Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

March 20, 2008 10:48 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding to Help Francophone Newcomers Settle Across Ontario

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 20, 2008) - Pierre Lemieux, Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today observed the International Day of La Francophonie by announcing funding for eight organizations to provide settlement services to immigrants in French in Ontario.

The announcement was made on the International Day of La Francophonie, a day that highlights the importance of promoting the diversity of languages and the richness of the French culture in the world.

The funding of more than $7.4 million will help provide settlement services for an estimated 1,500 French-speaking newcomers. These services include language training, orientation, translation, referrals to community resources, counselling and child-minding. Funding will also go toward research, coordination and outreach projects that support the settlement of Francophone immigrants in Ontario.

"For a new immigrant, language can be one of the most challenging barriers to overcome," said Minister Finley. "This new funding will ensure that Francophone immigrants in Ontario have access to the support they need in a language they understand."

"Our government supports the Franco-Ontarian community and we want to help the community grow and attract French-speaking newcomers to Ontario," said Pierre Lemieux. "Settlement funding and programs allow newcomers to contribute to the visibility and vitality of official-language minority communities."

Andree Lortie, president of La Cite collegiale, was delighted with the announcement. "This investment is great news for newcomers and for Ontario's Francophone community. Knowledge of the language and finding a good job are keys to successful integration," she said. "With the training that La Cite collegiale offers, newcomers will be able to learn new skills and contribute fully to the economy of the region and the province as a whole."

CIC is committed to supporting the vitality of francophone minority communities. In keeping with its Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities, CIC is working with partners to develop pilot projects to foster immigration to Francophone minority communities. The five-year plan, announced in September 2006, is aimed at attracting a greater number of French-speaking immigrants to regions outside Quebec, improving the capacity of francophone minority communities to receive francophone newcomers, and facilitating the integration of newcomers.

Settlement services are an essential part of the federal government's 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 COIA, Citizenship and Immigration Canada works with the province and immigrant-serving agencies to make a real difference in the lives of immigrants. In total, since 2006, the Government of Canada has begun 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-providing organizations and include the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program, which provides orientation, referral and counseling services; Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada, which provides basic language training for 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.

This year also marks Quebec City's 400th anniversary. This is a historic event for Canada and for North America. It is from this date that we truly started to become what we are today. The Government of Canada is proud to contribute $110 million to the celebration and to partner in the organization of this event, because the founding of Quebec also marks the founding of Canada.

For more information on the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, visit the Government of Canada's website on this historic event at www.quebec400.gc.ca

For more information on CIC's programs, consult our Web site at: www.cic.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Tim Vail
    Press Secretary
    613-954-1064
    or
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Ontario Region
    Madona Mokbel
    Communications Branch
    416-954-7868