Image via WikipediaManitoba experienced its highest inflow of international immigrants in nearly 40 years this spring, but the province’s immigration minister said a new cap imposed by the federal government could prevent that number from growing too much higher in the future.
New population figures released by Statistics Canada Wednesday show Manitoba had a net international migration of nearly 4,400 people between April 1 and July 1.
That’s the highest quarterly number since 1971 for the stat, which measures the difference between international migrants arriving in Manitoba and Manitobans leaving for other countries.
Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard said Ottawa recently imposed a cap of 5,000 spaces for Manitoba’s nominee program for 2010 and 5,000 more in 2011, in order to balance the influx of economic immigrants with other streams like refugees and family reunifications.
“If we’re not allowed to grow beyond that, we will see a stalling of the program,” Howard said. “We could nominate 5,600 this year.”
Howard said the province estimates 2.5 people will come to Manitoba with each one of those spots, as each space represents an immigrant and his or her immediate family.
Howard said the top source country by far for immigrants to Manitoba is the Philippines, followed by Germany, China and India.
“Most newcomers say that it’s so friendly here, that we welcome newcomers. This is also the best place to raise a family,” said Rod Cantiveros, president of the Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba, which offers a settlement program for new immigrants to help them with things like employment and education resources.
Cantiveros said Manitoba is well-known in the Philippines as a place with a vibrant Filipino community and making it an immigration destination.
Inkster MLA Kevin Lamoureux, whose office helps process about 300 Filipino immigration cases per month, said he’s recently seen an influx of cases of people getting rejected because the government is now demanding potential immigrants have at least $8,000 cash in their own names instead of in a trust account set up by a relative.
“It’s a very hot issue in the Filipino community,” he said.
Howard said there has been no such policy change. She acknowledged the federal government has become “more and more explicit that people need to have control over their own money” and there’s been a gradual tightening of existing rules, but said Manitoba has not changed its financial criteria for nominating potential immigrants.
Source: Sun Media