Ontario plans to welcome 100 immigrants over the next two years as part of a program that allows international entrepreneurs to apply for immigration after investing a minimum of $200,000 in the province’s economy.
The government will focus on bringing foreign entrepreneurs to Ontario towns outside of the Greater Toronto Area, according to Labour Minister Monte McNaughton.
He claims that after starting a new firm or purchasing an existing one in Ontario, these entrepreneurs will be selected for immigration under the province’s economic immigration program.
According to McNaughton, the government would spend $6 million on the new project, which will be recouped through fees paid by immigrants who come to the province to create or purchase enterprises.
He estimates that this immigration stream will produce at least $20 million in corporate investment for the province.
This stream was established by Ontario’s previous Liberal government in 2015, but just two immigrant investors have been nominated since then.
“I see immigration as one of the key economic drivers of Ontario’s growth,” McNaughton said. “There’s an opportunity to create new businesses outside of the GTA, to create more jobs for people across the province.”
According to McNaughton, the plan will aid in the rehabilitation of the Ontario economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have to be aggressive as we build back better out of the pandemic to recruit entrepreneurs to Ontario,” he said.
Last month, the province of Ontario requested that the federal government increase the number of immigrants authorized under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program from 9,000 to 18,000 per year, in order to strengthen the skilled workforce.
According to McNaughton, the province is experiencing a serious labor shortage, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak.
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