Anyone beginning a new life in Canada often has an easier time of it if they're licensed to drive. Southeast Newcomer Services offers a partially-subsidized Newcomer Driver Education course.
“For the past few years we've been offering the driver education program for our newcomers that arrive here to Canada,” said Stephanie Davis, Advisor with Southeast Newcomer Services. “So the program is for newcomers who did not have a driver's license in the country they are from or they do not meet the requirement for the driver's license here.”
She said if they don't meet the requirements for a driver's license here, they must complete the program.
There is, however, some assistance with the cost.
“We provide assistance with partial funding for the individual to take the program and get their certificate and then they can get their driver's license to driver here in Saskatchewan,” she said. “We provide 50 per cent of the cost. It does kind of fluctuate depending on our budget and what we can do to help get as many clients for the program as possible.”
She said this year they are paying 50 per cent of the program cost of $700, making the cost $350.
The course is completely the same driver's training course the high school students take, but while young drivers take the course for free at school, anyone in the province outside of high school is required to pay a fee.
The deadline to apply for the program is April 5th.
“It's an application approval process, so because of the budget we have, not everybody who applies can get approved because we just don't have the complete funding to fund everyone,” explained Davis.
She said they first choose the candidates with the highest need for the program.
“I'll notify them and let them know that they've been approved, and between that period and until their class starts, the six hours in class, they'll make their payment,” she said. “And then they also do six hours road test with the instructor too.”
Find more information on the Southeast Newcomer Services website.