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