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Immigration

Immigration

Ontarians welcome and settle new immigrants and integrate them into Ontario’s economy.

Ontario welcomes 57 per cent of all immigrants to Canada, but we get only 34 per cent of the federal funding. Newcomers to Ontario deserve the same support from the federal government as they would receive in any other province.

The federal government invests $3,806 in an immigrant who lands in Quebec, but only $819 in one who lands in Ontario.

With populations ageing and skills shortages growing, countries around the globe are in a race to attract the best and brightest the world has to offer. We want to make Ontario the place to be. It’s time to narrow the gap in immigration settlement funding.
Immigrants make up 27 per cent of Ontario’s population.

We invest around $109 million per year on helping immigrants get settled, providing language training and helping them find a job.
We’re investing $9.5 million in 2004-05 to smooth the transition for internationally trained professionals, growing to $12.5 million annually.
In 2004-05, our $4.1 million Newcomer Settlement program funded 79 community agencies to provide services for more than 100,000 newcomers.

By 2017, the number of people whose mother tongue is neither English nor French will be almost one quarter of the population.

Schools in the Greater Toronto Area include students from about 175 countries. Those students speak about 80 different languages.
We invest more than $50 million each year on English-as-a-second language (ESL) classes for adults.
We’ve increased funding for ESL in our schools by $64 million so that ESL can be offered to children over a longer period of time.

More than 3,000 internationally trained people this year are participating in more than 35 different bridge training projects.

The CARE for Nurses bridge training project has more than doubled the success rate for internationally trained nurses writing the licensing exam.
More than 80 per cent of internationally trained pharmacists now pass their qualifying exam on the first try.


Infrastructure

Infrastructure

Ontario is Canada’s economic engine. To keep that engine running smoothly, we need to invest in it.

Ensuring our future growth and prosperity depends on getting our fair share of investment in roads, highways and bridges. Continuous transportation investment is key to Ontario’s competitiveness, economic performance and quality of life.

Canada is one of the few modern jurisdictions without a strong, sustainable commitment by the national government to investment in transportation infrastructure.

It’s estimated that over the next 30 years, more than $100 billion will be required to maintain existing infrastructure and prepare for future growth in Ontario. Infrastructure funding must be allocated fairly.
Ontario maintains over 16,500 kilometres of highway.

In 2004-05, the Ontario government will invest over $1.2 billion in highway infrastructure.
Since 2003, we’ve invested $1.39 billion in highway infrastructure.

Ontario has more than 360 kilometres of connecting links — parts of municipal roads that connect to provincial highways.

We invest about $15 million every year to help fund repairs and improvements to these links.

There are 83 transit systems across 110 communities throughout Ontario.

In 2004-05, we have provided $78 million in gas tax funding to transit systems across Ontario.
We have committed $385 million to improving GO Transit service.
We are investing $350 million in transit in the City of Toronto, plus another $140 million this year to strengthen the TTC.
We are investing $200 million to support Ottawa’s O-Train.
We have committed $1 million to light rapid transit studies in Waterloo.
We have dedicated $50 million for bus rapid transit in York.

There are more than 250,000 lakes in Ontario.

In 2004-05, the Ontario government will invest $257 million in clean water projects, including $222 million for municipal water and wastewater infrastructure.
In 2004-05, we will invest $15.5 million for upgrades to drinking water systems in Ontario Parks.
We will commit $7 million for watershed-based source protection and other water quality measures.

Ontario has over 4.5 million people living in rural communities across the province.

In 2004-05, we will invest $364 million in northern infrastructure, including $244 million to renew and expand northern highways.
In 2004-05, we’re investing $161 million for the Ontario Small Town and Rural Development Infrastructure program, which addresses the health and safety needs of rural communities, small cities and towns.
Over the next five years, we will commit $298 million to rural infrastructure through the Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund program.


