Newcomers to Canada play a crucial role in the future of our country and contribute in important ways to our society and economic recovery from the pandemic. To ensure newcomers settling in small towns and rural communities have access to essential services during their first year in Canada, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced an investment of more than $35 million to expand resettlement capacity and settlement services across Canada.
These services have never been more critical for newcomers, as the ongoing pandemic has added to the already challenging process of building a new life in a new country. Following the Resettlement Assistance Program and Case Management Services call for proposals, 23 projects were selected to provide greater services to help refugees and vulnerable newcomers settle and adapt to life in Canada.
This investment includes $21 million to add 9 new Resettlement Assistance Program service providers in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick. These organizations will help reduce pressure on the 32 existing Resettlement Assistance Program service providers across Canada and provide refugees with an opportunity to settle in small- and medium-sized towns and rural communities where affordable housing is more readily available. Settlement services help refugees and vulnerable newcomers learn the language, gain employment and contribute to their communities, so they can reach their full potential quicker as Canada moves towards economic recovery.
In addition, $14 million will be invested in case management services for 14 existing service providers, so that they can assist more vulnerable newcomers with support and referrals to successfully settle into their new communities. This includes a pilot project aimed at bolstering Francophone case management in the Prairies.
Canada’s success as an international leader in settlement and integration is a result of the extraordinary efforts of our service provider organizations across Canada. They work tirelessly to deliver support services to newcomers in communities, which are critical during the global COVID-19 pandemic and as we welcome more newcomers than ever before. Newcomers often face many changes as they adjust to life in Canada: finding a home, starting a new job and learning a new language. With these new investments, newcomers like the Afghan refugees arriving in Canada will be even more supported as they adjust to life in their new home.