Blog Archives

Creation of home child care services

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Northwestern Ontario needs to expand its child care options. Interested in starting your own home-based child care?
Follow this opportunity coordinated by the Société Économique de l’Ontario, the Association des francophones du Nord-Ouest de l’Ontario and Aféseo.

You want to start a home-based childcare service and you don’t know where to start?
Maybe you already offer a home childcare service?

Call on our start-up support
✓ Early childhood professional staff with experience in a family setting;
✓ Resources to help you get your business off the ground; ✓ Business support (self-employed);
✓ Learning activities on how children learn;
✓ Networking as an AFÉSEO member and access to a multitude of learning activities and resources; ✓ Individualized coaching.

Do you have the necessary arrangements? Are you a person…
– Caring for children?
– Creative, with a good sense of humor?
– Open to change and to different types of families?
– Flexible to accommodate families’ schedules or special needs?
– Who inspires trust?
– Organized and responsible?
– Able to communicate clearly in French and English?
– Alert and dynamic?
– Ready to become a cultural and linguistic facilitator?
– Passionate and committed?

If you have checked off the majority of the above, maybe it’s for you!
Don’t hesitate to contact Léon Bila, Economic Development and Marketing Officer at AFNOO: 1-888-248-1712 for more information.

These services are free, thanks to the financial support of RDÉE Canada.



COVID-19: A Guide for Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

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Download the guide in PDF format or visit :

Government announces help for employers to meet their labour needs

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Process launched today allows temporary workers to get back to work quickly

May 12, 2020—Ottawa—With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting almost every sector in Canada, temporary foreign workers and their employers are confronted by new challenges in a rapidly changing job market.

Many temporary workers with employer-specific work permits lost their jobs this spring. While some have left Canada, others are unable to leave due to international travel restrictions or the reduction in flights available. Under existing rules, to change jobs they need to apply and wait for a new work permit to be issued before starting to work at their new job.

At the same time, many employers in sectors that have ongoing labour needs and who provide critical goods and services to Canadians, such as agriculture, agri-food and health care, find themselves with urgent needs for additional employees.

That is why the Government is announcing, effective immediately, a new, temporary policy that will drastically reduce the time it takes for a temporary foreign worker to start a new job.

While this policy is in place, a worker who is already in Canada and has secured a new job offer, typically backed by a labour market test, can get approval to start working in their new job, even while their work permit application is being fully processed. This will cut what can often take 10 weeks or more, down to 10 days or less.

As part of Canada’s whole-of-government approach, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will continue to look for ways to support the economy and protect the health and safety of Canadians during the COVID-19 outbreak.


“Immigrants, temporary foreign workers and international students are making considerable contributions to Canada’s response to the unprecedented challenge that COVID-19 poses. We know and value their efforts and sacrifices to keep Canadians healthy and ensure the delivery of critical goods and services. The new policy we are announcing will allow Canadian businesses to recruit the workers they need and help unemployed workers contribute to the Canadian economy during this pandemic.”

– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“Temporary foreign workers are an integral part of the Canadian workforce and Canada’s COVID-19 response. They are helping us meet urgent labour needs, to ensure our food security and deliver essential goods and services. While there will always be jobs for Canadians who choose to work in these sectors, these changes help support our economy by ensuring that temporary foreign workers already here can contribute during these extraordinary times.”

– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Quick facts

  • COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the Canadian labour market and while Canadians are encouraged to fill job vacancies in critical sectors, a lack of workers in agriculture, food processing or health care could harm Canada’s food security and health-care service capacity.
  • To be eligible, workers must
    • be in Canada with valid status
    • have an employer-specific work permit or have been working under a work permit exemption
    • have submitted an application for a new work permit with a valid job offer under either the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program
  • The work permit applicant must then submit a request to IRCC. The request will be reviewed within 10 days, and if approved, authorization for the worker to start working in their new job will be sent to them by email.
  • There is no change to the role of the employer in the process for hiring foreign workers. An employer needs to have, or obtain, a valid positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada, name the worker in a position on the LMIA, and notify Service Canada. For an employer-specific, LMIA-exempt situation, the employer needs to submit an offer of employment through the International Mobility Program Employer Portal.
  • In 2019, almost 190,000 employer-specific work permits were issued to foreign nationals.

