The government of Canada has announced intentions to re-distribute resettlement funding to match recent trends that have seen more and more immigrants choosing to settle in places other than Ontario.
“We believe it is only fair that settlement allocations across Canada should be based on the share of newcomers that provinces and territories have,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in response to critics within the Ontario government, who say that cutting finances will further deter immigrants from coming to the province.
Last year Ontario was the destination of choice for approximately 52 percent of new arrivals to Canada. That is down 12 percent from just five years earlier in 2005 when 64 percent of immigrants settled in Canada’s most populous province.
The trend has resulted in three consecutive years of federal settlement funding cuts, and officials with Ontario’s provincial government are speaking out against the decision.
“[These cuts] will hit newcomers in Ontario especially hard at a time when the province could most benefit from the valuable contributions they bring,” said Ontario Immigration Minister Charles Sousa. “These unfair cuts will deny thousands … access to services that will help them find jobs and learn new skills.”
Sousa added that the lack of newcomers to the province is a reflection of inefficiencies at the federal level in terms of application processing, and that many potential arrivals have been stuck in the application backlog, waiting years for a decision.
However, still others say that Ontario must step up their efforts to attract and retain newcomers if it wants to remain competitive with other provinces who actively recruit abroad.
Source: Globe and Mail