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Friday, July 10, 2009

Ottawa's money shows where it's mouth is

If you read press releases from the office of the Minister for Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenny, you'd believe all was right in the world. You'd believe that Ottawa supports a positive immigration policy, and that they stand behind immigrants, recognizing their value to the country and the economy.

But then I read that this same Minister and his office have withheld over $190 million in promised funding to Ontario that was to be dedicated to immigration and integration programs. Additionally, Ottawa was looking to cut an additional $90 million from the $920 million dollar program (though this appears to have been reinstated).

Now, why would Ottawa be messing with immigration program funding at this time? Clearly this is a nod to the economy, but its also a bow to pressure from anti-immigrant voices in the country who believe that immigrants are bad for the country and the economy and that this spending is wasted, or better used to provide services to "real" Canadians.

It's time that those who were immigrants and are now citizens speak up for those who are most in need - which happen to be each other. According to the NDP, unemployment among immigrants who have been in the country 5-10 years have experienced a climb in unemployment from 8% to a current 16%.

Read the Star article here

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