To help build a stronger economy, Ontario will develop its first-ever immigration strategy, according to the government.
A new expert roundtable will help develop the strategy and examine ways immigration can best support Ontario's economic development and help new Ontarians find jobs. The roundtable will provide its recommendations to the government in summer 2012.
Ontario remains the number one destination for newcomers to Canada yet it is the only province currently without an immigration agreement with the federal government, said the government. The new provincial immigration strategy will help to inform and shape discussions with the federal government towards an agreement.
"Both Ontario and Canada have a shared responsibility when it comes to immigration and helping new Canadians find jobs. When Ontario grows and prospers, so does Canada. That's why the new expert roundtable will help us develop the first-ever Ontario immigration strategy to support our case for an immigration agreement with the federal government and build a stronger economy,” said Charles Sousa, minister of citizenship and immigration.
Newcomers make up 30 per cent of Ontario's labour force, according to the government. In 2001, the federal skilled workers program accounted for 77 per cent of economic landings to Canada. By 2010, that number had fallen to 46 per cent. More than 60 per cent of these newcomers have historically landed in Ontario.
The roundtable will be led by Julia Deans, past CEO of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, and include:
•Craig Alexander, senior vice-president and chief economist at TD Bank Financial Group
•Steve Arnold, warden in Lambton County
•Charles Beach, professor at Queen’s University
•Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, executive director at the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education, Toronto Financial Services Alliance
•Debbie Douglas, executive director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
•Karna Gupta, president and CEO of the Information Technology Association of Canada
•Phillip Kelly, associate professor at York University
•Rayudu Koka, medical director of the mental health and addictions program at Sudbury Regional Hospital
•Gus Kotsiomitis, vice-president of commercial financial services at RBC
•Allan O’Dette, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
•Ratna Omidvar, president of the Maytree Foundation
•Léonie Tchatat, executive director of the Gateway - Integration and Economic Development.
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