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Two surveys have been launched to gather community input around gaps and opportunities related to newcomer settlement in Cape Breton-Unamaki.
The surveys are the work of the Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership which describes itself as a collaborative, community initiative, designed to foster welcoming and inclusive communities for newcomers.
“Hearing the perspectives of both newcomers and established Cape Bretoners is essential in our efforts to best understand community priorities and to shape our work,” said Kailea Pedley, CBLIP program manager, in a news release.
“By checking in with the community through a biannual consultation, we are better able to understand what is changing over time and to collect fresh perspectives and ideas.”
Newcomers and the broader Cape Breton community are engaged by the immigration partnership every second year, including a 2018 series of participatory, community events and surveys that shaped the development of the current group's strategic plan.
That year, community member feedback indicated a want for a structured approach to welcoming newcomers at the local level and some basic supports to assist these efforts. These suggestions led to the formation in 2020 of the Cape Breton Welcome Network.
One survey now underway is specifically for newcomers, while the other is for the general public. Both will be open until Feb. 19.
The surveys are available online and can also be conducted by paper, phone or with translation support by request.
Those who complete the survey could win a 12-month membership to the Cape Breton Food Hub and a $100 credit to buy the local food available there.
Survey participants will also be invited to join online focus group discussions to share their experiences and perspectives in greater depth.
The data collected from the surveys and focus groups will be analyzed and compiled into a final report and circulated to local, provincial and federal stakeholders to better inform their work in welcoming newcomers.
The immigration partnership is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and is administered by the Cape Breton Partnership.
“Ultimately, the perspectives and ideas shared through this consultation with the Cape Breton community will lead to ongoing improvements to the services available to newcomers to the island as we continue to learn about what’s working and what we can improve upon,” said Carla Arsenault, Cape Breton Partnership president and CEO, in a news release.
Visit www.newtocapebreton.com/survey to complete the survey.
Email [email protected] or call 902-258-7331 for more information.
Greg McNeil is a business reporter at the Cape Breton Post.