Along the lines of the federal Canadian Experience Class, introduced last year by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the province of Quebec is launching its own accelerated and simplified immigration program for international students and specialized foreign workers who meet labour market priorities in the province.
Archives for June 2009
The Canadian province of Saskatchewan has been steadily building its reputation as an immigration destination in Canada. Significant investments have been made to its Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) and towards immigrant settlement services in recent years, helping to develop a strong immigrant community in the province. Now, the Government of Saskatchewan has unveiled a new immigration strategy to build on this progress, entitled “Strengthening our Communities and Economy.”
The focus of Saskatchewan‘s new strategy is to improve upon current immigration programs by undertaking new initiatives to create jobs and renew communities.
In 2009-2010, the province is investing an additional $2.69 million in immigration, to better attract entrepreneur immigrants and skilled workers, and to provide them with enhanced settlement and integration supports, both before and after their arrival.
Saskatchewan’s labour market maintains a great need for skilled workers from abroad, despite the global economic climate. The provincial economy has remained solid, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.
To keep it going strong, an element of the new program is to encourage newcomers to establish or purchase businesses in the province through the Saskatchewan’s Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) Entrepreneur category. The program will be divided into several streams, focusing on participation with science and technology-based companies and with the farming industry. It will also feature a component that will link Saskatchewan business owners who are nearing retirement with immigrants who have business ownership and management experience.
“We’re working to sustain our economic momentum and secure Saskatchewan’s position as a leader in Canada and around the world,” said Saskatchewan’s Immigration Minister Rob Norris. “By welcoming newcomers who are ready to invest in Saskatchewan businesses, we are investing in our province’s future.”
109 entrepreneurial immigrants were nominated by Saskatchewan in 2008-2009, whose investments are expected to generate 400 new jobs in the province. The SINP plans to nominate 250 entrepreneurs over the next two years, to create approximately 900 new jobs.
A new application process will be introduced for the Entrepreneur stream of the SINP in October 2009.
In terms of strengthening communities, the new strategy will facilitate access to pre-arrival information and planning services, as well as connections to community services and specialized language and employment assistance in Saskatchewan. Plans are also underway to assist immigrants with Saskatchewan’s credential recognition systems.
“Ultimately, our plan is about neighbours, not numbers,” said Minister Norris. “Immigrants do much more than increase our population; they help create more diverse, dynamic and cosmopolitan communities, while strengthening our labour market, stimulating economic investment and creating jobs.”
Saskatchewan’s Immigrant Nominee Program has grown significantly in recent years. Last year, the province nominated 2,914 individuals for fast-track Canadian Permanent Residency. This year, they have increased their targets to 3,400 nominees, which, with spouses and children, would translate to nearly 10,000 new Saskatchewan residents in 2009-2010.
“Quite simply, this new strategy draws on our multicultural heritage to strengthen our communities, create greater prosperity and foster new jobs in Saskatchewan,” said Minister Norris. “When you can bring people together with different backgrounds, cultures, world views and ideas, they all have something special to contribute.”
Largely thanks to immigration, the population of Saskatchewan is currently at its highest number in over two decades, at 1,027,092. The provincial population grew by 3,282 people in the first quarter of 2009, nearly 2,000 of which were from outside Canada.
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada Minister Jason Kenney joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in observing World Refugee Day earlier this month. Canada’s longstanding commitment to providing a new home for refugees was acknowledged by the UNHCR, and current resettlement programs and integration initiatives were celebrated.
Every year, Canada’s refugee program provides protection to over 30,000 people from various regions around the world. Canada becomes the new home to 1 in 10 refugees who are resettled globally.
Since World War II, Canada has provided refuge to more than 1 million refugees.
Canada’s refugee protection system benefits from partnerships between the Canadian Government and non-governmental organizations and private citizens through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. Introduced thirty years ago, this private sponsorship program has enabled Canadians to resettle 200,000 refugees.
“We are grateful to Canada for its commitment and long-standing support in responding to the needs of refugees and the world’s uprooted people,” said UNHCR representative Mr. Abraham Abraham.
In addition to resettlement programs, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is also committed to helping newcomer refugees integrate into Canadian society.
CIC has recently announced that the Young Newcomers Internship Program (YNIP), which provides new Canadians with the opportunity to gain vital Canadian work experience through internships at Citizenship and Immigration Canada, will now become a permanent program.
