- United States
The Provincial Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) recently concluded and published a province-wide survey that said that newcomer immigrants in Ontario are satisfied with the Canadian settlement services they receive.
The survey, which was based on the responses by more than 2,500 immigrants, was one of the largest surveys of newcomers in Canada. The 2 year research was led by researchers from Ryerson University.
The responses included in the survey were based on average of immigrants ranking their priorities from the settlement services. Almost two third of the immigrants said that their foremost priority was to procure employment, then came the other services namely language training, accommodation and social isolation issues. One third of them said that their major concern from the services was only finding work.
Out of the total newcomers surveyed, 83 percent said that they had availed at least one settlement service. Only 50 percent of them had reported to have used language training.
Debbie Douglas, executive director of OCASI, said that the reason that these services flourish and become more efficient and beneficial is the amount of funding to such programs.
“We now have advanced language training,” she said, “that is occupation-specific – for example, some agencies, specially community colleges, offer courses focused on the language of medicine, engineering or pharmacy.”
Although the Federal department for Citizenship and immigration has reduced such funding for Ontario, saying that the number of newcomer immigrants in Ontario is quite less as compared to other places. Therefore, such funding was diverted to the places where the newcomers arrived in abundance.
After such reductions, the settlement service providers had to cut down there marketing and spreading programs to meet costs. Due to this, awareness among the immigrants could not be properly spread.
Because of this change, more than 16 percent of newcomer immigrants stated that they had never availed the services of such settlement services. The reason for this, obviously, was lack of proper awareness.
Although the survey does not represent all the immigrants in the Ontario vicinity, its aim was to merely target those who had availed themselves of the settlement services.
Douglas thinks that such services are proving to be beneficial in shaping up the new lives of the newcomers in Canada. “They [newcomers] are using the services and for the most part are satisfied with the quality,” she said.
But the disabled newcomers are finding it a very serious problem to use these services. They said that they are in a dilemma on whether to use services for the disabled or the services for the immigrants.
Douglas said that this was also one of the issues that the organization has been working on to find a solution. She said as the two sectors are not presently in touch with each other, the disabled immigrants are the ones facing difficulties as they have to run from one to the other.
Another class of immigrants that have expressed their grief is the Francophone immigrants, the French-speaking class. They said that they don’t find even the half of those facilities provided to the English speaking immigrants in these settlement services. Although these immigrants are one of the fastest growing newcomers, they are still enjoying limited settlement services.
All the same, these services are finding their way into the good books of the newcomers in Canada, specifically in Ontario, which might, somehow, compel the federal department of Citizenship and Immigration to resume the previous actual amount of funding so that complete service are available for the immigrants to benefit from.
Tags: Canada, Canadian Immigration, Debbie Douglas, Federal department for Citizenship and immigration, Francophone immigrants, Immigration, Ontario, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Provincial Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Ryerson University