New Residents to Smiths Falls 8.7.1 Continue to enhance targeted marketing campaign; 8.7.2 Continue to enhance recreational/cultural/social community assets; 8.7.3 Expand immigrant attraction web-portal and focus marketing as result of monitoring contacts made through the portal.

Immigration Portal The Town of Smiths Falls has embarked on a number of initiatives towards the realization of these objectives. For instance, in the fall of 2010, major upgrades were undertaken to the Immigrate to Smiths Falls website, which was developed in 2008 as a marketing and resource tool to link people from other countries looking to settle in Canada.


15 The redesign project was made possible through a $147,500 grant from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration under the Municipal Immigration Information Online (MIIO) program.

In November 2005, Ontario signed the first ever Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA) with the federal government. Through the agreement, which was extended for one year in May 2010, Ontario was provided with funds to support municipal involvement in the development of the Canadian and Ontario immigration portals. A total of 25 municipalities have been funded since 2005-2006 – currently 21 MIIO sites are live and four are in development 20 - with Smiths Falls becoming one of the project partners in April 2008.

Among the added features to the redesigned immigratetosmithsfalls.ca website, which was unveiled in February 2011, were a francophone component, a link to the MLS property listing site and the creation of a Community Pal interactive mapping feature, which allows easy access to town businesses, roads, trails and other community services. Through Google translate, information on the site can also be translated from English into French, Chinese (simplified), Filipino, Greek, Hindu and Spanish.

The following information is available on the immigration portal: •

Choosing Smiths Falls – Community Profile, Cost of Living, FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), Getting Here, Housing, Multilingual Fact Sheets (in the languages of Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil and Urdu), News & Media Releases, Success Stories and Visitor Guide;

Living in Smiths Falls – Banking, Businesses, Commuting/Transportation, Faith and Worship, Health Care, Maps, Parks & Recreation, Service Clubs, Volunteering and Welcome Wagon;

Working in Smiths Falls – Bridge Training Program, Employment Services, Hire Immigrants Employer Roadmap, Hiring Internationally Trained Professionals, Labour Market, Recognition of Foreign Credentials, Small Business Centre and Working in Canada;

Education – Elementary Schools, Secondary Schools, Post-Secondary Education, Adult & Continuing Education, ESL, International Learning, Library, Skills Development and Summer Programs;

Settling in Smiths Falls – About the Area, After You Arrive Checklist, Basic Banking, Before You Arrive Checklist, Canada, Community Connections, Community Newcomer Partnership Program, Cultural Organization, Currency, Documents, Government, Newcomer Info and Settlement Services.

20

David Woods, Team Leader, OntarioImmigration.ca, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration


16 While 1,000 visits a month to a website is considered good internet traffic, the Smiths Falls immigration portal received more than double that number of visits most months during 2011. In fact, in the month of December, 4,254 visits were reported with the total number for the year being 32,673. Among the pages that saw the most traffic were Utilities, Community Events, FAQ, Housing and Cost of Living.

Aside from visits within Canada, the immigration portal saw visitors from 98 countries in the world in 2011 with the highest traffic coming from the United States with 17,904 visits. Other countries from which the website was accessed at least 100 times were Australia (600), United Kingdom (289), Ukraine (289), Netherlands (274), Spain (269), Italy


17 (205), China (184), Germany (146), Romania (144) and France (136).21 The immigration portal, which links directly to the Town’s website at www.smithsfalls.ca and the Economic Development website at www.advantagesmithsfalls.ca, has been used as a Best Practices model by other MIIO municipalities, as has the Town’s Community Ambassador Program.

Community Newcomer Partnership Program The Community Newcomer Partnership Program was established in 2010 with federal and provincial funding received under COIA. The agreement supports municipalities in attracting newcomers and helping them to settle in their communities. The Community Newcomer Partnership Program serves to educate immigrants and new residents on the many services Smiths Falls has to offer. Community partners identified include medical service providers, business services, churches, employment agencies, industry, retail shops, restaurants, media, real estate professionals, schools and service clubs.

The Community Newcomer Partnership Program is a natural expansion of the town's efforts in the area of increased residential attraction. This government-funded program helps to engage the community and local employers on the benefits and opportunities that newcomers can bring to the workplace.

An important aspect of the initiative is the Community Ambassador Program, which involves training the participants as ambassadors to promote Smiths Falls as a team. Since the outset of the program, municipal staff has already trained more than 200 Community Ambassadors and more sessions are planned.

Likewise, as part of the focus on newcomer attraction, the Town of Smiths Falls commenced an intensive promotional campaign in the fall of 2009 in publications like Newcomer, Canadian Immigrant, Muchmor and Diplomat magazines, which are oriented towards immigrants. The primary audience has been immigrants who have settled in larger centres like Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver. Town staff have written articles for Muchmor on some of our newcomer success stories. (See Appendix J page 91.)

In addition to print advertising, there has been an online component to the campaign in Newcomer and Muchmor magazines via Google advertising targeting the European market. In 2012, over the next six months, there are plans to run an extensive Google marketing campaign.

21

Running Tide Inc., website developer for Town of Smiths Falls


18

Sister City Agreement with Xiangyang, China In October 2009, the Town of Smiths Falls entered into a Sister City Agreement with the City of Xiangfan (renamed Xiangyang on December 2, 2010) in Hubei Province, China. A city of 6.75 million people located in the centre of China, Xiangyang has rich heritage and cultural significance dating back 2,800 years. The city’s major industries include automotive, textiles, advanced manufacturing and agriculture. To further relationships between the two municipalities, Mayor Dennis Staples and Bob Cheetham, then Manager of Economic Development and the current Director of Economic Development, travelled to Xiangyang in July 2010. During their 10-day stay, a major agreement was signed with Willis College of Business Health and Technology that will see the enrolment of students from Xiangyang at the Smiths Falls and Ottawa campuses. The trip also resulted in the negotiating and signing of six Memorandums of Understanding that focused on education, investment attraction, commerce, tourism, arts and culture, bio-medicine and opportunities for student exchanges.

The third meeting since the signing of the Sister City Agreement took place in May 2011 when the Town of Smiths Falls and Willis College played host to a delegation of nine representatives from Xiangyang in Smiths Falls and Ottawa. While in Smith Falls, the delegation headed by Xiangyang Deputy Mayor Ms. Li Shuyong and Ms. Li Ling, the Deputy Dean of


19 Xiangfan Vocational and Technical College, toured the Willis campus and engaged in discussions related to the pending arrival of post-secondary students from Xiangyang. Likewise, they met with Mayor Staples and municipal economic development staff members to further discuss opportunities of mutual economic and cultural interest to both communities. In continuing to foster its relationship with its Chinese Sister City, this time with the youth, the Town extended the welcome mat on February 7 to 11, 2012 for 10 students aged 13 to 15 from Xiangyang. Hosted by local residents, including members of Smiths Falls Town Council, the teenagers and their chaperones participated in a wide range of activities from learning how to skate, receiving daily English instruction and taking part in Smiths Falls’ Winter Carnival to attending Carnival China Spring Gala 2012 presented by the Canada-China Cultural Development Association at the Brockville Arts Centre. The visitors from Xiangyang also travelled to Ottawa to visit the Chinese Embassy, tour the Parliament Buildings and attend Winterlude. It is hoped the trip will result in the development of other cultural exchange opportunities between the two communities.

International Students’ Initiative 2010 With expenditures by international students attending Canadian post-secondary institutions contributing $6.5 billion to the Canadian economy in 200822, the Town of Smiths Falls endorsed a proposal in 2010 to the Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation by the Rideau Roundtable for an international students’ initiative.

A collaboration of various groups, including the Town of Smiths Falls and Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association, International Students’ Initiative (ISI) 2010 was aimed at introducing international students from colleges and universities in Ottawa and Kingston to the ecology, geology and history of the Rideau Heritage Route, as well as economic development opportunities in the hosting town.

The one-day excursions during the fall term saw students hike along the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They also toured the Rideau Canal Museum, viewed a documentary on the building of the Rideau Canal and paddled a portion of the canal through the Swale to Poonamalie Lock in a Voyageur canoe.

22

Roslyn Kunin & Associates Inc., Economic Impact of International Education in Canada Report, July 2009


20 One hundred and twenty students from Algonquin College, Carleton University and University of Ottawa in Ottawa and St. Lawrence College in Kingston participated in ISI 2010. The nationalities of those taking part were quite diverse with India, Korea, Nigeria, Italy and Mexico being among the many countries represented. 23

While the pilot project was only one year in length, the lessons learned from the initiative have been shared with other groups and agencies.

International Students at SFDCI In the fall of 2010, a delegation from the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) travelled to Zhengzhou, China with the trip culminating in the signing of a sister school board agreement between the UCDSB and Zhengzhou Municipal Education Bureau (MEB).

As part of the agreement to enhance the educational and cultural exchange between the two and share education resources, the UCDSB will organize summer and winter camps for students at Zhenghou MEB and, accordingly, students from the UCDSB will be invited to Zhengzhou for a cultural exchange.

Likewise, under the agreement, students from Zhengzhou No. 9 High School will have the opportunity to study the Ontario Grade 10 curriculum in China and then come to Canada to complete Grade 11 and 12 within the UCDSB. Upon graduating, the students are granted an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, as well as one from their homeland.

Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute (SFDCI) is one of six high schools within the UCDSB that can accept international students with two more schools expected to be added for the 2012-2013 school year. Currently, there are 113 students attending “hub schools� like SFDCI for this academic year and approximately 100 short-term students staying between two and four weeks through cultural exchanges.

The target for the 2012-2013 school year is 130 full-time students and 100 short-term students. Between 20 and 24 of these international students are expected to attend SFDCI. 24

At present, there are approximately a dozen international students from China, Taiwan and Germany in the student body at SFDCI. Two -- one from Taiwan and one from Germany -- started as exchange program students at the school and, since that time, have obtained Permanent Resident status.25

23 24 25

Peter Au, Rideau Roundtable Carmen Cousineau, Executive Director, Upper Canada Leger Centre for Education and Training Interview with Gord Cooke, principal, Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute, November 22, 2011


21

2011-2013 Economic Development Action Plan Immigration attraction and retention are ongoing priorities of the Town of Smiths Falls, as evidenced by the 2011-2013 Economic Development Plan entitled “Turning Point: An Agenda for Action.” Among the recommendations in the document written by Bob Cheetham, the town’s Director of Economic Development and endorsed by Town Council are: •

Approve economic development staff travel and related expenses to Xiangyang, China and Cannes (MIPIM) France in 2011 to further develop investment attraction and build on Sister City collaborative interests;

That Smiths Falls Council ensure that arts and culture is coordinated with, and integrated into, all the Town’s other plans, policies, developments, activities and initiatives, including:

I.

Economic growth strategies;

II.

Immigration strategies;

III.

Recreational facilities;

IV.

Tourism promotion;

V.

Smiths Falls’ historical and heritage asset; and

VI.

Council’s future visions for the community;

That Municipal Council continue to work toward building trust and confidence that fosters strong relationships between the Town of Smiths Falls and its Sister City of Xiangyang, China and that travel budget be allocated for building on existing and new potential investment opportunities between the two communities;

That Council continue to place a priority on immigrant and newcomer services in the community and support ongoing development of programs and services that generate residential and business attraction in the community.

In keeping with one of the recommendations, this will be the second year that the Town of Smiths Falls has participated in Ontario’s Trade Booth at MIPIM. Considered the world’s foremost real estate trade show, the show is held in Cannes, France in March with Mayor Dennis Staples and Bob Cheetham slated to be in attendance. Since MIPIM brings together the most influential real estate professionals in the world to explore major international property development projects, connect with potential partners and strike deals over four intensive days, the Town views the event as an opportunity to develop contacts with investors from around the globe as it showcases investment opportunities available in the community, including a recently vacated industrial complex.


22

Municipal Cultural Planner Another recommendation in the Economic Action Plan that has been acted upon relates to seeking senior government program funds to secure the services of a contractual cultural planner. Through a grant from the Creative Communities Prosperity Fund, a municipal cultural planner was hired in December 2011. As part of the Creative Economy, the cultural planner is being tasked during the one-year contract to formally establish the place of arts, culture and heritage in Smiths Falls by creating and mapping the town’s strategy and road map for culture. The cultural plan will incorporate everything that residents of Smiths Falls define and cherish as cultural. Considered the fourth pillar of economic sustainability, arts and culture has a real and proven impact on the society, the economy and the quality of life experienced by its citizens. Additionally, culture can influence the choice of where new immigrants wish to call “home”.26

Proposal for Serenity Park To help newcomers to Canada, as well as other residents of Smiths Falls feel at home, municipal planning staff has drafted a proposal for a Serenity Park on part of the grounds of the former Memorial Community Centre. Described as “An Expose of the Smiths Falls Cultural Community”, the park has been designed to shed light on the cultural talent of Smiths Falls by acting as an outdoor gallery. This will be achieved through the creation of a keystone piece placed at the gateway. The path connecting the art piece and the water fountain has been enlarged in the design to allow for easels or semi-permanent displays to be filled by local artists. The adjacent green space has purposely been left vacant to allow for use of the park as a venue for festivals and shows.

The proposed reflexology track is designed to contribute to alternative health initiatives, as well as connecting to the town’s China-centric economic development initiatives. This will also be reflected in the use of northern China plant species. 27

26 27

Lynne Clifford-Ward, Municipal Cultural Planner, Town of Smiths Falls Nicole McKernan, Planning Assistant, Town of Smiths Falls


23

Chinese and Canadian Heritage Cultural Association A group that has been pivotal in promoting the Chinese culture locally and in assisting Chinese newcomers who settle in the Smiths Falls area is the Chinese and Canadian Heritage Cultural Association (CCHCA). Founded in 1979 and becoming a registered charity in 1980, the CCHCA was first formed to help workers and their families in the Chinese restaurant sector by offering English classes and naturalization courses in which eight Chinese immigrants became Canadians citizens. The organization has been organizing Chinese New Year celebrations in Smiths Falls since the mid-1980s, with the participation of the Chinese Embassy, town officials, local Chinese and other residents, exchange students, etc.

In recent years, CCHCA has presented a Cultural Night at the Rideau Canal Museum in Smiths Falls with the evening featuring a Chinese Dinner and cultural presentation in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy. The Association has also participated in the annual Canal, Railway and Chocolate Festival (now renamed Canal, Railway and Music Festival) with a cultural tent, showcasing the 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of China to raise the profile of these global treasures and raise awareness of the Rideau Canal – Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site -- as well as other cultural activities for adults and children, including a traditional Chinese medicine demonstration using tongue and pulse diagnostics. CCHCA also organized and presented a two-day intense language and cultural workshop for people scheduled to visit China in April 2010. Other cultural activities included presenting a photographic exhibition of “Beautiful China” in the Rideau Canal Museum, as well as the Smiths Falls Town Hall, in July 2010.

