Government of Canada announces increased funding for language training for newcomers

Niagara Falls, March 27, 2008 — The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced that the Government of Canada will increase funding for language training for new immigrants in Ontario.

Over the coming year, $150 million will be invested in two key language training programs: the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada program and the Enhanced Language Training program. This is an increase from the $143 million committed over the past year.

“Language skill is one of the keys to the new immigrant’s success,” said Minister Finley. “Training is key and the professionals who work in this field are some of the best. We’re very pleased to support their work to help newcomers succeed in Ontario. Their success is our success.”

The Minister made the announcement during a keynote address delivered at a conference entitled “Moving Forward Together: Higher Level Language Learning.” Funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), this is the first conference planned jointly with the Province of Ontario to discuss language training programs and how they can be improved. The conference brings together service providers, professionals, and federal and provincial officials.

Language training is one of several settlement services funded by the federal government to help immigrants integrate into their new communities. These services are an essential part of the federal government’s immigration program.

Through the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA), the Government of Canada has increased settlement funding for Ontario by a total of $920 million over five years. Under the COIA, CIC works with the province and immigrant-serving agencies to make a real difference in the lives of immigrants. In 2006, the Government of Canada began investing an additional $1.4 billion over five years in settlement funding across the country.

Newcomers to Canada 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 Canada offering in-person services to newcomers.

In addition to language training, CIC funds a number of other programs that help newcomers settle, adapt and integrate into Canadian society. These programs, delivered in partnership with provinces, territories and service-providing organizations, include the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program, which provides orientation, referral and counselling services, 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 the community.