New Ontario Budget was unveiled by Doug Ford government on April 28, 2022. Ontario is the largest province of Canada as per land area and population. Around 38% of Canada’s population resides in Ontario. It is also one of the most preferred province by Canadian immigrants.
The budget enlisted following initiatives in favour of immigrants and workers
- Investment of $15.1 million allocated to be spent over three years in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). OINP is Ontario’s PNP program and invite immigrants from within Canada and outside Canada for permanent residency.
- Budget called on the Federal Government to double the quota for OINP from 9,000 to 18,000. This is to meet Ontario’s pressing labour market needs and to aid in economic recovery.
- Investment of $67 million over three years through the Ontario Bridge Training Program to connect internationally trained immigrants with in-demand jobs in their communities.
- Also, Ontario is making it easier for out-of-province workers in over 30 in-demand professions to move to Ontario with their families for work. Regulated professionals and tradespeople such as engineers, auto mechanics and plumbers can get their credentials processed within a service standard of 30 business days.
- The budget announced increase in minimum wage to $15.50 per hour w.e.f. October 1, 2022. Currently, minimum wage in Ontario is at $15 per hour.
- Furthermore, province is attracting 100 international entrepreneurs to start or grow businesses in regions outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
- Additionally, to support students, Ontario is expanding college degree granting to help build a pipeline of job-ready graduates in applied fields. This will allow students to gain the education, experience and skills to enter the workforce faster.
Moreover, Ontario government has already removed below mentioned barriers for internationally trained immigrants.
- The requirement for Canadian work experience for professional registration and licensing;
- Duplicative and costly official language proficiency testing; and
- Long processing times, ensuring the licensing process is completed in a timely manner.