Making it Easier for Northern Job Creators to Find Skilled Workers

July 8, 2019

The Ontario Government is making it easier for businesses in the North to attract top talent and skilled workers from around the world.

Effective today, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has been improved to ensure the province is able to attract the skills and talent needed to build the province’s labour force and grow the economy. The changes also support entrepreneurship and address labour shortages in Northern Ontario.

The OINP allows Ontario to nominate economic immigrants for permanent residence to fill talent gaps and support economic growth. It helps drive economic development by helping Ontario businesses to meet specific labour needs that cannot be met locally, particularly in the North where there are unique challenges when it comes to filling skills gaps.

“Our government is committed to making Northern Ontario open for business and open for jobs,” said Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli. “That is why we are taking swift action to achieve our goals, so businesses can grow and create good jobs. By tailoring economic immigration for regions with specific labour needs, such as Northern Ontario, we are helping the economy with the right talent at the right time.”

Changes to the OINP that will support businesses in the North include:

Expanding Worker Types: The government has heard from employers and communities in the North and across the province about their needs. In response, effective today, new occupations have been added to the OINP’s In-Demand Skills Stream to include transport truck drivers and personal support workers.


Attracting Entrepreneurs: The Entrepreneur Stream is designed for people outside Canada who want to start a business or buy an existing business in Ontario. To make this more attractive to job creators, and compete with comparable jurisdictions, effective today, the threshold of investment needed has been lowered from $1 million to $600,000 in the GTA and from $500,000 to $200,000 outside the GTA. The threshold for investment in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector is $200,000 across the province. Ontario has also changed the net worth threshold and fine-tuned the applicant screening process to ensure Ontario is attracting the best businesses and entrepreneurs.

In addition to these improvements, the government is recruiting even more skilled talent in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector. This new OINP opportunity will, in collaboration with industry, identify and target people with the technological skills needed to make Ontario’s ICT sector even more successful.

“Connecting Northern businesses with talented workers is important,” said Fedeli. “Improvements to the OINP help lay the foundation for a strong economy that will benefit both workers and job creators. We are creating a streamlined and cost-effective open for business climate that will help companies invest, innovate and grow right here in Ontario.”


  • According to a 2016 study by the Trucking Alliance of Canada, the industry will be short 34,000 drivers by 2024. One company in Northern Ontario reported having 20 trucks sitting idle in 2018 due to a lack of drivers.
  • Immigration is a shared jurisdiction in Canada between the federal government and the provinces and territories. Ontario has the largest nominee program in the country with an allocation of 6,650 in 2019, plus an additional 250 nominations specifically for National Occupational Classification level C jobs that usually require high school and/or job-specific training.
  • Ontario has asked the federal government for an increase to its nomination allocation in 2019 and expect to begin discussions for 2020 nomination allocation soon to ensure Ontario can meet demand for the program, especially in regions like the North.



Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
2019 Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Updates


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