Ontario Immigration Aims To Motivate Newcomers To Shift To Rural Communities

13 Mar 2018


There are some new pilot projects, which aim to help immigrants in Ontario, who struggle to find work in Toronto region, to connect with rural communities which are searching for a boost in population.

The major cities of Canada are a source of attraction for the new permanent residents, and motivating them, to shift to small towns, which have a greater need, is a serious challenge.

The rural communities of Canada face the challenges of an Aging population, economic decline, and shrinking labor markets. The federal government aims to bring thousands of fresh immigrants every year, and motivating them to settle in the places of real need is a major integration challenge.

This would also ease the pressure on major cities which are required to absorb newcomers.

A provincially-funded New to Grey pilot project, which links permanent residents, who struggle for work in the main cities, with vacancies available in the Grey country area, is being taken up now.

It pairs the candidates with potential employers and has arranged many people to take up a field trip for attending an Owen Sound jobs fair.

This will help in matching newcomers with communities where there is a shortage of skilled workers. The candidates need to do some homework, before taking the trip, and link up with recruiters operating in the area, to give advice on CVs, expectations of employers and the structure of the local labor market. In the future also there is a plan to have such rural recruitment job-fairs.

This Problem involves innovative thinking and collective measures from all levels of government.

So far the matter is not clear whether it is legal for the federal government to make immigrants shift to a specific province/area.

For the courts to allow such a limitation, the governments need to prove that acute labor shortages in these areas form a threat to a bright future of these areas.

This may lead to convincing the court about the seriousness of the matter.

In case the restriction is temporary and not burdensome on newcomers, the courts may allow it. Moreover, there must be a New and specific immigration stream, for this purpose, to answer to these concerns.

Immigrants need to be restricted to live in these areas, and they must be offered a better chance to gain permanent residency quickly.The constitutional right to free movement can be a major hurdle here.

The policy makers must also create perfect conditions and introduce measures for the immigrants to settle there. Some of them are:

  • Provincial tax credits for new residents, of Short-term nature,
  • Offering residential land purchases in distant areas at prices below market rate,
  • Apt property tax exemptions,

Immigration is an effective way of meeting increasing demographic challenges, and policymakers need to consider the benefit-oriented approach.

There must be a wider input from stakeholders to create ideal conditions for immigrants to opt for such areas.Using such strategy will help in ensuring the success of immigration policy of Canada.

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