Earlier this month, I attended the 2011 ALLIES Mentoring Conference in Calgary where over 150 delegates from across Canada came together to collaborate ideas, share best practices, experiences and explore new opportunities to build a stronger Canada by using the talents of skilled immigrants.
The focus of the conference was mentorship, and how it can strengthen the fabric of Canadian society by connecting people with one another. I had the opportunity to present the Connector Program to conference delegates and once again there was a buzz among other cities to implement a similar program in their regions.
As Kelly mentioned in the most recent Connector story posted this week, the program is considered a best practice and four other cities have duplicated it Montreal, North Bay, Niagra, and Waterloo.
The ALLIES Conference reiterated that everyone has a role to play with immigration. It takes time, but we need to begin to invest in our own capacity to connect immigrants to opportunities in our communities. This will make Halifax more diverse and vibrant and bring practical, tangible benefits for our economy. You can do your part today by becoming a Connector!
Cindy Dean is Project Coordinator for the Halifax Connector Program, a Greater Halifax Partnership Initiative. Program partners are the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration, The Maytree Foundation and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.