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NPI proposes ways to attract newcomers

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When it comes to attraction and retention, the literature is rich with best practices and solutions. However, not all strategies are appropriate for all communities.

Northern Policy Institute's final installment of the “Northern Attraction Series" by Christina Zefi, "Thinking Local: Best practices and Solutions for Northern Ontario Communities” identifies the need for a coordinated newcomer attraction and retention strategy.

Zefi proposes a step-by-step strategy to facilitate the newcomer process and mitigate demographic concerns within Ontario's northern regions.

The author dives into several successful case studies that provide useful practices for Northern Ontario communities to consider.

Some of the case studies explored are the community-focused Morden Community Driven Immigration Initiative, the targeted strategies by Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise, La Coopérative d'intégration francophone, and the Halifax Connecter Program, and finally, the regional approach taken by the Southwest Regional Immigration Committee in Manitoba.

The commentary also provides an example of possible immigration targets for each census subdivision in Northern Ontario.

This will allow Northern Ontario communities to determine if their annual goals are met by benchmarking against other successful regions.

This calculation is based off an analysis of immigration trends in the five highest performing municipalities in Manitoba and Saskatchewan in various population ranges from 2001-2016.

For example, if the population of Dryden was 7,580 in 2016, their annual target would be 111 immigrants.

Part One of the “Northern Attraction Series” determined the need for a newcomer strategy while Part Two identified Ontario's strengths and weaknesses in the attraction of newcomers to the North.

Finally, Part Three compared the current federal and provincial immigration programs to other provinces to develop a list of best practices.

Read the full commentary, “Thinking Local: Best practices and Solutions for Northern Ontario Communities” at www.northernpolicy.ca/northernattraction4

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