Chatham-Kent is designated as Canada's first official Welcoming Community.
On November 23, 2015, Chatham-Kent Municipal Council responded to the Canadian government's commitment to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees, as part of the Welcome Refugees response, by approving a motion that reaffirmed Chatham-Kent as an open and inclusive community for people of all backgrounds. Thanks to the active support and work of many community agencies and residents, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent submitted a successful Community Partnership Settlement Plan, including a video message, to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. In September, 2016, Chatham-Kent was recognized as an official "Welcoming Community".
The Municipality of Chatham-Kent continues to work with Provincial and Federal government partners, regional settlement service providers, and local community stakeholders through the Community Attraction and Promotion area and the Chatham-Kent Local Immigration Partnership (CK LIP) to ensure Chatham-Kent is ready to welcome newcomers, including refugees and immigrants from around the world. CK LIP's Chatham-Kent Welcome Network is an expanding network of businesses and organizations that commit to welcoming newcomers and helping them to access settlement services, and an example of this widespread local support.
"Chatham-Kent has always been a warm and welcoming community to live in. This recognition from the Federal government is a great testament to the character and vibrancy of our community," says Councillor Trevor Thompson.
Tracy Callaghan, Executive Director of local settlement service provider, Adult Language and Learning, and CK LIP Co-Chair adds, "The support shown by our community and by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for the work being done to welcome and help newcomers settle is incredible. We look forward to continuing this work and building partnerships to support future newcomer arrivals."
Many community groups throughout Chatham-Kent are actively involved in privately sponsoring refugees and helping new families settle into the community. To find out how to become involved in privately sponsoring people who are refugees, visit the Sponsor a Refugee information from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
The Municipality of Chatham-Kent continues to welcome new residents and to support community partners that work to ensure newcomers have access to supports that help them adjust to life in Chatham-Kent.