Forum OverviewAugust 21, 2015
On June 22nd, the 3rd Biannual Ottawa Immigration Forum convened at the Marriott Hotel in Ottawa. The Forum kick-started the 2015 Welcoming Ottawa Week (WOW) and tackled the theme: “Moving Forward on our Vision ǀ Building on our Accomplishments”.
The Forum was co-hosted by OLIP and the City Of Ottawa, and showcased the City’s active role in the OLIP partnership – as a co-founder of OLIP and a key contributor in the development of Ottawa’s shared goals, defined in the Ottawa Immigration Strategy and the Municipal Immigration Strategy.
Forum attendees included OLIP partners, community stakeholders, representatives of the three levels of government, elected officials, civic leaders, academic researchers, and business executives.
The Forum opening remarks were delivered by Deputy Mayor, Mark Taylor, who reflected on the Municipal Immigration Strategy and the City’s role in building a more prosperous and vibrant national capital strengthened by immigrants’ contributions.
The participants received a brief progress report on the accomplishments made by the Partnership in the first five years, and the way forward from Carl Nicholson and Caroline Andrews, OLIP Executive Committee members.
Participants also heard a presentation on Trends and Policies Affecting Ottawa’s Progress from Corinne Prince St. Amand, Director General of the Integration- Foreign Credentials Referral Office, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Cohen Langerak, Senior Business Consultant- Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade. Langerak’s presentation hinged on the importance of leveraging the global connections of our diverse communities to increase Ontario’s economic prosperity.
During the second part of the Forum, academic experts provided new perspectives on two key areas of planned action by OLIP partners, namely:
- How Ottawa leverage administrative data to inform local planning; and
- How to tackle mental health challenges among immigrants and refugees.
Participants’ true engagement with the Forum was reflected by the high attendance rate and their interactions with Forum speakers. The Forum feedback survey indicated that the participants appreciated the valuable platform the Forum created for networking, and sharing ideas and insights on how to remove barriers that hinder Ottawa’s success in the integration of immigrants.