Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced $100 million funding to help newcomers settle during the pandemic.
This funding will be distributed over three years. It is intended to adapt settlement services for newcomers to the pandemic or post-pandemic context.
This funding comes from the Immigration Department’s Service Delivery Improvement program (SDI), which provides funding for new settlement service providers to fund projects in areas like needs assessment, information, skill development, job-related services and community connections.
IRCC selected 78 projects as part of the 2020 funding process.
In a statement, the IRCC stated that the projects would help to integrate newcomers into their communities and assist the settlement sector in its recovery from the pandemic.
Many settlement services moved online during the pandemic. The SDI funding will allow IRCC to determine what services newcomers require, while also taking into consideration the increasing reliance on online delivery.
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One project that will examine whether artificial intelligence can be used for the development of settlement strategies for new immigrants is one that aims at developing service approaches with anti-oppression frameworks. Another will connect newcomers to rural employers before they arrive to see if that encourages them to settle here.
“Settlement services are a key component of Canada’s immigration system. They help newcomers succeed, from housing and work to language training. It’s safe for me to say that everyone needed some support during this difficult year and a quarter. It is difficult to imagine all the difficulties this pandemic has caused for newcomers who are trying to settle in Canada. “These new SDI projects will allow us to enhance and improve settlement services, so that every newcomer can reach his full potential here,” Marco Mendicino, Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, stated in a press release.
The Government of Canada offers settlement services to people who have arrived in Canada as economic immigrants, refugees, protected persons, or through family class sponsorship. These services help people to overcome specific difficulties, such as finding work, housing, learning English, French and eventually succeeding in Canada.
All permanent residents and protected people have access to IRCC-funded settlement services.
The IRCC Settlement Outcomes Report 2021 found that the majority of newcomers who received settlement services felt they were helpful and appropriate to their needs. These services helped newcomers to Canada improve their English and French language skills, prepare them for Canadian work market, and help them connect with local organizations.
According to the same report, more than one million people received settlement services in Canada during the period April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2019.
The Canadian government has set a goal to receive at least 401,000 immigrants each year as part of its 2021-2023 Immigrant Levels Plan. This is the first year. This is the most ambitious Canadian immigration plan. The IRCC, which spends $2 billion annually on settlement programs grants and contributions, is the largest in the world.