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More Money For Immigrant Settelment Services

Minister Mike Colle and Vic Dhillon, MPP Brampton West - Mississauga announced in Brampton; the government of Ontario is increasing funding to settlement and integration services to ensure newcomers get the help they need to succeed, Citizenship and immigration.

The funding increase of $1.2 million annually to the Newcomer Settlement Program will bring annual provincial spending to about $130 million on services that help newcomers get established in their communities, find jobs and housing; learn English or French, and access community resources. The increased investment will improve settlement services for newcomers through specialized training for front line staff in settlement agencies and will help agencies modernize their facilities and make them more welcoming. "Newcomers bring with them vitality and innovation", said Dhillon. "They bring experience with every market and every culture. And they bring our future, because the more immigrants succeed, the more Ontario succeeds".

Over 125,000 newcomers arrive in Ontario each year. While Toronto remains the overwhelming destination for newcomers, surrounding municipalities have seen a large increase over the past three years. Brampton had about 60 per cent more newcomers over three years, while the increase in Mississauga was 47 per cent over the same time period.

For the first time, Ontario is a full partner with the federal government in shaping integration programs for newcomers," said Dhillon. "This agreement will allow us to transform the way Ontario helps newcomers by expanding programs, such as English- and French-as-a-second language. We are committed to helping our newcomers succeed." The Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement signed in November 2005 will see federal funding in Ontario increase by $920 million over the next five years to help newcomers get off to a good start. The Newcomer Settlement Program supports 79 Ontario settlement agencies that offer a wide range of settlement services, including job and language training referral.

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