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Local MLA not worried about Immigrant Services changes

By Angela Brown, Portage Daily Graphic

Portage la Prairie MLA Ian Wishart believes the planned changes to immigrant services in Manitoba are nothing to be worried about.

The federal government recently reported it would be taking over control of the delivery of immigrant services in Manitoba instead of the provincial government.

Local MLA Ian Wishart said there is no reason for alarm about the changes.

"There has certainly been a lot of misunderstanding generated about it," he said Friday. "There is no cut to the program. What the federal government wants to do, particularly with the immigrant settlement portion, is to bring the administration back under their role. Being as they were funding 97 per cent of it, it is hard to argue."

The MLA noted some of the federal government's changes are an attempt to establish a national standard for immigrant services in the country.

"Certainly Manitoba probably had one of the better programs when it comes to helping settle immigrants," said Wishart. "I hope that we end up going nationally to the standard that Manitoba had set. But, I gather from . some of the statements that have been made that (other provinces) need to come up to our standard, rather than the other way around."

Wishart added the changes will not impact the Provincial Nominee Program, which helps businesses to indicate their needs in the workplace to attract immigrants to fill these positions.

As well, he said the family settlement program will also remain in place.

See more in Portage Daily Graphic.

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