Matt Marchand, CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce in Ontario, aims to get a share of the new pool of rich foreign investors arriving in Canada through the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) scheme. Read More.
2013 saw Quebec’s population rising by about 63,000, but it also saw the total growth rate for the province decreasing for the fourth consecutive year.
This week the annual report on population statistics as released by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, found that the slowdown was not due to a declining number of births and deaths (which remained stable last year), but in fact due to migration changes.
“The slowdown was due to changes in migration components, such as higher interprovincial losses and a decline in the number of immigrants,” the institute noted in a statement.
Quebec welcomed 5,500 fewer immigrants to the province in 2013: around 52,000 compared to 55,050 in 2012. The top countries of origin were China, France and Algeria, followed by Haiti and Morocco. Nearly two out of three newcomers were aged 20 to 44. In 2013, 13,100 people left to live in another province, as compared to 8,7000 Quebecers in 2012 that relocated. The first choice of destination was Ontario (7,100) and Alberta (4,700).
Source: Global News
Pilot Project for Foreign Spouses and Dependent Children of Highly Skilled Canadians or Permanent Residents Returning to Work in Ontario
Operational Bulletin 229-A – April 23, 2012
Pilot Project for Foreign Spouses and Dependent Children of Highly Skilled Canadians or Permanent Residents Returning to Work in Ontario
The authorities released Operational Bulletin 229 on November 24, 2010. Initially, this pilot was due to conclude on May 23, 2012. However, the authorities have extended this pilot program by a further span of 18 months. As a result, this pilot would remain in effect until May 23, 2013. Therefore, this Operational Bulletin would be effective until then, as well.
The parties concerned with the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement agreed to certain terms. These terms found mention in the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) annex to the Agreement for Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement. The parties signed this agreement in August 2008.
According to Article 4.3:
“4.3 Where a Canadian Permanent Resident or Citizen who has left Canada returns to Canada to re-establish their residence in Ontario and work in Ontario as a Skilled Worker, and he/she is accompanied by a foreign spouse or common law partner and/or dependents, Canada agrees to issue open work permits to that spouse or common law partner and those dependents upon application, provided the applicants are otherwise legally able to work in Ontario. These open work permits should have a validity period of two years.”
In addition, Article 4.3 of the Annex mentions that officers would need to provide an exemption to the dependents described in the above-mentioned excerpt. This waiver would ensure that these dependents do not need to obtain a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). However, the applicants would still need to meet all the admissibility criteria. Only once they meet this, would the authorities give them the status of a Temporary Resident in Canada.
Readers could view the entire text of the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement on the CIC website.
The Pilot Parameters
This pilot began on November 24, 2010. The authorities had envisaged that it would run for an initial duration of 18 months, concluding on May 24, 2012. Thereafter however, the authorities concerned have extended this pilot by one year – from May 24, 2012 to May 24, 2013 – inclusively.
The terms of the pilot would only apply to qualifying foreign nationals as described subsequently. Moreover, the terms would only be applicable to qualifying foreign nationals destined to work in the province of Ontario.
In addition, the authorities have restricted the occupations for the Canadian or Permanent Resident re-establishing in Ontario only to accommodate:
- Health professionals and,
- Academics in post-secondary public institutions
This is in accordance with the purposes prescribed for this pilot project. The authorities would first complete the review of this pilot project. Only then would they consider making any changes to these parameters.
The Pilot Procedures
Applicants for this pilot program would need to refer to the Temporary Foreign Worker’s Guidelines (FW 1). This manual contains all the:
- General eligibility criteria
- Conditions specified by the work permit and,
- The processing procedures
All the above-mentioned details would continue to apply in conjunction with the procedures listed below.
