Agreement for Canada – Prince Edward Island Co-operation on Immigration
- 1.0 Preamble
- 2.0 Purpose, Objectives and Definitions
- 3.0 Immigration Programs and Planning
- 4.0 Promotion and Recruitment
- 5.0 Selection and Admissibility
- 6.0 Resettlement, Settlement and Integration
- 7.0 Information Sharing and Research
- 8.0 Program Integrity
- 9.0 Implementation
- 10.0 General Provisions
- Annex A – Provincial Nominees
1.1 The Agreement for Canada-Prince Edward Island Co-operation on Immigration (hereinafter referred to as the “Agreement”) is between Her Majesty in right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (hereinafter referred to as “Canada”) and Her Majesty in right of the Province of Prince Edward Island, as represented by the Minister Responsible for Immigration (hereinafter referred to as “Prince Edward Island”).
1.2 TAKING INTO ACCOUNT section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867, whereby immigration is a shared responsibility.
1.3 AND WHEREAS the Parliament of Canada has enacted the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27, as amended, (hereinafter referred to as the “IRPA”) under this responsibility.
1.4 AND WHEREAS the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees certain mobility rights to every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada and guarantees every individual equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination.
1.5 AND WHEREAS the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the equality of status to English and French as the official languages of Canada.
1.6 AND WHEREAS subsection 10(2) of the IRPA requires the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to consult with the provinces annually with respect to the number of foreign nationals in each class who will become permanent residents each year, their distribution in Canada taking into account regional economic and demographic requirements and the measures to be undertaken to facilitate their integration into Canadian society.
1.7 AND WHEREAS subsection 8(1) of the IRPA and subsection 5(1) of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act (DCIA) authorize the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, with approval of the Governor in Council, to enter into agreements with provinces for the purposes of the IRPA.
1.8 AND WHEREAS the Executive Council Act provides Prince Edward Island with the authority to enter into agreements with Canada on matters relating to immigration.
1.9 AND WHEREAS the IRPA is designed, among other things, to:
- support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy, in which the benefits of immigration are shared across all regions of Canada; and
- enrich and strengthen the cultural and social fabric of Canadian society, while respecting the federal, bilingual and multicultural character of Canada.
1.10 AND WHEREAS Prince Edward Island recognizes the objective of the IRPA to support and assist the development of minority official language communities in Canada and shares a mutual interest in enhancing the vitality of French linguistic minority communities in Prince Edward Island;
1.11 AND WHEREAS Canada and Prince Edward Island welcome immigrants, recognize their contribution to the demographic, social, humanitarian and economic objectives of the country and the province, and acknowledge the long-term benefits of immigration.
1.12 AND WHEREAS Canada’s international obligations include its commitments to the protection of Refugees, as reflected in subsection 3(2) of the IRPA.
1.13 AND WHEREAS Canada and Prince Edward Island share a mutual interest in:
- enhancing the role of immigration in addressing demographic, economic and labour market trends in Prince Edward Island;
- planning and coordinating their immigration activities, based on cooperation, consultation and information sharing;
- the principle that federal funding be available for settlement activities based upon a fair allocation model developed in consultation with Prince Edward Island;
- the provision of resettlement services to Refugees selected from abroad;
- working in partnership with stakeholders, including federal, provincial and municipal governments, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations, ethnic organizations, communities, and employers to facilitate the attainment of immigration objectives;
- providing effective services, while avoiding overlap and duplication;
- enhancing and facilitating the social, cultural and economic contribution of Immigrants;
- recognizing the importance of reunification of family members;
- recognizing a shared commitment with respect to humanitarian considerations of Refugees;
- recognizing the benefits of international students to Prince Edward Island;
- enhancing the vitality of minority official language communities in Prince Edward Island;
- encouraging the development of pilot initiatives to increase regional dispersion of Immigrants and recognizing differing regional settlement requirements;
- ensuring that immigration and immigration-related programs meet their objectives and serve those for whom they are intended; and
- recognizing the benefits of citizenship and providing supports for eligible permanent residents in acquiring Canadian citizenship.
