Ontario planning to create separate immigration policy

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In order to attract more immigrants compared to other Canadian Provinces, Ontario is planning to introduce it’s ever first Immigration policies.

Charles Sousa, Immigration Minister announced  the set up of a 13 member expert panel who will be responsible for creating immigration strategies that can support Ontario’s economic development and help the new immigrants to get jobs in Ontario.

For new immigrants, Canadian province remains the number one destination, but due to economic downturn the number of immigrants settling in the country decreased by 21% from a peak of 148,640 immigrants in 2001 to 118,114 immigrants in 2010. The Centralized Immigration System of Canada is also blamed for the decline in the Canadian Immigration. Ontario government claims of having backlogs of thousands of Ontario bound applicants.

Charles Sousa Said, “It’s a priority for us to ensure that Ontario has fairness in the system. Right now things are happening at the expense of Ontario and I’m trying to change that.”

The turn down is mostly due to other provinces’ strong economies and aggressive marketing campaigns. According to a recent federal report, Ontario has not fully benefited from the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which allows provinces to select their own immigrants based on local economic needs. Instead the province continues to rely on the federal skilled immigrant program as its main source of immigrants. Research has shown PNP nominees often arrive with a job offer by local employers, have higher employment rates and incomes than those through the standard federal skilled program. Also, Ontario was the last province to join the PNP and receives only 1,000 visas a year, a small portion of the more than 30,000 visas handed to other provinces.

Charles Sousa Said, “Federal immigration policies are hurting Ontario, I am interested in a national framework that benefits all provinces and is not at the expense of Ontario.”

Academic and business leaders, along with employers and others in the financial and IT sectors will be included in the expert panel. The panel is expected to submit a report to the government detailing their recommendations for the province’s immigration strategy.

 

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