Greater Sudbury is receiving $480,746 in FedNor funding to help New Canadians settle in the Nickel City as part of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program (RNIP).
That initiative of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is a five-year project to encourage new Canadians to move out of more populous southern areas to northern and rural parts of the country. Sudbury, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Thunder Bay were among 11 communities chosen in 2019 to participate in the five-year recruitment and settlement strategy.
The goal of the RNIP is to attract new people to these communities to close labour gaps, which are growing due to a decline in Canada's population and a decrease in birth rates.
The funding announcement was made on May 17 by Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre and Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré.
Greater Sudbury will use the new funding to hire a business development officer and a technical co-ordinator to support outreach and education activities with employers regarding immigration pathways available to fill employment gaps. In addition, the initiative will support “employer diversity readiness training, promotion of in-demand jobs to newcomers, and the development of a workforce and settlement strategy.”
Given Northern Ontario’s basically static population growth, the chair of the Greater Sudbury Development Corp., Andrée Lacroix said the city benefits from the new blood the program channels north.
"The Greater Sudbury Development Corporation represents a variety of business sectors with a common goal of supporting economic growth in our community,” said Lacroix. “Attracting talented, creative workers from beyond our municipal borders will be a tremendous social and economic benefit to our city, and we are deeply appreciative that Greater Sudbury has been selected to participate in this program."
Since the program's launch, Sudbury has endorsed 39 candidates through the program, which, including family members, means 80 new people will soon be calling Sudbury home, noted Mayor Brian Bigger during the press conference.
The funding is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP), which supports projects that “promote sustainable community economic development, diversification and business growth.”
-With files from NorthernOntarioBusiness.com