Magnetic North

From the organizers who brought you Come North

MAGNETIC NORTH

Northern Ontario Population Growth Forum

JUNE 22 & 23, 2021

8:30am — 12:00pm  

A lot has changed since February 2020, when the first Come North Conference was launched. We face ever-changing demographic challenges in our communities. This creates a growing need to retain and fully embrace the existing populations. Strategies, priorities, and next steps must be revised and adapted regularly. Magnetic North is that opportunity to regroup and refocus.

Magnetic North 2021 includes panels, breakout rooms, and presentations focusing on anti-racism and discrimination, attraction, retention, reconciliation, Francophone inclusion, and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) in Northern Ontario.

Magnetic North 2021 will build off from priorities established and lessons learned from last year’s Come North conference, while adapting to our online world.

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Honourable Minister Marco Mendicino
Honourable Minister Marco Mendicino

The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Eglinton—Lawrence in 2015.

 

Minister Mendicino is a proud resident of Toronto and a passionate advocate for his community. During his first term, he championed local investments in public transit and in affordable housing and supported youth-driven programs aimed at creating more employment opportunities and safe spaces.

 

Before entering politics, Minister Mendicino served as a federal prosecutor for nearly 10 years, helping to fight against organized crime and bring terrorists—including members of the “Toronto 18”—to justice. He also worked at the Law Society of Ontario, was elected President of the Association of Justice Counsel and taught trial advocacy as an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School.

 

The son of an immigrant family, Minister Mendicino has a long track record of community activism in Eglinton—Lawrence. He has sat on numerous boards, volunteering at John Wanless Public School, COSTI Immigrant Services, Toronto Symphony Volunteer Committee, North Toronto Soccer Club, and Heart & Stroke Canada.

 

Minister Mendicino lives in Toronto with his wife and children.

Stacey Parks
Stacey Parks
Northwestern Ontario Local Immigration Partnership (NWO LIP) Coordinator

Stacey is privileged to have worked with- or for – newcomers to Canada for 17 years.  Her specific interest in immigration policy began when she was an International Student Recruitment Officer for the University of Toronto in 2006 and had the opportunity to understand how immigration pathways function.  In 2014 Stacey acquired her accreditation as a Registered Immigration Consultant of Canada and in 2017 Stacey and her family relocated from Southern Ontario to Thunder Bay. Stacey is now a self-proclaimed Thunder Bay convert and ACTIVELY promotes all the region has to offer (food scene, affordable lifestyle, food scene, outdoor activities, food scene…)! Becoming the NWO LIP Coordinator has been the most interesting role thus far in her career, and she is just getting started.

Mercedes Labelle
Mercedes Labelle
Policy Analyst at Northern Policy Institute

Mercedes Labelle graduated from McGill University in 2020 with an Honours Bachelor of Political Science and Urban Systems. During her studies, she focused on Canadian politics and public policy processes, specifically researching the uneven distribution of benefits and services between urban and rural communities. Having grown up in Canada, the United States, and Spain, Mercedes is eager to return to Northern Ontario, where her family now resides. In her free time, Mercedes enjoys listening to podcasts, cooking, and reading.

RNIP PANELISTS

Alex Ross
Alex Ross
RNIP Coordinator - Greater Sudbury

Alex Ross was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario and is currently a Business Development Officer for human capital with the City of Greater Sudbury. He has experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, including his previous work as a senior data analyst with the Northern Policy Institute, experience in wealth management, and international teaching experience in Thailand. Alex holds a Master’s degree in Economic Policy from McMaster University, and is passionate about workforce and community development, project and program management, continuous improvement, and personal growth.

Madison Mizzau
Madison Mizzau
RNIP Coordinator - Timmins

Madison Mizzau is a Community Development Consultant with the Timmins Economic Development Corporation. In her role at the TEDC she works with non-profit organizations to strengthen capacity and with community partners on projects that improve the quality of life in Timmins and surrounding regions. One of the projects includes the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, an economic immigration program intended to help address local labour market needs.

Paul Sayers
Paul Sayers
RNIP Coordinator - Sault Ste. Marie

Paul Sayers is the Labour Force Development Coordinator with the City of Sault Ste. Marie.  He is Anishnaabe from the Garden River First Nation and a graduate of the University of Toronto. With 20+ years’ experience in Human Resources, diversity recruitment and community development, Paul has dedicated his career to assisting diverse communities obtain employment through innovative programming in a variety of organizations including the University of Saskatchewan, CIBC, Hydro One, Garden River First Nation and Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training.  His specialization focuses on partnering with external organizations to building award-winning programs such as the 2008 CIBC (Calgary) Job Readiness Training program for Aboriginal Women and the Aboriginal Career Start program with the University of Saskatchewan.  He also coordinates the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program for Sault Ste. Marie.  Paul also specializes in diversity recruitment with emphasis on Indigenous people as well as other diverse communities.  He is responsible for coordinating, creating, implementing and monitoring initiatives designed to improve the labour force of Sault Ste. Marie.

