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Evaluation of the Welcoming Communities Initiative 4. Evaluation Findings This section summarizes the major findings of the evaluation regarding program relevance, performance, impact, and design and delivery.
Relevance In assessing program relevance, the evaluation considered the need for such programs and the consistency of the WCI with CIC and Government of Canada priorities and federal roles and responsibilities.
The following describes the findings and related evidence.
There is a need for programming that addresses barriers to newcomer integration, including racism and discrimination. Through supporting a range of anti-racism and multiculturalism efforts that foster more welcoming and inclusive communities, the WCI plays a role in addressing existing needs.
Need There is a need for programming to address issues of racism and discrimination in Canada, given the increasing diversity of the population; the continued existence of racism and discrimination against newcomers and visible minorities; and the distribution of immigrants to rural areas and small cities, which have traditionally been comprised of fairly homogenous populations.
In addition, there are social, economic, and political factors that can contribute to incidences of racism and discrimination and serve to delay the social and economic integration of newcomers. The cultural make-up of Canada is becoming increasingly diverse. According to the Census, visible minorities accounted for Immigration is a key factor in increasing the visible minority population.
Furthermore, visible minority immigrants are more likely than other immigrants to have lower incomes Footnote The wage gap is particularly significant among immigrant visible minority males Footnote Findings from the literature review confirmed these challenges.
Racism and discrimination against newcomers in general and visible minorities in particular continues to exist. The proportion of visible minorities who felt they experienced discrimination was twice that of non-visible minorities Footnote Other studies have also identified a variety of concerns, including: Visible minority immigrants are more likely than other immigrants to experience low income Footnote Strategies are needed to address possible racism and discrimination associated with the increased settlement of newcomers in non-traditional regions of Canada.
As stated earlier, the majority of the immigrant population belongs to visible minority groups and various ethnic origins Footnote These groups are immigrating across the country, including to rural areas and small cities which could be experiencing a shift from a long-standing homogenous nature to multicultural diversity Footnote Thus, there is a particular need in these areas to create welcoming and inclusive communities in order to facilitate the healthy integration of immigrants.
For example, research conducted in St. Counteractive social, economic, and political factors may increase racism and discrimination. SPOs mentioned that two major societal factors which have heightened the need for anti-discrimination activities are the economic downturn and the September 11th terrorist attacks.
SPO senior representatives explained that the recent economic downturn magnified the existing barriers preventing newcomers from social and economic integration. Hate crime may also be an issue. Almost two- thirds of hate-crime victims are radicalized group members.
Also, after September 11thdiscrimination has become more overt and blatant. A review of literature shows that since September 11th, Muslims and Arabs have endured increased incidences of discrimination against members of their communities, both by individuals and the state Footnote Kelly O September 11, at pm.
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WCI projects have had a positive impact on the capacity of newcomers, particularly youth, to deal with issues related to racism and discrimination and better understand multiculturalism.
In addition, WCI projects increased the capacity of newcomers to better integrate in their communities. I found my thoughts returning to a troubling dream the night before, the meaning of which remained obscure: I had been clambering with difficulty over a rocky hill near my childhood home, and found myself moving toward a large white nightshirt hung ominously from the electrical wires, as some kind of warning or portent.
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