The work and expertise that OLIP brings to our community is so important as it helps us to build bridges and break down silos.  I look forward to our continued work together. 

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee
We are very pleased to have done the “Opportunity Cost of Not Investing in Interpretation” report – it is so important to have clarity on these challenges and…

Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP
The WOW seminar on immigrant women’s nutrition and health was a step in the right direction towards closing the gap between academic researchers and service providers.

Josephine Etowa
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa
I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. WOW offers a platform for us to celebrate this history and the future it will help…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
In our city’s history, immigrants have always played an important role. They build our economic prosperity, diversify our culture, contribute to our social vitality.

Jim Watson
Mayor of Ottawa
The target beneficiary of the work of OLIP is the whole community. In this short period we have planted together important seeds for Ottawa’s development.  

Dick Stewart
OLIP Council
I’m really impressed with the level of energy and commitment around the Health and Wellbeing table and look forward to continuing collaboration between OLIP and OPH.

Marcela Tapia
Ottawa Public Health

2nd Annual Ottawa Immigration Forum

On June 27th, the 2nd Annual Ottawa Immigration Forum convenes at the Delta Ottawa City Centre.  The Forum, whose theme is The Building Blocks of a Welcoming Community, anchors a week of celebratory activities that include public lectures and workshops, music, film screenings, a soccer tournament, and team athletic challenges.  This year’s Forum – an integral part of Welcoming Ottawa Week – is co-sponsored by OLIP (Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership) and the Réseau de soutien à l’immigration francophone de l’Est de l’Ontario (area Francophone network), signalling the importance of diversity to both Anglophone and Francophone communities.

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Forum Program

Thurs June 27
2nd Annual Ottawa Immigration Forum:
The Building Blocks of a Welcoming Community

8:00 am
Registration Breakfast Entertainment
8:55 am
Opening the 2nd Annual Ottawa Immigration Forum
Masters of Ceremony (MC) Sarah Onyango
9:00 am
Welcoming Address – The Making of a Welcoming Community: Progress and Plans by the City of Ottawa
Deputy Mayor and City Councillor Steve Desroches
9:15 am
Progress Report – OLIP’s Long Term Vision, Directions and Latest Accomplishments
Dick Stewart, OLIP Council Chair
Salimatou Diallo, OLIP Council Vice-Chair
9:35 am
Keynote Speech –  The Building Blocks of a Welcoming Community
Gerry Clement
Former Assistant Deputy Minister of Manitoba Labour and Immigration

Q&A | Interaction with Forum Participants

10:20 am
10:45 am
Moderated Panel Discussion
Attraction & Retention of International Students: Trends & Policy
Dr. Chedly Belkhodja
Professor of Political Science, Moncton University

1) Gary Slater – University of Ottawa; 2) John Nelson – Carleton University;
3) Gilles Tousignant – La Cite Collegiale; 4) Christine Peachey – Algonquin College; 5) Mohammed Alshaebi – Carleton University Student Association

Q&A | Interaction with Forum Participants

12:00 noon
Concluding Remarks
Marie Élise Lebon
Coordinator, Le Réseau de soutien de l’immigration Francophone de l’Est ON

Hindia Mohamoud
Director, Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership

Download Forum Program

Speaker Profiles

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Steve Desroches
Deputy Mayor of Ottawa, City Councillor Gloucester South Nepean

Councillor Steve Desroches was first elected in 2006 to represent the newly created ward of Gloucester-South Nepean (Ward 22) which includes neighbourhoods in Leitrim, Findlay Creek, Riverside South and Barrhaven. In 2010, he was re-elected with a strong mandate to continue the progress made for the residents of the thriving South Ottawa communities. He is currently Deputy Mayor of the City of Ottawa…Read More

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Gerry Clement
Former Assistant Deputy Minister of Manitoba Labour and Immigration

Keynote Speaker

Gerry Clement is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg with a BA in Administrative studies.  In 2007, Gerry retired from the Manitoba Department of Labour and Immigration after serving thirty-two years in the federal and provincial public service.  As Assistant Deputy Minister, from 1997 to 2007, Gerry led the Immigration Division of his Department through one of the most vibrant and exciting chapters of its provincial immigration and settlement history…Read More

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Chedly Belkhodja
Professor of Political Science at Moncton University, Co-Investigator in the Pathways to Prosperity Partnership

Panel Moderator

Chedly Belkhodja is a Full Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Moncton.  Until recently he was the Director of the Atlantic Metropolis Centre.  Currently, he is a Co-Investigator in the pan-Canadian Pathways to Prosperity Partnership and chairs the Project’s Standing Committee on Francophone Immigration…Read More

See full list of speaker profiles


Background & Reference Material

What is a Welcoming Community: An Overview (2013) Meyer Burstein, Pathways to Prosperity Partnership
This snapshot review gives a definition of a welcoming community and provides fifteen essential characteristics that are largely acknowledged to be the constituting blocks of a welcoming community. The overview is a brief adaptation from the “Characteristics of a Welcoming Community” (2010) study by the Welcoming Communities Initiative.

Characteristics of a Welcoming Community (2010) Welcoming Communities Initiative
This study provides a review of the current consensus by newcomers, policy makers and academics on the key characteristics of a welcoming community. It draws its findings from an extensive survey of the relevant scholarly literature, government (federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal) and community reports, and case study examples from the public and private sectors. The report acknowledges that there are gaps in supporting evidence of these characteristics, and suggests a strategy for further evaluation of their relevance and impact.

International Students in Ottawa: Facts and Observations (2013) Meyer Burstein, Pathways to Prosperity Partnership
This statistical factsheet provides recent data on international students in Ottawa, drawing longitudinal comparisons with other comparable municipalities in Canada. It also makes observations on the expected trends and opportunities for international student attraction and retention in Ottawa based on Ottawa’s comparative advantages and the current policy and international context.

Best Practices for Integration of International Students in Atlantic Canada: Findings and Recommendations (2013) Sinziana Chira, Chedly Belkhodja
This report examines best practices and gaps in international student settlement and integration linked to existing policies, programs and practices, and the specific issues related to labour market integration. The report focuses on the Atlantic Canadian context, and provides comparisons between urban and rural communities in relation to their capacity of international student retention.

Francophone Immigration in Ottawa: Trends, Issues and Current Action (2013) RSIFEO and OLIP
This one-page report provides a brief overview of the current levels and trends of francophone immigration in Ottawa, and an analysis of some of the factors that may explain the observed trends. The report also highlights the key barriers to francophone immigrants’ integration in Ottawa, and outlines the approach that the Réseau de soutien à l’immigration francophone de l’Est de l’Ontario has taken to address them.