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NEWS RELEASE · 15th December 2011
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Newcomers in Sooke, Saanich, Langford and Squamish will receive immigrant settlement services for the first time, thanks to new funding of $4.4 million.

The additional funding is part of a $20.3 million annual budget for the Settlement and Integration Program under WelcomeBC and will allow the program to be enhanced and expanded.

Newcomers in the four new communities will join 59,000 newcomers in 31 communities throughout the province who receive a broad range of services to help them settle into their new lives and gain employment. Funding goes towards orientation classes and workshops on a wide variety of topics such as: how to find a job, find a place to live, navigate the local transit system and learn banking basics.

Under 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan', the B.C. government is committed to helping immigrants adjust to life in their new communities and find employment.

It is expected immigrants will need to fill about one-third of the one million jobs expected to open up in B.C. by the end of the decade to meet labour market needs and continue to fuel economic growth.

Settlement services are a key component to helping thousands of individuals and families realize this goal in communities across the province.

More than $488,000 is also being provided to help with participants' child-minding and transportation costs.

Canada Starts Here
Comment by West Coast of Canada on 30th December 2011
BC/Canada should worry more about the populace that currently reside here, than funding immigrants needs. There are children living in poverty, homelessness, healthcare that these people cannot afford. These immigrants are better cared for than regular canadians. They probably get funding (Welfare or some sort and medical) till they can find a job and get situated. They will be taking jobs, and who can remove them once they got them because of labour laws? We have enough people in BC that need jobs. Curtail the immigrants coming into BC/Canada. We don't need to be over populated like other countries.
A thought
Comment by James Ippel on 23rd December 2011
Mr Craven chose to leave Canada because he was supposedly earning the big bucks in Japan, but when the earthquake struck, he expected Canada to bring him home at taxpayers expense.. Get a life, and pay your own way home, and enter the labour force like all others--compete for a job.
It is not the responsibility of communities like Terrace and Kitimat to attract and train an immigrant work force. We have enough people in the northwest to fill a great deal of the demands, and if further training is required, our locals should have first kick at the cat. Sadly, most of our locals who are unemployed want to start at the top wage, without experience, because they are local. Outsiders are willing to start a little lower in order to get the training and advance to a higher pay scale through hard work, and perservierence.
I believe the minimum wage is now $9 per hour or $18,720 annually. No one you can buy a Corvette with, and still live comfortably, but hey, what the hell, us oldtimers paid as we went, and we are still aroung paying tax on our pensions. Do you thing we are happy to support those who choose to not work, but live off of the public purse and protest everything that just might help them?? Not bloodly likely.....................
not really Karen
Comment by Steve on 19th December 2011
If "communities" (your word) are having trouble attracting people, why would it be their responsibity to train them, teach english skills etc? Do you think it's Kitimats or Terrace's responsibilty to pay for this type of training or upgrading? It doesnt mean the economy is booming, what it really means is there is a shortage of tradespeople entering these professions, and there has been for years. Thats what needs to be fixed first.
No Steve,
Comment by Karen Dedosenco on 19th December 2011
I do not agree with you. If businesses and communities are having trouble finding employees it means their economy is booming. They can fork out their own bucks to attract and educate their own immigrant work force.

I would rather see tax dollars spent where economies are sputtering, not throwing cash on a blazing fire.
a better plan?
Comment by Steve on 16th December 2011
Wouldnt it make sense to direct this funding towards areas that are crying for employees? ie the Northeast, Ft Nelson, Dawson Creek? All our immigrants cant all live in the 604 can they?
Of course maybe to the planners, Squamish IS North
What I don't understand is....
Comment by Mike on 16th December 2011
why we this money has to go to immigrants. Last time I checked ( the unemployement rate in B.C. was hovering around 10%. If skilled jobs are have such a shortage of workers, wouldn't it be more prudent to use this money to train unemployed B.C residents to fill those positions?
The Joke is...
Comment by Neil Simon on 16th December 2011
that it's actually a really painful process trying to get started in Canada. The immigration system is slow, convoluted, and inefficient. The best thing they could do is make the process much faster and simpler (without lowering any standards).
You shouldn't have to go to a border crossing (big ones only) to get an initial work permit. It shouldn't take 3 months to get a work permit renewed, or 2 years to get permanent residency if you're already married to a Canadian.
A faster, less confusing system would be much more likely to attract career oriented or highly skilled workers who can't afford to risk spending years in Canada to just be told to go home in the end.

In response to M S Craven, how does Canada treat expats worse than newly arrived immigrants? I'm curious as I'm one of the latter. Also, this investment is there to help the communities get the most out of newly arrived immigrants and at the same time help the newly arrived immigrants get the most out of their new communities. I would be surprised if this doesn't make more money in increased taxes (better workers are better paid and make bigger profits) than it costs to run (~$330 per immigrant).
Why can't this money be put to better use?
Comment by M S Craven on 15th December 2011
It is amazing how our government ignores skilled Canadian expats and makes our lives very difficult when trying to return to Canada. I have learned first hand that being born in Canada means less than being born in China to our government. A new immigrant is treated better than a university educated Canadian who has lived abroad. I am trying to return to Canada but the government will not do a thing for me because I was born in Canada. The money you mentioned would be put to better use to help our struggling communities and people born in Canada. Am I wrong?