Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

September 04, 2007 15:25 ET

Canada's New Government Announces Expansion to Mentorship Program to Help Newcomers to Kitchener-Waterloo

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 4, 2007) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced $1.4 million in funding for mentorship programs to help immigrants in Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge.

Managed by the YMCA Cross Cultural and Community Services, the funding will expand the Host program, which matches newcomers with Canadian volunteers as mentors to practise language skills, get contacts in their field of work and adjust culturally to life in Canada. An additional 1,350 newcomers are expected to benefit.

"Canada's New Government is committed to helping new immigrants succeed and build new lives for themselves and their families in Canada," said Minister Finley. "That's why we're so pleased to announce funding that will enable local residents to work as mentors with newcomers, and help them find a job and adjust to life in new schools and the community."

Host programs at the YMCA of Kitchener-Waterloo include:

- The Mentorship/Partnership program matches newcomer professionals with experienced professionals from Canada. The objective of the mentoring relationship is to provide newcomers with as much information as possible to help them attain their personal and professional goals.

- The Newcomer Youth Support program organizes recreational and learning-based activities for newcomer youths, helping them through the process of settling and adjusting to Canadian society.

- The School Host program matches newcomer children with volunteers in local schools to help children adjust to the school system and to promote cultural sensitivity.

- The Senior Host program matches newcomer senior citizens with local seniors, allowing newcomers to socialize and become friends with volunteers in their appropriate age group.

"With a variety of programs to assist newcomers to Canada, the Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA plays a leading role in helping them to settle into this community," said John Haddock, CEO of both the Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA and the YMCA of Cambridge. "Our Host Program opens a world of friendship, fun and possibilities as newcomers learn about living and working in Canada. We're pleased that this contribution agreement helps us to start a mentorship program so that newcomers can get one-on-one assistance from volunteers who guide their efforts to find work in their chosen field. The program's youth worker also plays an essential role by connecting newcomer youths to the people, places and things they should know to succeed and make good choices."

Through the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, the Government of Canada has increased funding for settlement and language training to Ontario by a total of $920 million over five years. Overall, the federal government is providing increased funding of $1.3 billion over five years to support newcomers as they seek to integrate into our society and economy.

Canada's new government, in partnership with provinces, territories and settlement providers, delivers a number of programs that help newcomers settle, adapt and integrate into Canadian society. Some of these programs include the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program, which offers orientation and interpretation services as well as referrals to community resources, counselling, general information and employment-related services; the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada, which provides basic language training; and the Host Program, which helps immigrants by connecting them with volunteers who help them access services, establish contacts in their field of work and participate in the community.

For more information on these programs, consult

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Tim Vail
    Press Secretary
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Lonny Kates
    Communications, Ontario Region