Community Airport Newcomers Network

The Community Airport Newcomers Network (C.A.N.N.) strives to facilitate the pre-settlement of all immigrants arriving in Canada at the Vancouver International Airport by offering individualized reception, orientation, information, and referrals. The one-time service offered at the airport aims to help newcomers gain a better understanding about the first steps to take to settle in Canada by providing them with information and referring them to other organizations. For government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees, the program offers specialized service when required.

" C.A.N.N. personnel are very good in providing us services. They are polite and friendly. They gave us information package which I think is very useful."

Client from the Philippines who arrived on March 3, 2010


All newcomers landing at the Vancouver International Airport have access to the service. The fact that the service is offered by a team of multilingual officers who, among them, speak over 20 languages increases its accessibility. Moreover, the C.A.N.N. kiosk is conveniently located in the immigration landing room of the international arrivals area. Regular operating hours are from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, seven days a week, except for statutory holidays. These hours are often extended to provide assistance to government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees.

Newcomer Involvement

A C.A.N.N. officer meets with each newcomer and conducts a needs assessment. Individuals are then provided orientation and information based on their unique settlement needs and anticipated challenges. Each participant is also provided with the opportunity to ask questions. This leads to a reduction in the anxiety faced by many newcomers upon arrival.

Stakeholder Collaboration

C.A.N.N. has an advisory committee comprised of representatives from immigrant and community-based organizations, CIC as the funding body, and S.U.C.C.E.S.S. as the sponsoring agency. Stakeholders are able to provide direct input in and direction to the operations of the program through their involvement in this committee.

C.A.N.N. organizes ongoing open-house events to showcase services to airport partners, including Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The events provide a networking and educational opportunity for partners, consequently allowing them to become familiar with the program's unique service design and mandate. Moreover, C.A.N.N. liaises with CBSA regularly to ensure ongoing cooperation and open communication.


A number of accountability mechanisms are built into the C.A.N.N. operation. The program is required to submit monthly, quarterly, and annual financial and operational reports to the funding body.

Additionally, C.A.N.N. conducts client surveys at regular intervals to gather client feedback and suggestions.

The program operates in a highly secured environment. In addition to monitoring conducted by the funding body, all program operations are conducted in compliance with CBSA and Transport Canada rules and regulations.

Positive Outcome

In 2010, C.A.N.N. served 49,289 newcomers to Canada from all over the world.

In 2011, C.A.N.N. will enter its 19th year of reception services to newcomers at the Vancouver International Airport. Since the program’s onset, C.A.N.N. has connected over 750,000 newcomers to community services across the country.

"I would like to thank all of you for your great help and great arrangement. You've done the best for us."

Client from Burma who arrived on March 10, 2010


Any Canadian city with an international airport, a steady and significant inflow of newcomers, and settlement service infrastructure can adapt this service model.

C.A.N.N. provides a bridge between the newcomers’ first arrival and the community services available to help. Such services are beneficial to all newcomers, regardless of their port of entry.


Service Providers
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
Vancouver International Airport, Richmond, BC
Year of Launch
Languages of Delivery
English, French, and over 20 other languages
Newcomer Groups Served
All newcomers, including government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees.
Expected Results
Information and Orientation (Newcomers make informed decisions about their settlement and understand life in Canada).
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