Employment Insurance Training

Employment Insurance Training

In order to keep Ontario strong, we need to invest in our people. We need to give them the training they need to contribute to our economy. To do this, we need the same level of support for training programs that the federal government gives other provinces.

The federal government spends $1,143 per unemployed Ontarian on labour market programs, compared to $1,827 per unemployed Canadian living in the rest of Canada.

If all unemployed Ontarians received the same in EI regular benefits as people living in the rest of Canada, they would have received an extra $1 billion. Unemployed Ontarians deserve the same support from the federal government provided to unemployed people in the rest of the country.
Ontario has the largest apprenticeship system in Canada.

We recently announced new investments of $37 million in our apprenticeship system.
We’ve introduced an apprenticeship training tax credit of 25 to 30 per cent for small business employers.
We’ve established 1,500 annual scholarships of $1,000 each for youth who have left school, but require upgrading to meet the registration standards for apprenticeship — along with $2,000 signing bonuses for employers who hire and train them.

460,000 people in Ontario are unemployed.

More Ontarians have jobs today than under the very best years of the previous government — but there is more to do.
The 2004 Ontario Budget provided new investments of $9.5 million in 2004-05, growing to $12.5 million annually by 2005-06, to remove barriers to employment faced by immigrants and create opportunities for internationally trained professionals to contribute to Ontario’s growth.

Recent immigrants have an unemployment rate of 30 per cent.

We invested $9.5 million in 2004-05 to smooth the transition for internationally trained professionals, growing to $12.5 million annually.
Our $5-million Apprenticeship Innovation Fund keeps our curriculum and standards up-to-date and is helping internationally trained people become certified in Ontario so they can enter the job market faster.


Dollars and Sense — What does it all mean?

Dollars and Sense

To understand how this gap affects Ontario, let’s examine the facts.
The federal government invests $3,806 in an immigrant who lands in Quebec, but only $819 in one who lands in Ontario. We welcome 57 per cent of all immigrants to Canada, but we get only 34 per cent of the federal funding. The federal Minister of Finance says it’s unfair. It’s time for Ontario to get its fair share. It’s time to narrow the gap in immigration settlement funding.
Continuous transportation investment is key to Ontario’s competitiveness, economic performance and quality of life. Canada is one of the few modern jurisdictions without a strong, sustainable national government commitment to investment in transportation infrastructure. Infrastructure funding must be allocated fairly
In 2004-05, the federal government provided $1,143 per unemployed person in Ontario versus $1,827 per unemployed person in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario). If the federal government made available $1,827 of training support per unemployed person in Ontario, there would be $314 million more for training in Ontario. By investing in training and building the best-educated, most highly skilled workforce, we invest in our future prosperity
If the federal government gave Ontario as much money as it gives the eight equalization-receiving provinces in health and social transfers, we would have close to $1 billion more to spend on these critical services this fiscal year.


Investing in Canada

Investing in Canada

Ontarians have a strong sense of their responsibility to Canada. We want to continue to support our fellow Canadians. We’re proud our economy helps fund training in Sydney Mines and St. John’s, surgeries in Montreal and Regina, and post-secondary education in Whitehorse.

To ensure our future prosperity and that of all Canadians, we need to invest in our people, in their education and skills, their health and infrastructure.

We need to narrow the gap not because Ontario wants to weaken its ties to Canada, but because Ontario must be strong enough to serve Canada.


The $23 Billion Gap

Our ability to make important investments in our future prosperity is compromised by the $23 billion gap between what Ontarians give the federal government in taxes and what they get back.

That gap has grown so much over the last 10 years — from $2 billion to $23 billion — it now compromises our ability to invest in Ontario’s future prosperity — the prosperity our country depends on.

That’s not fair to Ontario. And it’s not smart for Canada.


Ontarians are Saying:

“Ontario — a key engine of Canada’s economy and a cornerstone of the nation’s fiscal framework — is struggling. The province is shouldering an increasingly heavy load when it comes to supporting other regions and filling Ottawa’s coffers. With Ontario stretched to its financial limits, and the federal government still comfortably in the black, some are asking whether Ottawa is killing its golden goose.”