1.14 BOTH PARTIES recognize the following in order to determine their respective areas of activity relating to Immigrants and Temporary Residents in order to meet the needs of Canada and Prince Edward Island:
- that this Agreement relates to the planning of immigration levels to Prince Edward Island annually, the promotion of immigration and the recruitment of Immigrants to the province, the selection and admission of Immigrants into Canada and their settlement into Prince Edward Island and Canadian society, the sharing of information and cooperative efforts to ensure the integrity of the programs of Canada and Prince Edward Island in relation to immigration;
- that Canada will determine national policy objectives and annual plans for the immigration program. It will be responsible for the selection and admission of Immigrants, Temporary Residents and Refugees wishing to reside in Prince Edward Island. In addition, Canada will discharge these responsibilities utilizing mechanisms that include but are not limited to defining classes of foreign nationals and classes of persons who are inadmissible into Canada under the IRPA, establishing the conditions for the granting of citizenship, as defined in the Citizenship Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-29 and ensuring the fulfillment of Canada’s international obligations with respect to refugees;
- that Prince Edward Island will advise Canada regarding its annual immigration levels plans for provincial nominees; and
- that Prince Edward Island will exercise its responsibilities in the development and implementation of programs, policies and legislation, promotion and recruitment of Immigrants, determination of provincial nominees; and facilitating the settlement and integration of Immigrants as set out in this Agreement.
2.0 Purpose, Objectives and Definitions
2.1 The purpose of this Agreement is to define the respective roles and responsibilities of Canada and Prince Edward Island relating to permanent and Temporary Residents wishing to reside in Prince Edward Island.
2.2 The objectives of this Agreement are:
- to foster an effective partnership between Canada and Prince Edward Island for the promotion, recruitment, selection, admission, settlement and integration of Immigrants to the province;
- to establish processes for Canada and Prince Edward Island to consult and cooperate on the development and implementation of policies, programs, and mechanisms to influence the levels and composition of Immigrants to Prince Edward Island and to Canada, including those to support and assist the development of minority official language communities in Prince Edward Island.
- to cooperatively develop and implement new initiatives and projects that meet regional immigration needs;
- to delineate the roles and responsibilities between Canada and Prince Edward Island for the promotion, recruitment, selection, admission, settlement and integration of Immigrants and Temporary Residents to Prince Edward Island;
- to provide Prince Edward Island with the opportunity to address its particular social, demographic, economic development and labour market needs, including responses to skills shortages;
- to foster cooperation in information sharing, research and evaluation and in ensuring the integrity of the programs of Canada and Prince Edward Island in respect of immigration;
- to consult and co-operate on programs and initiatives to settle and integrate Immigrants in Prince Edward Island including appropriate, fair and ongoing funding for settlement services provided in Prince Edward Island;
- to develop cooperation in achieving humanitarian goals
- to develop cooperation in reunification of family members;
- to collaborate in the development and implementation of strategies to address barriers to qualification recognition and integration of Immigrants into the labour market; and
- to develop cooperation in facilitating movements of temporary workers and students to Prince Edward Island.
2.3 The following annex is attached to, and forms part of, this Agreement:
Annex A – Provincial Nominees
2.4 For the purposes of this Agreement:
- except where otherwise provided in this Agreement, words used in this Agreement which are defined in the IRPA or in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (hereinafter referred to as the “IRPR”), have the same meaning as in that Act or those Regulations;
- a reference to the IRPA or the IRPR is a reference to that Act or those Regulations as amended from time to time. Otherwise, the following definitions will apply for the purposes of this Agreement.
- “Immigrant” means a permanent resident, including a Refugee unless the context indicates otherwise.
- “Temporary Resident” means a temporary worker, a student, or a visitor.
- “Refugee” means a protected person as defined in the IRPA.
- “Vulnerable Person” means a Convention Refugee abroad or a humanitarian-protected person abroad in greater need of protection than other applicants due to a heightened risk to their physical safety;
- “Person In Urgent Need of Protection” means a Convention Refugee abroad or a humanitarian-protected person facing an immediate threat to their life, liberty or physical safety and, if not protected, the person is likely to be killed, subjected to violence, torture, sexual assault or arbitrary imprisonment, or returned to their country of nationality or their former habitual residence.
- “Special Needs Person” means a person who has greater need for integration services than other applicants for protection abroad owing to personal circumstances, including: family size and composition; trauma resulting from violence or torture; medical disabilities; and/or the effects of systemic discrimination.
