New Canadians face hurdles

Immigrants in Canada often have a difficult time settling into society, in large part because of the country’s social policies, and governments, businesses, nonprofits and communities must work together to help immigrants get their bearings, a new report says.

The report, published by Community Foundations of Canada and the Law Commission of Canada, lists seven challenges facing immigrants and offers seven recommendations for easing their transition.

Among the challenges newcomers face are limited funding for nonprofit settlement programs and constraints placed on those programs by the government, says the report, “Unsettled: Legal and Policy Barriers for Newcomers to Canada.”

To provide more stability among the agencies assisting newcomers, funders should provide settlement nonprofits with longer-term and more-flexible funding arrangements, the report says.

Jobs, which not only provide income but also help reduce other barriers to transition, are the most immediate need immigrants face, the report says.

Assistance in learning the language is also critical, the report says, and it recommends better funding for translation services at health care agencies, schools, legal services agencies and other similar organizations.

Immigrants who experience difficult transitions also are more likely to feel isolated and vulnerable and are less likely to become engaged in their communities, the report says.

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