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About Us

We make Canada better by helping new Canadians learn, adapt, and succeed.

Right Start Newcomer Services helps newcomers to Canada learn English, get important settlement information, and make meaningful connections. Our goal is to be the number one source of information, language training, and resources for all newcomers. 

We are located in Kjipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki (Halifax, Nova Scotia), the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people. As a business, we are committed to upholding the 1752 Treaty of Peace and Friendship, as we continue to foster relationships between settlers, newcomers, and Lnu’k across Mi’kma’ki. We are all Treaty People, and we must honour our rights as such.

For more information on the TRC’s Calls to Action and what you can do to work towards reconciliation, click here.

Our Story

Right Start Newcomer Services was opened by Ian Shepherd in 2020. Ian lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with his wife, Michelle, and cat, Gracie. Ian has also lived in Vancouver and Taiwan. He has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of British Columbia, and a Master’s of Education degree from Mount St. Vincent University.

Ian has had a successful career as an English as an Additional Language (EAL) instructor, curriculum developer, teacher trainer, and coordinator of orientation services. He has helped thousands of newcomers to Canada learn English and get the information they need to be successful in Canada. 

Our Values

Inclusion and Respect

We believe that everyone is welcome, and will be treated with respect.


We value the contribution our clients, partners, and sponsors and believe we can create a stronger Canada together.


We believe in telling the truth, and doing what we say.


We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We try to have fun and enjoy everything we do, because fun makes life worth living.

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