- “Resettlement Services” refer to specialized interventions funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and/or the voluntary sector to support the immediate and essential needs of refugees resettled from abroad.
- “Settlement and Integration Services” refer to settlement activities that are specifically designed to facilitate and expedite the economic and social integration of Immigrants in Canada. These activities include orientation, adult language training, settlement counselling, qualifications recognition activities, labour market preparation, temporary or one time interventions to facilitate adaptation of mainstream services to meet the needs of newcomers, and activities which help to develop a more informed and welcoming environment for newcomers to Canada. They do not include services to the general public that normally fall within the mandate of provincial governments, such as health and education services.
- “Party” means Canada or Prince Edward Island and “Parties” means Canada and Prince Edward Island.
3.0 Immigration Programs and Planning
3.1 Canada will establish Canadian immigration policy and develop an annual immigration plan in consultation with the provinces, taking into account Prince Edward Island’s immigration planning, including its demographic, social, and economic objectives and the particular needs of Prince Edward Island.
3.2 Canada will consult in a timely manner with Prince Edward Island on Canada’s immigration policy and immigration projections and respond to identified issues in shared immigration planning.
3.3 Prince Edward Island will conduct planning based on factors contributing to the social, economic and demographic growth of the province including, but not limited to, available resources, balanced growth, impact of immigration streams destined to the province, absorptive capacity, and regional development including the development of minority official language communities.
3.4 Prince Edward Island will provide Canada annually with an annual provincial nominee plan, to be considered in Canada’s immigration projections, and will provide comments on Canada’s immigration plan with respect to immigration to Prince Edward Island.
3.5 Canada, in consultation with Prince Edward Island, will develop an annual delivery plan for national immigration targets that will include provincial nominees, as well as annual targets for government assisted refugees as they relate to the Province.
3.6 Prince Edward Island will consult with immigration stakeholders on the province’s immigration policies, plans and programs.
3.7 Prince Edward Island will participate in multilateral consultation processes associated with developing or promoting national immigration initiatives or resolving conflicts.
3.8 Canada will cooperate with Prince Edward Island to provide opportunities to provincial staff for training, taking into account cost and resource restraints and, if required, negotiating cost-sharing approaches. It is recognized that employees of the Province of Prince Edward Island will be subject to security clearances required to access federal information.
3.9 Canada will consult Prince Edward Island on the development and implementation of policies that encourage reunification of family from abroad. Prince Edward Island will have the opportunity to participate in the development and implementation of those policies and programs that strengthen and enforce sponsorship provisions and obligations.
3.10 Prince Edward Island will plan to receive a share of refugees to be resettled in the province and, recognizing the need for flexibility in responding to emerging humanitarian needs, Prince Edward Island will receive a proportion of refugees who have special needs, are deemed to be vulnerable or are in urgent need of protection. In assigning a share of refugees to the province, Canada will, to the extent possible, take into account, the potential financial and program impact on Prince Edward Island resulting from variations in the number of urgent protection, vulnerable and special needs refugees to be resettled in Prince Edward Island.
4.0 Promotion and Recruitment
4.1 Canada and Prince Edward Island will share roles and responsibilities in the planning and implementation of immigration promotion and Immigrant recruitment activities abroad, recognizing Canada’s responsibility for coordinating such activities on a national level and Prince Edward Island’s intent to pursue a targeted immigration recruitment policy to meet its demographic, social and economic objectives.
4.2 Canada and Prince Edward Island will, where appropriate and subject to the agreement of the Parties, share responsibilities in public education and information regarding the benefits of immigration to Prince Edward Island.
4.3 Canada will endeavour to assist Prince Edward Island in identifying overseas labour market and demographic information, as available, to assist in niche market recruitment.
4.4 Canada and Prince Edward Island will share responsibilities to increase effective recruitment and to make promotional materials available for prospective Immigrants overseas, including access to current and realistic information on labour markets and international qualifications recognition.
