Ian Mulgrew: Ottawa provides 11th-hour cash for refugees

In News by MIIC

Mark Benton is CEO of the Legal Services Society of B.C. Screengrab / Vancouver Sun

Only days before it was being forced to turn away needy refugees, the Legal Services Society of B.C. has received additional funding from the federal government.

The non-profit, legal-aid agency announced last month that it would stop taking applications for immigration and refugee services effective August 1 because it had run out of money as a result of the global refugee crisis.

The new $375,000 allows the LSS to maintain services until November while federal-provincial governments discuss future funding of immigration-and-refugee support.

“There’s three legal-aid plans across the country in real trouble,” explained LSS CEO Mark Benton on Tuesday. “Ontario has about 10 times the volume that we have. So we’ll need about a total of $1 million more than we budgeted — another $500,000 0r $600,000, but they’re going to need between $10 million and $13 million to finish the year and Manitoba is going to need a little bit, too.”

Benton anticipated an announcement in October about who will get what and how the federal funding pie will be divided.

“Because of the amount of money involved, I suspect it will have some fairly significant political involvement,” he added. “It won’t just be officials talking to each other, it will be politicians and getting them on side.”

News Source:

http://vancouversun.com/news/national/ottawa-provides-11th-hour-cash-for-refugees