The federal government has signed a new immigration agreement with the Province of Newfoundland & Labrador.
The accord is aimed at better-tailoring new immigrants to the needs of the Newfoundland economy to build on the growing numbers of foreigners moving to the province.
Better integration of immigrants once they arrive is also a key element of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Immigration Agreement, signed on Thursday by Gerry Byrne, provincial Minister of Advanced Education and Skills, and federal Immigration Minister John McCallum.
Key Points of the Deal
- Ability for immigration to respond to specific social and economic needs of province
- Improved integration practices for immigrants, including recognition of foreign qualifications
- Collaboration on settlement of refugees
- Improvements on information sharing
Byrne said: “Today’s agreement strengthens our … commitment to attracting and retaining more immigrants to Newfoundland & Labrador to address our economic, labour market and demographic needs.”
A record 1,121 immigrants were accepted in 2015, with the 411 foreigners welcomed in the first quarter of this year the second most of any quarter since 1946.
The new agreement comes on the heels of an accord signed with the broader region of Atlantic Canada, to bring in an extra 2,000 immigrants in 2017 under Provincial Nominee Programs.
It is part of a new Atlantic Growth Strategy, aimed at boosting the economies of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in five priority areas:
- Skilled workforce and immigration
- Clean growth and climate change
- Trade and investment
The three-year pilot scheme could see numbers increased if it is deemed successful.
Premiers on the West Coast have also called for an increase in immigration numbers, indicating there are likely to be more similar deals to follow with other regions and provinces.
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