SYDNEY: An initiative of the Cape Breton Partnership is holding a series of dynamic community engagement sessions across Cape Breton Island from May 12 to July 18, aimed at gathering community input on how Cape Breton welcomes and includes newcomers, how to capitalize on current strengths and opportunities, and identify areas where we can make improvements.

The Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership (CBLIP), administered by the Cape Breton Partnership, works to improve integration outcomes for newcomers in Cape Breton by fostering welcoming and inclusive communities. The CBLIP is led by an advisory council representing 30 organizations from across the island.

“As Cape Breton’s private sector led economic development organization, the Cape Breton Partnership believes that a key component to growing our Cape Breton economy is about having access to available talent,” says Carla Arsenault, President and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership. “Newcomers represent a tremendous opportunity to provide Cape Breton businesses with additional resources and talent. We believe that supporting the integration of newcomers through the work of the CBLIP in our community is vital.”

Since May 12, the CBLIP has hosted five community engagement events in the CBRM. The feedback received from all sessions will inform the CBLIP’s strategy – a guide for improving the experience of newcomers in Cape Breton.

“The sessions we’ve held so far have been really encouraging, attracting over 50 residents and community leaders from the Cape Breton Regional Municipality,” says Kailea Pedley, CBLIP Program Coordinator with the Cape Breton Partnership. “Just a few of the valuable insights and suggestions we’ve heard have included the development of local volunteer welcoming committees, expanding on local multicultural festivals and food-based events, and including newcomer information kiosks at local airports and transportation hubs.”

Events are continuing across the other Cape Breton municipalities during the months of June and July in Victoria, Richmond, and Inverness counties. Everyone is welcome to attend. Community surveys are also forthcoming to gather additional input. For full event details and to learn more about the CBLIP, please visit: www.capebretonpartnership.com/events, email local.immigration@capebretonpartnership.com, or
call 902 258 7331.

The Strait area sessions include: June 13 at 10 a.m. at the New Horizons Seniors’ Club in Arichat; June 13 at 3 p.m. at the St. Peter’s Fire Hall; June 20 at 4 p.m. at the Bras d’Or Yacht Club in Baddeck; June 26 at 4 p.m. at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre; July 9 at 4 p.m. at the Whycocomagh Waterfront Centre; July 18 at 10 a.m. at Club des Retraites in Chéticamp; and July 18 at 4 p.m. at Mill Road Social Enterprises in Inverness.