Local Immigration Partnership Launches in the West Kootenay

Working together to create a region that all newcomers can call home!

Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL), the lead settlement service organization for the Kootenay and Boundary region, announced today the launch of a local immigration partnership (LIP). The project is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to support the development of the West Kootenay LIP for Castlegar, Nelson, and the Trail area over the next two years.

The West Kootenay LIP will bring together service providers, immigrants, community groups, employers, municipalities, and other key organizations to implement initiatives, based on research of community-based needs, with the goal of building an inclusive and resilient region where all newcomers will feel welcomed and supported.

“Through this partnership, communities will be able to engage in meaningful dialogue and implement actions that promote diversity and inclusion, enhance the newcomer experience, and strengthen the cultural, economic, political and social fabric of our region,” shared Desneiges Profili, Executive Director for CBAL.

The LIP objectives will be to advocate for newcomers and ensure their voices and experiences are heard at all levels of community planning and engagement, foster communication and collaboration between stakeholders, and enhance community awareness and understanding of immigration needs and benefits.

“Immigration is absolutely needed to grow and diversify our local workforce. There aren’t enough Canadian workers to fill local job vacancies,” said Andrea Wilkey, Executive Director of Community Futures Central Kootenay. “By opening our doors to newcomers and reducing barriers we can make the Kootenay region a welcoming and supportive place for newcomers to settle.”

Within the first year, the West Kootenay LIP will establish stakeholder and newcomer advisory committees and complete an indepth research study that will focus on the region’s newcomer demographics, needs, trends, opportunities, and barriers in relation to successful integration.

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