Ontario Invests in Immigrants
More than half of this country’s newcomer population eventually settles in Ontario. But adequate money and programs to help integrate that huge influx of people hasn’t been there. That’s been changing lately, though.
With the McGuinty government’s student access guarantee, their recently announced $2.1 billion Jobs and Skills Renewal Strategy to expand skills training and employment services; and the $14 million dollar investment in 24 bridge training programs announced in May by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Mike Colle – immigrants in Ontario are finally getting some of the opportunities and investment justified by their large numbers.
Career bridging programs boast a very high success rate, and with $4.1 million dollars of funding going to the health professions, $1.5 million to foreign-trained engineers and significant investments to improve access for teachers and skilled tradespeople, Colle points out that the province is responding to the need to do a better job of matching immigrant’s skills with the needs of the marketplace.
In early May, the new Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration launched OntarioImmigration.ca. “It gives new Canadians the practical information they need to contribute to our economy,” Mike Colle explained. The site showcases a number of cities in Ontario, including Toronto, Windsor/Essex, Ottawa, Sudbury, and London.
The Ontario government also boasts that they negotiated the first ever Canada-Ontario immigration agreement, which quadruples spending on language training and settlement over the next five years.
This is all very encouraging news for newcomers in Ontario.