Friday, March 18, 2011

Website in 11 languages for everyday living issues for expats launched in Canada

by JOSE MARC CASTRO 



A new website in 11 different languages is set to make it easier for expats in Canada to find the kind of information they need on community services when they arrive.
The In My Language site has been developed by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), which represents more than 200 settlement agencies in Ontario provides an electronic library of translated content which will assist newcomers in adapting to life in Canada.
‘The In my language website is an excellent resource for newcomers to Ontario. Newcomers now have a website where they can get the information they need in the language of their choice,’ said Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism.
The Government has invested $1.4 million in the site which is regarded as one of the best in the world and much needed as expats often find it difficult to find out what services they are entitled to and language can be the first barrier.
‘This multilingual website will give newcomers to Ontario a head start on accessing information on housing, health care, legal advice, schooling, community services and language training across the province,’ said MP Paul Calandra.
The website has content in English, French, Chinese, Punjabi, Urdu, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic, Gujarati, Tamil and Russian.
‘Helping newcomers get settled is vital. Settlement information needs to be accessible, and this initiative is a significant step in fulfilling that aim,’ said MP Bob Dechert.
Besides immigrants, other users of the website include community organizations, school boards, police services, and the healthcare industry.
Key sections include how to look for a job, different types of housing available, the different stages of schooling, immunisation for children, paying taxes, getting a driving licence and private health insurance.
Government funding of the new website was made possible through the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA), which was signed in 2005. Through this agreement, the Government of Canada is investing $428 million in Ontario for settlement services for immigrants.
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