Nav­i­ga­tors guide new­com­ers

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS - BY GREG MCNEIL gm­c­neil@cb­

SYD­NEY — To many new­com­ers to Cape Bre­ton, Amanda MacPher­son is the first point of con­tact.

She pro­vides them with in­for­ma­tion re­lated to their set­tle­ment needs, such as hous­ing, bank­ing and em­ploy­ment de­tails.

“I work with im­mi­grants, but also in the last year a lot of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents have ap­proached us,” said MacPher­son, a new­comer nav­i­ga­tor with the Cape Bre­ton County Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity.

New­com­ers to MacPher­son are peo­ple from other coun­tries as well as peo­ple from across Canada who have set­tled here.

Be­tween Novem­ber 2008 and Novem­ber 2009 she as­sisted 109 of 140 peo­ple known to have set­tled in Cape Bre­ton.

On the west­ern side of the is­land, the re­ten­tion and suc­cess­ful set­tle­ment of new­com­ers is also a pri­or­ity.

See­ing to that pri­or­ity is the New­comer Set­tle­ment Project, un­der the di­rec­tion of the Strait-High­land Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Agency, the Antigonish Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity, and the Guys­bor­ough County Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity.

Through the pro­gram, Tanya Felix, the re­gional im­mi­gra­tion nav­i­ga­tor, pro­vides sup­port to new­com­ers.

Sim­i­lar to MacPher­son, Felix acts as a start­ing point for any­one con­sid­er­ing a move to In­ver­ness, Rich­mond, Antigonish, and Guys­bor­ough coun­ties.

She also works with com­mu­nity groups, em­ploy­ers, and or­ga­ni­za­tions to make the com­mu­nity more wel­com­ing.

Sub­mit­ted by Me­lanie Wyn­ter

Re­gional im­mi­gra­tion nav­i­ga­tor Tanya Felix, left, and Saa­dia Bi­lalare seen at the Mul­ti­cul­tural Fes­ti­val in Novem­ber.

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