MP Anthony Rota welcomed Parliamentary Secretary to the Immigration Minister Matthew DeCourcey to North Bay, today.

DeCourcey, who hails from Fredericton, New Brunswick, says his experience tells him “Canada’s strength is its diversity.”

Can North Bay follow suit? On the minds of many local stakeholders is a project announced in late January, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. It is a five-year federal immigration pilot involving selected communities to gain access to a range of support to help newcomers settle in as part of the local community.

Rota and DeCourcey met with their hosts at the North Bay & District Multicultural Centre this morning as well as, among others, stakeholders from the City of North Bay and the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce, workforce planning and economic development.

Patty Carr, Vice President of Policy and Communications at the Chamber, says the locally generated submission covers a geographical area ranging from Timiskaming Shores south to Almaguin. She says letters of support were sought, and received, from the mayors of municipalities in that region, as well as economic development departments.

“My caucus colleagues from across Northern Ontario and I worked hard with the Minister to make this immigration pilot project happen. This initiative allows us to work together as a region so we can attract the workers our local employers need to fill job vacancies and grow our economy,” said Rota when the pilot project was announced.

Rota and DeCourcey took part in roundtables with key stakeholders and met with members of North Bay’s newcomer and immigrant communities and the organizations that support them. They also visited a newcomer business owner and international students attending Canadore College and Nipissing University.