Evaluation of the going to Canada Immigration Portal Initiative
Appendix C: Ontario's Municipal Immigration Information Online (MIIO) programFootnote 51
Through the Canada Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA), and the GTC-IP initiative, Ontario has developed a program to fund the creation of municipal immigration websites and related online projects. Over the past five years, this has led to the launch of 21 municipal immigration portals representing over 120 communities in Ontario.
These portals have become a model for municipal involvement and collaboration between federal, provincial, and municipal governments with a commitment to partnership, sharing of tools/information and delivery of innovative online projects to attract and integrate newcomers into Ontario communities.
The MIIO program provides municipalities with the opportunity to work with community partners to:
- Deliver local immigration information;
- Promote municipalities as an attractive destination for settlement;
- Help newcomers integrate into the community;
- Highlight local labour market gaps;
- Support local employer engagement.
These municipal immigration portals are developing innovative online tools to attract and integrate newcomers to their communities. Online mentoring tools to pair newcomers with retirees in different labour market sectors, online trade fairs where newcomers can interact online with potential employers, and innovative partnerships providing multilingual inquiry services through their website. Municipal partners are also actively sharing their work with other portals, and collaborating with federal partners to provide a wide variety of online information and services to newcomers.
Ontario is also creating tools and content which is then offered to partners for their own use. One example is a partnership project with the Maytree Foundation. Their HireImmigrants.ca ‘Employers Roadmap’ was adapted and embedded in different municipal partner websites, offering employers a suite of tools to help attract, hire and retain newcomers. The tool is now being embedded in nearly half of the municipal sites, and may also be leveraged by provincial immigration portal partners as well.
The Municipal Immigration Information Online Program, created through COIA, has resulted in a model for inter-governmental partnership and a network of municipal immigration websites. These portals are a best practice in value for money, government innovation as well as a partnership model that encourages sustainability and local engagement.
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