Archive for the ‘Funding’ Category

CIC call for proposals for settlement and resettlement programs

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has issued a call for papers for the provision of settlement and resettlement projects that are local, regional, national and international in scope.

Related documents:

National call for proposals

Funding guidelines

FAQs

This call for settlement and resettlement projects includes mention of a new model of what used to called “childminding”. The new model is now called Care for Newcomer Children (CNC). Information is available on the CMAS website on the CNC model, including:

Care for Newcomer Children: Highlights

Care for Newcomer Children Bulletin

Care for Newcomer Children: Questions & Answers

For more information on the CIC call, and to ask questions, contact CFP2012@cic.gc.ca. Deadline is Sept 7, 2012.

The Drummond Commission recommendations on immigration (and the missed opportunities to address immigrant children/families)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

There has been much examination and discussion of the recommendations of the recently released Drummond Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services (struck by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Finance Minister Dwight Duncan). immigrantchildren.ca notes that the Commission has lost the opportunity to highlight and promote the importance of addressing both the needs of immigrant families with young children – and the contribution that immigrant parents can make to the Ontario economy if these needs are supported.

In the introduction, “The Economic Importance of Immigration”, the Drummond report says:

“By attracting skilled workers from abroad, Ontario can better address potential labour-market shortages. Maintaining labour-force growth, aided by successful immigrants, can help sustain Ontario’s long-term economic growth”.

immigrantchildren.ca believes that immigrant parents may be able to contribute economically by participating in the labour force, but only if they are secure in their child care arrangements. Current federal initiatives for child care are almost absent. There is an opportunity for the federal government to partner with the provinces to ensure that culturally appropriate child care is made available to newcomers.

This introduction ends with the bold statement: “In short, future trends in immigration and the degree to which Ontario can successfully integrate new arrivals into the province’s labour market and social fabric will have a significant effect on Ontario’s fiscal fortunes”. The Drummond report makes a case for ensuring that social supports are in place for immigrants in order for them to contribute to the economy through labour force participation. Child care is one such social support. We wonder how it was overlooked.

In the Commission’s section on immigration, seven recommendations are made. With respect to each of the recommendations, immigrantchildren.ca has some initial thoughts. We invite more discussion, debate and comment. (Drummond report recommendations in bold, with comments in italics following).

Recommendation 10-1: Develop a position on immigration policies that is in the province’s best economic and social interests. Present this position to the federal government with the expectation that, as the largest recipient of immigrants in Canada, Ontario’s interest will be given considerable weight in federal policy development.

What is in the best interest is the development of fully funded culturally appropriate child care system that will support immigrant parents’ participation in the labour force. The federal government should, alongside, develop federal policy on child care for newcomer families that meets the needs not only of the national economy, but the social benefits of immigrant parents participation in the workforce if there is acceptable child care available, affordable and accessible to newcomers.

Recommendation 10-2: Catalyze national discussions on immigration policy as the successful integration of immigrants is critical for Canada’s and Ontario’s economic futures.

Few programs support integration better than community-based early learning and child care programs. Situated in public schools (as proposed in the full day kindergarten program of the McGuinty government), culturally appropriate child care for newcomer children – indeed, for all children – is a key catalyst to promotion of Canadian values and an optimal welcoming point for children and parents alike.

Recommendation 10-3: Advocate the federal government for a greater provincial role in immigrant selection to ensure that the level and mix of immigrants coming to Ontario is optimized to support economic prosperity and improve outcomes for immigrants. Barring success, advocate for an expanded Provincial Nominee Program.

The PNP might also explore age of the children of immigrants recruited through it. If Canada and Ontario are to thrive, the “level and mix” of immigrants must include children from birth to age eight and a PNP is well positioned to address this gap.

Recommendation 10-4: Press the federal government to be more transparent in its refugee policies and practices and to compensate Ontario for the costs of providing additional social supports to refugees and refugee claimants.

In our discussions and recommendations for ‘culturally appropriate child care’, it must be noted that refugee children have significantly different needs than children of immigrants who choose to emigrate. Services and supports for refugee children and youth must be developed with these specific needs in mind.

Recommendation 10-6: Streamline and integrate provincially delivered integration and settlement services for recent immigrants with Employment Ontario.