Filipino Choir Members of Smiths Falls' growing Filipino community have formed a choir, which sings on a regular basis at St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church. The choir was profiled recently in our local newspaper the EMC. (See Appendix P page 107.)


24

Culture Days In celebration of the community's rich culture, Smiths Falls was among more than 700 communities across Canada that took part in Culture Days on September 30th, October 1st and 2nd, 2011. Culture Days is a collaborative, grassroots Canada-wide movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.

The local celebrations were coordinated by the Smiths Falls and District Arts and Culture Council. (The establishment of the arts and culture council in April 2011 was another recommendation made in the 2011-2013 Economic Development Action Plan.)

Smiths Falls Culture Days featured free hands-on, interactive activities and "behind the scenes" experiences where participants were able to get up close and discover the world of art and culture in the local community. Planning for this year's event is already underway.

Settlement Services Settlement services are vital for newcomers to Canada. Through a partnership agreement with the Town of Smiths Falls, TR Leger Immigrant Services, which is part of the Upper Canada District School Board, provides services to newcomers who reside within the catchment area of the Smiths Falls LIP Project. Funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), TR Leger Immigrant Services offers the following services: •

Settlement services;

Community Connections (formerly Host Program);

Job search workshops;

Referral services;

Computer/internet/phone/fax access;

Community resources;

Information on Canadian citizenship;

DVDs and multilingual information for newcomers to Canada.


25 As part of a working referral protocol established between the Town of Smiths Falls and TR Leger Immigrant Services in June 2011, T R Leger Immigrant Services agreed to refer newcomers to Canada to the Town of Smiths Falls municipal offices/staff and the Town of Smiths Falls agreed to refer clients in need of settlement services to TR Leger Immigrant Services/staff. Under the agreement, both organizations track referrals and exchange non-confidential information related to immigration and settlement in Smiths Falls. The confidentiality of clients is respected regarding any exchange of information with the exchange only taking place after referral forms between the two parties have been signed by the clients.

Since June 2011, TR Leger Immigrant Services has provided services to 17 newcomers from the Smiths Falls area. The countries of origin of those served were China, India, Philippines, Taiwan, Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States and Norway.28 The Town of Smiths Falls also has a trained settlement worker who works cohesively with TR Leger Immigrant Services and mutually shares information, as identified in a letter of understanding.

ESL classes An important service need for non-English speaking newcomers to a community is English classes (ESL) – English as a Second Language. Since the fall of 2010, the Town of Smiths Falls has been offering this service through a partnership with TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education of the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB).

What started as a pilot project in November 2010 is still ongoing with students attending classes at the Smiths Falls Public Library on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All classes are free and are funded through the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.

28

Julie Case, caseworker for Smiths Falls area, TR Leger Immigrant Services


26 “I was one of the students in the first ESL-class in Smiths Falls in the 2010/2011 school season. Although I knew a bit of the English language (just because it is a must to have at least four years of English and ending up with a good mark for it to get your diploma from high school in The Netherlands, my homeland.) I thought it was not a bad idea if I could "dig it up a bit" and practise in writing English and study a bit more English grammar. The last thing is still difficult for me!! We had a nice amount of students in class, coming from several countries. That also made the level of English different for every student. We were happy to have an incredible great teacher during that season. She was working very hard to teach each of us English on our own level, which meant for her she had to work out several programs. I think that having the possibility to enter an ESL class may benefit a lot of people coming from other non-English speaking-countries of the world. Learning English by a teacher who can only talk English makes everyone have to work to make sure you know what is going on, as well for students as the teacher! It is also a great way to learn about different cultures! For the future of our "newcomers" in Canada, ESL is a really good and an important tool to let them integrate better and faster in a wonderful county like Canada!” Jackie van der Veen-Oving, A former student of Smiths Falls first ESL-class (and a person who is happy to live in wonderful Ontario)

In the first year of the class, there were seven students from China, Taiwan, the Netherlands and Guatemala and they attended for the entire school year. Two other students from Lebanon and Germany briefly attended the class but were unable to continue – one because of distance and the other possibly because of employment issues.

Three of last year’s students are back again this year to further improve their skills in writing, speaking and reading English under the instruction once again of Julie Case. Joining them as regular attendees are four new students from China, India, the Philippines and Laos. Another student from the Philippines received instruction for a month to help him prepare for testing he had to undergo. One other Filipino student is a regular but can only attend classes once a week on her day off work. Unable to attend class because of his work schedule, another student will be studying ESL via the LINC home study program.

The goal of the classes is to improve students’ skills levels, as measured according to the Canadian Language Benchmarks levels. Interestingly, only three of the students who have attended the ESL classes over the past two years are not employed full time.29 29

Julie Case, ESL instructor, TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education


27

After School ESL In addition to the ESL program at the library for newcomers, an After School ESL program runs on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute. Aimed at international students whose first language is neither English nor French, the sessions delivered by TR Leger are geared to: •

Increasing English speaking and listening skills;

Supporting cultural transition to Canadian/Ontario school/life context;

Boosting English language skills to support daytime school academic achievement. The after school program at SFDCI attracts six to nine international students.

Chimo Chinese Club In the fall of 2010, 10 elementary school students in the Smiths Falls area had the opportunity to play and learn Mandarin Chinese through the Chimo Chinese Club at Chimo Elementary School in Smiths Falls. Meeting on Wednesday evenings, the club placed emphasis on the development of Mandarin conversational skills and cultural studies. It was specially designed for students to play and learn in a friendly, relaxed and interesting atmosphere through games, role playing and hands-on activities. Under the instruction of Ming Shan Gu, members of the club participated in cultural arts and craft making hands-on activities such as Chinese calligraphy, paper cutting, paper folding, ink painting and drawing. The children were also introduced to Chinese history and geography, celebrating traditional Chinese holidays like the Lantern Festival, Spring Festival and Moon Festival. During the last session, the students prepared and tasted dumplings, a traditional Chinese food for the Chinese Spring Festival. The club was open to students in Grades 4 to 8.


28

Smiths Falls Public Library Providing services to newcomers is a component of the Strategic Plan of the Smiths Falls Public Library. Since the only non-English materials available at the Smiths Falls site are in the French language, as part of the services that are offered to newcomers, members can do an inter-library loan of multi-lingual materials from other branches. Likewise, for those who want to type Chinese characters on the computers, that feature has been installed. Approximately, five per cent of the users of the Smiths Falls library are newcomers. 30

Global Experience @ Work project On the business side, Smiths Falls is one of 16 communities that have participated in Global Experience @ Work (GE@W), an initiative of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, with support and funding from the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. Hosted by the Smiths Falls and District Chamber of Commerce, the Smiths Falls Foreign Trained Professional (FTP) Intercultural Resource Project was focused on making employers aware of resources available to hire and FTPs and skilled workers.

Three workshops were offered through GE@W. They ranged from a full-day session on October 28, 2010 by Syd Gravel in which he outlined how to effectively recruit, select and integrate immigrant professionals into a business organization, including developing an Action Plan, to one-hour luncheon and breakfast meetings by Jeet Athukorale in December 2010 and February 2011. One of the latter sessions was oriented towards increasing awareness of cultural differences and practices in the workplace when hiring FTPs and skilled workers while the other provided an overview of resources available in the Ottawa region.

Through this initiative, 51 employers locally derived direct benefits and 25 indirectly.

“This program enabled our business to tap into some of the talent not previously available to us,” said one participant. “We were able to connect with services that provide the talent we need in our business. Smiths Falls is showing they are taking a lead in immigration and learning about the talent available to help us go forward economically.” 31

In addition to the increased awareness, the GE@W project was found to be a powerful educational tool, in terms of enabling participants to learn about the challenges and barriers faced by FTPs in their efforts to integrate into the workforce. As well, the project served as an effective tool in transferring information to employers and community

30 31

Interview with Karen Schecter, Head Librarian, Smiths Falls Public Library, November 24, 2011 Testimonial, Global Experience @ Work Final Report, Smiths Falls and District Chamber of Commerce, June 1, 2011


29 services organizations about the procedures and practices they can make to enable FTPs to integrate into the workforce with less challenges and barriers. 32

Ongoing funding to support immigration and newcomer attraction initiatives Through provincial and federal government funding initiatives, the Town of Smiths Falls’ Economic Development Department has received over $724,000 since 2008 to support its immigration and newcomer attraction services. (See Appendix D page 80.) The most recent project received approval for $81,290 in funding from the MIIO Partnership Project of the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to create a Lanark County Immigration Portal (LCIP) using the existing framework on the immigratetosmithsfalls.ca website.

32

Qualitative Outcomes, Global Experience @ Work Final Report, Smiths Falls and District Chamber of Commerce, June 1, 2011


30

Planning Process The first priority for the Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) Project was the establishment of a partnership council, which will act as a strategic planning body that works to coordinate and enhance the integration of newcomers in the community.

The response to the call for Expressions of Interest was good with the Smiths Falls LIP Council being officially established on May 16, 2011 when Smiths Falls Town Council approved the 20 appointments to the newly formed LIP Council. The council is comprised of key stakeholder groups from newcomers to settlement service providers to members of the business community. (See full list of members on Acknowledgments page 4.)

The Terms of Reference for the LIPC were adopted at a meeting in June. The vision of the new Council is “to be a community that understands, supports and celebrates diversity; where newcomers are empowered through meaningful and long term connections with residents and local organizations.�


31 Likewise, the four Guiding Values of the LIPC, under the Terms of Reference, are: • Respect and Open Mindedness: Members believe in the value of the perspectives of all community members, businesses and organizations. The LIPC will be receptive to and consider all input received, recognizing that the resulting awareness is fundamental to meeting the objectives of the initiative; • Inclusiveness and Collaboration: The successful settlement and integration of newcomers is believed to be the product of a united community approach. Therefore, the initiative will be open and accessible to all residents and sectors of the community for input and shared responsibility.

Innovation: The LIPC encourages new approaches that will enhance the experience of newcomers settling in the community; placing priority on strategies and action plans that reflect and respond to the unique local context;

Consistency: These values will transcend member’s attitudes and actions while also shaping the initiative as it evolves. (See full Terms of Reference in Appendix L pages 94-102.)

As part of the Celebration Evening held on June 16 to kick off the project, a focus group session was held. Based on the feedback at the session, there were four focus areas identified for the project: economic integration, provision and promotion of settlement and public services, the creation of a welcoming community attitude and environment, and sustainability of LIP initiatives.

These formed the basis of the four Work Groups that were established over the summer months and met in August. Along with LIPC members being represented on the Work Groups, an additional 20 members of the community were also recruited. (See list of 20 members recruited on Acknowledgments page 5.)

The research phase, which started in the fall of 2011, was of critical importance to ensure the recommendations put forth reflected the local context. In order to build this understanding, LIP staff conducted surveys, focus groups and key informant interviews. Recommendations being put forth in this report are based on the information gathered during the research phase. Final deliverables for Phase I of the LIP Project will be submitted to the LIP Council, as well as Smiths Falls Town Council, for approval. As a follow-up to this settlement strategy, which is to be implemented over a three year period, an annual action plan will be developed that addresses local fiscal priorities for that year. Likewise, on an annual basis, a report will be prepared on the implementation phases that have taken place.


32

Consultation Process A Community Consultation Plan was developed in conjunction with the Work Groups with the plan being approved at the September 2011 meeting of the Local Immigration Partnership Council (LIPC). The topics, which are listed in the plan, range from statistics on the number of newcomers in the Smiths Falls area and their first languages to the settlement and public services that are available to them to the challenges and opportunities for attracting newcomer entrepreneurs and investors. Information was also gathered on how welcoming newcomers perceive Smiths Falls to be, how supportive Smiths Falls’ residents are of immigration and what initiatives are needed to help develop a more welcoming attitude in the town.

Community consultations consisted of: 1.

Focus Groups

Celebration Evening to kick off the LIP Project – Thursday, June 16, 2011;

Chinese and Canadian Heritage Cultural Association – Monday, October 17, 2011;

ESL class at Smiths Falls Public Library – Wednesday, November 23, 2011;

Employers – Monday, December 12, 2011;

Filipino Choir – Tuesday, December 20, 2011

International Students at Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute – Thursday, December 22, 2011.

2.

Key Informant Interviews – A total of 64 interviews were conducted with LIPC members, newcomers, employers and service providers. (See list of those interviewed on Appendix F pages 83-84.)

3.

Surveys

Newcomer Information Surveys – 47 surveys were completed during key informant interviews and focus groups, and an additional 10 were done online through a survey tool developed on the Town’s immigration portal, www.immigratetosmithsfalls.ca;

Partner Agency Surveys – A total of 36 surveys were completed.

Employer Information Form – Eighteen forms were completed.

Employer Challenge Form – Six were completed.

Questionnaire for Canada World Youth participants -- During August 2011, connections were made with the Perth-Honduras Canada World Youth exchange group as two of the participants did volunteer work placements in Smiths Fall at the Smiths Falls & District Centre for Youth and REAL Deal Store operated by the Rideau Environmental Action League. With the help of the program coordinator, the participants were presented with three questions about their experience in the area and asked to email brief responses to the LIP project staff. Sixteen responses were received.


33 4.

SCOT Analysis from June 16th Focus Group

Approximately 60 people participated in the Celebration Evening discussion sessions on June 16. A broad range of stakeholders were present, including representatives from the newcomer community, business sector, public services and local government.

Participants were assigned to one of four discussion groups, each led by an LIPC staff or member. Discussion sessions were an hour long with responses being recorded in point form on a flip chart by the group facilitator with more detailed notes being taken by an assigned recorder.

To identify priorities, participants were asked to place a sticker on the flip chart paper next to the three points they perceived to be of greatest importance. The themes which received the most votes were later shared with the larger group. (The italicized numbers following the titles indicate the approximate number of votes received when participants were asked to indicate “Which of the themes identified should the LIPC focus on?”)

