ARCHIVED – The Canada–Ontario Immigration Agreement – Annex F: Partnerships with Municipalities
Partnerships with Municipalities
1.1 Canada and Ontario share a mutual interest in fostering partnerships and the participation of municipal governments and community and private sector stakeholders in immigration.
1.2 Canada and Ontario agree on the need to provide opportunities for municipal governments to express their interests in immigration.
1.3 Canada and Ontario agree on the need to develop information-sharing and consultation mechanisms that give municipalities input into the development of immigration and integration policies and programs that have an impact on municipalities.
1.4 Canada and Ontario believe that municipalities in Ontario can benefit from immigration to Ontario to the extent that they have developed and offer the necessary community infrastructure to welcome and integrate immigrants.
1.5 Canada and Ontario recognize that municipal governments provide a broad range of services that support the successful settlement and integration of immigrants.
1.6 As agreed in the August 2004 Memorandum of Understanding and Protocol for Consultation (Schedule C) between Ontario and the municipal sector as represented by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), Ontario is committed to consulting and cooperating with municipal governments in considering new legislation or regulations that will have a municipal impact.
1.7 Canada is committed to working in partnership with Ontario to build new relationships with municipal governments and others in the municipal sector to foster the economic and social conditions for successful immigration in Ontario.
1.8 Canada and Ontario are committed to building on the work of the Municipal Immigration Committee established with the AMO in 2004.
1.9 Ontario and Canada acknowledge that the City of Toronto will represent its own interests in the implementation of this Annex, notwithstanding section 1.8 above.
1.10 Canada and Ontario are committed to contributing to the sustainability of municipalities in Ontario and to supporting the development of minority official languages communities through immigration.
2.0 Municipal interests in immigration
2.1 Municipal governments in Ontario are seeking collaborative relationships to ensure that federal and provincial policies and programs on immigration and integration are informed by the knowledge, understanding and priorities of Ontario’s communities.
2.2 Through the Municipal Immigration Committee, municipalities have identified two key areas of interest:
- attraction and retention of immigrants, particularly in smaller and northern municipalities;
- effective and timely settlement and integration of immigrants, particularly in municipalities that receive a large number of immigrants.
2.3 Municipal governments in Ontario’s rural, small urban and northern communities want to build on a history and tradition of successful immigration to strengthen the economic, cultural and social fabric of their communities.
2.4 Municipal governments in Ontario receiving large numbers of immigrants are seeking collaborative relationships to further a shared interest with Canada and Ontario in the successful settlement and integration of immigrants.
3.1 Canada and Ontario agree to facilitate the participation of Ontario municipal governments in addressing issues and pursuing opportunities related to municipal interests in immigration.
3.2 To achieve this objective, Canada and Ontario agree to work with municipal governments on the priorities established below. Specific arrangements with the AMO, the Association française des municipalities de l’Ontario (AFMO), individual municipalities and/or groups of municipalities which are related to these priorities and other opportunities may be concluded through memoranda of understanding or amendments to this Annex.
4.1 Information sharing and consultation – Ontario and Canada agree to develop an ongoing process and framework to support effective information sharing and consultation with municipal governments on current and future immigration and integration policies and programs.
4.2 Attraction and retention of immigrants – Canada and Ontario agree to:
- consider opportunities for coordinated municipal participation in federal and provincial promotion and recruitment activities;
- work with interested municipal governments in developing immigrant attraction and retention strategies as set out in section 5.2.7 a) of this Annex;
- in partnership with municipal governments share information and research on best practices regarding immigrant attraction and retention;
- work with municipal governments in promoting municipalities as destinations for prospective immigrants, addressing local skills shortages, and providing settlement information and assistance;
- support municipal participation in the development of both the Canada and Ontario immigration portals to advance attraction and retention strategies;
- explore innovative ways to provide settlement and integration services in rural and northern Ontario to support retention.