4.5 Canada and Prince Edward Island will, where appropriate and subject to the agreement of the Parties, cooperate in the promotion and recruitment of Immigrants and Temporary Residents by working together in the following areas:
- Prince Edward Island will provide Canada with its annual provincial nominee levels plan and objectives, and Canada will ensure that its visa officers are informed about the national plan and objectives;
- Prince Edward Island will endeavour to provide Canada with information regarding the province’s demographic, educational, labour market and other needs, and Canada will endeavor to provide information to Prince Edward Island about optimum recruitment opportunities through Canadian missions abroad in order to meet Prince Edward Island’s immigration needs;
- Prince Edward Island will provide Canada with detailed information regarding the province’s needs for Immigrants and Temporary Residents, and Canada will provide this information to its visa offices and make it accessible to qualified prospective Immigrants and Temporary Residents;
- Canada and Prince Edward Island will establish mutually acceptable procedures, in accordance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and federal and provincial privacy legislation, for providing available information related to specific applicants for permanent and temporary residence destined to Prince Edward Island; and
- Canada will make all reasonable efforts to proactively manage the delivery of the immigration program to support the achievement of Prince Edward Island’s provincial nominee plan pursuant to section 2.3, bearing in mind federal priorities with respect to overall immigration targets, the mix of economic to non-economic landings, limitations related to the number of applications for Immigrants destined to Prince Edward Island received and able to be processed by CIC missions abroad, and current processing times and departmental priorities.
4.6 This Agreement does not preclude either Party from undertaking promotion and recruitment activities independently.
5.0 Selection and Admissibility
5.1 In accordance with the IRPA and the IRPR, Canada will have responsibility for:
- establishing selection criteria and selecting foreign nationals, taking into account the role of Prince Edward Island in nominating individuals within the provincial nominee class;
- determining Refugee status;
- prescribing classes of Immigrants; and
- defining which persons are inadmissible to Canada.
5.2 Canada will consult with Prince Edward Island on the admission of visitors to the province for the purposes of receiving medical care and treatment, where such purposes are known at the time of admission.
5.3 Canada will consult Prince Edward Island regarding medical inadmissibility cases destined to Prince Edward Island in cases where Canada is considering issuance of a temporary resident permit. Prince Edward Island can make recommendations on whether medical inadmissibility cases should be permitted to come into Canada, where Canada is considering the issuance of a temporary resident permit destined to Prince Edward Island. However, for all applicants who pose a danger to the public health of Canadians, CIC will determine the final decision regarding medical inadmissibility.
6.0 Resettlement, Settlement and Integration
6.1 Canada and Prince Edward Island recognize that full participation of newcomers in Canadian society is essential to achievement of the economic and social benefits of immigration policy and programs.
6.2 Canada and Prince Edward Island recognize the appropriate participation of stakeholders concerned with facilitating the settlement and integration of newcomers to Prince Edward Island, including municipal governments, education, health and human service sectors, immigrant and refugee serving agencies, religious and ethnic organizations, labour and business groups, as well as individuals.
6.3 Canada and Prince Edward Island agree to consult on information about the general settlement situation of Immigrants, as well as movements of Temporary Residents, in order to inform policy and program development and research, in accordance with respective federal and provincial privacy laws.
6.4 Canada agrees to maintain its role in providing programs for Refugees resettled from abroad that offer income support and address immediate and essential services to government-assisted refugees during their initial period in Canada.
6.5 Canada agrees to maintain its leadership role in providing programs to assist with the settlement and integration of Immigrants in Prince Edward Island.
6.6 Should new arrangements for realignment of settlement and integration services be agreed upon, including administration, delivery and funding, the roles and responsibilities of Canada and Prince Edward Island with respect to settlement and integration could be the subject of an Annex to this Agreement, or of a separate agreement.
6.7 Canada agrees to provide appropriate, fair and ongoing funding for settlement services delivered in Prince Edward Island under an allocation model, that will be developed in consultation with provinces and territories and that could include the following factors:
- relative demand for services will be based largely on recent share of landings of Immigrants and Refugees to provinces and territories;
- Immigrant and Refugee characteristics such as language ability will be considered as service demand factors; and
- the volatility and predictability of funding will be managed to minimize fluctuations in service levels.
6.8 Canada will inform Prince Edward Island by March 31 of each year of the amount of funding to be available nationally for settlement services for the subsequent two fiscal years, subject to appropriations by Parliament.
