Proposed legislation would make it easier for immigrants to find work in their field

Move comes after Premier Ford caught heat for comments about immigrant workers

The province says it plans to introduce legislation that would make it easier for skilled immigrants to find work in their field upon arrival to Ontario.

The proposed legislation would, if passed, attempt to remove barriers internationally trained immigrants face, such as the requirement they have Canadian work experience under their belt before getting a licence to operate in certain regulated professions and trades. These include law, accounting, architecture, engineering, electrical, and plumbing jobs.

“Ontario is facing a generational labour shortage with hundreds of thousands of jobs going unfilled. However, all too often, newcomers in this province struggle to find jobs in their regulated profession for no other reason than bureaucracy and red tape,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “These are folks who often have the training, experience, and qualifications to work in booming industries where Ontario desperately needs help but are being denied a chance to contribute.”

McNaughton says the legislation would also reduce duplication for official language proficiency testing, allow applicants to register faster during times of emergency like a pandemic, and ensure the licensing process is completed in a timely manner.

This legislation comes on the heels of comments made by Ontario Premier Doug Ford during a media conference earlier this week. Ford was urged to apologize after saying he wanted hard-working people in Ontario only, saying of immigrants “if you’re coming to collect the dole and sit around, it’s not going to happen.”

Ford has since declined to apologize for the comments deemed divisive by opposition parties.