Immigrant and refugee persons face serious settlement challenges. Integrating into their new community is made exceedingly difficult due to their limited social and professional networks, the non-recognition of foreign experience and credentials, and the competitive nature of the Canadian labour market. Increasingly, newcomers are frustrated by being on the margins of Canadian society. The resources they bring to Canada (social, cultural, professional, financial and international networks) are being wasted on survival (meeting challenges such as housing, clothing and feeding themselves) rather than on their full participation and contribution to the development of Canada.
The impact of the marginalization of people is well documented and includes: worsening health outcomes, isolation and loneliness, difficulty with French and English, child poverty, and low participation in the democratic life of Canada. We are not delivering on Canada‘s promise for the future of our country.
This paper presents CCEDNet‘s policy proposals for meeting the social and economic needs of new Canadians, and immigrants and refugees in Canada.
This paper reviews community responses to unmet settlement needs of immigrants and refugees in the Canadian context. It concludes that many immigrants and refugees who arrive in Canada are socially and economically disadvantaged and are unable to access the appropriate government support services that they require. It calls on the federal government to expand the
types of services available through ‘settlement programs‘ to include a new stream of activity that would fund CED initiatives that build capacity at a level that is accessible to newcomers and appropriate to their needs.
CED Policy Proposals for Immigrant and Refugee Settlement
- Build the capacity of the CED and co-op sectors to contribute to immigrant settlement
- Include CED programs as eligible services under the immigrant settlement and adaptation program
- Support the leadership of immigrant and refugee groups in developing CED tools and strategies to meet their needs
- Promote learning and collaboration amongst stakeholders on the use of CED in attracting and settling newcomers