January 19, 2015 - 7:30 PM
PENTICTON - South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services has entered into a new partnership with Citizen and Immigration Canada to improve services to Penticton and the South Okanagan’s increasing ethnic population.
“We are one area in B.C. selected to take part in this federal program, that began in Ontario in 2008,” said Nora Hunt-Haft, local immigration partnership coordinator.
The federal program will support a Local Immigration Partnership Council for the South Okanagan-Similkameen.
Fifty community leaders will gather four times annually to build a strategy for the region to attract, integrate and sustain immigrants and newcomers. The council is made up of a cross section of community business, political, government and service leaders.
Hunt-Haft said approximately 100 new immigrants arrive in the Penticton and South Okanagan-Similkameen region each year. Traditionally, newcomers come to the area from such countries as the United Kingdom, India and the United States, but have recently shifted in emphasis to countries such as China and the Philippines, she added.
“There are 23 countries represented regionally, and there is a growing awareness that we have a multicultural society here,” Hunt-Haft said.
South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services provides services to immigrants to help them integrate into South Okanagan society by providing assistance finding jobs, homes and information about their new country.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015