Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, federal funding for language, counselling, mentoring and job training to help new Canadians integrate and support themselves and their families was arbitrarily cut by the government by $53 million in December.
Nowhere has the impact been more dramatic than in Toronto and the greater Toronto area, where unemployment rates for new immigrants are nearly triple the national average, as their jobs have proven to be less secure in the recent recession.
Fully 81% of these cuts are being made in Ontario, largely in the GTA and are in addition to $207 million the federal government promised but has not spent.
The Province of Ontario has responded with interim funding to community-based organizations, which will allow a continuation of service during this present impasse.
In addition, this House has supported a resolution from the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration calling for a reinstatement of the program in support of settlement services.
Given the actions of the Province of Ontario and this House, I would ask that the minister simply declare a moratorium on the funding cut and accelerate negotiations with the Province of Ontario for a new Canada-Ontario agreement for settlement services.