Citizenship and Immigration Canada to Increase Settlement Funding
The move, announced at a Friday press conference by The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, distributes the funding to the provinces, which administer their own settlement programs. “We have labour market needs that have to be met” said Solberg, adding that any immigration policy change would be aimed to attract more immigration to meet these needs. The announced increase does not include Quebec, which has a separate immigration arrangement with the federal government, allowing the province greater autonomy in its policy.
Under existing federal-provincial agreements, 75% of the new funds are headed for Ontario, the destination for over 140 000 immigrants annually, making up over half of the national total. The next highest portion is reserved for British Columbia, which will see funding rise to $75.4 million by 2007, a 90% increase over current totals.
In response to the demand for skilled immigrant workers in the Canadian economy, the Canadian government will be increasing funding for immigrant settlement programs by $307 million over the next 2 years.