Removal of barriers to newcomer settlement requires more investment

March 17, 2023

MOSAIC submitted a pre-budget series of recommendations to the federal government primarily focused to help remove barriers to employment in the 2023 federal budget.

The five-paged document highlights the need for creation of a federal housing strategy in connection with the federal immigration strategy, investment in improving health equity for newcomers, investment in language training for newcomers, connecting more newcomers to skills-commensurate employment and alleviating the financial and administrative stress on non-profit institutions.

Submitted February 10 in support of the pending federal budget, MOSAIC noted:

Recommendation One:

In 2022, Canada welcomed over 430,000 permanent residents, a result which the federal government attributes to one of the fastest recoveries from the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. MOSAIC recommends an increased commitment to addressing systemic barriers to housing experienced by newcomers because of a lack of Canadian references, credit rental history, work experience but especially overall lack of affordable housing.

Recommendation Two:

As evidenced by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, of August 2021, people of racialized and ethnocultural backgrounds were disproportionally affected by the pandemic, leaving many without the means or knowledge of navigating Canada’s healthcare system. MOSAIC recommends scaling up services for marginalized and ethno-cultural communities. In addition, to strengthen the universal health care system in Canada, MOSAIC recommends standardizing and expediting the accreditation process of internationally trained healthcare workers.

Recommendation Three:

MOSAIC calls for expanded eligibility of funded language training to include temporary work permit holders who are a key part of Canada’s employment strategy. In addition, MOSAIC recommends greater flexibility in the language training model to remove barriers to participation.

Recommendation Four:

Newcomers to Canada continue experiencing barriers to finding skills-commensurate employment, particularly due to the lack of Canadian work experience and the time and cost of obtaining professional credentials in Canada. MOSAIC recommends additional funding for pre-arrival programs that focus on high demand occupations as well as streamlining the accreditation process for internationally educated healthcare professionals in addition, employment programs are recommended to expand their eligibility criteria to include work and study permit holders.

 Recommendation Five:

MOSAIC recommends that government move away from short-term project-based funding and re-assess how investment should be delivered in a post-pandemic world. An increased amount of time and energy is diverted toward gaining access to funding via writing reports to funders and grant applications, rather than allotting that time to helping those in the community. As a result, non-profits are seeing increased employee burnout and less retention of staff. MOSAIC recommends that government reform its Grants and Contributions program to minimize bureaucracy and encourage multi-year and core funding.

“As the country is gearing up to welcome unprecedented numbers of immigrants, we need to ensure that we plan for the impact across various portfolios,” said Olga Stachova, MOSAIC CEO. “And plan not only for the current gaps, but for the predicted gaps in services and affordable housing that will result from higher immigration numbers.”

Learn more about MOSAIC’s 2023 Pre-budget Consultation here.