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TORONTO, February 9, 2004 — The Honourable Judy Sgro, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and the Honourable Marie Bountrogianni, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, met today with several Ontario municipal leaders to discuss immigration matters.

“Immigration has changed from an agricultural and frontier phenomenon to an urban reality. Today’s meeting is a good first step as cities become engaged in the planning of Canada’s immigration program,” said Minister Sgro.

Minister Bountrogianni said, “I am optimistic that by spring 2004 we can reach a framework immigration agreement, one that helps newcomers to the province integrate more successfully into our society and economy, and feel welcomed in the communities where they choose to live. Today's dialogue with municipalities has been an important step to help guide us to a more effective agreement.”

Today’s meeting was part of the Ontario government’s ongoing consultations with immigration stakeholders as it prepares to negotiate an immigration agreement with the Government of Canada. The meeting also allowed the Government of Canada to hear the views of cities and municipalities on the future direction for immigration.

In 2003, 50 percent of newcomers to Canada settled in Toronto, Ontario’s capital city. Ontario receives almost 60 percent of immigrants to Canada, and is the only province without an immigration agreement with the Government of Canada.

Municipal leaders attending the meeting included those from Toronto, Mississauga, Markham, Hamilton, Sudbury and the regions of York and Waterloo. The President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the mayor of Oakville also attended.


For more information:

Simone MacAndrew
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Tel: (613) 954-1064

Maria Iadinardi
Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Tel: (613) 952-0740

James Ip
Minister’s Office
Ontario Ministry of Citizenship
and Immigration
Tel: (416) 325-6207

Elaine Thompson
Communications Branch
Ontario Ministry of Citizenship
and Immigration
Tel: (416) 314-6401