At their regular meeting today, City Council voted in favour of authorizing The City of Red Deer to act as the funding organization in the next application cycle for Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership (LIP).
Established in 2016, Red Deer LIP works to improve the integration of immigrants by strengthening the community’s ability to better address needs of newcomers. LIPs are eligible for funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), but required to establish and maintain a funding partnership with a local organization which holds the contract with IRCC.
Previously supported by Care for Newcomers, LIP’s Central Planning Council now believes growth opportunities for the initiative will be strengthened with the municipality as the funding organization. Indicating strong membership support, the LIP requested to transfer financial support to The City of Red Deer before the next funding cycle begins in 2025.
“The importance of municipal engagement in LIPs has been confirmed through research of other communities, including Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton. With strong connections to neighbourhood associations and community groups, The City of Red Deer is well-positioned to be a champion for LIPs in this community, and today’s decision will greatly benefit the initiative,” said Bobby-Jo Stannard, Community Development Superintendent. “Recognizing that LIPs are a best practice for newcomer settlement and integration in Canada, we see this partnership as an opportunity to provide direct support to the initiative and act as an advocate for newcomers while strengthening support networks in Red Deer.”
To support today’s resolution, a new position in The City’s Community Development section will be created to serve as the Red Deer LIP Coordinator. The position will be fully grant funded and reliant on the continuation of the grant. There are no direct financial implications to The City or Red Deer resulting from this decision.
“Today’s decision demonstrates a physical commitment to diversity and inclusion by The City of Red Deer and is an example of collaborative action in our community,” said Frank Bauer, Care for Newcomers Executive Director. “Red Deer has become successful at retaining immigrants as permanent residents and this partnership will help the city remain competitive as a community of choice for newcomers. It sends a message that our Red Deer cares about being welcoming to immigrants and integrating them into our community.”
“Municipalities need to model desired behaviours and actions, and today’s decision is one way of demonstrating this Council’s commitment of working towards a vision of a welcoming, inclusive city that celebrates diversity,” said Mayor Ken Johnston. “Supporting the LIP aligns with several City priorities, including the Strategic Plan, Social Policy Framework and Diversity and Inclusion Community Plan, and demonstrates The City’s commitment to supporting a welcoming and inclusive community where everyone feels safe and can fully participate in community life. This is an investment in our cultural and economic future.”
Learn more about Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership at https://rdlip.ca.