Four Welcome Centres in York Region opened their doors to help newcomers and their families get the services they need to build a better life for themselves in their new communities.
Each Welcome Centre offers a one-stop shop approach to services by pooling the resources of community-based agencies under one roof. The Centres are funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada under the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, and managed by community organizations. Citizenship and Immigration Canada is also funding a mobile unit to provide settlement services to newcomers located in smaller communities throughout York Region.
In addition to interpretation and referral services, language assessment and classes, job search workshops and occasional childminding, the new Welcome Centres offer specific programs for newcomer youth and seniors. The Centres also host a variety of organizations that offer such services as:
• Family counselling
• Public health information and services
• Legal services
The first Welcome Centre in York Region funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada opened in Vaughan, Ontario, in 2007. That Centre has now helped more than 6,000 immigrants since then.
“Welcome Centres are a great way to ensure that we are meeting the local needs of newcomers,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
“These new Welcome Centres will help York Region’s newcomers get settled in Ontario, giving them access to the agencies that will help them succeed.”
“As one of the most ethnically diverse municipalities in Canada, Markham has opened its doors to new Canadians and experienced the resulting social, cultural and economic benefits to our community,” said Markham mayor Frank Scarpitti.
“These new Welcome Centres will play a critical role in ensuring newcomers who have chosen York Region as their home will be provided with the opportunity to contribute to our continuing success.”
The Welcome Centres are located in Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Markham North and Markham South.
Funding of more than $19.7 million for the Welcome Centres is being provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada through the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement.