Canada-British Columbia Agreement 2004 - Annex B: Responsibilities for Immigrant Settlement Services

Annex B:
Responsibilities for Immigrant Settlement Services

1.0 Shared Principles

1.1 Canada and British Columbia recognize the importance of facilitating immigrant and refugee settlement and integration and acknowledge that both levels of government have a role in that process.

1.2 Canada and British Columbia agree to abide by and uphold the following shared principles:

  1. Integration is a two-way process, which involves commitment on the part of newcomers to adapt to life in Canada and on the part of Canadians to welcome and adapt to new people and cultures;
  2. The ability of newcomers to communicate in one of Canada’s official languages is key to integration;
  3. Newcomers’ contributions to the economic and social fabric of Canada are valued: it is important for newcomers to become economically self-sufficient and to be able to participate in the social dimensions of life in Canada; and it is important for members of communities in Canada to help to ensure that newcomers have opportunities to participate in and contribute to the economic and social life of Canada;
  4. It is important to share with newcomers the principles, traditions and values that are inherent in Canadian society such as freedom, equality and participatory democracy;
  5. Settlement and integration services will be aimed at helping newcomers become self-sufficient as soon as possible. Priority will be given to those facing significant barriers to integration, and who are deemed most in need within the community; and
  6. Settlement and integration services across the country will be flexible, responsive and reasonably comparable.

2.0 Definitions

2.1 For the purposes of this annex:

  1. “Immigrants and refugees” as used in this Annex and notwithstanding the definition found in section 2.1 of the General Provisions of this Agreement, means permanent residents, protected persons, Convention refugees, and those individuals granted a temporary resident permit to facilitate their early admission to Canada, or live-in care-givers in Canada who may subsequently apply for permanent resident status from within Canada as provided under the terms of the live-in caregiver class;
  2. “Immigrant sectoral supports” means the supporting umbrella organizations that provide common support to individual organizations with the primary mandate to co-ordinate activities across the delivery sector related to organizational, professional and course development, capacity building, program orientation for the introduction of new services in the delivery of front-line services to immigrants and refugees;
  3. “Settlement and integration services” encompass activities that are specifically designed to facilitate the early economic and social integration of newcomers to Canada. Unless otherwise agreed by the Program Management Committee (as per Annex A), these services are: orientation, reception, adult language training, settlement counselling, community bridging, referral to other services, labour market preparation, business activity preparation, temporary or one-time interventions to facilitate service adaptations in mainstream public services in light of newcomer settlement needs, immigrant sectoral supports and activities which help to develop a more informed and welcoming environment for newcomers to Canada. Notwithstanding the terms of this or any other provision in this Agreement, live-in caregivers are not eligible for adult language training funded under this Annex or community bridging services; and
  4. “Specified humanitarian groups resettled from abroad” include refugees selected by Canada abroad and identified as persons requiring government assistance, groups who are admitted to Canada through blended initiatives such as the Joint Assistance Program, or other initiatives where Canada and private sector or non-governmental sponsoring groups share in the provision of income support and immediate essential services.

3.0 Purpose and Scope

3.1 The purpose of this Annex is to maintain and develop the roles and responsibilities of Canada and British Columbia, subject to sections 10.3 and 10.4 in order to:

  1. maintain British Columbia’s primary responsibility for the design, administration and delivery of settlement and integration services for immigrants and refugees in British Columbia;
  2. ensure settlement and integration services are client-based, efficient and effective;
  3. encourage community involvement in identifying local settlement and integration priorities; and
  4. maintain efficient administration of settlement and integration services.

3.2 Canada and British Columbia agree to collaborate in the development and implementation of specific projects to address the successful integration of immigrants into the labour market. Efforts of Canada and British Columbia include the Enhanced Language Training (ELT) projects, as outlined in Appendix 3 of this Annex.

4.0 Canada’s Roles and Responsibilities

4.1 Canada will provide on-going funding to British Columbia to support the design, administration and delivery of settlement and integration services.

4.2 Canada will ensure that services for specified humanitarian groups resettled from abroad are provided including:

  1. income support during their initial period in Canada; and
  2. immediate essential services such as port of entry reception, onward destining, reception at final point of destination, temporary accommodation, linkage to income support, initial counselling, referral to specialized counselling or services, and linkages to regular settlement and other human services.

4.3 Canada will continue to provide settlement and integration services at the national level, including:

  1. port of entry “Welcome to Canada” information services for all immigrants and refugees;
  2. information and advice to assist in planning and delivery of settlement and integration services on matters such as immigration trends, research findings, and relevant federal policies;
  3. facilitation of the exchange of information among partners and service providers on best practices and research related to integration; and
  4. effective and cost efficient orientation overseas.

5.0 British Columbia’s Roles and Responsibilities

5.1 British Columbia will design, administer and deliver settlement and integration services to immigrants and refugees residing in British Columbia in accordance with the shared principles outlined in this Annex.

5.2 British Columbia will ensure that there is regular community involvement in identifying existing and emerging settlement and integration needs and in setting priorities for the provision of settlement and integration services through a process that:

  1. is representative of affected community interests;
  2. draws on a balance of settlement and mainstream service provider, immigrant sectoral supports and client perspectives;
  3. draws on information about immigration and integration trends, best practices, research results; and
  4. is at arm’s length from specific funding decisions that may be perceived as conflict of interest situations.

5.3 British Columbia will administer the funds transferred under this annex in a way that:

  1. is responsive to community priorities;
  2. ensures that a broad range of service providers are eligible for funding, with service quality and cost effectiveness as key considerations;
  3. recognizes the needs and concerns for the immigrant sectoral supports to provide professional development and support services for program delivery changes; and
  4. acknowledges federal funding contributions.

5.4 British Columbia will take into account the official languages needs of newcomers in developing program priorities for settlement and integration services. In assessing the official languages needs of newcomers, British Columbia will consult with organizations providing settlement and integration services and with organizations representative of the official language minority population within British Columbia.

5.5 In delivering its settlement and integration services, British Columbia will actively offer its services in either official language where there is significant demand. And, taking into consideration Canada’s Official Languages Act, British Columbia will determine, in consultation with Canada what constitutes “significant demand” for the purposes of communications with, and the provision of services to, persons requiring settlement services.

6.0 Shared Roles and Responsibilities

6.1 Canada and British Columbia agree to work together and with other provinces and territories to:

  1. define what constitutes reasonably comparable settlement services;
  2. establish and implement common measures and indicators of results to serve accountability and evaluation needs;
  3. enable the availability of effective orientation abroad for potential immigrants and refugees on settlement and integration challenges in Canada;
  4. develop and distribute orientation materials in Canada in partnership with stakeholders;
  5. improve Canadians’ understanding of the impact of immigration, and promote an understanding of integration as embodied in the shared principles; and
  6. define and pursue, with other stakeholders, appropriate research and evaluation projects that will improve understanding of the settlement and integration process and help people make informed decisions on the best use of public funds to facilitate this process.

6.2 Canada and British Columbia will ensure that there are linkages between federally and provincially administered services offered to specified humanitarian groups resettled from abroad and will work together on ways to ensure that the unique or urgent service needs of these groups may be met.

6.3 Canada and British Columbia agree to exchange information about the general settlement situation of refugees and immigrants in order to inform policy and program development.

7.0 Information Sharing

7.1 Canada and British Columbia will ensure that any exchange of information will be conducted in accordance with applicable federal and provincial legislation and in accordance with their policies relating to protection of privacy, access to information and security of records.

8.0 Financial Arrangements

8.1 Canada will play a continuing role by allocating annually to British Columbia a share of funding available for settlement and integration services based upon an allocation determined by a model developed in consultation with British Columbia. The model will be based upon principles including the following:

  1. relative demand for services will be based largely on recent share of landings of immigrants and refugees to provinces and territories;
  2. immigrant and refugee characteristics like language ability will be considered as service demand factors; and
  3. the volatility and predictability of funding will be managed to minimize fluctuations in service levels.

8.2 In 2004-2005, British Columbia will receive $36,435,407 in funding to support the design, administration and delivery of settlement and integration services.

8.3 Canada and British Columbia agree to review the annual administrative funding to British Columbia for settlement and integration services. To maintain a stable infrastructure, administration and staffing:

  1. Canada and British Columbia agree to complete the first round of negotiations under this section in order to implement a new administrative funding arrangement by July 1, 2004; and
  2. The current annual funding of $1.2 million for administration will continue until a new arrangement has been agreed upon.

8.4 Funds transferred under this Annex are for the purposes of design, administration and delivery of settlement and integration services as described in sections 2.1 c) and 5.0.

8.5 The amounts referred to in section 8.0 exclude federal funding intended for the settlement of specified humanitarian groups (currently Resettlement Assistance Program) and costs of Canada’s continued role in settlement and the funding for the Enhanced Language Training (ELT) Initiative as set out in Appendix 3.

8.6 Canada will inform British Columbia by April 1 of each year of the amount of funding planned to be available nationally for the subsequent three fiscal years subject to appropriations by Parliament.

8.7 Canada will inform British Columbia by November 1 of each year of its share of immigration for the purposes of calculating British Columbia’s allocation for the next fiscal year.

8.8 Canada will make payments to British Columbia for the fiscal year allocation in accordance with standard federal practices for the amount and type of payment.

9.0 Accountability and Reporting

9.1 British Columbia will provide Canada with an annual service plan, for the coming fiscal year
(April 1 - March 31) as per Appendix 1 of this Annex, by April 30 of each year.

9.2 British Columbia will provide Canada with an annual report for the period covered by the previous fiscal year, as per Appendix 2 of this Annex, by July 15 of each year on the funds transferred by Canada under this Annex which will:

  1. demonstrate that the funds were:
    1. used in a way consistent with the shared principles agreed to by the Parties;
    2. spent exclusively on the design, administration and delivery of settlement and integration services;
  2. describe results achieved with respect to official language acquisition and labour market participation, and other integration indicators as they are developed and agreed upon; and
  3. indicate the amount of federal funds spent on provincial program administration (i.e. overhead).

9.3 British Columbia will develop an accountability framework for the purpose of reporting to British Columbians on the outcomes of the settlement programs it delivers. British Columbia is committed to including in that framework comparable indicators developed in collaboration with Canada.

9.4 British Columbia will inform Canada in writing of any reductions in their own level of spending on settlement services.

9.5 British Columbia will follow their normal annual audit practices to ensure probity, taking into consideration federal guidelines. British Columbia will make results of these audits available at the request of Canada.

10.0 General Implementation

10.1 This Annex will take effect on the date the last party signs the Agreement.

10.2 Subject to sections 10.3 and 10.4, the duration of this Annex is indefinite.

10.3 Amendments to this Annex in whole or in part may be made by written agreement of both parties. The Amendment must be signed by both parties and will form part of this Annex, becoming effective on the date the last party signs.

10.4 Either party may terminate this Annex at any time by providing at least 24 months notice in writing to the other party.

10.5 Notwithstanding the termination of the General Provisions of the Agreement, the duration of this Annex and any amendments to it will continue and be governed by sections 10.2, 10.3 and 10.4 of Annex B, and section 11.7 of the General Provisions.

10.6 In the event of termination of this Annex, Canada and British Columbia agree that they will work together to ensure that services to clients will not be unduly affected or interrupted by the termination.

10.7 In the event that either party wishes to terminate this Annex both parties will take reasonable steps to reduce the costs attributable to the termination.

10.8 The parties undertake to give one another notice of any change in policy, regulations or legislation relating to their respective programs that is likely to affect this Annex.

Any notice to be delivered under this Annex should be sent to the party concerned as follows:

Address for notice to Canada:

Deputy Minister
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1

Address for notice to British Columbia:

Deputy Minister
Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services
6th Floor - 800 Johnson Street
P.O. Box 9490 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9N7

10.9 As per section 1.2 c) of Annex A, Canada and British Columbia agree to maintain a sub-committee of the Program Management Committee to discuss and resolve issues related to the implementation of Annex B.

10.10 The sub-committee will meet, at a minimum, annually.

Appendix 1 - Service Plan

Part A: Objectives and Priorities

  1. Overview: British Columbia Settlement and Integration Program
  2. Priorities of the British Columbia Settlement and Integration Program
  3. Description of how services are consistent with the Shared Principles

Part B: Planning Process: Information & Community Input

  1. Planning Process

Part C: Proposed Allocation and Use of Funds

  1. Proposed Allocation
  2. Regional Programming
  3. Official Languages
  4. Special Initiatives

Part D: Monitoring and Evaluation

  1. Overview of the processes in place for monitoring
  2. Program Evaluation

Appendix 2 - Annual Report

Part A: Objectives and Priorities

  1. Overview: British Columbia Settlement and Integration Program
  2. Priorities of the British Columbia Settlement and Integration Program

Part B: Report on Use of Funds

  1. Overall financial summaries
  2. Acknowledgement of Federal Funding
  3. Financial Audit

Part C: Results Achieved

  1. Overall Results Achieved
  2. Regional Programming
  3. Language Assessment Centre
  4. Official Languages
  5. Special Initiatives

Part D: Planning Process: Information & Community Input

Part E: Monitoring and Evaluation

  1. Overview of the processes in place for monitoring
  2. Program Evaluation

Appendix 3 - Enhanced Language Training

1.0 Objectives

1.1 To develop and implement labour market levels of language training for adult immigrants and refugees, including job-specific language training, to facilitate their effective participation in Canada’s social and economic life.

1.2 To link such language training and access projects to broader British Columbia labour market integration initiatives that bring together other employment access supports and services including skills and credentials assessment; skills upgrading; employment preparation; and workplace practice services.

