Backgrounder Article from  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Community Partnership Settlement Plan criteria

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is launching a process to expand the current network of communities across Canada that can provide the supports and services necessary to resettle Syrian refugees and other newcomers in the future.

To this end, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, in cooperation with provinces and territories, has established criteria for communities wishing to become welcoming communities for GARs. The categories and mandatory criteria are listed below.

Availability of a broad set of settlement services

Under this category, communities must demonstrate the settlement services that are accessible to newcomers, including refugees. These include:

  • Needs assessment and referrals: Formal reviews of newcomers’ needs, leading to referrals to settlement and other community-based service.
  • Language: Supports to assess and train newcomers to develop official language skills to live and work in Canada.
  • Information and orientation: Information to better understand life in Canada to help newcomers make informed settlement decisions.
  • Employment: Services that help newcomers search, gain, and retain employment that corresponds with their skills and education.
  • Community connections: Services connecting newcomers to public institutions and their communities, including cross-cultural interactions (e.g. mentorship programs).
  • Support services: Access to direct settlement services supported by services such as childcare, transportation, translation, interpretation, crisis counseling, and provisions for disabilities.

Availability of community infrastructure

Under this category, the capacity of local organizations and institutions to serve a diverse population is assessed. This includes:

  • Capacity of local organizations and institutions in serving a diverse population;
  • Readiness of broader community to welcome refugees;
  • Suitable permanent accommodation;
  • Relevant specialized supports; and
  • Employment opportunities.

Demonstration of established partnerships

Under this category, IRCC assesses strategic partnerships that exist within the community that will support the settlement and integration of refugees. These include:

  • Partnership with an existing Resettlement Assistance Program service provider(s); and
  • Partnerships with provincial/territorial government, the settlement sector, Local Immigration Partnerships/Réseaux en immigration francophone (or similar planning groups), volunteer sector, and the private sector (business and labour).

Beyond the current resettlement efforts, any steps taken by communities to strengthen partnerships to support government-assisted refugee resettlement will ultimately serve to foster more welcoming communities and attract all newcomers on an ongoing basis.

Federal funding is not available to communities/municipalities for the development or implementation of their plans. IRCC will, however, consider funding to settlement service provider organizations beginning in 2016-2017 if plans specifically identify activities and increased demand.

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