By Tasha Simpson, Blog Writer

When individuals immigrate to Canada relying on the ILP, known as the Immigration Loan Program, they face many challenging barriers, including but not limited to, familiarization with the language, culture shock, obtaining a job, finding schooling or finding a respectable place to reside. Some individuals may face more challenges than others due to the geographic region in Canada they end up residing in. More metropolitan areas such as Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto draw the highest number of  immigrants to reside there because the window of opportunities is higher compared to smaller Canadian cities.  

Immigrating to a smaller city can bring up more challenges for individuals. Smaller cities often have less diverse populations and lack adequate support networks for new arrivals, and addressing basic needs such as housing or schooling in a timely manner may not be as efficient. Having additional burdens can be difficult for individuals who are already taking a major step in their lives by immigrating to a new country.

Smaller cities need to make the extra effort to stand out, and help meet the needs of new immigrants. For instance, in Newfoundland they are trying to implement a more suitable metro system for students so they are more inclined to live near their education systems, whether that is for primary students or university. Creating a more stable public transit system for individuals can influence whether an immigrant stays local for their education or even for the job market. Newfoundland is also planning on trying to create more jobs locally, so individuals are more likely to stay there and reside.

Compared to major cities, smaller cities may not have the resources and population to create sufficient resources and support systems for immigrants to access. Settling in Canada could be challenging for many, but having information sessions or a space to gain information can be very helpful to easing settlement.  Metropolitan cities should better share resources with small cities to showcase the integration ideas and support systems they have in place. We want every individual in this country to feel equal, and providing immigrants with their basic needs is important. Creating these opportunities in small cities helps both refugee resettlement and small city growth. There are so many beautiful places to live in Canada, and if the resources are there for immigrants to use individuals will be more inclined to settle effectively in these smaller places, contributing from the outset to the growth of their new communities.

To learn more about STAND Canada’s ILP reform proposal, click here. To show support for our online e-petition asking the Government of Canada to overhaul the ILP, click here.

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