The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) welcomes the proposal to encourage employers to hire immigrants by offering a tax credit. This is an investment in new Canadians that will benefit all Ontarians, since improving their integration in the labour market will serve to strengthen Ontario's economy. Let us look at why this is important and necessary.
Position Papers & Backgrounders
The federal budget tabled in Parliament on Monday June 6, 2011 by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty includes $4 billion in cuts intended to aid deficit reduction. This was the biggest change from the last budget tabled on March 22, 2011 (see OCASI comments on the previous budget).
The Government of Canada has proposed the introduction of a conditional residence period of two years or more for some sponsored spouses. OCASI has serious reservations and concerns about the proposal, which would increase the vulnerability of women and put them at risk.
Federal Budget 2011 tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday March 22 by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is disappointing in its failure to address pressing needs in areas such as labour market integration, housing and education. It is also disappointing in its lack of comprehensive social programs that would lead to poverty reduction.
In 2011, Ontario's immigrant and refugee-serving sector faced significant funding cuts. The PDF below explains the specifics around the funding cuts, their impacts on clients and OCASI's actions on the issue.
In December 2010, agencies in the immigrant and refugee serving sector began receiving communication from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) informing them of their eligibility to negotiate new contracts for 2011-12 and 2012-13.
OCASI position on Family Reunification
The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) is deeply disturbed to learn that Canada plans to cut back on the number of family reunification applications approved for parents and grandparents in 2011.
The Modernized Approach to Settlement is reportedly driven by the federal government's desire to improve immigrant settlement outcomes. Currently under implementation by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), it is said to be the result of the following two key changes: increased program funding for immigrant settlement and a renewed vision on how settlement services can be delivered through a new set of terms and conditions.