Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

June 20, 2008 12:24 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding to Help Resettle Refugees in Kitchener

KITCHENER, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 20, 2008) - Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced funding to help refugees settle and succeed in Kitchener.

The Kitchener-Waterloo House Church Assembly will receive more than $630,000 to assist up to 280 refugees in beginning their lives in Ontario. This is in addition to the more than $11.5 million announced since March for Kitchener-area settlement services, such as language training and assistance in finding a job, which refugees are also able to access.

"Canada is a blessed country, and the Government of Canada is committed to helping those truly in need begin their new lives in Canada," said Minister Finley. "As we celebrate World Refugee Day, these services will help them along their journey. The hopes and dreams they bring with them will help build a richer and stronger Canada."

World Refugee Day, which falls on June 20, is an annual opportunity to honour the courage of the millions of refugees and displaced people around the world.

The funding announced today is provided through the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP), which offers financial support and immediate and essential services. These services include help with temporary accommodation, assistance in finding a permanent home, help with such items as banking, managing a household and other everyday tasks, and referrals to federal and provincial programs.

"Refugees need our support as they settle in to the community," said Mr. Albrecht. "The services provided by the Kitchener-Waterloo House Church Assembly give refugees the practical help they need as they settle into their new surroundings."

"The RAP offers practical assistance to government-assisted refugees in the critical early stages of their settlement in Canada," said Mira Malidzanovic, Program Director of the K-W Reception Centre. "We thank the Government of Canada for its continued support for refugee families in our community."

For 2008-09, CIC has set aside $18.5 million under this program to help refugees in Ontario. In total, more than $49 million has been set aside under the RAP to assist in the resettlement of refugees across Canada except in Quebec, which is funded under the Canada-Quebec Accord.

The resettlement services are in addition to settlement services and programs funded by CIC to help all newcomers, including refugees, settle and integrate into their new communities. Through the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, the Government of Canada has increased funding for these broader settlement services by $920 million over five years. In 2006, the Government of Canada began investing an additional $1.4 billion over five years in settlement funding in provinces and territories outside Quebec.

Settlement and resettlement services are an essential part of the federal government's immigration program. They help immigrants and refugees overcome barriers specific to the newcomer experience and are key to supporting their longer term economic and social integration.

Canada resettles 10,000 to 12,000 refugees from overseas every year. This represents 10% of the 100,000 refugees resettled globally. In 2008, Canada will welcome 7,300 to 7,500 government-assisted refugees through the RAP and 3,300 to 4,500 through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Tim Vail
    Press Secretary
    613-954-1064
    or
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Communications Branch
    Karen Shadd-Evelyn
    Media Relations Spokesperson
    613-952-1650