Newcomers association launches guide on website

Dave Stewart
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

The P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada launched its website on Wednesday ( after a team of experts and translators worked on it for the past year. That team includes, from left, Byoung Bae Choi, Korean translator, Rosalie Murphy, communications and web editor, and Beti Andric, web developer, writer and translation manager. Guardian photo by Heather Taweel


Craig Mackie describes it as opening a doorway to Prince Edward Island and Canada as a whole.

The executive director of the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada is talking about a new feature on their website — — the organization launched on Wednesday.

It features hundreds of pages of information, including the first steps newcomers should take after they arrive, obtaining important Canadian documents as well as information on health, housing, employment and much more.

“People are getting a doorway to Canada through this website,’’ Mackie said.

The guide pages are organized by topic and easily accessible through user-friendly navigation systems. Links to external web pages, government sites and community resources will provide additional information. Visitors will be able to share the pages via Facebook, Twitter or email and pages and chapters will be available in a print-friendly format.

The website is available in English, French, simplified Chinese, Korean, Arabic and Spanish. It’s very easy, too, to switch from one language to the next by clicking on tabs at the top of every page.

“This is an important day for us,’’ Mackie said. “Just imagine arriving in a foreign land where you don’t speak the language . . . you’re given all these forms to fill out . . . it’s too much. Try to imagine how alienated it is to feel like that. They don’t know the language and they’re trying to figure out what’s going on.’’

In the past, newcomers have received a handbook and it’s not exactly to update a handbook, especially when so much information in society changes rapidly, whether it’s the fee to get a driver’s licence or changes to the road system to include the new roundabouts or new laws governing Sunday shopping. There even loads of information on things like money which Mackie feels would be ideal for young students.

Beti Andric, who arrived on P.E.I. from Croatia with her husband, Sasha, in the mid-1990s thought it was time to turn to the Internet and formed a team of translators to help out. She also solicited the help of Sasha to help with programming, used Catherine Ronahan as a researcher and writer and Rosalie Murphy, who handles communications for the newcomers association, took on the role of web editor.

Beti Andric said it took the past year to get the site off the ground.

“This year has been a labour of love,’’ she said. “If I had this website (when I came to P.E.I.) I would have been so grateful. There is so much information I didn’t have.’’

Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allan Campbell was impressed with what he saw at Monday’s launch.

“Wow! Fantastic job,’’ Campbell said, noting that it augments the province’s efforts to attract new immigrants.

Andric said the priority with the site is merely to help newcomers with everyday life.


Organizations: P.E.I. Association for Newcomers

Geographic location: Canada, Prince Edward Island

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

    December 02, 2010 - 16:21

    Good news Den!... looks like there are no driving instructions in this guide, but I have heard that the PEI Association for Established Islanders is developing a guide on driving... First topic: "What is a blinker and what is it used for?" They are also planning to have a whole chapter about roundabouts....

  • Den
    December 01, 2010 - 21:59

    Does that site come with driving instructions as well?

  • Newsflash Mell
    December 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Mell.....I believe their name is Newcomers to Canada...therfore Canadians should already have the info they need such as the documents they must obtain when they move to a new province etc...they would also have the language to ask around and research what they need before moving to a new province....obviously people from other countries dont have this accomodation in most cases...therefore I think newcomers is doing a great job with helping them out. Your second point would be talking about a provincial program.....not a program run by PEI Newcomers....they actually help out with the settlement phase when newly arrived immigrants and refugees come to the island. Without them there would be no one to help them with all they need. I personally feel they are doing a great job and welcoming people of all races with open arms....something the whole Island should start doing. They help these people start their new or poor....and make their transition much easier....Great job done.

  • Mell
    December 01, 2010 - 16:22

    This newcomers association is a joke! It does nothing for Canadians who live in other provinces that want to relocate, built or buy, support the community, spend money in businesses and pay taxes! But, come from another country as an immigrant, and pay alot of money to get to the province, you are in like flin!! You can buy your way to the island and get accepted with open arms, but come from another province, you are always from away and your life is hell- so you move away. The people that pay big bucks to get there, stay for the time required, and often move off island, and in one of the latest scandals, lost money that the province was supposed to give them back and kept, or got into other pockets- OOPS! Remember the hard time given to the Chinese immigrants a year or so ago that disclosed some pockets getting fuller, and not the ones that should have had their pockets filled either! It is a big scam!