Dear Minister Sousa,
On behalf of the members of the Expert Roundtable on Immigration, I am pleased to submit this report and to thank you for having given us the opportunity to help shape Ontario's first-ever immigration strategy.
It is clear to us that immigration is crucial to the well-being of every person in Ontario.
We must leverage the energy, ideas and resources of more immigrants to ensure that we build the competitive, prosperous economy and vibrant communities we all want. We must also recognize that the success and prosperity of every immigrant is tied to our own.
Attracting and settling immigrants is not just the job of government; this is about nation building and we each have a role to play. From better defining our labour market needs to preparing newcomers, our recommendations emphasize the need for the provincial and federal governments to work together and with other sectors. Our advice is based on evidence and analysis to ensure that the way forward for Ontario is grounded in a strong factual foundation. Ontario is a global leader in immigrant attraction and settlement; it is Canada's immigrant magnet. Ontario's future success, and Canada's, demands that we protect and promote this enviable position in the growing global competition for talent. As one of our members said, "Canada was built on natural resources; its future will be built on human resources."
We thank you again for this opportunity and stand ready to help advance the new strategy.
Julia Deans, Chair
Past CEO , CivicAction
The Expert Roundtable on Immigration consisted of leaders from the private sector, the settlement services sector, academia, and the not-for-profit sector. The Roundtable's mandate was to advise the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on the development of an Ontario immigration strategy that addresses immigrant selection, settlement, and integration issues, with an emphasis on economic immigration and labour market integration. The Roundtable's work complemented stakeholder consultations held by the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister, which will also inform the strategy.
The Roundtable met four times over a period of three months in 2012. During these meetings, the Roundtable heard from a range of experts, including some of Canada's leading economists, immigration researchers, and senior members of the public service from the Governments of Ontario and Canada.
The Roundtable was not asked to evaluate the current system but rather to give advice on a strategy to support nation building and Ontario's long-term economic growth. This report represents the Roundtable's best advice for developing a strategy that aligns immigration to the province's economic and social development goals.