The Role of NGOs, Non-Profits, and the Government in the Provision of Settlement Services for Canadian Newcomers: A Policy Crisis
The concept of collaboration and consensus building lends itself to the emerging theory of “New Public Governance,” where a shift to horizontal accountability and governance takes over from ideals of vertical power in policymaking. This NPG style of NGO-government relationship allows for increased collaboration and sharing of power, while recognizing the benefits of advocacy on behalf of NGOs. However, the political side of the government is often more important than the public service in regards to the policy process, and political factors outweigh all others, including social and economic ones. Most settlement service agencies are hampered by government ideals, and recently, funding of NGOs and NFP groups who provide services to newcomers comes mostly from the government. The issue here is that with an increasingly neo-liberal political agenda, there is a discouragement of traditional advocacy roles, and the groups seeking funding are often in competition with each other, creating instability for the newcomers who are looking for assistance. Sense of place is lost, and the integration process for immigrants and refugees is firmly in the hands of external parties.