Newcomers to Canada are a vital and integral part of our society. In 2011 labour force growth in Canada was attributed entirely to new immigrant entrants to the labour market. More than half of Toronto’s population is comprised of immigrants and their families with a sizeable population of refugee claimants, permanent residents and temporary workers and students increasing the proportion of foreign-born individuals calling Toronto home. Newcomers come from all over the world, and Toronto, with its high proportion of immigrants (second only to Miami in the world) and far greater diversity has often been referred to as the most multi-cultural city in the world.
This tremendous regional accomplishment is overshadowed by increasing rates of poverty among newcomers, declining newcomer health, and increasing social isolation of ethnic enclaves.
Supporting newcomers as they settle and navigate Canadian life, culture, economy and society are critical to reversing these trends and creating more welcoming and supportive receiving environments.
It is in this context that Local Immigration Partnerships were developed, to enhance the coordination of newcomer supports at the local level, and to better inform policy and decision-making at the macro level about opportunities to create integrated, cross-sectoral systems and supports that encourage community-wide participation in settlement and integration.
Since the inception of the LIP model in Toronto in 2009, fifteen LIPs have emerged across a variety of neighbourhoods and communities. In 2012, by request of the funder, the LIP model in Toronto changed from the neighbourhood-based to regional partnership tables. Four regional LIPs have been created.