Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

June 19, 2008 12:01 ET

Government of Canada Announces New Funding for WoodGreen Community Services to Help Newcomers in Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 19, 2008) - At least 8,300 immigrants will benefit from an investment of more than $3.8 million in the WoodGreen Community Services which delivers settlement services to newcomers in Toronto.

The announcement was made today by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

The investment of more than $3.8 million will be used for a variety of services, including specialized language training and programs for youth. It is expected that more than 8,300 immigrants will benefit from these services. This new funding is in addition to the more than $1.9 million the Government of Canada announced in February 2008 to help the organization establish a new language training facility.

"The Government of Canada believes in immigration. We want to help newcomers and we want them to succeed," said Minister Finley. "The language training that WoodGreen is providing at this new facility is so important to newcomers as they begin their new lives and enter the Canadian labour market. Through this training, as well as through other services we fund at WoodGreen, newcomers are receiving the support they need to grow and prosper in Canada."

"Thanks to the funding and support of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), WoodGreen Community Services is able to serve twice as many newcomers as last year," said Brian Smith, President and CEO of WoodGreen Community Services. "This new facility and the new programs WoodGreen is now able to offer will allow us to address some of the unique challenges our city faces so that newcomers are able to contribute with the talents and skills they bring with them. More than ever, we can help newcomers navigate through the system, overcome barriers and deal with the cultural differences they will face in the Canadian workplace."

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, helping thousands of newcomers to Ontario. Under the COIA, CIC works with the province and immigrant-serving agencies to make a real difference in the lives of newcomers. In total, since 2006, the Government of Canada has begun investing an additional $1.4 billion over five years in settlement funding in provinces and territories outside Quebec.

Budget 2008 also introduces changes to modernize the immigration system and to shorten the time it takes to bring newcomers and their families to Canada. Under this 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 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.

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 programs, consult our website 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
    416-954-7868