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With Increased Immigration to Atlantic Canada, A Project Ensures Newcomers to Stay

March 2018, 22
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The Atlantic Provinces face no trouble to attract immigrants using the Provincial Nominee Programs. At present, there is a Three-Year Research Project which aims to settle them permanently in the region.

It is working under the leadership of the Public Policy Forum, which is an independent research organization that has the participation of private and public organizations and non-profit enterprises. The project has launched a new two-part report titled “The People Imperative”.

What is behind the success?

The facts of the report are that a majority of immigrants settled in the Atlantic Canada region in the previous year gained an admission through the Provincial Nominee Programs. At present they are more than 20 spread across the four provinces of the Atlantic region. The states are Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.


PNPs grant a fast-track option to gain permanent residence in Canada and allow the provinces and territories of Canada for nominating skilled and able immigration candidates to integrate into the local labor market.

Presently there is an expanded use of Provincial Nominee Programs which is responsible for the considerable growth of immigrants.

These PNPs have many enhanced nomination streams which are linked to the Express Entry system of the federal government. A stream in PEI was opened twice during the present year and has issued invitations to submit an application seeking a provincial nomination to 130 candidates. 

Such candidates who are nominated for PR through the PNP get an additional 600 points in their CRS score, through which an ITA for permanent residence is easy.

Figures for the New Arrivals

As per the report, the figures for the arrival of new permanent residents in 2017 for Nova Scotia were 4,515, for New Brunswick’s 3,650, for PEI’s 2,350 and for Newfoundland and Labrador it stood at 1,170.

The important issue of these provinces now is to create conditions where the immigrants stay in the provinces.

The report has made seven recommendations to improve the opportunities for newcomers to stay in the Atlantic Provinces. They are presently facing a crisis of survival, which is the result of aging populations, depletion of natural resources and lower levels of productivity.

Some facts

Many people are heading towards the retirement age, and there is an expected steep decline of the labor force, which can threaten economic stability.

As a countermeasure, growth in population is vital and the process of immigration is essential for this growth.

The efforts for increasing immigration in the region have led to the growth of newcomers in a big way during the past five years.

From 2012 to 2016, immigration in Atlantic Canada enlarged by 113 percent, but the figure for the rest of Canada was barely12.4 percent.

Simultaneously, the immigrant retention rate for the four Atlantic Provinces was below other provinces of Canada, which have a retention rate of more than 80 percent. The five-year retention rate of Nova Scotia was 72 percent for Newfoundland it was 56 percent, for New Brunswick it stood at 52 percent and for Prince Edward Island it was a poor 18 percent only.

The reasons for leaving the Atlantic region are better jobs and educational opportunities in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. These cities offer broad access to ethnic communities and cultural amenities and provide a homely environment to the immigrants.

Seven recommendations

Based on these findings, the report has recommended the following measures for promoting the retention of immigrants in the region:

Promoting unique advantages of Atlantic Canada to prospective immigrants actively,

·       Promoting its low cost of living, better quality of life and availability of quality settlement services,

Building the support system for employers,

·       Engaging employers to help them in recruiting and developing the workers needed and providing them better support to use the prevalent system of immigration,

Helping community networks and families in attracting immigrants,

·       Attracting immigrants who have connections to families or ethnic communities in the region to develop more newcomers,

Recruiting established entrepreneurs to Atlantic Canada in a Proactive manner,

·       Improving entrepreneurial pathways by recruiting and nurturing few candidates selectively, who have an established record of success,

Creating better opportunities for international students to pursue some work while studying and after

·       Streamlining the PR pathway for international students by making it easy for them to work while studying, and instantly after graduation,

Ensuring required settlement services and support system for immigrants,

·       Providing sufficient resources to settlement agencies in each province for meeting present needs and flexibility to respond to a sudden change. Providing more staffing to IRCC offices in the region and posting a coordinator for connecting the federal government and regional and provincial immigration efforts,

Expanding community initiatives,

·       Reinforcing public awareness regarding the positive gains of immigration, empowering communities to welcome newcomers and providing opportunities to them to connect with locals through building on infrastructure, prevalent resources, and success stories in the provinces

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