CHARLOTTETOWN – Oct. 30, 2017 – Francophone immigrants settling in Prince Edward Island now have access to a wide range of settlement, integration, employability and entrepreneurship development services from a single, central location: the new Centre d’aide aux nouveaux arrivants (CANA or, in English, the Francophone newcomers’ assistance centre), located in the Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean in Charlottetown.
A new initiative of the Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l’Î.-P.-É. (CIF) and RDÉE Prince Edward Island’s LIENS project (Linking economic immigration to our successes), the CANA officially opened its doors Monday, Oct. 30, during a special ceremony held to launch the 5th National Francophone Immigration Week.
The centre is comprised of the offices of the CIF and RDÉE officers who work directly with immigrants as well as work stations with computers, Internet access, telephone and other tools to help newcomers search for jobs, prepare their résumé or carry out other related tasks.
“Government’s Population Action Plan lays out a path to building a resilient, diverse and growing population in Prince Edward Island. Francophone immigration is essential to the success of this plan and it’s important that we work together to support the growth of PEI’s Acadian and Francophone community,” said Sonny Gallant, Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning.
« The RDÉE is extremely pleased to have been able to develop such a great partnership with the CIF to jointly create the CANA – a one-stop-shop that will help immigrants take all of the steps they need to take to settle in our province as residents, workers and taxpayers, » said RDÉE president Martin Marcoux. « We hope this holistic approach will help convince our newcomer clients to stay on the Island permanently since we are in constant need of more human resources. »
« The CIF is proud to be able to offer complete services in this new centre in collaboration with its partner, RDÉE PEI. We hope that our clients will appreciate these welcoming and practical work spaces as they go through the process of settling in our province, » added CIF president Gilles Benoit.
During the ceremonies, the CANA’s logo (which prominently features a lupine, a typical, colorful Island plant) was unveiled and its website, www.canaipe.ca, was launched. The site will help direct visitors to the desired services that are offered by the CANA partners.
The CANA’s services are available province-wide. All four officers who work at the centre can travel throughout the Island to meet and serve francophone newcomers.
The Centre’s two partners sincerely thanked the Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean, which completed the renovations to its building to make the CANA area more practical and welcoming to immigrant clients.
National Francophone Immigration Week takes place Oct. 29 to Nov. 4. This week is coordinated by the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities of Canada, FCFA) and is supported by the 13 Francophone immigration networks of the country. The week provides an opportunity to recognize newcomers’ contributions to the vitality and dynamism of Francophone minority communities, as well as to showcase these communities’ efforts to attract, welcome and support the integration of newcomers.
On the Island, a series of events will celebrate this special week. These include an information luncheon on international recruiting Nov. 1 in Summerside, a multicultural reception Nov. 3 in Charlottetown and a workshop on storytelling for adults Nov. 4 in Charlottetown. More information on the provincial slate of events for the week is available at www.tonile.ca.
The Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l’Î.-P.-É. (CIF) helps French-speaking newcomers by facilitating their social, economic, educational and cultural integration into the province. It also promotes awareness about cultural diversity, the benefits of immigration and the importance of francophone immigration among the Island’s host population. The CIF is funded through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island.
The LIENS project (Linking Economic Immigration to our Successes) is an initiative of RDÉE Prince Edward Island aimed at promoting the integration of French-speaking newcomers into the PEI workforce and at supporting immigrants wishing to start a business on PEI. It also works with Island employers to help them understand the importance of hiring immigrant workers. LIENS is funded through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island.
CUTLINE 1: Seen at the official opening of the brand-new Centre d’aide aux nouveaux arrivants (francophone newcomers’ assistance centre) Monday in Charlottetown are, from left, the CANA’s partners, Martin Marcoux, president of RDÉE PEI (which oversees the LIENS project), and Gilles Benoit, president of the Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l’Î.-P.-É., along with Sonny Gallant, minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning.
CUTLINE 2: Martin Marcoux and Gilles Benoit cut a cake during the official opening of the CANA.
For more information:
Jacinthe Lemire, director of the CIF
Bonnie Gallant, executive director of RDÉE PEI
902-854-3439, Ext. 232