6.9 Canada will inform Prince Edward Island by November 1 of each year of its share of recent immigration for the purposes of calculating the province’s allocation of federal funds available for settlement services for the next fiscal year.
6.10 Canada and Prince Edward Island will continue to consult each other, as well as stakeholders concerned on services and programs available to Immigrants and Temporary Residents in the Province.
6.11 Canada and Prince Edward Island agree to participate in provincial and local mechanisms for co-operation on settling and integrating Immigrants.
6.12 Canada will work in cooperation with Prince Edward Island to secure better recognition of the foreign qualifications of permanent residents and their more rapid integration into the labour market. This does not preclude either Party from taking independent action to address qualifications recognition in Prince Edward Island.
6.13 Canada and Prince Edward Island will work together to promote full participation of Immigrants in Prince Edward Island and Canadian society, while recognizing Canada’s responsibility for determining conditions related to the granting of Canadian citizenship.
7.0 Information Sharing and Research
7.1 In the interest of immigration levels planning, policy development, program design and evaluation, program delivery and integrity, research, and efforts to reduce overlap and avoid duplication, Canada and Prince Edward Island agree to cooperate by exchanging information and sharing research results, subject to sections 7.6 and 7.7 below, and which may require developing formal mechanisms, such as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on information sharing.
7.2 Canada, in consultation with Prince Edward Island, will investigate the possibility of putting in place a means to provide Prince Edward Island with adequate access to current and future case processing systems in support of the administration of the Provincial Nominee Program.
7.3 Canada and Prince Edward Island agree to encourage immigration research, to consult annually on research priorities and planned research activities, and to cooperate on common research initiatives, as appropriate.
7.4 Canada and Prince Edward Island agree to inform each other in a timely manner of any immigration-related information sharing and research agreements or formal negotiations with government departments, municipalities and other parties concerned under provincial jurisdiction, such as school boards, professional, occupational and similar licensing bodies, quasi-governmental organizations and provincial Crown corporations, settlement agencies, and immigrant serving agencies.
7.5 Canada and Prince Edward Island will establish mutually acceptable procedures, subject to sections 7.6 and 7.7 below, for Canada to provide statistical reports to Prince Edward Island on:
- individuals destined to Prince Edward Island whose immigration applications are being considered by Canada;
- the issuance of immigrant visas to persons destined to the Province;
- landings of persons destined to the Province;
- temporary resident permits, work permits, and study permits issued to applicants destined to the Province; and
- additional reports as agreed to by both Parties.
7.6 Canada and Prince Edward Island will ensure that any exchange of information, particularly personal information, will be conducted in accordance with applicable federal and provincial legislation and in accordance with their respective policies relating to protection of privacy, access to information and security of records.
7.7 All agreements between the Parties will provide for the exchange or sharing of personal information in accordance with:
- the Privacy Act and supporting guidelines on Privacy and Data Protection and the Government of Canada Security Policy and supporting operating directives and guidelines covering the administrative, technical and physical safeguarding of any personal information; and
- The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of the Province of Prince Edward Island, whichever shall apply.
8.0 Program Integrity
8.1 Recognizing that it is in their mutual interest and benefit, Canada and Prince Edward Island will work together to ensure that their respective programs, as they relate to Immigrants and Temporary Residents, respect the program and policy interests of Canada and Prince Edward Island.
8.2 Canada and Prince Edward Island will cooperate, to the extent possible, with respect to ensuring the integrity of their respective programs, including, but not limited to such activities as: sharing information, conducting research and establishing mutual reporting arrangements; auditing, program evaluation, and investigating potential program abuse. Canada and Prince Edward Island will also work collaboratively with agencies, as required, to address issues relating to admissibility.
8.3 The commitment to cooperation pursuant to section 8.2 shall not be interpreted by either Party to impose legal, financial or other obligations beyond specific arrangements and conditions which are already in operation or are mutually agreed upon.
8.4 Canada and Prince Edward Island will consult on the development and implementation of national measures to recognize immigration representatives. Canada recognizes Prince Edward Island’s right to develop and implement its own measures consistent with provincial jurisdiction and federal legislation.
