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Expanding Our Routes To Success

The Final Report By Ontario's Expert Roundtable On Immigration

The Need for Renewed Federal-Provincial Partnership

Making the immigration system work better for Ontario requires a renewed partnership between the provincial and federal governments. For too long, immigration policy at the federal and provincial levels has been shaped independently.

For too long, immigration policy at the federal and provincial levels has been shaped independently.

The expired Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement encouraged greater dialogue and collaboration, and coordination across governments can still be improved. It is time to turn the page and build a new partnership between governments.

Ontario is the largest provincial recipient of immigrants. Federal immigration policy must work for Ontario or it is not working for Canada.

The need for a renewed federal-provincial partnership is a persistent theme throughout this report. Partnership and engagement across sectors, across the province, is also necessary. The successful implementation of the report's recommendations requires it.

What does a renewed partnership look like? What are the priorities for enhanced collaboration? We identify four areas:

1. Coordinate selection priorities and processes
Jurisdiction over selection resides primarily with the federal government. The absolute numbers of economic immigrants to Ontario must increase if the province's labour market and demographic needs are to be addressed. The trend toward decreasing numbers of skilled immigrants must be reversed. We identify numerous steps to accomplish this. The most important of these steps would be ensuring that Ontario has a role in the design and implementation of the EOI model that prioritizes human capital in selection.

2. Streamlined and client-first settlement services
Settlement and integration services are provided by both the provincial and federal governments. Despite some progress on coordination, progress is still called for.

Governments should:

3. Principled funding arrangements
A third priority for a renewed federal-provincial partnership is to ensure long-term, predictable funding arrangements. Commitments around funding should be met. As the largest recipient of immigrants, Ontario bears a disproportionate cost for the settlement and integration of non-economic immigrants. This should be reflected in a renewed and principled funding commitment.

4. Improved data and information sharing
The implementation of the recommendations in this report will be improved through continued and improved evidence and monitoring. Federal, provincial and territorial governments should see themselves as partners in delivering better outcomes for immigrants and for the communities that welcome them. Governments should collaborate in the collection, sharing and interpretation of data, research and evidence, and should work to share these with delivery partners as appropriate.