What happened to ICNSS?

ICNSS served newcomers in Peel Region from 1986 to 2009

ICNSS was one of only two neighbourhood drop-in centres in Central Mississauga-providing services and programs. ICNSS suspended operations in June of 2009. At that time, the agency served approximately 75,000 clients annually. Most clients were from the immigrant and refugee group or from the visible and racial minority groups. A fully incorporated and registered charity, ICNSS received financial support from the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the Regional Municipality of Peel, the United Way of Peel Region, the Trillium Foundation and private donors.

Inter-Cultural Neighbourhood Social Services suspended operations on June 1, 2009 as a result of the loss of funding from its major funders. Three former employees of ICNSS: Tania Amaral of Etobicoke; Raouf Barakat of Mississauga; and Abla Ali of Mississauga had written an anonymous letter to all major funders of ICNSS making serious and false allegations against ICNSS; and against its executive director. Subsequently, the funding was withdrawn by the major funders.

Mississauga-Streetsville Member of Provincial Parliament Bob Delaney and I, both named in the anonymous letter, successfully sued the three authors of the anonymous letter. Ali, Amaral and Barakat could not substantiate any of the false allegations they had made against ICNSS. The three publicly apologized to us and to ICNSS, and paid substantial financial damages.

Nonetheless, the funders did not restore program funding to ICNSS, and the agency closed.On behalf of the ICNSS board, volunteers and staff, we thank our suppliers, clients, and the communities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon for the privilege of having served them and their fast-growing communities of new Canadians.

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