The OCASI submission for Ontario Pre-Budget Consultations 2013 is focused on challenges in the year ahead, facing immigrants and refugees, and the immigrant and refugee-serving sector in Ontario.
OCASI asks that Ontario Budget 2013 should include specific investments to address major concerns facing immigrants, refugees and racialized communities in Ontario in the areas of Income Inequality, Labour Market Integration, Vulnerable Workers, and Services for Refugees and Immigrants.
OCASI is encouraged by Premier Wynne's commitment to job creation in her Throne Speech. Given the significant experienced by immigrants, refugees and racialized individuals in these areas, OCASI recommends that Ontario Budget 2013 should make targeted fiscal and policy decisions, and bring the necessary legislative changes to eliminate growing disparities for those over-represented among those living in poverty.
OCASI makes recommendations in the following priority areas:
- Increase Minimum Wage
- Social Assistance Reform
- Mandatory Employment Equity
- Strengthen Employment Standards Legislation
- Legislation to Protect Migrant Worker Rights
- Skills Training for Immigrant Workers
- Equity and Anti-Racism Directorate
- Investment in Equity
- Equitable Access to Services and Education
- Eliminate OHIP 3-month wait for immigrants
- Health care for Refugees
- Investment in Legal Aid
- Investment in VAW Services