Canadian Immigration News

IRCC Allocates $1.7 Billion in Settlement Funding for 2021-22

4.5 minute read
"Recently, an internal memo accessed through the Access to Information Privacy Request (ATIP) revealed how Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) intends to spend its $1.7 billion settlement budget during the fiscal year 2021-22."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Oct 21, 2021
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Recently, an internal memo accessed through the Access to Information Privacy Request (ATIP) revealed how Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) intends to spend its $1.7 billion settlement budget during the fiscal year 2021-22. This memo also gave information on how the IRCC plans to distribute these funds across the country. This information was earlier released publicly on the IRCC website in 2011. This memo was signed and approved by the Canadian Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino. 

The IRCC is the main funding source for settlement and integration services offered to newcomers in Canada. Every year, the IRCC allocates funding to different approved service provider organizations across Canada and in Quebec to offer settlement services. Settlement services are offered to permanent residents, protected persons, and those who have received approval on their permanent residence application. 

What Are Settlement and Integration Services?

Settlement and Integration services include the following:

  • Employment assistance services
  • Language assistance programs for both English and French language
  • Mentorship and other services to promote the settlement and integration of the newcomer

These services are typically provided by IRCC approved non-profit organizations, educational institutions, or private businesses and are generally free of charge. Quebec is allocated a separate grant which allows the provincial government to offer settlement services. 

How Are the Settlement Funds Allocated for the Fiscal Year 2021-22?

Canadian Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino approved the following allocation of settlement funds for 2021-22 by Canadian provinces and territories, except Quebec. It must be noted that the following figures also include spending projections obtained from the 2021-22 department plan of the IRCC.


Funds Allocated


$407.2 million

British Columbia

$119 million


$41.3 million


$124.1 million


$46.6 million

Nova Scotia

$17.2 million

Prince Edward Island

$6.2 million

New Brunswick

$14.6 million

Newfoundland and Labrador

$5.2 million


$1.3 million

Northwest Territories

$1.1 million



Sub Total

$784.4 million

Other Allocations

$46 million

Dedicated IRCC Initiatives

$46.2 million

Now, other than the above-mentioned allocations in the memo, the IRCC allocated $650.3 million as a separate annual grant to Quebec to operate settlement services. Another $145.7 million was allocated to resettlement services. Overall, the IRCC has allocated $1,672.6 billion in providing settlement and integration services to newcomers across Canada. 

Why Wasn’t the Memo Released Publicly?

The memo highlights the allocation of funds to different provinces and territories decided by the National Settlement Funding Formula. Such memos were released publicly on the IRCC website in 2011. However, the IRCC abstained from sharing this information publicly due to the controversial nature of the process of allocating funding. Canadian provinces, territories, and settlement organizations are constantly negotiating with the IRCC on identifying the most appropriate level of funding based on the needs of their jurisdictions. 

The National Settlement Funding Formula calculates the funding level based on the average new immigrants expected to land in the jurisdiction in 3 years. Refugees are given additional weight given their unique settlement needs. This formula does not apply to Quebec. 

The IRCC decided the funding level for Quebec based on the formula outlined in the Canada-Quebec Accord relating to the Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens signed in 1991. Quebec received more settlement funding compared to any other province or territory. It also has more freedom and flexibility on how and where to use the funding. 

How Is Settlement Funding Per Capita Calculated?

The funding levels for 2021-22 are determined based on the number of immigrant landings in every province and territory in the last 3 years, that is, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The settlement funding per capita is as follows:

Ontario: $3,033

British Columbia: $2,671

Saskatchewan: $2,691

Alberta: $2,913

Manitoba: $2,862

Nova Scotia: $2,857

Prince Edward Island: $2,684

New Brunswick: $3,072

Newfoundland and Labrador: $3,428

Northwest Territories: $4,622

Nunavut: $16,432

Quebec: $13,541

According to the memo, smaller provinces receive additional funding to build their capacity and increase the scale of their services. This is the reason why provinces and territories with a low immigration rate have received high levels of funding, for example, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Labrador, Yukon, and Northwest Territories. 

Due to the generous settlement formula decided in the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec receives the highest level of settlement funding.

How Will the Settlement Services Be Affected by The Memo?

As demonstrated above, nearly half of the IRCC’s annual budget is allocated towards offering settlement services across Canada. Canada is the largest provider of settlement services in the world. However, the task of identifying the level of settlement funds to be allocated to different provinces and territories is still imperfect and leads to a lot of debate among the stakeholders of this process. 

Despite a low immigration rate, Quebec is the largest receiver of settlement funding. This is due to the settlement funding formula decided in the Canada-Quebec Accord in 1991. This formula was based on the expectation that the Quebec immigration levels would increase overtime to compensate for its aging population and declining birth rates. However, since the election of the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) Party in 2018, Quebec’s immigration level has consistently declined while its settlement funding has continued to increase annually. 

Due to low immigration levels to Alberta, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and the Northwest Territories, the settlement funding to these provinces has also declined. Now, the IRCC recognizes the challenges these provinces are faced with due to decreased funding. That is why the IRCC will make a one-time transfer to Alberta to top-up their funding. This will ensure that Alberta continues to provide high-quality settlement services to its newcomers without having to scale back its operations. 

Given Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2021-23 of inviting more than 401,000 new immigrants every year, the IRCC indicates the possibility of increasing the settlement funding level to all provinces and territories, except Quebec by another $100 million for the 2023-24 fiscal year. 

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