Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

March 06, 2009 14:31 ET

Minister Kenney Visits Bredin Institute, Announces Federal Support to Help Newcomers Settle in Edmonton

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 6, 2009) - Immigrants in Edmonton will have access to more language training, employment assistance and information to help them integrate into the community, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. These services are being delivered by four organizations, which will receive $2.3 million in federal funding.

"Access to these kinds of services is, for many, a first step in establishing networks and contacts so they are engaged and feel welcomed in their communities," said Minister Kenney. "I would like to recognize the organizations that provide crucial support to those who choose Canada as their new home, helping to ease the stress of moving to a new country."

The announcement was made at Bredin Institute - Centre for Learning, which received a portion of the funding to help foreign-trained pharmacists determine whether they possess the occupational skills and abilities required to become pharmacists in Alberta. The institute also offers enhanced language instruction to newcomers who are training as paramedics.

Through these services, Bredin helps newcomers achieve an understanding of cultural differences in the Alberta workplace and specifically within the medical community. Other organizations receiving funding are the Alliance Jeunesse Famille de l'Alberta, Edmonton Catholic School District and the Edmonton Immigrant Services Association. It is anticipated that over 1,000 newcomers will benefit from this investment.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for International Medical Graduates to train for a career in the medical field," said Debbie MacDonald, Executive Director, Bredin Institute - Centre for Learning. "There are only 50 residency spots in Alberta yearly for International Medical Graduates and there are hundreds of applicants. This provides opportunities for our clients to use some of their medical training in our healthcare industry."

Settlement services are an essential part of the federal government's immigration program. 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. In 2009-10, Alberta will be receiving almost $59 million in federal funding for settlement services, representing a 21 per cent increase over the previous year.

"Since 2006, this Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper 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. Increasing the uptake of immigrant settlement programs was identified as a government priority in the 2008 Speech From the Throne," said Minister Kenney.

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

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