Submitted by Steven Baileys, Community Development Coordinator
On Tuesday April 18, community stakeholders attended a day long workshop to share ideas around newcomer settlement and integration in our region. The event was hosted by the Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership (GVLIP). The goal of the GVLIP is to develop a broad community-based partnership that will support a regional immigration strategy to help address and improve immigrant settlement outcomes.
On this day, participants engaged in a series of guided conversations to explore how our region can better attract, welcome, and integrate newcomers. The session was facilitated by Keith Jones and GVLIP team members. As the day progressed, lively and thoughtful discussions emerged at each of the group tables. Participants tested ideas, shared visions and, by the end of the day, developed several strategies around how to enhance newcomer settlement. Participants aligned on a set of key goals and developed a series of Collaborative Outcome Roadmaps. These maps will assist with the development of a strategic framework that will strengthen Greater Victoria’s capacity to welcome and integrate newcomers.
After the session, a number of participants commented on the value of the day using words such as: “Inspiring,” “Hopeful,” “Encouraging,” “Worthwhile,” and “Stimulating.” One participant stated: “This was a well spent day that will lead into responsible planning for newcomer services. I am proud our community is taking action this way and bringing everyone to the table to contribute.”
More work will be done in the coming months ahead as the GVLIP sets out to develop a 120 action plan and engage in strategic outreach to key stakeholders such as local municipal governments, businesses, an so on.
Our GVLIP team very much values the opportunity to work with such a dynamic group of committed and passionate folks! We thank the three co-champions for the GVLIP Dialogue: Jean McRae (CEO of the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria), Miriam Valois (Regional Branch Manager of Vancity Savings), and David Lau (Executive Director of the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society).
The GVLIP initiative is made possible thanks to funding from the Government of Canada: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
For more information about the GVLIP and to get involved with upcoming GVLIP events, please visit our webpage: http://www.icavictoria.org/community/local-immigration-partnership/