Province invests $100,000 for Vaudreuil-Soulanges immigration integration strategy
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
From left to right – Sébastien Legros, MRC Social Development Support Officer; Dominique Pialoux, Coordinator of the Comité en relations interculturelles de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (CRIVS); Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols; and MRC Deputy Prefect and Pincourt Mayor Yvan Cardinal.
The provincial government will provide $100,000 over the next two years to help the Municipalité Régionale de Comté de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) implement an action plan to make it easier for new newcomers to integrate into the community.
The announcement was made by Vaudreuil Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Marie-Claude Nichols on behalf of David Heurtel, the Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion, during a press conference at MRC headquarters in Vaudreuil-Dorion on June 21.
Growing cultural diversity
One of the key aspects of the action plan is to welcome newcomers into the growing cultural diversity of the province and to help them to learn French. “We want people to learn French. We want them to be integrated and part of our community,” Nichols told The Journal.
“They’ve brought a richness to our region with their values. Just in Vaudreuil-Soulanges, there are 83 different cultural groups. They are important assets for our communities. There are a lot of organizations here that are working hard and doing a good job helping to integrate immigrants,” Nichols added.
Ten integration projects
A list of 10 integration projects for the upcoming year were presented by Sébastien Legros, MRC Social Development Support Officer and Dominique Pialoux, Coordinator of the Comité en relations interculturelles de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (CRIVS).
The projects include the establishment and coordination of a regional council comprised of citizens with an immigrant background, business conferences and workshops on cultural diversity, a school and community life support program for immigrant families, social interaction programs for parents with children aged five and under, and intergenerational exchange activities between immigrant youth and seniors.
“Since 2006, the CRIVS has brought together stakeholders concerned with cultural diversity in all spheres of our community. The MRC's action plan illustrates the collaborative work with the CRIVS to recommend and coordinate activities aimed at facilitating the integration of immigrants in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region,” said Pialoux.
For Yvan Cardinal, MRC-VS Deputy Prefect and Mayor of Pincourt, the projects will help to enhance the growth of the region’s diverse cultural communities. The municipality has been at the forefront of the integration effort through it social development policy that was adopted almost five years ago, he said.
“It’s a good announcement because it will help children, adolescents, adults and seniors. A lot of our growing population in Vaudreuil-Soulanges comes from immigration. We are happy and proud to be able to support organizations and projects that will help build our region to make it an even more welcoming and inclusive community.”
The agreement was concluded and shared equally between the Immigration Ministry and the Vaudreuil-Soulanges MRC. The total $100,000 investment is for two years from April 1, 2017 until March 31, 2019 and comes from the Diversity Mobilization Program.
The program is designed to support the efforts of regional organizations to build more welcoming and inclusive communities and encourage the full participation of immigrants in French.