Ontario’s Premier says that the federal government must give the province more control over skilled worker immigration policies.
“The reality is, right now, we’re being held back by an uneven playing field,” said Premier Dalton McGuinty, adding that the upcoming federal elections are providing a perfect opportunity to raise this issue to the public in Ontario who hold a great deal of voting power.
McGuinty argues that other provinces such as British Columbia and Manitoba have more control over immigrant programs and settlement assistance. Quebec even has the autonomy to select immigrants under its own rules and regulations.
Experts, however, predict that McGuinty’s cries will most likely fall upon deaf ears, as politicians simply have too much to gain from the immigrant voters to comply.
“The federal government doesn’t want to give up the power to go into community centres from a variety of different ethnic backgrounds with a $200,000 cheque,” says Matthew Mendelson, director of one Ontario public-policy research firm.
Though Ontario remains still Canada’s most populous province, more and more immigrants are choosing other places for settlement – particularly the booming Western provinces such as Alberta and Saskatchewan. The recent changes to immigrant regulations, which seem to favour Western resource-based economies, also are not helping to attract the manufacturing labour that Ontario needs.
Source: Globe and Mail