3.1 Strengths

The following themes were identified from responses to the question, “What are Smiths Falls’ strengths regarding the settlement and integration of newcomers?” A. Cost of Living (14): Respondents felt that Smiths Falls offers a cost of living, including purchase prices for residential units, which is lower than in city centers and surrounding communities. B. Settlement Services (10): The various settlement services that are currently available in Smiths Falls, including ESL classes, welcome wagon and newcomer ambassador training, were identified as assets. C. Public Infrastructure: Participants highlighted Smiths Falls’ public infrastructure inherent to its role as a service center as a strength. Examples most commonly cited included municipal services, the hospital and educational institutes. i. Educational Institutes (9): Relative to its size, Smiths Falls was felt to have good educational opportunities including several high schools and post-secondary institutes. D. Location (7): Smiths Falls’ proximity to larger city centers was identified as beneficial as it increases the possibilities for employment and connections with cultural communities available to newcomers. E. Community Atmosphere (6): Respondents perceive Smiths Falls to be a safe and friendly community, characteristics sought by newcomers. F. Municipal Leadership (2): The strong and supportive leadership provided by Smiths Falls Town Council and Staff was felt to be a critical asset in successful newcomer settlement. G. Natural Amenities (1): Respondents identified the natural environment including green space and the Rideau Canal as a strength for Smiths Falls.


34 H. Investment Opportunities: The available business and investment possibilities were recognized as advantages for facilitating the economic integration of newcomers. “As the president of Willis College – Smiths Falls campus and having an instrumental role in a Sister-City Agreement between the Town of Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada and City of Xiangfan, Hubei Province, China, it is a privilege to be serving on the Smiths Falls LIP council. The council is made up of dynamic, committed and caring individuals who not only bring their expertise but also are proud Smiths Fallsians.

This dynamic mixture made the Smiths Falls LIP program unique and exemplary. I look forward to continue working with the LIP program and contributing to the council as the LIP program is vital to immigration in Smiths Falls.”

Rima Aristocrat, President of Willis College and LIPC member

3.2 Challenges

The following themes were identified from responses to the question, “What are Smiths Falls’ challenges regarding the settlement and integration of newcomers?” A. Economic Integration (32): Participants named a shortage of job opportunities as the primary barrier for newcomers. B. Awareness about Services (12): Feedback indicated that improvements are needed to better communicate information to newcomers regarding settlement services, thereby increasing local awareness of their availability. C. Transportation (10): Respondents felt current transportation services are neither frequent nor affordable enough to facilitate newcomers capitalizing on the aforementioned benefits offered by nearby city centers. D. Health Care Professionals (9): The shortage of local health care professionals (most notably doctors) was identified as a challenge for newcomers.


35 E. Social Integration of Newcomers (6): Participants cited limited opportunities to meet and develop relationships with other residents as a hindrance to newcomer retention. F. Understanding of Diversity (3): Despite comments indicating that Smiths Falls is becoming more accepting of new residents, others highlighted the need for a greater understanding and appreciation of diversity to be a welcoming community. G. Critical Mass of Newcomers: Respondents cited the relatively small size of the Smiths Falls newcomer community as a barrier to providing an array of cultural and religious opportunities. H. Residential Rental Opportunities: Rental housing was identified as a limitation to newcomer settlement in Smiths Falls for a number of reasons including a shortage of affordable units, reference requirements and negative experiences with landlords. I. Age Specific Initiatives: Participants felt a challenge in Smiths Falls is the shortage of opportunities for demographic cohorts outside the working age group including recreational activities for youth and affordable senior’s homes. (See complete report in Appendix B page 51-64.)

3.3 Opportunities

The following themes were identified from responses to the question, “What opportunities exist for making Smiths Falls more welcoming?” A. Internet Communication: The internet, and more specifically the Smiths Falls Immigration Portal, was identified as an effective medium for centralizing and distributing information to newcomers and was highlighted as a resource to build upon. B. Improvements to Transportation: The need for improvement to transportation services is recognized within the community and initiatives are underway to address it. For reasons listed above, this would be a great opportunity for newcomers in the community. C. Secondary Migration: Newcomers who have settled in city centers and metropolitan areas represent a large and promising target market that Smiths Falls could capitalize on.

3.4 Threats

The following themes were identified from responses to the question, “What threats could hinder the community’s ability to be welcoming?” A. Competition: Immigration attraction and retention is becoming an increasingly common component of community development, creating competition for newcomers and increasing the possibility of newcomers relocating after settling in Smiths Falls.


36 B. Retention: Outmigration of both youth and newcomers to city centers was identified as a threat for small towns and rural areas looking to settle newcomers. C. Professional Credential Recognition: A threat relative to all Canadian communities is restrictions with credential recognition for internationally trained professionals.

4.0 Focus Areas

Based on the themes present throughout the S.C.O.T. analysis, the LIPC identified the following four (4) focus areas. 1. Economic Integration encompasses all factors which affect a newcomer’s ability to participate economically in the community, including: •

Training and credential recognition

Job prospects

Entrepreneurial and investment opportunities

2. A Supportive Social Environment is the product of two distinct but related focuses: •

Social integration of newcomers with local cultural networks and residents at large

Community wide understanding and appreciation for diversity

3. Provision and Promotion of Services, specifically regarding: •

Settlement services which are targeted specifically to newcomers

Public services that apply to all who relocate to the community including education, housing and health care.

Raising newcomer’s awareness regarding the availability of these services is of equal priority. 4. Developing the Sustainability of the LIPC in order to ensure the initiative’s long term viability.


37

Action Plan During the Community Consultation process of the LIP Project, challenges were identified in each of the four focus areas. The following recommendations have been made on how to address these gaps/needs during the implementation phase of the project:

Supportive Social Environment Challenge: Social integration of newcomers – Limited opportunities for them to meet and develop relationships with other residents. Goal: Promote the integration of newcomers, celebrate their culture and encourage newcomers to become part of the community, embracing both their culture and Canadian culture.

Action Strategy

Responsibility

Timeline

Provide a Welcome Package to newcomers, complete with a letter of welcome from the Mayor, Town pin, Chamber of Commerce directory of businesses and services, Smiths Falls street map, promotional coupons from local businesses, etc. Give guidance in the establishment of a newcomers’ group to share food, culture and socialization, possibly having a different church/service club host a dinner each month Promote cultural diversity and educate the community through LIP staff doing presentations on the project to schools, churches, service clubs and other community groups. Also organize workshops, ie Volunteer Bureau of Leeds and Grenville promoting its Supported New Canadian Youth Volunteer Program through facilitating a workshop on Creating Welcoming Environments for Volunteers from Diverse Cultural and Language Backgrounds Improve diversity on Town of Smiths Falls committees Modelling what has been

Staff with input from LIP Council and Welcome Wagon

April 2012-September 2012

Staff, Service Clubs and Churches

April, 2012 and ongoing

LIP Council and Staff

April 2012 and ongoing

LIP Council and Staff

April 2012-April 2013

LIP Council and cultural

April 2012-September 2012


38 done in Brockville and Kingston, organize a Multicultural Festival showcasing the community’s rich culture, in terms of food, entertainment and arts and crafts. A highly successful Multicultural Festival was hosted by the Town of Smiths Falls in the 1980s. At the event, representatives from 16 Embassies presented food, music and dance from their respective countries. Because of limited time to organize in 2012, consideration should be given to combining this year’s event with Culture Days on September 28-30 Develop a mentoring program for youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark County has indicated an interest in this regard Promote the different cultures that are represented in Smiths Falls’ newcomer population through a monthly column in the community newspaper Organize recreational activities for newcomers using local facilities

groups

and annually

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark County

April 2012 and ongoing

Staff to contact the EMC

May 2012 and ongoing

Smiths Falls & District Centre for Youth, schools, recreational groups and service clubs

Fall 2012 and ongoing


39

Provision and Promotion of Services Challenge: Shortage of local health care professionals, most notably family physicians. Currently, there are only four family physicians in Smiths Falls, as compared to 16 in the neighbouring community of Perth. There is a need for four additional doctors and upwards of eight if a turnkey facility can be established in the community.33 All appointments are filled, sometimes double booked and triple booked in the Community Primary Health Care (CPHC) Mobile Unit, which sets up outside the Smiths Falls Memorial Community Centre an average of three or four days each month. 34 Goal: To ensure timely health care for all residents, including newcomers, within the local community. Action Strategy Support Town of Smiths Falls in its physician attraction efforts Increase newcomer awareness of the services available from the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit and Smiths Falls Community Health Centre, and that the center doesn’t require someone to have an Ontario OHIP card to see a nurse practitioner or doctor. (NOTE: If the nurse practitioner or doctor orders blood work or any other test, the client would have to have OHIP coverage to pay for these additional expenses.)

Responsibility LIP staff and LIP Council

Timeline April 2012 and ongoing

LIP Council, Staff and Partner Agencies

April 2012 and ongoing

Challenge: Lack of public transportation services. Goal: To improve transportation services within the community. Action Strategy Organize a weekly bus shuttle to various businesses at a nominal fee. Some businesses indicated during the Community Consultation process they might be interested in subsidizing part of the cost of the shuttle 33

Responsibility Staff with input from business community and local transportation provider

Timeline 2012 and ongoing

Bob Cheetham, Director of Economic Development, Town of Smiths Falls and Chair of Smiths Falls Physician Recruitment Task Force 34 Smiths Falls stats for Mobile Unit, Community Primary Health Care


40

Challenge: A shortage of affordable rental housing, reference requirements and negative experiences with landlords. Goal: To locate suitable housing and increase availability of affordable housing. Action Strategy Responsibility Promote the Housing page on Staff the immigratetosmiths.ca website to newcomers and create a link from the Rental Database on the smithsfalls.ca website to the immigration portal Refer newcomers to Lanark Staff and Lanark County Social County Social Housing to see if Housing they qualify for housing

Timeline April 2012 and ongoing

April 2012 and ongoing

Challenge: Sparse selection of ethnic foods in local grocery stores. Goal: To offer more ethnic food choices for newcomers so that they don’t have to travel to supermarkets in larger urban areas like Ottawa to meet their dietary needs. Action Strategy Approach local grocery stores and food markets to see if they would be willing to expand their selection of European and Asian foods. One grocer appeared to be receptive to the idea when asked during the Community Consultation process.

Responsibility Staff and local grocers

Timeline 2012 and ongoing

Challenge: Lack of awareness by newcomers of settlement and other services available in the community. Goal: To better communicate information to newcomers regarding services, thereby increasing local awareness of their availability. Action Strategy Develop a Newcomer Guide listing the many services that are available to newcomers in the community from settlement services like ESL classes to educational, health care, recreational, employment services, etc.

Responsibility Staff with input from LIP Council and LIP Projects in Leeds-Grenville and RenfrewLanark

Timeline April 2012-November 2012


41 Guide is to be translated into the languages most commonly spoken by recent newcomers to Smiths Falls who are nonEnglish speaking – French, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Tagalog, and Spanish Promote “one-stop shop” approach by utilizing the Economic Development Department as a linkage to Newcomer Settlement Services Enhance knowledge of immigration and settlement delivery amongst LIP Staff and Council through training and workshops Develop a list of potential translators in the community and establish a resource base for use by service providers who require a translator Create a monthly virtual newsletter for newcomers to keep them up-to-date on events happening in the community, any new services being offered, etc. Newsletter to be distributed to all service providers Create links between immigratetosmithsfalls.ca website and websites of service providers. TR Leger Immigrant Services recently added the Immigration Portal as a link to its website Continue to promote LIP Project and newcomer success stories through media releases. Project has already received some very positive media coverage. (See Appendices.) Compile an inventory of potential host families for international students coming to study at Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute in 20122013 school year and beyond

Relocation of Economic Development Office will take place in 2012, thus making the Department more visible and easily accessible to newcomers LIP Council and Staff

April 2012-April 2013

Economic Development Staff and LIP Council

March 2012-October 2013

LIP Council develops content in cooperation with Economic Development Staff

June 2012 and ongoing

Staff and service providers

April 2012-April 2014

Staff and media

April 2012 and ongoing

Staff

April 2012-June 2012

April 2012-March 2013


42 Economic Integration Challenge: Difficulties encountered by newcomers in finding employment due to language barriers and credentials not being recognized in Canada. Goal: Newcomers will have a more positive experience in their job search in Canada. Action Strategy Work together with other LIPs to lobby the provincial government for a communitynominated or business immigration class of immigration through the Provincial Nominee Program Establish a Career Mentor Program, similar to what is offered by Ottawa Community Immigration Services Organization, that helps to integrate internationally trained professionals into the community by linking the newcomers to other professionals in the community on a volunteer basis. The mentorship often results in a job offer Encourage newcomers who are not proficient in English and wanting to improve their language skills to attend the ESL classes being offered by TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative & Continuing Education at the Smiths Falls Public Library Follow the lead of LIP communities like North Bay and Timmins that have set up a human resources online database that connects employers and newcomers. (North Bay LIP has indicated its willingness to do a workshop for Smiths Falls and neighbouring LIP projects on HR North.) Increase awareness of the federal government's Working in Canada page, which can be found on the Town's

Responsibility LIP Staff and Staff in neighboring LIP Projects such as Leeds-Grenville, RenfrewLanark and Eastern Counties on this issue

Timeline May 2012 and ongoing

Staff with input from local employment service agencies and service providers

April 2012 and ongoing

Staff and service providers

April 2012 and ongoing

Staff with input from Chamber of Commerce and North Bay LIP Project

Host workshop in June 2012 and proceed with development of database in late 2012 and early 2013

Staff

May 2012


43 immigration portal, by organizing an information session for employment service providers and settlement workers. Along with a detailed labour market report customized by occupation and location, the site features job opportunities, complete with skills required and wages

Challenge: Lack of employer engagement in newcomer employment initiatives. Of 248 Employer Information Forms sent out by the Smiths Falls & District Chamber of Commerce to the Chamber membership on behalf of LIP Staff – and subsequent follow-up by LIP Staff –, only 18 forms were completed and returned.35 Goal: Employers will recognize the benefits of hiring newcomers, in terms of addressing a looming labour shortage in Canada and providing skilled trades. Action Strategy Organize workshops to educate employers on how newcomers can enhance the workplace, as well as the process involved in recruiting foreign trained professionals. As part of the workshops, highlight local newcomer success stories Make employers aware of the hireimmigrants.ca Roadmap, a step-by-step interactive guide with comprehensive strategies and tools to help businesses enhance their human resources planning and practice, from recruiting to retaining skilled immigrants Create an Employer's Guide utilizing materials available from Hire Immigrants Ottawa on how to integrate immigrants into the workplace Educate Employers on cultural diversity and programs to benefit Newcomers and businesses

35

Responsibility Chamber of Commerce, LIP Council and LIP Staff

Timeline September 2012 and ongoing

Staff and Chamber of Commerce

April 2012 and ongoing

Staff with input from Hire Immigrants

September 2012

Chamber of Commerce and Town of Smiths Falls Staff and LIP Council

June 2012-March 2013

Response rate for Employer Information Form, 2011-2012


44 Challenge: Attracting foreign entrepreneurs and business investment to the Smiths Falls area, particularly in lieu of the fact there is a temporary moratorium on new applications under the Federal Entrepreneur Program. Goal: To build upon the number of entrepreneurial immigrants already in Smiths Falls, as well as international investment that has taken place here and throughout the region. The Ottawa region attracts 38 per cent of all venture capital investment in Canada.36 Action Strategy Target marketing campaigns at countries such as China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom and United States where there are Ontario International Marketing Centres located within the Canadian diplomatic missions Organize a presentation by LIPC member Yohan Byrde who is developing a strategy to attract foreign entrepreneurs through Choice Hotels and his own corporation. The approach has seen a success in Kingston and Toronto, and now the focus will be on attracting entrepreneurs to Smiths Falls. Based on the growing senior population in the Smiths Falls area and plans for additional senior housing projects such as a proposed 60 residential rental units in part of the Gallipeau Centre, promote the advantages of providing services to seniors to perspective newcomer entrepreneurs and business investors Register LIP staff for upcoming training session in Brockville on tool kit developed by Community Immigrant Retention in Rural Ontario (CIRRO) initiative. Approaching newcomer attraction and retention from a community economic development perspective, CIRRO offers strategies and best practices that can help rural communities attract and retain newcomers.

