Surrey LIP Background
The City of Surrey signed a Contribution Agreement in March 2014 with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to establish a Surrey Local Immigration Partnership.
Over the next two years the Surrey LIP initiated research and community consultations aimed to inform the development of the Surrey Immigrant Integration Strategy 2016 - 2019 to implement the community’s strategic priorities.
Why is the Partnership important?
Surrey is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, and the fastest growing city in Metro Vancouver. It has a population of over 500,000, and welcomes approximately 800 new residents each month. Immigrants currently make up 40.5% of Surrey’s population. Furthermore, Surrey welcomes more Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) than any other community in British Columbia. In 2010-2012, 26% of all GARs arriving in BC settled in Surrey.
Multi-stakeholder groups, like LIPs, have the capacity to strengthen the role of local communities in integrating newcomers and building more inclusive and welcoming cities. Like communities across the country, Surrey needs to grow its capacity to receive and integrate the large and ever-growing population of newcomers to Canada who choose to settle here. The process of integration for many newcomers does not only include finding the right job but also developing a sense of belonging and feeling welcomed and engaged in our communities.
A truly welcoming community isn’t just tolerant of newcomers and cultural diversity but it embraces the contributions newcomers make to the cultural fabric of the community and recognizes the important contribution they make to the economy.
The City of Surrey has a history of being involved in a variety of local and provincial collaborative initiatives to welcome newcomers. In 2012-2013, the City acted as the Sponsor agency for the Welcoming Communities Program (WCP) funded through Welcome BC – the Province’s strategic framework for settlement services and welcoming communities’ initiatives.