Eleven rural and northern communities have been selected as part of Canada’s new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot to invite newcomers to make these communities their forever homes.
As the Canadian population ages and the birth rate declines, rural Canada’s workforce has seen a significant decrease in available workers. This pilot will help attract people that are needed to drive economic growth and help support middle-class jobs in these northern communities.
“The equation is quite simple. Attracting and retaining newcomers with the needed skills equals a recipe for success for Canada’s rural and northern communities,” said Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen. “We have tested a similar immigration pilot in Atlantic Canada and it has already shown tremendous results for both newcomers and Canadians.”
The participating rural and northern communities will have access to a range of supports to test this new innovative, community-driven model that will help fill labour gaps. The selected communities are: Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, North Bay (all Ontario), Gretna-Rhineland-Altona-Plum Coulee, Brandon (both Manitoba), Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan), Claresholm (Alberta), West Kootenay, and Vernon (both British Columbia). The participating communities were selected as a representative sample of the regions across Canada to assist in laying out the blueprint for the rest of the country.
“Removing barriers to economic development and promoting growth in local communities across the country is a priority for the Government of Canada,” explained Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development Canada. “This pilot will support the economic development of these communities by testing new, community-driven approaches to address their diverse labour market needs. The initial results of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot show that it has been a great success. I’m pleased we are able to introduce this new pilot to continue experimenting with how immigration can help ensure the continued vibrancy of rural areas across the country.”
To complement the Rural and Northern Pilot, Canada is also working with the territories to address the unique immigration needs in Canada’s North.
Newcomers are expected to begin to arrive under this pilot in 2020.
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot was launched in March 2017 as part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy. The four Atlantic provinces are able to endorse up to 2,500 workers in 2019 under that pilot to meet labour market needs in the region.
Article published 18th June 2019