The latest target in Giorgio Mammoliti’s sights? The city’s immigrant-settlement services

The latest target in Giorgio Mammoliti’s sights? The city’s immigrant-settlement services

(Image: Anthony Easton) 

We didn’t see this come up in any of the KPMG reviews of what the city can and cannot cut, but maybe we missed it: Councillor (and ally to Mayor Rob Ford) Giorgio Mammoliti wants the city to seriously look at cutting the services it provides to help new immigrants settle in the city.

According to the Toronto Sun:

Some Toronto councillors said about 60 per cent of the more than 250,000 immigrants arriving in Canada yearly resettle in the Toronto area and its time Ottawa and the province dish out more funds to help the cash-strapped city cope with the influx.

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti estimates “tens of millions of dollars” are spent by the city to help resettle newcomers, who include refugees and immigrants…

Mammoliti said he is being stonewalled by city bureaucrats as he tries to obtain documents to determine the full costs of immigration services to taxpayers.

Mammoliti added that “we don’t want to be subcontractors any more to the provincial and federal governments,” which is understandable, but unlikely to change anytime soon: the province calls the shots and seems to enjoy making cities its subcontractors quite a bit, thank you very much. (Back to those KPMG reports: notice how much of what the city does is required by provincial law? It’s not an accident.)

More importantly, it’s not as though cutting the settlement funding is going to stop the immigrants from coming to Toronto, despite what Ford said he’d prefer during the election. Those newcomers are coming whether we pay to do things like teach them English or not. The settlement funding just tries to smooth out the bumpy process of coming to a new country. But, hey, if council can’t work up the nerve to slaughter the sacred cows on council and won’t raise taxes, then they’ve got to find the money somewhere.

• Immigrant settlement costly for city: Mammoliti [Toronto Sun]