The Regional Municipality of Durham, in partnership with the interim Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council, celebrated the launch of the Durham Community Immigration Portal—www.durhamimmigration.ca—an integrated web-based resource to attract, welcome and support new immigrants and businesses to the region. This project was made possible with a funding contribution of $535,600 from the Ontario and federal governments. This funding is part of the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement to support municipalities in attracting newcomers and helping them settle in their communities.
“Ontario’s future depends on our ability to attract skilled newcomers,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. “My ministry is pleased to support this initiative that will help Durham Region attract newcomers and investment to the region.”
“The Durham Community Immigration Portal will improve Durham Region’s capacity to better serve newcomers, while encouraging successful settlement and integration into local communities,” stated Regional Chair Roger Anderson. “Newcomers are an integral part of the region’s economic viability and growth. This resource helps to ensure that we are able to attract and retain skilled labour, now and in the future, making Durham Region a great place to live, work and play. We look forward to continued support from our provincial and federal partners, as we continue to build an inclusive and diverse region.”
The Durham Community Immigration Portal provides comprehensive and up-to-date information and services for newcomers to the region, in an effort to facilitate a successful transition into the local community. Hosted by The Regional Municipality of Durham, the portal will include a number of features, such as success stories from recent newcomers, a local job aggregator, upcoming community events, regional housing rate statistics and links to existing community-based websites for municipalities, to name a few.
In response to community consultations—in which a web-based resource for newcomers was identified as a priority—The Regional Municipality of Durham, Corporate Information Services, Economic Development and Tourism and Social Services departments produced an integrated community portal. More than 60 service providers and community members—including education, business, non-profit, government and business associations—collaborated to develop the portal content with topics related to life, work, education, settlement and business. These community members have a shared responsibility for the long-term sustainability of this resource.
“The community immigration portal is a testament to the hard work and dedication of many contributors who volunteered their time to this project,” stated Regional Councillor April Cullen, Chair of the Health & Social Services Committee and Co-chair of the interim Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council. “It complements the work being done by the Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council, which focuses on developing strategies and initiatives to help create a welcoming and inclusive experience for newcomers to the area.”
In 2007, Durham Regional Council mandated the creation of a Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council. Following consultations with the community, an interim council comprised of representatives from a number of sectors—including municipal government, business, education and the community—was formed. Once formalized, the Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership
Council will provide strategic oversight to achieve the vision of a welcoming and inclusive Durham Region. The immigration portal project is one of the first initiatives attached to the interim Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council. It aligns with the long-term objectives of the council.
To access the Durham Community Immigration Portal, please visit www.durhamimmigration.ca.
For information on the programs and services offered by The Regional Municipality of Durham, visit www.durham.ca.