The next 2 decades are considered crucial for Ontario, the most populated province in Canada. The province will need many more resourceful people to maintain a healthy workforce. This was stated in a report that the federal government has funded.
Canada immigration has a lot to do with achieving the sort of demographic increase. This is besides the need to retain all people currently in the province and bring in about 8,100 more people every year for the next 2 decades. This is essential to maintain the healthy ratio of dependents to workers in the province.
Now, here are some more numbers to show how important it is to get more people into the province to keep the province alive and prospering. Northern Ontario will need about 1,700 new people annually for the next 2 decades. This will be necessary to get to the expected dependents to the working-age population ratio by 2041. That’s a lot of people needed to work in Canada in Ontario.
Luckily, or more out of need, over 300 people from close to 100 organizations have hatched a plan to grow the population of northern Ontario. The drop in the number of working-age adults in the population as a percentage of the whole is quite concerning these days.
Immigration, as before, is a solution that has come out as the best in the opinion of experts. Ontario is now trying to find the solution through OINP’s Regional Immigration Pilot. The federally-operated RNIP is another program Ontario works on. It includes many communities of Ontario.
There’s also the effort put in to stop people from migrating outside of Ontario. The challenges lie where international students don’t stay back in Ontario after their study in Canada, and motivating people to migrate to northern communities in Ontario.
So, an action plan has been made that has both short, medium, and long-term recommendations.
- Increase collaboration of existing marketing efforts with enhanced targeting for impact maximization. It also aims to stretch scarce dollars. The action plan includes:
- Advertising tourism to international students
- Providing tourists post-secondary information
- Give information about settling in Ontario to travelers
- Provide information on the community for Indigenous populations
- Practice improved interconnectivity along with consistent messaging to pass the information on online platforms. This includes social media.
- Put fewer restrictions on pre-arrival service and support for foreign students by federal and provincial governments.
- Grant greater access to the existing services, particularly in remote, rural communities.
- Introduce tourists, new residents, investors, and students to local cuisine and residents.
- Recruit young people to organize committees to improve marketing reach and its effectiveness at low to zero cost.
- Report core measures regularly and publicly.
- Improve access to programs and services via efforts at cross-program education and create an online asset map.
- Increase education and training, more so in rural areas, on how to fund programs and go about their implementation.
Medium to long-term recommendations
- Develop shareable and re-usable tools, viz. multi-language videos, basic marketing materials, and high-quality online experiences that are interactive
- Invest in interactive engagement and consistent messaging
- Make subsidized or free legal advice available for international immigrants via phone
- Create a single point of contact for those trying to move to a community or a region
- Expand the mandate of PNN to include skilled trades to fill gaps in service delivery
- Improve reach to affordable housing
- Develop an inventory of assets that would include space available for alternative uses and purposes, viz. kitchen facilities and training centers, legion halls, faith-based space, and green space that are shareable
- Sell “micro-experiences” which could create links between tourism and the expansion of business
- Make junkets for foreign students in the summer if not on weekends to bring them out of the narrow limits of the distance they walk to their institutions and more rural communities
- Train them on basic data skills intended for individual users who might be overwhelmed about using larger databases like Statistics Canada provides that allow them to develop and update key measures for in-house solutions in their organizations
- Facilitating report generation flexibly on a common platform where organizations can save their own research and run it whenever they need
- Create new training programs at university and college attached to identified gaps in the system
- Create a pool of people to give support to other communities in drafting funding requests and grant applications
The push initiated by the report on Ontario’s demographic needs gels well with the commitment of the Canadian government to boost immigration Canada gives top priority to.
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OINP – Ontario Immigration Nominee Program
RNIP – Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
PNN – Professions North/Nord