The province of Manitoba is being touted as a model for immigration reform after the latest census numbers show that it has managed to triple its share of national immigration over the past ten years.
Over 15,000 immigrants settled in Manitoba in 2010, which is approximately six percent of the immigrants entering the country. This is especially impressive when considering that Manitoba represents only about three percent of the population of Canada.
Policy makers are now looking to Manitoba as a model of successful immigrations strategies. The province was the first in Canada to implement the Provincial Nominee Program in 1998, where immigration applications from in-demand workers are fast-tracked for processing.
Furthermore, the impressive retention rate of 83 percent of nominees has other provinces intrigued – particularly because Manitoba has not been known for the economic booms of places such as Saskatchewan and Alberta.
“We bring in people we believe will be comfortable in Manitoba,” says Manitoba Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Christine Melnick. “We don’t necessarily target groups for specific employment opportunities.”
Melnick is referring to the strategy of selecting immigrants who have family ties to the province, or a strong ethnic community into which they can integrate. They also have attracted young immigrants – the average age is 28 for new arrivals.
The province is looking to the future now, hoping to be able to raise the number of nominees coming through the program in the coming years. In the meantime, funding is helping to develop and grow resettlement assistance programs for those who are arriving now.
Source: Globe and Mail