On account of its successes in attracting and retaining immigrants, North Bay is now seen as a collaborative model for smaller communities present in Ontario.
The recent three-city immigrant attraction and retention case study by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs can be seen as a mark of its success as one of the three cities is North Bay, along with Brockville and Chatham-Kent. Based on the results of the project, government would introduce policies aimed at encouraging immigrants to opt for communities apart from Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto.
Major Vic Fedeli says that successes seen in this part is not an accident, but is well designed.
Recalling how it all began, he said that when one took a walk down the Main Street around 2004, it was very evident that here wasn’t much variety and very little color was evident. This was not the Canada which is known to the world. He said that when immigration was made one of the priorities by the council, there was no ‘ah-ha’ moment. There was just a feeling that there is a need to expand the sphere of the province.
He said that when the business and retention program was done, there was immediate realization of the huge gaps in the labor pool and acknowledgement that immigration was one good way to bring people in.
According to Statistics Canada, all net growth in the labor force of Canada will be through immigration by the end of 2011 and by the end of 2026, it is predicted that even population growth of the country will be through immigration.