Cornwall picked for immigration employment pilot program

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By Nick Seebruch
Cornwall picked for immigration employment pilot program
MPP Jim McDonell presents Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement with a certificate accepting the City of Cornwall into the Regional Immigration Pilot program (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Stormont, Dundas, and South Glengarry Progressive Conservative MPP Jim McDonell announced on Thursday, Dec. 19 that Cornwall had been selected by just one of three municipalities in the province to take part in a new pilot program aimed at the retention and employment of new Canadians.

The two-year Regional Immigration Pilot program will allow those who have been accepted into the Ontario Immigration Nomination Program (OINP) to find employment in one of three municipalities.

McDonell explained that the program is designed to help municipalities attract immigrants and grow their workforce, while helping those same immigrants improve their permanent residency applications.

He stressed that all of these new Canadians had already been vetted through the OINP program and all will have strong applications for citizenship.

“By welcoming newcomers to Cornwall, we are helping our job creators grow their businesses and boost our local economy,” said McDonell “Through the Regional Immigration Pilot, and with the infrastructure in place to assist newcomers in getting settled, we will help solve skilled labour challenges for our Francophone and Anglophone communities.”

The Eastern Ontario Training Board (EOTB) will be the organization taking the lead on the program and will help potential employers find immigrant workers through the program.

“We will be working with the province to direct more workers to Cornwall,” said Martha Woods, Executive Director of EOTB.

Bob Peters, Division Manager of Economic Development for the City of Cornwall welcomed the news.

“We don’t think the demand for workers is going to let up,” Peters said. “It will remain consistent over the coming years, especially as baby boomers retire.”

Peters explained that there are currently around 250 jobs to fill in the Cornwall region.

Lesley Thompson, Executive Director of the Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry said that Cornwall and the surrounding region had some strong advantages when it came to attracting immigration.

“There is a reason why the province had confidence in this community,” she said. “They recognize we have a lot of assets and our Francophone community is one of them.”

Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement lauded the announcement, hoping that Cornwall could provide a unique experience to new Canadians.

“In the province of Ontario, there is more than just Ottawa and Toronto,” she said. “New Canadians would benefit from learning to love Canada through the lens of a small community like Cornwall.”

The other two municipalities that were accepted into the pilot program are Quinte West – Belleville and Chatham – Kent.

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