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Conservatives’ love-hate relationship with immigrants continues with cuts to settlement funding

Over the past several years (and elections), the Conservative Party has been trying hard to wrest the votes of new Canadians from the Liberal Party, and doing a lot of bridge building for it. The problem? They’re still conservatives. This means doing things like cutting budgets to programs they do not think are worthwhile. So today, a handful of Toronto-area Liberals are trying to shine a spotlight on the Tories’ new $53-million cut to immigrant settlement centres.

The Globe and Mail is reporting:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada says the reductions – which total $53-million nationally – will more fairly redistribute money based on where newcomers choose to live.

But immigrant organizations and the Liberals say the government is forcing agencies that help the most vulnerable newcomers to close their doors or adapt to cuts of more than 50 per cent.

“This is a deliberate attempt by the Harper government to do something nasty at a time of the year when they think they can get away with it,” said Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy, who represents a Toronto riding.

The government says this is because Ontario received more funding than required for the number of immigrants that arrived here—63 per cent of the money with 55 per cent of the people. We can’t help but notice, as others have, that the amount of money being cut here is roughly the same amount of money that Tony Clement spent building bridges to nowhere up in Muskoka. Perhaps there were other ways to find some efficiencies in Ottawa that could have mitigated these cuts?

• Ontario hit hard by federal cuts to immigrant settlement centres [Globe and Mail] • Funding axed for Toronto immigrant agencies [Toronto Star] • Kelly McParland: Immigration funding trimmed, ‘climate of fear’ results [National Post] • Immigrant settlement funds cut for Ont. [CBC News]

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