A final report by the Expert Roundtable on Immigration, commissioned by the Ontario government, lists 32 recommendations to overhaul the way immigration is handled in the province.
The report cites an “anticipated shrinking workforce and skills shortages in sectors critical to Ontario’s prosperity” as essential motivations for the strategy.
“The roundtable believes that immigration is key to Ontario’s future prosperity and that the development of an immigration strategy should be an integral part of the province’s overall economic strategy,” reads the report.
The report suggests that, over the long term, the level of immigration to Ontario should be increased to at least one per cent of its population, or 135,000 people per year, and at least 65 per cent of those immigrants should be economic class immigrants.
Among the recommendations, the roundtable suggests engaging employers and municipalities to identify labour market needs and challenges, as well as attracting and retaining more international entrepreneurs.
The roundtable was comprised of leaders and experts from the business, academic, economic and immigration sectors, including Rayudu Koka of Sudbury, the medical director of the Mental Health and Addictions Program at Sudbury Regional Hospital.
The full report is available at www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/english/keyinitiatives/imm_str/roundtable/index.shtml.