Ontario asks Ottawa to double numbers of economic immigrants

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TORONTO — Ontario is asking the federal government to double the number of economic immigrants to the province in order to deal with a skilled labour shortage.

Economic development minister Vic Fedeli says an expansion of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program would respond to the labour market needs of the province’s employers.

Fedeli made the request in a letter to Marco Mendicino, the new federal minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship.

In the letter, Fedeli asks that the number of immigrants accepted under the program be increased from about 7,000 this year to 13,300 in two years.

Fedeli says Ontario requested an additional 1,000 nominations this year, but only received 50.

He says the program is already over-subscribed and demand is far outweighing Ontario’s annual nominations.