Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Governments of Canada and Ontario Partner with the Regional Municipality of Niagara to Help Newcomers

THOROLD, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 23, 2009) - Immigrants in the Regional Municipality of Niagara will have improved access to services to help them successfully integrate into their communities as a result of a new Local Immigration Partnership initiative.The announcement was made by Rick Dykstra, Parliamentary Secretary to Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor and Niagara Regional Chairman Peter Partington.Niagara Region will receive $146,397 in federal funding for the initiative, which includes the establishment of a local partnership council. This council will develop a settlement strategy to identify delivery models, initiatives and projects tailored to assist newcomers. It will be comprised of municipal representatives, employers, school boards and settlement and social service agencies. The Niagara Region has welcomed approximately 11,000 newcomers over the past 10 years."This initiative will enhance the community's ability to help newcomers integrate," said Parliamentary Secretary Dykstra. "Improving access to services that make the integration process easier will benefit not only newcomers, but communities across Ontario."The funding is being provided through the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, a partnership between Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. Almost $3 million will be allocated to municipalities and service provider organizations across Ontario to establish the partnerships."Newcomers are important to Ontario's economic and social prosperity," said local MPP Kim Craitor. "Helping newcomers succeed in the Niagara community is a good investment for all Ontarians.""As more immigrants choose to make Niagara their home, our partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada in meeting the needs of newcomers has never been more valuable," said Chairman Partington. "The significant investment of federal funding through the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement will provide new and improved opportunities for new Niagarans, further strengthening the fabric of our communities."Settlement services are an essential part of the Government of Canada'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, which has responsibility for settlement services through the Canada-Quebec Accord. Increasing the uptake of immigrant settlement programs was identified as a government priority in the 2008 Speech from the Throne.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 provinces, territories, service-providing organizations and other stakeholders.For more information, please visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website at www.cic.gc.ca or the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration's website at www.citizenship.gov.on.ca