Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

February 27, 2009 14:06 ET

Minister Kenney Announces Expansion of Settlement Services for Newcomers in Libraries in Southern Ontario

BRAMPTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 27, 2009) - The federal government is expanding assistance to newcomers into 14 more libraries in southern Ontario, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

Originally piloted in Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton, the services will expand to Brampton, Kitchener, Richmond Hill, Windsor and London with the aid of $1.9 million in federal funding to seven service providing organizations, the Minister said, speaking at the Chinguacousy Branch Library. The services will be delivered through the Library Settlement Partnerships Program, which places settlement workers in public library branches.

"Our Government is helping make settlement services more accessible to immigrants," said Minister Kenney. "This investment will give newcomers in our community access to settlement services to help ease their transition to life in Canada. Their success will strengthen this community and Canada."

The library settlement workers offer group orientation workshops and help newcomers research local housing, transportation and employment opportunities. They also engage in community outreach to help make the wealth of resources and services in public libraries more accessible to newcomers.

"The library serves as a gathering place for newcomers," said Ahmed Iqbal, Executive Director of the Brampton Multicultural Community Centre. "We are very pleased to work more closely with the Brampton Library. This dynamic partnership, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, will enable us to integrate our services and coordinate efforts to reach more newcomers, thereby improving their access to much needed services in our growing community."

Settlement services are an essential part of the federal government's immigration program. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has substantially increased funding to support settlement programs and services; an additional $1.4 billion is being invested over a five year period in all provinces and territories outside Quebec. The 2008 Speech From the Throne includes increasing the uptake of immigrant settlement programs as a government priority.

For more information on CIC programs and a backgrounder on the seven organizations receiving funding as part of today's announcement, please visit our website at www.cic.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Alykhan Velshi
    Alykhan.Velshi@cic.gc.ca
    or
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Communications Branch
    Madona Mokbel
    416-954-7868