Since the Conservatives came to power in 2008, they have restricted Federal Canadian immigration programs and the province of Ontario is suffering as a result. Previously applicants who applied as Federal Skilled Workers chose the province of Ontario as their destination of choice. 

Under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Canadian provinces are able to create immigration programs where they can select applicants that would benefit their province. The province of Quebec has its own arrangement with the Federal government whereby it has even more powers than the provincial nomination programs.

In recent years provinces like Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba have created provincial nominee programs across various categories. Now, that there are fewer immigrants coming to Canada under Federal immigration program, fewer new immigrants are settling in Ontario. This means that there are fewer newly arriving skilled workers for Ontario employers to chose from.

In 2008 the Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney decided that the Federal Skilled Worker program would require at least one year of full-time work experience in an occupation on a list of eligible occupations. In 2010 that list was reduced from 38 eligible occupations to 29 occupations. It is undeniable that a large portion of occupations on the list are for occupations in demand in Western Canada. Oil workers and crane operators have more job opportunities have far more opportunities in Canada’s western provinces as compared to their opportunities in Ontario.

Although the number of immigrants coming to Canada has not changed, a much larger proportion are coming under provincial nomination programs. Since Ontario has one of the more restrictive provincial nominee programs even fewer individuals are choosing Ontario as their preferred destination.

Since the Conservatives have won a majority government in Canada’s most recent election, it is unlikely that the Federal Skilled Worker program will be expanded any time soon. If Ontario wants to fight back and once again attract the best and brightest individuals Canadian immigration selects as Canada permanent residents, it will have to expand their provincial nominee program. This in fact will allow Ontario even more control over the people settling in the province, allow them to effectively select those that are likely to integrate well into Ontario’s labor force and society in general.


For more information about immigrating to Canada, contact FWCanada – Canadian Immigration Law Firm

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