Province Building Ontario by Doubling Economic Immigration
Historic increase in skilled immigrants will help fill jobs in the skilled trades, technology and health care
March 18, 2023
Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development
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TORONTO — The Ontario government is doubling the number of economic immigrants it selects in 2025 to over 18,000 to help solve the province’s critical labour shortage. With nearly 300,000 jobs going unfilled daily, this will allow Ontario to select more of the workers needed to fill gaps in critical industries like the skilled trades, technology and health care.
“From 9,000 immigration spots in 2021 to over 18,000 in 2025, today’s announcement is a significant win for the people of Ontario and will help us control our economic destiny by selecting more of the skilled immigrants we know are well-placed to succeed and build stronger communities for all of us,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “On behalf of Premier Ford and the people of Ontario, I want to thank Minister Fraser and the federal government for their commitment to meet us at the table and land this historic immigration increase.”
In April 2021, Minister McNaughton called on the federal government to double the number of immigrants allowed under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) to help tackle the labour shortage. Ontario reached its allocation of 9,750 immigrants through the OINP in 2022, including 3,900 skilled trades workers, 2,200 software and IT workers, and nearly 100 nurses and personal support workers.
“As we remain focused on addressing the acute labour market shortages and building a strong economy into the future, one thing remains certain: immigration is a key part of the solution,” said Sean Fraser, Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “As Canada’s flagship regional economic immigration program, the Provincial Nominee Program’s increasing growth will support the long-term well-being of communities in Ontario. I am grateful for the outstanding working relationship I have with Minister McNaughton and look forward to continuing to work with the province to achieve our shared economic immigration objectives.”
To further attract the skilled workers Ontario needs the most and ensure they can start working in their professions sooner, the province was the first in Canada 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.
- 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 December 2022, there were nearly 300,000 jobs in Ontario going unfilled.
- Ontario’s OINP allocation from the federal government has more than doubled from 9,000 in 2021 to 18,361 in 2025. In 2023, Ontario will be able to nominate 16,500 immigrants.
- Ontario’s 2023 allocation represents 36% of the national allocation of provincial nominees.
- This work builds on the government’s efforts to attract top talent and investment to the province by:
“Increasing the province’s allocation of economic immigrants under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program will help address labour shortages and ensure businesses find employees with the right skills. Our thanks to the Governments of Canada and Ontario for their continued action to support our ability to attract talent to the province.”
– Rocco Rossi
President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce
“Greater autonomy over the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program gives the province better tools to address the skilled labour shortage and places new Canadians on the right track to achieve their full potential. Congratulations to Minister McNaughton for his tireless efforts to get a better deal from the federal government. Ontario’s new car dealers are in dire need of automotive technicians and auto body repairers, and this announcement will help attract workers for these well-paying careers that are waiting for them today.”
– Frank Notte
Director of Government Relations, Trillium Automobile Dealers Association
“The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) would like to thank Minister Fraser and Minister McNaughton for today’s announcement regarding the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Since gaining access to the OINP in 2019, the Ontario trucking industry has continued to welcome newcomers to our sector to help fill key job vacancies. As the past few years have shown, bolstering the trucking sector’s labour market is one of the surest ways we can help strengthen the supply chain and keep the economy moving. Today’s announcement is not only positive for our sector, it’s positive for all businesses and Ontarians who rely on the trucking industry to deliver the essential goods and products they need every day.”
– Jonathan Blackham
Director, Policy and Public Affairs, Ontario Trucking Association
“The food and beverage processing industry is Ontario’s largest manufacturing sector by employment. We employ more than 125,000 people in over 4000 companies. Labour is our top challenge. The changes announced today to the OINP will permit increased recruitment of foreign workers for good jobs, in addition to contributing to a strong and sustainable workforce for our industry. We fully support today’s announcement which will help address labour shortages. This is a win for Ontario and our sector.”
– Chris Conway
CEO, Food and Beverage Ontario
“The history of residential construction is immigration. For decades, immigrants have developed our communities, supported our economy, and made Ontario what it is today. RESCON commends the provincial and federal governments for increasing the number of immigrants to Ontario through the Provincial Nomination Program. This will help fill critical labour shortages in the construction and reduce barriers for immigrants to gaining employment and making a living in Ontario. “
– Andrew Pariser
Vice President, RESCON
“Menkes has a been a part of Toronto’s diverse history for 70 years, employing thousands of immigrants and building homes for thousands more. Today’s announcement will build on Menkes foundation of immigration and will further support new immigrants, the residential construction industry and help reach the goal of building 1.5 million new homes.”
– Joe Francavilla
SVP, Menkes Developments Ltd.
“Ellisdon applauds the efforts of Minister McNaughton and the Government of Ontario to fight for immigration to be tailored to the nuanced needs of the labour market. We know first-hand the challenges that the labour shortage poses to businesses and Ontario’s global competitiveness; this is a much needed step in the right-direction to addressing that.”
– Geoffrey Smith
“Tridel recognizes the importance that immigration can play in addressing our labour shortage. The Province of Ontario is uniquely suited to assist with this, by having a system geared for economic and labour market needs, and by ensuring swift processing times. We applaud the federal and provincial government’s commitment to collaborative solutions on this matter.”
– Jim Ritchie
President and CEO, Tridel Group of Companies
“Eastern Construction fully supports and commends the provincial government for their tireless efforts in solving the skilled trades shortage that plagues our industry. One of the keys to solving this problem is increased immigration of skilled tradespeople. Once again, the provincial government has stepped up to address these issues. We applaud Premier Doug Ford and Minister McNaughton taking these steps to help us deliver crucial infrastructure projects in a timely and efficient manner.”
– Bryan G. Arnold
President and CEO, Eastern Construction Company Limited
“As an organization who has been providing essential support services to immigrants for over 40 years, we welcome and support Minister McNaughton and Minister Fraser’s announcement to increase the number of economic immigrants coming to Ontario. This announcement also represents and showcases government coordinated efforts at the provincial and federal levels in recognizing immigrants’ significant contributions to the province’s economic growth and prosperity. Increasing immigration levels will have positive impacts on our province, including boosting our economy, addressing labour market needs, and enhancing cultural diversity.”
– Sara Asalya
Executive Director, Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto
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