Local labour shortages, and creating welcoming communities, are two of the most important factors identified by the new Leeds and Grenville Immigration Strategy. This Strategy, an update from the 2011 version, was created by the St. Lawrence‑Rideau Immigration Partnership. It addresses different aspects of immigration, diversity, and welcoming communities throughout the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. This includes the attraction, settlement, and retention of immigrants to this area which is an important topic given current labour market challenges.

The Strategy is designed to guide the work of not only the Immigration Partnership, but also that of local organizations, municipalities, employers, and individuals throughout Leeds and Grenville. This five‑year plan includes not only existing initiatives like We Are Neighbours and the Leeds and Grenville Immigrant Entrepreneur Award, but also new tools for everyone, such as an organizational diversity audit. The audit will be a checklist tool to gauge the level of inclusivity and diversity in an organization or workplace. It will be widely distributed and is another tool to help organizations overcome labour shortages by being more inclusive and diverse.

The Strategy refresh was led by local Not‑For‑Profit Consultant Loretta Corbeil. Corbeil led online surveys, focus groups and key informant interviews with a diverse range of participants to ensure a well‑rounded, region‑focused, and realistic Strategy that is ready for application. This new Strategy was developed with the help of local organizations, municipalities and individuals across Leeds and Grenville.

Electronic and hard copies of the Strategy are being distributed, and an online copy can be found on the Leeds and Grenville Immigration portal: www.leedsgrenvilleimmigration.ca.

“After months of outreach and consultations, we are pleased to release the new Leeds and Grenville Immigration Strategy. Hearing from folks working in different sectors, we were able to learn about their realities and what new initiatives would help them create more welcoming communities and workplaces for all. We were privileged to have local immigrants participate in the development of the Strategy which provides a lived experience perspective to new initiatives,” says Melissa Francis, Program Manager for the St. Lawrence‑Rideau Immigration Partnership.

Established in 2011, the St. Lawrence – Rideau Immigration Partnership is a coalition of organizations committed to building local capacity to attract, settle and integrate immigrants throughout Leeds and Grenville. The Immigration Partnership also encourages organizations, individuals, and communities to recognize and welcome cultural diversity. The St. Lawrence – Rideau Immigration Partnership is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. For more information about the Partnership and its initiatives, check out their Facebook page or www.weareneighbours.ca.


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