Emily Lauzon
Emily Lauzon
RNIP Coordinator - Thunder Bay

Emily was born in Northern Ontario and grew up in Thunder Bay.  Emily’s role at the Thunder Bay CEDC builds on a 10-year career dedicated to supporting newcomers arriving in Thunder Bay. She spent five years coordinating the resettlement of refugees to Thunder Bay through the WUSC Student Refugee Program at Lakehead University.  In 2018, she worked as the International & Community Matchmaker with Northern Policy Institute, focusing on the employment needs of temporary residents to Northern Ontario. Emily loves working with newcomers to Canada, and is excited to help employers and international job seekers connect. She currently oversees the Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot for Thunder Bay.

Patti Carr
Patti Carr
Past RNIP Coordinator - North Bay

Patti worked for 32+ years in the not-for-profit world of Chambers of Commerce assisting businesses and ensuring policies with all levels of government were conducive for economic growth and private business success. Her final large special project with the Chamber was the implementation of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program for North Bay area. Six months ago, Patti moved over to the Executive Director’s position at NECO Community Futures Development Corporation, another not-for-profit, that is supported by FedNor. We offer consultations for business planning for start-ups and expansions of businesses in the Nipissing East – East Parry Sound Regions. We offer business loans for start-ups or expansions requiring equipment, renovations or operating capital. This past year specifically, with the support of FedNor, were able to assist a number of businesses through grants and loans specifically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paula Haapanen (Facilitator)
Paula Haapanen (Facilitator)
Senior Director of Innovation with the Co-operation Council of Ontario

Paula is the Senior Director of Innovation with the Conseil de la coopération de l’Ontario | Co-operation Council of Ontario, a social enterprise that is helping to build a better Ontario through the social economy. A native of Thunder Bay, Paula received her HBA from Lakehead University, majoring in languages and studying political science. Having worked internationally, particularly in France and Finland, and across Canada, Paula strives to bring new perspectives and approaches to her work. Previously, she was very involved in Francophone immigration, and she continues to support several community economic development projects that aim to improve Francophone immigration pathways and encourage immigration to northwestern Ontario.

ANTI-RACISM PANELISTS

Wayne Neegan
Wayne Neegan
Community Communication Liaison Officer for Constance Lake First Nations

Wayne Neegan, an Aboriginal artist, grew up in the northern Cree community of Constance Lake First Nation. He attended Laurentian University in obtaining his B.F.A and draws on his skills and knowledge in photography, video, and acting to explore social issues from a First Nations perspective. Since obtaining his BFA from Laurentian University, he has produced the award-winning documentary Will to Live, a 30-minute film about the life of a formerly homeless Cree man living in Sudbury, as part of his work with the Poverty, Homelessness and Migration project. He has also a member of the MAMO Indigenous Artist Residency Program that aims to promote indigenous history, culture, and art as well as foster opportunities for exchange and collaborations on indigenous issues.

Hediyeh Karimian
Hediyeh Karimian
Co-founder of ULU

Hediyeh Karimian, grew up in Toronto, Ontario. Hediyeh is a Master of Social Work candidate at Laurentian University. Hediyeh is studying the lived experiences of Black and racialized student-athletes living in the City of Sudbury, focusing on the impacts of athletics and academia.

 

Hediyeh has extensive experience working with marginalized communities in a professional role in Toronto and Sudbury, particularly with people involved in the correctional and child welfare systems. In 2018, Hediyeh co-founded an organization called ULU, which stands for Uluntu – Humanity, Lungisa – Justice and Usawa – Equity. ULU provides training opportunities focusing on a variety of topics such as: Black history, allyship, privilege, oppression, intersectionality, importance of advocacy, anti-racism, systemic and social inequalities at the micro, mezzo and macro level of society, Canadian colonial education system, and the impacts on racial minorities, influences of the media on our social constructs. Through conversations, education and awareness Hediyeh has developed the capacity to effectively engage children, youth and their families to take an active role in improving their lives. Privileging their lived experience and agency while working with them to navigate systems, fulfill their psychosocial needs, work towards their goals and overcome systemic barriers using anti-oppressive and anti-racist frameworks. Hediyeh just recently started building a e-learning platform called The Woke Age Project, which is set to launch July 2021 to take equity, diversity and inclusion to the virtual realm. Ultimately, hoping to empower and encourage people to stand up against injustice, discrimination, and racism. We must all come together with respect, dignity, unity and love. Hediyeh’s vision is inspired by Malcolm X, Viola Desmond, Harriet Tubman and Dr. Martin Luther King because she believes that their leadership has provided her the voice she needs to stand up and speak out for her people “by any means necessary” ~Malcolm X

Moise Zahoui
Moise Zahoui
Coordinator of immigration services at le Centre de santé communautaire du Grand Sudbury

Moïse Zahoui, originally from Côte d’Ivoire, arrived in Canada in 2015 with his family. He has worked in the field of media, project management and religion in his country. Arriving in Canada, after his studies at Collège Boréal, he was hired as a support agent for the Sudbury Welcoming Francophone Community project from 2018 to 2020, then as a Development Officer for the Central North region at Réseau de soutien à l’Immigration francophone du Nord de l’Ontario from April to September 2020. Since September 2020, he has been the coordinator of immigration services at le Centre de santé communautaire du Grand Sudbury.

