Manitoba is investing $5 million in immigration programming via its 2022 budget, branded Recover Together, in order to entice newcomers to the Prairie province and fill jobs that are going unfilled due to a lack of Canadians.
“Labour shortages have been identified in Manitoba across sectors and within businesses of all sizes,”the province notes in its budget document.
“Immigration is an economic driver that can be used to fill labour market needs that cannot be filled domestically.”
Welcoming and attracting immigrants to Manitoba is viewed as a critical aspect in assuring the province’s economic recovery in the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak. The province is already in talks with Ottawa to revise the Canada-Manitoba Immigration Agreement, which has been in effect since 2003, and expects to come to an agreement by the end of the summer.
“Revised immigration targets are also under consideration in 2022 with a view to expanding the current program, informed by a new temporary task force on immigration,”notes the province’s budget document.
Members of Manitoba’s newly formed Immigration Advisory Council began looking for ways to improve the province’s immigration regulations and procedures in late March. The advisory council, which was founded in late February and is led by World Refugee Council chair Dr Lloyd Axworthy and Manitoba Immigration Minister Jon Reyes, includes 20 other Manitobans.
“This group is made up of individuals with expertise related to immigration services, governance, economic development, analysis, project management and community integration,”said Axworthy.
“I know they will provide clear recommendations and concrete actions to the Manitoba government later this year and I’m excited to begin this work.”
The job of the advisory council is to:
- promote Manitoba and attract more immigrants and business investors to the province;
- streamline the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, particularly in terms of striking the appropriate balance between the province’s regional labour market, economic development, and community needs; and
- foster Manitoba’s settlement and integration programmes and services, as well as foreign credential recognition programmes, to encourage labour market attachment and improve foreign credential recognition.
“As we recover from the pandemic, we need to encourage economic growth, invest in education, training and job creation and support investment, and immigration is one part of this bold plan,”said Reyes.
“I look forward to working with the council as we review the current system and recommend creative new ways to welcome people to our province and create a place where people want to come to work, live, prosper and put down roots for their families.”
The Immigrant Advisory Council is anticipated to complete its work by the end of the year. Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson stated in February that the council’s efforts would guarantee that Manitoba continues to welcome all arrivals, including refugees and international students, and that the province becomes more of a destination for immigration and corporate investors.
Immigrants Get Selected Through Four Streams
The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) chooses candidates for immigration depending on the province’s specific economic needs via four streams:
- Skilled Worker in Manitoba Stream
- Skilled Worker Overseas Stream
- International Education Stream
- Business Investor Stream
The goal of the programme is to be adaptable to Manitoba’s labour market and broader economic concerns. Candidates are informed of these priorities through a constantly updated list of In-Demand Occupations.
Immigration to Manitoba slowed to a trickle during the first year of the Covid-19 epidemic, decreasing by nearly 54.4 per cent from 18,910 new permanent residents in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, to only 8,630 new permanent residents in 2020.
Ever since, immigration to Manitoba has mostly recovered, increasing by nearly 91.9 per cent last year to 16,560 new permanent residents. This is just 12.4% lower than pre-pandemic levels. The immigration funds included in the latest budget come just a few months after Manitoba published a call for submissions for up to $2 million in funding for initiatives that assist the development of community connection programmes for newcomers.
The following organisations were judged qualified to apply till March 7:
- Service provider organisations that provide services to newcomers
- Recognized non-profit organisations, community groups, authorized businesses, and direct service and programme providers
Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.