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Ontario Seeking More Control On Immigration To Solve Labor Shortage!

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has asked the Canadian federal government to give them more control over immigration selection. This will help them bring more skilled, economic immigrants into Ontario and address the labor shortage. 

Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s immigration minister said that hundreds of thousands of jobs are unfilled in Ontario. This is costing the economy a lot of money. Thus, Ontario believes that it should have more control over its provincial immigration program.

 “That’s why we’re setting out to renegotiate the Ontario-Canada immigration agreement that expires this fall, to give Ontario more of a say in the number of immigrants and the kind of immigrants that we want to build a stronger economy.”

Monte McNaughton

Ontario has requested the federal government to double the number of immigrants under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. Currently, Ontario has been allocated 9,750 nominations for the year of 2022. Furthermore, OINP has already issued 4,374 nominations this year as of June 28, 2022.

Ontario Immigration In Context

Ontario is one of the most popular provinces when it comes to immigration. Furthermore, it is the largest Canadian province by area and population. It welcomes the most number of immigrants each year.

Last year, nearly half of all immigrants settled in Ontario. Also, before the pandemic, Ontario had the highest number of immigrants arrive under the family and refugee classes. 

According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), there were 94,770 newcomers in Ontario through federal economic programs. Additionally, around 36,675 immigrants came through family programs.

This included spouses, partners and children and parents and grandparents. Lastly, 5,875 people came through the Provincial Nominee Program.

How Is This Going To Impact Rest Of Canada?

More PNP allocation for Ontario is going to have major consequences for the rest of Canada. In addition to supporting provinces and territories’ immigration needs, the IRCC has a national mandate. So, giving Ontario more immigration authority falls under IRCC’s national mandate.

Ontario has major labour shortages, so they should be provided with greater say on immigration. Thus, this will help fill job vacancies. Also, it will support the post-pandemic economic recovery.

However, it will also undermine efforts to promote a more even distribution of immigration across the country. PNP aims to help smaller provinces and territories attract more immigrant. 

Ontario already welcomes almost half of Canada’s immigration. So, if Ontario is given more immigration powers, the national immigration share increases even further. This will hurt other provinces and territories.

Thus, this is a tough choice for IRCC when it comes to fulfilling this request. Under the Immigration Levels Plan for 2022, there are 83,500 spots for provincial nomination programs in Canada. This includes principal applicants and their spouses and dependents.

Also, currently, Ontario has the highest PNP allocation. IRCC has assigned 9,700 principal applicant spots. However, Ontario’s population is approximately 15 million people. So, this is comparatively quite a small number that Ontario has been allocated.

Thus, Ontario believes that to solve the problem of shortage of skilled workers, they need to be given more immigration powers.