After a fateful visit to Canada a few years ago, Austrian vice-chancellor and foreign minister Michael Spin-delegger was so inspired by the Canadian immigration and resettlement system that he sparked changes to his own country’s laws.
The main focus of the changes has been on integration techniques, a focus triggered by Canadian integration services at all levels of government, helping immigrants get to know their way around education and employment systems, as well as their local communities.
Austria has since created a new ministerial position whose mandate is strictly to deal with integration, as indicated by its title – secretary of state for integration. The minister works with other departments to coordinate resettlement services.
Spin-delegger was extremely proactive in his visit, talking not only to members of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, but also to members of the opposition party and NGOs.
“He came home with a number of good ideas, some of which were integrated into Austrian law,” said Austrian ambassador Werner Brand-stetter just ahead of another ministerial visit from the country. Austria’s new junior minister for integration Sebastian Kurz will be meeting with Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Foreign Minister John Baird this month.
Source: Ottawa Citizen