Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

June 19, 2008 12:15 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding to Help Resettle Refugees in Saskatoon

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - June 19, 2008) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced funding to help refugees settle and succeed in Saskatoon.

The Saskatoon Open Door Society will receive over $260,000 and Global Gathering Place will receive over $65,000 to help up to 200 refugees begin their new lives in Saskatchewan.

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

Falling on June 20, World Refugee Day 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, as well as referrals to federal and provincial programs.

"We are proud to be part of Canada's tradition of welcoming refugees from around the world. By welcoming others in need, we realize our true potential as a community," said Bertha Gana, Executive Director of the Saskatoon Open Door Society. "We must not forget the great contribution refugees make to the social, cultural and economic fabric of our communities. Often with nothing but a few belongings to their name, they arrive with determination and motivation, and their success inspires us all."

"The Refugee Assistance Program is vital for government-assisted refugees to adapt to life in their new community," said Belma Podrug, Executive Director of Global Gathering Place. "It provides them with a circle of formal and informal support to ensure that they are less socially isolated and that they have the capacity to manage their own affairs effectively and make a smooth transition to independence, self-determination and eventual citizenship."

For 2008-09, CIC has set aside $3,348,300 to help refugees in Saskatchewan. In total, more than $49 million has been set aside under the RAP to assist in the resettlement of refugees nationally except for Quebec, which receives funding under the Canada-Quebec Accord.

These 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. For these broader programs and services, Saskatchewan is receiving more than $5.5 million in basic settlement funding for 2008-09, an increase of more than $1.5 million over the previous year.

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
    Karen Shadd-Evelyn
    Media Relations Spokesperson
    Communications Branch
    613-952-1650