Andrew Cash
MP for Davenport

Andrew asks about cuts to organizations that help immigrants – June 23, 2011

Mr. Andrew Cash (Davenport, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the minister’s answer shows that he either does not get Toronto or he does not care.

When he cut this funding, not only did he abandon new Canadians, but he took decades of on the ground knowledge and tossed it out the window. In my riding of Davenport, the South Asian Women’s Centre and the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre lost $1 million in funding, despite passing their official assessment.

If these agencies are getting a passing grade, why is the government steamrolling ahead with cuts and ignoring immigrant families in Toronto?

Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC): Mr. Speaker, let me make this very simple for the NDP.

We have tripled the federal investment in settlement services for newcomers. There are hundreds of organizations that deliver those services on our behalf, but we receive applications from thousands of organizations.

I know the NDP believes that money grows on trees. I know the NDP thinks we can keep raising taxes to spend money without any limit. However, we cannot actually fund every one of the thousands of organizations that make an application. We have to make an assessment on their track record and on the quality of the applications and fund the best ones. That is exactly what we do, giving taxpayers value for the money.