Within the discussion for recommendations 5 & 6 is found the statement “Two of the key drivers of labour-market success for immigrants are a working knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages and educational credentials that are accepted by regulatory bodies and potential employers”. While immigrantchildren.ca would agree that language and credentials are key, the Drummond report misses the mark by neglecting to consider the importance of child care for any working parent.

Recommendation 10-7: Advocate for devolving federal immigrant settlement and training programs to the province…

Again, we would argue that any settlement funding agreement with the federal government should include start-up and ongoing funds for child care.

~

The Commission cites a number of studies in its report including one by Mr Drummond himself that clearly articulates and recognizes the value of high quality child care. See D. Drummond, and F, Fong, “The Changing Canadian Workplace”, TD Economics, TD Bank Financial Group, 2010.

“…the higher incidence of part-time employment is caused, in part, by the cultural notion that women remain the primary caretaker of a family. As such, full-time employment is most likely not an option for many women as this would imply foregoing time to tend to household responsibilities. This also speaks to the poor state of childcare options available to many Canadians. Among comparative advanced nations in the OECD, Canada spends the smallest share of its GDP on early childhood education and care (ECEC) for those aged 0-6. At just 0.25% of GDP, this is extremely distant from the 1.5%-2% range spent by the Scandinavian countries. And since ECEC spending falls under provincial jurisdiction, the 0.25% figure is an aver- age across the provinces and is likely skewed by the heavy subsidization in Quebec where, for example, the $7 per day childcare provides for many lower income parents. Hence, regardless of the fact that Canada has one of the highest female participation rates in the world, participation in childcare services for children under the age of 3 is only in the middle of the pack among the OECD”.

Another report cited by the Commission is Fernando Mata, “The Non-Accreditation of Immigrant Professionals in Canada: Societal Dimensions of the Problem”, Department of Canadian Heritage, 1999:

“A recent example is a survey of the accreditation problems faced by immigrant women in the nursing, teaching and social work professions in partnership with the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women in Canada (NOIVMWC). The report coming out from the survey revealed that immigrant women with professional degrees, in addition to the common problems faced by male counterparts, were more negatively affected by “lack of services and resources in the areas of childcare and language training”.

The Commission rightfully relied on a careful examination of the literature in addition to its consultations. The literature findings, including Mr. Drummond’s own work, clearly sees the value of a system of high quality early learning and child care as an employment support and a support to integration of newcomers, but it failed to include child care as a recommendation to the people of Ontario. As such, it has failed immigrant families.

Good child care is a barrier identified in Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) report

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has released a report today on the barriers to immigrant integration. A brief quote from the report/website:

“Municipalities are the front-line, first-responders for many immigrants´ needs, yet we collect just eight cents of every tax-dollar paid in Canada and have been given no formal role in developing federal immigration policies and programs,” said FCM vice-president Claude Dauphin. “The federal government must recognize municipalities as key partners in immigrant settlement and work with us to tailor solutions to local needs.”

“FCM called on the federal government to protect long-term investments in communities, including more than $500 million in annual housing investments scheduled to expire during the next decade; protect and build on recent investments in Canada’s infrastructure and public transit; work with municipalities, provinces and territories to design longer-term settlement programs that respond better to changing local needs; and collect data on immigrants´ needs and report back to Canadians on the results”.

Among the main findings of the FCM report is the need to provide more and better ESL clasess for parents, alongside afffordable, accessible child care.

Read the full report here.

Immigrant children, youth and families: A Qualitative analysis of the challenges of integration

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

This spring, the Social Planning Council of Ottawa concluded work on “Immigrant children, youth and families: A Qualitative analysis of the challenges of integration”, as part of their Families in Community project.

The report addresses the disconnect when newcomer families feel their parenting and child-rearing methods are not acknowledged/respected and the tension service providers feel about some newcomers who they perceive demonstrate a lack of commitment to early child development.

Next stages in the SPCO Families in Community project will result in:

An analysis of best/good practices for culturally-based family supports by ethno-cultural organizations.

Supports to good/best practices within 8 pilot projects with small ethno-cultural organizations.

A resource kit for mainstream family services based on good practices serving new immigrant families.

The report will be launched at the annual Social Planning Council of Ottawa AGM, May 26, 2011 in Ottawa. For information, contact Helene by May 15 at 613-236-9300 ext. 300 office@spcottawa.on.ca.  Free admission, but donations are welcome.

