Federal, provincial and territorial immigration ministers have pledged to create a fast and flexible immigration system designed to advance Canada’s economic growth and competitiveness, and respond to regional labour market needs.
Following a two day meeting, FPT Ministers committed to work together to develop and implement an Expression of Interest (EOI) model for Canada, similar to a model currently in place in New Zealand and Australia.
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturism minister Jason Kenney said that EOI will help transform Canada’s immigration system into one that is more responsive to labour market demand, by providing opportunities for FPT governments and employers to access a pool of skilled workers.
‘The federal government’s focus remains on economic growth and job creation, and immigration plays a key role in Canada’s long term prosperity. Cooperation between federal, provincial and territorial governments is key to the success of Canada’s immigration system and securing better outcomes for newcomers,’ he explained.
According to Stephen Khan, FPT Meeting Co-Chair and Alberta Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education, immigration is vital for economic growth and the Canadian systems needs to be more competitive internationally.
‘On behalf of the provinces and territories, we look forward to continuing our work with the government of Canada to transform the immigration system, making it faster and more responsive to provincial and territorial needs,’ he said.
Recognising the importance of immigration to Canada’s long term prosperity, FPT Ministers agreed that economic immigration programmes must be focussed on delivering economic benefits to Canada, both in terms of meeting labour market needs and generating growth for the Canadian economy.
Ministers noted that the Provincial Nominee Programme has helped to spread the benefits of economic immigration across the country, having grown almost seven fold since 2004 and that provinces and territories are uniquely positioned to determine their regional labour market and skill needs.
The Ministers said that they are committed to continue strengthening the accountability and integrity of all federal, provincial and territorial economic immigration programmes.
They committed to a three year action plan to achieve their joint vision of an immigration system that attracts, welcomes and supports newcomers to join in building vibrant communities and a prosperous Canada.
Given that immigration is a shared jurisdiction, the Ministers agreed to FPT roles, responsibilities and accountabilities to inform work under the vision action plan.
Through the plan, FPT Ministers affirm their commitment to the successful settlement and integration of newcomers across Canada. FPT partners will continue collaborating on a nationwide survey on settlement outcomes. They will also develop partnerships to guide ongoing efforts to help all immigrants participate in the Canadian economy and society to their full potential.
Under the Canada-Québec Accord relating to immigration and temporary admission of aliens, Québec fully assumes sole responsibility for establishing immigration levels, and for the selection, francization and integration of immigrants. In areas under its responsibility, Québec develops its policies and programmes, legislates, regulates and sets its own standards.