Immigration is a significant driver of population growth in New Westminster. Between 2006 and 2011, increases to the immigrant population comprised 61.3% of population growth.
In 2011, 33.4% of the population was comprised of immigrants, with 21.0% of immigrants having less than five years of Canadian residency. Between 2006 and 2011, the top five source countries for immigrants were: the Philippines (25.0%), China and Hong Kong (12.4%), India (6.3%), Romania (5.2%) and the United States (4.5%). In 2010 and 2012, about 5.0% of Government Assisted Refugees entering British Columbia settled in New Westminster.
In 2011, 34.8% of the population reported visible minority status and 32.8% of the population reported a mother tongue other than English or French.
Based on the City of New Westminster Immigrant and Refugee Survey Report and Action Plan (2014), which involved 224 respondents, recent immigrants and refugees face a number of settlement and integration challenges, including locating or securing:
- employment and training (70.0%);
- housing (52.5%);
- doctor or dentist (40.0%);
- information about available services (39.0%);
- child care (30.0%);
- English language services (10.0%);
- schools for children (10.0%).This report provides evidence of increasing awareness and use of civic, settlement and social service organizations in New Westminster. It also provides evidence of enhanced satisfaction levels with the services offered by these organizations. The major service gap, as identified by respondents, is a Welcome and Integration Centre, which could offer centralized information, meeting and program spaces, referral services, and social opportunities.ResponsesThe City has made the following contributions to creating a more welcoming and inclusive community and facilitating multiculturalism and inter-cultural relations:
- established a Multiculturalism Advisory Committee, which is mandated to advise Council on issues related to multiculturalism and inter-cultural relations;
- revised and operationalized the City’s Multicultural Policy;
- developed a Community Partnership Development Charter (2009), which incorporated a shared vision, indicators of success and an action plan in support of creating a more welcoming and inclusive community;
- coordinated and implemented a Chinese Reconciliation Process (2009-10), which resulted in 10 actions in support of reconciliation with the City’s Chinese community;
- facilitated a consultation process, which resulted in the inclusion of a Welcome and Integration Centre as part of the Neighbourhood Learning Centre proposed for the redevelopment of the New Westminster Secondary School;
- developed a Century House Inclusion Project Report and Action Plan (2013), which included 24 actions in support of facilitating a more diverse and representative membership;
- joined the Safe Harbour: Respect for All program (2014), which acknowledges the value of diversity and inclusion in the community;
- coordinating the Welcoming and Inclusive New Westminster (WIN) Community Partnership Table, which accessed funding and initiated a number of projects under the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities and Workplaces Program and the Welcoming Communities Program;
- working on a Local Immigration Partnerships Initiative, which will inform the development a Five-Year Strategic Plan and Local Settlement Strategy, as well as research into a Welcome and Integration Centre.
 In most cases, respondents identified more than one challenge, thus the percentages do not add up to 1000%.