OLIP Partners’ Annual Summer GatheringSeptember 15, 2022
The OLIP Partnership Council met on June 27th, 2022 – on Canada’s Multiculturalism Day – to review annual progress and plan for key milestone envisioned for the reminder of the current operational cycle: July 2022 – November 2023. Among the progress partners reviewed are new alignment of the City of Ottawa’s work with OLIP’s priority goals, new immigration trends and planned milestones for the coming years.
Some of the key City-OLIP alignment areas include- the housing and homelessness plan, the Anti-Racism plan, and the community safety and wellness plan.
The city has created a $780 million funding directed towards social services created to help meet the needs of our community in various areas, and it is also focusing on equity, inclusivity and understanding the unique needs of immigrants by looking to remove systemic barriers that exist with respect to immigrants.
In addition, the city is focusing on neighbourhood-based planning and service delivery. To that end, it has allocated $2.1million to racialized youth and indigenous service providers and is moving towards a new strategic plan that will focus on how it embeds the community voice, including building community hubs, and mobility services.
Another City-OLIP alignment involves affordable housing which continues to be an issue particularly after the pandemic which has had an impact on the cost of building new units. Currently, the city is working towards improving the emergency shelter system and looking at adding more housing benefits, and it is working with developers to provide stable affordable housing for residents in the future.
The Council meeting also included an update on new data on Ottawa immigration levels and forecasts. The presentation by OLIP Associate Kareem El-Assal showed that after a drop in permanent resident landings in 2020 due to COVID-19, Canada broke a new historic level in 2021 with the arrival of 406,000 Permanent Residents in Canada, and close to 4% chose Ottawa-Gatineau region as their home. Another key trend in the immigration is that 90% of those who became PR in Canada are under the age of 34, with 60% of them being under 30 years old. Moreover, Express Entry selection mechanism tends to award the most points to those with great language capability.
In addition to economic immigration category, Canada continues to welcome refugees fleeing conflicts and so far, 16,000 Afghanistan and 51,000 Ukrainians refugees have arrived in Canada.
The Council meeting also discussed planned milestones for the upcoming year which include the refreshment of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy, data capacity development, and pursuit of strategic alignments with key partners to enable synergetic collaborations and greater collective impact.