Call for proposals: CIC & Multiculturalism

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Inter-Action is the new Multiculturalism Grants program, administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

From the latest funding call:

“The Program supports CIC’s mandate and the Canadian Multiculturalism Act by assisting the socio-economic integration of individuals and communities and their contributions to building an integrated and socially cohesive society”.

“Priority areas under consideration for this call are: Youth, including youth at risk; Faith communities and organizations; Immigrants. Themes focus on: Citizenship rights and responsibilities; Facilitating positive interaction among different cultural, ethnic and religious communities in Canada”.

For more information, including application forms and details on applying, see the CIC site and the Settlement At Work site.

Deadline for applications is Oct 15, 2010.

Consultation on child care for newcomer families

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has funded the organization CMAS (Childminding Monitoring Advisory Support) to conduct a national consultation of the settlement community, including immigrant serving organizations, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) administrators and childminders, towards the development of a new child care model for newcomer families. The consultation process includes an online survey and teleconferences. See the CMAS website for information and details.

Federal funding for projects promoting integration

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

The Department of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism are entertaining proposals for projects “Promoting Integration*“.

Program Objectives:

  1. Ethno-cultural/racial minorities participate in public decision-making (civic participation) To assist in the development of strategies that facilitate full and active participation of ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious communities in Canadian society.
  2. Communities and the broad public engage in informed dialogue and sustained action to combat racism (anti-racism/anti-hate/cross-cultural understanding) To increase public awareness, understanding and informed public dialogue about multiculturalism, racism, and cultural diversity in Canada.To facilitate collective community initiatives and responses to ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious conflict and hate-motivated activities.
  3. Public institutions eliminate systemic barriers (institutional change) To improve the ability of public institutions to respond to ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious diversity by assisting in the identification and removal of barriers to equitable access and by supporting the involvement of these ethno-racial/cultural communities in the public decision-making process.

Program Priorities

  1. Program Priorities:Support the economic, social, and cultural integration of new Canadians and cultural communities. Emphasis will be placed on projects which aim to: assist new Canadians and cultural communities to gain knowledge and skills for economic, social, and cultural integration and civic engagement; provide opportunities and support for the involvement of new Canadians and cultural communities to work in partnerships with various stakeholders towards identifying and resolving issues affecting them (schools, social services, employment, recognition of foreign credentials, justice systems, policing, media, etc.); improve the ability of public institutions to respond to, and integrate, ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious diversity by assisting in the identification and removal of barriers to equitable access.
  2. Facilitate programs such as mentorship, volunteerism, leadership, and civic education among at-risk cultural youth Areas of emphasis include projects that will: assist cultural youth at-risk to gain self-confidence, knowledge, and skills for participation and civic engagement (volunteerism); provide opportunities for youth through partnerships with their peers, adults, and community leaders as well as through mentorship initiatives, to gain practical learning experience and develop the skills necessary to contribute to the economic, social and cultural life of their communities; assist in addressing the root causes of cultural youth marginalization, detachment, and radicalization; assist youth in responding to racism and hate-motivated activities.
  3. Promote inter-cultural understanding and Canadian values (democracy, freedom, human rights and rule of law) through community initiatives, with the objective of addressing issues of cultural social exclusion (parallel communities) and radicalization. Areas of emphasis include projects that will: foster interaction between different communities and support cross-sector collaboration in community-based projects to build and shape an inclusive and respectful society; facilitate collective community initiatives and responses to combat ethnic, racial, cultural and religious conflicts and hate-motivated activities; support community-based initiatives designed to facilitate inter-faith dialogue and increase understanding of the place of religion in Canada in order to combat ignorance and faulty assumptions and foster constructive and informed dialogue about multiculturalism, religions, racism, cultural diversity, and Canadian values; encourage activities aimed at reaching society at large to facilitate inter-cultural understanding and address the cultural social exclusion of some communities; increase awareness and understanding of racism and discrimination and take action to foster equal opportunities for all people; reduce or eliminate factors contributing to exclusion, disenchantment, and radicalization.

*Still no official definition of “integration” from the Federal government.

Liberal Pink Book, Vol III: An action plan for Canadian women

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

The Liberal Party of Canada released yesterday their Pink Book, Volume III: An Action Plan for Canadian Women. I tweeted overall disappointment in not addressing immigration issues and specifically that there was no discussion or proposal for improving the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program that brings women to Canada as nannies to provide child care for Canadian women (often leaving behind their own children in the process).

