New Brunswick Premier David Alward announced in May that his government would provide $2 million in funding to create a centre for ethno-cultural and settlement organizations in Fredericton.
The main tenant of the new centre will be the Multicultural Association of Fredericton, while the rest of the office space will be provided to other ethno-cultural and immigrants settlement service organizations.
Alward said the centre would advance the province’s goal of attracting skilled immigrants:
“Supporting this project is one way we can achieve this goal and attract and support more highly skilled workers and business immigrants.”
Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour Minister Danny Soucy added that the centre would increase the economic integration of immigrants by providing a central place where they can receive settlement services:
“These organizations serve an essential role in connecting with newcomers; creating needed support systems, facilitating labour market connections; and introducing new arrivals to their communities and neighbours. Bringing these services under one roof will help immigrants make the linkages necessary to participate fully in the community.”
The provincial government says the centre will also reduce costs for multicultural associations by adding scale to their services through resource sharing.
More than 5,000 immigrants have settled in Fredericton over the past decade.