Minister Kenney Announces Funding To Help Resettle Francophone Refugees In Winnipeg

Minister Kenney Announces Funding to Help Resettle Francophone Refugees in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – (Marketwire – Sept. 22, 2009) – Francophone government-assisted refugees living in Winnipeg's St. Boniface area will have improved access to services to help them settle into their community, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

The Societe franco-manitobaine will receive nearly $112,000 in federal funding to help 50 French-speaking government-assisted refugees begin their new lives in Manitoba. The services include help with finding temporary and permanent accommodations and everyday tasks such as banking, managing a household, as well as referrals to federal and provincial programs. These services will be provided by l'Accueil francophone, a branch of Societe franco-manitobaine. The funding is being provided through Citizenship and Immigration Canada's Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP).

“This Government is committed to helping those truly in need to begin their new lives in Canada,” said Minister Kenney. “The hopes and dreams they bring with them will help build a richer and stronger Canada.”

“We are grateful to Minister Kenney and his department for this important investment in our community. This funding will allow l'Accueil francophone to continue and significantly enhance our settlement services to Francophone government-assisted refugees. We share the Government of Canada's commitment to improving the lives and settlement experience of these newcomers,” said Daniel Boucher, President and Director General of the Societe franco-manitobaine.

“Organizations like the Societe franco-manitobaine and l'Accueil francophone truly reflect the welcoming spirit of our community. The services they provide are instrumental in helping new Francophone refugees settle into the community and feel at home,” added Saint Boniface MP Shelly Glover.

For 2009-10, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has set aside over $3.8 million to help refugees in Manitoba. In total, more than $44.5 million has been set aside under the RAP to assist in the resettlement of refugees nationally except for Quebec, which receives funding under the Canada-Quebec Accord.

These resettlement services are in addition to settlement services and programs funded by CIC to help all newcomers, including refugees, settle and integrate into their new communities. For these broader programs and services, Manitoba is receiving nearly $28 million in basic settlement funding for 2009-10, an increase of more than $6 million (or 22 percent) over the previous year.

Settlement and resettlement services are an essential part of the Government of Canada's immigration program. They help immigrants, including refugees, overcome barriers specific to the newcomer experience and are key to supporting their longer term economic and social integration.

Canada resettles 10,000 to 12,000 refugees from overseas every year. This represents 10% of the 100,000 refugees resettled globally. In 2009, Canada will welcome 7,300 to 7,500 government-assisted refugees through the RAP and 3,300 to 4,500 through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

Today's announcement underlines the Government of Canada's commitment to increase the number of French-speaking immigrants to Francophone minority communities and support their integration by strengthening access to settlement services.