During the peak of the Syrian refugee “crisis” in 2015 and early 2016, the Canadian Federal Government responded with a push to drastically increase the number of Syrian refugees it planned to resettle. The resulting Syrian Refugee Resettlement Initiative (SRRI) put to the test Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs), a form of place-based policy that had been in place since 2008 where communities collaborate in the support, development and execution of local immigration and refugee resettlement plans. This issue of Policy Points discusses a study of three LIPs (Hamilton, Ottawa, and Waterloo Region) and their response to the SRRI. The research provides three policy insights relevant to refugee and immigrant community resettlement. Bringing the community into the fold through multi stakeholder tables such as LIPs can coordinate local responses to the resettlement of refugees (policy insight 1). LIPs must be embedded in the local community and include leaders and personnel able to build and enhance local stakeholder networks (policy insight 2). Finally, it is key to involve LIPs in communication channels during mass resettlement events (policy insight 3). Policy action under points 2 and 3 will in turn enable LIPs to effectively support refugee resettlement at the local level. The experience of the three Ontario LIPs in this study is relevant to existing and potential new LIPs, but it also offers a unique place-based policy approach to engaging local communities in resettlement at other locations and scales.
Margaret Walton-Roberts, Luisa Veronis, Sarah Wayland, Huyen Dam, Blair Cullen “Syrian Refugee Resettlement and the Role of Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) in Ontario, Canada,” IMRC Policy Points, Issue XIII, March 2018.