2.0 Background

2.1 Newcomers to Canada currently experience a range of significant barriers to labour force attachment including non-recognition of international credentials; lack of English language proficiency; insufficient Canadian work experience; difficulty navigating the “system“; prohibitive costs associated with assessment and licensure; limited training/upgrading opportunities; and, the lack of networks and employer connections.

2.2 Canada’s Innovation and Skills Strategy has identified the labour market integration of immigrants and refugees as a key priority in supporting Canada’s future economic development. A number of federal departments and provincial ministries are currently engaged in the unfolding of this strategy in British Columbia, including Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the British Columbia Ministry of Community Aboriginal Services (MCAWS). In British Columbia there is currently a Memorandum of Understanding in place between MCAWS and Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) outlining terms of collaboration on immigrant labour market integration initiatives.

2.3 Canada has been provided with ongoing funding for the provision of higher levels of language training for adult immigrants and refugees including those who require labour market specific language training to meet their employment requirements. Language training will be developed and delivered through resource-shared partnerships with stakeholders including provinces, other federal departments, municipalities, employers, educational institutions, community organizations, NGOs, regulatory bodies and professional and trade associations.

2.4 In British Columbia stakeholders have come together to form a representative body that has developed the Employment Access for Skilled Immigrants (EASI) initiative, a systems approach to facilitating the labour market integration of immigrants and refugees. The intent is to provide required employment access services in an integrated way even though mandates and resources may be spread over multiple levels of government and across a range of non-government stakeholders.

2.5 In support of this systems approach the British Columbia Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services developed the Multilateral Strategy to Support the Labour Market Attachment of Skilled Immigrants. The objectives of the strategy are to:

  1. Support the development of an integrated bridging system that successfully addresses barriers to labour market attachment of skilled immigrants;
  2. Maximize the economic participation of a broad range of public and private stakeholders with an interest in the labour market attachment of skilled immigrants;
  3. Increase the effectiveness of labour market attachment initiatives through evaluation and dissemination of results; and
  4. Inform the future development of labour market attachment initiatives in B.C.

3.0 Enhanced Language Training Projects

3.1 Canada and British Columbia agree to establish a working arrangement through which labour market levels of language training including job-specific language training funds will be utilized in British Columbia.

3.2 Under this working arrangement, Canada will allocate to British Columbia, a minimum of $735,000 per year in 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2008-09. Funding for future years will be negotiated. The evaluation of the Enhanced Language Training initiative will be conducted in 2007-08. Canada’s contributions will be matched at least equally by contributions from the province, stakeholders in the province, or both, to develop and deliver products and services related to the ELT initiative as agreed upon by both parties. Canada’s contributions are subject to appropriation from Parliament.

3.3 Canada and British Columbia agree to work in partnership to solicit and review project proposals within the following parameters:

  1. In general, language training projects will focus on CLB levels 7-10.
  2. Projects that support a regional immigration strategy may include all language levels.
  3. Projects may include enhanced language training specific to the workplace (e.g. nursing, engineering etc).
  4. Assessment services, child minding and transportation supports will be included in the projects as required, to reduce barriers to access.
  5. In addition, delivery projects shall also include the following:
    1. Internships or temporary or permanent work placement in the immigrant’s field of expertise to enable orientation in the work environment; and/or
    2. Mentoring or networking opportunities to enable immigrants to meet people in their field of intended employment and to develop connections in that field

3.4 Canada and British Columbia agree to the following criteria for project proposals:

  1. Projects will be developed and delivered with resource sharing by partners;
  2. Projects will test new approaches and practices that have high potential for national application;
  3. Projects will identify clear labour market outcomes;
  4. Projects will integrate two or more employment access services;
  5. Projects will establish partnerships that include two or more key stakeholders;
  6. Projects will include an evaluation framework; and
  7. Lessons learned, best practices and a detailed report documenting the development, implementation and evaluation activities must be shared with all stakeholders.

3.5 The working arrangement established by Canada and British Columbia is intended to build on the work of the EASI initiative and will include the active participation of EASI members as appropriate.

3.6 The working arrangement established by Canada and British Columbia will be developed and conducted in consideration of the mandates and roles of other federal departments and provincial ministries in facilitating the labour market integration of immigrants and refugees in British Columbia. Partnerships with these departments and ministries will be encouraged and established where appropriate.

4.0 Evaluation

4.1 A joint evaluation framework will be established by Canada and British Columbia through consultation with EASI.

5.0 Implementation

5.1 An implementation plan for the establishment of enhanced language training projects will be developed jointly.

6.0 Reporting

6.1 A report format, specific to the ELT initiative, will be developed jointly by Canada and British Columbia.

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