By Jasminee Sahoye
When Angie arrived in Canada almost seven years ago from Guyana, she didn’t have any knowledge about what to expect. All she knew prior to coming here, was that she was going to start a new life in a new environment.
“The challenges were many,” she says. What she found most challenging was where to find the necessary resources to help her find a job with her qualifications and experience. She thought her skills were very much needed, hence the reason she was accepted as a permanent resident through the points system as skilled professional.
And even though Angie says she does not have a full-time job in her area of expertise, she is happy that the government has made significant changes to accommodate newcomers.
Last week, the minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism announced that new immigrants can now access two new videos at cic.gc.ca to help them navigate their way before and during their first weeks in Canada
“By providing newcomers with practical advice and information before and as soon as they arrive, we can help them integrate more quickly into the Canadian economy and their new local community,” said Minister Jason Kenney. “These videos complement the new Welcome to Canada guide and provide newcomers with a practical checklist of things to do as they prepare to come to Canada and as they settle.”
The before arriving in Canada video recommends that newcomers bring all their personal identification documents with them and have all their official documents translated into English or French before coming to Canada, among many other recommendations. The your first two weeks in Canada video explains to newcomers the importance of obtaining a Social Insurance Number, contacting a local settlement organization and finding employment.
The 10-minute videos are part of a series of tools designed by the government of Canada to help immigrants get the best possible start in their new country. These tools include the new Welcome to Canada guide and the web-based tool Living in Canada, which were unveiled recently.
The Welcome to Canada guide contains hundreds of mailing addresses, telephone numbers and web links. This reference guide is intended to help newcomers settle in Canada. The Living in Canada tool is an online application that provides users with a personalized settlement plan and identifies the closest service providers.
“The government is committed to ensuring newcomers to Canada integrate and succeed in the Canadian economy and society as soon as possible,” said Minister Kenney. “To help newcomers integrate, the Government has tripled settlement funding since 2005-2006. The Government remains committed to ensuring the distribution of settlement funding is fair and that immigrants receive the same level of service regardless of where they choose to settle.”