Ontario attracting more skilled newcomers to strengthen economy

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New investment will grow program and help Province fill generational labour shortage

by Jim McDonald, MPP

The Ontario government is working for workers by investing an additional $15.1 million over three years to improve and expand the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The investment builds on the recently-launched entrepreneurship pilot and will allow Ontario to attract the skilled immigrants needed to fill labour gaps when local workers are not available.

“Newcomers are crucial to growing our economy and building a stronger future for all of us,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “We’re lowering the barriers they face and have called on our partners in the federal government to double the number of newcomers Ontario can select in 2022. By investing in the future success of this program, we’re not resting until everyone in Ontario who wants to earn a pay cheque is able to do so.”

This new investment will allow the program to grow, enhance security and fraud detection and other IT updates to ensure the system can handle increased capacity now and in the future. Nominating newcomers to work in Ontario helps meet the needs of our growing economy by filling jobs in health care, computer programming, web development and trucking.

While almost 120,000 economic class immigrants to Canada arrived in 2021, only 9,000 newcomers were nominated through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program in that year.

“Increasing the nomination allocation would allow Ontario to fill targeted labour market shortages across the Province, driving overall economic growth and improving the quality of life for residents,” said Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.

This is why Minister McNaughton continues to call on federal Immigration officials to double Ontario’s allocation for the coming year.

This announcement follows changes the government made this winter and fall, such as launching a new entrepreneur pilot to attract 100 international entrepreneurs to start or grow businesses in regions outside of the Greater Toronto Area. Applications received through the pilot project will be processed on an expedited basis to help fast track job creation opportunities. Ontario is also removing discriminatory barriers that prevent foreign-trained professionals from working in the sectors they were trained in, such as engineering, law, accounting and skilled trades.

 

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