Pilot Program to Bring at Least 2,000 Immigrants into Atlantic Canada in 2017
The four Atlantic premiers and members of the federal cabinet will work together on an immigration pilot program in order to grow the regional economy.
As a first step in implementing the Atlantic Growth Strategy, federal Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum announced an immigration pilot program Monday following meetings with the four Atlantic premiers and members of the federal cabinet in St. Peter’s Bay, Prince Edward Island.
The strategy will focus on:
- skilled workforce and immigration
- clean growth and climate change
- trade and investment
New Brunswick premier Brian Gallant says Atlantic Canada faces an aging demographic challenge. “It is imperative that we keep our young people here, bring back Atlantic Canadians to the region and increase the amount of new Canadians coming to our four provinces. The immigration pilot program will allow more new Canadians to Atlantic Canada, provide more flexibility to the provinces and focus more efforts on retention. This will help New Brunswick's labour force and our economy.”
The three-year pilot program is meant to address resource gaps the region is facing and to help businesses attract and retain global talent. The intent is also to support population growth, develop a skilled workforce and increase employment rates in the Maritimes.
Gallant says the pilot program will facilitate the entry of 2,000 principal immigrants into Atlantic Canada next year. He says principal applicants can bring their family, so the actual number of immigrants could be several times greater. The number of immigrants is subject to increase in the second and third year of the program if there is sufficient demand.
More information about the program is available from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency website.