Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) are planning bodies through which Immigration, Refugee Canadian Citizenship (IRCC) supports the development of community-based partnerships to address the needs of newcomers. A relatively recent initiative, there are currently over 80 Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) or Zonal Immigration Partnerships (ZIPs) across the country, although the actual number fluctuates and is dependent on federal funding.
LIPs and ZIPs vary in size and organization. Some are housed within municipalities while others are community based. In other instances, it can be a combination of the two or a consortium of partners. For example, Canada’s largest city has four community based LIPs each within a consortium that support assigned catchments as well as a municipal LIP that operates city-wide. Comparatively, ZIPs go beyond local jurisdictions to cover larger geographical boundaries of zones based on population, availability of stakeholders and funding resources. Staffing compliments are not standardized.
The main objective of the LIPs is to strive to engage a wide variety of stakeholders in a focused strategic planning process to strengthen welcoming communities for newcomers, which promotes their success in Canada. While the newcomer serving sector is a key collaborator, other partners include employers, school boards, libraries, health agencies, boards of trade, various government representatives, professional associations, ethno-cultural and faith-based organizations.
Local Immigration Partnerships are collectively driven by partnership councils comprised of members from stakeholder entities, with interest in improving newcomer outcomes. The partnership councils are tasked with guiding LIP responsibilities related to needs assessments, asset mapping, resource and information sharing and identifying gaps. A primary function of the partnership council is to ensure the development of a locally based newcomer strategy and targeted work or action plan through open dialogue and community- based research and to regularly review the LIP’s progress on implementation.
Many partnership councils have formed sub-committees such as steering or executive committees which provide guidance and strategic support. Additionally, working groups or sector tables are established focused on specific themes, such as health, research and employment. It is through this collective participation the majority of the LIP’s work is produced. LIP staff provide the coordination to organize and facilitate the needful processes.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada. (2013, August). Local immigration partnership handbook