According to this article in Your Ottawa Region, the communities surrounding the city of Ottawa like Lanark County and Renfrew need immigrants or they will suffer from a huge economic decline in the coming years.
According to the project manager of the Local Immigration Partnership for these counties, Chela Breckon, “Two-thirds of our Canadian population comes from immigration. Population growth corresponds to economic development.
A majority of business owners and leaders who are over 50 will be retiring in the coming years, with few people available to take over. All of the labour force growth in Canada during 2013 is expected to be due to only immigration, and in less than 20 years any population growth will also be due to immigration.
When speaking at a seminar at the Perth Chamber of Commerce, Breckon said that, “No longer is Toronto the for-sure destination for immigration. We know we can do a better job. We have to sell them. Those people coming here are not choosing to come here (to Lanark County) as their first choice or even their second choice. (However) the people who come to Canada want to work.”
Recommendations include highlighting smaller towns’ and communities’ proximity to major cities like Ottawa, which is only an hour away from Perth. Another recommendation made was to highlight the success of the small number of immigrants that are living in these communities. One contributing factor of their success is that many immigrants to Canada would rather not take entry-level positions, leading them to become entrepreneurs and create their own jobs and jobs for others.
“They certainly do survive and thrive,” Breckon said, mentioning that the communities need to show immigrants that “they are great to each other, people who live in small towns.”
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