The province of Saskatchewan has undergone a lot of growth in recent years, resulting in record immigration levels and a more diverse population than ever before.
A recent survey on attitudes toward immigrants in Saskatchewan found that the majority of residents (65 percent) see immigrants as working hard and contributing to the province’s economy. Furthermore, 61 percent of respondents agreed that more should be done to help improve the lives of minority groups in the province.
In the last quarter of 2010, immigration accounted for 60 percent of Saskatchewan’s population growth. Over 12,000 immigrants are estimated to arrive in the province in the coming year. The vast majority of those immigrants will come through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, which allows employers to nominate workers whose skills are most needed.
“As the economy started to take off in Saskatchewan, we started to see specific skilled labour shortages… and that’s really been the driving force behind the rapid recent growth in the [Immigrant Nominee] program,” said an official with Saskatchewan’s immigration department. “If you’re bringing people directly into jobs where they’re immediately making a contribution in terms of taxes and payroll deductions and so forth into the Canadian economy and, of course, have the means to support their families – that is a tremendously good thing in my view.”
Not only are more and more immigrants arriving in Saskatchewan, but they are also more likely to stay there than ever before. The province’s retention rate has gone up to approximately 86 percent.
These statistics can be illustrated across the province. Immigrants are opening up specialty ethnic grocery stores and restaurants where before there were none. There are talks of starting community newspapers in such languages as Urdu and Pashto. Over 150 countries are represented across Saskatchewan today, and it is quickly becoming an extremely popular choice for new arrivals to the country.
Source: Saskatoon Star-Phoenix