Monte McNaughton, the immigration minister of Ontario has said that the province wants twice as many immigrants through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The province has also demanded more authority over economic immigration. In a media interview, Minister McNaughton said Ontario gets to choose only 5% of the total immigrants moving to the province. He said, provinces like Quebec, British Columbia and Nova Scotia have more say in selecting their immigrants. The minister pointed out that, though a total of 211000 new immigrants moved to Ontario this year, 378000 still remained unfilled. And, the total number of immigrants that the province is allowed to nominate is just 9750. He is of the opinion that the province needs those immigrants who have the skills and qualifications to meet the demands of the provincial labour market.
Ontario’s demands on immigration
Ontario’s immigration minister shared these concerns in the wake of the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA) expiring. The agreement is the framework for Ontario’s relationship with the government on immigration. As the existing agreement is expiring, Ontario has an opportunity to negotiate changes and put forward its demands with regard to provincial immigration. The minister said the negotiations for the new agreement have already begun.
Ontario needs more allocation
Ontario immigration has put forward two major demands to the federal government. First one is that Ontario’s PNP allocation should be doubled to 18000 and the second one is that the province must have more authority over economic immigration. The minister said Ontario needed more economic immigrants for filling the labour shortages. Ontario has also taken steps to improve the credential recognition for immigrant workers, including eliminating the need for Canadian work experience to get licenced in some selected occupations. However, the minister is of the opinion that there is much more to be done to improve economic immigration to the province.
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