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Federal cuts closing Sudbury immigration office

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Apr 12, 2012 - 4:00 PM |
NDP MP Glenn Thibeault announced today that he has learned Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices in northern Ontario, including the one in the Rainbow Centre in Sudbury, will be closed. Photo by Marg Seregelyi

NDP MP Glenn Thibeault announced today that he has learned Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices in northern Ontario, including the one in the Rainbow Centre in Sudbury, will be closed. Photo by Marg Seregelyi

Staff at the Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC) office staff in Sudbury will soon be out of work. NDP MP Glenn Thibeault confirmed today that the Sudbury office, and, in fact, all federal immigration offices in northern Ontario, are to be closed.

Thibeault found out about the job cuts at CIC when one of the employees walked down to the MP's Rainbow Centre office to show the politician his pink slip. Calling the move “ridiculous,” Thibeault said he'll fight the cuts “tooth and nail” in parliament, but the decision has already been made.

"These cuts have not been properly thought through," Thibeault said, in a news release. "These are front-line services that Sudburians rely on, and hard-working individuals with whom my office often works closely are finding themselves without a job through no fault of their own."

He said the immigration services work that would have been done in CIC's three northern offices will be consolidated in Toronto, leaving no immigration centres in operation north of the 401 corridor.

The impact will not only be felt by landed immigrants working toward citizenship, but also by small businesses who Thibeault said routinely used the CIC services when bringing in skilled labour from outside the country.

“This is going to have a huge impact on the whole community,” he said.

This will have a real effect for Sudbury businesses that rely on skilled immigration for their continued growth, the MP said.

"It is clear that northern Ontario is not a priority for this government,” he said. “I promise to keep fighting these cuts in Parliament. Sudbury shouldn't suffer because of the Conservative's ideological desire to slash government spending."

Thibeault was able to confirm that 15 FedNor jobs will be cut across northern Ontario as well, but just where those cuts will be made is not yet known. Four jobs will be lost immediately, with a further six in a month's time. Five open positions will not be filled.

“This is just flabbergasting,” he said. “There hitting us where we need to go.”

There is some indication that jobs will be lost among Health Canada workers as well, but Thibeault said he was unable to confirm anything about that today.

In its recent budget, the Conservative government said it planned to eliminate 19,200 public-sector jobs across the country.

Posted by Mark Gentili 

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