Rimaz Abakar
Rimaz Abakar
Associate with Black Northern Consulting Inc (BNC)

Rimaz was born in Khartoum, Sudan. In 2003 Rimaz with her family came to Canada as government settled refugees and since then they have made Canada home. She graduated from the University of Ottawa with a bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering, and later went on to complete a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at Lakehead University. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario.

 

As a founder and associate with BNC, Rimaz brings her multilayered identity and intersectionality to inform anti-oppression and equity education and awareness. Rimaz is the Secretary of African Canadian Caribbean Canadian Association of Northern Ontario (ACCANO). Also, she is the Program Lead for an OTF funded program helping newcomer parents with system navigation and access to resources. As a community representative, Rimaz sits on several city committees. She is the Chair of the Newcomer Advisory Committee of the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s Local Immigration Partnership.

Enrique Paraco (Facilitator)
Enrique Paraco (Facilitator)
Immigration Development Officer

AGENDA

Day 1 – Agenda

08:30

Welcoming Remarks

09:00

Stacey Parks, Northwestern Ontario Local Immigration Partnership (NWO LIP) Coordinator

09:30

Charles Cirtwill, founding President and CEO, Northern Policy Institute

Video 1: Big 5 – Welcoming

Video 2: Big 5 – Attraction

10:00

Paula Haapanen (Facilitator), Senior Director of Innovation with the Co-operation Council of Ontario  

Madison Mizzau, RNIP Coordinator – Timmins

Paul Sayers, RNIP Cordinator – Sault Ste. Marie

Emily Lauzon, RNIP Cordinator – Thunder Bay

Alex Ross, RNIP Coordinator – Greater Sudbury

Patti Carr, Past RNIP Coordinator – North Bay

11:00

Break Out Sessions – Day 1

Facilitated by Thomas Mercier, Coordinator at Reseau du Nord

Facilitated by Steve Araba, Coordinator at Sault Ste. Marie LIP  

Facilitated by Shashanka Rangi, Coordinator at Timmins LIP

Facilitated by Keisha Michaud, Coordinator at North Bay LIP

Facilitated by Enrique Paraco, Coordinator at Sudbury LIP

Facilitated by Nicole Guertin, Director of Cultural Crossroads: 101 Experiences

12:00

Video 3: Francophone – Welcoming

Video 4: Francophone – Attraction

12:15

Stacey Parks, Northwestern Ontario Local Immigration Partnership (NWO LIP) Coordinator

12:30

Networking rooms and booths open

Day 2 -Agenda

09:00

Welcoming Remarks

09:15

Mercedes Labelle, Policy Analyst at Northern Policy Institute

10:00

Enrique Paraco (Facilitator), Immigration Development Officer

Moise Zahoui, Coordinator of immigration services at le Centre de santé communautaire du Grand Sudbury

Hediyeh Karimian, Co-founder of ULU

Rimaz Abakar, Associate with Black Northern Consulting Inc (BNC)

Wayne Neegan, Community Communication Liaison Officer for Constance Lake First Nations

11:00

Video 5: Rural and Remote – Welcoming

Video 6: Rural and Remote – Attraction

11:15

Break Out Sessions – Day 2

Facilitated by Thomas Mercier, Coordinator at Reseau du Nord

Facilitated by Steve Araba, Coordinator at Sault Ste. Marie LIP  

Facilitated by Shashanka Rangi, Coordinator at Timmins LIP

Facilitated by Keisha Michaud, Coordinator at North Bay LIP

Facilitated by Enrique Paraco, Coordinator at Sudbury LIP

Facilitated by Nicole Guertin, Director of Cultural Crossroads: 101 Experiences

12:15

Charles Cirtwill, founding President and CEO, Northern Policy Institute

12:20

Charles Cirtwill, founding President and CEO, Northern Policy Institute

12:30

Hon. Minister Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

13:00

Networking rooms and booths open

MAKE YOUR PITCH COMPETITION

A new twist to the upcoming Magnetic North Conference is the launch of a new video contest. The Make Your Pitch Competition is looking for submissions of community attraction and anti-racism/welcoming videos to be judged by international and First Nations students from Northern Ontario’s post-secondary institutions.

The videos submitted should have the goal of attracting migrants/immigrants to your community. Or, they should be intended to combat racism in your area, or enhance the welcoming nature of your community or your region.

Deadline to submit is June 11th, 2021 – 5pm EST.

LOOKING BACK AT COME NORTH

Two conferences in February 2020 explored the challenges related to achieving population retention and growth. The resulting discussions provided the foundation for a community driven action plan to attack racism, further reconciliation, and attract newcomers to our regions.

Click the button to read the Action Plan along with the full conference report and conference proceedings

Have you filled out our Attitudes Towards Immigrants survey?

If not click here to do so. 

PARTNERS