Chatham-Kent conducting survey to learn about experiences of immigrants

·1 min read

Chatham-Kent is looking to learn more about the experiences of residents who are immigrants as part of efforts to make the region more welcoming and grow the population.

For the first time, the municipality is conducting an online survey to assess how welcome immigrants feel in the community.

As Audrey Ansell, Chatham-Kent's manager of community attraction and promotion, explained on Windsor Morning, the project is an important one for the municipality, which has been focused on immigration for more than a decade.

"It's really important that we understand the experiences of immigrants in our community ... whether they arrived 45 years ago, or four years ago," she told host Tony Doucette on Friday.

"We want to be able to build on Chatham-Kent as Canada's first welcoming community," Ansell said, referring to a 2016 designation from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The survey questions are based on the 17 characteristics of a welcoming community, such as access to housing, employment, transportation and opportunities for community engagement, Ansell explained. The survey also asks about experiences with discrimination.

"We're asking immigrant newcomers in Chatham-Kent to rate our community based on those factors," she said.

According to the 2016 Census, 8,630 residents of the municipality are immigrants out of a population of just over 102,000.

The 30-question survey is being offered in five languages, though speakers of additional languages who want to complete the survey can reach out to the Chatham-Kent Local Immigration Partnership.

The survey is open until Dec. 28.