VAUGHAN, ONT. — The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) is calling on the federal government to substantially reform the immigration system to allow more foreign-trained skilled trades workers to come to the country, introduce significant changes to stimulate housing supply, and provide financial help so municipalities can expand infrastructure projects.
RESCON outlined its position on the three issues in a federal pre-budget submission sent recently to the Standing Committee on Finance, stated a release.
On immigration, RESCON wants the government to grant greater autonomy to Ontario and establish a separate program stream for skilled construction workers. This would allow Ontario to identify eligible skilled workers and speed up review and approvals of their residency applications.
The immigration system has disproportionately favoured applicants with formal education, certificates, language skills and financial resources, RESCON said. Voluntary trades in residential construction don’t require formal certificates, so foreign workers who are looking to come to Canada often don’t qualify.
“We must have a sustainable workforce to build the 1.5 million new homes that are needed in the next 10 years,” stated RESCON president Richard Lyall. “The industry will need more than 100,000 additional workers by the end of the decade across all sectors of construction. Domestic training and hiring alone will not offset these shortages. We must attract more trades from other countries.”