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Trudeau offers hand on Downtown Eastside

VANCOUVER - Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says the country needs to strengthen its immigration system by processing more claims and bringing in more parents and grandparents in a timely fashion.

Trudeau made the comments while volunteering with the Guru Nanak Free Kitchen and handing out food to people living on the city's Downtown Eastside.

He says the Conservative government has had a narrow-minded view of immigration, something he says has always been a national strength.

Trudeau also says immigration will be an important source of economic benefit and economic growth, and Canadians must ensure they're investing in settlement and integration tools, as well as language acquisition.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced recently that it will assume direct management of settlement programs in B.C. in April.

The ministry also announced it was committed to helping new Canadians fully integrate into the economy, and it did so just days after the province's Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk raised questions about funding cuts. (News 1130, The Canadian Press)

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