36

Responsibility Staff

Timeline 2012 and ongoing

Staff and Yohan Byrde

Presentation to LIPC in spring of 2012 and, later in the year, a presentation to business groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Business Association

Economic Development staff

2012 and beyond

Staff

April 2012

City of Ottawa, Faces of Ottawa: A Snapshot of Immigrant Labour Market Integration Highlights, March 2007


45

Sustainability of the LIP Challenge: To retain and attract LIP Council members for Phase II and beyond. Three members of the current council have resigned due to a change in work or a move outside of the Smiths Falls area. Attendance at LIP Council meetings has also been an ongoing issue for some members because of other commitments. Goal: To have a LIP Council whose membership supports its vision and is able to make the commitment of time and effort required. Action Strategy Reduce the size of the LIP Council from the current 19 members (originally 20) to 16. Likewise, establish subcommittees so that those who would still like to be involved in the LIP Project but don't have the time available to serve on the Council could participate at the committee level Issue a public Call for Expressions of Interest for those interested in Chairing the LIP Council with the decision on who should be appointed to this role to be voted on by the Council members. Appointment to be for a one year term subject to renewal. To strengthen the relationship the LIP Council has with the organizations, businesses, etc. being represented on the Council, have members sign a statement of commitment stating that if he/she is no longer able to continue as a member, someone else in the organization will assume that position

Responsibility Staff and LIP Council

April 2012

Timeline

Staff and LIP Council

April 2012

Staff and LIP Council

April 2012


46 Challenge: Limited resources of smaller LIP communities like Smiths Falls, in comparison to their larger urban counterparts. Goal: To enhance collaboration between Smiths Falls LIP and LIPs in neighbouring communities. Action Strategy Responsibility To establish regional meetings Staff to liaise with on a regular basis with neighbouring LIP Projects neighbouring LIPs to discuss common challenges, as well as areas in which the projects can work together. An initial meeting was held in Smiths Falls on June 28, 2011, in which staff representatives of LIP projects in RenfrewLanark, Leeds-Grenville and Eastern Counties were invited to attend. Since that time staff for LIP Projects in Kingston and Belleville has indicated their interest in being part of these sessions. Collaborate with LeedsStaff Grenville and Renfrew-Lanark LIPs on organizing workshops that are scheduled alternatively between LeedsGrenville, Smiths Falls and Lanark County

Timeline May 2012 and ongoing

June 2012 and ongoing three or four times a year

Challenge: Ongoing funding for the LIP Project. Goal: To make the LIP Project self-sustaining. Action Strategy Investigate potential sources of funding from partner agencies and others

Responsibility Staff and LIP Council

Timeline 2012 and ongoing


47

Conclusion When Canadians were recently questioned on their views of citizenship by Environics, the responses were quite positive in the area of immigration. Close to nine out of every 10 respondents surveyed were of the opinion that a person born outside of Canada is just as likely to be a good citizen as someone born in the country in the poll, which was a joint initiative of Environics, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, the Maytree Foundation, CBC News and the Royal Bank of Canada. Interestingly, 88 per cent of those who were born outside of Canada expressed their pride in being Canadian, as compared to 81 per cent of those who were Canadian born.37 These survey results appear to be in line with the views expressed by newcomers interviewed during the Community Consultation Process for the Smiths Falls LIP Project. Most spoke of how welcoming and helpful people in the community were, which is what the LIP Project envisioned. As one newcomer was told by a local bank employee, “Welcome to Canada, eh.” Welcome, indeed!

“The people here are very friendly, very helpful, very outgoing. It is really a great place.” Vera Lima, newcomer from Brazil

For more information on the Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) Project, please visit our immigration portal at www.immigratetosmithsfalls.ca, or contact: Dianne Pinder-Moss Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) Co-ordinator Town of Smiths Falls 613.283.4124 x 1184 dpindermoss@smithsfalls.ca Amber Coville Local Immigration Program (LIP) Assistant Town of Smiths Falls 613.283.4124 x 1164 acoville@smithsfalls.ca Kimberley L. Leach Acting Manager of Community Development and Tourism Town of Smiths Falls 613.283.4124 x 1127 kleach@smithsfalls.ca 37

Environics survey on citizenship involving 2,376 adults conducted between November 18 and December 17, 2011


48

References Alexander, Craig; Burleton, Derek and Fong, Francis (2012), Knocking Down Barriers Faced By New Immigrants to Canada: Fitting the Pieces Together, TD Economics Beshiri, Roland and He, Jiaosheng (2009), Immigrants in Rural Canada: 2006, Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin, Statistics Canada Cheetham, Bob (2011), Turning Point: An Agenda For Action, 2011-2013 Economic Development Action Plan, Town of Smiths Falls Li, Xue (2007), Portrait of an Integration Process: Difficulties encountered and resources relied on for newcomers in their first 4 years in Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada Lockwood, Glenn J. (1994), Smiths Falls: A Social History of the Men and Women in a Rideau Canal Community, 1794-1994, Motion Creative Printing Palacio, Nelson Mauricio (2011), Lanark County and Smiths Falls Census Divisions Overview: Demographics and Immigrant Landings, Research and Evaluation Unit, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Roslyn Kunin & Associates Inc. (2009), Economic Impact of International Education in Canada Report Sullivan, Nicole (2010), Immigration Attraction and Retention in Ontario's Small Towns and Rural Communities: Strategies for Success, a major research paper presented to the Faculty of Graduate Studies of the University of Guelph Sutton, Ian (2009), Bright lights, small city, Diversity! in the workplace, www.diversityintheworkplace.ca Wong, Ian, (2009), Attracting Immigrants to Rural Communities, The Monieson Centre, Queen's School of Business, Queen's University (2011/2012) TOP Report, The Labour Market of Renfrew and Lanark (2011) Environics Survey on Citizenship, survey of 2,376 adults conducted between November 18 and December 17, 2011 (2011 and 2006) Statistics Canada census (2011), Job Matching, Placement & Incentive Statistical Data, Ontrac Employment Resource Services (2011), Employer's Guide to Integrating Immigrants into the Workplace, Hire Immigrants Ottawa and Ottawa Chamber of Commerce (2011), Global Experience @ Work Final Report, Smiths Falls & District Chamber of Commerce (2009), Immigrant-Friendly Businesses: Effective Practices for Attracting, Integrating and Retaining Immigrants in Canadian Workplaces, The Conference Board of Canada


49

(2009) Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 2, Statistics Canada (2008), Putting out the Welcome Mat: Why Immigration Matters to Ontario Municipalities, Association of Municipalities of Ontario (2006), New Canadians – The Untapped Workforce: An Overview of the Immigrant Situation in Calgary and How You Can Help, Estrega International Inc. (2006) Census based data, Environics Analytics


50

Appendices Appendix A.


51

Appendix B.

Local Immigration Partnership Council

CELEBRATION EVENING DISCUSSION SESSION REPORT

Last Updated July 4, 2011


52

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

3

2.0 Methodology

3

3.0 S.C.O.T. Analysis 4 3.1 Strengths 4 3.2 Challenges 5 3.3 Opportunities 3.4 Threats

6

6

4.0 Focus Areas

6

5.0 Conclusion 7 Appendix A: Discussion Session Agenda

8

Appendix B: Complete Discussion Session Notes

9

B.1 Strengths & Opportunities, Challenges & Threats, and Prioritization B.2 Implementation 12

9


53

Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership Council

CELEBRATION EVENING DISCUSSION SESSION REPORT

1.0 Introduction

A Celebration Evening was hosted on Thursday June 16, 2011 to officially launch Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) program. The event served to build the community’s awareness and excitement about the initiative. Further to the subject of this report, it also provided a forum for involving stakeholders in the identification of focus areas for the Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership Council (LIPC).

The LIPC is a strategic planning body working to facilitate a collaborative and comprehensive approach to newcomer integration in the community. The first phase of the initiative extends until March 31st, 2012. During this period, the LIPC will be developing a local settlement strategy and a corresponding implementation plan, meanwhile gathering the information and feedback necessary to support these deliverables.

2.0 Methodology

Approximately 60 people participated in the Celebration Evening discussion sessions. A broad range of stakeholders were present including representatives from the newcomer community, business sector, public services and local government.

Participants were assigned to one of four discussion groups, each led by an LIPC staff or member. Discussion sessions were an hour long and followed the agenda available in Appendix A. Responses were recorded in point form on a flip chart by the group facilitator with more detailed notes being taken by an assigned recorder.


54

To identify priorities, participants were asked to place a sticker on the flip chart paper next to the three points they perceived to be of greatest importance. The themes which received the most votes were later shared with the larger group. 3.0 S.C.O.T. Analysis

The intention of this section is to summarize the main themes identified during the discussion sessions. Please note that opposing opinions were recorded and that which is presented here reflects what was indicated by the majority. All feedback however will be taken under consideration as the initiative proceeds. For complete discussion session notes, please see Appendix B. The italicized numbers following the titles indicate the approximate number of votes received when participants were asked to indicate “Which of the themes identified should the LIPC focus on?”

3.1 Strengths

The following themes were identified from responses to the question, “What are Smiths Falls’ strengths regarding the settlement and integration of newcomers?” A. Cost of Living (14): Respondents felt that Smiths Falls offers a cost of living, including purchase prices for residential units, which is lower than in city centers and surrounding communities. B. Settlement Services (10): The various settlement services that are currently available in Smiths Falls including ESL classes, welcome wagon and newcomer ambassador training were identified as assets. C. Public Infrastructure: Participants highlighted Smiths Falls’ public infrastructure inherent to its role as a service center as a strength. Examples most commonly cited included municipal services, the hospital and educational institutes. i. Educational Institutes (9): Relative to its size, Smiths Falls was felt to have good educational opportunities including several high schools and post-secondary institutes. D. Location (7): Smiths Falls’ proximity to larger city centers was identified as beneficial as it increases the possibilities for employment and connections with cultural communities available to newcomers. E. Community Atmosphere (6): Respondents perceive Smiths Falls to be a safe and friendly community, characteristics sought by newcomers. F. Municipal Leadership (2): The strong and supportive leadership provided by Smiths Falls Town Council and Staff was felt to be a critical asset in successful newcomer settlement. G. Natural Amenities (1): Respondents identified the natural environment including green space and the Rideau Canal as a strength for Smiths Falls.


55

H. Investment Opportunities: The available business and investment possibilities were recognized as advantages for facilitating the economic integration of newcomers. 3.2 Challenges

The following themes were identified from responses to the question, “What are Smiths Falls’ challenges regarding the settlement and integration of newcomers?” A. Economic Integration (32): Participants named a shortage of job opportunities as the primary barrier for newcomers. B. Awareness about Services (12): Feedback indicated that improvements are needed to better communicate information to newcomers regarding settlement services, thereby increasing local awareness of their availability. C. Transportation (10): Respondents felt current transportation services are neither frequent nor affordable enough to facilitate newcomers capitalizing on the aforementioned benefits offered by nearby city centers. D. Health Care Professionals (9): The shortage of local health care professionals (most notably doctors) was identified as a challenge for newcomers. E. Social Integration of Newcomers (6): Participants cited limited opportunities to meet and develop relationships with other residents as a hindrance to newcomer retention. F. Understanding of Diversity (3): Despite comments indicating that Smiths Falls is becoming more accepting of new residents, others highlighted the need for a greater understanding and appreciation of diversity to be a welcoming community. G. Critical Mass of Newcomers: Respondents cited the relatively small size of the Smiths Falls newcomer community as a barrier to providing an array of cultural and religious opportunities. H. Residential Rental Opportunities: Rental housing was identified as a limitation to newcomer settlement in Smiths Falls for a number of reasons including a shortage of affordable units, reference requirements and negative experiences with landlords. I. Age Specific Initiatives: Participants felt a challenge in Smiths Falls is the shortage of opportunities for demographic cohorts outside the working age group including recreational activities for youth and affordable senior’s homes. 3.3 Opportunities

The following themes were identified from responses to the question, “What opportunities exist for making Smiths Falls more welcoming?”


56

A. Internet Communication: The internet, and more specifically the Smiths Falls Immigration Portal, was identified as an effective medium for centralizing and distributing information to newcomers and was highlighted as a resource to build upon. B. Improvements to Transportation: The need for improvement to transportation services is recognized within the community and initiatives are underway to address it. For reasons listed above, this would be a great opportunity for newcomers in the community. C. Secondary Migration: Newcomers who have settled in city centers and metropolitan areas represent a large and promising target market that Smiths Falls could capitalize on.

3.4 Threats

The following themes were identified from responses to the question, “What threats could hinder the community’s ability to be welcoming?” A. Competition: Immigration attraction and retention is becoming an increasingly common component of community development, creating competition for newcomers and increasing the possibility of newcomers relocating after settling in Smiths Falls. B. Retention: Outmigration of both youth and newcomers to city centers was identified as a threat for small towns and rural areas looking to settle newcomers. C. Professional Credential Recognition: A threat relative to all Canadian communities is restrictions with credential recognition for internationally trained professionals.

