St. Thomas and Elgin County’s collective efforts to look into the establishment of the Local Immigration Partnerships started in 2009. The Elgin & St. Thomas Labour Force Development Committee, through its 2010 Development Strategy, identified the settlement and attraction of new Canadians as a priority.

The need to take concrete actions to research, develop strategies, and build an understanding of the needs and quality of life of newcomers was recognized by members of the group, in particular the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin.

In January 2011, under the recommendation of many of the community partners, the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin entered into an agreement with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to lead the Local Immigration Partnership in St. Thomas and Elgin County. STELIP began its work on February 28, 2011.

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