Ontario's labour minister, who also oversees immigration, is advocating for legislative changes to make the province a more appealing place to work. On October 25th, Monte McNaughton introduced the "Working for Workers Act." If it’s passed, it could result in significant changes for Ontario workers.
The proposed changes announced last week for immigrants seeking to work in regulated occupations in Ontario are included in the act.
In short, the Ontario government wants to see the requirements for newcomers seeking licensure in non-health occupations relaxed. They specifically want to eliminate the requirement for regulatory bodies to require Canadian work experience, eliminate the need for a language test for the purpose of licencing, and speed up the licencing process, particularly in emergency situations.
“It is imperative that we recognize credentials of new Canadians and get them to pass their licensing requirements and get them into these meaningful jobs if we want to build our province,” McNaughton told CIC News over the phone.
McNaughton cited labour shortages in skilled trades occupations, which are expected to worsen as more workers retire. He also mentioned a recent study that found that bridging the skills gap between immigrants and Canadian-born workers could add $12 to $20 billion to Ontario's economy.
Currently, healthcare occupations are not included in the proposed legislation for regulatory bodies. McNaughton did not elaborate, but stated that the government hopes to change this soon.
If the bill is passed, Ontario will be the first province in Canada to do away with the requirement for Canadian work experience in regulated occupations. It would also be the first to implement "right-to-disconnect" policies and to prohibit non-compete agreements.
Aside from changes to laws governing regulatory bodies, the immigration minister would like the federal government to give Ontario more immigration authority. Through its Provincial Nominee Program, the federal government has allowed Ontario to welcome 9,000 newcomers in 2021. McNaughton would like to see that figure doubled due to ongoing labour shortages in Ontario, even though it is the most popular province for new immigrants.
With the proposed exciting changes set to be discussed in depth, laying the groundwork, and preparing your Canadian visa application is critical if you want to be a frontrunner as a Canadian immigration prospect. Speak with a New World Immigration consultant today to confirm your eligibility and start the process of securing a better future for you and your family in Canada.