The Francophone community will promote the NWT at events in France and Morocco

Representatives of the Francophone community of Yellowknife will travel to France and Morocco in November to encourage immigration to the NWT.

“The idea is that Canadian provinces and territories go to French-speaking regions and try to attract a qualified bilingual workforce to settle in this territory,” explained François Afane, director general of the Conseil de développement economic system of the Northwest Territories (CDÉTNO ).

Nearly 4,000 potential job candidates are expected to attend the two Destination Canada Mobility Forums, which will be hosted by the Embassy of Canada to France in Paris and Rabat, Morocco, in late November.

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During the forum, CDÉTNO will promote NWT jobs on behalf of employers. So far, they bring with them job offers for hospitality and tourism, as well as jobs in administration and construction, to share with attendees.

CDETNO has encouraged other NWT employers who would like their job postings shared – free of charge – at the forum to contact them at [email protected]

“We know there is a labor shortage and everyone is collapsing,” Afane said.

“The more vacancies we have, the more interest we will generate from candidates and the more we will be able to attract people in as many fields as possible.”

Reflection on the continuing healthcare workforce crisis in the Northwest Territories, Afane said, “We’re definitely going to start looking at how to attract people from the health industry.

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“We know there is a lot of paperwork and challenges to go through this process [of working in health care in another country] but that doesn’t discourage us or prevent us from at least trying to convince people to come over here and maybe go through the process.

Afane said that on average, about four to five people move to the Northwest Territories for work after attending the forum each year.

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“For example, we have a firefighter who works for the city of Yellowknife who we convinced to move to Yellowknife through Destination Canada. We have engineers, and we have communications and marketing people,” he said.

This will be the sixteenth time that the CDÉTNO has participated in the annual forum, but the first time that the Fédération franco-ténoise – Le Réseau en immigration francophone des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (FFT – RIFTNO) has received funding to participate.

Abby Schelew, RIFTNO Coordinator, will promote the Francophone services available in the NWT and explain to participants what it is like to live in the territory.

She believes that sharing her personal experience of moving to the NWT will help encourage others to do the same.

“I came here to live my life in French and be part of the French community and it’s certainly fulfilling for me,” she says.

“I’m really passionate about the Northwest Territories and can’t wait to tell people about the kinds of adventures they can have here. It’s such a curious place, I think I can communicate it well and with a lot of enthusiasm.

Schelew also encouraged local organizations with settlement information for Francophone immigrants to contact her at [email protected], as she compiles resources into a virtual kiosk that applicants can access online.

“Quebec is very attractive, but we hope it will bring new people [to the Northwest Territories],” she says.

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