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Immigration Assessment


OTTAWA, November 29, 2004 — Judy Sgro, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and Saskatchewan’s Minister Responsible for Immigration, Pat Atkinson, today announced an agreement to improve language training for adult immigrants in Saskatchewan, which will help meet the needs of the province’s growing labour market and economy.

Under the agreement, CIC and the Government of Saskatchewan will jointly contribute more than $264,000 to support research and planning activities under the Enhanced Language Training (ELT) initiative for 2004–05. The agreement, renewable for each of the next four years, will be cost-shared equally by Saskatchewan and the federal government.

“The ability to use and understand language that is appropriate to the workplace is essential to the labour market success of a large number of working-age immigrants,” said Minister Sgro. “It is a high priority of this government to remove these and other barriers so that foreign-trained professionals and other skilled immigrants can find and keep work for which they are qualified.”

“I am especially pleased that our governments are working together to provide the best possible environment for newcomers to succeed while also helping to bring greater prosperity and opportunities to the people of Saskatchewan,” added Minister Sgro.

“Saskatchewan’s participation in ELT is a demonstration of our commitment to improving the integration and retention of immigrants to the province,” Minister Atkinson said. “This initiative is part of our overall strategy to ensure immigrants and refugees arriving today will thrive and that they will contribute to the economic success and cultural diversity of Saskatchewan, as did earlier generations of immigrants. Attracting and retaining immigrants is crucial to the future of our province.”

The funding announced today will be used to assist recent immigrants to Saskatchewan in obtaining employment in four priority sectors: health professions, trades, sales and services, and natural and applied sciences. This year’s funding will be used to build capacity in the province to deliver ELT and its mentoring and work placement components over the next four years.

The ELT initiative was launched last year to provide higher levels of language training, including job-specific language training, in Canada’s two official languages. ELT also helps immigrants access and reach their full potential in the labour market through mentoring, work placement and other assistance. Earlier this year, the Government of Canada announced its intention to expand the ELT initiative by investing a total of $20 million annually to help up to 20,000 new immigrants a year access enhanced language training, including job-specific language training.

ELT is delivered through cost-sharing partnerships with Saskatchewan and other provinces, territories and stakeholders. Adult immigrants receive job-specific and other language training to help them secure and retain jobs commensurate with their skills and qualifications.


For information (media only):

Maria Iadinardi
Media Relations
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(613) 952-0740

Maureen Boyle
Government Relations
(306) 787-5959

For more information on Saskatchewan’s immigration initiatives, please visit the Web site of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program at

For more information on the Enhanced Language Training initiative, visit CIC’s Integration-Net Web site at