Human Resources Legislative Update
Ontario Introduces New Immigration Legislation
Date: February 21, 2014
On February 19, 2014, the Ontario government introduced Bill 161, the Ontario Immigration Act, 2014, proposed legislation that would, if passed, create a new framework for the recruitment, selection and admission of skilled workers in the province, and establish a significant inspection, investigation and enforcement regime.
Among other matters, Bill 161 provides for the establishment by regulation of an “employer registry” and a “recruiter registry”, to identify employers eligible to make offers of employment to selected foreign nationals, and individuals authorized to provide certain selection program services.
In addition, the proposed legislation would:
- empower the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (“Minister”) to make orders establishing settlement and integration programs for immigrants or other specified individuals, which may provide for the making of payments;
- where authorized by an Agreement with the federal government under subsection 8 (1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada), provide for the establishment of selection programs with criteria for approval to govern the process for selecting foreign nationals for admission to Canada as either permanent residents or temporary residents (separate rules would apply to temporary foreign workers);
- permit the Minister to appoint broadly empowered inspectors to conduct inspections without a warrant or court order, and investigators to conduct investigations with a warrant;
- establish significant administrative penalties of up to $150,000 for each contravention on which the order for the penalty is based, calculated on the basis of certain prescribed criteria;
- establish offences for the contravention of specific provisions of the Act or regulations, subject to a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment; and
- amend the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 to allow for the making of regulations to require that a college of a health profession make registration decisions within a “reasonable time.”
Bill 161 would come into force on a date to be named by proclamation.