Take part in community dialogue on immigration

Dialogue on immigration will be held on Thursday, Aug. 29 at the Maple Ridge Public Library from 1 to 5 p.m.

The Family Education and Support Centre will host a community dialogue, exploring the effects of immigration on the economic development of Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Katzie First Nation.

Though immigrants are crucial contributors to our economic prosperity and growth and bring unique international skills and experience, their full economic potential is not always realized, creating gaps in their social and economic integration.

English is still the dominate language in Maple Ridge, with 84.7 per cent of the population reporting it as their only mother tongue in the 2011 census.

Around 12 per cent of the district’s population reported speaking a non-official language with German, Punjabi and Korean being  the three most common mother tongues.

In Pitt Meadows, immigrants comprised 3,990 of its total population of 17, 705 in 2011.

Just like neighbouring Maple Ridge, 80 per cent of the population reported English as their  only as mother tongue. Eight per cent of the population reported speaking non-official languages, with Punjabi and Chinese being the most common.

The purpose of the dialogue is to:

• Identify gaps in labour outcomes of immigrants;

• Examine ways to attract and retain skilled immigrants;

• Explore opportunities to foster immigrant entrepreneurship and networks;

• Discuss a common vision and coordinated strategy;

• Enhance diversity as a key component of our region’s brand.

The community dialogue is one of a series being conducted for the Family Education and Support Centre’s Welcoming Communities Program.

To attend, register at : welcomingcommunities-rss.eventbrite.ca.

Register early as seats are limited to this event.

The Welcoming Communities initiative is an innovative program designed to promote and celebrate community diversity.   It serves as a catalyst for systemic change around issues of immigration, settlement, multiculturalism, racism and workplace diversity through long-term partnerships and capacity building at the community, regional and provincial levels.

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