(April 15, 2005, Canadian Financing Quarterly)

CIBC World Markets Report

“We need to grow the pie, not try and shrink it. We need to take a look at what’s good for Toronto. What’s good for Toronto will be good for the rest of the nation as well as any other large urban centre. That’s where prosperity is created. Study after study has shown that. We just need to buy into it and think about what’s the right thing to do for our country and for our cities.”

(April 20, 2005, CP24)

Glen Grunwald
CEO Toronto Board of Trade

“The sheer magnitude (of the gap) weighs on an already burdened economy, taxing the Ontario government’s ability to invest in a strong, vibrant provincial (and hence national) economy.”

(April 16, 2005, Ottawa Citizen)

Warren Lovely
CIBC World Markets senior economist

“The federal government has long taken relatively more out of Ontario to support less well-off provinces.”

(April 16, 2005, Ottawa Citizen)

Warren Lovely
CIBC World Markets senior economist

“It’s critical. We support (the) Premier … in that (narrowing the gap) 100 per cent.”

(March 10, 2005, Toronto Star)

Glen Grunwald
CEO Toronto Board of Trade

“We fully endorse the unanimous resolution of the Ontario Legislature on February 21, 2005, calling on Ottawa to narrow the $23 billion gap in net contributions from Ontarians to the federation.”

(February 22, 2005, CP Wire)

An open letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin signed by the Ontario Hospital Association, the Ontario Medical Association, the Registered Nurses Association, the Long-Term Care Association and the Home Care Association

“We continue to believe that investing in Ontario is investing in Canada. Ontarians contribute significantly to our federation. It is fitting that the federal government pay its fair share to the people of Ontario in support of Canada’s health and health care system.”

(Letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin, April 21, 2005)

An open letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin signed by the Ontario Hospital Association, the Ontario Medical Association, the Registered Nurses Association, the Long-Term Care Association and the Home Care Association

“Ontarians are proud Canadians, and are proud of the fairness and sharing that underlie Canadian values and we expect — we need — that fairness to be extended to Ontario.”
Finance Minister
Greg Sorbara

“Ontario is the economic engine of the country — more than 40 per cent of its GDP — and that engine needs to continue to fire on all cylinders.”
Finance Minister
Greg Sorbara

“Right now, Ontario is disadvantaged in a number of areas of federal spending — specifically, in health and social transfers, in infrastructure investments, in immigration settlement and in labour market development.”
Finance Minister
Greg Sorbara

“John McKay is right. He does not understand the issue. If you read the CIBC report, it points out some things that are really important. This extra burden puts a significant drag on the Ontario economy.”
Finance Minister
Greg Sorbara

“Premier McGuinty will be going to Ottawa to talk about the $23 billion gap. There will be a variety of subjects that are part and parcel of the gap, including immigration and corporate tax and labour market development and full per-capita funding for (health) and investments in infrastructure and better financial aid for students.”

(April 16, 2005, Toronto Star)

Finance Minister
Greg Sorbara

“The log-jam will only truly be broken when the Prime Minister agrees to sit down with the Premier and begins to talk about rectifying this fiscal imbalance.”

(April 15, 2005, Toronto Star)

Finance Minister
Greg Sorbara

“If he (the Prime Minister) doesn’t accept the figures that we’re talking about, he’s rejecting the data produced by his own government. It’s the federal government statistics that point to the $23 billion gap.”

(April 14, 2005, Toronto Star)

Finance Minister
Greg Sorbara

“I think we made progress in this sense: There was acknowledgement from Mr. Volpe that this was a serious issue and that he would work hard to intervene with the Prime Minister and with his colleagues in Ontario.”

(April 14, 2005, Toronto Star)

Finance Minister
Greg Sorbara

“Ontarians are committed to a strong Canada. We need the federal government to commit to a strong Ontario.”

