REGINA, March 16, 1998 — Canada and Saskatchewan will cooperate more closely when developing immigration policies under the terms of an agreement signed today by the Saskatchewan Minister of Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs, Berny Wiens and Citizenship and Immigration Canada Minister Lucienne Robillard. The agreement covers a variety of subjects ranging from immigration planning to integration, and establishes the Provincial Nominee Program.
“This immigration agreement reflects a mutual commitment between the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan to cooperate on immigration issues,” said Minister Robillard. “Immigration has always contributed to the social and economic development of both Canada and Saskatchewan. We are committed to working together to ensure that this mutual benefit continues.”
The agreement is intended to ensure that Saskatchewan’s needs are better reflected in the annual immigration levels and in decisions relating to the selection and recruitment of immigrants. While Canada will continue to determine national policy, annual plans and admission and selection standards for immigration, it will work with the Province to tailor these activities to meet Saskatchewan’s unique needs.
One way the agreement accomplishes this is through the Provincial Nominee Program. Under the two-year pilot Program, the Province may nominate up to 150 individuals for immigration based on skills and entrepreneurial assets that they possess.
“This agreement makes immigration work better for Saskatchewan,” Minister Wiens said. “The Provincial Nominee Program in particular will enable Saskatchewan to recruit immigrants with the potential to make a significant contribution to the provincial economy. The federal-provincial cooperation demonstrated today is making real improvements to the way Canada works.”
The Canada-Saskatchewan Immigration Agreement appropriately balances national objectives with the unique circumstances that exist in Saskatchewan. The two Ministers commented that agreements like the one signed today respond to the wishes of Canadians who have said that they want their governments to work together in the delivery of their social and economic programs.