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Northern Ontario’s francophone labour shortage

The region’s francophone senior population is among the fastest-growing in the province — and critics say not enough is being done to attract French-speaking migrants
By Clara Pasieka – Published on Jan 06, 2020

Endi Kodila arrived in northern Ontario from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2015 and has since risen to become the director of a rehabilitation home. He’s educated, skilled, and building a new life in Kapuskasing, a francophone-dominated town of 8,500. But if the town is to address a worsening labour shortage, it’s going to need many more newcomers like Kodila.

Northern Ontario’s francophone senior population is among the fastest-growing in the province, and youth are leaving. This has created strong demand for French speakers, such as Kodila, to support an aging francophone population in a variety of roles, from personal-support workers to general labourers. While some observers are hopeful about new federal initiatives, there are concerns that not enough is being done to attract these sought-after international migrants.

Francophone-immigration targets are one answer for northern Ontario, and a new study outlines the extent of the need. By 2026, approximately 34 per cent of future in-migrants to Greater Sudbury, the region’s most populous area, will need to be French-speaking to maintain a core workforce that can serve the local French community, say researchers for the Northern Policy Institute and Reseau du Nord. Yet over the last five years, French-speaking immigrants to the region have amounted to just under 17 per cent. “The research shows that we need to act now,” says Thomas Mercier, director of Reseau du Nord.

The federal government has included Sudbury, and four other northern cities, in a pilot program. Launched in summer 2019, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is aimed at increasing economic immigration to these communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers. Each of the northern pilot cities — North Bay, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, and Sudbury — has formed a community-steering committee to create systems that will attract candidates to address unique local needs. Under a separate federal initiative, Welcoming Francophone Communities, ​​​​​​​14 communities, including Sudbury, will share $12.6 million (over three years) for projects aimed at making francophone newcomers feel welcome.

For his part, Ontario labour minister Monte McNaughton says, “My approach is not going to be a one-size-fits-all solution but actually working with specific industries and specific regions to ensure that these jobs can be filled.”

As it stands, northern Ontario’s shortage is so severe that existing employers can suffer irreparable harm when a new company comes to town — even if it’s in a different industry. A bilingual phone centre in Capreol, a small community in Greater Sudbury, was shuttered a few years ago after a mine opened and scooped up many of its workers, says Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas. Meanwhile, sawmills in Atikokan and Ignace can’t run third shifts due to the labour shortage, says Mushkegowuk–James Bay MPP Guy Bourgouin.

Kapuskasing councillor Sébastien Lessard says that, although businesses recruit privately — the education sector, for example, conducts outreach with foreign students — additional government involvement is required. Mercier, who also serves as coordinator of the Northern Ontario Francophone Immigration Support Network, suggests that trade and economic-development missions need to focus more on francophone regions in Africa.

Gélinas says that establishing a passport office in the region would help. “As long as we don’t have the federal resources to support immigration — a passport office and a visa office — nothing the province does will make a big difference.” Temporary workers in her riding, she notes, have to drive four hours to Toronto to reach a passport or visa office if there is a problem.

Caroline Mulroney, Ontario’s francophone-affairs minister, says that Ottawa should have accepted the province’s request for more economic immigrants under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program: “Ontario requested 1,000 additional nominations, and the federal government only permitted 50, well below what was requested.” Mulroney says that 7.7 per cent of the Ontario nominees were French-speaking in 2018, compared to 4.8 per cent in 2017.

It’s not unusual for a province to request more spaces than can be met by the Provincial Nominee Programs. In addition to consulting with the provinces, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada also considers the capacity of settlement organizations and long-term demographic trends. IRCC spokesperson Mathieu Genest says that adjustments to economic-immigration streams to encourage more francophone newcomers have already resulted in a doubling of the number of francophone economic immigrants to Canada. And, he says, “the Municipal Nominee Program announced in the electoral platform will help enhance the ability of communities to seek out the talent they need to help their economy grow.”

According to Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s minister of economic development, job creation and trade, this past June, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government “expanded the [Ontario Immigrant Nominee] program to include two areas that were drastically missing in northern Ontario — truck drivers and PSWs.” And, last month, it released a Regional Immigration Pilot of its own for rural Ontario. While no northern Ontario communities were included, Cornwall was chosen for its francophone needs. “Outcomes from the pilot will help inform further efforts to regionalize economic immigration in Ontario,” the ministry says.

