Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

June 27, 2008 11:22 ET

Minister MacKay Announces Support for Newcomers to Settle and Integrate in Halifax

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - June 27, 2008) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced new funding to help an estimated 3,000 immigrants in Nova Scotia.

"Our government believes in immigration, and we are committed to helping newcomers succeed," said Minister MacKay. "Today's funding announcement is of particular importance to Nova Scotia because immigration is vital to sustaining our province's communities, our economic growth and our future prosperity."

The new funding, totalling more than $10.3 million over the next three years, will go to several agencies in the Halifax Regional Municipality to provide settlement services such as language training, counseling and help finding a job.

"We need new Canadians-and we need to help them settle comfortably in our communities," Minister MacKay added. "Attracting more immigrants to Nova Scotia will help to counter the declining population trends in our communities and provide our province with skilled workers who can meet the labour market needs of our businesses. New Canadians are the hope of our future and they will return to us so much more than we give."

The agencies that received funding applauded today's announcement. "Our YMCA programs help create stronger communities," said Barbara Miller, Vice President, YMCA Community Outreach & Family Services. "We achieve this by helping immigrants settle in their new communities, as well as by educating members of our Nova Scotia communities about the issues and barriers that newcomers face in adjusting and adapting to a new language, culture, climate and community, while maintaining their own. With our special emphasis on programs for immigrant children/youth and their families, Citizenship and Immigration Canada ensures that we can promote diversity as part of building more inclusive communities."

"The key to successful integration is language; it provides newcomers with the overall capacity to manage and control all aspects of life," said Gerry Mills, Executive Director of the Halifax Immigrant Learning Centre. "Citizenship and Immigration Canada's funding will support the language learning goals of newcomers that will ultimately lead to their active participation in the community."

Halifax Regional School Board Superintendent Carole Olsen also emphasized the importance of language training. "By improving our newcomers' language proficiency, we give them a step up in finding greater opportunities to find work, and we also help them to become fully engaged in Canadian society," she said. "We are happy to receive today's funding, as it will help us to continue to offer our Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program."

Claudette Legault, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association (MISA) said she was "very pleased to accept this investment in Nova Scotia's future from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This funding will help ensure that we can continue to provide immigrants with a wide range of services and support to help them in their efforts to settle in Nova Scotia."

"Through the Host program, we will continue to work with CIC to attract and retain Francophone immigrants to the province of Nova Scotia," said Jean Leger, Executive Director of la Federation acadienne de la Nouvelle-Ecosse. "With the Host program, we match Francophone immigrants with French-speaking volunteers from the area to help them better integrate into the community."

Citizenship and Immigration Canada funds a number of programs that help newcomers settle, adapt and integrate into Canadian society. These programs are delivered in partnership with the provinces, territories and service-providing organizations. Funding for the Halifax-area organizations is offered under the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program, which provides orientation, referral and counseling services. Other programs 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 their new community.

The 2008 budget also introduced changes to modernize the immigration system and shorten the time it takes to bring newcomers and their families to Canada. Under this system, newcomers will arrive with the skills required to integrate more quickly into the economy. In this way, newcomers will have more opportunities to find work sooner in the fields for which they have been trained and to benefit more from life in Canada for themselves and their families.

Newcomers 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 services to newcomers.

For more information on CIC's programs, please visit 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 - Atlantic Region
    Jon Stone
    Director, Communications
    902-426-1419