Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

June 06, 2008 10:30 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Services to Help Newcomers in York Region

VAUGHAN, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 6, 2008) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced funding for seven organizations in the York Region to deliver settlement and integration services to nearly 9,700 newcomers in the community.

The funding of more than $10.4 million is expected to help newcomers to Canada access settlement services in the community such as English-language training, referrals to community resources and help finding a job.

The announcement took place at the Welcome Centre Immigrant Services in Vaughan, a facility that was made possible by $4.1 million in funding from the Government of Canada, announced in June 2007. Since that time, the Welcome Centre has helped nearly 6,000 newcomers access a variety of valuable services under one roof.

"The Government of Canada is committed to helping newcomers and their families succeed," said Minister Finley. "This funding will provide settlement services to help newcomers improve their language skills and facilitate their transition to their new lives in Canada which will, in turn, strengthen our community."

"We at Catholic Community Services of York Region are proud of the success of the Welcome Centre as an innovative approach that serves as a model for others in addressing the needs of newcomers," said Stephen Lam, Director of Immigrant Services and Community Programs for Catholic Community Services of York Region. "With the continued support of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the increasing number of newcomers moving into the York Region will have access to valuable services that provide the support they need as they integrate into the community."

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, helping thousands of newcomers to Ontario. Under the COIA, CIC works with the province and immigrant-serving agencies to make a real difference in the lives of newcomers. In 2006, the Government of Canada began 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 and to shorten the time it takes to bring newcomers and their families to Canada. Under this proposed system, instructions would be issued to immigration officers related to the processing of applications, including with regard 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, referral services, 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



The Government of Canada wants to help newcomers succeed. The York Region is becoming home to an increasing number of newcomers every year. To help newcomers settle in this region, the Government of Canada is committing more than $10.4 million over the next two years to seven agencies that provide settlement services in the city.

The funding is provided under the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement. Listed below are the seven agencies receiving a portion of the $10.4 million announced today.

- COSTI Immigrant Services: $2,277,122(i)

- Catholic Community Services of York Region: $5,792,479

- Centre for Information and Community Services of Ontario: $947,641

- Jewish Immigrant Aid Services: $35,874

- Job Skills: $625,607

- The Cross-Cultural Community Services Association: $426,737

- York Region Education/Industry Foundation and Career Centre: $387,177

(i) $936,431 of this amount will go toward settlement services to be delivered at the Welcome Centre Immigrant Services in Vaughan.

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Tim Vail
    Press Secretary
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Ontario Region
    Madona Mokbel