4.3 Settlement and integration – Canada and Ontario agree to work with municipal governments to:
- develop a framework to support the trilateral exchange of information and consultation on integration opportunities, policies and programs;
- utilize the Canada and Ontario immigration portals to provide prospective immigrants with the information needed to make informed decisions and to prepare for settlement in Canada; and
- foster the use of existing mechanisms and the creation of new mechanisms by municipal governments that engage local employers and community leaders in the labour market integration of new immigrants, such as access to employment, services and education;
- facilitate and support community-led initiatives related to settlement and integration.
5.1 The Parties will endeavour to discharge their responsibilities within this Annex while respecting federal, provincial and municipal areas of jurisdiction.
5.2 Municipal Immigration Committee
5.2.1 Consistent with federal, provincial and AMO commitments to a New Deal for Cities and Communities which involves a seat at the table for municipalities on national issues most important to them, Canada and Ontario agree to continue to work with municipal governments through the Municipal Immigration Committee. This committee is currently co-chaired by the Executive Director, Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), and the Assistant Deputy Ministers of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
5.2.2 The Municipal Immigration Committee is a forum for representatives of Canada, Ontario and municipalities from across Ontario to explore immigration-related municipal interests and to develop frameworks for addressing issues and pursuing opportunities.
5.2.3 Intergovernmental consultations coordinated by AMO under the terms of this Annex will complement the Ontario-AMO Memorandum of Understanding and the commitments of Canada, Ontario and AMO to develop a framework by which municipalities can participate in discussions on national issues most important to them. This Annex, therefore, does not preclude Ontario, or Canada and Ontario, from consulting or concluding an arrangement directly with municipalities. In addition, Ontario may request selected municipalities to participate in provincial/municipal funding and service delivery initiatives.
5.2.4 Where appropriate, the City of Toronto may participate in discussions involving the Municipal Immigration Committee; however, if the City elects not to then Canada and Ontario will meet separately with the City to discuss the relevant issues.
5.2.5 Ontario will invite the AMO to work with AFMO, to identify, recruit and recommend the municipal members of the Committee. Municipal members will represent a diverse range of municipal perspectives, including the interests of minority official language communities, and be accountable to the AMO Board of Directors.
5.2.6 The Municipal Immigration Committee will develop and formalize its function as the primary information sharing and consultation forum on immigration and integration matters and their impact on municipal governments.
5.2.7 The Municipal Immigration Committee will establish two working groups on specific priorities:
- attraction and retention;
- settlement and integration.
The working groups will represent a range of municipal perspectives and will report to the Municipal Immigration Committee.
5.2.8 The Municipal Immigration Committee will develop annual work plans. Within 3 months of the signing of this Agreement, the Committee will develop a work plan for the following 12 months.
5.2.9 The Municipal Immigration Committee will meet at least once every 6 months and report on its activities once every 12 months to the Joint Steering Committee established under section 7.1.2 of this Agreement.
5.3 City of Toronto
5.3.1 Canada and Ontario acknowledge that, in the past five years, up to 50% of all immigrants to Canada have arrived annually in the Toronto census metropolitan area alone and that this creates particular challenges in terms of maintaining services to all residents of this area while ensuring the efficient integration of newcomers into the community. The City of Toronto in particular has developed experience, expertise and community infrastructure to respond sensitively to the social and economic integration needs and potential of immigrants.
5.3.2 Canada and Ontario agree to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Toronto within nine months of the signing of this Agreement, that will provide a framework for the three governments to discuss matters related to immigration and settlement.
5.3.3 The Canada-Ontario-Toronto Memorandum of Understanding on Immigration and Settlement will:
- support Canada, Ontario and Toronto in meeting their respective immigration and settlement objectives;
- be consistent with federal, provincial and Toronto commitments to a New Deal for Cities and Communities which involves a seat at the table for municipalities on national issues most important to them;
- recognize current jurisdictions and not be a funding agreement;
- function as an information sharing and consultation forum on immigration and settlement matters and their impact on Toronto as described in section 4.0;
- provide the basis for discussions and specific agreements or arrangements, where appropriate, on distinct issues related to immigration and settlement in Toronto, such as immigrant access to employment, services and education;
- help to facilitate and complement the integration of policies and programs.
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