First steps underway for promised Alberta rural immigration programs, government says

Shelby Thevenot, Stephen Smith
Published: July 31, 2019

Consultations will begin later this year on two Alberta immigration programs that were promised by the province's new premier, Jason Kenney, during the recent general election. 

The province's immigration department is currently working on program design and "continues to explore various options," spokesperson Gurshan Dhillon told CIC News

Consultations on the programs will begin in the fall of 2019 with stakeholders such as employers, settlement organizations, experts and immigrants who are already established in Alberta.

Kenney, who served as Canada’s immigration minister from 2008 to 2013, pledged to create the Rural Renewal Program and the Rural Entrepreneur Immigration Program if elected in order to “use the power” of immigration to revitalize smaller communities around the province.

A news release issued by Kenney’s United Conservative Party (UCP) in February said the proposed programs would help bring skilled foreign workers and entrepreneurs to rural Alberta communities such as Brooks and Wood Buffalo.

Kenney said both pathways could channel a combined 40,000 new permanent residents to these communities over the UCP's first four years in office — 32,000 through the Rural Renewal Program and 8,000 through the Rural Entrepreneur Immigration Program.

Rural Renewal Program

The province of Manitoba’s success in attracting and retaining immigrants in rural communities through programs like the Morden Community Initiative is a model that the UCP said it wanted to draw on for the Rural Renewal Progam.

Around 20 per cent of all newcomers to Manitoba settle in rural communities around the province and communities like Morden have seen their populations grow significantly as a result.

On the campaign trail, Kenney said the Rural Renewal Progam would be linked to the federal Express Entry system, which is Canada’s principal source of skilled foreign labour. 

Find out if you are eligible to enter the Express Entry pool

Express Entry manages the pool of candidates for three of Canada’s main economic-class immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker ClassFederal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.

Candidates are ranked in the Express Entry pool based on a score awarded for factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French, and those with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points.

Alberta has an existing Express Entry-aligned provincial nominee stream, Alberta Express Entry, but the government did not say if it would be linked to the proposed Rural Renewal Program.

Rural Entrepreneur Immigration Program

As to the Rural Entrepreneur Immigration Program, Kenney’s campaign-trail promise gave it a goal of welcoming 500 experienced immigrant entrepreneurs and their families each year.

Among the program’s potential criteria, prospective entrepreneurs would have to meet minimum investment and net worth thresholds and commit to actively managing and operating a business in which they have at least 51 per cent ownership.

Successful applicants would receive a two-year temporary work permit and could later be eligible for a provincial nomination for permanent residence if certain terms are met.

Subscribe to the CIC News Canada Immigration Newsletter

© 2019 CIC News All Rights Reserved

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
Canada invites candidates in Express Entry draw for STEM occupations
IRCC has issued ITAs to Express Entry candidates in the latest round of invitations.
The state of the Express Entry pool: March 2024
A group of people shown in multiple frames on a screen.
Express Entry vs PNP: Which one should I apply to?
A person walking on a path with two different options.
Report: Canada is the 2nd happiest country among the G7
Happy multigenerational people having fun sitting on grass in a public park
Top Stories
British Columbia and Manitoba invite provincial nominees
What can newcomers expect from Budget 2024?
Live Webinar: Tax Tips for Newcomers
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Live Webinar
Live Webinar: Tax Tips for Newcomers
Filing Taxes
Watch the Webinar: Starting your Canadian immigration journey in 2024
Canadian flag
Watch the Webinar: Introduction to Money Management for Newcomers in Canada
Webinar: Introduction to Money Management for Newcomers in Canada
Watch the Webinar: Renting vs. Buying in Canada: What Newcomers Need to Know
Owning a home can provide stability and be a great investment in the long run.
Link copied to clipboard