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Feb 19, 2014

Ontario introducing legislation to help attract more skilled immigrants

Focused on setting targets, preventing fraud, working with Feds
    
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Ontario is taking steps to strengthen its role in immigrant selection by introducing legislation today that would, if passed, help meet the province's future labour market needs and support economic growth.

The proposed Ontario Immigration Act would, if passed, assist the province in working with the federal government to maximize the social, cultural and economic benefits of immigration by:

•helping meet future labour needs by legislating the province's ability to set immigration targets to attract more skilled immigrants

•preventing fraud by improving compliance and enforcement measures in the immigrant selection process, such as introducing penalties for applicants who misrepresent personal information or for those that take advantage of immigrants

•enabling Ontario to work more closely with the federal government on recruitment, selection and admission of skilled immigrants to the province.

The province will also redesign the Provincial Nominee Program to help facilitate expected increases in the federal government's allocation of economic immigrants. Ontario has called for an increase in its provincial-nominees allocation from 1,300 to 5,000 to support the province's highly skilled workforce.

Ontario remains the number one destination for newcomers to Canada, receiving more immigrants than the combined total of all the provinces and territories west of here, said the government. Newcomers make up 30 per cent of Ontario's labour force.

Federal decisions over the last 10 years have reduced the proportion of economic immigrants coming to Ontario to 50 per cent, while the average for other provinces is 70 per cent, said the government.

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