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NPI evaluating the first few months of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

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The Northern Policy Institute (NPI) is making recommendations involving the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) Project.  

In partnership with FedNor, they’ve released a report evaluating the pilot project in the first few months that it unfolded in five northern communities, including North Bay.  

“Too often we wait to study these pilots until well after they are over.” Says Charles Cirtwill, President & CEO of NPI. “By doing that we miss a real opportunity to keep the public onside and to make adjustments while the funding is still in play. To enhance impacts and promote program continuation.”

This first report found that as the RNIP unfolded in Northern Ontario, it was clear that there was immense value in communities taking charge of their immigration future. 

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But, NPI says challenges developed that will need to be addressed as the pilot continues.

Research Manager Rachel Rizzuto says four main recommendations are being made. 

“A basic toolkit for future immigration pilots should they be developed, especially when there is the downloading of federal responsibility on a municipality.  Other recommendations include having dedicated resources for engagement and welcoming community efforts,” she says. 

Another recommendation is to have clear roles and expectations with partners involved in the program. 

Rizzuto says they’ve partnered with FedNor to evaluate the program over the next few years.  

She says they just recently completed a study on attitudes towards newcomers and will also be looking at the immigration trend across the north.  

“By having a baseline of the trends that we’re seeing and then evaluating year over year, what is the effect of the pilot on immigration in northern Ontario, is it improving, is it having no impact or is it not improving,” Rizzuto says. 

The first report shows that RNIP has successes to celebrate and that this type of program has great potential for increasing diversity and immigration in rural areas throughout Northern Ontario.

You can view the full report here: https://www.northernpolicy.ca/just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg

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