The Sudbury Chamber of Commerce and local Member of Parliament Glenn Thibeault are speaking out against the closure of the city’s Citizenship and Immigration Office.
The loss of the office is putting a drain on the local economy by sending immigrants and their employers far out of their way to get services they used to get much closer to home, said Glenn Thibeault, the MP for Sudbury.
In-person services are no longer available in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie or Thunder Bay since those offices were closed down in April, following federal budget cuts. Papers must now be submitted online or in person in Toronto.
“It's a big, big inconvenience for many of these small business owners to stop what they're doing, leave their business, and head down to Toronto when they used to be able to do it here,” said Thibeault.
The loss is “slowing down the expansion of these businesses which is then hurting our local economy,” he added.
The Sudbury Chamber of Commerce and the City Council are calling on Ottawa to reverse the decision. Chamber executive director Debbi Nicholson says her organization has also sent its concerns to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
“They, along with us, will be lobbying the federal government for those changes,” said Nicholson.