10 Jul 2018
Doug Ford and the new Conservative government of Ontario have announced the “elimination” of the provincial Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI) and its subsequent replacement with a new structure. The implementation of the new structure is not clear as of this moment. Judging by the recent announcements by Ontario Tories, the new government may try reducing the costs, and some analysts fear that it may adversely affect the Provincial Immigration policy.
One of the changes is already taking place due to the clear clash between Toronto and Ottawa on the question of refugees. Premier Doug Ford issued a statement describing asylum seekers as “illegal border crossers,” saying the influx has resulted in a housing crisis in Toronto and “a threat to services that Ontario families depend on.” The Ontario government says it may face a “looming crisis” next month if Ottawa does not help find space for refugees and asylum seekers currently sheltered in Ontario college dorms. Lisa MacLeod, a provincial minister in charge of immigration, urged Justin Trudeau to commit federal resources to relieve overcrowding in Toronto’s shelter system.
The other problem that may affect Ontario Immigration policy is the potential reduction of staff of the former MCI. It may lead to an increase in the processing time for the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP). So far, no statements on changes in Ontario Provincial Programs were issued.
As of today, Ontario still has about 4,000 spots available under OINP quota for this year, where 2,901 applications have already been filled. In total, the Province of Ontario has about a dozen various streams in Business Category, Employer Job Offer Category, and Human Capital Category.