Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

June 13, 2008 12:10 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding to Help Newcomers Settle in Hamilton

HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 13, 2008) - Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced funding to help four organizations deliver settlement services to an estimated 5,000 newcomers in Hamilton.

The funding of more than $11 million will help newcomers to Canada access settlement services such as language training, referrals to community resources and help finding a job.

Some of the language training offered by these organizations will focus on occupation-specific language needs. This training will be complemented by job-bridging, mentoring and job-shadowing opportunities.

In addition, the funding will allow one of the organizations, the Settlement and Integration Services Organization, to offer settlement services throughout the community thanks to a mobile service-delivery unit.

"The Government of Canada believes in immigration and is committed to helping newcomers succeed," said Minister Finley. "Starting over in a new country is a formidable challenge. This funding will give immigrants access to a host of valuable services to help them as they begin their new lives in Canada. Their success is good for Hamilton and good for Canada as a whole."

"Newcomers who make Hamilton their home rely on the support of the organizations we are funding today," said Mr. Wallace. "With services like language training and help finding a job, newcomers to Hamilton have access to the tools they need to adjust to their new surroundings and succeed in this city."

"This government support provides the AAT School with the resources to help equip newcomer youths with some of the essential skills needed to further their education and access meaningful employment," said Terri Smith, Principal and Vice President of Operations for the Adult, Academic and Career Training School. "Without this type of initiative, more of our youths would be destined to live on the margins of society."

"If regional economies are to derive the maximum benefit from the talents and skills of new Canadians, then language fluency, professional education and training, and credential recognition must be top priorities," said Jim Vanderveken, Director of Community Training, Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology. "By offering a comprehensive continuum of educational opportunities, Mohawk, along with its community partners and the federal government, has helped to establish Hamilton as a primary destination for newcomers settling in Canada."

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, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (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 across the country.

The 2008 budget also proposes changes to modernize the immigration system, to shorten the time it takes to bring newcomers and their families to Canada. Under this proposed system, newcomers would arrive with the skills required to integrate more quickly into the economy. In this way, newcomers will have more opportunities to find work sooner in the fields for which they have been trained and to benefit more from life in Canada for themselves and their families.

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