4.0 Focus Areas

Based on the themes present throughout the S.C.O.T. analysis, the LIPC identified the following four (4) focus areas. 1. Economic Integration encompasses all factors which affect a newcomer’s ability to participate economically in the community, including: •

Training and credential recognition

Job prospects

Entrepreneurial and investment opportunities

2. A Supportive Social Environment is the product of two distinct but related focuses:


57

Social integration of newcomers with local cultural networks and residents at large

Community wide understanding and appreciation for diversity

3. Provision and Promotion of Services, specifically regarding: •

Settlement services which are targeted specifically to newcomers

• Public services that apply to all who relocate to the community including education, housing and health care. Raising newcomer’s awareness regarding the availability of these services is of equal priority. 4. Developing the Sustainability of the LIPC in order to ensure the initiative’s long term viability.

5.0 Conclusion

Work groups or subcommittees have been established to address each of the focus areas identified. The Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership Council is recruiting additional membership for each of these groups. Those interested should contact: Nicole Sullivan, Local Immigration Partnership Coordinator (613) 283-4124 ext 1164 nsullivan@smithsfalls.ca

or Dianne Pinder-Moss, Local Immigration Partnership Administrative Coordinator (613) 283-4124 ext 1184 dpindermoss@smithsfalls.ca A: Discussion Session Agenda

CELEBRATION EVENING Discussion Session


58

AGENDA

1. Objective and Format

2. Participant Introductions and Expectations

3. Discussion Questions

i. STRENGTHS & OPPORTUNITIES: What are Smiths Falls’ strengths regarding the settlement and integration of newcomers? What opportunities exist for making the community more welcoming? __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________

ii. CHALLENGES & THREATS: What are Smiths Falls’ challenges regarding the settlement and integration of newcomers? What threats could hinder the community’s ability to be welcoming? __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________

iii.

PRIORITIZATION (By Vote): Which of the themes identified should the LIPC focus on?

a.

____________________________________________________________

b.

____________________________________________________________

c.

____________________________________________________________

iv.

IMPLEMENTATION: How can the community address these priority areas?

__________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________


59

__________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

B: Complete Discussion Session Notes B.1 Strengths & Opportunities, Challenges & Threats, and Prioritization

The number in parenthesis indicates the approximate number of votes received when participants were asked to indicate “Which of the themes identified should the LIPC focus on?” No.

Discussion Topic

Group #1

1

Strengths and Opportunities •

(5) Community has a friendly and familiar feeling

(4) Educational opportunities and Infrastructure within the community

(2) Examining transit, Via rail and buses in the future offering more trips to the city

(1) Proximity to cities

o

(1) Facilitates commuting which helps with employment

o

Connections to cultural networks in the city

(1) Supportive and helpful Town staff and Council

(1)Affordable residential opportunities for relative to larger centers

Local newcomers willing to participate in settlement and integration efforts, i.e. LIP program

Sense of safety

(1) Ambassador Program

(1) Affordable

(1) Website info accessible

(1) Quality Education

(1) Access to services- housing, family, education

Friendly residents in the community

Peaceful environment

Group #2

Group#3

Group#4

(6) Settlement services are already available

(3) Availability of language classes


60

Support of key leaders/mayor

Newspaper sharing positive stories about local newcomers

Access to services, including welcome wagon

Increasing awareness of LIP

Cultural awareness

Proximity to Ottawa & gateway given position on the Rideau Canal

Increased/improved transportation

Accreditation transfer/ acceptance •

(3) Education – several schools right in town

(3) More affordable housing than Perth or Carleton Place

(1) Friendly and approachable leadership

(1) Proximity to larger centres

Number of accessible services available in community – library, hospital, etc

Safe

Caring and friendly people

Seems to be (more) open community

Experienced mayor with a human touch

Variety of religious worship spaces (churches) and opportunities

Business opportunities for tourism, health services (CCAC)

Investment opportunities for land

Proximity to water – recreation, allows people to associate

Green space – clean air and water

(3) Strategic location

• Transportation services improving – starting shuttle service on weekends • atmosphere: (1) schools and (7) hospital/health care •

(7) Cost of living

(2) Affordability

(1) Friendliness of the town – welcoming

Small town


61

(1) Rideau Canal (heritage site)

Convenience – daily resources

(1) Lots of culture resources

(1) Proximity to the States

Willingness of Town to start initiative for immigrants

Excellent transportation routes

Proximity to markets

Excellent municipal services

Small town atmosphere that is closer to the newcomers’ atmosphere they are used to

Build relationships with immigrants in big cities to bring them to smaller cities

Communications through the internet

2

Challenges and Threats

(2) Shortage of available health care providers locally

(2)Lack of understanding and respect for diversity

(1) No health card application centers here (have to travel to major city centers)

(1) No retention through relationship building

Newcomer credential recognition

Residential renting

o

Minimum availability/ vacancy

o

Renting experience (needing references, bad attitudes from landlords)

o

Cost

Credential recognition & matching to needs of the community

Counseling/ support services for newcomer youth

Employment (depending on economic status, ie. entrepreneur)

(2) Medical Access

(3) Employment and income stability

(4) Awareness of Services and visibility of services

(8) Employment


62

(1) Business Support

(1) Housing

(1) Transportation

(1) Business closures

(1) Lack of cultural knowledge

Weather

Substance abuse

Funds for healthcare

Social assistance

Availability of cultural food

Opportunities for youth

Lack of places of worship

Substance abuse

Lack of translation services

Elderly – affordability and availability of nursing homes

Sex education

Attitude

Other communities looking at attraction

Affordable housing

Family ties/homesickness

Youth outmigration

Nightlife/ social engagement

Lack of age specific activity

(8) Lack of job opportunities

(8) Creating awareness of services available

(5) Healthcare – need to attract doctors so hospital not overcrowded

(1) Developing social interactions when newcomers work so hard

(9) Lack of public transportation- local bus and trips to Ottawa


63

Attracting critical mass of immigrants from any group

Younger generation leaving for Toronto/ Montreal and reducing community’s appeal to other younger people • (7) Employment opportunities •

(4) Socioeconomic status- too many residents on assistance

(2) Doctor shortage

(2) Not enough activities for the youth

Rural to urban migration

3

Priority Areas •

Friendly, familiar feeling in the community

Educational opportunities & infrastructure available within the community

Social Integration & peer involvement

Availability of language courses and other settlement services

Lack of public transportation

Lack of job opportunities

Making people aware of services available for newcomers

Employment

Hospitals and health care

Cost of Living

Settlement services are available but need to be better promoted

Employment

B.2 Implementation

Where time permitted, discussion groups were asked, “How can the community address these priority areas?” Two of four groups recorded responses which are listed below. •

Build on/advertise the success of newcomers who have been in the community

o Publish and Advertise success stories more (related to assets), Ram says having his success story on the immigration portal actually helps businesses o

More stories on website

• Develop and implement an education strategy to increase cultural understanding and awareness, including exposure through festivals and music, etc.


64

Capitalize on and market the unique assets of the community Culture Days

Create a temporary shelter where people can stay when they arrive

Have a single and visible first point of contact and source for information

Offer support services for spouses

Increase sport, recreational and entertainment offerings and promotion

Increase availability of counselling and settlement services

Farm community gardens

Facilitate social Integration through host program, peer Involvement, etc.

Youth Forum statistics;

Host a round table for lower income youths

Offer different and expanded post-secondary courses by having a bigger campus

Promote self-employment

Partner with local businesses to gain job info

Collect labour market information

Review tax structure

Promote economic development in the town to gain investment

Improve access to other jobs markets in larger centres, example commuter service

Local programming via media

Promotions and events to showcase culture

Publish newspaper articles in other languages


65

Appendix C.

Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership Council

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION PLAN


66 SMITHS FALLS LOCAL IMMIGRATION PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL Community Consultation Plan

Last Updated: September 15, 2011

The Local Immigration Partnership Council (LIPC) is a strategic planning body working to facilitate a collaborative and comprehensive approach to newcomer integration in the community. The first phase of the initiative extends until March 31st, 2012. During this period, the LIPC will be developing a local settlement strategy and a corresponding implementation plan.

The ‘Community Consultation Plan’ outlines the proposed approach for gathering feedback from stakeholders regarding the four focus areas of the LIPC: •

Economic integration of newcomers

Provision and promotion of settlement and public services

Creation of a welcoming community attitude and environment

Sustainability of Local Immigration Partnership initiative

Statistics describing the general demographics and characteristics of the newcomer community will also be collected. Recommendations included in the final settlement strategy will be based on this information, facilitating the development of future initiatives that reflect the local context and direct efforts and resources appropriately.

The complete ‘Community Consultation Plan’ is available in Appendix A.

1.0

Consultation Methods

Community specific feedback will be collected from stakeholders primarily using focus groups, key informant interviews and surveys which are elaborated upon below. This information will be complemented by an environmental scan/inventory of available services and best practice research including a review of other LIP initiatives.

1.1 Focus Groups


67

Focus groups were identified as the most appropriate method for gathering feedback from previously established or coordinated networks of newcomers. For example, two groups that will be approached are TR Leger’s English as a Second Language and the Chinese and Canadian Heritage Cultural Association.

An additional public services sector focus group will be conducted to accommodate the large number of potential representatives from housing, education, health, financial and social services.

1.2 Key Informant Interviews

Key informant interviews will be the primary source of qualitative feedback. They are identified as a method for consulting with stakeholder groups ranging from newcomers to local employers. It is anticipated that the flexibility offered by this approach will result in higher participation rates and therefore a more comprehensive reflection of the current context for newcomer settlement in the community.

1.3 Surveys

To complement the qualitative information gathered through focus groups and key informant interviews, a survey campaign will be conducted. Separate surveys will be developed for newcomers, partner agencies and local employers with questions designed to provide numerical data or statistics.

Surveys will be available online as well as distributed to all participants at focus groups and key informant interviews. It is anticipated that the majority of responses will come from the latter.

2.0

Community Engagement

The ‘Community Consultation Plan’ identifies contacts for each of the stakeholder groups with whom participation will be arranged directly. The listed contacts are preliminary and will evolve with ongoing recruitment. LIP project staff expect to conduct the majority of the consultations. However, LIPC members are encouraged to coordinate with staff to conduct independent consultations with personal or professional contacts. Questions and templates for documenting feedback will be created and made available to ensure consistency between consultations.

3.0

Implementation and Reporting


68

Implementation of the research and outlined community consultation initiatives will occur in October 2011. LIP project staff will compile the information gathered into a profile and present it to the LIPC in November 2011.

APPENDIX A: Community Consultation Plan The following was developed based on discussions had at the August 2011 LIPC work group meetings on economic integration, provision and promotion of services, supportive social environment and sustainability of the LIP. A. Economic Integration No.

Focus Question to be Answered

Forum Contact (s)/Resource(s)

1

General Education and Training:

What is the educational attainment of newcomers in Smiths Falls?

Are newcomers pursuing further training or education in Smiths Falls? Newcomer Information Form Newcomer focus group participants and interviewees

Published Statistics Target Group Profiles from Statistics Canada; Conference Board of Canada; Trends Opportunities Priorities (TOP) Report from the Labour Market Group of Lanark and Renfrew. 2

General

Status and Field of Employment: •

What is the employment status of newcomers in Smiths Falls?

In what industry are newcomers in Smiths Falls employed?

Are newcomers working in their industry of training?

Newcomer Information Form See above. Published Statistics See above. 3

Training and Credential Recognition

Process and Policy Changes: •

What is the role for the LIPC in addressing barriers in foreign credential recognition processes and policies?

What is the best approach for doing so?

Key Informant Interviews

Credential Recognition


69 Citizenship and Immigration Canada; LASI World Skills; Ministry of Immigration and Citizenship; Smiths Falls Physician Recruitment Task Force. Review of Other LIPs

Projects in approximately 40 other Ontario communities.

Area LIP Meeting

Project Staff from:

Leeds and Grenville

Renfrew County and Lanark County

Prescott-Russell and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry

Ottawa

Kingston

4

Training and Credential Recognition

Available Training: •

What bridging programs are available to newcomers locally? In the region?

Published Resource Guides

Are You Ready? Employer Resource Guide by Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council; Employer’s Resource Guide by Smiths Falls & District Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce; From Immigration to Participation: A Report on Promising Practices in Integration by Public Policy Forum; Hire Immigrants Employer Roadmap by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration; How to Hire Foreign Trained Professionals (FTPs) in the Ottawa Region by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce; Immigrant Friendly Businesses by the Conference Board of Canada; etc. Training & Employment Services Key Informant Interviews Algonquin College International Studies; The Career Edge Program (Career Bridge Program); Citizenship and Immigration Canada; Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa; LASI World Skills; Lebanese & Arab Social Services Agency of Ottawa-Carleton; Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration; New Directions; onTrac Employment Resource Services; Ottawa Community Immigrant Service; YMCA-YWCA Newcomer Information Centre. 5

Training and Credential Recognition

Training Barriers and Gaps: •

What are the barriers for newcomers interested in participating in available programs?

What gaps exist in available programming?

How can the community best address these challenges?


70 Newcomer Focus Groups & Interviews Chinese and Canadian Heritage Cultural Association; TR Leger ESL Class; Filipino Choir; Willis College’s International Students. Interviews to be scheduled with independent contacts. 6

Job Opportunities

Newcomer Employment Context:

How many local employers have newcomers on staff?

How much of the employer’s workforce do newcomers account for?

Are local businesses interested in employing newcomers?

Employer Information Form

Canadian Tire Corporation; Food Basics; GH Metals; Guildine Instruments Limited; Kilmarnock Enterprise; Performance Printing; Shorewood Packaging; Walmart; Weatherstrong Building Products; Your Independent Grocer; Zellers; J. Quattrocchi & Co. Ltd.; Chamber of Commerce Members; Downtown Business Association Members.

7

Job Opportunities

Support for Newcomers: • What programs and resources (i.e. wage subsidies) are available to newcomers seeking employment in the area? Published Resource Guides See above. Training & Employment Services Key Informant Interviews

See above.

8

Job Opportunities

Newcomer Challenges:

What are the challenges in regards to attaining employment?

What are the challenges with regards to succeeding in the workplace?

• How can the community best address these challenges? above. 9

Newcomer Focus Groups & Interviews See

Job Opportunities

Support for Employers: • What programs and resources are available to employers for hiring and integrating newcomers? Published Resource Guides See above. Training & Employment Services Key Informant Interviews 10

See above.

Job Opportunities

Employer Challenges: •

What challenges exist with regards to hiring newcomers?

What are the challenges in terms of utilizing newcomers effectively in the workplace?


71 •

How can the community best address these challenges?

Employer Key Informant Interviews Canadian Tire Corporation; Food Basics; GH Metals; Guildine Instruments Limited; J. Quattrocchi & Co. Ltd.; Kilmarnock Enterprise; Performance Printing; Perth & Smiths Falls District Hospital; Shorewood Packaging; Walmart; Weatherstrong Building Products; Your Independent Grocer; Zellers; Chamber of Commerce Members; Downtown Business Association Members. 11

Entrepreneurs and Investors

Supports for Newcomer Entrepreneurs and Investors:

What programs and resources are available locally? In the region?

