Local Immigration Partnerships
The Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) program is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and was initiated in 2008. The overall purpose is to support local communities in serving and integrating immigrants, through the creation of a community-built strategic plan and a collaborative local council representing multiple stakeholders.
The objectives of LIPs include:
- Improve access to, and coordination of, effective services that facilitate immigrant settlement and integration
- Improve access to the labour market for immigrants
- Strengthen local and regional awareness and capacity to integrate immigrants
- Establish or enhance partnerships and participation of multiple stakeholders in planning, and coordinating the delivery of integration services
Immigrant-serving agencies and municipal governments were invited to apply for LIP contracts: in Kingston, KCHC (as the parent organization of ISKA) applied as the lead partner, together with KEYS Community Employment Centre and KEDCO.
Today there are over 30 LIP projects across the province of Ontario, representing neighbourhoods in Toronto, larger cities such as Ottawa, Hamilton, and Kitchener-Waterloo, and smaller centres such as Guelph, Sudbury, St. Catherines-Niagara, and Kingston. Each LIP is at a different stage of developing their plan and reaching out to diverse stakeholders, but their impact has already been noticed: in March 2010, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration identified the LIP project as a “best practice” in settlement, and recommended continued support in Ontario and expansion to other provinces.
The LIP projects have established a close working relationship with the Welcoming Communities Initiative, a multi-disciplinary group of researchers from across Ontario investigating issues related to immigration in small- and mid-sized cities.