9.1 A Joint Program Management Committee will be established with a general mandate to oversee the implementation of this Agreement, including exchanging information relevant to the activities of this committee, acting as the forum for the annual consultation on immigration levels, and addressing policy or operational issues that have an impact on the implementation of this Agreement.
9.2 The Joint Program Management Committee will meet at least once annually and will be co-chaired by the Regional Director General for the Atlantic Region, the Director of Intergovernmental and Stakeholder Relations of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Director of Immigration Services, Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning, Government of Prince Edward Island, and their successors or designates. Members of this committee will include, as appropriate, Citizenship and Immigration Regional and National Headquarters officials and representatives of federal departments and provincial ministries responsible for programs and services related to immigration.
9.3 The Joint Program Management Committee may establish, by mutual agreement, ad hoc groups or sub-committees, with third party participation if appropriate, for the purpose of implementing this Agreement
9.4 In the case of a dispute or disagreement under this Agreement, Canada and PEI officials will attempt to resolve the matter.
9.5 Procedures for addressing disputed issues will be determined by the Joint Management Committee. Such procedures will be flexible, provide equal opportunities for representation by each Party, establish clear time limits and ensure clarity for the implementation of final decisions.
10.0 General Provisions
10.1 Canada and Prince Edward Island will take all reasonable measures necessary to implement this Agreement.
10.2 Canada and Prince Edward Island agree to consult each other with reasonable advance notice when either Party is contemplating a policy, program or legislative change that could have a significant impact, fiscal or otherwise, on the other Party and on the operation of this Agreement.
10.3 In keeping with the purpose and scope of this Agreement, Canada will be open and transparent concerning its intention to enter into agreements with other provinces relating to immigration and Canada will provide, at Prince Edward Island’s request, other federal-provincial agreements made under subsection 8(1) of the IRPA and subsection 5(1) of the DCIA, and will negotiate amendments to this Agreement, including any annex to this Agreement, taking into consideration the different needs and circumstances of the provinces.
10.4 The French and English language versions of this Agreement are equally authoritative.
10.5 Canada and Prince Edward Island will provide advance notice to each other of announcements relating to funding and new initiatives relevant to the Agreement and, where appropriate, explore the possibility of joint communications by the Parties.
10.6 This Agreement may be amended by the mutual written consent of the Parties, subject to any required approval or authorization, including the approval of the Governor in Council.
10.7 The Joint Program Management Committee will from time to time, and not less than every five (5) years, review this Agreement for the purpose of determining whether any amendments pursuant to section 10.5 are desired.
10.8 Either Party may terminate this Agreement at any time by providing at least twelve (12) months notice in writing to the other Party. Upon notice of termination, the Joint Program Management Committee will negotiate a transition strategy.
10.9 In the event of a conflict, specific arrangements for duration, amendments and termination as detailed in the Annex to this Agreement take precedence over sections 10.6 and 10.7. The termination of the Annex to this Agreement does not affect the continuation of the General Provisions. Similarly, the termination of the General Provisions does not affect the continuation of the Annex, and all of the provisions of this Agreement necessary to give full force and effect to the intent of the Annex will survive any termination of the Agreement.
10.10 Any notice to Canada must be sent to:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1
Any notice to Prince Edward Island must be sent to :
Innovation and Advanced Learning
Government of Prince Edward Island
Shaw Building, 5th Floor
105 Rochford Street
P.O. Box 2000
10.11 Any notice, information or document provided for under this Agreement may be delivered or sent by letter, electronic mail or facsimile, postage or other charges prepaid. Any notice that is delivered will be deemed to have been received on delivery; any notice sent by electronic mail or facsimile will be deemed to have been received one working day after having been sent, and any notice mailed will be deemed to have been received eight (8) calendar days after being mailed.
10.12 This Agreement supersedes the prior agreement dated March 29, 2001.
10.13 This Agreement will come into force when signed by the last of the Parties to do so.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF this Agreement has been signed by the Parties on the dates written below.
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
The Honourable Diane Finley
Minister, Citizenship and Immigration
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
The Honourable Richard Brown
Minister, Innovation and Advanced Learning
Annex A — Provincial Nominees
1.1 Both Parties recognize that Prince Edward Island has particular labour market needs and circumstances and that these can be accommodated through the Prince Edward Island Immigrant Nominee Program insofar as they are not incompatible with national immigration policy.
