Funding cuts in Canada immigration settlement programs criticized by Toronto MPs
Canada, 11th February: Recent announcements by the federal government regarding $40 million cuts in immigration settlement service agencies are likely to result in a big loss for the new immigrants in Canada, several opposition MPs have stated.
Cuts in federal funding leading to closure—
Such cuts have compelled closure of funding settlement organizations or in downsizing them, the MPs maintained. The immigration settlement organizations in Toronto are getting just 16 percent of the total government funding which is quite less keeping in view the fact that nearly 21 percent of the total immigrants coming to Canada choose to settle in Toronto, the MPs quipped.
As per the official data revealed by an analysis based on the figures of Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the federal government has reduced the funding for Toronto’s immigration settlement agencies by around 45 percent for the year 2011, stated Gerard Kennedy, a Liberal MP.
Such steps are leading a big blow for several immigrant settlement centers in Toronto. The South Asian Women’s Centre happens to be one such agency which is likely to lose around 67 percent of its total funding by the federal government.
Executive director of this center, Kripa Sekhar, said that her agency will be losing $575,000.
Other Canadian provinces also affected by cuts—
Apart from Toronto, several other Canadian provinces including Saskatchewan, Alberta, B.C. and Nova Scotia are also getting affected by $40 million cuts in federal funding for settlement services. Total loss for Nova Scotia has been less than $1 million while B.C lost around $8 million. Saskatchewan and Alberta got more funding.
Psychological chaos for immigrants---
Speaking about the decision of the federal government which will affect around 78,000 new immigrants in Ontario, Kennedy said that newcomers are going to get off-track and face difficulties in successful integration in Canada.
They will face obstacles in getting language support, counseling services and getting suitable jobs in Canada, stated a worried Kennedy.
No wonder, newcomers in Canada are feeling shocked over such cuts in immigration settlement agencies by federal government. Stating the move as politically motivated, an Ethiopian-Canadian, Mesfin Yikuno, who had received the services in many immigrant settlement agencies of Toronto, said such cuts have created a crisis for new immigrants.