The Ontario government is investing an additional $25-million over three years in its flagship immigration program to support doubling the number of skilled immigrants the province can welcome to tackle the labour shortage and help build Ontario.
“Our government is ready to welcome more skilled newcomers to Ontario, to help build the highways, transit, schools, homes and hospitals our growing population needs,” said Premier Doug Ford, in a media release.
“As we continue to tackle historic labour shortages, we’re doing everything we can to ensure we have the workforce to help build Ontario. It’s all hands on deck.”
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program allows the province to nominate individuals for permanent residence who have the skills and experience to contribute to Ontario’s economy in industries like the skilled trades and health care.
Earlier this month, the province and federal government announced a doubling of the number of economic immigrants the province selects to a historic high of 18,000 by 2025.
The new investment in Budget 2023 will speed up processing and ensure those coming to Ontario can start working in their professions quickly.
The funding increase supports enhancing security and other IT updates to ensure the system can handle increased demand now and in the future, Provincial officials say.
“Every year, more immigrants come to Ontario than any other province,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, in a media release.
“It is critical to ensure we have the resources to select and welcome those best placed to succeed, building stronger communities for everyone.”
This action builds on the province’s recent Working for Workers Act 3, which introduced further measures to remove barriers facing internationally trained professionals who wish to work in regulated professions.
The legislation also builds on Ontario becoming the first province in Canada in 2021 to remove discriminatory barriers that prevent foreign-trained professionals from continuing their careers in sectors they trained in, such as engineering, law, accounting and skilled trades.
“Our government is continuing with our responsible, targeted approach that is training workers for the jobs of tomorrow and building an Ontario the people of this province can be proud of, not only today but in the future,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance, in a media release.
“We have the right plan to navigate the ongoing challenging economic times, by supporting families, workers and businesses, while building a strong fiscal foundation for the future.”
Budget 2023’s funding of an additional $25 million over three years is in addition to the $15 million over three years that was announced in Budget 2022, Provincial officials say.