Misconceptions about immigration being an ‘urban issue’ often cause the distinct needs of rural immigrants to be ignored. Now, amidst the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, it is crucial that government and non-government actors consider and respond to the way that the pandemic is negatively impacting rural newcomers, refugees, migrant workers, and international students. In this CRRF Rural Insights Series Paper, “Supporting Newcomers and Migrants in Rural Canada During and After COVID-19”, Louis Helps, Ray Silvius, and Ryan Gibson explore the likely implications of COVID-19 for these groups and how we can mitigate negative impacts in the short term and build more robust support systems for rural immigration in the long term.

This report provides recommendations for policy makers, including:

  • Extend compensation to migrant workers financially impacted by the pandemic through mechanisms such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
  • Support organizations that translate and disseminate public health information in multiple languages in rural communities.
  • Increase financial support to settlement service providers that operate in rural areas.
  • Increase financial support for new research initiatives that explore rural immigration in the context of COVID-19 and beyond.

The Rural Insights Papers are published by the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation, a national charity with a mandate to advance rural prosperity.