Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

February 27, 2009 16:54 ET

Minister Kenney Announces Support for Newcomer Youth in Toronto's Jane/Finch Neighbourhood

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 27, 2009) - Immigrant youth in the Jane/Finch neighbourhood of Toronto will have access to more settlement services, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

The Government of Canada is investing $939,189 in the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre to continue settlement programs for newcomer youth at its youth drop-in hub called "The Spot." The funding runs to the end of March 2010.

"Our Government wants to help youth succeed," said Minister Kenney. "This investment will help improve the lives of young adults in the Jane/Finch community. When we invest in our youth, we invest in the future of Canada."

A portion of the funds has enabled Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre to offer a volunteer program that matches trained volunteers, familiar with Canadian ways, with newcomer youth to help them adapt, settle, and integrate into Canadian life. It also includes a digital photography and music component that encourages newcomer youth to tell the story of their community through photography. Ultimately, it gives them an opportunity to develop relationships, exchange ideas with other youth and gain new skills in digital communications. Over 100 newcomer youth have benefited from this program since it began.

"Thanks to the funding we receive from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, we have been able to hire a diverse group of youth outreach workers who connect with young newcomers in our local schools and community," said Sue Wilkinson, Executive Director of the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre. "Often young newcomers feel extremely isolated. When we build relationships with them and bring them into our community, we create a safe space for them. This program offers newcomer youth the opportunity to thrive in a positive peer environment which eases their transition to Canada."

The Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre is one of many settlement agencies in Toronto that have partnered with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to address the needs of young immigrants to Canada. The Government of Canada recognizes that settlement services targeted towards youth are an important part of the integration process.

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.

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.

For more information on CIC programs, consult 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
    Ontario Region
    Madona Mokbel
    Communications Branch
    416-954-7868