Ottawa has pledged to quadruple immigration funding to Ontario in a $920-million deal, announced Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Joe Volpe.
Of the thousands of new immigrants who come to Canada each year, more than half, or about 125,000, make their homes in Ontario. The Ontario government has long complained that it doesn’t get enough funding to help these new immigrants.
Ontario receives $800 for each immigrant while Quebec receives $3,800. With the new deal, Ontario’s funding per immigrant will increase to $3,400 over the next five years.
In a press conference, Volpe denied the funding announcement was an election promise and said that the deal is a “contractual obligation” that won’t change if there’s a change in federal government.
The funding, part of the first-ever comprehensive agreement between the governments of Ontario and Canada, will help ease the transition for newcomers into Canadian society. Funding will go into programs such as language training and job counselling.
The agreement will formalize how the two levels of government work together on immigration. It will also see the development of the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program that will allow Ontario to recruit qualified immigrants for specific labour-market needs.