BIPT LIP Project Overview
The Table immediately attracted, and has continued to engage, senior level representation from a broad range of institutions and community agencies. Current membership includes the City of Burnaby, businesses, schools (K-12 and post-secondary), libraries, recreation facilities, cultural organizations, policing, volunteerism and refugee, community, legal, family and women’s services.
Over the years, with initial funding from the United Way and later funding from Welcoming Communities programming, the BIPT has successfully improved the comfort, health and standards of living of newcomers by bridging communities, decreasing competition amongst service providers, developing stronger resources and improving inter-agency cooperation and knowledge-sharing.
The Table won the first “WelcomeBC Award” in 2010 for outstanding partnership creation and delivery of comprehensive and innovative solutions to make Burnaby a welcoming place for everyone. But there is still more work to do to ensure the successful settlement and true inclusion of newcomers. Funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Local Immigration Partnership Initiative will allow the BIPT to build on its previous work to reduce barriers to immigrant integration at the local level.
Burnaby celebrates diversity.
Burnaby will distinguish itself as a welcoming and inclusive community.
What is a Local Immigration Partnership (LIP)?
Local immigration Partnerships (LIPs) build on local services in order to optimize engagement, planning and coordination in the area of newcomer settlement and integration. LIPs do not deliver services directly to immigrants. Instead, they foster local engagement of organizations that offer services to newcomers, support community-level research and planning and improve coordination of services that help immigrants settle and integrate.
LIPs aim to enhance collaboration, coordination and strategic planning at the local level to make communities more welcoming and inclusive. These local partnerships first received funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in Ontario in 2008. Since then, they have helped initiate innovative approaches to newcomer services in communities across the country.
Membership in these partnerships reflects a diversity of services within communities. Libraries, schools, hospitals, employment services, chambers of commerce, employers, local government, neighbourhood houses and women, child and senior services are some examples of typical LIP members, as they interact with newcomers regularly and can make recommendations about their needs.
Why does Burnaby need one?
More than 50% of Burnaby’s population was born outside of Canada, according to the 2011 Census. At the time the data was collected, about 34% of Burnaby’s residents spoke a language other than English at home and more than 218 ethnic origins were cited by residents. The city is also one of the largest recipients of refugees in British Columbia. Burnaby’s refugees come from some of the most impoverished and troubled parts of world, their needs are broad and many require significant support.
Burnaby’s increasing diversity has made the city vibrant, culturally rich and dynamic. However, the rapid influx of newcomers has also created some significant challenges for the community. Employers, the City, libraries, school district, health providers, training institutes and community agencies have responded to rapid demographic shifts. But these organizations also struggle to provide appropriate first language supports and adequate resources, services and programs to help new residents successfully integrate and feel welcome. The planning and work of this Local Immigration Partnership is crucial to Burnaby’s growth and development.