Gautam Nath presents at the Canada Immigration Summit 2016 in Ottawa.

Shaping the National Immigration Action Plan 2016

The Conference Board of Canada organized a two day Canada Immigration Summit in Ottawa this April. The event brought together over 400 delegates who attended from over hundred organizations to work towards creating a National Immigration Plan for Canada. Speakers were eminent personalities from various governments, immigrant serving agencies, education and private sector.

Balmoral was proud to be invited as the only multicultural communications agency to present marketing strategies to the group.

The energy and passion on the subject of immigration was apparent throughout the summit and break way groups evidenced by the number of questions and discussions.

The mood was upbeat and the intention clear, it was time to get up and take action.

This year started with a bang with 25,000 Syrian refugees being admitted and housed.

In fact, John Mccallum, our new minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, has mentioned that we will see the influx of over 300,000 new Canadians coming in 2016 alone. New immigrants who will need to be provided basic services like banking, housing, telecommunications, transit, food and clothing. And more importantly means of an income.

In his words, “At the heart of the new plan is Canada’s shared conviction and tradition of being a compassionate, open, generous and welcoming country. This plan outlines a significant shift in immigration policy towards reuniting more families, building our economy and upholding Canada’s humanitarian tradition to resettle refugees and offer protection to those in need.”

A very interesting aspect to be noted from the various sessions was the extent to which provinces other than Ontario and BC were passionate about bringing in immigrants and finding ways to retain them in the province. It was clear that the economic growth for these other provinces depended on the contribution of immigrants at various levels of the job market and building an immigrant friendly environment was key.

Immigration is crucial to Canada’s prosperity as immigrants contribute to the working force, tax contributions and a better economy.

The general feeling was that more needs to be done at a pre-arrival level with the selection and on boarding programs. Border level customs were not fully appreciative of the labor market requirements hence often becoming an impediment to the need for Internationally Educated Professionals or skilled worker immigrants.

Building levels of settlement services catering to the different kinds of immigrant’s cadres was seen as important.

Branding Canada overseas to attract best talent during initial application stages was also talked about. It is also important for marketers to start establishing a relationship with potential immigrants before their arrival in Canada, in their home countries. The key is knowing where and how to connect with them.

The summit ended on a positive note – there was interest, there was support and there was a clearly identified need to maximize Canada’s immigrant resources towards optimizing our country’s economic future.