Welcoming Ottawa Week

By: The Hon. Andrew Cardozo

Share this post:

Ceremonial Guard, Ottawa

Hon. Andrew Cardozo: I rise today to speak about welcoming week in Ottawa. This week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the launch of Welcoming Ottawa Week, or WOW.

Welcoming Ottawa Week was created by the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership, or OLIP, which aims to convey to newcomers Ottawa’s respect and genuine welcome and create diverse opportunities for newcomers to connect with the Ottawa public across the city, institutions and local organizations. This year, we celebrate the tenth anniversary of WOW.

The Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership is an impressive multi-sectoral partnership of 64 Ottawa organizations working in diverse sectors such as settlement, language, training, interpretation and economic integration. United in the mission of building Ottawa’s capacity to attract, settle and integrate immigrants, it links newcomers to employers.

The Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership is an initiative funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Thanks to the success of this social cooperation model, there are local immigration partnerships in 87 cities and towns across the country.

Yes, 87 cities and towns across the country use this collaborative model.

Here is the important thing about successful immigrant integration: I recall a conversation with Jason Kenney some years ago when he was federal immigration minister. He was noting proudly that Canada had retained its high immigration levels through the 2007-08 recession while the rest of the world was shutting their gates. He noted that the public support for immigration had remained high in Canada because we work on integration so successfully. Successful integration not only helps the newcomers of today but it continuously creates public support for future immigration, thus making for a more harmonious society and one that will continue to welcome immigrants.

This said, we should never rest on our laurels. We must continue to do and support the hard work, especially as there remain many gaps. As a caution, we must always be watchful of the polarization, opposition, misinformation and disinformation regarding immigration and diversity that is rampant in many countries, including the U.S., and is certainly creeping into Canadian society.

May we spend this summer thinking about how we can continue to improve this peaceable kingdom we call Canada.

Thank you.


Share this post: