New statistics shows that Saskatchewan has set a new population record, thanks to a rise in immigration over the past two and a half years.
The data from Statistics Canada show that 24,922 immigrants arrived in the province over the past two and a half years, representing the largest period of growth in Saskatchewan’s history, according to Premier Brad Wall.
Wall pointed to recent efforts of his government to recruit and retain newcomers to the province, but credits the recent strength of the economy for providing long-term opportunities.
“[A]t the end of the day, you need an economy – these folks need to have a job to come to, graduates need to have a job to stay for, and government can’t take the credit for that,” said Wall. “Hopefully you stay out of the way of the growth, maybe you help set the right environment, but it’s really a credit to the fact that the world wants what we have right now; there’s some good fortune in that.”
A large amount of newcomers are coming to the province from The Philippines, which has spurred the government and resettlement agencies to cater services to their needs. For instance, Wall points to recent efforts by his government to streamline the immigration process specifically for applicants from that country.
Additionally, immigrant advocates in the largest cities, including Saskatoon, are working to ease the resettlement process for newcomers and help the community deal with its transition from a smaller sized city to a larger, multi-cultural metropolis.
A new report, commissioned by the City of Saskatoon and compiled by political science professor Joe Garcea, examines these issues and concludes that various stakeholders, including government, advocates and the public need to increase cooperative approaches. Garcea also stresses the need to involve other minority groups, including aboriginal governments.
Source: Saskatoon Star-Pheonix