Ontario to double number of economic immigrants under federal agreement

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Ontario is set to welcome double the number of economic immigrants under an agreement with the federal government to help solve the province’s critical labour shortage.

The federal and provincial immigration ministers announced Saturday that the province will have more than 18,000 spots under the program in 2025.

Ontario Labour and Immigration Minister Monte McNaughton called for the increase in 2021 when the province was allowed to bring in 9,000 people under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.

The new agreement will see Ontario go from 9,750 immigrants under the program in 2022 to welcoming 16,500 in 2023, more than 17,000 in 2024, and more than 18,000 in 2025.

“As we remain focused on addressing the acute labour market shortages and building a strong economy into the future, one thing remains certain: immigration is a key part of the solution,” said Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser in a statement. “As Canada’s flagship regional economic immigration program, the provincial nominee program’s increasing growth will support the long-term well-being of communities in Ontario. ”

With nearly 300,000 jobs going unfilled daily, the agreement will allow Ontario to select more of the workers needed to fill gaps in critical industries like skilled trades, technology, and health care.

“On behalf of Premier Ford and the people of Ontario, I want to thank Minister Fraser and the federal government for their commitment to meet us at the table and land this historic immigration increase,” said McNaughton.