Efforts to bring more immigrants to the region are being ramped up by the Timmins Economic Development Corporation.

Over the past year, the TEDC has teamed with the Timmins Multicultural Centre to attract more immigrants to live and work in the northern region by creating a Northeast Immigration Portal. This previously announced project aims to attract immigrants to 40 communities in the northeast by showcasing the culture, integration and available jobs in the area.

Director of Community Economic Development Maggie Matear says the TEDC wants to expand this project by taking some of its resources to immigrant tradeshows in Toronto to attract professionals. Matear says this would help the community grow. “Homogenous societies don’t tend to be as creative, they don’t tend to be as innovative so diversity really helps build our knowledge economy and creative economy.” She adds that it’s also interesting to learn about other ways of life.

Matear says not only that, but immigration also solves a lot of the region’s population and labour issues. “We are going to be short at least 800 jobs in the mining and mining service supply sectors up to 2030 because of retirement and everything else, so we are going to need to fill those jobs.” Matear adds that if we don’t have the people locally to do that, “we are going to continue to have labour shortages and continue to be less productive than we could be.” The TEDC adds that it will also help our communities grow the local economy because having more people move here means more people contributing to the local tax base and an increase in the number of dollars circulating in the business community.

The TEDC is also working on an Employer Council Project. Matear says this aims to make local employers aware of the availability and interest of immigrants wanting to work here. She says the TEDC wants businesses to understand the value of investing a little more into training upfront to help new residents get accustomed to the culture and regulations in Canada.

Matear says so far there is a trend into who is immigrating to the area. “They are mostly from India, we also have a large Filipino population and we’re getting more people from China as well.”