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New Funding for Immigrant English Training in Hamilton, Canada

Diane Finley, The Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration announced $12.5 million in funding for the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program, to be distributed among seven partner agencies including school boards, colleges, libraries and Immigrant Centers in Hamilton, Ontario. The funds will be used by the agencies to expand their English-language training services for new immigrants in Hamilton, Ontario.

Minister Finley said that "Canada's new government is committed to helping newcomers succeed and build new lives for themselves and their families in Canada. That's why we're so pleased to announce funding that will enable new immigrants in Hamilton to improve their language skills and find a job. Newcomers will have an opportunity to become more productive members of this growing community."

The new funding will also expand the language training services in Hamilton to include higher-level LINC services so that graduates of these advanced classes will have attained the equivalent of high school graduation English. About 2,000 newcomers and immigrants to Hamilton area will be assisted at these centers and a significant number of people, including teachers, administrators and childminders, will be employed. In recent years the immigrant population in Hamilton has risen significantly. According to the 2001 Canadian Census, one-fourth of the local population was not born in Canada. This is the third highest such proportion in Canada after Toronto, and Vancouver. Hamilton is the third largest city in Ontario, the 9th largest city in Canada and the largest Hamilton in the world.

Through the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, the Government of Canada has increased funding to Ontario for settlement and language training by a total of $920 million over five years. Overall, the federal government is providing increased funding of $1.3 billion over five years to support newcomers as they seek to integrate into our society and economy.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, in partnership with provinces, territories and service providers, delivers a number of programs that help newcomers settle, adapt and integrate into Canadian society. These include the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program, which offers orientation and interpretation services as well as referrals to community resources, counselling, general information and employment-related services; the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada, which provides basic language training; and the Host Program, which assists immigrants by matching them with volunteers who help them access services, establish contacts in their field of work and participate in the community.

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