Published Resource Guides See above. Entrepreneur and Investor Key Informant Interviews Korean Business Association; Lanark, North Leeds Enterprise Centre; Town of Smiths Falls Economic Development Department; Valley Heartland CFDC; newcomer investors/business owners in the community.

12

Entrepreneurs and Investors

Newcomer Entrepreneur and Investor Challenges and Opportunities:

What types of opportunities are most attractive to newcomers?

What are the challenges with regards to investing in and operating businesses locally?

• How can Smiths Falls become more welcoming to newcomer entrepreneurs and investors? and Investor Key Informant Interviews See above. 13

Entrepreneurs and Investors

Community Opportunities and Challenges:

What are the opportunities for entrepreneurship and investment in the area?

What are the challenges in attracting and retaining newcomer entrepreneurs and investors?

How can the community best address these challenges?

Entrepreneur and Investor

Key Informant Interviews See above. 14

Training and Credential Recognition & Job Opportunities & Entrepreneurs and Investors

Awareness of Available Programs: •

To what extent are partner agencies familiar with related supports for newcomers?

Entrepreneur


72 • What resources do partner agencies refer to address related inquiries? Partner Agency Survey Algonquin College Perth Campus; Downtown Business Association; Kingston Learning Center; Lanark, North Leeds Enterprise Centre; onTrac Employment Resource Services; New Directions; Smiths Falls & District Chamber of Commerce; TR Leger Immigrant Services; Valley Heartland CFDC; Willis College.

B. Provision and Promotion of Services No.

Focus Question to be Answered

Forum Contact(s) / Resource(s)

1

General

How many newcomers are in Smiths Falls?

Of what age are newcomers in Smiths Falls?

Population and Demographics:

• What is the family status of newcomers in Smiths Falls? Published Statistics 2006 Community Profile from Statistics Canada; Conference Board of Canada; United Way of Kingston Community Profiles Newcomer Information Forms Newcomer focus group participants and interviewees 2

General

Language(s): •

What are the newcomers’ first languages?

What level of English abilities do newcomers have?

Published Statistics See above. Newcomer Information Forms Newcomer Focus Group participants and interviewees Partner Agency Survey TR Leger Immigrant Services; Service Ontario; Service Canada; Town of Smiths Falls; Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit; Smiths Falls Community Health Center; Smiths Falls Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic; Lanark County Social Services; Smiths Falls Public Library; Upper Canada District School Board; Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario; Welcome Wagon; Canada Homestay International; Smiths Falls Police and emergency services; local financial institutes and real estate agencies.

Indicator: The language in which websites are accessed. 3

Settlement and Public Services Service Availability:

What services are available for newcomers in Smiths Falls?


73 •

What capacity and usage do service providers have?

Community Resource Guides

Immigration Portal; etc.

Partner Agency Survey See above.

Indicator: Estimate of newcomers as a percentage of all clients. Industry specific indicators: Financial institutes, newcomer accounts and/or mortgages; etc.

4

Settlement and Public Services

Service Needs: •

What services do newcomers require?

Which are the priority services?

How do service needs change as newcomers integrate into the community?

Newcomer Focus Groups Chinese and Canadian Heritage Cultural Association; Filipino Choir; ESL class; Willis College International Students. Interviews to be scheduled with independent contacts. Settlement Services Key Informant Interview Wagon.

TR Leger Immigrant Services; Canada Homestay International; Welcome

Best Practice Research Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration and Citizenship & Immigration Canada publications, Conference Board of Canada research; Academic Research. 5

Settlement and Public Services Service Expectations:

What are newcomer’s expectations for services in Smiths Falls?

• Are they satisfied with diversity and accessibility of these services? above. Settlement Services Key Informant Interviews

Newcomer Focus Groups

See

See above.

6

Settlement and Public Services Service Usage:

What challenges do newcomers face in accessing and using available services? Newcomer Focus Groups See above.

Settlement Service Key Informant Interviews

See above.


74 Public Services Focus Group

Representatives from housing, education, health, financial, and social services sectors.

7

Settlement Services

Settlement Service Provision:

What are the challenges in providing these services to newcomers?

How can the LIP initiative assist?

8

Public Services Public Service Provision:

How do newcomers needs differ from those of other residents?

What strategies are employed to address these differences?

How can the LIP initiative assist?

Settlement Service Key Informant Interviews

See above.

Public Services Focus Group See above.

9

Awareness and Communication Available Information:

What information is available for newcomers?

Where is this information provided?

Community Resource Guides

See above.

Provincial and Federal Websites Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration; Citizenship and Immigration Canada. 10

Awareness and Communication Information Acquisition:

Through what mediums do newcomers retrieve information?

Who are the primary contacts for newcomers? Newcomer Information Forms See above.

11

Awareness and Communication Information Needs and Gaps:

What information are newcomers seeking?

What are the information gaps?

What are the challenges in utilizing available information?

Partner Agency Survey See above.

Settlement Service Providers Indicator: Views per website page.

Newcomer Focus Groups

See above.


75 All Partner Agencies Indicator: Types of inquiries from newcomers. Immigration Portal Viewership Report Indicator: Views per website page. 12

Awareness and Communication Awareness of service availability:

• To what extent are service providers and residents familiar with available services? Informant Interviews See above. Public Services Focus Group

Settlement Services Key

See above.

Residents Focus Group TBD.

C. Supportive Social Environment No.

Focus Question to be Answered

1

General

Forum Contact (s)/ Resource(s)

Population and Demographics: •

How many newcomers are in Smiths Falls?

Of what age are newcomers in Smiths Falls?

• To what cultural or ethnic heritage do newcomers relate? Published Statistics 2006 Community Profile from Statistics Canada; Target Group Profiles from Statistics Canada; Conference Board of Canada. Newcomer Information Forms Newcomer focus group participants and interviewees. 2

Creating Relationships in the Community

Social Contacts:

What cultural organization and social opportunities exist for newcomers locally?

• With which contacts, service clubs or community organizations do newcomers interact with upon arriving in Smiths Falls? On an ongoing basis? Community Resource Guides Immigration Portal; Online or print publications by Ethnic Groups in the region; etc. Newcomer Focus Groups and Interviews Chinese and Canadian Heritage Cultural Association; Filipino Choir; ESL Class; Willis College International Students; International students studying with the Upper Canada District School Board. Interviews to be scheduled with independent contacts. Partner Agency Survey T R Leger Immigrant Services; Upper Canada District School Board; Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario; Algonquin College; Willis College; Canada Homestay International; Welcome Wagon; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark County; Smiths Falls and District Club for Youth; Smiths Falls Public Library; Smiths Falls Ministerial Association and faithbased organizations; Rotary Club of Smiths Falls; Smiths Falls Lions Club; Smiths Falls & District Arts and Culture Council.

Indicator: Estimate number and percentage of newcomer clients.


76 3

Creating Relationships in the Community

Social Expectations:

What type and degree of socialization are newcomers seeking?

Are the relationships being sought cultural or interest based?

Are these expectations being met?

4

Creating Relationships in the Community

What barriers do newcomers encounter with regards to forming relationships in the community?

Newcomer Focus Groups and Interviews

See above.

Social Networking Challenges and Opportunities:

How can the community build on existent social assets to address current barriers? Best Practice Research Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration and Citizenship & Immigration Canada publications, Conference Board of Canada research; Academic Research. Newcomer Focus Groups and Interviews

See above.

Social Integration Key Informant Interviews T R Leger Immigrant Services; Upper Canada District School Board; Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario; Algonquin College; Willis College; Canada Homestay International; Welcome Wagon; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark County; Smiths Falls and District Club for Youth; Smiths Falls Public Library; Smiths Falls Ministerial Association and other faith-based organizations; Rotary Club of Smiths Falls; Smiths Falls Lions Club; Smiths Falls & District Arts and Culture Council; media representatives. 5

Building a Welcoming Community Attitude

Newcomer Perception: •

How welcoming do newcomers perceive Smiths Falls to be?

What factors influence this perception? Newcomer Information Forms See above.

6

Building a Welcoming Community Attitude

Current Community Attitude: •

How supportive of immigration are Smiths Falls’ residents? Of diversity?

What understandings are influencing these attitudes?

• What regional and/or provincial trends are influencing these attitudes? Community Documents Culture Mapping Report Residential Survey Newcomer Community Partnership Program participants. Social Integration Key Informant Interview

See above.


77 7

Building a Welcoming Community Attitude

Fostering a Welcoming Attitude: •

What initiatives would support the development of a more welcoming community?

Which stakeholders should be involved in the development of these initiatives? Best Practice Research Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration and Citizenship & Immigration Canada publications, Conference Board of Canada research; Academic Research. Review of Other LIPs

Projects in approximately 40 other Ontario communities.

Newcomer Focus Groups and Interviews

See above.

Social Integration Key Informant Interview

See above.

D. Sustainability of the LIP No.

Focus Question to be Answered

1

Funding

Forum Contact(s) / Resources(s)

Government funding that aligns with the objectives of the LIP: • What funding is available through provincial and federal governments? Inventory of Immigration Funding Sources Kim Leach, Town of Smiths Falls Key Informant Interviews Citizenship and Immigration Canada; Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration; Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. 2

FundingLocal funding that aligns with the objectives of the LIP:

• What funding is available through or to partner organizations? Partner Agency Survey All ‘economic integration’, ‘provision and promotion of services’ and ‘supportive social environment’ contacts identified. 3 Reporting Structure communities?

What LIP reporting structures have been applied successfully in other

• What options are available to the Smiths Falls LIPC? other Ontario communities. Key Informant Interview 4

Review of Other LIPs

LIP projects in approximately 40

Town of Smiths Falls.

Membership and Staff

LIPC membership for Phase Two and onwards: •

What are member’s expectations and desires regarding continued participation?


78 •

How will the role and responsibilities of LIPC members change?

Should the size of the LIPC change?

Review of Other LIPs

Member Consultations All LIPC members.

See above.

Key Informant Interviews

Citizenship and Immigration Canada; Town of Smiths Falls.

5

Membership and Staff LIPC Chair:

What would be the Chair’s specific responsibilities?

What characteristics and/or experience should a Chair have?

Which LIPC members would be interested in filling this role?

Review of Other LIPs 6

Member Consultations See above.

See above.

Membership and Staff

Project staff for Phase Two and onwards: •

What would be the roles and responsibilities of future staff?

What are the alternatives to keeping staff support for the LIPC? Member Consultations See above.

Review of Other LIPs 7

See above.

Regional Relationship

Potential for Partnerships: •

Where are the LIPC service boundaries and areas of overlap?

How do the contexts compare between Smiths Falls and surrounding areas with LIPs?

What are the objectives of surrounding LIPs and do they match Smiths Falls?

Which common objectives could be best served regionally?

Leeds and Grenville;

Renfrew County and Lanark County;

Prescott-Russell and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry;

Ottawa;

Kingston.

Area LIP Meeting

Project Staff from


79 8

Regional Relationship

•

What policies and procedures should be implemented to facilitate this relationship? Area LIP Meeting

See above.

Key Informant Interview

Ontario East Economic Development Chair


80

Appendix D.

Smiths Falls Grant Synopsis - Immigration Province of Ontario Ministry of Citizenship Municipal Immigration Website Development and Immigration Information Online Program MIIO – Marketing Marketing Website

MIIO - Extranet

Development Private Side of MCI website (sharing of information amongst partners)

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration COIA ( Canadian Ontario Immigration Agreement) Special Projects

Community Newcomer Partnership Program/ Ambassador Program

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Translations

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Phase II –MIIO Project

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Marketing

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Special Projects

Creation of Partnership and Information sharing about Immigration Strategy/ Develop and Community Ambassador Program “ Team Sell Sensational” Translate Advantage Smiths Falls Documents in 17 languages Website Upgrades – Town and Immigration Portal – CNPP Sustainability Develop Marketing Campaign and Education lour pieces CNPP Project Sustainability - Staff

Grants Continued – Federal and Provincial Citizenship and Local Immigration Immigration Canada Partnerships

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

March 2008 – April, 2010

$124.025.00

March 2009 – st December 31 , 2010 st January 1 -2010 th – June 30 , 2010

$19900.00

January 2010 – June 2010

$75,000.00

January 2010 – st March 31 2010

$0.00

October 2010 – st March 31 , 2011

$147,500.00

October 2010 – st March 31 , 2011

$22,100.00

October 2010 – st March 31 , 2011

$15,000.00

$20,000.00

Develop a LIP Council and Terms of Reference /Policy on Immigration/ 2 employees Marketing

February 1st, 2011 – st March 31 , 2012 65 week duration

$219,342.00

Approved

$20,000.00

Translations

Translated Documents

Ongoing

Free

County Partnership

Web Portal

Approved January 2012 to June 30, 2012

$81,290.00

Marketing


81

Appendix E.

October 18, 2010

Media release

International students tour Smiths Falls and Rideau Canal through International Students’ Initiative Smiths Falls – A few months ago, the Town of Smiths Falls endorsed a proposal to the Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation by the Rideau Roundtable for an international students’ initiative. This past weekend, town representatives showed their support of International Students’ Initiative (ISI) 2010 by welcoming two groups of international students who toured Smiths Falls through the initiative. On Saturday, Oct. 16, Councillor Ken Graham extended greetings to 24 students visiting from St. Lawrence College in Kingston while Mayor Dennis Staples had a warm welcome for the 31 students from Carleton University in Ottawa who were here on Sunday. Both highlighted the opportunities that await new Canadians in this growing community. Peter Au, president of the Rideau Roundtable and credited with conceiving the idea of the students’ initiative, says the Town of Smiths Falls has been “very, very, very supportive” of ISI 2010. A collaboration of various groups, including the Town of Smiths Falls and Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association, the pilot project is aimed at introducing the international students to the ecology, geology and history of the Rideau Heritage Route, as well as economic development opportunities in the hosting town. With that in mind, the students from St. Lawrence College and Carleton University hiked along the Rideau Canal and, upon arriving in Smiths Falls, toured the Rideau Canal Museum and viewed a documentary on the building of the canal. As well, they got to paddle a portion of the canal through the Swale to Poonamalie Lock in a Voyageur canoe, accompanied by Jason J Yang, a member of town staff. Andrea Howard, co-ordinator of the ISI, was the guide for the two tours. For John Umunna who is enrolled in business accounting at St. Lawrence College, it was an exciting and fun experience. Although he had never paddled a boat before, the Nigerian student found that aspect of the tour “quite interesting.” The same was true for St. Lawrence College students Tejinder Kaur of India and Hana Lee of Korea. One of the highlights for Lee who is studying English as a Second Language was getting to see the leaves in their spectacular fall colours. “There are lots of different colours of leaves,” she commented. “I now know autumn in Canada.” Umunna thinks the tours are a “very good” idea. “It kind of shows them (the students) what historic places are left in Canada,” he said. Along with familiarizing the students with the beauty and history of the Rideau Canal and the local region, organizers of ISI 2010 hope those who take part in the tours will be encouraged to return here as visitors and perhaps bring their families with them. As well, Howard shared with the students on Saturday that it is the dream of organizers that some will be so excited by what they saw that day that they will decide to apply to become an interpreter on the Rideau Heritage Route, thus adding to the number of languages in which interpretation is provided. Likewise, when the students graduate from college or university, the co-ordinator of ISI 2010 said the hope is that some will opt to do business locally “or maybe even settle here.”


