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Three Communities Selected for Ontario Regional Immigration Pilot

The province of Ontario unveiled initial plans for its Ontario Regional Immigration Pilot in July, and just recently announced the three communities selected for the program as Chatham-Kent, Cornwall and Belleville/Quinte West. The pilot program is set to begin accepting applicants in 2020.

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As Ontario remains one of the top choices for skilled workers immigrating to Canada,the goal of the Regional Imigration Pilot is to support businesses in the province’s rural communities that lack local skilled labour. The three communities selected to participate in the program were all deemed to have a significant need for workers and an inability to fill the positions locally. 

In order to develop the pilot, the government of Ontario requested feedback from rural communities across the province. Tom Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and MPP Bay of Quinte, expressed his delight at the communities selected. “Belleville and Quinte West have a fantastic infrastructure and capacity to welcome newcomers and help them get settled.”

Ontario recently made an appeal to the federal government to double its quota of economic immigrants in order to fill serious labour shortages throughout the province. The province would like permission to increase the number of invitations it can extend via the OINP program, aiming to increase the number from 7,000 to 13,300 over the next two years

This year, Ontario reached its quota before the end of December. Recognizing the continued need for skilled labour, the federal government granted the province an additional 700 nominations.

The province’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli, has called on the federal government to work to support Ontario in its specific immigration needs. He wants to see the province secure more autonomy in its selection process and the development of its immigration strategy. 


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