National News

Newcomers in the Hamilton area will continue to have access to the settlement services they need.

(January 11, 2011)

Newcomers in the Hamilton area will continue to have access to the settlement services they need despite the Settlement and Integration Services Organization’s (SISO) recent layoffs and disruptions to service delivery, says the Citizenship, and Immigration Canada (CIC).

In a statement, it noted “Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is quickly engaging alternate service provider organizations and pursuing interim measures in Hamilton and surrounding areas in order to minimize the impact to newcomers, especially vulnerable refugees participating in the Resettlement Assistance Program.”

“This is a most unfortunate situation and CIC has a great deal of respect for the frontline settlement workers at SISO who have been extremely dedicated in helping newcomers build new lives for themselves in Hamilton,” said Heidi Jurisic, Director of Settlement, Intergovernmental Affairs and Multiculturalism at CIC’s regional headquarters in Toronto.

“Minimizing the impact on settlement service delivery as a result of the disruption to SISO's services is our utmost priority at this time.”

CIC is working closely with the other service provider organizations in the Hamilton area and Niagara Region to increase their capacity, staff and complement of settlement programs to accommodate SISO’s case load where possible.

The statement noted “SISO’s New Dawn Centre is not fully operational at this time, and as such, CIC has put in place special measures to ensure Hamilton-bound refugees have the support and resources they need to begin their new lives in Canada."newdawn

New Dawn Centre Hamilton

“The department funds reception centres for refugees in Kitchener, Toronto, London, Windsor and Ottawa, and clients will be housed in those centres on a temporary basis.”

“CIC is currently only directing clients with family in the Hamilton area to the city, and other government assisted refugees will be redirected to the other funded reception centres in Ontario.”

“On December 24, 2010, the department issued a call for proposals for Hamilton’s Resettlement Assistance Program, and we expect to have a new contribution agreement in place by late spring,” the statement added.

SISO currently has three valid contribution agreements to March 31, 2011 for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC), Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS), and Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP). Four of SISO’s contribution agreements came to conclusion on December 31, 2010: Immigrant and Settlement Adaptation Program (ISAP), HOST, Youth ISAP and Youth HOST.

Hamilton clients are advised to continue visiting the following organizations for the programs:

HOST

Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre HOST Program Coordinator – Hamilton 3rd Floor - 20 Hughson Street, Hamilton, ON Telephone: (289) 244-0629

Immigrant and Settlement Adaptation Program (ISAP) Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton-Niagara 460 Main Street, 2nd floor Hamilton, ON Telephone: (905) 528-0163

St. Joseph’s Immigrant Women’s Centre (Head Office - Downtown) 101 – 8 Main Street East Hamilton, ON Telephone: (905) 529-5209 St. Joseph’s Immigrant Women’s Centre (Downtown) 182 Rebecca Street Hamilton, ON Telephone: (905) 525-9676

St. Joseph’s Immigrant Women’s Centre (Mountain) 1119 Fennell Avenue East Hamilton, ON Telephone: (905) 387-1100

Youth Programs YMCA Hamilton Youth Program 23 Main Street East Hamilton, ON Telephone: (905) 540-9679

Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) Assessments Grand Erie District School Board 365 Rawdon Street Brantford, ON Telephone: (519) 753-6079

YMCA Employment & Newcomer Services YMCA of Niagara 285 Bunting Road St. Catharines, ON Telephone: (905) 684-3500

Centre for Skills Development and Training 860 Harrington Court Burlington, ON Telephone: (905) 333-3499

Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP)

CIC’s Matching Centre in Ottawa is triaging Hamilton-bound clients based on their individual needs. Refugees with families in the Hamilton area will be directed to Hamilton, while all other clients will be temporarily housed in one of CIC’s other five Ontario-based centres.

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