A northern Ontario group is looking for ways to attract immigrants to northern Ontario for reasons other than just work.
Paula Haapanen is with the local Francophone Immigration Support Network, and feels it can be challenging for newcomers to integrate.
“Often, the onus is put on them to fit in,” she notes, “As opposed to us as a community to try and be empathetic, and try and understand where they’re coming from. So, this is something that we’re all responsible for, at different levels.”
The group adds it’s working with the Northern Ontario Policy Institute for ways to increase the population in the region.
Meanwhile, Stacy Parks is with Local Integration Partnership, and notes Atlantic Canada has come up with a plan to deal with a similar problem.
“What we’re learning from that is that they’ve been able to identify specific gaps in the job market that could be filled by newcomers, and making that an immigration pathway to permanent residency.”
The spokesperson claims southern Ontario has too many people for the number of jobs available.