20 Jun Planning for Canada: One Year On…
Planning for Canada is funded by the Government of Canada through its department for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and jointly delivered by Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) and the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP). COA is implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM); CIIP is implemented by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). Planning for Canada celebrated its first birthday on December 1st, 2016.
On December 1st, 2016, Planning for Canada turned one; celebrating a year of growth and success in the delivery of pre-arrival services to Economic immigrants to Canada. The highlight of our first year has certainly been our participants, hailing from all walks of life and every corner of the globe. From January to December 2016, Planning for Canada proudly served 6,605 , both in-person and online, from a total of 78 source countries.
While we were busy connecting with newcomers and helping them prepare for their new lives and future careers in Canada, we have also been dedicated to the success of our participants by making sure that Planning for Canada sessions are as accessible and that their content is as pertinent and comprehensive as possible.
Nader KaddourCOA Reporting & Communications Specialist
Over the course of the year, COA has refreshed its online presence, collaborated with its in-Canada partners, and with other service provider organizations across Canada, to cultivate, improve and invigorate its continuum of services; working side-by-side with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to deliver the best results for newcomers and for Canada.
As we have grown, so has our online presence. A new Planning for Canada website, launched in March 2017, rejuvenated our Planning for Canada’s digital face, along with new Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages brought online in the fall of 2016. All in all, these digital tools help increase the accessibility and transparency of the Planning for Canada initiative.
The first Planning for Canada Consultative Conference, held in September 2016, brought together, for the first time, both COA and CIIP management and over 70 participants, from among Planning for Canada’s broad base of partners, for two-day intensive discussions and workshops. Together, both teams are committed to improving pre-arrival content, communications and service delivery. More recently, Planning for Canada and its partners were honoured to present the Planning for Canada initiative at the 2017 Metropolis Conference in Montréal (Québec); allowing COA and CIIP to share their joint pre-arrival service delivery experience and expertise with other immigrant-serving organizations in Canada.
Throughout the year, COA has also been fortunate to work alongside IRCC in refining and widening its outreach in order to register the maximum number of Economic immigrants to Canada. At the Consultative Conference, delegates from IRCC met and exchanged information with their counterparts at Planning for Canada, fostering stronger connections and communication between the federal department and service providers in the Planning for Canada network.
The Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) Program was also fortunate to receive, at the Consultative Conference, public support from the Honourable John McCallum, former Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, who proclaimed that Planning for Canada, and programs like it, “are better for Canada’s ability to welcome them [newcomers], and integrate them when they arrive.”