Alberta wants the federal government to allow nomination of a greater number of economic immigrants for permanent residence so it can better meet its growing labour needs. According to Jobs Minister Ric McIver, the province has sent a letter to federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.
“I would like the federal government to take the cap off of the maximum number of provincial nominees that we can appoint so that we can bring in the people that we need. We think we are going to be 96,000 workers short by 2023 and most of those are for skilled and good-paying jobs,” McIver said in an interview Monday.
McIver said the number of economic immigrants allowed into Alberta should be driven by labour market evidence and local information so the province can better react to its own circumstances.
The certificates allow skilled and semi-skilled immigrant workers, along with their spouse and dependent children, to be nominated by the province for permanent residence in Canada. Under the immigrant nominee program, Alberta has been given a quota of 5,500 certificates for 2014, all of which have been issued.
McIver said the federal quota is not high enough to meet Alberta’s existing job requirements. Some instances even require temporary foreign workers to fill permanent jobs, he said. Some companies are at risk of losing these employees because of changes Ottawa has made to the temporary program.
McIver said lifting the cap on the number of provincial nominees would help Alberta’s economy across the board, including the energy, beef and tourism industries.
Last week the Canadian Federation of Independent Business called on Ottawa to replace its controversial temporary foreign worker program with a visa that would provide a path to permanent residence for entry-level employees from abroad. According to the organization, such a visa would address labour shortages for small businesses.
Attorney Colin Singer Commentary:
Quebec with 24% of Canada’s population has authority from CIC to select 30,000 skilled workers each year. The larger provinces will continue to pressure Ottawa for similar allocations.
Source: Huffington Post