New info service will be launched

Vancouver is a city of immigrants and it needs to provide newcomers with access to information in their native tongues, Sam Sullivan said yesterday.



The Mayor announced the results of a report by his Task Force On Immigration, which recommended initiatives aimed at eliminating many of the challenges newcomers face when arriving in Vancouver.


This includes helping immigrants find jobs and access information and resources more easily.

One of the Force’s recommendations was that the planned 3-1-1 Access Vancouver Municipal Services centre be available in multiple languages 24 hours a day.

It will offer information about the city and its services.

"Vancouver is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world and is one of the rare cities (where) … more than 50 per cent of us come from elsewhere," said Sullivan.

Zool Suleman, chair of the Task Force and a Vancouver immigration lawyer, also recommended the City host a business summit to explore ways industry leaders can better integrate immigrants into the job market.

"This city is an economic engine and it needs to better (serve) the immigrants and newcomers that come here," he said.

new system

  • The 3-1-1 centre is slated to open in mid 2009. It will employ staff fluent in Vancouver’s 12 predominant languages and have available interpretation in more than 150 languages.