Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

March 18, 2008 11:10 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding to Afghan Organizations to Help Newcomers in Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 18, 2008) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced funding for the Afghan Association of Ontario and the Afghan Women's Counseling and Integration Community Support Organization to help newcomers settle and integrate in the Greater Toronto Area.

The funding, totalling $4,169,211, will go toward the hiring of 18 staff and will help an estimated 5,500 newcomers access settlement services, including language training, assistance in finding a job and child-minding services for parents who participate in language training or other courses.

"Our government supports the Afghani community in Canada and we're proud to help both of these organizations," said Minister Finley. "This funding will give newcomers access to a variety of services, including the opportunity to participate in job-search workshops. The provision of occasional child-minding services means that even parents of young children can participate. The success of these families will strengthen our community and our country as a whole."

"With the new funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), we will be better equipped to provide essential settlement and integration services to newcomers," said Jamal Kakar, Executive Director of the Afghan Association of Ontario. "These services will help newcomers gain a sense of belonging in both their own communities and in Canadian society."

The Afghan Association of Ontario has been providing settlement services to newcomers, including seniors, women and youth, for 25 years. The Afghan Women's Counseling and Integration Community Support Organization has been serving Afghan women and their families for 17 years.

Newcomers to Canada can also look 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 Canada offering in-person services to newcomers.

Settlement services are an important part of a successful immigration program. Through the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA), the Government of Canada has increased settlement funding for Ontario by a total of $920 million over five years. Under the COIA, CIC works with the province and immigrant-serving agencies to make a real difference in the lives of immigrants. In 2006, the Government of Canada began investing an additional $1.4 billion over five years in settlement funding across the country.

CIC 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 providers and include the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program, which provides orientation, referral and counselling services; Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada, which provides basic language training to adults; and the Host Program, which helps newcomers connect with volunteers who help them access services, establish contacts in their field of work and participate in the community.

For more information on CIC programs, consult our website at

Contact Information

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