Local Immigration Partners Aim to Educate on Positive Economic Impacts of Immigration

Wednesday January 22, 2020 – A public information session was hosted by the Northwestern Ontario Local Immigration Partnership and Thunder Bay Multicultural Association in partnership with the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the Italian Cultural Center. The event featured keynote speaker David Campbell, President of Jupia Consultants Inc. and former Chief Economist with the Government of New Brunswick. Attendees were encouraged to start the conversation about the economic impacts of immigration in our region. The information session also featured a question and answer period with the public, local employers, service providers, and post-secondary and government officials from the region.

Mr. Campbell focused his keynote address on the need to attract more immigrants to Thunder Bay and provided strategies on how the City of Thunder Bay can retain them for the long-term in the community. 

“According to Statistics Canada, the number of immigrants settling in the Thunder Bay region rose from only 114 in 2009 to 1,154 in 2018 – a 10-fold increase,” said David Campbell. “It is likely an even larger number of newcomers will need to be attracted to the community if it is to meet the future workforce needs of the local economy.”

During the information session, the Thunder Bay Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program was discussed as a valuable recruitment and retention strategy for Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay is one out of eleven cities across Canada selected to participate in the RNIP program. The program is employer lead and community-driven. It’s designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration locally by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in Thunder Bay. The end goal of the program is to use immigration to help meet local labour market needs, support regional economic development, and create welcoming environments to support new immigrants staying in rural communities.

“The Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot has captured the attention of thousands of people who are interested in relocating to Canada,” said Emily Lauzon, Workforce Development Officer, Thunder Bay CEDC. “The program offers us an opportunity to showcase all of the benefits of living in our community; low cost of living, affordable housing, great schools and post-secondary institutions, 15 minute commutes, and a pace of life that is perfect for raising a family. These benefits work to both attract and retain newcomers to our community.”

With the flood of inquiries regarding the program, CEDC encourages the public to continue to ask questions and stay informed. This program can have very positive impacts for Thunder Bay and create a sustainable economy for many years to come. 

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Contact: Emily Lauzon, Workforce Development Officer – CEDC, (807) 625-3960, elauzon@thunderbay.ca

About CEDC: The CEDC is responsible for business development, retention and expansion, entrepreneurial support, opportunity promotion, and the collection and assessment of key business data. The CEDC receives formal proposals for projects that will contribute to economic development. It responds quickly to new opportunities and initiatives to attract direct financial involvement from the government and private sectors. For more information, visit www.ThunderBayCEDC.ca.

About Keynote Speaker: David Campbell is the President of Jupia Consultants Inc., an economic development consulting firm based in New Brunswick. He works with communities across the country on economic development and people attraction strategy. His client list in Ontario includes urban centres such as such as North Bay, Guelph, Sarnia, Windsor, Waterloo, and the Municipality of Clarington, as well as universities, government and other not-for-profit organizations. He was also formerly Chief Economist with the Government of New Brunswick. Mr. Campbell is a published author and columnist and is asked to speak many times a year around the country on economic development, people attraction, and related topics.

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