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Language Training for Immigrants

Mr. Bill Siksay (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP): Mr. Speaker, a report card issued by Simon Fraser University gave B.C. a failing grade, the worst in Canada, when it came to language training for immigrants.

Immigrants to B.C. end up with only mediocre language skills, blocking them from good jobs and community participation.

The B.C. government takes a whopping 47% of federal money earmarked for settlement services and diverts it to general revenue. There is no accountability for this spending and no national standard.

What steps will the minister take to ensure accountability for federal dollars and national standards for immigrant services?

Hon. Joseph Volpe (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for recognizing that the federal government, the Canadian government, is doing its share and more in the integration of the citizens and the potential citizens that it invites into this country. It is an important point to make. Not very many make that point as it is merited.

With respect to what our provincial partners would do on some of these issues, we have an ongoing review of our arrangement and they have to deliver on the services. They asked for our accord. British Columbia is one of those provinces with which we have an accord and therefore concomitant obligations that we will--