Wednesday, July 20, 2011

City immigration cuts hurt vulnerable, critics say

Plans by City Hall to get out of the immigration business and use the funds saved to repay its massive debt has angered Toronto immigration and refugee workers.
The workers claim councillors are targeting those who are most vulnerable in the city and savings can be obtained in other programs.
Amy Casipullai, of Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, said the proposed cuts will have a major impact on newcomers.
“Any loss of any service will have a huge impact on those who need help,” Casipullai said. “We are concerned because many people will be affected by a loss of service.”
Karen Sun, of the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter, said immigrants move here for a better life and not to live on social assistance.
“The proposed cuts will target the most vulnerable among us,” Sun said Tuesday. “Newcomers will suffer the most if this policy goes through.” Axelle Janczur, of Access Alliance Health and Community Services, said newcomers will suffer from the program cuts in the future.
“The proposed cuts will have a huge impact on some people,” Janczur said. “This city is very diverse and there are many people who need our help.”
Newcomers to Toronto are eligible for free services that include interpretation and translation of documents, some medical, dental and vision care, hearing aids, diabetic supplies, transportation costs to medical appointments and help to support a guide dog.

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