yLINC is a branch of the LINC program -
and you're already there!
LINC is a government program for immigrants that helps them overcome the language barriers that might separate them from others in their new home. It offers such services as:

• Free language instruction in either English or French.
• Language classes offered by local school boards and colleges.
• The choice of studying full-time, part-time, on evenings, or on weekends.
• Transportation and even child-care, if necessary.

The name probably sounds familiar, right? That’s because you’re already there – the yLINC website! For more information about the LINC program in the Peel and Halton regions, click here.

ISAP helps newcomers gain access to community services that meet their immediate needs. For example, they can refer you to economic, social, health, cultural, educational and recreational services; give you tips on banking, shopping, managing a household and other everyday tasks; or help you prepare a professional-looking resumé and learn job-searching skills.

Best of all, because these services are funded by the federal government, they’re free to you!

For a list of the immigrant-serving organizations in Ontario funded by ISAP, click here and find one near you!

There’s only one way to beat the cash crunch that every student (actually, every person!) feels from time to time, and that’s to get a job and start making some cash of your own. It’s not always easy, but Canada does have numerous employment resource centres, many of which are funded by the federal or provincial government. These ERCs can help you work out your resumé and cover letter, as well as assist you in your job search.

To find a listing of these centres, try 211Ontario and search in your region. You can also use this website to find a wide array of other services as well.

For more services to assist you in your attempt to find work, or to find work with the Canadian government, visit the website of Service Canada. You might also want to check out Employment Ontario, part of the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, specifically their page for people who are new to the province.

Perhaps one of Canada’s greatest assets to its residents is its universal health care system, funded by the government through health insurance plans like OHIP in Ontario. But in order to take advantage of this service, you have to apply for it! That means getting yourself a health card to prove to your doctors that you’re eligible for the service.

What does OHIP cover? A lot of things! A good rule of thumb is that most treatments or procedures that are medically necessary are covered, at least in part, by OHIP. Anything that isn’t considered medically necessary, such as cosmetic surgery, will likely not be covered without special reasoning and permission.

There are a few requirements to getting OHIP eligibility in Ontario:
• You must be a Canadian citizen, or have immigration status,
• Your permanent and primary home must be located in Ontario, and
• You must be physically present in Ontario at least 153 days out of every year.
• You must also have been in Ontario for at least 3 months prior to being eligible for OHIP. It is recommended to purchase private health insurance during that waiting period in case something happens to you or your family.

To get more information on OHIP or getting a health card, just click on the appropriate links. You can also check out our page on OHIP.

Nobody wants to be in a situation where they have to deal with courts or lawyers, but it is an unfortunate truth that sometimes these things happen. While we’ll knock on wood that you and your family never have to, we’ll also provide you with some information about Legal Aid, a government-funded system that ensures that everyone, no matter their income level, has access to the legal advice and assistance they need.

Legal Aid certificates are awarded based on financial need, and various criteria are factored when eligibility is being decided. In order to apply for one, or for more information, visit your closest Legal Aid office. For more information on the Legal Aid system, including how to apply for it and who is eligible, click here.

If you don't remember anything else about this country, it's very important for you to remember the following three numbers:

9 1 1

Read them. Learn them. Memorize them. They may just save your life one day. If you are experiencing any kind of emergency, from a medical one to finding out that your house is on fire, the very first thing you should do is find a phone and dial 9-1-1. Quickly tell the operator what the emergency is, let them know where you are, and follow their instructions on what to do next. Police, ambulance, and fire services will immediately be dispatched to your location. This service is free, and thus can be accessed from any phone without paying a cent - so even if the nearest phone to you is a pay phone, use it!

REMEMBER: don’t just be a bystander. If someone near you needs help – whether it’s a friend, family member, or a perfect stranger – pick up a phone and dial 911! You may just save a life!