Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published its 2020–2021 departmental strategy. In this plan, IRCC highlighted plans for introducing further immigration initiatives aimed at bringing immigrants to regions in Canada that need jobs.
IRCC’s aim to introduce new regional immigration pilot programmes and build on the success of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP). The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a fast-track immigration system that allows designated employers in the four Atlantic provinces of Canada to recruit foreign skilled workers for positions that they could not fill locally. These four provinces include Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven program. It’s designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in one of the participating communities. Both AIP and RNIP represent revolutionary immigration initiatives intended to draw immigrants to regions outside of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal's metropolitan areas, who are attracting migrants at a pace that is extremely disproportionate to the rest of the country.
The Municipal Nominee Program (MNP) is the only confirmed immigration pilot project, outlined in the IRCC departmental strategy. The MNP is still in the planning phase, with not yet available descriptions of program requirements and implementation procedures. The Canadian Government, however, has announced plans to accept at least 5,000 immigrants through the MNP in 2020-2021.
An article from the Justin Trudeau’s liberal government website states that:
“We will make it easier for communities to welcome the workers they need most.
While immigration benefits Canada as a whole, not every community – including those experiencing serious labour shortages – is able to make the most of the contributions new Canadians can bring.
To make sure that communities of all sizes are better able to attract and support new Canadians, we will move forward with a Municipal Nominee Program. This program will allow local communities, chambers of commerce, and local labour councils to directly sponsor permanent immigrants.”
The government’s decision to come up with such an immigration pilot plan makes great sense. The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which is currently the fastest-growing initiative among all economic immigration systems in Canada, has attracted several immigrants to Canada for more than 20 years, selected by provincial governments for their ability to succeed in the provincial economy and community. Settlement trends, however, show that most provincial candidates and their families reside in a given province's largest city or region. That's fantastic for just that Metropolitan economy, but this influx of fresh foreign talent could be missed by other communities, and the local communities would find it harder to grow, prosper and reach their true potential.
A Municipal Nominee Program can increase the immigration quota for these municipalities, granting them greater leverage in attracting immigrants. Just like the RNIP, a few select municipalities may recognize potential immigrants who meet particular requirements, usually involving an offer of employment among other adaptability requirements. This will help them attract a lot of highly skilled foreign workers who intends to settle there permanently, which would help them boost that municipality’s economy as well as fill labor shortages in that area, contributing to the overall growth of the economy and reducing disparity in immigration.
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