Manitoba has doubled its investment in settlement services for Canada immigrants with an infusion of another $4 million to fund programs for newcomers.
“Thousands of newcomers settle in Manitoba every year from around the world and the diverse array of knowledge, skills and experiences they bring with them advances our province’s economic prosperity and enriches the vibrancy of our communities,” said Manitoba Immigration Minister Jon Reyes.
“Expanding the settlement services available to newcomers empowers them to more fully and successfully integrate in their new communities sooner, which has been shown to bolster immigrant retention rates.”
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The latest Statistics Canada data reveals Manitoba’s five-year immigrant retention rate was 67.7 per cent for immigrants who came to the province in 2015.
That’s a much-lower retention rate than Ontario’s 92 per cent but far above the province with the lowest retention rate. Prince Edward Island’s retention rate for the same year was a scant 28 per cent.
Manitoba is offering up to $4 million this year to fund projects that help immigrants integrate socially and economically.
With the latest investment in settlement services, Manitoba is doubling what it spent last year on the newcomer community integration support program’s community connections stream.
“It’s my hope that this expanded funding will enable new and innovative projects to benefit,” said Reyes. “(These programs) will assist newcomers in building strong ties to their new communities, enabling them to build and utilize the valuable skills they bring to Manitoba.”
Organizations are eligible to apply for the funds must be:
- service provider organizations offering services for newcomers;
- established non-profit organizations, community groups, or;
- direct service/program providers.
In total, the Manitoba government is providing $7.1 million Newcomer Community Integration Support Program (NCIS) program in the upcoming fiscal year including $3 million for Manitoba Start, $120,000 for Recognition Counts and increased funding for Newcomer Community Connections Stream.
All projects must align with the goals of Manitoba’s Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy and should build on proven strengths, complement existing services, improve inter-organizational co-operation and innovatively address current or emerging population needs.
Deadline For Submissions For Provincial Funding For Settlement Service Projects Is February 27
“Investing in settlement and integration services that help newcomers build strong ties to their new communities is key to sustainable economic development,” said Reyes.
“From increasing awareness of local resources to reducing barriers to meaningful employment to promoting positive social networks, these services are critical for helping newcomers transition into their new communities and build a sense of security and stability.”
The deadline for applications is Feb. 27.
In the first 11 months of last year, Manitoba welcomed 20,420 new permanent residents, the latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals.
That puts the province on track to have received 22,276 new permanent residents by the end of 2022, or 18 per cent more than the 18,870 that came to Manitoba in 2019, the last full year before the start of the pandemic.
The projected total of new permanent residents to Manitoba for last year would also be more than a third, 34.9 per cent, than the 16,575 who settled there in 2021. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, immigration to the province took a dive, much as it did in the rest of the country, and Manitoba only received 8,610 new permanent residents in 2020.
By far the most popular route to permanent residency in Manitoba last year was the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) which is forecast to have helped 14,340 foreign nationals come to the province.
Family sponsorships are expected to have helped 2,793 foreign nationals become permanent residents in Manitoba by the end of 2022 and the province is also forecast to have welcomed 2,051 refugees and protected persons during that year.