The government of Canada has announced an allocation of a budget of a whopping $100 million to aid newcomers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic has further aggravated the challenges around the settlement of newcomers in a new land, settlement services have become crucial to a newcomer’s success in the country. With an aim of easing out the settlement services for those seeking to enter Canada via economic migration, family class sponsorship, or as refugees and protected persons, this investment has been announced so that the transition of newcomers’ in Canada is smooth and they can thrive. The government of Canada provides settlement services to people who arrive in the country as economic immigrants through family class sponsorships, or as refugees and protected persons.
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The funding which will be provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada via the Service Delivery Improvement (SDI) program will offer financial support for services that help newcomers blending into the country and thriving in every sphere so that they can contribute to the economy as well as the local communities of Canada. With a vision of adapting the delivery of settlement services to newcomers to smooth out their transition which has even worsened due to the pandemic, the funding will be rolled out over the next three years via the Immigration Department’s SDI program. SDI funds new projects offered by settlement service providers in terms of assessment, information, skills development, language training, employment-related services, and community connections. IRCC has chosen 78 projects under the 2020 funding process and they stated that these projects will navigate and find out how to integrate newcomers into their new communities the best way possible and offer to support the settlement sector while it recovers from the adversities of the pandemic.
The funding offered by SDI will also help IRCC determine the kind of assistance newcomers need while considering the increased dependency on online service delivery as many settlement services are moved online in wake of the pandemic. The majority of immigrants receiving the settlement services have found the services to be very helpful and confirmed that these services helped them enhance their life in Canada. As the Government of Canada is poised to welcome at least 401,000 new immigrants per year, this investment will help immensely in their 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan.
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Out of all the projects taken with an aim of helping newcomers settle, prominent ones are:
1. To ascertain if artificial intelligence can be used to develop settlement strategies for new immigrants.
2. To develop service approaches with an anti-oppression framework
3. To link newcomers with employers in rural communities before their arrival to encourage newcomers to settle in those areas.
Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship further said in a press release that from helping newcomers finding work and housing to language training, settlement services play a vital role in Canada’s immigration system as they assist in settling the new immigrants. He also added that the new SDI projects will further enhance settlement services and help every immigrant settle in Canada with their full potential.