April 2015 Atlantic Canada is renowned for its lengthy coastlines, rural expanses, a reputedly slower pace and its welcoming, warm and friendly people. But is it truly welcoming? What makes it a home away from home for newcomers in the region?
The Warmth of the Welcome underscores that a welcoming environment does not simply consist of ordinary people’s reception of, and encounters with, newcomers and immigrants in everyday life. Beyond this human “warmth of the welcome” mentioned in official literature, and by the general public, there are also several institutional and structural layers that constitute a welcoming environment.
Favourable political economic conditions, receptive community relations including inter-ethnic group relations, the existence of local, national and transnational family networks, and the presence of policies and practices not only concern immigration, settlement and integration, but such issues as adequate, accessible and affordable housing and childcare. These layers of welcome for immigrants and newcomers ultimately correspond to interrelated economic, social, political and emotional dimensions and processes of citizenship.