Introducing newcomers to services and supports in Halton

NewcomerWEB4On October 20, 2015, Halton Region hosted our sixth annual Halton Services Information for Newcomers to Canada (HSINC) event at Halton Regional Centre. This half-day event helps newcomers learn about the programs and services we provide, supporting their efforts to settle in Canada and our region.

NewcomerWEB1The event attracted over 200 newcomers, who explored informative displays and interacted with program staff and volunteers. Several local non-profit agencies also attended with their own displays, sharing information about essential community services available to Halton families. This event provided guests with the opportunity to not only learn more about Halton’s community supports, but also to practice their English language skills in a positive and supportive environment.

NewcomerWEB5In Halton, we welcome, respect, value and celebrate the diversity of all residents, and we aim to provide services in a way that meets the needs of everyone. HSINC highlighted this commitment by allowing a variety of Regional program areas to showcase how they support individuals and families. For example, HaltonParents introduced our guests to the Region’s spectacular parenting programs and resources, including the extensive information available online. Likewise, Emergency Preparedness staff directed newcomers to information and resources that can help them prepare for a possible emergency in our community.

NewcomerWEB3The purpose of HSINC events is to welcome and integrate new Canadians by teaching them how to access supports that will improve their quality of life. A wide range of backgrounds, traditions and religions is a source of strength, and newcomers bring perspectives and talents that enhance the vibrancy of the Halton community. That is why connecting people and services is such an important priority – each new resident becomes an equal partner in continuing to build a bright, inclusive future for us all.

On behalf of Regional Council, I would like to thank everyone who worked to make this event a success. By working together to promote inclusion and keep newcomers informed, we help foster a welcoming and supportive community for everyone in Halton.

As always, if you have any regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”