By the end of June, refugees and permanent residents in the Cariboo-Chilcotin will have to travel to Kamloops, Prince George, or even as far away as Vancouver for settlement and language services.
Federal funding for the programming has been cut in 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, and Quesnel.
“Our full IRCC-immigration, refugee, and citizenship Canada funding has been cut. We’re not getting renewed,” says executive director
“Anybody with PR cards, protected person, already full refugee, and temporary foreign workers who don’t actually have their work permits. So it’s a big chunk of clients.”
Joyner says they have received provincial funding which only covers a small portion of their clients- temporary foreign workers, and Canadian citizens.
Pat Corbin with the New Focus Society in Quesnel who has also received provincial funding, calls the federal cuts devastating.
“We are hoping very much to be able to be able to convince the federal government that our rural communities are still important. Even though we don’t have the number of immigrants that you have in larger centers, the immigrants that we do have here we are going to lose if we can’t provide them supports in the community.”
“If you asked my clients here, they would say that this service has been pretty much invaluable helping them settle in and I know they are very upset right now about the potential right now of losing services.”
Williams Lake IMSS Ofice in Williams Lake which was to close by the end of this month due to the funding constraints has received a reprieve.
The Society said Tuesday in a media release that in response to strong local support they will remain open until the end of June 2017.