More immigrants for provincial Canada in 2011

by Ray Clancy on July 26, 2011

More immigrants going to rural Canada

Provinces and territories in Canada are on track this year to welcome a record number of immigrants selected under their own nominee programmes.

In a speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade, Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, discussed the rapid growth in provincial nominee programs in recent years.

‘Our government recognizes the importance of nominee programmes in spreading out the benefits of immigration around the country,’ he said.

He explained that about 40,000 immigrants are expected to be admitted in the provincial nominee category in 2011, five times more than the 8,000 welcomed in 2005. The previous high was 36,428 provincial nominees in 2010.

Traditionally, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have attracted a disproportionate share of skilled immigrants coming to Canada. However, the top three provinces for provincial nominees are Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Kenney said this is due to the provincial/territorial nominee programmes. Some 26% of economic immigrants accepted as permanent residents of Canada are now destined for provinces or territories other than Ontario, British Columbia or Quebec, compared to just 11% in 1997.

‘We understand the desire of provinces and territories to identify their own economic immigrants and that is why we have continued to increase our projected admissions for nominees each year,’ said Kenney.

‘At the same time, we are committed to working with our provincial and territorial counterparts to continue to improve the programme design, integrity, selection standards and management of the nominee programmes,’ he added.

The provincial nominee programme is also a good way to get workers in quickly. Applications are processed within 12 months on average, as are federal skilled worker applications under recent ministerial instructions.

Provincial nominee programmes are being discussed as part of this month’s cross Canada consultations on immigration levels and mix. In addition, a comprehensive evaluation of the provincial nominee programmes is underway.

With the knowledge gained through each of these processes, CIC will be able to work with provincial and territorial partners on a longer-term approach to levels planning, Kenney added.

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