(March 16, 2005, editorial in the Globe and Mail)

Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

“Something is fundamentally wrong when we rank first when it comes to generating wealth, but last when it comes to investing in our future prosperity. This $23 billion gap is restricting our ability to build a stronger Ontario for a stronger Canada.”

(March 10, 2005, Toronto Star)

Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

“I am a proud Canadian. I want to make my country stronger. And I know the way to build a stronger Canada is to build a stronger Ontario. Our resolve on this matter will not waver.”

(February 25, 2005, Statement to the Legislative Assembly)

Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

“We are not asking for special treatment. We are asking for Ontario’s fair share. We are asking that we keep enough of our wealth to invest in Ontarians, so we can continue to play a leadership role in Canada.”

(February 25, 2005, Statement to the Legislative Assembly)

Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

“I would never sacrifice my country. But I will always stand up for my province. Because my country depends on it.”

(February 24, 2005, Remarks to the Niagara Chamber of Commerce)

Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

“[I]f they allow us to keep more of our own money, we can invest it in enhancing our prosperity, and create further wealth that we can transfer to the rest of the country.”
Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

“We have the lowest levels of funding for our colleges and universities. We are receiving the second-lowest levels of funding for our health care, yet we’re giving the federal government $23 billion for distribution in the rest of the country. Listen, we have a long and proud tradition when it comes to supporting public services in other parts of the country. But, right now, at this stage in our history, $23 billion is too much.”

(March 1, 2005, Queen’s Park)

Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

“I’m glad Mr. Harper has expressed an interest in this. If anybody else wants to talk to me I’ll take their call as well … We have treated it as a non-partisan issue at the provincial level and we would like to do that federally as well.”

(March 29, 2005, Queen’s Park)

Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

“I’m prepared to meet with anybody on the Hill who is prepared to gain a better understanding of the nature of the $23 billion gap issue, because I think it’s in their interest, as it is in the interest of all Ontarians, that we find a way to come together to begin to address it.”

(April 6, 2005, Queen’s Park)

Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

“I think one of the things you’ve got to do is to stay in touch with your electorate. The people in Ontario are saying, “We’ve got a $23 billion gap, and it’s simply too wide. Let’s find a way to work together to narrow it.”

(April 6, 2005, Queen’s Park)

Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

“[W]e have a continuing issue here that is bigger than me. It’s bigger than my party, any one budget, any one federal party or any one federal government, and it’s not going to go away.”

(April 6, 2005, Queen’s Park)

Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

“Ontario’s call for fairness is based upon our desire to continue playing our historic role as Canada’s economic engine. However, federal policy still redirects a disproportionate share of our resources, compromising our ability to make the economic investments we need to compete.”

(April 12, 2005, Queen’s Park)

Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty


A Strong Ontario for a Stronger Canada

Ontario

No group identifies more closely with Canada than Ontarians. We’re proud Canadians, and proud to contribute to the well-being of other Canadians. Our government’s plan is to strengthen Ontario’s economy by investing in the education, skills, health and prosperity of our people.

All of these investments contribute to a stronger economy for Ontario — and for Canada. When Ontario succeeds, we all succeed. But our ability to make those vital investments is compromised by the increasing gap between the services we want to provide — the services Ontarians need and deserve — and the services we can afford to provide.

The $23 Billion Gap

In 2004-05, the federal government collected $23 billion more in revenue from Ontario than it returned to the province in spending.

That gap has grown so much over the last 10 years — from $2 billion to $23 billion — it now compromises our ability to invest in Ontario’s future prosperity — the prosperity our country depends on.

This $23 billion gap is compromising Ontario’s ability invest in the things Ontarians need most — infrastructure, training, immigration and health care.

We’re not asking for special treatment. We’re asking for the federal government to narrow the gap between what Ontarians send to Ottawa and the services they get in return.

We’re asking for Ontario’s fair share — because a strong Ontario means a stronger Canada.