82 Umunna is certainly intent on making a return visit to Smiths Falls. “I would love to come back,” he said. “There are things I want to show my friends like the Rideau Canal gates and locks.” Lee is also looking forward to returning to Smiths Falls. “I will come back with my family,” she said. In addition to the two tours on the weekend, 48 international students from the University of Ottawa were welcomed to Smiths Falls through ISI 2010 by Staples and Bob Cheetham, the town’s manager of economic development, on Sept. 19 and a group of students from Algonquin College in Ottawa will be visiting the town through the initiative on Oct. 30. Staples believes the project is “a tremendous way for the town to promote our community and its assets to international students.” The Sensational Town of Smiths Falls is and will continue to be an excellent community in which to live, work, visit, and play and conduct business. For more information about the Town of Smiths Falls and all its excellent opportunities, please visit www.smithsfalls.ca or www.advantagesmithsfalls.ca. -30For more information contact: Bob Cheetham Manager of Economic Development Town of Smiths Falls (O) 613.283.4124 x1107 (C) 613.812.8792 bcheetham@smithsfalls.ca

Kimberley Leach Economic Development Coordinator Town of Smiths Falls (O) 613.283.4124 X1127 (C) 613.812.4143 kleach@smithsfalls.ca


83

Appendix F.

LIP Interview Log File See Interview File See Interview File Interview 2011-03 Interview 2011-04 Interview 2011-05 Interview 2011-06 Interview 2011-07 Interview 2011-08 Interview 2011-09 Interview 2011-10 Interview 2011-11 Interview 2011-12 Interview 2011-13 Interview 2011-14 Interview 2011-15 Interview 2011-16 Interview 2011-17 Interview 2011-18 Interview 2011-19 Interview 2011-20 Interview 2011-21 Interview 2011-22 Interview 2011-23 Interview 2011-24 Interview 2011-25 Interview 2011-26 Interview 2011-27 Interview 2011-28 Interview 2011-29 Interview 2011-30

Respondent Algonquin College students doing work placement in Smiths Falls Mary Ellen Cote, Service Ontario Yohan Byrde, LIPC member, Comfort Inn Pauline Anderson, LIPC member, Welcome Wagon Sarah Bridson, LIPC member, United Way Lanark County Daphne Lane, LIPC member, TR Leger Immigrant Services Michelle Toop, LIPC member, Ontrac Employment Resource Services Angel Valentin, LIPC member, Smiths Falls Free Methodist Church and Bridges Julie Case, ESL and Settlement Services Worker Karen Burns, LIPC Member, CIBC Loretta Corbeil, Volunteer Bureau Leeds-Grenville Traci Brigham, LIPC member, newcomer Ming Shan Gu, LIPC member, newcomer, Education Bridge International Inc.; Mac’s Convenience Stores Sandy Grey, LIPC member, Lanark County Social Housing Louis Tremblay, Smiths Falls & District Arts & Culture Council Stacey Roy, EMC Kristina Crosbie, LIPC member, Dominion Lending Centre Melinda Billett, LIPC Member, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit Kirk White, RCN Nova Scotia Gord Cooke, Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute Jennifer Miller, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Lanark County Peter Au, LIPC member, Chinese and Canadian Heritage Cultural Association Karen Schecter, LIPC member, Smiths Falls Public Library Tony Gilchrist, New Directions Ram Mogandas, Chuckles Jack Ken Graham, LIPC member, Town of Smiths Falls Doris Marshall, Smiths Falls & District Centre for Youth Arumugam Subbian, newcomer Christine Mike, local resident Helene Oosthuizen, newcomer

Date Completed Summer 2011 Summer 2011 October 24th 2011 October 24th 2011 October 25th 2011 October 25th 2011 October 26th 2011 October 27th 2011 October 31st 2011 November 3rd 2011 November 7th 2011 November 10th 2011 November 15th 2011 November 16, 2011 December 12, 2011 November 17, 2011 November 17, 2011 November 18, 2011 November 21, 2011 November 22, 2011 November 23, 2011 November 23, 2011 November 24, 2011 November 25, 2011 November 28, 2011 November 28, 2011 November 29, 2011 November 30, 2011 November 30, 2011 December 1,2011


84 Interview 2011-31 Interview 2011-32 Interview 2011-33 Interview 2011-34 Interview 2011-35 Interview 2011-36 Interview 2011-37 Interview 2011-38 Interview 2011-39 Interview 2011-40 Interview 2011-41 Interview 2011-42 Interview 2011-43 Interview 2011-44 Interview 2011-45 Interview 2011-46 Interview 2011-47 Interview 2011-48 Interview 2011-49 Interview 2011-50 Interview 2011-51 Interview 2011-52 Interview 2011-53 Interview 2012-54 Interview 2012-55 Interview 2012-56 Interview 2012-57 Interview 2012-58 Interview 2012 -59 Interview 2012-60 Interview 2012-61 Interview 2012-62 Interview 2012-63 Interview 2012-64

Peter McKenna, Smiths Falls Community Health Center Jane Torrance, Lanark County Planning Group Diana Madamba, newcomer Chris Trimm, Wills Transfer Cindy James, Lanark North Leeds Enterprise Centre Fran Quattrocchi, Quattrocchi’s Zoe Ashby, newcomer Kevin Grimes, LIPC member, Century 21 Your Choice Realty David Hoffman, newcomer Shawn Pankow, Pankow Financial Services Anne Davis, Algonquin College Sandy McInnes, Duncan J. Schoular School Jason Yang, newcomer Eileen Crosby, Rotary Club Dave Lawrence, LIPC member, RBC Wayne Cavanagh, Jack FM Rima Aristocrat, LIPC member, Willis College Nancy Metcalfe, GEW Project Diana Liu, CIC Norlita Degada Villanueva, newcomer Todd Stepanuik, Perth & Smiths Falls District Hospital Elizabeth Goldman, Perth & District Union Public Library Ian Sutton, Lake 88 Bob Cheetham, Economic Development Dept., Town of Smiths Falls Paola Kryvenchuk, newcomer Dawn Quinn, Downtown Business Association Major Faith Cameron and Barb Thornhill, Salvation Army Kim Leach, LIPC member, Economic Development Dept., Town of Smiths Falls Natalia Migounova, Perfect Fit Alterations Haerishton Lima, newcomer Ken, Rosie’s Nails, newcomer/Business Owner Munieaswara Moorthy Musiswamy, newcomer Anna Mavreganis, Gerbo’s Steakhouse Donaleen Hawes, Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario

December 2, 2011 December 5, 2011 December 7, 2011 December 8, 2011 December 8, 2011 December 8, 2011 December 9, 2011 December 12, 2011 December 13, 2011 December 13, 2011 December 14, 2011 December 15, 2011 December 15, 2011 January 27, 2012 December 19, 2011 December 19, 2011 December 20, 2011 December 20, 2011 December 20, 2011 December 21, 2011 December 21, 2011 December 22, 2011 December 22, 2011 January 10, 2012 January 5, 2012 January 5, 2012 January 6, 2012 January 26th 2012 January 26th 2012 January 30th, 2012 January 30th 2012 January 30th, 2012 January 30th, 2012 January 9th, 2012


85

Appendix G.

For immediate release: Town council approves appointments to Local Immigration Partnership Council Smiths Falls (May 16, 2011) – The Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) Council has been officially established. The appointments to the newly formed LIP Council were approved by Smiths Falls Town Council at tonight’s regular meeting of town council. Members are (in alphabetical order): Peter Au, Pauline Anderson, Rima Aristocrat, Melinda Billett, Sarah Bridson, Traci Brigham, Kristina Crosbie, Major Brian Fuller, Sandy Grey, Kevin Grimes, Ming Shan Gu, Amanda Guerin, Daphne Lane, David Lawrence, Kim Leach, Nancy Metcalfe, Karen Schecter, Michelle Toop, Rev. J. Angel Valentin, and Klaas Van Der Meer. Among the various settlement services, other community organizations and businesses represented on the new LIP Council are the Chinese and Canadian Heritage Cultural Association; TR Leger Immigrant Services; Willis College of Business, Health and Technology; Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit; United Way of Lanark County; Smiths Falls and District Chamber of Commerce and The Salvation Army, as well as newcomers to the Smiths Falls area. “We are pleased with the response received from the community,” says Nicole Sullivan, Local Immigration Partnership Coordinator. “The team that has been appointed to the LIP Council includes a broad representation of stakeholder groups from newcomers themselves to settlement service providers to the business community. Their combined knowledge and experience will be a valuable asset in meeting the objectives of the initiative.” The LIP Council will act as a strategic planning body that works to coordinate and enhance the integration of newcomers in the community. The first term of the LIP Council will extend until March 31, 2012, after which membership will be reviewed, to coincide with the completion of Phase One of the project. During that phase, the members of the council will develop a local settlement strategy and a corresponding implementation plan, meanwhile gathering the information and feedback necessary to support these deliverables. As part of that work, consultations will take place with newcomers, employers and service providers in the community. “The feedback gathered will guide the development of recommendations presented in the Settlement Strategy, helping to ensure that it reflects and responds to the local context,” Sullivan says. Smiths Falls is one of 45 LIP communities in Ontario with funding for the project being provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The Town of Smiths Falls is the project partner. “The creation of the Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership Council is an important next step in providing effective supports and services for newcomers to our area,” says Mayor Dennis Staples. An official Kick Off for the LIP program in Smiths Falls is being planned for Thursday, June 16. More details about the event will be released at the end of the month. For more information contact:


86

Nicole Sullivan Local Immigration Partnership Coordinator Town of Smiths Falls (O) 613-283-4124, ext. 1164 nsullivan@smithsfalls.ca

Dianne Pinder-Moss Local Immigration Partnership Administrative Coordinator Town of Smiths Falls (O) 613-283-4124, ext. 1184 dpindermoss@smithsfalls.ca


87

Appendix H.

For immediate release

Community input sought for public consultation phase of Local Immigration Partnership project Smiths Falls October 17, 2011 – The Local Immigration Partnership Council (LIPC) wants to hear from the community. During the first phase of the Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) project, which is to be completed by March 31st, 2012, LIPC members will develop a local settlement strategy and a corresponding implementation plan. Consultations will take place with newcomers, employers, service providers and others in the community as part of that work. These consultations are planned for October and will primarily take the form of focus groups, key informant interviews and surveys. From feedback gathered through the discussion groups hosted at the Celebration Evening held on June 16 to kick off the LIP project, the LIPC was able to identify focus areas for the project. These include the economic integration of newcomers, the provision and promotion of services, the creation of a welcoming community and the sustainability of the LIP initiative. Work groups met in August to determine specific topics with respect to each of the focus areas that they would like to receive further community feedback on. These topics, which are listed in the Community Consultation Plan, range from statistics on the number of newcomers in the Smiths Falls’ area and their first languages to the settlement and public services that are available to them to the challenges and opportunities for attracting newcomer entrepreneurs and investors. Information will also be gathered on how welcoming newcomers perceive Smiths Falls to be, how supportive Smiths Falls’ residents are of immigration and what initiatives are needed to help develop a more welcoming attitude in the town. According to Nicole Sullivan, LIP Coordinator, the insight provided by the community consultation phase will assist the LIPC in creating a settlement strategy “that reflects and complements the current community context.” “The successful settlement of newcomers requires a collaborative community approach,” Sullivan says. “Accordingly, feedback is being sought from representatives from the community, its organizations and businesses.” Anyone who would like to be part of the consultation process is encouraged to contact Sullivan at 613-283-4124, ext. 1164 (email nsullivan@smithsfalls.ca) or Dianne Pinder-Moss, LIP Administrative Coordinator, at 613-283-4124, ext. 1184 (email dpindermoss@smithsfalls.ca). Approved by the LIPC at its meeting on Sept. 21 and presented to Smiths Falls Town Council for information purposes on Sept. 26, the Community Consultation Plan is available online on the town’s Immigration Portal at http://immigratetosmithsfalls.ca/communityconsultation.cfm. Information gathered during the consultation process will be compiled into a report to be presented to the LIPC in November.


88

Councillor Ken Graham who represents town council on the LIPC cannot stress enough the importance of this phase of the project. "This is an exciting process the LIPC is embarking on,� Graham says. “Public participation and input is paramount to the right plan being developed to accurately present Smiths Falls as a caring, welcoming and nurturing community to newcomers. I encourage everyone to provide their input so we can move forward." Smiths Falls is one of 45 LIP communities in Ontario with funding for the project being provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The Town of Smiths Falls is the project partner. For more information contact: Nicole Sullivan Local Immigration Partnership Coordinator Town of Smiths Falls (O) 613-283-4124, ext. 1164 nsullivan@smithsfalls.ca

Dianne Pinder-Moss Local Immigration Partnership Administrative Coordinator Town of Smiths Falls (O) 613-283-4124, ext. 1184 dpindermoss@smithsfalls.ca


89

Appendix I. For immediate release Kickoff event for Local Immigration Partnership project in Smiths Falls an evening of celebration Smiths Falls (June 16, 2011) – There was plenty to celebrate as the Celebration Evening for the Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) project took place tonight (Thursday, June 16) in Smiths Falls. Approximately 60 people were on hand at the Smiths Falls Memorial Community Centre as the official announcement of the project in the Smiths Falls area was made by Mary Barr, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

Smiths Falls is one of 45 LIP communities in Ontario with funding for the project being provided by CIC. The Town of Smiths Falls is the project partner. In a statement issued prior to the celebration evening, Scott Reid, Member of Parliament for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington, said the Local Immigration Partnership “will enable the community of Smiths Falls to help newcomers integrate more quickly.” “By better understanding newcomers’ needs, we can improve access to important services, like language training, that are key to successful integration,” Reid stated. Under the LIP initiative, the recently appointed Local Immigration Partnership Council (LIPC) will act as a strategic planning body that works to coordinate and enhance the integration of newcomers in the community. The council has broad representation from newcomers to settlement service providers to the business community. “The Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership Council will be an effective and significant body to welcome all newcomers to Smiths Falls, as well as providing the required services, information and support to our new citizens,” Mayor Dennis Staples told the gathering. The first phase of the LIP project is to be completed by March 31st, 2012. During that time period, the members of the council will develop a local settlement strategy and a corresponding implementation plan, meanwhile gathering the information and feedback necessary to support these deliverables. As part of that work, consultations will take place with newcomers, employers and service providers in the community. An initial step in the consultation process took place on Thursday night as those in attendance were divided into discussion groups to gather feedback on the challenges and opportunities for immigration in the community. “As the initiative progresses, the LIPC will be seeking further feedback from the community on the themes highlighted through the discussion sessions conducted,” said Nicole Sullivan, Local Immigration Partnership Coordinator. The celebration evening for LIP truly had an international flavour. That included the entertainment, which opened with Aira Sarmiento on the guitar singing songs in English and the Tagalog language of her native Philippines, followed by Jason Yang playing the Chinese harp.


