An estimated 3,000 new immigrants in Nova Scotia, Canada will benefit from federal funding, according to Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defense, Minister of Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and Member of Parliament for Central Nova.
"Our government believes in immigration, and we are committed to helping newcomers succeed," MacKay said. "Today's funding announcement is of particular importance to Nova Scotia because immigration is vital to sustaining our province's communities, our economic growth and our future prosperity."
The new funding will total more than CAD $10.3 million over the next three years and will go to several agencies in the Halifax Regional Municipality. These agencies will provide settlement services such as language training, counseling, and employment assistance.
"We need new Canadians—;and we need to help them settle comfortably in our communities," MacKay added. "Attracting more immigrants to Nova Scotia will help to counter the declining population trends in our communities and provide our province with skilled workers who can meet the labour market needs of our businesses. New Canadians are the hope of our future and they will return to us so much more than we give."
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) provides funding for a number of programs that help new immigrants settle, adapt and integrate into the Canadian way of life. Funding for the Halifax-area comes under the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program, which provides orientation, referral and counseling services.
The 2008 budget also introduced changes to modernize the immigration system and shorten the time it takes to bring skilled migrants and their families to Canada. Under this system, immigrants with the right skills may see their applications moved to the front of the line of those waiting to immigrate to Canada.