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Diane Finley, Minister of Immigration and Citizenship for Canada, announced funding that will continue a program to assist migrants with integration into Canadian society. The additional funding is in response to the project's enormous success in helping migrants join the labor market.

The Canadian Immigration Integration Project (CIIP) was first implemented in 2007 by the Canadian government and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. The program is designed to help immigrants prepare for the Canadian labor market before moving to Canada.

"Our government is taking action to ensure that Canada has the best-educated, most-skilled and most flexible work force in the world," Finley said. "By investing an additional $3.8 million to help immigrants prepare for the Canadian labor market, we are improving newcomers' transition to the Canadian work force and strengthening that work force."

The additional funding will bring the total amount to CAD $8.3 million. The project is funded through Human Resources and Social Development Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition program, which aids migrants in having their professional and educational accreditations and experience recognized in the Canadian province to which they will migrate.

Starting last year, the project has been offering orientation sessions on foreign credential recognition in China, India, and the Philippines.

"The Association of Canadian Community Colleges is pleased to be able to offer integration services with the support of Human Resources and Social Development Canada," said Nejat Gorica, Vice-President, Business Development and Technical Cooperation, Association of Canadian Community Colleges. "Since launching this service overseas in January 2007, we have helped over 2,300 immigrants, and more immigrants are using this service every day."

Canada's 2008 budget has proposed additional changes to improve its immigration system to ensure that families are reunited faster, and that skilled and qualified workers arrive sooner to meet the needs of Canada's labor market.