The provincial government has unveiled an immigration strategy that seeks to set a new direction for how Ontario selects, welcomes and assists newcomers to Canada’s most populous province.
Attracting a skilled workforce and growing a stronger economy, helping newcomers and their family achieve success and leveraging the global connections of diverse communities are three major objectives of the new strategy.
Newcomers make up close to 30 per cent of Ontario’s labour force and it is projected that – with continued immigration – the province’s working age population will start to decline by 2014.
The strategy emphasizes the key role that skilled immigrants play in Ontario’s economic development both as workers and job creators in addressing labour market gaps due to the province’s aging population and low birth rate. It also highlights how to better support immigrants and their families so they can succeed and contribute to Ontario’s prosperity.
“This is a bold new direction for immigration in Ontario,” said provincial Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Charles Sousa. “It sets a path so we can attract the highly skilled immigrants and investors that we need to fuel economic growth and help build stronger communities.”
Sousa says he wants to see economic-class immigrants comprise up to 70 per cent of all newcomers to Ontario and the 1,000 individuals in the provincial nominee program doubled. He’s also pushing to maximize the potential of temporary foreign workers and international students.
In addition, the minister would like to see more resources go to employers to recruit and welcome immigrant employees, an improvement in job prospects for non-economic immigrants, Francophone immigration increase by five per cent, employers develop or expand mentorship, internship and on-the-job training programs, the globally-connected economy grow by increasing the employment rates of highly skilled immigrants in their fields, the global value of immigrants already here maximized by decreasing their unemployment rate to the provincial average and global expertise leveraged by removing barriers and increasing the number of internationally trained professionals licensed in their professions.