Editorial – All Together Now

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With the modernization currently going on at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and the ongoing centralization of services at Employment Ontario, settlement services in Ontario are undergoing some of the biggest changes in at least the past 10 years.

The main CIC funding streams from recent years, including LINC, ISAP, and HOST are being folded into a single outcome-based strategy, although most of the existing services will continue in a slightly different form. This new approach is based on a process of identifying needs, improving coordination and collaboration among service providers, and measuring performance. The plan is to put services like needs assessment and referrals, provision of settlement information, language learning and skills development, job search and career planning tools and facilities – together with support services like child minding – all under one roof.

The new goal is to provide one-stop shopping for services. Employment Ontario has been implementing similar efficiencies at agencies offering employment services. No one in Ontario should have to go too far or search too hard to find the services they need.

As a newcomer, you may not even notice the changes, other than being pleased that you can now get many of the services you need at a single location rather than having to search around for certain programs and services. Expect to see more and more organizations like York Region’s Welcome Centres. These large centers are run jointly by a number of agencies and offer a wide range of services.

This issue, we talked to Hon. Jason Kenney about the changes in federal programs and how they will effect you. We also have an update on Bridge Training programs, an overview of the restructuring at Employment Ontario, an article about new settlement tools for newcomers in Northwestern Ontario and much more.

One of the service delivery priorities identified in CIC’s modernization strategy is ensuring that newcomers have the information required to make informed decisions – and that’s what our 2011 Settlement Guide is all about. This year’s directory offers expanded listings in settlement, language and employment services – and features the addition of Peel-Halton as a separate region – to help residents of the Mississauga and Brampton areas find services faster. From Niagara to Eliot Lake and Thunder Bay to Ottawa, the Settlement Guide grows bigger and more comprehensive every year.

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