Introducing the Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration (MWGI)
The working group’s genesis and its role in the Vancouver Immigration Partnership (VIP)
Up until the 2000s, the need for Canadian cities to address immigration issues began to become apparent. Up until that time, immigration was always considered as a federal government responsibility. But increasingly, cities were dealing with issues arising from integrating newcomers into local communities.
Organizations such as the Big City Mayors Caucus and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities agreed that it was time that issues facing newcomers, from underemployment to engaging in local communities, needed to be civic priorities. In 2005, with immigrants making up nearly 40 percent of Vancouver's population, Mayor Larry Campbell established the Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration (MWGI). The group has been re-established by every mayor since that time.
In 2014, with the founding of the Vancouver Immigration Partnership (VIP), the MWGI expanded its scope of work to provide overall governance for the VIP.
How the MWGI will help VIP reach its goals
The MWGI assisted VIP with the development of the New Start Strategy by providing strategic leadership, endorsing the strategy and making a recommendation for adoption by City Council.
Led by Councillor Geoff Meggs and UBC Professor Dan Hiebert, the MWGI is made up of 18 people representing the business, academic, community service, education, health, police, and legal sectors. The group reports to the Mayor and Council.
Meeting a minimum of four times per project year, the MWGI facilitates the progress of VIP's work. The working group facilitates the implementation of VIP by participating in advisory committees and strategy groups, and supporting community engagement, outreach, and promotion.
Over the coming years, the MWGI will continue to be a cornerstone in VIP's implementation of the Strategy's 28 Priority Actions.