Together with a wide range of municipal, educational and private sector institutions, Cape Breton University (CBU) is launching the Rural-Urban Immigration Pilot for Cape Breton Island, an Island-wide initiative to increase immigration throughout Cape Breton.
A task force on immigration has been created to assess the current needs and issues surrounding immigration to Cape Breton and develop a plan to boost permanent settlement in our communities.
As part of the Pilot, international students from educational institutions are being surveyed to determine the specific needs of Cape Breton’s current international student body. This, along with varied community-based research, will provide the project with the necessary information to determine and implement next steps and best practices for increasing immigration in deindustrialized and rural regions such as Cape Breton.
“Since its beginning, CBU has always been a university focused on the community. This project not only adds to that history but also points to the role that CBU has taken on over the last year – to lead initiatives to address the recommendations of the Ivany Report. We have an opportunity to learn from international students studying in the area, to understand their challenges, identify opportunities and eventually make changes that will make Cape Breton a desirable location to reside. This report will help the Island in many ways and will also be of interest to other rural and urban areas in the Province,” says Dr. Keith Brown, Vice President International and Aboriginal Affairs.
The task force will work together to review the effectiveness of current immigration attraction and settlement services on the Island; make recommendations to enhance these services; ensure deep linkages with academic institutions and explore relevant labour market opportunities and growth sectors.
The project is expected to wrap-up in the Spring with the unveiling of a comprehensive strategic report and plan for action. The report will be presented at a local summit, and will bring together all research obtained to date outlining recommendations; new community, private and government partnerships; and overall steps that need to be taken to reach the immigration goals set forth for the Island.
“I applaud the leadership of the Cape Breton Task Force for taking action on a made-in-Cape Breton approach to attracting and retaining immigrants,” says Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab. “I know my staff at the Office of Immigration are working closely with the Task Force, and I look forward to hearing the results of this important work.”
The first meeting of the task force is being held in Baddeck on February 5 at the Alexander Graham Bell Museum.
The task force includes representatives from the following organizations:
• Cape Breton Regional Municipality
• Town of Port Hawkesbury
• Richmond County
• Inverness County
• Victoria County
• Eskasoni First Nation
• Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce
• Strait Area Chamber of Commerce
• Northeast Highlands Chamber of Commerce
• Cape Breton Partnership
• Cape Breton University
• Nova Scotia Community College
• Université Saint-Anne
• International Centre for English Academic Preparation
• Cabot Links
• Nova Scotia Office of Immigration
• Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency