Cities Key to Welcoming Newcomers
February 16, 2012
Edmonton leads discussion, action
Community leaders representing a range of non-profit and immigrant services agencies met with City Councillors and members of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to share insights on how City services contribute to the successful transition of immigrants in Edmonton.
The meeting follows the publication of Starting on Solid Ground: The Municipal Role in Immigrant Settlement, an FCM report highlighting specific areas where municipal governments play key roles as front-line supporters to Canadian newcomers.
“Thriving cities rely on attracting and retaining new immigrants, so municipalities are now key players in defining a larger outlook on immigration and settlement in Canada,” said Councillor Karen Leibovici, the First Vice President of the FCM. “This meeting is an important opportunity to start a dialogue with communities here in Edmonton - to share and learn from each other and address the recommendations in this report as a collective voice.”
Key recommendations in the report include:
- Engaging other orders of government to support and recognize the services municipalities offer local immigrant communities
- Continued support for efficient and accessible public transportation
- Incentives towards available and affordable housing
- Clear targets for successful longer-term, expanded settlement services
“Edmonton was one of the first municipalities in Canada to establish an immigration and settlement policy, so we are in a unique position to meet with FCM about their report and recommendations,” said Councillor Amarjeet Sohi. “We know this topic is important to many Edmontonians and we’re glad to see FCM adopting the approach on this level.”
City Councillors along with administration plan to continue the dialogue with FCM and the community and are currently considering ways to keep the conversation flowing.
“Edmonton is a welcoming and supportive community and our effort to make the city livable for everyone is ongoing,” said Councillor Ben Henderson. “The conversation doesn’t stop here. We are now in a position to take this feedback back to FCM to assist in their continued work on strengthening the immigrant experience in Edmonton and Canada as a whole.”
For more information:
Multicultural Liaison Officer