Meetings with consulate representatives, creation of new communication channels, organization of the Immigration and Integration Fair: the last few weeks have made it possible not only to prepare for the arrival of new temporary foreign workers in Québec, but also to strengthen the ecosystem surrounding these newcomers.
In April 2022, fourteen of the community organizations supported by the Government of Canada, as part of a call for projects managed by Immigrant Québec within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, met with representatives of the consulates of Mexico and Guatemala. . These moments of exchange will have allowed all these groups to better understand the role of each and their respective fields of action.
WhatsApp groups for Mexico and Guatemala
Following these meetings, two WhatsApp groups were set up, one for Mexico, the other for Guatemala. These channels bring together representatives of consulates as well as organizations offering services to temporary foreign agricultural workers and having taken an active part in these meetings. Representatives of Immigrant Québec also participate in this network, which has more than thirty subscribers.
“Originally, the Guatemalan consulate was looking for a platform to quickly send information, exchange with groups, because it receives a lot of requests from workers for legal or psychological support, for example, and does not necessarily have the resources to respond to it,” recalls Agnès Merlin, project manager “Support for temporary foreign workers during the COVID-19 period” at Immigrant Québec.
These two new WhatsApp groups also allow stakeholders to communicate more easily with each other, avoiding intermediaries. “It is also useful since the organizations can refer certain workers who are not in their region for example, or even ask questions about specific cases”, she adds. In short, these channels make it possible to rely on the expertise of each other.
Movement in the region
At the invitation of the Mexican Consulate, representatives of Immigrant Québec also traveled to Sherbrooke to attend an information session for temporary foreign workers. More than twenty of them were on hand to attend various presentations by community organizations such as AIDE or banking establishments such as Desjardins. Topics like pay stub, bank transfers, insurance were covered.
Moreover, Immigrant Québec is preparing a tour of the regions to participate in various activities during the summer. The organization would like to tour the 17 organizations participating in the project over the next few weeks. A way to better connect to the field.
Immigrant Québec also had a booth at the Quebec Immigration and Integration Fair, which was held on May 25 and 26, 2022 in Montreal. For two days, about fifteen organizations participating in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program as well as the consulates of Mexico and Guatemala followed one another. A presence that allowed them to meet newcomers, present their various projects and answer participants’ questions. For the occasion, a large map of Quebec presenting these different resources was also displayed, as well as videos presenting the projects. Bilingual postcards and leaflets were also distributed to visitors.
Organized by Immigrant Québec, the Immigration Fair brought together more than 260 exhibitors at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal. “The objective of such an event is to help the newcomer to be able to integrate into all spheres of his life, whether professional, family or studies, describes Agnès Merlin. In addition to on-site recruiters, several organizations present also offer help to these people to settle, register their child in school, daycare or even find housing. In the end, the Salon attracted more than 7,000 people. More than a third of them (37%) were immigrants who arrived in Quebec in 2022.
Other activities to watch
In addition to the networking activities that take place every three months between organizations helping temporary foreign workers and Immigrant Québec, the organization is also preparing the next Quebec Immigration Summit. This event, which will take place in Drummondville on November 16, 2022, will bring together more than 400 professionals revolving around this subject and representatives of ministries. Once again this year, Temporary Foreign Worker Program organizations will be invited to network and share their best practices.
Immigrant Québec was also invited, along with three other organizations, to participate in a call for projects organized by the Government of Canada. If the organization wins, it will be able to continue to manage activities in Quebec around the support program for temporary foreign workers during the COVID-19 period until 2024. In doing so, the team would like to increase the number of organizations supported by this project from 17 to 30. Similarly, Immigrant Quebec plans to expand its activities in certain regions that are currently less well covered, such as Gaspésie, Nord-du-Québec or Outaouais, explains Agnès Merlin. A file to follow!