CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Nov. 9, 2012 – Four of the key partners who work in francophone immigration on PEI recently had the opportunity to make themselves better known by the Island community during lunch-and-learns held Nov. 5 in Summerside and Nov. 7 in Charlottetown.
Organized in collaboration with the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI during the first-ever Francophone Immigration Week, these luncheons brought together a total of 36 people, including francophone and bilingual entrepreneurs and employers. They wanted to learn more about the various types of supports that are available to help with the economic and community integration of immigrants.
The four partners – RDÉE Prince Edward Island’s LIENS project (Liking economic immigration to our successes), the Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l’Î.-P.-É. (CIFÎPÉ), the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada (PEIANC), and the provincial government’s francophone recruitment, settlement and integration office – presented an overview of their services and initiatives. Each partner also provided a fictitious but fairly typical scenario of the experience that one of their clients could go through while benefiting from these services.
“There was a great collaboration between the four stakeholders, both in the preparation and the presentation of the information since we got to exchange facts and statistics and we got to know each other better,” says Angie Cormier, the LIENS project coordinator. “During the lunch-and-learns, I found there was a great chemistry between us. Each presentation complemented the other three quite well.”
The four partners have a similar global goal: to help increase the population of Prince Edward Island through immigration. Their general objectives are to welcome and fully integrate immigrants into the community to increase the probability of their retention. Workers and entrepreneurs are particularly been sought so that they can bring their expertise and knowledge to the province and contribute to its economic development.
Isabelle Dasylva-Gill, recruitment officer with the province, explained she works in the development and implementation of the provincial recruitment strategy. Her office coordinates participation in various gatherings, conferences, missions and fairs such as Destination Canada that aim to recruit immigrants. Her office is often the first point of contact for people from other countries considering settling on PEI.
During the second luncheon, Nancy Clement, francophone settlement worker for PEIANC, explained the vast array of settlement services her organization offers to immigrants once they’ve arrived here.
Francophone immigrants are usually referred to the CIFÎPÉ, which works in all regions of the province, both to help newcomers integrate themselves into the regions and to educate the community about welcoming people from different countries and cultures, explained Jacinthe Lemire, provincial coordinator of the co-op.
Angie Cormier explained that the LIENS project aims particularly to better inform entrepreneurs and employers about immigrant workers, while also helping newcomers establish connections with the business world so that they can find a job or start their own business.
The four partners all sit on an advisory board for the LIENS project, so they’ll have many opportunities to collaborate on various projects and initiatives.
CUTLINE: Four francophone immigration partners spoke about their services during lunch-and-learns organized in collaboration with the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI Nov. 5 and 7. From left are Nancy Clement from the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada, Isabelle Dasylva-Gill from the provincial immigrant recruitment office, Angie Cormier from the LIENS project and Jacinthe Lemire from the Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l’Î.-P.-É.
For more information:
Raymond J. Arsenault
Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI