Canada and Ontario partner with Waterloo to help immigrants

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A new local immigration partnership initiative will result in improved access to services for immigrants to enable them to integrate into society. This was announced jointly by Kitchener Centre MP Stephen Woodworth and Region of Waterloo Regional Chair Ken Seiling.

Funding of $175,779 will be provided to the Region of Waterloo by the Government of Canada funding. A local partnership council will be established to develop a settlement strategy to identify delivery models, initiatives and projects tailored to assist new immigrants. The Council will consist of municipal representatives, employers, school boards and settlement and social service agencies. Over the last ten years 26,081 people have emigrated to Waterloo.

"This initiative will enhance the community's ability to help newcomers integrate," said MP Woodworth, on behalf of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. "Improving access to services that make the integration process easier will benefit not only newcomers, but communities across Ontario."

The Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, a partnership between Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration will provide the funding. $3 million will be provided to municipalities and service provider organizations in Ontario.

"Immigrants make up a large part of the population of the Region of Waterloo and are important to Ontario's economic and social prosperity," said local MPP John Milloy. "Helping our newcomers succeed locally is a good investment for all Ontarians."

"As a result of this funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, this Local Immigration Partnership Initiative will provide immigrants in our community with improved access to services and help them better integrate into the community," said Mr. Seiling.

The Canadian Government gives a great deal of priority and support to settlement programs. Since 2006 there has been a significant increase of funding of settlement programs and services. Over five years provinces and territories outside Quebec will receive an additional funding of $1.4 billon. Quebec provides its own settlement services through the Canada-Quebec Accord.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada in partnership with provinces, territories, service-providing organizations and other stakeholders provide a wide range of programs to help immigrants settle in Canada.