May 30, 2023

Ontario Doubles Skilled Immigrant Intake: A Boost for the Economy

Ontario is poised to welcome twice as many skilled immigrants as part of its ongoing efforts to address labour shortages and fuel economic growth in the province. The government has announced a $25 million investment in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) over the next three years, on top of the $15 million previously allocated in Budget 2022. This investment is expected to increase the intake of economic immigrants to 18,000 by 2025, which is a historic high for the province.


Ontario: Canada's Top Destination for Newcomers

Ontario has long been a popular landing destination for immigrants, welcoming one-third of all newcomers to Canada each year. The province's commitment to doubling its skilled immigrant intake is a testament to its efforts to create a diverse and skilled workforce to support its growing population. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has underscored the importance of this investment, saying that "it's all hands on deck" to ensure the province has the workforce it needs to build highways, transit, schools, homes, and hospitals.


What is the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program?

The OINP is Ontario's Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which is the primary pathway for skilled workers to immigrate to Canada. Through the OINP, prospective immigrants with the skills and experience targeted by the province may receive a provincial nomination from Ontario, which then allows them to apply for permanent residency in Canada through the federal government's Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).


Enhanced Streams and Base Streams

Ontario's PNP includes enhanced streams, which are aligned with the federal government's Express Entry system, and base streams, which are not. Candidates who receive a nomination from an enhanced stream get an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which effectively ensures an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Those who receive a nomination from a base stream must apply directly to IRCC.


Budget 2023: Building a Strong Ontario

Ontario's 2023 Budget, called Building a Strong Ontario, outlines the government's plans to invest in skills training, transform the apprenticeship and skilled trades system, and help newcomers put their skills to use. The Budget includes a $75 million investment in the Skills Development Fund over the next three years, aimed at helping workers and job seekers acquire the skills they need to take on new opportunities and advance their careers. The government is also investing $224 million over the next two years in a new capital stream of the Skills Development Fund, which will expand access to training centers and prepare more workers for careers in the skilled trades and other in-demand jobs.


The More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022

The Budget also addresses the housing crisis and affordability issues in Ontario. The government is planning to get 1.5 million homes built by 2031 and is introducing the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, which aims to reduce the cost of building a single-family home in the Greater Toronto Area by $116,900. These changes will help make life more affordable for Ontario families and support the province's continued growth and development.

In conclusion, Ontario's commitment to doubling its skilled immigrant intake is a significant step towards building a strong and diverse workforce to support the province's growth and development. The additional investment in the OINP, coupled with other initiatives outlined in the Budget, including investments in skills training and the skilled trades, will help to create more opportunities for workers and job seekers in Ontario. The More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 is also a promising development that will address the ongoing housing crisis in the province. All of these measures will help to create a more prosperous and inclusive Ontario for all.


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