McGuinty Government Fairness Campaign Includes Newcomers
TORONTO, Sept.23 /CNW/ – Ontario Citizenship and Immigration Minister Michael Chan is urging people to let all federal parties know that the next federal government needs to deliver fairness for Ontario and its newcomers.
Skilled newcomers are key to Ontario’s long-term economic prosperity. Immigration will account for 100 per cent of net labour market growth in Ontario by 2011.
But proposed changes to Canada’s immigration system would add more barriers, make it harder for Ontario to get skilled newcomers, and puts us at a competitive disadvantage for the global competition for skilled immigrants.
It would also force provinces to expand individual immigration systems, without funding from Ottawa, and compete against each other to attract skilled immigrants.
Ontario is also concerned about the more than $156 million that has not flowed from Ottawa to agencies in the province that provide language and settlement services for newcomers. These funds were promised under the Canada Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA), signed in November 2005.
Premier McGuinty has asked Ontarians to raise the issue of fairness with federal election candidates. An online petition is now available at www.fairness.ca.
“In the global competition for talent, Ontario can’t afford to be at a competitive disadvantage for skilled immigrants,” said Chan. “We want to work with the federal government to build an immigration system that allows skilled newcomers to come to Ontario quickly, and is also fair to potential immigrants.”
“Citizens in Ontario have continually been short-changed by successive federal governments for vital services such as health care, infrastructure and immigration,” said Len Crispino President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of
Commerce. “It’s simply a matter of equality. It’s time that every federal party made a commitment to fix the fiscal imbalance and treat Ontario fairly, for the benefit of Ontario and Canada.”
“The proposed changes are troubling regardless of who the Minister is or which party is in government,” said Debbie Douglas, Executive Director for the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants. “You cannot simply treat
immigrants as cheap labour and not care about developing citizenship, a sense of commitment, belonging and ownership.”
Key facts about Ontario’s fairness campaign:
- Under current federal rules, Ontario transfers $20 billion to other parts of Canada.
- The Building Canada Plan shortchanges Ontario by $970 million on funding for infrastructure projects.
- Federal health care money is supposed to be divided equally among allCanadians, but Ontario is shortchanged by nearly $800 million a year.
Get more information about fairness for Ontario.
Reference: Government of Ontario