CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Nov. 22, 2012 – RDÉE Prince Edward Island’s project on the integration of francophone immigrants into the workforce continues to develop and expand to better prepare the way for this integration.
First of all, this seven-month project, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is now known under the name LIENS, which stands for, in French, “Linking economic immigration to our successes”. The project logo clearly demonstrates planet Earth as well as humans of various colors and races, from all corners of the globe, linked arm in arm.
“This LIENS acronym – which translates to LINKS – is very appropriate since a huge part of this project consists specifically of creating links and relationships, first of all between the various service-providing partners, and then with employers and entrepreneurs to encourage them to establish, in turn, links with immigrants that are their potential employees,” explains project coordinator Angie Cormier.
She began by establishing relationships with various economic immigration stakeholders. Six of these sit on the project’s advisory board. They are the Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l’Î.-P.-É. (represented by Jacinthe Lemire), Innovation PEI (represented by Isabelle Dasylva-Gill), the PEI Association of Newcomers to Canada (represented by Nancy Clement), the University of Prince Edward Island (represented by Carlo Lavoie), the Collège Acadie Î.-P.-É. (represented by Robert Maddix) and RDÉE PEI (represented by Christian Gallant and Gary Doucette). The coordinator also sits on the committee.
“We are very pleased that all of these stakeholders are on our committee to contribute their expertise so that we can develop a dialogue and a position in regards to economic immigration within the francophone community and get our point across to the province and the federal government,” said Cormier. “We have also established relationships with several Islands chambers of commerce since some of them host projects related to immigration and employment. They’ll certainly be partners in certain facets of the project.”
Overall, the LIENS project seeks to help increase the population of PEI by creating a business and employment atmosphere that is more favorable and welcoming for the integration of immigrants. An important aspect of the project will definitely be to increase the awareness of employers in regards to hiring permanent residents and new international citizens who speak French.
The project will therefore organize three workshops for employers (both entrepreneurs and community organizations):
- Jan. 15 – “Hiring newcomers – a solution?”
- Feb. 4 – “The process for hiring newcomers”
- March 7 – “And after hiring newcomers?” and “Management of diversity in the workplace”.
Times, locations and other details will be announced later.
In the long-term, the project seeks to develop a program to match entrepreneurs and employers with immigrants. It will be inspired by the PEI Connectors program, hosted by the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce, with whom a good working relationship has already been established.
A series of promotional video-clips will also be filmed to promote the importance of economic immigration to PEI.
The LIENS project advisory board is also collaborating with the national partnership on immigration policies, “Pathways to Prosperity”, for which Carlo Lavoie is the assigned researcher for the University of Prince Edward Island. This seven-year study, funded in part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, will consult from 800 to 1,000 collaborators and partners throughout the country. The project anticipates the organization of an annual seminar as well as the establishment of a summer institute starting in 2014. The establishment of national and Atlantic web portals is also planned.
A new master’s program in immigration and settlement, featuring a francophone component, will be developed. This program will be based primarily out of the University of Western Ontario, but will have teaching partners, such as UPEI.
CUTLINE: Members of the LIENS advisory board each contribute their expertise to better integrate immigrants. They are, front row, Christian Gallant from RDÉE PEI and Nancy Clement from the PEI Association of Newcomers to PEI. In the back row, from left, are Carlo Lavoie from UPEI, Isabelle Dasylva-Gill from Innovation PEI, coordinator Angie Cormier, Jacinthe Lemire from the Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l’Î.-P.-É., Robert Maddix from Collège Acadie Î.-P.-É. and Gary Doucette from RDÉE PEI.
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