Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

June 18, 2008 12:30 ET

Government of Canada Provides Funding to Help Newcomers Settle in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 18, 2008) - Ed Komarnicki, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced funding for the Lebanese and Arab Social Services Agency (LASSA) to help newcomers settle and integrate in Ottawa.

The funding, totalling $1.2 million, will help LASSA deliver a variety of settlement services, including orientation, interpretation, referrals to community resources, advice, guidance and employment-related assistance. The funding is expected to serve an estimated 3,300 newcomers.

"The Government of Canada believes in immigration and we are committed to helping newcomers succeed," said Mr. Komarnicki. "This funding will give newcomers in Ottawa access to the services they need as they adjust to life in Canada. Their successful integration will strengthen this community and Canada as a whole."

"Funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been indispensable to this organization and to the Arabic-speaking community," said Fred Awada, Executive Director of the Lebanese and Arab Social Services Agency of Ottawa. "This support is crucial in sustaining our settlement and integration services and permits the organization to deliver the highest quality services, expediting and facilitating the integration of newcomers into the general community."

Settlement services are an important part of a successful 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 COIA, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) works with the province and immigrant-serving agencies to make a real difference in the lives of newcomers.

Budget 2008 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 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 look 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. The FCRO was established in 2007 to provide information, path-finding and referral services to help internationally trained individuals use their skills in Canada. There are now 320 Service Canada Centres across Canada 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. Funding for the Lebanese and Arab Social Services Agency is provided through the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program, which provides orientation, referrals to community resources, advice and guidance. Other programs offered by CIC include 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's 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