The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently unveiled the outcomes of its CFP 2024 Stakeholder consultations. IRCC plays a pivotal role in the Settlement Program and Resettlement Assistance Program, collaborating with various organizations across Canada to ensure newcomers receive the vital support they need. This report aims to dissect the findings and highlights of the consultations, focusing on key areas of improvement, the challenges faced, and the strengths of IRCC’s initiatives.
IRCC’s Role and Purpose
- IRCC administers funding for programs aiding newcomers in adapting to life in Canada.
- The Call for Proposals (CFP) identifies impactful programs to allocate funding.
- The consultations aimed to gather feedback from the settlement sector regarding potential changes for CFP 2024.
Settlement Program Services and Newcomer Influx
- Services encompass information, language training, employment, and housing assistance.
- Canada’s goal is to welcome 500,000 new permanent residents annually by 2025.
- Upcoming Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026 may influence these numbers.
- 1,187 participants engaged in the consultations.
- Topics included departmental priorities, strengths, and areas for improvement.
- Findings emerged from seven webinars.
Priority Areas for CFP 2024
The consultations primarily focused on the following priority areas:
- Right Services
- Right Clients
- Right Time
- Francophone Integration Pathway
Expanding Eligibility to Temporary Residents
- Suggestions to expand services to temporary residents, like international students and temporary foreign workers.
- Current services primarily cater to permanent residents, spouses, dependents, and approved asylum claimants.
- Approximately 2.2 million temporary residents are in Canada.
Staffing Challenges and Mental Health Support
- Participants noted difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified staff.
- Enhanced access to mental health support, including staff training, was recommended.
- A centralized process for newcomers to access settlement services from the pre-arrival stage was proposed.
Flexibility in Funding Allocation
- Participants advocated for greater flexibility in funding administration.
- This would enable service providers to adapt to urgent, short-term needs rather than waiting for the next funding cycle.
Reporting Burdens and Data Collection
- Participants found the reporting process too focused on quantitative metrics.
- They called for more recognition of indirect services and flexible database options for data collection.
- Different regions in Canada have diverse needs for supporting newcomers.
- Atlantic Canada, for instance, faces challenges due to limited public transportation.
- Ontario SPOs emphasized the need for collaboration and flexible, limited-time funding.
Areas of Strength
- The report highlights IRCC‘s achievements in fostering collaboration between organizations and governments.
- Services offered in single locations outside of business hours were praised.
- Notable successes include providing culturally sensitive services and a “by and for” approach to service delivery for Francophone newcomers.
In conclusion, the CFP 2024 Stakeholder consultations shed light on various areas for improvement, such as expanding services to temporary residents, addressing staffing and mental health challenges, and enhancing flexibility in funding allocation. The report also emphasizes the importance of recognizing regional differences and highlights IRCC’s successes in fostering collaboration and providing culturally sensitive services.