The federal government has cut funding to the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) English language program, in a move many immigrants say will hinder their ability to learn the country’s main language.
The program has been funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada with the aim of giving new immigrants an opportunity to learn English for conversation, business and academic purposes.
The cuts affect funding to the language schools that run the program in Ottawa, with between 150 and 180 students every year taking the 12-week summer program at Ottawa’s Algonquin College alone.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokesperson Sonia Lesage said that summer courses are traditionally less well-attended than courses at other times of the year, and that other language training courses will continue to be available to newcomers in Ottawa.
Lesage emphasised that funding to the program was linked to the number of immigrants that arrive in each province, among other factors, and that the program was “designed to be flexible and accessible”.