The Diversity and Social Inclusion Department now includes an Office for the Integration of Newcomers in Montreal (BINAM), which enables it to work in partnership and hand in hand with the city’s various other departments and directorates to ensure crosscutting, effective and concerted action. BINAM’s remit confirms Montreal’s determination to enhance its role in migration, seize the opportunities offered and promote the successful integration of newcomers in the city. The office helps newcomers to familiarise themselves with the way the various institutions operate and with trends in the labour market, while acclimatising with the host society and all areas of life in Montreal. It helps to bring players in the business sector, community sector and social services together to prepare the host society for the arrival of and harmonious coexistence with newcomers, with a view to speeding up the process of their socioeconomic integration and maximising their participation in community life in Montreal. It also performs a leadership role at community level and focuses on two complementary areas of action: “inclusion”, aimed particularly at the host society, and “integration”. In addition, the city provides funding of approximately C$6 million over a three-year period to bodies which help migrants with the first stages of their integration.
A digital solution called “Montreal, a new beginning” has been launched to inform newcomers about local services and settlement support programmes. It comprises seven sections and is provided on a personalised basis, according to five immigration statuses. In addition, a physical one-stop shop called “Station nouveau départ” provides a full range of services and various complementary forms of support to respond more quickly and effectively to newcomers’ practical needs. The aim here is to deliver a coherent and efficient continuum of services.
Lastly, it should be noted that the city does not have the power to hold public welcoming ceremonies; nevertheless, the mayor sends a welcoming letter when residents are granted Canadian citizenship.