Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Government of Ontario

Government of Ontario

August 07, 2008 14:49 ET

Governments of Canada and Ontario Help Internationally Trained Professionals Strengthen Their Language Skills

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 7, 2008) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and Linda Jeffrey, Parliamentary Assistant on behalf of the Honourable Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced funding to 11 organizations to help nearly 1,800 internationally trained professionals strengthen their language skills.

Canada's Government is providing more than $7.8 million and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI) is providing $3.4 million to several agencies in Toronto that provide settlement services to newcomers. These services include specialized language training, communication assessment services, bridge-to-work opportunities, and mentoring and internship placements for internationally trained individuals. The funding will support services to internationally trained professionals in specific fields such as health care, engineering, social work, architecture and finance.

The Government of Canada and MCI are cofunding 12 of the 15 language training and bridge-to-work programs being delivered at 11 different universities, colleges and agencies in Toronto.

"Learning a new language is one of the most important challenges newcomers face when they arrive in Canada," said Minister Finley. "The organizations we are funding today work with highly skilled professionals, teaching them the language skills they need to compete in the Canadian labour market. That's why this investment benefits not just the newcomers who use these services, but the entire community."

"Our bridge training programs provide newcomers with the tools they need to succeed here in Ontario" said Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. "Since 2003, Ontario has helped more than 20,000 newcomers bridge their international credentials and experience in Ontario. We understand that when newcomers succeed, Ontario succeeds!"

"We at the CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses are proud to take a leadership role in developing and providing innovative courses that teach language skills specific to the nursing profession," said Gail Yardy, Executive Director of the CARE Centre. "The funds provided by CIC and MCI will enable us to enhance and expand these courses both in Toronto and Hamilton."

"Recognizing the urgency to meet the needs and demands of internationally trained professionals, the University of Toronto is investing the funds provided by CIC and MCI in developing and delivering a program aimed at helping newcomers find employment in project management. The program is specifically geared to Ontario's internationally educated professionals," said Marilynn Booth, Director of the School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto.

Newcomers to Canada can also turn to the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO), which helps internationally trained individuals find the information they need to get their credentials assessed and recognized more quickly. Established in 2007, the FCRO provides information, path-finding and referral services to help internationally trained individuals use their skills in Canada. There are now 320 Service Canada centres across the country offering in-person foreign credential referral services to newcomers. Also, through the "Working in Canada" tool available at, CIC is providing an online service that helps newcomers and prospective newcomers in identifying occupations for which they may be qualified.

The federal Government funds a number of programs that help newcomers settle, adapt and integrate into Canadian society. These programs are delivered in partnership with provinces, territories and service-providing organizations.

For more information, please visit the following websites:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada:

Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration:

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Tim Vail
    Press Secretary
    Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
    Minister's Office
    Coralie D'Souza
    Special Assistant, Communications
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Ontario Region
    Madona Mokbel
    Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
    Communications Branch
    Donna Piasentini