12/10/2008

Municipalities are at the front lines of immigration in Ontario. AMO has developed a paper exploring the municipal context in the attraction, retention and settlement of immigrants in Ontario’s municipalities. December 10, 2008.
The paper, Putting out the Welcome Mat: Why Immigration Matters to Ontario’s Municipalities, provides considerations, strategies and recommendations as a toolkit for advocacy and planning on moving forward on progressive immigration policy and programs for AMO and municipalities.

Background:

As part of the ongoing work of the Municipal Immigration Committee (MIC), AMO has developed a discussion paper that reflects the specific concerns of municipalities on issues related to immigration. The MIC was formed under Annex F of the 2005 Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA). AMO played a lead role in ensuring that the municipal voice would be heard in the discussions and development of immigration policy and programs in Ontario. While the MIC provides an important forum for dialogue between all orders of government on immigration issues, AMO believes that an exploration of the municipal context and issues in immigration is required.

Emerging issues such as the changing global context and imminent labour pressures in Ontario – it is estimated that by 2010 Ontario’s net labour force population growth will rely on immigration -- as well as concern related to increasing poverty and poor outcomes for Ontario’s newcomers -- confirmed the need for a municipal voice on the many issues surrounding immigration.

Action: AMO will continue to work towards a better understanding of what is needed to make Ontario’s communities welcoming. This includes continuing to work for policies that reflect the needs of our communities and newcomers and sustainable funding to assist municipalities in this effort.