Considering the increasing labor shortages across Canada, many Canadian provinces, including Ontario, wish to seek greater control over immigration than the Federal Government. Provinces such as Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan have urged the government to give them the authority to select more immigrants with in-demand skills, especially in trades. Many skilled workers worldwide immigrate to Canada through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), become permanent residents, and enjoy benefits of Canadian citizenship.
Provincial ministers of the Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba signed off a letter on July 26, requesting Immigration Minister Sean Fraser to overhaul the immigration system by attracting more skilled workers in various occupations.
The letter reads, “Provinces best know the needs of their local economies. We need the ability to respond to the rapidly evolving needs of specific areas and communities, with a flexible system that we can adapt to changing economic and humanitarian needs.”
The letter also highlighted critical issues related to the shift in economic and humanitarian needs and the ever-growing needs of industries and communities.
On July 28, 2022, the Government of Saskatchewan released a statement saying it intends to have greater control over its immigration policies. The information was released on the same day when Saskatchewan’s immigration minister Jeremy Harrison met with the provincial government of New Brunswick and other prominent ministers, including Sean Fraser.
Provincial ministers want to select more newcomers for Canada PR visa who are talented and have the potential to succeed in Canada.
Ontario receives new immigrants in record numbers, with more than 190,000 immigrants moving to the province in 2021. However, most of them came through the express entry system. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) was only permitted to select 9,000 newcomers in 2021. The province has now urged the government to double this quota in 2022. But Ottawa only allowed to increase the number to 700.
Ontario expects at least 211,000 newcomers, but only 9,750 may be selected for 378,000 job vacancies.
Only the federal government can decide on the number of applicants each province can nominate in a year. Although provinces can negotiate the numbers, the federal government determines the final quota.
According to a survey by Statistics Canada, Manitoba has 28,000 unfilled vacancies, whereas Saskatchewan has 20,000, and Alberta has 88,000. The 2022-24 immigration level plan has targeted inviting 83,500 new residents through PNPs. Despite the high numbers, PNP ministers want more workers to address the labor shortage and economic growth.
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