Ontario Demands More Immigration Powers To Compete With Manitoba, Quebec, B.C.

The Globe and Mail

By Karen Howlett

Toronto — Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is reviving his campaign for a better financial deal from Ottawa, saying the province is at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to attracting talented newcomers.

Mr. McGuinty is calling on the federal government to give Ontario the same autonomy over developing immigration programs that has existed for more than a decade in British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec.

At issue is the fact that the other three provinces have much more control over immigration programs, Mr. McGuinty said. Quebec has the broadest powers, allowing it to select which immigrants take up residence in the province. He said Ontario should have more say as well in selecting so-called “economic class” immigrants – those who are highly educated and skilled.

Only 16 per cent of economic class immigrants end up in Ontario, well below the national average of 25 per cent. This leaves Canada’s most populous province at a disadvantage, he said, because employers often face a shortage of skilled workers.

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