With regard to the allocation of funds for immigrant integration services:
(a) The annual amount for settlement services outside of Quebec is set at $173.3 million to be confirmed each year by Parliament. A grant to the province of Quebec is determined as per the Canada-Quebec Accord. Since 2000-01, the national settlement allocation model is used to provide for the annual allocation of funding for settlement programs to each CIC region and the provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba (both British Columbia and Manitoba assumed responsibility for settlement services under federal-provincial agreements). In developing the model, CIC consulted with the provinces and territories and it was agreed that the model should be transparent, fair, relatively simple, and responsive to shifts in immigrant flows. It also should respond to unique pressures in a region and provide stable infrastructure funding in smaller regions.
(b) Settlement funding for language training, immigrant settlement and adaptation and host programs outside Quebec has remained constant since 1996-97. The amount allocated in 1996-97 was to respond to the basic settlement needs of immigrants. With changing source countries, the need for higher language skills and increasing immigrant intake, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) recognizes that fixed funding must be reviewed. The federal government’s innovation strategy announced this year looks at some of the challenges facing immigrant integration and proposes some targets for discussion.
(c) Permanent resident applicants have the option (as of 1997) of paying the right of permanent residence fee (RPRF), formerly right of landing fee (ROLF), either at the time of application for permanent residence, or they can wait until the immigrant visa is being issued overseas, or they are acquiring permanent resident status in Canada. Therefore, the level of right of permanent residence fee revenue is not necessarily linked to the intake of immigrants in any particular year. The level of revenue received by the government from these fees for the past six years was:
1997-98: $119.7M *
1998-99: $117.7M *
- Note: Lower revenue due to a change in the point of collection of the fee introduced in 1997. Applicants can pay the RPRF either at the time of application for permanent residence, or they can wait until the immigrant visa is being issued overseas, or when they are acquiring permanent resident status in Canada.
(d) CIC recognizes that many aspects of the services it delivers on behalf of Canada would benefit from a workload funding arrangement, such as per landing status basis. In 2002-03, CIC has initiated a project to develop a workload funding model for the department for all major outputs including immigrant and non-immigrant processing, citizenship services and settlement programs. Once the project is completed, the department will be in a position to pursue discussions with central agencies on a workload funding approach.
In allocating available regional funding CIC takes into account the immigrant landing level, although it is not the only factor used in the current settlement allocation model. There are several variables used in the model in attempt to reflect the costs associated with the overall settlement of newcomers. The variables include: a three-year rolling average of adult immigrant intake, knowledge of an official language, and the intake of government sponsored refugees in a region. The model also tries to take into account different cost factors in larger and smaller regions. The model will undergo a review. CIC will again work closely with its provincial and territorial counterparts during this review.