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.
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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.
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.
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.
On August 13, 2010 the MV Sun Sea arrived on the coast of British Colombia carrying 497 asylum seekers. On October 21, 2010 the federal government introduced Bill C-49: Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act in Parliament. The Bill was introduced as an anti-human smuggling measure. However, the majority of provisions are focused on the treatment of refugees based on their mode of arrival to Canada.
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.