1.2 Both Parties recognize the importance of supporting and assisting the development of minority official language communities in Prince Edward Island.
2.0 Purpose and Objectives
2.1 The objective of this Annex is to increase the economic benefits of immigration to Prince Edward Island, based on economic priorities and labour market conditions, by providing Prince Edward Island with a mechanism to admit Provincial Nominees to Prince Edward Island while taking into account the importance of supporting and assisting the development of minority official language communities in Prince Edward Island.
2.2 To admit Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominees for permanent residence as expeditiously as possible, taking into account:
- Prince Edward Island’s Provincial Nominee levels plan;
- Canada’s immigration projections;
- statutory requirements; and
- operational and resource constraints, as well as service standards as developed.
3.0 Assessment and Nomination
3.1 Prince Edward Island has the sole and non-transferable responsibility to assess and nominate candidates who, in Prince Edward Island’s determination:
- will be of benefit to the economic development of Prince Edward Island; and
- have a strong likelihood of becoming economically established in Prince Edward Island.
3.2 Provincial Nominee applicants may be nominated on the basis of economic benefit to Prince Edward Island, including long-term regional growth and community development.
3.3 In exercising its nomination authority under this Agreement, Prince Edward Island will follow the procedures and criteria for nomination established by Prince Edward Island, as amended from time to time. Prince Edward Island will share its criteria with Canada and keep written records of its assessments of its nominees against those criteria.
3.4 Prince Edward Island will develop an annual Provincial Nominee plan based on principles established by Prince Edward Island, and will share this plan with Canada.
3.5 Prince Edward Island’s annual Provincial Nominee plan will be submitted to Canada in a timely manner to allow for levels planning for the following year. Canada undertakes to incorporate Prince Edward Island’s Provincial Nominee objectives into the operational targets set for visa offices. The targets, which will be agreed to by both Parties, may be exceeded at any time during the year, upon agreement by both Parties.
3.6 Prince Edward Island will issue a dated Certificate of Nomination, valid in accordance with Prince Edward Island’s administrative requirements for each Provincial Nominee. For security reasons, Prince Edward Island will forward a copy of the certificate to the mission where the candidate will apply for admission. A nomination certificate received directly from the candidate or other Parties will not be accepted as evidence pursuant to sections 3.8 and 3.9.
3.7 Canada agrees to process applicants nominated for permanent resident status by Prince Edward Island as expeditiously as possible with a view to achieving targets that have been integrated into Canada’s annual delivery plan.
3.8 Upon receipt of the Certificate of Nomination from Prince Edward Island, Canada will:
- exercise the final selection in accordance with the relevant regulations;
- determine the admissibility of the nominee and his or her dependants with respect to legislative requirements including health, criminality and security; and
- issue permanent resident visas to Provincial Nominees and accompanying dependants who meet all the eligibility and admissibility requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations and of this Annex.
3.9 Canada will consider a Certificate of Nomination issued by Prince Edward Island as a determination that admission is of benefit to the economic development of Prince Edward Island and that Prince Edward Island has conducted due diligence to ensure that the applicant has the ability and is likely to become economically established in Prince Edward Island.
3.10 Processing of applications and issuance of visas may continue beyond the calendar year in which the Certificate of Nomination was issued.
3.11 Should Canada determine that an individual nominated by Prince Edward Island is likely to be refused a permanent resident visa based on the applicant’s membership in the Provincial Nominee Class as per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, Prince Edward Island will be notified immediately and consulted regarding the reasons for possible refusal.
3.12 Prince Edward Island may raise concerns or seek clarification from the assessing officer at the relevant mission with respect to a potential refusal, where the refusal is based on an applicant’s membership in the Provincial Nominee Class as per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, within ninety (90) days from the date of being advised by Canada. Further representation, if necessary, may be made to the program manager at the mission within the 90-day period.
3.13 Should Canada determine that an individual nominated by Prince Edward Island is likely to be refused a permanent resident visa based on the applicant’s admissibility as per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations, Canada will forward a copy of the refusal letter to Prince Edward Island.
