Minister Ahmed Hussen (with tie) mets with Filipinos in Toronto. (Ahmed Hussen Twitter)

Canada

Will help newcomers’ ability adjust to new life 

By Ted Alcuitas

A new funding announcement by the federal government will help  pre-arrival settlement services for immigrants to Canada. 

It will make it easier for new immigrants to adjust to life in the new country and find jobs easier in there fields, according to the government announcement, released in Vancouver recently.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Husen announced in Vancouver on Thursday that his department is providing 16 organizations a combined $113 million to offer immigration and settlement support both virtually and in-person abroad, through to 2023.

Organizations will connect with immigrants while they are still in their country of origin and will provide them 

These organizations connect with immigrants while they are still in their country of origin to provide them with general, regional, and occupation-specific employment services to help improve their job prospects.

Applicants will be encouraged to apply for any relevant job licenses and professional qualifications before they arrive in Canada, as well as get a head start on any required skill training.

In-person assistance offices will be offered in the Philippines as well as China and India, according to the announcement.

Hussen said that enhancing the current pre-arrival services will help immigrants transition to the Canadian labour market more smoothly, and potentially quicker. The services will be split into three categories: economic and family class immigrants, Francophone immigrants, and refugees.

B.C.’s non-profit social service agency called S.U.C.C.E.S.S. will receive $22.4 million. 

The Multicultural Helping House Society (MHHS) which caters to mainly Filipino immigrants is known to do sub-contract work for S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to assist even more newcomers in partnership with IRCC in the years to come,” said the organization’s CEO Queenie Choo.

“The positive role that immigrants play in our economy and society, underscores just how important it is for us to insure that all newcomers to Canada succeed… for this to happen we need to ensure that newcomers have the tools they need to be able to find their way in Canadian society,” Hussen said in announcing the new funding.

In late December, new data from Statistics Canada showed that the employment gap between newcomers and Canadian-born workers continues to narrow as immigrants make up a growing percentage of the Canadian labour force.

Canada to increase annual immigration admissions to 350,000 by 2021

Canada will take in 40,000 more immigrants in 2021 than it plans to accept this year, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen

The target for new arrivals in Canada will rise to 350,000, which is nearly one per cent of the country’s population.

The target rises annually from 310,000 this year, counting all classes of new arrivals.

The vast majority of these newcomers are coming under economic programs designed to address skills shortages and gaps in the labour market.

Many immigration advocates and economic groups had called for bigger increases to Canada’s immigration numbers. The government’s own economic advisory council suggested admitting 450,000 people in a report in 2016.

The lion’s share of the new admissions under Canada’s immigration levels plan — 72 per cent — will be allocated to economic programs in 2021.