New Democrat Immigration Critic Olivia Chow has submitted a motion to the Citizenship and Immigration Committee urging the Harper Conservatives to reverse the $53 million in funding cuts to immigrant settlement and adaptation services (ISAP), cuts scheduled to take effect at the end of March.
Chow also called on the committee to look into the impact these cuts will have and hold hearings to allow the affected agencies to appear before the committee.
“These mean spirited and short-sighted cuts will have a significant negative impact on immigrant communities,” said Chow. “What’s worse, the agencies weren’t given the opportunity to appeal the decision nor explain how the cuts will affect the newcomers they serve. The agencies weren’t even told what criteria was used to deny them funding.”
In late December, agencies learned that a significant portion of their funding would not be renewed. The services provided by these agencies help newcomers to integrate and contribute to their communities.
“Without ISAP funding, the agencies will be forced to shut their doors, lay off their workers and their valuable services will be lost,” said Chow. “Faster integration to their communities means better job opportunities for newcomers. It’s good for the economy, and it is good for Canada’s productivity.”