May 6, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cape Breton, N.S. – The Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership (CBLIP) has released a report of findings from its recent community consultation regarding gaps and opportunities related to newcomer settlement in Unama’ki – Cape Breton.
The CBLIP, a collaborative, community initiative designed to foster welcoming and inclusive communities, engages both newcomers and the broader Cape Breton community in an in-depth consultation every second year. In January and February of this year, the CBLIP reached out to newcomers and the community at large through surveys, interviews, and focus group discussions. More than 300 participated.
“We learned a great deal through this process and are so grateful to everyone who took the time to participate and share their perspectives,” says Kailea Pedley, CBLIP Program Manager. “We are very pleased to now share what we heard from the community and we hope that this will help to spark conversations across the island and generate concrete ideas about how all of us – individuals, organizations, businesses, and communities – can best support newcomers now and into the future.”
Among the survey findings were newcomer reflections on their most significant challenges in settling, including: 51 per cent noting challenges finding or maintaining work, 35 per cent noting challenges making friends and maintaining healthy relationships, and 35 per cent noting challenges finding affordable housing. “In addition to the challenges, we wanted to understand what had been the most helpful for newcomers while settling in,” says Pedley. “Many told us that the biggest help came from: making friends, exploring the Island, finding work, having family support and connection with others with shared background or language.”
With feedback coming from both newcomers and long-time residents of Cape Breton, significant data was collected. “Established community members who participated had extremely positive perceptions of the value of newcomers in Unama’ki – Cape Breton and shared a long list of specific actions that they believe individuals, organizations and communities can take to foster more welcoming communities. We heard a lot, for example, about ways to improve access to information, the benefits of having more multicultural events and ways to enhance social connectivity.” says Pedley.
The CBLIP, which is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, is administered by the Cape Breton Partnership. “We know that in order to improve newcomer settlement outcomes in Unama’ki – Cape Breton, we need to hear directly from both newcomers and the community as a whole about what they see as the key priorities.” says Carla Arsenault, President and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership. “We are pleased to play a role in helping to gather, consolidate, and share the perspectives of our community with key stakeholders.” To read the final report, please visit www.newtocapebreton.com/resources
Cape Breton Partnership
About the Cape Breton Partnership:
The Cape Breton Partnership is Unama’ki – Cape Breton’s private sector-led economic development organization that supports companies and entrepreneurs by promoting our island as a great place to live and invest; growing a culture that values and celebrates creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship; and connecting entrepreneurs and companies to the resources they need to succeed. For more information, visit https://capebretonpartnership.com.
- Two surveys were available, one for newcomers and one for established community members which aimed to address gaps and opportunities related to newcomer settlement in Unama’ki – Cape Breton.
- Survey participants were also invited to join online focus group discussions to share their experiences and perspectives in greater depth.
- Anyone who was born outside of Canada and now lives in Cape was encouraged to complete the newcomer survey, regardless of immigration status or length of time in Canada.
- To read the final report, please visit www.newtocapebreton.com/resources
- For additional information, please email CBLIP Program Manager Kailea Pedley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 902 258 7331.
- In 2018, community members across the Island provided similar feedback which led to the formation in 2020 of the Cape Breton Welcome Network which is now flourishing across the Island.
- The CBLIP is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and is administered by the Cape Breton Partnership.
- Participants who completed the survey were entered in a draw for a prize of a 12-month membership to the Cape Breton Food Hub and a $100 credit to purchase the local food available at the Food Hub.