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Strengthening Immigration in Ontario

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Strengthening Immigration in Ontario

New Legislation to Help Attract More Skilled Immigrants, Boost Economic Growth

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Ontario is taking steps to strengthen its role in immigrant selection by introducing legislation today that would, if passed, help meet the province's future labour market needs and support economic growth.

Building on the government's Immigration Strategy, the proposed Ontario Immigration Act would, if passed, assist the province in working with the federal government to maximize the social, cultural and economic benefits of immigration by:

  • Helping meet future labour needs by legislating the province's ability to set immigration targets to attract more skilled immigrants.
  • Preventing fraud by improving compliance and enforcement measures in the immigrant selection process, such as introducing penalties for applicants who misrepresent personal information or for those that may take advantage of immigrants.
  • Enabling Ontario to work more closely with the federal government on recruitment, selection and admission of skilled immigrants to the province.

The province will also redesign the Provincial Nominee Program to help facilitate expected increases in the federal government's allocation of economic immigrants. Ontario has called for an increase in its provincial-nominees allocation from 1,300 to 5,000 to support the province's highly-skilled workforce.

Strengthening immigration in Ontario to help build our knowledge economy is part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths -- its people and strategic partnerships.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario remains the number one destination for newcomers to Canada, receiving more immigrants than the combined total of all the provinces and territories west of here. Newcomers make up 30 per cent of Ontario's labour force.
  • Over the next 25 years, immigration will account for all of the increases in Ontario’s working age population and is expected to be a major source of future labour force growth.
  • Ontario’s Immigration Strategy sets a goal that five per cent of newcomers be Francophone.
  • The federal government makes key decisions about immigration that impact Ontario. Federal decisions over the last 10 years have reduced the proportion of economic immigrants coming to Ontario to 50 per cent, while the average for other provinces is 70 per cent.
  • Ninety-eight per cent of Ontario’s provincial nominees remain in the province.
  • The Provincial Nominee Program is for employers who would like to fill skilled positions that they have not been able to fill domestically with foreign workers and international students who want to live and work in the province.

Additional Resources


“This government is committed to making immigration work better for Ontario. We are going to introduce legislation that would lay the necessary foundation for us to operate a larger and more robust immigration program in Ontario, now and in the future.”

Michael Coteau

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

“Ontario needs immigration to remain competitive in today’s global economy. This proposed legislation would be an important mechanism for ensuring that Ontario has the necessary tools to compete globally for investment and exports and ensure our continued economic prosperity. Competing and winning in the global economy is a key element of Ontario's economic plan to create jobs today and tomorrow.”

Eric Hoskins

Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment

“Ontario needs a talented, educated and entrepreneurial workforce to secure its future. The announcement of proposed legislation shows that Ontario is committed to developing the right tools to help meet future labour shortages, and to bringing immigrants here who can hit the ground running and reach their full potential.”

Ratna Omidvar

President, Maytree Foundation

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