OCASI Contributes to Immigration Strategy Report


The Expert Roundtable on Immigration presented its Final Report, “Expanding Our Routes To Success” to the Ontario government on October 3, 2012.

We are proud to note that OCASI Executive Director Debbie Douglas and Provincial Director Léonie Tchatat (Executive Director, La Passerelle - Intégration et Développement Économiques) are members of the Roundtable and have been part of the work that led to the report. The report includes consideration of a number of issues that are of concern for OCASI. Many of the recommendations are consistent with strategies OCASI member agencies would like to see followed in Ontario's approach to immigration.

The Expert Roundtable was appointed earlier this year by the Ontario government to develop Ontario's first immigration strategy and was composed of leaders and experts from immigration, community, business and academic sectors. It was asked to give advice on a strategy to support nation building and Ontario's long-term economic growth. Review the members of the Expert Roundtable.

The Roundtable notes in the report Executive Summary:

An immigration strategy for Ontario should be designed to achieve the following objectives:
- strengthen Ontario's economy, communities, and families;
- attract, retain, and integrate more immigrants, including more immigrants with high levels of human capital;
- increase the proportion of economic class immigrants to the province, while maintaining a balanced approach to immigrant selection to reflect Ontarians' commitment to humanitarian principles and family reunification; and,
- improve economic and social outcomes for new and existing immigrants and their families.

The Roundtable offered eight points of overarching advice, based on the objectives, including the need to emphasize permanent immigration and nation building. Review objectives and strategic advice.

The Roundtable noted that immigration must work for all Ontario communities including Francophone communities, and recommended that the Provincial Nominee Program should be used to respond to their needs as well as to respond to specific occupational shortages.

The final report makes 32 recommendations to the Ontario government to develop a strategy that aligns immigration to the province's economic and social development goals.