Mayor Releases Immigration Task Force Report

Recommendations will promote inclusion: Sullivan

Mayor Sam Sullivan today released the results of a special Task Force report that recommends initiatives the City of Vancouver can undertake to assist immigrants. The Task Force was chaired by Mr. Zool Suleman.

“I would like to thank Mr. Suleman and the members of the Task Force for their important work and contribution to our city,” said Mayor Sullivan. “Their recommendations will help achieve our goal to be the most inclusive city in the world and establish the strongest economy in Canada.”

The Mayor’s Task Force on Immigration was re-established by City Council last November. Its mandate is to recommend local policy options, act as a reference group and engage community partners in the development of specific initiatives.

The Task Force is making a series of recommendations that will come before City Council for review next week. It recommends the Mayor and City of Vancouver:

  • ensure 311 Access Vancouver municipal services meets the needs of newcomers to the city – especially related to staff training & service delivery
  • urge Metropolis British Columbia to conduct assessment on challenges facing refugees and their access to affordable housing
  • convene a Business Summit to help launch a multi-sectoral immigrant employment initiative
  • sponsor an annual “World Refugee Day” on June 20 & enhance recognition of March 21 “International Day To Eliminate Racial Discrimination”
  • adopt a vision/value statement concerning immigrants & refugees
  • develop protocol & guidelines for city translation/interpretation services
  • provide input to other levels of government and network with other cities & interested groups on immigration-related issues

311 will offer access to city services and information in multiple languages, 24 hour/day, seven days a week,” said Councillor B.C. Lee. “By streamlining 550 phone numbers into one, our government will help newcomers gain access to all aspects of city services and participate more fully in the social, cultural and economic life of Vancouver.”

“The report underscores the importance of all levels of government working together,” said Task Force Chair Zool Suleman. “I would like to thank Mayor Sullivan for his leadership to re-establish the Task Force. We look forward to working with him in the coming weeks and months to make these recommendations a reality.”

In addition to welcoming the report, Mayor Sullivan and Councillor Lee reaffirmed their support for the expansion of Vancouver’s Multicultural Helping House and plans to use the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Torch Relay to promote inclusive and accessibility.

In addition to Immigration, Mayor Sullivan established a special task force on the Film Industry. The results of that report were released last month. A complete copy of the Immigration Task Force Report is available for download here.