Mission Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) coordinator Rick Rake appeared as a delegation before District of Mission Council on Feb. 19 with some interesting interactions.
Rake outlined the LIP activities since it was launched in 2014, highlighted the work, partnership building and membership of the influential LIP Council, and shared the fact that almost 5,000 people in Mission were not born in Canada. The Mission LIP is funded by Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Rake also provided some information on the Statistics Canada 2016 Census Profile on Mission which highlights a clear picture of immigration in the community. That profile link is HERE.
The LIP is also responsible for organizing the Festival of Light: Diwali at Clarke Theatre which attracts about 1,000 people annually. It also organizes educational newcomer-related forums in the community, including one set for March 17 at Copper Hall entitled We’re Your Neighbours and featuring Mission immigrant stories, keynote speaker Baltej Dhillon (first RCMP officer permitted to wear a turban), political representatives including founding LIP member and now Mission Coun. Pam Alexis and local MP Jati Sidhu.
The LIP also represents MCSS as a partner at the annual Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards, this year planned for March 2 at the Quailty Hotel and Conference Centre in Abbotsford.
Rake highlighted a new bumper sticker/hashtag campaign #AllAreWelcomeHere that will be introduced at the March 17 immigration forum in Mission.
The ask of Council on Feb. 19 by the LIP was this: “Please provide a united voice or commentary on the welcoming nature of the district for immigrant newcomers . . . that can be publicly shared. That may include a short statement or sentence about the benefits of having newcomers settle in Mission.”
Mission Mayor Randy Hawes said a response to the request would occur before the March 17 Mission immigration forum.
Council members agreed that Mission is a friendly place to settle, and newcomers here, in particular the more than 30 refugees that have settled in the community from The Congo and Syria are, receiving the support they require.