The Local Immigration Partnership in Lanark-Renfrew Counties has been a leader in designing, implementing, measuring and evaluating innovative newcomer service delivery models that support settlement and integration of newcomers in rural areas. Our program has worked with 24 communities throughout the region to gather information that helps us understand issues and determine gaps in services so that we can further research solutions and create a knowledge repository on settlement services.
We don’t act alone in conducting our research. We draw from several sources including national census data, the work done by economic think tanks and organizations such as the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation. These additional data sources provide us with a pan-Canadian scope of how other smaller municipalities in Canada are performing when it comes to immigrant attraction.
We continually scan news sources that also help inform our research as we track trends and opportunities in our efforts to support newcomers. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the movement of people globally, therefore curtailing the number of newcomers to Canada. It has also reduced the flow of international students studying in Canada and this has had an impact on the two public community colleges serving Renfrew and Lanark Counties as both Algonquin College’s Pembroke and Perth campuses have been growing their international enrolments in recent years.
Some of our research includes holding focus groups with newcomers and international students to learn more about their lived experience. This information helps inform community strategies to enhance settlement supports to newcomers and to build marketing materials that help economic development offices in their work to encourage immigrants to consider settling in a rural community.
Contact us to learn more about our research and how it is framing our efforts to support immigration in rural areas.