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Federal funding announced for newcomer settlement services on the Prairies

More than $14 million in federal funding will help to expand critical resettlement capacity and settlement services in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The government of Canada says they are providing additional funding to help grow settlement services for newcomers to Canada’s Prairie provinces.

On Thursday in Moose Jaw, Sask., Marie-France Lalonde, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, provided details of a $14-million investment to expand critical resettlement capacity and settlement services in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.

The government said these services help newcomers, including refugees, with areas such as language training, finding employment and connecting to their communities.

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Lalonde said this allows newcomers to successfully integrate into and contribute to Canadian society.

“It’s to help recognize their needs to continue to support the communities they go to, whether they relocate to Moose Jaw and other parts of the Prairies,” explained Lalonde.

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According to the government, more than $10.1 million will go to 11 selected organizations on the Prairies to extend case management services in both English and French, which will support vulnerable newcomers when settling into their new communities.

Two organizations out of the 11 operate in Saskatchewan. The Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise (ACF), which says its role is to ensure “the development of the Fransaskois community and to defend its interests,” will receive $838,291. Prince Albert and Moose Jaw are the listed locations for the ACF on the government’s website.

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The second group is the Moose Jaw Multicultural Council, which will get $204,015.

In addition, more than $4.2 million will be provided to add three new service providers as part of the government’s Resettlement Assistance Program.

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Lalonde mentioned that those service providers will be located in Fort McMurray and Grand Prairie, Alta., as well as Winkler, Man.

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She discussed how the organizations will be key in enhancing access to support services for refugees in smaller and rural communities, and to provide newcomers with tools needed for long-term success in the years ahead.

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“Between now and 2024, the proposed plan for the government is close to 1.4 million new Canadians that will be welcomed to support those that are within the community as people arrive.”

Lalonde added that the funding is crucial considering the influx of Ukrainian refugees arriving to the country amid the ongoing Russian war, as well as the arrival of about 12,000 new Afghan refugees.

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