Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nova Scotia hoping to attract more immigrants

Hants County, Nova ScotiaImage via WikipediaNova Scotia officials want to lift immigration caps for the province in order to attract more skilled newcomers but face opposition from the federal government even though Immigration Minister Jason Kenney does agree more newcomers may resolve the province's labour shortage.

"I think it’s admirable that Nova Scotia is focused on growing its population," said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney according to the Chronicle Herald. "Immigration is part of the solution to the challenge of shrinking population in general and in Atlantic Canada in particular."

The eastern province has a rapidly shrinking population and therefore has been a keen supporter of newcomers moving to the province. In the past decade, officials have spent millions of dollars trying to persuade immigrants to relocate to Nova Scotia under the provincial nominee program and increased spending for settlement programs.

Last year 2,2424 immigrants moved to Nova Scotia and officials would like to see that increase to 7,200 each year by 2020. However, in order to do that they need the federal government to remove cap restrictions on immigration. A notion that minister Jason Kenney isn’t too keen to do just yet citing growing needs by other areas in Canada.

"In general it’s a positive goal, but every province needs to remember we need to work together in the federation," he said. "We can’t have 10 provinces arbitrarily setting their own goals, because ultimately there’s one pipeline for immigration, if you will, and that runs through the government of Canada, through my ministry."

The provincial nominee program gives newcomers the opportunity to work in positions that are unfilled by Canadians.
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