In its first year, the four-month paid internship program was offered to 12 government-sponsored refugees from Sudan, Burma, Somalia, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan.
They were placed in different branches of the department, learning about government operations through job-shadowing. At the end of the program, managers were so impressed by their interns that seven of them were hired full-time by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
“The intent was to increase the employability of the interns, not necessarily to guarantee them jobs,” said CIC’s manager of recruitment, Jason Buccino. “There was nothing but praise for the hard work ethic and the type of work they put out.”
The first participants of the YNIP were selected through World University Services of Canada. They have all graduated from a Canadian university with a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
“The success of this program shows that when you have faith in newcomers and give them a chance, you see how much hard work they will do to prove themselves and make a meaningful contribution to Canadian society,” says Nasir Maimanagy who partook in the YNIP.
“Employers get the benefit of a diverse workforce of well-educated, dedicated people, and for the employees, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. They want to make the most of it.”
In the past year, the Government of Canada has committed to increasing the number of privately-sponsored Iraqi refugees over each of the next three years. It has also selected 1,000 Bhutanese refugees from refugee camps in Nepal for immigration to Canada. The goal is to resettle 5,000 Bhutanese in all.
At the World Refugee Day ceremony, Minister Kenney acknowledged the international, national, provincial, and municipal organizations that help with refugee resettlement.
“At home, as well, we could not do what we do without the cooperation and contribution of provincial and territorial governments, service providers and private sponsors, because ensuring protection is only the beginning of restoring dignity and meaning to the lives of refugees.”
July 1st is Canada Day, a day for all of Canada’s citizens and Permanent Residents to celebrate the benefits and opportunities bestowed up them as Canadians. Recognizing the contributions made by immigrants and the importance of immigration to the country’s history, the Government of Canada has now given national museum status to Canada’s Immigration Museum, Pier 21.
July 1, 2009 marks the 142nd anniversary of the confederation Canada, whereby the British North American provinces were united in the federation of Canada. Now commonly known as Canada Day, Canadians have been celebrating the official establishment of the country since 1867.
Looking back in history, immigration has played a crucial role in the development and evolution of the country.
Pier 21, self-described as Canada’s Immigration Museum, has been celebrating and creating awareness about immigration to Canada for the past 10 years. Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the museum is housed in a red-brick building that once operated as an official Canadian immigration gateway for those arriving by sea. Over 1 million immigrants passed through Pier 21 between 1928 and 1971.
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has conferred national museum status to Pier 21, giving it the official title of “Canada’s National Immigration Museum.” It is now one of six national museums in Canada, and only the second one outside of the nation’s capital to receive this designation.
“Pier 21 symbolizes who we are – a nation of newcomers, newcomers bonded together by a common quest for freedom, democracy and opportunity,” said Prime Minister Harper. “No country in the world has benefited more than Canada from free and open immigration.”
Currently, exhibits at Pier 21 focus mainly on the historical period when the building was operational as an immigration office. Now, the museum intends to expand the scope of its exhibits to cover immigration to Canada from its beginnings, right up to the present.
“If you tell the larger story of immigration,” says Bob Moody, CEO of Pier 21, “with the Pier 21 years as the sort of crown jewel, then you’re going to appeal to all Canadians, not just the one in five we claim have a direct connection to Pier 21.”
In doing so, the museum will illustrate the historical progress and failures of Canadian immigration policy and actions.
The museum plans to design a full schedule of thematic exhibitions, coordinate more travelling exhibitions, and develop and upgrade its permanent ones.
The federal government has pledged $10 million to ensure that Pier 21’s exhibitions represent its new national mandate. Up to $5 million more will be put towards operations.
In his address, the Prime Minister said that the new national museum will “tell the story, not just of the Europeans who passed through Pier 21, but of those who came later from Asia, Africa, and our own hemisphere and of those who will come tomorrow, because newcomers will be as much a part of Canada’s future as they have been of our past.”
Pier 21 also works with the Nova Scotia’s Office of Immigration and Department of Community Services, offering newcomers a six-month work term at the museum. These internships provide workplace and language training and help place newcomers in jobs throughout the community.
We Canadians take our hockey seriously. And why not? It is, after all, our game and no other country can match us over the long haul in international competitions. Hockey for us is a source of pride and many of us follow our favourite teams with the fervour you would expect from a religious devotee.