- The Ontario government is investing an additional $25 million over three years in its immigration program to support doubling the number of skilled immigrants the province can welcome to tackle the labor shortage.
- The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program allows the province to nominate individuals for permanent residence who have the skills and experience to contribute to Ontario’s economy in industries like skilled trades and health care.
- This action builds on the province’s recent Working for Workers Act 3, which introduced further measures to remove barriers facing internationally trained professionals who wish to work in regulated professions.
The Ontario Government is set to invest an additional $25 million over three years to double the number of skilled immigrants the province can welcome, as part of its flagship immigration program. The province’s government aims to address labor shortages in critical areas such as health care and skilled trades. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program allows the province to nominate individuals for permanent residency based on their experience and skills in industries that could boost the economy. The investment will help speed up the processing of applications and support IT updates to ensure the system can accommodate the increased demand.
Ontario Government’s Response to Historic Labour Shortages
Premier Doug Ford said, “Our government is ready to welcome more skilled newcomers to Ontario, to help build the highways, transit, schools, homes, and hospitals our growing population needs.” Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development, added that every year more immigrants come to Ontario than any other province, and the government needs the resources to select and welcome those who can succeed, building stronger communities for everyone.
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) enables the province to nominate individuals for permanent residency, based on their skills and experience. In December 2022, nearly 300,000 jobs in Ontario remained unfilled. The OINP’s allocation from the federal government has more than doubled, from 9,000 in 2021 to 18,361 in 2025, with Ontario nominating 16,500 immigrants in 2023. This allocation represents 36% of the national allocation of provincial nominees.
Ontario Government Investing in Newcomers
Ontario’s government aims to attract top talent and investments by launching an entrepreneur pilot to attract 100 international entrepreneurs to start or expand businesses in areas outside the Greater Toronto Area. The government is also improving the nomination process for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program by implementing an expression of interest system, helping small and rural communities attract and retain skilled workers.
Working for Workers Act 3
Ontario Government’s recent Working for Workers Act 3 introduced measures to remove barriers faced by internationally trained professionals who want to work in regulated professions. The act built on Ontario’s position as the first Canadian province to eliminate discriminatory barriers preventing foreign-trained professionals from continuing their careers in sectors they trained in, such as engineering, law, accounting, and skilled trades.
Quotes from Leading Groups
Nadia Todorova, Executive Director of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario, said, “RCCAO welcomes today’s funding announcement to increase application processing capacity to get more workers to Ontario through immigration.”
Tonie Chaltas, CEO of Achēv, added that immigration is vital for addressing long-term labor shortages and welcomed the measures prioritizing this critical issue. Meanwhile, Sara Asalya, Executive Director of Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto, said that Ontario’s investments would support labor market inclusion for all immigrants coming to Ontario.
Lastly, LiUNA, on behalf of the province’s labor and industry groups, welcomed the government’s commitment to investing in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, which complements its advocacy for training, outreach, and apprenticeship programs that strengthen Ontario’s skilled workforce.
Building a Strong Ontario
Ontario Government’s 2023 budget, “Building a Strong Ontario,” aims to boost economic growth, attract jobs and investments, and accelerate the development of critical infrastructure projects. The plan will train skilled workers to fill in-demand jobs, keep costs low for those who need it the most, and improve health and public services for Ontario families. Ontario’s government is continuing its targeted approach by building an Ontario the people of this province can be proud of, both today and in the future.