Ontario needs to welcome 135,000 immigrants annually—Report

This has been emphasized by the findings of a latest report.

Ontario needs higher immigration—The report by Expert Roundtable on Immigration, Ontario, states that Ontario should increased its annual immigration levels. It should be a minimum of one percent of the total Ontario population or 135,000, the report affirms.

This is among 32 recommendations listed by the report for the purposes of formulating the first immigration strategy of Ontario. Report findings are going to be forwarded to Charles Sousa, Ontario’s immigration minister.

The report comes around seven months after the appointment of the expert panel by the government. The panel was appointed to find out a solution to the problems being faced by Ontario.

Ontario is facing shortages of skilled workforce, poor performance of immigrants coming here and declining levels of immigration.

Key recommendations of the report— • Ontario’s immigration level should be either 135,000 each year or a minimum of one percent of its total population. And out of these, percentage of foreigners coming to Canada under Canada economic class should be between 65 and 70 percent.

• A transparent, fair and a diverse immigrant selection system in Ontario.

• While selecting economic class immigrants, criteria should be on human capital and not on current work or occupation.

• Ontario’s economic immigration must rely on reformed FSWP (Federal Skilled Worker Program) as its primary source.

• Elimination of FSWP’s priority occupation list is mandatory.

• Collaboration between Ontario and Canadian government needed for designing and working of new model of EOI (Expression of Interest).

• Selection of economic immigrants on the basis of narrow criteria like occupation needs to be limited.

• Ontario government must involve engaging municipalities and employers while finding requirements and problems of labor market.

• People having work experience who are studying in Ontario must be retained under Canadian Experience Class program.

• Specific occupational shortages and communities’ requirements should be addressed through PNP (Provincial Nominee Program) of Ontario.

• Expansion and extension of Federal Skilled Worker Backlog Reduction Pilot to 2014.

• Raising the cap of PNP Ontario to 5,000 annually(from 1,000 currently).

• Effective use of Temporary Foreign Worker Agreement for achieving goals.

• Additional information with regard to temporary immigrant workers.

• Federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program must focus on hiring workers with high-skills and skilled tradespersons and ensuring immediate filling up of temporary job positions.

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