Toronto / January 2024
OCASI's 2024 pre-budget submission for Ontario highlights growing and deepening disadvantages in employment, housing and settlement faced by im/migrants and refugees, and calls for more investment in services and supports.
Ontario’s immigrant and refugee serving sector does the important work of facilitating the settlement and integration of refugees and im/migrants. Across Ontario, the sector supports refugees and im/migrants to find jobs, access workers’ rights, housing, education and training, health and mental health services, food security, safety for women and girls facing violence, access to justice, and much more. We are part of the larger non-profit sector that contributes over $50 billion to Ontario’s GDP and employs more than 850,000 people.
This is an especially difficult time for many Ontario residents, particularly those who are low-income, from historically disadvantaged groups including Black and other racialized people and refugees and im/migrants. They must grapple with systemic discrimination and structural disadvantage as well as labour market barriers (access to jobs, decent work and credentials recognition), a crisis in housing (availability and affordability), massive cost of living increases, food insecurity, access to education, insufficient health and mental health services and access to justice.
We urge the government to lift the floor on basic rights and entitlements, and deliver a budget that will provide equitable opportunities and outcomes for Ontario residents.