Immigration in Ontario: Achieving best outcomes for newcomers and the economy

Released June 2017

In Working Paper 28, Immigration in Ontario: Achieving best outcomes for newcomers and the economy, the Institute studies the state of immigration in Ontario. 

The analysis reveals many striking findings of the outcomes of Ontario's immigrants compared to their Canadian-born peers. 

Key findings:

  • Ontario's immigrants are not reaching their full potential, and as a result, Ontario's prosperity is reduced
  • Ontario takes in proportionally less economic class immigrants than the rest of the provinces
  • Immigrants in Ontario experience lower employment rates compared to those who are Canadian-born
  • Employment outcomes are the worst for immigrant women and recent immigrants (those who arrived within 5 years)
  • Immigrants experience a wage gap between their Canadian-born peers, and it is the worst for recent immigrants 

If the employment and wage gaps were closed, immigrant incomes could grow by $15 billion - equivalent to 2% of Ontario's GDP. 

The report makes the following TOP 5 recommendations:

  1. Ontario must expand its role in the selection of economic class immigrants so that the province can select individuals who can make immediate economic contributions. 
  2. Facilitate better verification of foreign education to ensure immigrant's skill and knowledge levels are accurately demonstrated to potential employers. 
  3. Strengthen official language and soft skill training programs to reduce economic and social barriers. 
  4. Provide targeted, culturally sensitive programs that target specific groups (e.g. women) to remove barriers causing poor labour force participation. 
  5. Improve retention of international students in order to decrease the adjustment period and improve the composition of Ontario’s economic class intake. 
Topics: Social policy