- To become eligible for obtaining an open work permit under this pilot program, the applicants would need to meet all the following criteria
- They would need to:
- Be a spouse, a common-law partner or a dependent child of a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident, who:
- Is returning to work in Ontario as:
- A Health professional or,
- An academic in post-secondary public institutions
- This Operational Bulletin lists the occupations allowed under this pilot project at the bottom of this document
- These conditions are in accordance with Section 2, Interpretation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)
- Can provide a letter from the Province of Ontario – Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, Business Immigration Branch, 18th floor, 56 Wellesley Street W, Toronto, Ontario, M7A 2E7 (Phone: 416‑325‑6975; Fax: 416‑325‑6653, [email protected]), confirming:
- The employment
- The location and,
- The occupation
- The applicant would need to provide this letter for confirming the employment, location and occupation on behalf of the returning Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Be eligible to work in the Province of Ontario
- Situations could emerge where the applicants are working-age dependents
- In this scenario, the employers of these working-age dependents would need to bear the responsibility of ensuring adherence to the provincial minimum age employment standards
- Have the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Case Processing Centre – Mississauga (CPC-M) approve their application for Family Class sponsorship, filed by the returning Canadian citizen or permanent resident
The Process for Issuance of Open Work Permits
The process for issuing open work permit involves the following steps:
- Officers could issue a non job-specific open or open / restricted work permit to a foreign spouse, common-law partner or a dependent child
- Officers would not need to check whether the applicant has a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Service Canada accompanying the application
- In this situation, the dependent would need to apply for the work permit and pay the appropriate fees
- Officers could issue these work permits based on the medical examination requirements, if applicable. This is applicable especially if the officers are issuing a restricted work permit to the foreign spouse, common-law partner or a dependent child.
- The work permit only enables the participant to work in the Province of Ontario only – for the purposes of this pilot
- Applicants could apply for an open work permit:
- Overseas, or,
- In Canada to CPC-Vegreville via:
- Mail or,
- Applicants, who are nationals of visa exempt countries, could also apply at a Port of Entry
- Officers would need to enter the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) exemption code as T13
- This is in accordance with section R204(c) of the IRPR, which states that this is “an agreement entered into by the Minister with a province or group of provinces under subsection 8(1) of the Act”
- Special Program Code
- Officers would need to use the NEW Special Program Code #160 “RCS” for the spouse, common-law partner or dependent of the Canadian citizen or permanent resident in the:
- Field Operations Support Systems (FOSS) or,
- Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System (CAIPS)
- Officers would need to use this code for:
- Assisting immigration and border services officers, when they review these applications and,
- Facilitating statistical research, evaluation and policy development purposes
- Officers would need to ensure that the spouse, common-law partner or dependent’s work permit lists:
- The province of Ontario only in the Province field and,
- That this work permit is only valid for work performed in the province of Ontario in the printed Conditions
Duration and Extensions
Officers would issue this work permit for a span of two years. There would be no extensions to this work permit.
The National Occupation Code list (2006) of eligible occupations as part of the Ontario pilot for returning high-skilled Canadians or Permanent Residents of Canada
Post-Secondary Education (Academics) for Public Institutions
3111 – Specialist Physicians
4121 – University Professors
3112 – General Practitioners and Family Physicians
4122 – Post-Secondary Teaching and Research Assistants
3113 – Dentists
4131 – College and Other Vocational Instructors
3114 – Veterinarians
3121 – Optometrists
3122 – Chiropractors
3123 – Other Professional Occupations in Health Diagnosing and Treating
3131 – Pharmacists
3132 – Dieticians and Nutritionists
3141 – Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists
3142 – Physiotherapists
3143 – Occupational Therapists
3144 – Other Professional Occupations in Therapy and Assessment
3151 – Head Nurses and Supervisors
3152 – Registered Nurses
3211 – Medical Laboratory Technologists and Pathologists’ Assistants
3212 – Medical Laboratory Technicians
3213 – Veterinary and Animal Health Technologists and Technicians
3214 – Respiratory Therapists, Clinical Perfusionists and Cardiopulmonary Technologists
3215 – Medical Radiation Technologists
3216 – Medical Sonographers
3217 – Cardiology Technologists
3218 – Electroencephalographic and Other Diagnostic Technologists n.e.c.
3219 – Other Medical Technologists and Technicians (except Dental Health)
3221 – Denturists
3222 – Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists
3223 – Dental Technologists, Technicians and Laboratory Bench Workers
3231 – Opticians
3232 – Midwives and Practitioners of Natural Healing
3233 – Licensed Practical Nurses
3234 – Ambulance Attendants and Other Paramedical Occupations
3235 – Other Technical Occupations in Therapy and Assessment
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
Changes made by the nursing regulatory body last year have created additional hurdles for internationally educated nurses, who are struggling to meet the regulator’s new “safe practice” rules and face multiple delays in restarting their nursing careers.
