Advocate for a Welcome and Integration Centre for newcomers and immigrants in New Westminster.
"We are fortunate to live amidst such tremendous diversity here in New Westminster. We need to support newcomers so that they feel welcomed and can become an active part of our wonderful community." Chinu Das, Council Candidate Team Cote
In 2016, about 35% of New Westminster's population was made up of immigrants. Approximately 5% were recent immigrants in need of settlement support. For these recent immigrants, navigating the scattered services that are available to them is quite challenging. A Welcome Centre would allow organizations to collaborate, and to coordinate their services in one location.
The location of a potential Welcome and Integration Centre for newcomers and immigrants in New Westminster was identified through the School Capital project consultation process in 2010, in which 1000 New Westminster residents were consulted. The proposed location of the centre was to be at the new high school.
Since then, the Welcoming and Inclusive Committee, in existence since 2008, has repeatedly advocated for the Centre so that it can provide immigrants with one-stop access to information and services. Construction on the new high school will start soon and there is a wonderful opportunity for the City and school board to work collaboratively on this important project.