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Fairness For Ontario



TORONTO, Sept. 23 /CNW/ - Ontario Citizenship and Immigration Minister
Michael Chan is urging people to let all federal parties know that the next
federal government needs to deliver fairness for Ontario and its newcomers.
Skilled newcomers are key to Ontario's long-term economic prosperity.
Immigration will account for 100 per cent of net labour market growth in
Ontario by 2011.
But proposed changes to Canada's immigration system would add more
barriers, make it harder for Ontario to get skilled newcomers, and puts us at
a competitive disadvantage for the global competition for skilled immigrants.
It would also force provinces to expand individual immigration systems,
without funding from Ottawa, and compete against each other to attract skilled
immigrants.
Ontario is also concerned about the more than $156 million that has not
flowed from Ottawa to agencies in the province that provide language and
settlement services for newcomers. These funds were promised under the Canada
Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA), signed in November 2005.
Premier McGuinty has asked Ontarians to raise the issue of fairness with
federal election candidates. An online petition is now available at
www.fairness.ca.

QUOTES

"In the global competition for talent, Ontario can't afford to be at a
competitive disadvantage for skilled immigrants," said Chan. "We want to work
with the federal government to build an immigration system that allows skilled
newcomers to come to Ontario quickly, and is also fair to potential
immigrants."
"Citizens in Ontario have continually been short-changed by successive
federal governments for vital services such as health care, infrastructure and
immigration," said Len Crispino President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of
Commerce. "It's simply a matter of equality. It's time that every federal
party made a commitment to fix the fiscal imbalance and treat Ontario fairly,
for the benefit of Ontario and Canada."
"The proposed changes are troubling regardless of who the Minister is or
which party is in government," said Debbie Douglas, Executive Director for the
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants. "You cannot simply treat
immigrants as cheap labour and not care about developing citizenship, a sense
of commitment, belonging and ownership."

QUICK FACTS

Key facts about Ontario's fairness campaign:

- Under current federal rules, Ontario transfers $20 billion to other
parts of Canada.

- The Building Canada Plan shortchanges Ontario by $970 million on
funding for infrastructure projects.

- Federal health care money is supposed to be divided equally among all
Canadians, but Ontario is shortchanged by nearly $800 million a year.

LEARN MORE

Get more information about fairness for Ontario(http://www.fairness.ca/).






Coralie D'Souza    9/23/2008


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