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11 communities named under IRCC’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

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The Government of Canada has named 11 Canadian communities that have been selected to take part in its new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. 

The pilot is designed to help smaller rural and remote communities attract foreign workers of various skill levels and provide them with permanent residence.

Canada’s rural communities employ over four million Canadians and account for almost 30 per cent of the national GDP, according to figures provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The pilot’s goal is to help these communities counter labour market shortages caused by declining birth rates, rising retirement rates and the out-migration of youth to more populated areas of Canada.

The 11 communities named on June 14 are located in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.


  • Thunder Bay
  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • Sudbury
  • Timmins
  • North Bay


  • Gretna-Rhineland-Altona-Plum Coulee
  • Brandon


  • Moose Jaw


  • Claresholm

British Columbia

  • West Kootenay
  • Vernon

IRCC said the 11 communities were selected based on their economic needs and the presence of resources and community partners required to administer the pilot, and will serve as “a blueprint for the rest of the country.”

Each community will work with a local economic development organization to recruit and assess immigration candidates based on local economic needs and job openings and endorse the selected candidates for permanent residence.

The communities selected could be in a position to begin identifying immigration candidates as early as this fall and those selected are expected to begin arriving in Canada 2020.

IRCC said the federal criteria outlining who will be eligible to apply to the pilot will be made available later in 2019.

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

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