From June 24 to 28, 2019, our Mentorship Manager, Josie Faccini, was in attendance at the 2019 International Metropolis Conference. Part of the International Metropolis Project, this conference represents the yearly coming together of the largest international network of researchers, policy makers, and community groups engaged in identifying, understanding, and responding to developments in migration and diversity.
This year's conference was held in Canada's capital, Ottawa, Ontario, and hosted by the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The year's theme was “Promise Of Migration- Inclusion, Economic Growth and Global Cooperation.” The program reflected both Canadian and international strategies regarding immigration, integration, diversity and inclusion. International migration is at the top of the policy agenda for many countries, and the conference provided delegates from around the world with the opportunity to exchange research and best practices and to forge new partnerships through open dialogue.
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Canada's Minister of Immigration and a refugee himself, stated, “It is time to fight fears on migration with facts.” He spoke about the need to harness the proven benefits of integration, and highlight the tremendous contributions that migrants make to their new home countries. Minister Hussen also noted that Canada is the number one country for compassion towards refugees.
Other speakers at the conference included Father Fabio Baggio, Under Secretary of State of the Vatican, and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who shared with participants that he saw this year's theme on migration, inclusion, economic growth & global cooperation as being a timely one, with forced displacement reaching an all time high of 70.8M people. Our national mentorship partners from TRIEC, Hire Immigrants Ottawa, and IECBC were also on hand, presenting The attraction and retention of migrant talent: trends, experiences and approaches. Notably, many countries around the world, such as Australia, Finland, and Germany, have been adopting Canada's mentorship model as part of their integration work.
"My interest in attending this conference was to gain new perspectives and best practices from organizations throughout Canada and the world on how to integrate highly skilled immigrants into the labour force," said Josie. "We're also interested in broadening our diversity work here in Niagara, so we're looking into things like francophone immigration, opportunities to utilize our expertise in data and labour research to address future employment trends and skills alignment, and most importantly how municipalities in Canada are becoming leaders in diversity and inclusion. This paves the way for NWPB's new initiatives of providing diversity and training workshops to employers throughout Niagara, as well as enlisting employer champions on a Diversity and Inclusion committee we will soon be creating."
Are you interested in NWPB’s Immigrant Mentorship Program, or other diversity initiatives? We invite you to connect with Josie to learn more about how we're working to foster a more inclusive Niagara.
(Photo credit: The Honourable Ahmed Hussen speaks at the 2019 International Metropolis Conference, via the IMC_2019 twitter.)