The new OSCE test was introduced in March 2013 as an entry test for internationally educated RNs before they can go on to write the registration exam. However, the College said 2012 saw a spike in registrations, and last year’s number only reflected the norm.
“Our preliminary analysis of that spike is that applicants were trying to get their registrations completed before new registration rules took effect Jan. 1, 2013,” said college spokesman Bill Clarke.
The test requires nurses to interact with patients played by actors in 12 test scenarios. As of August, 1,673 foreign-trained nurses had taken the OSCE and only 25 per cent were successful in demonstrating the 100 competencies in the assessed scenarios. Nurses who have taken the OSCE say the college offers limited information about the exam with no course or textbook to prepare for it.
Not only does high demand mean that some candidates must wait as long as nine months to sit for the test, those who fail and don’t want to repeat their entire education in Canada have only one choice: compete for one of 50 spots at York University’s 20-month-long Bachelor of Science in Nursing program designed for internationally trained nurses.
“The OSCE exam is really hard. There is no study guide. You can’t prepare and study for it. If this is the way they prefer to license us, at least send us quickly to the OSCE and open more bridging programs to get us on track,” said Margarita Pasynkovsky, an operating room nurse from Israel.
a recent review of the nursing college’s registration process by Ontario’s Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC), released this summer, found that “some internationally educated applicants do not receive adequate explanation about their shortcomings on the OSCE.” And since there are no appeals or repeat tests allowed, “it leaves applicants with no option but to proceed to bridging education if they wish to continue with their RN application. It is unclear why, regardless of the number of gaps identified in the OSCE, applicants who want to proceed with their RN application must take an entire bridging program. There is no sound justification for the ‘one size fits all’ approach,” the report says.
The college said it brought in the OSCE test for foreign RN applicants because it is an objective tool to evaluate competencies. At York University, administrators received 400 applications for its bridging program for foreign nurses for its 2015 class, a 224-per-cent increase from the year before. But the program’s capacity has not caught up to demand.
Ryerson University has a two-year program to help individuals transition from registered practical nurses to RN, but it requires an approved one-year bridging program from another college to qualify for its degree program.
Ontario fairness commissioner Jean Augustine said she encourages professional regulators to consult her office for guidance before registration changes are made. The college said it is concerned about the situation and has been working with groups such as the Council of Ontario Universities to develop programs that will address the nurses’ competency gaps.
Internationally educated RNs licensed in Ontario: Historical Snapshot
Source: The Star
Canada’s unemployment rate plunged to 6.8 per cent in September, its lowest level in nearly six years, Statistics Canada says.
Ontario enjoyed the biggest gain, adding 24,700 new jobs, pushing the province’s unemployment rate down to 7.1 per cent from 7.4 per cent in August, the federal agency said Friday.
The labour market data delivered some much-needed positive news at the end of a week that saw turmoil in financial markets amid fresh worries about slowing global economic growth. Given Canada’s dependence on exports, however, the pleasant surprise could be short-lived, economists said.
Ontario’s economic development minister Brad Duguid also hailed the monthly employment numbers and noted Ontario has now created 514,000 net new jobs since the 2009 global recession.
The labour market report beat economists’ consensus forecast for 20,000 new jobs and an unchanged jobless rate in September, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. While the data was encouraging, economists said they remain wary of the highly volatile monthly data. September’s outsize gain follows an 11,000 net job loss in August, after a surprising 41,700 rise in July.
September’s employment growth “suggests that the economy might finally be catching fire. One month of data, however, doesn’t make a trend,” Capital Markets Canadian economist David Madani wrote in a report to clients.
Over the longer term, the numbers are headed in the right direction, RBC assistant chief economist Paul Ferley wrote in a note to clients. The labour market report is in line with expectations Canada’s economy will grow 3.1 per cent in the third quarter, chiefly on the strength of rising exports to the U.S, Ferley wrote.RBC predicts the Bank of Canada could begin raising its trend-setting interest rate by next spring, the second quarter of 2015.
In September, more Canadians found work in food services and accommodation, health care and social assistance, construction, natural resources, finance, insurance, real estate and leasing, Statistics Canada said.
Fewer jobs were created in educational services, possibly due to the impact of the teachers’ strike in British Columbia as school boards likely delayed contract hiring, economists said.