90

Following their performances, Ming Shan Gu shared her experience of what it was like to leave her homeland of China to come to Canada and start a new life, eventually settling in Smiths Falls with her family in 2008. “As a newcomer, I did feel the atmosphere of warmth and being welcomed in Smiths Falls,” Gu related, adding “it is possible to be integrated in small communities like Smiths Falls as long as you make an effort.” Sullivan said the celebration evening “generated awareness and excitement about the Local Immigration Partnership that will facilitate the community collaboration which is fundamental to the initiative.” --30—

For more information contact: Nicole Sullivan Local Immigration Partnership Coordinator Town of Smiths Falls (O) 613-283-4124, ext. 1164 nsullivan@smithsfalls.ca

Dianne Pinder-Moss Local Immigration Partnership Administrative Coordinator Town of Smiths Falls (O) 613-283-4124, ext. 1184 dpindermoss@smithsfalls.ca


91

Appendix J.

Muchmor Magazine Issue 48 (above) and Issue 49 (below)


92

Appendix K.

Revised Project Plan and Itemized Tasks Implementation Plan Overview – 2012 -2013 Timeline:

Task

Responsibility

April 2012 – September 2012

Provide Welcome Packages to Newcomers

Staff with input from Council

April 2012 – November 2012

Develop a Newcomer Guide in various languages identified in Strategy

Staff with input from Council and LIP Projects for LeedsGrenville and Renfrew-Lanark

April 2013 – April 2013

Utilize the Economic Development Department as a linkage to Newcomer Settlement Services

Economic Development Office relocation will take place in 2012 and be more visible and easily accessible

June 2012 - March 2013

Educate Employers on cultural Chamber of Commerce and diversity and programs to Town of Smiths Falls Staff and benefit Newcomers and business LIP Council

March 2012 – October 2013

Develop a list of potential Economic Development Staff translators in the community and LIP Council and establish a resource base

April 2012 – April 2013

Create a monthly virtual LIP Council develops content in cooperation with Economic newsletter for newcomers Development Staff

( ongoing)

To address transportation issue, organize a weekly bus shuttle to various businesses at a nominal fee

Staff with input from business community and local transportation provider

April 2012 – April 2013

Promote Cultural Diversity and Educate Community – ie Multicultural Day and Speaker Series

LIP Council and Staff

April 2012 – April 2013

LIP Council and Staff

(ongoing)

Establish a Newcomers Group to share food, culture and socialization

April 2012 – April 2013

Develop a mentoring program

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of

April 2012 – April 2013 (ongoing)


93 (ongoing)

for youth

Lanark County

April 2012 – April 2013

Establish a Career Mentor program to assist internationally trained workers, in particular professionals, to obtain employment

Staff with input from local employment service agencies

(ongoing)

April 2012 (ongoing)

April

2013 Improve diversity on Town of Smiths Falls Committees

LIP Council and Staff

April 2012 – March 2013

Improve delivery Staff and Council knowledge on immigration and settlement delivery through training and workshops

LIP Council and Staff


94

Appendix L.

SMITHS FALLS LOCAL IMMIGRATION PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL

Terms of Reference

June 17, 2011


95 Table of Contents 1.0 Introduction

3

2.0 Vision, Mission & Guiding Values 2.1 Vision

3

2.2 Mission

3

2.3 Guiding Values

3

3.0 Membership

4

3.1 Composition

4

3

3.1.1 Local Immigration Partnership Council 3.1.2 Work Groups

4

3.1.2 Project Partner

4

3.1.4 Staff

4

3.2 Roles and Responsibilities

5

3.2.1 Local Immigration Partnership Council 3.2.2 Project Partner 3.2.3 Staff

4

5

5

5

4.0 Member Recruitment and Selection 6 4.1 Recruitment and Appointment

6

4.1.1 Expression of Interest (EOI)

6

4.1.2 Appointments

6

4.2 Selection Criteria

6

4.3 Term of Appointment

6

5.0 Processes and Procedures

7

5.1 Meeting Schedule and Attendance 7 5.2 Quorum

8

5.3 Decision Making and Voting Procedure 5.4 Reimbursement of Expenses 8 5.5 Responding to Media Inquiries

8

8


96 5.6 Request for Proposals

9

6.0 Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest Policy 7.0 Agreement to Terms of Reference

9

9

SMITHS FALLS LOCAL IMMIGRATION PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL Terms of Reference

1.0

Introduction

Phase One of Local Immigration Partnership initiative will extend until March 31st, 2012 to coincide with the Citizenship and Immigration Canada funding period. During this period, the Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership Council (LIPC) will develop a local settlement strategy and a corresponding implementation plan, meanwhile gathering the information and feedback necessary to support these deliverables.

Following the completion of Phase One, the intention is for all community organizations affiliated with the LIPC to endorse the recommendations of the settlement strategy and support the implementation through the LIPC.

2.0 Vision, Mission & Guiding Values The following were established at the May 26th, 2011 meeting of the LIPC.

2.1 Vision To be a community that understands, supports and celebrates diversity; where newcomers are empowered through meaningful and long term connections with residents and local organizations. 2.2 Mission The LIPC will provide the framework for a coordinated, comprehensive and strategic approach to immigration and integration in Smiths Falls and District. 2.3 Guiding Values Respect and Open Mindedness: Members believe in the value of the perspectives of all community members, businesses and organizations. The LIPC will be receptive to and consider all input received, recognizing that the resulting awareness is fundamental to meeting the objectives of the initiative. Inclusiveness and Collaboration: The successful settlement and integration of newcomers is believed to be the product of a united community approach. Therefore, the initiative will be open and accessible to all residents and sectors of the community for input and shared responsibility.


97 Innovation: The LIPC encourages new approaches that will enhance the experience of newcomers settling in the community; placing priority on strategies and action plans that reflect and respond to the unique local context. Consistency: These values will transcend member’s attitudes and actions while also shaping the initiative as it evolves.

3.0 Membership 3.1 Composition 3.1.1 Local Immigration Partnership Council The Smiths Falls LIPC will consist of 15 to 20 members. Membership is to include, but is not limited to, representation from Smiths Falls and District :

Newcomer community and cultural networks

Public sectors including health, education, housing and recreation

Settlement service providers

Businesses and economic development organizations

Local government

3.1.2 Work Groups The LIPC can create work groups as it sees fit, determining the term and focus accordingly. Membership for these work groups is to include additional community stakeholders outside of the LIPC.

3.1.2 Project Partner The Town of Smiths Falls is the signatory of the LIP Contribution Agreement with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and as such, has final accountability for all monies and deliverables. As the project partner, the Town of Smiths Falls will have a representative from the Economic Development Department sitting on the LIPC.

3.1.4 Staff During Phase One of the initiative, the LIPC will have two (2) full time staff, a Coordinator and a Project Assistant.

3.2 Roles and Responsibilities 3.2.1 Local Immigration Partnership Council


98 As a team, the LIPC will:

Direct, support and monitor the development of initiative deliverables

Provide community connections and expertise on local immigration trends and settlement service needs

Conduct community consultations to build a knowledge base that complements the initiative deliverables

Advocate on settlement issues on behalf of the community

As part of the LIPC, members are expected to:

Attend all LIPC meetings

Participate on at least one work group and attend all respective meetings

Prepare for meetings by reviewing material provided

Actively participate in meeting discussions and LIPC activities

Complete and report on tasks assigned by the LIPC

Act in accordance with the code of conduct and conflict of interest policy outlined in Section 6.0.

3.2.2 Project Partner In addition to the roles and responsibilities outlined for LIPC members, the project partner will:

Hire, supervise and support the LIPC staff

Along with the LIPC staff, act as a primary contact for media and funding agencies

Preside over LIPC meetings in the absence of the LIP Coordinator

3.2.3 Staff The staff team will provide support to the LIPC as outlined in detail in the job descriptions for each position. 4.0 Member Recruitment and Selection 4.1 Recruitment and Appointment 4.1.1 Expression of Interest (EOI) Membership formation is to be based on the principle of inclusivity and will be open to any individual, group or organization from Smiths Falls and District. As such, a call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) is to be presented to the


99 community at large. Notifications will be broadly distributed using the local media, Smiths Falls’ Immigration Portal, and existing email networks. All individuals, groups or organizations that wish to participate on the LIPC must complete an EOI that lists their contact information and indicates how they can contribute to the LIPC.

Calls for EOIs will be issued and/or remain open as the LIPC deems necessary.

4.1.2 Appointments LIPC staff and the project partner will jointly review EOIs received and recommend membership based on the selection criteria outlined in Section 4.2. A resolution with this recommendation will be presented to the Smiths Falls Town Council for approval and the appointment of member(s).

4.2 Selection Criteria New LIPC members will be chosen with the objective of achieving a broad representation of stakeholder groups and based on applicants:

Relevant experience

Demonstrated commitment to community collaboration

Ability to serve the term in question

Up to two (2) representatives from any organization can participate on the LIPC though priority will be given to the above mentioned.

4.3 Term of Appointment The first term of the LIPC will extend until March 31st, 2012 to coincide with Phase One of the initiative. Members will be asked to reaffirm their interest in participating on the LIPC at the completion of this period, and on an annual basis from thereon in. The number of terms a member may serve is unlimited. Any resignation from the LIPC shall be tendered in writing to the LIPC staff or the project partner.

5.0 Processes and Procedures 5.1 Meeting Schedule and Attendance During Phase One of the initiative, the LIPC and Work Groups will meet according to the following schedule:


100 No.

Type of Meeting

1

LIPC

Time Frame

Objective(s)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

10:30am to 1:00pm

Project introduction

Determine values & ethics

2

LIPC

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

1:00pm to 3:00pm

Adopt Terms of Reference

Review feedback gathered at LIP Kick Off

Determine areas of focus & establish corresponding work groups

Suggest additional membership for work group

3

Work Group

Establish information needs and collection plan

July/August 2011

Determine information needs and gaps

Via Email

LIPC

Week of September 11, 2011

4

LIPC

Wednesday, November 2 , 2011

10:00am to 12:00pm •

LIPC

LIPC

November/ December 2011

Draft strategies and implementation plan for

Presentation of work group strategies & implementation plan

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

10:00am to 12:00pm •

Present summary of information collected

Thursday, January 19, 2012

10:00am to 12:00pm 7

Present work group’s information collection plans

Discuss potential strategies

5 Work Group presentation to LIPC 6

Review & revise drafts

Discuss and prepare

for LIP Phase 2 Via Email

LIPC

March 2012

Project evaluation

Approve final deliverables


101 Members are expected to attend all meetings. However, in the event that a member is unable to attend, their designate or alternate may attend in their place.

To ensure continuity, members will be asked to confirm their continued interest in participating on the LIPC after two (2) consecutive absences at LIPC meetings regardless of whether a designate was assigned.

5.2 Quorum A quorum of the LIPC is half the total membership plus one to a minimum of six (6). If a quorum is not present within fifteen (15) minutes of the scheduled time of a LIPC meeting, the meeting will proceed on a discussion basis only.

5.3 Decision Making and Voting Procedure Decisions are to be made through consensus. The input of all participants is to be gathered and synthesized to arrive at a final decision acceptable to all. In the event that consensus cannot be reached, a vote will take place with the final decision made by majority rule. Should a tie occur, the LIP Coordinator will be given a vote.

All members have equal voting rights and designates will assume the vote of the LIPC member being represented. LIPC staff do not have voting rights except in the case that the LIP Coordinator’s vote is required to break a tie.

5.4 Reimbursement of Expenses For the duration of Phase One, LIPC members will be reimbursed for travel expenses to and from Council meetings at a rate of $0.45/kilometre. Reimbursement will only be provided for claims recorded in the manner prescribed by the LIPC staff or project partner. Additional expenses directly related to the LIP project may be reimbursed but require preapproval from the LIPC staff or project partner.

5.5 Responding to Media Inquiries LIPC members who are approached by the media should refer all inquiries to the LIPC staff or project partner to ensure compliance with the media protocols outlined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada in the Contribution Agreement and those of the project partner.

5.6 Request for Proposals Organizations represented on the LIPC will not be excluded from responding to any Request for Proposal (RFP) process or community funding opportunity that furthers the work and goals of their respective organizations.


102 6.0 Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest Policy All members represent the issue and not their organization. Nevertheless, it is understood that given the necessity of having members with certain expertise, potential conflicts will arise. All members are therefore required to comply with the guidelines herein and the policies binding the project partner.

Members should declare a conflict of interest if the outcome of an assessment and/or decision could be or perceived to be of direct or indirect benefit. Members shall disclose any anticipated areas of conflict prior to becoming LIPC members and shall continue to disclose any potential areas of conflict that may arise. When an actual or perceived conflict does arise, the member shall immediately advise the LIP Council. They will refrain from discussing the matter with any other LIPC members and shall excuse themselves while the matter is under consideration and being voted upon by the LIP Council.

In the event that there is a failure to comply with these guidelines or the policies of the project partner, the LIPC staff and project partner will be responsible for addressing the issue with the member and recommending a suitable course of action to the LIPC.

7.0 Agreement to Terms of Reference

I, __________________________________, member of the Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership Council, have read this document and agree to the terms contained herein.

Signature:

Date:


103

Appendix M.


104


105

Appendix N.


106

Appendix O.


107

Appendix P.


108

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