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Rainy River studies local immigration

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The Rainy River Future Development Corp. (RRFDC) has launched an independent study on immigration in the Rainy River ( Ontario ) district with the hope to attract new immigrants to the area.

RRFDC’s economic development intern, Jessie Zhang, began working on the project in December. Inspired by the local economic development officer Geoff Gillon, the initiative may present a possible solution to the steady decline of population in the area.

Part the research involves having local immigrants fill out a questionnaire. “The purpose is to establish a profile of immigrants in this area,” Zhang reasoned. The survey includes questions about their previous country of residence, the work they are doing here in Canada and what they need as immigrants.

The research project will also consider the various methods available to attract new immigrants to the area, namely, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) which lowers the immigration requirements for skilled workers.

Zhang will be talking to many community-driven immigration associations from across the country to find out how they deal with various issues. The project will seek input from local municipal leaders and industry professionals. “I think local leadership is important. You need political and institutional support,” Zhang explained. The final report will be ready in the coming months.

While Canada ‘s urban centres are growing steadily, Canada ‘s rural areas have experienced a consistent decline in its population density. “ Canada is one of the biggest immigration countries in the world,” Zhang says, adding that nearly 50 per cent of newly-landed Canadian immigrants establish themselves in Toronto , Vancouver and Montreal .