Younger Canadians made gains, as 43,000 new jobs went to people age 15 to 24 years. However, the youth unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 13.5 per cent as more young people looked for work, Statistics Canada said.
Ontario’s unemployment rate is moving in the right direction, hitting a near six-year low. In other encouraging economic news, the Bank of Canada’s quarterly business survey and senior loans officer survey, both released Friday, suggest Canadian companies are becoming increasingly optimistic.
September’s jobless rate (previous month in brackets)
With files from The Canadian Press
Newfoundland 12.7 (13.5)
Prince Edward Island 9.5 (10.0)
Nova Scotia 8.6 (8.8)
New Brunswick 9.6 (8.7)
Quebec 7.6 (7.7)
Ontario 7.1 (7.4)
Manitoba 5.3 (5.5)
Saskatchewan 3.5 (4.2)
Alberta 4.4 (4.9)
British Columbia 6.1 (6.1)
St. John’s, N.L. 6.5 (6.4)
Ottawa 6.8 (6.7)
Kingston 7.8 (7.1)
Peterborough .3 (8.0)
Oshawa 7.7 (7.7)
Toronto 8.2 (8.3)
Hamilton 6.0 (6.3)
St. Catherine’s-Niagara 7.3 (7.9)
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 6.7 (6.4)
Brantford 6.7 (6.2)
Guelph 6.3 (7.0)
London 7.4 (7.5)
Windsor 8.7 (9.0)
Barrie 5.8 (6.2)
Source: The Star
Anupam Apu is good enough to be an immigrant but not a doctor. He is one of over 6,000 international medical graduates in Ontario dealing with the daily frustration of knowing their chances of becoming practising doctors are slim to none.
The 36-year Bangladesh native thought that when he ticked the box for general physician as a preferred career on his immigration application, he would have a chance to continue in his field.
Both Apu and his wife, also a medical graduate from Bangladesh, soon found the deck was stacked against them because of the limited number of international medical graduates certified annually for medical residency positions in Ontario. Before leaving for Canada almost four years ago, Apu said he was in the early stages of training in neurosurgery.
Apu’s story resonates for “a lot of folks out there,” said Ontario fairness commissioner Jean Augustine. She has been urging the Liberal government to consider a “practice ready assessment” system similar to the ones in Alberta and Newfoundland, where foreign-trained doctors get a provisional licence and work under supervision to determine their level of competence.
Augustine’s dismay with the current system of certifying foreign-trained doctors follows an announcement earlier in the week in which the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario reported the highest number yet of international medical graduates being certified for full practice or residency. However, Augustine noted the college failed to mention the majority of the 200 provincially funded residency positions are going to Canadian students who trained abroad and returned to launch their careers, which she said was never the program’s intent.
Apu, who graduated with a bachelor of medicine and surgery, said he and his wife made inquiries soon after arriving but quickly learned it would cost $4,000 or more to take four exams before being able to apply to the international medical graduate program. And even then there were no guarantees. Despite Ontario’s seemingly impervious system, Apu said he still feels there is a place for him and will write the eligibility exams if he can find the money.
Foreign-trained doctors coming to Canada often end up with a “sense of betrayal,” said Tanya Chute Molina, a program adviser in the fairness commissioner’s office.
Attorney Colin Singer Commentary:
This reflects the variance in provincial regulation of the professions. Certain provinces such as Newfoundland and Alberta are easier to secure temporary licensing than Ontario. However the cost of becoming Board Certified is becoming a barrier to entry for many applicants.
Source: The Star
A new report has just been published by the C.D. Howe Institute about immigration that urges Canada “to define success not just in terms of immediate job prospects for newcomers, but also the capacity of their children to become successful.” This is a fitting topic given that one in five of Canada’s kids below the age of 15 was either born outside the country or into an immigrant family.
Usually, immigration is deemed a concern for the federal government. However, when it comes to resettling immigrants — and especially when it comes to resettling immigrant children — the provinces become much more important. This is because provinces are responsible for education, health, social and youth services, all of which directly affect immigrant children. Unfortunately, when compared to other provinces, Ontario hardly has an impressive record.
Politicians in Ontario such as Tim Hudak, want to save money. His plan calls for short-term cuts in scholastic, social, and public health services. This method however, could prove dire for the most vulnerable.
