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Ontario to accept 100 immigrants after each invests $200,000 in local companies


By Maan Alhmidi

TORONTO — Ontario is planning to accept 100 immigrants in the next two years under a program allowing foreign entrepreneurs to apply for immigration to the province after they invest a minimum of $200,000 in its economy.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says the government will focus on attracting international entrepreneurs to Ontario communities outside the Greater Toronto Area.

He says these entrepreneurs will be nominated for immigration under the province’s economic immigration program after they start a new business or purchase an existing one in Ontario.

McNaughton says the new initiative will cost the government $6 million, but it will be recovered through fees paid by immigrants who are coming to the province to start or buy businesses.

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He says the province is expecting at a minimum $20 million in business investment generated through this immigration stream.

The previous Liberal government in Ontario had founded this stream in 2015 but only two immigrant investors have been nominated using it since then.

“I see immigration as one of the key economic drivers of Ontario’s growth,” McNaughton said. “There’s an opportunity to create new businesses outside of the GTA, to create more jobs for people across the province.”

McNaughton said the program will help with the recovery of the Ontario economy after COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have to be aggressive as we build back better out of the pandemic to recruit entrepreneurs to Ontario,” he said.

Last month, Ontario called on the federal government to double the number of immigrants allowed under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program — from 9,000 to 18,000 a year — a program aimed at boosting the skilled workforce.

McNaughton said the province is facing a significant labour shortage that has been intensified by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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