The third volume in the Pink Book series does make commitments on child care and on a “national care-giving strategy” (p. 8) but doesn’t connect the dots. Here’s what they say about early learning and child care, under the general heading of Women in the Economy:

“The National Liberal Women’s Caucus recommends that a new federal Liberal government: Work with the provinces and territories to build a system of affordable, accessible and high-quality early learning and childcare spaces across the country, including programs to meet the unique needs of rural families” (p. 6).

Continuing in the same category, they propose to “Establish a ‘Bridging-to-Employment’ program covering the first 6 weeks of salary for new immigrant and visible minority women employees. Workplace educational programs should also be expanded to help break down existing racial and gender stereotypes” (p. 7).

The problem with these policy directions include not recognizing that much of the patchwork that is the child care system in Canada is provided by immigrant women in the informal, unlicensed sector.  Canada brings in TFWs/nannies to address labour shortages. The human resource issues in regulated child care are numerous and are being examined by a federal body, but again, there is no link made in this third volume of policies to improve life for women in Canada.

A truly comprehensive plan for women in Canada requires reconciling immigration policy that exploits migrant women workers, does not deliver ‘high-quality’ early learning, and furthers racial and gender stereotypes with the plans to create an affordable, accessible and high quality system. The overlaps and gaps are clear.

An interesting piece is the attention paid to language in legislation, including a commitment to change foreign policy wording of “children in armed conflict” to “child soldiers”. Curious.

Feds fund HIPPY to integrate immigrant children

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

In March ’09TVO and HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) to deliver literacy programming, targeted to newcomer children and families. This week, the federal government has funded HIPPY to develop and deliver “culturally sensitive programs” for immigrant children.

The funding (around $3M from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and $300,000 from Human Resources and Skills Development) will be used to “increase Canadian content” in the HIPPY curriculum and expand programs across Canada.

The Federal government might consider increasing funding to the child care portion of their own LINC program (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada). LINC provides language training and settlement support to adults, and provides what’s called “childminding” for children of LINC students. The childminders, many of whom are Early Childhood Educators, and therefore trained in promoting language and literacy development (including having a unique understanding of the importance of retaining the home language while learning a new language) are among the first points of contact to Canadian society for immigrant children and are well positioned to work with LINC instructors, who work with parents. Now, that’s a partnership that could support integration.

Maytree’s proposed (economic) immigration strategy

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

The Maytree Foundation held an online media event (teleconference and webinar) on their latest paper “Adjusting the Balance: Fixing Canada’s Economic Immigration Policies”. In the online Q&A after the presentation, Naomi Alboim informed us that she is now working on another paper that will address the live-in caregiver and seasonal agricultural worker programs. We look forward to an examination of family reunification and transnational families in the next paper.

NB: Maytree and Naomi Alboim used the term “family unification” v. family reunification. We like it!

Visit the Maytree Foundation site to download the current paper, the online presentation notes and after July 27th, the online media event.

Integration v. multiculturalism

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Federal Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, The Honourable Jason Kenney Friday, July 10/09 announced $9.5 Million to Calgary immigrant serving organizations delivering language training. Citing once again the well-known quote by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Kenney reiterated that “newcomers have a right to be different but a duty to integrate”. Adding:

“Our new focus is on integration. We don’t want to create a bunch of silo communities where kids grow up in a community that more resembles their parents’ country of origin than Canada”. (Source: The Canadian Press).

Calgary immigrant serving organizations were happy to receive the funds, however, no details were made available on whether or how much of this funding is allocated to children’s settlement and language training.

Financial literacy program for newcomer women

Monday, June 29th, 2009

The St. Joseph Immigrant Women’s Centre in Hamilton, Ontario today received over $130,000 to support a financial literacy program for immigrant women. The Centre works with refugee and immigrant women and “provides services including labour market training and support, language and driving instruction, educational funding, and health services for women and their families”.

Minister of State, Status of Women, Helena Guergis made the announcement today. From the news release:

“New Canadians play a vital role in contributing to Canada’s economy. Especially during these tough economic times, it is more important than ever that new Canadians have the opportunity and skills to contribute fully,” said Minister Guergis. “By supporting the St. Joseph’s Immigrant Women’s Centre in carrying out this important project, our Government is working to ensure that immigrant and refugee women have the tools they need to overcome poverty”.

immigrantchildren.ca hopes that child care is supported as one of the tools to lift newcomer families out of poverty – and provide children with quality early learning opportunities.