In a study that compared the mental health of immigrant kids from Hong Kong, mainland China and the Philippines with different regions of Canada, it was found that Vancouver and the Prairie cities scored best, Montreal slightly worse and Toronto worst of all.
For Montreal, language formed the main problem. While lack of fluency in one of Canada’s official languages jeopardized all immigrant families, it was even more difficult for non-French speakers to get along in Montreal than it was for non-English speakers in Anglophone Canada.
Toronto on the other hand, is faced with poor quality neighbourhoods, parent isolation and poor relationships between home and school, producing a mixture that’s toxic for any child’s mental well-being.
Toronto and other municipalities seem to be recovering from the Harris government’s policy of withholding cash. To make matters worse, Tim Hudak seems to want to head in the same direction — saving money through divesting responsibility and introducing “common sense” savings.
Source: The Star
Since 1991, Quebec has been the only province in Canada with full jurisdiction over its own immigration program. As provinces increasingly spar with the federal government over immigration issues, some experts are calling for similar powers for Ontario.
Looking to examples in Quebec and Prince Edward Island – where the provincial government has almost exclusive powers over its immigrant investor program – immigrant advocates Viresh Fernando and Tim Leahy argue that Ontario’s needs are not being met by the federal program.
While provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan are booming, in recent years Ontario has seen a dramatic decline of immigrants choosing to settle in Canada’s most populous province. Just a decade ago, Ontario welcomed approximately half of all newcomers. By 2012, that share had dropped to 38 percent.
If Ontario were able to implement and oversee it’s own provincial investor program, argue Fernando and Leahy, employers and governments would be able to not only target the workers needed in potential projects such as the Ring of Fire mining development, but also bring in the investment needed to boost these initiatives.
When the federal government closed its Immigrant Investor Program this year, a potential $8 billion dollars was lost. Ontario, and other provinces looking for investors, could benefit with a much more targeted and efficient program tailored to its own needs moving forward.
While Quebec’s powers are part of a larger and deep-rooted power struggle between the provinces, it could provide a strong example for the potential and success of immigration programs run at the provincial level.
Source: Toronto Star
Canada’s temporary foreign worker program has been experiencing rapid growth and the reason often cited is that the program is needed in areas suffering from severe labour shortages. However, it comes as quite a surprise that TFW figures in South-western Ontario have suddenly increased given that the labour market in the region has been declining over the past decade. Similarly, London, Windsor and Hamilton have experienced a significant decline in full time employment rates. It is interesting to note that when the number of TFWs increased in Hamilton, London and Windsor in 2012, the same regions simultaneously experienced a sharp decrease in full-time employment rates
With the possible exceptions of Guelph and the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo CMA, one would have to look for a very long time to find a “severe labour shortage” in South-western Ontario. The number of TFWs has inexplicably seen a sharp increase across the South-western Ontario region.
The temporary foreign workers issue is just another example of why Canada needs to keep better labour market data. There may be very good economic reasons why the number of TFWs has doubled in South western Ontario in the last decade, but without proper data there is no real way of knowing.
Source: Canadian Business
The Ontario Nurses’ Association says that the province is facing a “chaotic” shortage in nursing if drastic changes are not made.
Speaking on behalf of the association at a rally in Toronto last week, ONA first vice-president Vicky McKenna warned that Ontario is already lagging behind the other provinces, and would need 18,000 nurses immediately just to catch up. Ontario, one of Canada’s most populous provinces, has one of the lowest nurse-to-population ratios in the country.
“The reality is that we are an aging workforce,” said McKenna, pointing out that nurses in the province are, on average, 49 years old. “These nurses are going to retire and we are not graduating enough new nurses into the system.”
The nurses that are graduating, however, are facing their own discouraging challenges, says McKenna. With recent budget cuts, full-time nursing positions are getting harder and harder to find, making some wonder if a nursing career is really worth it.
“Everyone that has seniority over you gets it [full-time work] first,” said recent nursing graduate Teirsa St-Jean. “I don’t worry, because I am 22 and I don’t have children, but if I did have kids, it might be a problem.”
The lack of full-time positions not only discourages new graduates, but also places additional burdens on hospitals and staff. Overworked nurses can lead to fatigue, sickness, and can even put patients in danger, according to a recent study in The Lancet.
For each 1,000 residents, Ontario has seven nurses, according to the ONA.
Source: Metro News