Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

June 23, 2008 10:35 ET

Government of Canada Provides Funding to Ethiopian Association to Help Newcomers in Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 23, 2008) - Mike Wallace, MP of Burlington on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced funding for the Ethiopian Association in the Greater Toronto Area and Surrounding Regions to help settle more than 7,000 newcomers into Canadian society.

The funding of more than $2.2 million will go toward providing settlement services, including language training, child minding support for parents and help finding a job.

"The Ethiopian Association is an important partner in the Government of Canada's efforts to help newcomers succeed in their new lives in Canada," said Mr. Wallace. "Its work in the community contributes to the development of strong, successful individuals and families, and to the growth of both the Ethiopian community in the area and the country as a whole."

"The new funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will allow us to provide innovative language, employment and outreach services to newcomers from Ethiopia and around the world who now call Toronto their home," said Teferi Adem, Executive Director of the Association. "We are excited to deliver settlement services that will benefit both newcomers and the communities in which they live."

The Ethiopian Association in the Greater Toronto Area and Surrounding Regions has been providing community and social service programs to people of Ethiopian origin and others since 1980. At present, it is estimated that the Association represents 45,000 to 50,000 people of Ethiopian origin in the area.

The new funding is expected to help an estimated 7,232 newcomers access settlement services to help them integrate into the community. It will also go toward providing language training for 156 students, as well as 16 child-minding spaces.

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 the COIA, CIC 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 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