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Welcoming Communities: A Manitobans Perspective with Implications for Policy, Research and Practice Robert C. Annis Jill Bucklaschuk and Ryan Gibson Rural.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcoming Communities: A Manitobans Perspective with Implications for Policy, Research and Practice Robert C. Annis Jill Bucklaschuk and Ryan Gibson Rural."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcoming Communities: A Manitobans Perspective with Implications for Policy, Research and Practice Robert C. Annis Jill Bucklaschuk and Ryan Gibson Rural Development Institute Brandon University Presented at Metropolis B.C. Policy Workshop on Welcoming Communities Victoria, March 1, 2010

2 Rural Development Institute A research unit of Brandon University Research Interests –Community leadership –Environmental and agro-economic issues –Information technology: utilization and access –Rural health –Rural tourism –Rural immigration A focus on rural community development: research, policy and practice

3 Overview of Presentation Canadian Rural Immigration Immigrant Distribution in Canada Policy Matters: Immigration to and within Manitoba Welcoming Communities A Case Study: Brandon, Manitoba Implications for Policy, Practice, and Research Challenges for Moving Forward

4 Canadian Attitudes Towards Immigration

5 Regional Distribution of Immigrants, 2008 Total: 247,423

6 Concentration of Immigrants: Top 10 cities / Other Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2007

7 Manitoba: Provincial Policy Matters 1996: Canada-MB Immigration Agreement signed 1998: Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Settlement Services negotiated 2002 Provincial Immigration Strategy established: Growing Through Immigration 2002: 5 year target 10,000 arrivals / year 2007: 10 year target 20,000 arrivals / year –2009 established the Worker Recruitment and Protection Act –2009 established a credential recognition assistance unit

8 Source: Manitoba Labour and Immigration, 2008 Manitoba Immigration 2000 to 2008, by category

9 Immigration: A Component of Rural Development Strategies A community economic development strategy To address declining populations To revitalize and diversify rural communities To attract higher skilled workers Rural lifestyle can be attractive to newcomers, but attraction, settlement and retention efforts are required

10 Distribution of Immigrants in Manitoba, Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2008

11 Brandon, Manitoba Population = 41, : Maple Leaf Foods (MLF) pork processing plant opened 2001: MLF began foreign recruitment campaign in Mexico 2007: Highest rate of immigration growth in the province Today there are about 940 international recruits employed at MLF –60% of employees are international recruits –From Mexico, El Salvador, Ukraine, China, Colombia, and Mauritius

12 Transitional Workers: Temporary Foreign Workers and Family Arrival Estimates

13 Welcoming Communities Metropolis Research Domain Area Exploring the role of host communities in attracting, integrating, and retaining newcomers and minorities Determining communities capacity for settling newcomers

14 What is a Welcoming Community? A welcoming community has a strong desire to receive newcomers and to create an environment in which they will feel at home. A welcoming community ensures newcomers are able to participate fully in all aspects of community life. A welcoming community ensures newcomers have access to a full range of services and programs and can find meaningful employment opportunities (National Working Group on Small Centre Strategies. 2007: p. 65).

15 Hallmarks of a Welcoming Community Respects diversity Has accessible public services Has a range of educational opportunities Promotes health and wellness for all Is safe and talks about it Invites newcomers to share leisure time activities Acknowledges faith and spirituality National Working Group on Small Centre Strategies. 2007: p. 75

16 Becoming Welcoming: What do we need to do Organize in preparation for immigration Establish multi-stakeholder regional or community groups Foster capacity, community, and partnership building Develop local immigration plans Celebrate diversity Proactive approach to service provision 360 degree feedback

17 RDI Welcoming Communities Project, Initiatives include –Partnership and Capacity Building –Inventory of resources and tools on welcoming communities –Ethno-cultural Communities and Organizations Mapping –A Welcoming Communities Survey –A Mutual Intercultural Relations in Plural Societies Survey –A Welcoming Communities Dialogue Group

18 Brandon Temporary Foreign Worker Dialogue Group 2007: First meeting Forum for community, community-serving organizations, industry, governments, and researchers Began as dialogue around temporary foreign workers Transitioned to dialogue on welcoming communities Membership Economic Development Brandon Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Manitoba Labour and Immigration Citizenship and Immigration Canada Rural Secretariat Service Canada Brandon School Division Brandon Regional Health Authority Westman Immigrant Services Maple Leaf Foods

19 Ethno-Cultural Organizations To increase understanding of the needs and capacities of ethno- cultural groups in rural Manitoba Ensure vibrant and active ethno- cultural communities Multi-phase project with focus on Brandon and Steinbach Establishing relationships between community organizations and ethno- cultural communities

20 Brandon Survey: Welcoming Community and MIRIPS Interview 200 recent immigrants and 200 long-term residents concerning the characteristics of a welcoming community and intercultural relations Themes include –Housing and Neighbourhoods –Service provision –Education and Employment –Multicultural Ideology –Tolerance/Prejudice –Attitudes Towards Immigration

21 Obtaining Housing in the Community Great to extreme difficulty in obtaining housing: –4% of Canadian long-term residents –17% of Latin American new residents –35% of Chinese new residents

22 Current Employment Is your primary job an occupation related to your training and/or experience? affirmative responses……. –73% of Canadian long-term residents –34% of Latin American new residents –8% of Chinese new residents

23 Difficulties Experienced in Brandon

24 Is Brandon Welcoming? Brandon is... A welcoming community: –Over 80% of Canadian long-term residents agree –Over 90% of Chinese and Latin American new residents agree A good place to live: –99% of Canadian long-term residents agree –100% all Latin American new residents agree –71% of Chinese new residents agree A good place to raise a family: –97% of Canadian long-term and Latin American residents agree –43% of Chinese new residents agree

25 Multiculturalism Agree that people of different ethnic and cultural origins should keep their culture to themselves: –7% of Canadian long-term residents –18% of Latin American new residents –87% of Chinese new residents Agree that people who come to Brandon should change their behaviour to be more like the majority of Brandon residents: –9% of Canadian long-term residents –30% of Latin American new residents –49% of Chinese new residents Agree that we should do more to learn about the customs and heritage of different ethnic and cultural groups in this country: –88% of Canadian long-term residents –90% of Latin American new residents –93% of Chinese new residents

26 Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice

27 Practice / Community Need forums for rural immigration discussions –Temporary Foreign Worker Dialogue Group (Brandon, MB) Need to develop local strategies for settlement, integration, and retention Need to build relationships among governments and local stakeholders Need to share lessons learned with other jurisdictions

28 Policy Increase awareness and fit between provincial policy and local needs Reduce vulnerability of foreign workers Cross departmental communications and working relationships Canada needs increased attention to immigration policy with regards to rural and northern populations Continuing efforts to foster federal and provincial linkages to develop policy, program mandates, and accountability

29 Research Understanding individual community needs and capacities Understanding intercultural relations –Mutual Intercultural Relations in Plural Societies project Academic immigration literature is predominantly urban focused Strengthen rural immigration research networks

30 Challenges in Moving Forward Resources for rural immigration planning are difficult to locate –Immigration is not the single responsibility of either the federal or provincial government Bringing the right voices to the table for discussions –Need to create an environment for open discussions among all stakeholders Sharing lessons learned from rural and northern communities –Need for forums and avenues to share information

31 Contact Information Robert C. Annis Research Affiliate, RDI Rural Development Institute Copy of presentation posted on Metropolis B.C. website


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