Canada immigration news: Ontario wants to double the number of skilled immigrants allowed to settle in the province, the province’s immigration minister has told the federal government.
“I’ve called on the federal government to increase the number of skilled newcomers Ontario can welcome,” tweeted out Immigration Minister Monte McNaughton. “We are facing a historic labour shortage.
“Our government wants to build back a better, stronger Ontario – but we need the people to do it,” he wrote.
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Doubling the number of immigrants allowed under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) would bring it to 18,000 from the current 9,000 annually now allowed.
Ontario Wants More Skilled Worker Immigrants To Resolve Labour Shortage
The Ontario immigration minister is hoping this will help the province deal with its almost 316,000 vacant jobs. Statistics Canada figures show the number of vacant jobs in Ontario has shot up by 82,000, or roughly 35 per cent, from the 234,000 last year.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data shows Ontario welcomed 18,040 new permanent residents under the federal Skilled Worker program last year during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, IRCC figures show 44,075 new permanent residents settled in Ontario under that program.
Border closures and pandemic public health restrictions greatly reduced the number of new immigrants under that program this year.
Global Talent Stream Offers Way For Skilled Workers To Immigrate
In the first eight months of 2021, there were 3,555 new permanent residents to Ontario under the federal skilled worker program.
Skilled workers who want to immigrate to Canada can often avail themselves of the Global Talent Stream (GTS) of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) through which Canadian work permits and visa applications are processed within two weeks to fill labour shortages.
They can also apply under economic immigration programs, including the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, Canadian Experience, Caregiver, Skilled Trade and SkilledWorker programs.