Ontario has a severe labor shortage and needs more workers from around the world, says Prime Minister Doug Ford.
However, the prime minister said that newcomers should not expect a free ride when they arrive.
“Do you know what our biggest problem is right now? We need people, ”Ford said Monday. “I have only one criterion: you come here like every other new Canadian has come here. You work your tail. If you think you are coming to collect the allowance and sit down, it is not going to happen. Go somewhere else.”
The province is short of a couple hundred thousand inhabitants, in particular lacking traders, so it will contact Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help resolve the situation, he said.
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Ford noted that the province is building a significant amount of infrastructure, including roads, transit and hospitals, that will require workers.
According to Statistics Canada, the country accepted 184,624 immigrants last year, about half the total from the previous year and far less than the pre-pandemic target of 341,000.
Meanwhile, business groups warn that the labor shortage is hurting the economic recovery.