Over the last several months, research initiatives have been conducted with International Students around the Island, a Task Force on Immigration has been created, and other community based outreach has occurred. Gathering knowledge from each of these sources has helped to determine the current satisfaction levels of the Islands temporary international population and provide the necessary information to develop and implement the “next steps” toward increasing immigration in deindustrialized and rural regions such as Cape Breton.
Phase I of the Rural-Urban Immigration Pilot Project is now complete and a strategic report outlining the projects “Next Steps” has been developed. This report includes a snap-shot of the current immigration situation on Cape Breton Island, the official findings from the International Student Survey, identification of community, private and government partnerships, recommendations for moving forward and a full project implementation plan.
Throughout this Pilot Project three questions were continuously taken into consideration:
1. Why should Cape Breton aspire to an immigration rate of 1000 per annum?
2. What proportion of these 1000 immigrants could be Cape Breton University, Université Sainte-Anne,and Nova Scotia Community College graduates and their families?
3. What changes are required in governance, regional coordination, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) programming and other support services to deliver a more aggressive immigration target for Cape Breton?