Ontario is investing an additional $25 million over the next three years, building on the $15 million announced in the 2022 budget, to double Ontario’s hiring of skilled immigrants. The investment will serve to address the labor shortage and promote economic development in the province.
Ontario is Canada’s most popular landing destination, and the province welcomes a third of all newcomers to the country each year. The province and federal government announced plans to double the number of economic migrants to be admitted to a historic high of 18,000 by 2025.
“Our government is ready to welcome more skilled newcomers to Ontario to help build highways, transit, schools, homes and hospitals to meet the needs of our growing population. As we continue to deal with historic labor shortages, we are doing everything we can to make sure we have the workforce to help build for Ontario. It’s all hands on deck,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
According to Ontario’s website, the new investment in Budget 2023 will speed up processing and ensure that newcomers to Ontario can start working in their businesses quickly. The funding will enhance security and other IT updates to ensure the system can handle increased demand now and in the future.
What is the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program?
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). PNP is the main way to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker.
Through OINP, potential immigrants with skills and experience targeted by the province can obtain a provincial nomination from Ontario, after which they can apply for Canadian permanent residence with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Ontario PNP streams are base streams and the others are advanced streams. Enhanced streams are those that align with the Express Entry system, which is the system the federal government uses to manage permanent residency applications through Canada’s three main economic class immigration programs.
Express Entry gives candidates a point-based score on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest ranking candidates are then invited to apply for permanent residency. Enrollees from the Enhanced Provincial Program receive an additional 600 points, effectively ensuring an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residency (ITA).
Base streams are streams that are not aligned with the Express Entry system. Candidates seeking provincial nomination are required to apply directly to IRCC.
Ontario Government Budget 2023, Building a Stronger Ontario
Ontario’s 2023 budget, called for building a strong ontario“a responsible, targeted approach to helping people and businesses today, while laying a strong financial foundation for future generations”.
In addition to the $25 million investment in OINP, there are other major measures in the budget that will affect immigrants to Ontario. The government pledges to invest in skills training, transform the apprenticeship and skilled trade system, and help newcomers access their skills.
Specifically, Ontario is investing $75 million in a skills development fund over the next three years to help workers and job seekers acquire the skills they need to take on new opportunities and advance their careers. The government is investing $224 million in a new capital stream of skills development funding over 2023 and 2024 to expand access to training centers to train more workers into careers in the skills trade and other in-demand jobs.
Apart from this, the budget also discusses the issues of housing crisis and housing affordability. The government is planning to take action to build 1.5 million houses by 2031. The Faster Build More Homes Act, 2022 will implement changes to help build more homes and make living more affordable for Ontario households. The impact of these changes is estimated to reduce the cost of building a single family home in the Greater Toronto Area by up to $116,900.