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The Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement

Annex B
Collaborative Canada and Ontario Immigration Portals


1.0 Preamble

1.1 The Canada Immigration Portal (“Canada Portal”) is an integral component of the Government of Canada’s strategy to support the social and economic integration of immigrants. It is a horizontal initiative done in partnership with other federal government departments and agencies, with links to provincial, territorial and municipal governments, immigrant service provider organizations, regulatory bodies, educational associations, and the employer community.

1.2 The Ontario Immigration Portal (“Ontario Portal”) is a major transformational initiative supporting the Province of Ontario’s e-Ontario vision. It is focused on supporting the successful integration of new immigrants in Ontario and promoting Ontario to prospective immigrants by providing user-friendly, seamless access to information and services. This will be accomplished by:

  1. working horizontally and inter-jurisdictionally;
  2. customizing information to meet the needs of immigrants;
  3. collaborating with, but not duplicating the information and services provided through existing sites;
  4. serving as the primary point of access to immigrant-related information resources and services in Ontario; and
  5. building the foundation for innovative information and service delivery.

1.3 The Canada and Ontario Portals will be aligned to provide prospective immigrants with reliable and current information before they come to Canada and Ontario, and tools that will facilitate their integration into Canadian and Ontario labour markets and society.

1.4 The Canada and Ontario Portals will act as key communication and online service delivery mechanisms for immigrants in an integrated fashion.

1.5 The Canada and Ontario Portals will provide enhancements to current information and services for immigrants to Canada and Ontario, provided on the Government of Canada’s Going to Canada website, and on other Ontario-based websites.

1.6 Notwithstanding section 2.1 (a) of the General Provisions, for the purpose of this Annex, “immigrants” includes both prospective immigrants to, and immigrants already residing in Ontario.

2.0 Objectives

2.1 In support of the Canada-Ontario Memorandum of Agreement referenced in section 1.10 of the General Provisions, Canada and Ontario agree to collaborate in the development of a common immigration portal vision, principles, and strategy for the delivery of electronic services to prospective and landed immigrants, from all levels of government. Canada’s vision, principles and delivery strategy for the Canada Portal will also be developed in collaboration with other provinces and territories.

2.2 Canada and Ontario will collaborate to provide immigrants with accurate, current, relevant and consistent information and tools that will allow them to make informed decisions on where they want to settle and that will facilitate their integration into Canadian and Ontario’s labour markets and society.

2.3 Canada and Ontario will collaborate with each other, municipalities, and other key stakeholders to coordinate and align the development and implementation of portals and websites that target prospective and landed immigrants, in order to work towards the concept of “no wrong door” to information and services, to avoid duplication of efforts, and to meet the objectives defined in sections 2.1 and 2.2 of this Annex.

2.4 Canada agrees that Ontario will collaborate with municipalities to support the municipalities’ interests in immigration through the Canada and Ontario Portals.

3.0 Governance

3.1 A Working Group will be established under section 7.1.5 of the General Provisions, to support the development and implementation efforts to meet the objectives defined in section 2.0 of this Annex in accordance with the following arrangements:

  1. this Working Group will meet on a regular basis to set direction and monitor progress for collaborative initiatives and, to serve as a forum for information, experience, resource exchange and information sharing;
  2. ad hoc inter-jurisdictional task teams, consisting of functional or subject-matter resources from each Party and other stakeholders, may be created for specific projects or tasks; and
  3. the Working Group will be co-chaired by one representative of each Party, and will report on its work and progress to the Management Committee referenced in section 7.1.3 of the General Provisions.

4.0 Implementation

4.1 Canada and Ontario agree to work together on the development of new processes to enhance and simplify the implementation and operation of their portals, including:

  1. aligned communications strategies;
  2. common approaches for service and customer management, including the use of standard Information Technology Service Management frameworks; and
  3. a common approach for risk assessments, defining service levels, and performance measurement.

4.2 A strategy will be developed to enable inter-operability of the Canada and Ontario Portals and back-end systems, the sharing of information, and the aggregation of information from various sources across jurisdictions. This strategy will include:

  1. the definition of a common approach to information management, including common taxonomies and metadata standards;
  2. the use of common architectural approaches, technologies and standards to enable the sharing of information and data from systems that may use different IT platforms;
  3. the use of common approaches for identification, authentication, and authorization of individuals;
  4. the common definition of immigration services that may be delivered by each part or by other stakeholders; and
  5. the use of a common “service mapping” approach for identification of these services, and the definition of service relationships.

4.3 Canada and Ontario will identify any jurisdictional overlaps and clarify responsibilities in terms of:

  1. development, implementation and integration of the content, applications and services;
  2. sustainability and maintenance of the content, applications and services; and
  3. development and implementation of quality assurance and program evaluation mechanisms.

5.0 Consultation

5.1 Canada and Ontario agree to consult with municipalities and minority official languages communities to develop their presence on the Canada and Ontario portals to support their immigration interests.

5.2 Canada and Ontario agree to hold joint consultations with other stakeholders, including immigrant service provider organizations, on the development and implementation of the Ontario Immigration Portal and the Canada Immigration Portal, to ensure stakeholder participation and the integration of existing information.

5.3 Ontario agrees to participate in federal-provincial-territorial discussions and working groups on the Canada Immigration Portal that will be established to ensure collaboration, to pursue and leverage opportunities to minimize duplication of costs and efforts, and to share best practices.

6.0 Sharing of content, tools and applications

6.1 To enhance the spirit of collaboration in keeping with Annex F, avoid duplication, realize efficiencies, and enable future inter-operability, Canada and Ontario agree, subject to their respective legislation and policies and pursuant to any licencing, contracting or other legal limitations that might apply, to share with each other content, tools and applications upon the following terms:

  1. the intellectual property rights of any content, application or tool developed will rest with the Party who commissioned it;
  2. both Parties agree to share information, experiences, and where applicable and available, resources to further the work on collaborative initiatives; and
  3. both Parties agree to make any new or existing content, application or tool available to the other, at no cost, for use on collaborative initiatives, including the Canada and Ontario Immigration Portals.

6.2 To avoid unnecessary duplication of costs, Canada and Ontario will, where feasible, endeavour to:

  1. co-fund the development of shared tools;
  2. integrate existing information for immigrants to facilitate their integration into the Canadian and Ontario labour markets and society; and
  3. participate in joint marketing and communication initiatives that may, on occasion, involve other provinces and territories as well as other stakeholders.

7.0 Reporting

7.1 Canada and Ontario will collaborate on the development of aligned strategies to support the objectives listed in section 2.0 of this Annex, and will share respective annual and long-term plans to implement these strategies, including their respective portals, upon the following terms:

  1. each Party will draft annual plans for each upcoming fiscal year for comment and provide these plans to the other Party by November 1st of the current year; and
  2. each Party will provide the completed final versions of their annual plans to the other Party on or before the following February 28th.

7.2 Results of the annual plans from the previous year, including the impacts on immigrant integration, will be shared by both Parties by April 30 th each year.

8.0 Evaluation

8.1 In accordance with section 7.2 of the General Provisions, Canada and Ontario agree on the following evaluation approach:

  1. within one year of the launch of the first phase of the Ontario Portal, Canada and Ontario will collaborate on the development of a common Performance Measurement and Evaluation Strategy and approach to monitor results against stated objectives for collaborative initiatives, including their portal initiatives; and
  2. Portal operational performance reports will be shared between Parties on a regular basis (time periods to be negotiated).

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