Hearing from the Minister on Main Estimates, Interim Estimates, and Supplementary Estimates for the 2018-19 Budget as it pertained to immigration

In March, I asked the Minister whether the 2018 budget has increased much needed funding to the SWIS program to ensure that students and families do not fail in the resettlement process. In addition, I inquired as to whether the government is doing anything to address the issue of lack of affordable housing, particularly for newcomers. Unfortunately, it seems that there is no funding specifically allocated to housing when it comes to resettlement, hence the large number of refugees in shelters.

I also urged the Minister to waive the travel loans for refugees who are not part of the Syrian refugee initiative, which his predecessor planned to look into but so far nothing has been done. Again, the government did not seem to have a plan to address this problem.  Finally, I raised the possibility of using funding in the budget to set up a primary health care facility for immigrants, particularly those with language challenges. This work is currently being undertaken by a group of doctors on their own trying to set up a non-profit in that regard. The government agreed to meet with these service providers to explore this option.

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