Surrey’s newly formed “Local Immigration Partnership” (LIP) Council has appointed Surrey Councillor Judy Villeneuve and Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman as its co-chairs for the 2014-2016 term. The LIP Council has been tasked by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to develop a strategy to strengthen the role of local communities in integrating newcomers.
“We want to ensure immigrants and refugees who chose to settle in Surrey lead successful and productive lives. It is vital that all residents feel included and have opportunities to contribute and succeed, ” said City of Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. “Building on the City’s Welcoming Communities Project, the City is proud to provide leadership for this collaborative initiative with over 25 stakeholders and to partner with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).”
The City of Surrey signed a Contribution Agreement with CIC in March 2014 and will receive over $606,014 to establish a Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (LIP). Deliverables from 2014-2016 will include:
· establishing a LIP Council;
· conducting research and consultations; and
· developing a Surrey Immigrant and Refugee Settlement Strategy and Action Plan.
“We are proud to collaborate with over 25 community stakeholders including the School District, Health Authority and our universities in the Local Immigration Partnership Project,” said Councillor Judy Villeneuve, who also chairs the City’s Social Policy Advisory Committee. “Together we will support the development of a coordinated and comprehensive approach to newcomer integration tailored to fit the unique needs of Surrey and further our goals as an inclusive and welcoming city.”
“Newcomers to Surrey often bring with them a wealth of knowledge, education, and skills, and it is to the city’s benefit to tap into these resources,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “The Local Immigration Partnership will examine not only how to make newcomers feel more welcome in our community, but how we can help prospective employers attract and retain these skilled employees into our workforce.”
Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Local Immigration Partnership program supports community-based planning around the needs of newcomers. For more information about the Surrey LIP visit www.surrey.ca/lip.