Many newcomers choose where to move based on how many friends and family they know in a place, but some arrive knowing no one. Feeling at home in a new place can take time, and building or expanding social networks can be challenging.
In British Columbia, settlement assistance for newcomers is provided by a variety of non-profit community-based agencies and public school districts through programs funded by the federal and provincial governments.
It is not only immigrants who need to adapt to their new community – our communities need to adapt to welcome them as well. Integration is a two-way street.
Creating inclusive communities can be challenging, particularly during times of economic downturn, when Canadian attitudes towards immigration and immigrants tend to grow more negative.