After 40 years, Immigrant Settlement Program needs an overhaul – The Globe and Mail

Robert Vineberg, formerly Director General of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Prairies and Northern Territories Region, on the need to reform and update settlement services (which are primarily language training). One point that he doesn’t make is the need for better information on how effective some of these programs are. If I recall correctly, former Minister for CIC Kenney was frustrated by the lack of performance information and testing results on language training, a valid concern.

And Vineberg’s wish to essentially broaden settlement services to all and sundry has to be balanced by the need to focus on the groups that need it most, given fiscal realities. And while I can see the merit to provide services to refugees and some temporary foreign workers transitioning to permanent residency, I fail to see the need to provide these services to those graduates of Canadian universities. Surely their Canadian experience and language skills surpass anything settlement could offer?

In updating the Immigrant Settlement Program, the federal government should provide services to those in transition to immigrant status, as well as to those who have become Canadian citizens if they are still in need. It must also develop a new funding model that recognizes the ongoing nature of Canada’s Immigrant Settlement Program instead of treating it as something that could end tomorrow.

After 40 years, Immigrant Settlement Program needs an overhaul – The Globe and Mail.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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