Fedeli, himself a lifelong northerner, says that the government has committed to putting a “northern lens” on the decision-making process. However, Mulroney says that her ministry plans to hold its annual francophone-immigration target at 5 per cent for the time being. But Mercier notes that northern Ontario has a francophone population of over 20 per cent, so different official regional targets for francophone immigration are needed just to maintain current demographic levels. That has been a strength, says Mercier, of the community-led goal-setting supported by new federal programs.

As for Kodila, he loves northern Ontario and the opportunities it has given him. When asked what he likes about living in the region, he says, “Les personnes qui sont ici, des personnes chaleureuses” — the warm people.

Come North

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As part of Come North – A Population Growth Strategy for Ontario’s Northern Regions, the Northwest Community Futures Network and the City of Temiskaming Shores are pleased to host two planning conferences. These events aim to discuss the population growth strategies for Ontario’s northern regions, while examining the challenges and expectations of new arrivals to their new communities.

February 11-13 / Riverside Place : Conference in Temiskaming Shores :

February 18-20 / Delta Waterfront : Conference in Thunder Bay :

Welcoming Francophone Communities initiative

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It’s important to encourage a newcomer’s sense of belonging to their new community. Activities help build links between French speaking newcomers and their host community, which help support Francophone minority communities across Canada.

Learn more on

French Speaking Migrants to Greater Sudbury: 2017-2026

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Article from Northerne Policy Institute

Northern Ontario will be experiencing an increase in the number of seniors in the coming years, at a higher proportion than provincial levels. This will mean future labour market shortages, and a greater need for youth retention and migration to the North. With a need for more migration in general, the demographic composition of future migrants should also be considered, in order to prevent a faster decline of specific subgroups of the population that are following the overall aging population trend. Specifically in Greater Sudbury, French-speakers make up more than one third of the population, and Francophones comprise of over one quarter of the total population. This paper estimates how many future French-speaking migrants should be targeted for Greater Sudbury, as a proportion of total future migrants, in order to maintain the current proportions of French-speakers in the city.
The paper finds that in order to maintain the 2016 proportion of French speakers in Greater Sudbury, it is estimated that between 32% and 35% of future migrants would need to be French speakers. French-speakers, in general, are younger than the non-French speaking population. In contrast, when analyzing the Francophone population, the authors found that this demographic subgroup is older than the non-francophone population, meaning that a higher proportion of in-migrants would be needed in future years in order to maintain the current proportion of Francophones in Greater Sudbury.

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Expansion of Student Direct Stream to support Francophone immigration

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Communiqué de Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Applicants from Senegal and Morocco will get access to a more efficient process for study permits

August 30, 2019 – Ottawa – Canada is making the Student Direct Stream (SDS) available to international students coming from Senegal and Morocco, starting September 9, 2019.

By providing fast, reliable processing of study permit applications, Canada is better equipped to compete in attracting the best and the brightest from around the world.

The more efficient SDS process was launched in 2018 for students applying from China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam, with an average processing time of less than 3 weeks.

As outlined in an OECD report released earlier this month, Canada is a top destination for students seeking both a high-quality international education and employment in their field of study once they graduate. With Canadian education credentials and skilled work experience in Canada, former international students are well positioned for success in applying for permanent residence through Express Entry.

In addition, since 2017, Express Entry candidates with strong French skills have been able to earn additional ranking points. This provides more opportunity for them to successfully transition to permanent residence and contribute to the vitality and growth of Francophone communities outside of Quebec.

Expanding this faster and more efficient application process to prospective students from Senegal and Morocco supports the Government’s Francophone Immigration Strategy to encourage more young French speakers to choose to study in Canada.


“Canada’s diverse, welcoming society, high-quality educational institutions and opportunities to work or immigrate after graduation have made Canada a leading destination of choice for students from around the world. In expanding the Student Direct Stream to a more diverse range of prospective students, we’re enhancing the tremendous cultural, social and economic benefits that international students provide.”

– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • The expansion of the SDS supports the Government’s goal of attracting students from a more diverse range of countries. This was identified as a priority in the new International Education Strategy for 2019 to 2024, launched earlier this month.
  • In July 2019, the SDS also became available to prospective students from Pakistan.
  • In 2018, nearly 54,000 former students transitioned to permanent residence, an all-time high.

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