Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

August 31, 2010 13:26 ET

Government of Canada Launches Innovative Program to Help Newcomer Youth in Durham Region Schools

AJAX, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2010) - The Government of Canada is investing more than $1.4 million to help newcomer youth and their families in Durham Region, Dr. Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health announced today, on behalf of the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

The Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) program in Durham Region will provide newcomer families with an interactive orientation to the Ontario school system as well as referrals to settlement agencies and other community support services. Settlement workers will also engage with students, parents and school staff to increase cultural awareness and sensitivity in Durham Region Schools.

"Schools are one of the first places newcomer families connect with in the community," said Dr. Carrie. "Providing settlement support in schools is an ideal way to help newcomer students and their families adjust to their new school and community more quickly."

"Our government knows that helping newcomer families get settled is key to their success," said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. "Settlement resources need to be easily accessible. By making settlement workers available in schools, we are making sure that the needs of newcomer families are met." 

Also being offered for the first time in Durham Region is Newcomer Orientation Week (NOW) and Welcome and Information for Newcomers (WIN). During Newcomer Orientation Week, peer leaders help newcomer students in high school become acquainted with their new school. Activities include: a scavenger hunt to help them learn the layout of the building; skits about the challenges of school in a new country; a visit to the local library; and an introduction to the school system and sources of help and support in their school.

"We are very pleased to be working in partnership with the Durham District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board for the successful integration of newcomer students and their families," said Tracey Vaughan, Executive Director of the Community Development Council Durham.

Since the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA) was signed in 2005, the Government of Canada has more than tripled its annual spending on settlement services for newcomers in Ontario. For 2010-11, the Government of Canada is investing $428 million in Ontario for settlement services for newcomers, such as language training, job search workshops and placing settlement workers in schools.

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Alykhan Velshi
    Alykhan.Velshi@cic.gc.ca
    or
    Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
    Indira Naidoo-Harris
    416-325-6205
    or
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Ontario Region
    Media Relations
    416-954-7868
    or
    Community Development Council Durham
    Tracey Vaughan
    Executive Director,
    905-686-2661