Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island

Intended for new immigrants settling in Prince Edward Island (PEI) as well as for institutions serving them, this online guide provides basic but comprehensive information about the first steps to take on arrival, essential Canadian documents and how to obtain them, and elementary aspects of everyday living in Canada and on the Island. The guide is designed to help newcomers settle easier and faster so that they can enjoy their new environment and participate in society to their full potential.

Accessibility

The availability of the guide in languages spoken by main groups of newcomers to PEI, as well as in Canada's two official languages, makes it highly accessible for the target population. The fact that the guide is freely available on the internet eliminates geographic limitations to accessibility.

Settlement agencies in the Atlantic Provinces, PEI community groups, and PEI ethno-cultural Groups were all contacted and invited to provide a link to the guide on their websites. Also, cards advertising the guide were printed in English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Spanish. These cards are available to all clients and are handed out by the intake worker.

Newcomer Involvement

Newcomers helped with guide content and design. Guide content was viewed by staff and board members of the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada (PEI ANC) to ensure its accuracy. Newcomers and established immigrants serve on the volunteer board of directors, as well as working as staff members, interpreters, and translators at the Association. All guide translations were provided by newcomers to PEI.

Stakeholder Collaboration

The PEI ANC collaborated with newcomers and the funder on this project. The project team, which includes members from the immigrant community, also consulted with various local service and ethno-cultural groups in preparing the guide.

Accountability

As with its all other projects, the PEI ANC has accountability mechanisms in place for the project budget and records. It has also paid close attention to content to ensure a quality product.

Positive Outcome

In the short time since the guide's launch, the PEI ANC has received very positive feedback from clients and the community.  It is also worth noting that, in 2010, the PEI ANC website was averaging approximately 3,200 unique visitors per month. Following the launch of the guide (on December 1, 2010), the number increased significantly, to 4,150 unique visitors for the month of December. In March 2011, there were 6,961 unique visitors to the site - more than double the number for the same month in 2010.

Transferability

The guide concept, content, and outline can be used as a model for the other provinces and territories and, in fact, internationally.

The Halifax Regional School Board, in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration and Department of Education, is creating a newcomer guide for parents and students to the school system using the PEI guide as a reference.

Background

Service Providers
PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada (PEI ANC)
Funders
Prince Edward Island Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning
Scope
Provincial/Territorial
Locations
All communities across PEI
Year of Launch
December 2010
Languages of Delivery
English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Spanish
Newcomer Groups Served
Newcomers and host society institutions
Expected Results

Information and Orientation (Newcomers make informed decisions about their settlement and understand life in Canada)

Welcoming Communities (Newcomers receive help to establish social and professional networks so they are engaged and feel welcomed in their communities)
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