UPDATE (Dec 5, 2014): Ontario's PNP program has replied to my inquiries on the PNP program and stated:
Through Ontario Express Entry, Ontario may be able to nominate qualified candidates from this [Express Entry] pool. Nominees who come through EE can expect considerably shorter processing times than those who do not.
Ontario is currently developing its approach to Ontario Express Entry. Information will be posted on our web site as soon as it becomes available. Please visit - http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/en/pnp/index.htm for updates.
It appears as if the strategy to treat PNPs under Express Entry is still under development in Ontario. It appears that there may be two routes for provincial nominees in 2015: Provincial Nominees selected from the express entry electronic candidates pool, and those who apply directly to Opportunities Ontario's PNP program for a nomination certificate.
With the launch of Express Entry in 2015 and the new points system (detailed in my last post), I have been getting a lot of questions on how express entry will affect provincial nominee programs in Ontario.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has stated that in 2015, a "portion" of the provincial nominee program in all of the provinces (excluding Quebec, which does not have a provincial nominee program) will be processed under the new Express Entry points system. What we don't know yet is how the provinces will choose where a person's application will end up: either in the old paper based system, or the new electronic express entry system.
If your application for permanent residence based on PNP is funnelled through the existing system, then the process is well documented. CIC will review your documents, your certificate, examine your application's bona fides, canvass any inadmissibilities, and issue your permanent resident visa.
The new express entry system for PNPs, however, will work a bit differently.
Under this new system, individuals with a certificate of nomination from their province will receive 600 points out of 1200. An individual who qualifies as a provincial nominee will presumably also qualify for additional points out of the core human capital factors and/or skill transferability criteria. I would expect that provincial nominees will easily have their points in the 800s, with higher scores a likely possibility.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada states this: "a nomination by a province or territory, will give a candidate additional points to rank high enough to be invited to apply at the next eligible draw of candidates." And from my observations, an average applicant without a job offer and without a nomination certificate will score around 380. Knowing this, a provincial nomination certificate almost guarantees an invitation to apply when your pool is drawn.
Once you are drawn from the pool, you will be given an electronic invitation to apply. You will then have 60 days to submit an electronic application for a permanent residence visa. From there, CIC has stated it will make a decision within 6 months on receipt of the application.
So in sum, the new system will not dramatically change PNP. The process may change for some PNP applicants, while staying the same for others. From where the law stands now, the new express entry system should NOT be a barrier for a successful PR based on PNP.