Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

May 09, 2008 12:01 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding to Help Newcomers Settle in Kitchener-Waterloo

KITCHENER, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 9, 2008) - Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced new funding to help five organizations deliver settlement services to an estimated 1,200 immigrants in Kitchener-Waterloo.

The more than $8.4 million in funding will help newcomers to Canada access a variety of settlement services in the city including language training, referrals to community resources and help finding a job.

"The Government of Canada wants newcomers to succeed," said Mr. Albrecht. "This funding will give immigrants in Kitchener-Waterloo access to the support they need as they settle into our community. From language training to help finding a job, the five organizations we are supporting today deliver valuable services to newcomers. Their success is good for Kitchener-Waterloo and good for our country as a whole."

"We want more newcomers to join us, more to be reunited with families and more to be successful Canadians," said Minister Finley. "Despite increases in immigration levels, settlement funding had not increased for many years. That's why we've increased funding and it's having an impact in communities across the country, like Kitchener-Waterloo."

"Building strong communities now and in the future requires that we discover and maximize the skills potential of all who participate in the economy," said John Tibbits, President, Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. "Conestoga strongly supports the efforts of many community groups towards this end, and we have forged productive partnerships with these groups, because we are all working towards the goal of community development combined with economic progress. The funding announced today by the Government of Canada is welcome news. It encourages all of us to press on with new, effective initiatives."

Settlement services are an essential part of the federal government's immigration program. Through the Canada Ontario Immigration Agreement, the Government of Canada has increased settlement funding for Ontario by a total of $920 million over five years. Under the Agreement, CIC works with the province and immigrant-serving agencies to make a real difference in the lives of immigrants.

Budget 2008 also proposes changes to modernize the immigration system and to shorten the time it takes to bring newcomers and their families to Canada. Under this proposed system, instructions would be issued to immigration officers related to the processing of applications, including in relation to the jobs available in Canada, so that people with those skills and experience can be brought to Canada more quickly. With these changes, newcomers could have more opportunities to find work sooner, to provide a better life for themselves and their families and to benefit more from life in Canada.

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. The FCRO was established in 2007 to provide 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 foreign credential referral services to newcomers.

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, referrals to community resources, advice and guidance; 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.

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
    Madona Mokbel
    Communications Branch, Ontario Region
    416-954-7868