3.14 Where an individual nominated by Prince Edward Island has received a job offer from a Prince Edward Island-based employer, the responsible Canadian visa officer may issue a temporary work permit pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, if the work permit application includes a letter from Prince Edward Island that:
- states that the nominated individual is urgently required by the employer; and
- determines that:
- the job offer is genuine and would create economic, social or cultural benefits or opportunities;
- the employment is not part-time or seasonal; and
- the wages and working conditions of the employment would be sufficient to attract and retain Canadian citizens, and
- requests the visa officer to issue a temporary work permit.
3.15 Prince Edward Island will not issue a Certificate of Nomination to anyone whose employment will affect the settlement of any labour dispute or affect the employment of a person involved in such a dispute, or where their employment will adversely affect employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Prince Edward Island.
4.0 Promotion and Recruitment
4.1 In furtherance of the objectives of this Annex, Prince Edward Island will undertake active recruitment initiatives designed to implement its strategy on immigration including:
- participation at trade fairs and other targeted missions;
- development of promotional materials describing the nature and quality of life in Prince Edward Island;
- provision of information on a Prince Edward Island-maintained website to prospective permanent residents on occupation certification and business requirements for working in Prince Edward Island;
- preparation of information for staff working in Canadian missions abroad; and
- consultation with representatives of the francophone community in Prince Edward Island.
4.2 Canada agrees to make all practical efforts to assist Prince Edward Island to identify prospective permanent residents to fulfill Prince Edward Island’s targets in its immigration strategy (subject to limitations imposed by conditions faced at missions at the relevant times, including competing promotional interests of other provinces and territories), including:
- directing potential applicants through Immigration Canada’s website, to visit the Prince Edward Island website;
- displaying promotional materials provided by Prince Edward Island at selected missions abroad;
- participating in provincially initiated missions to attract permanent residents within the limits of mission resources; and
- inviting Prince Edward Island to participate, as appropriate, in training or information sharing exercises with program managers and other mission staff to communicate the province’s specific needs and opportunities.
5.0 Program Evaluation and Information Exchange
5.1 Canada and Prince Edward Island recognize the importance of evaluating the Provincial Nominee Program in order to determine its impacts and outcomes in Prince Edward Island. Accordingly, immediately following the date of the signing of the Agreement, Canada and Prince Edward Island will negotiate an evaluation activity plan that will ensure that sufficient data and analysis are completed and available at appropriate intervals so that it might form the basis of discussions regarding the modification of this Annex.
5.2 Subject to 5.3, Canada and Prince Edward Island agree to share information on prospective and actual permanent residents so as to aid in the evaluation and management of Prince Edward Island’s Provincial Nominee Program. This will include information with respect to the retention of Prince Edward Island’s Provincial Nominees within the province and the community to which the nominee was originally destined.
5.3 Canada and Prince Edward Island will ensure that any exchange of information shall be conducted in accordance with applicable federal and provincial legislation and in accordance with their policies relating to protection of privacy, access to information and security of records.
5.4 In order to facilitate the exchange of information between Canada and Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward Island will obtain from each nominee and his or her dependents a signed release allowing Canada to share with Prince Edward Island information regarding the nominee’s application, including the processing thereof.
6.1 The designated representatives for the purpose of communication and notification pursuant to this Annex are:
- for Canada, the Director, Permanent Resident Policy and Programs, Immigration Branch; and
- for Prince Edward Island, the Director, Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program.
6.2 The Ministers or their designates shall meet at least once annually, for the purposes of:
- ensuring that necessary communication for the furtherance of activities under this Annex takes place, including the exchange of information regarding likely processing times for Provincial Nominees, and ways that Canada and Prince Edward Island can cooperate to optimize these processing times; and
- providing a forum for the consideration and resolution of disputes between the Parties with respect to the selection decisions of Canada regarding the admission, or denial of admission, of specific Provincial Nominee candidates.
6.3 Practices under this Annex are subject to audit by the respective audit and evaluation agencies of Canada and Prince Edward Island. The Parties agree to provide full cooperation and information if, when and where such audits take place.
6.4 Subject to section 6.5, this Annex will remain in effect indefinitely.
6.5 This Annex may be amended at any time by mutual written consent, subject to any required approval or authorization, including the approval of the Governor in Council.
6.6 This Annex may be terminated by either Party by written notice provided at least twelve (12) months in advance.
6. 7 In keeping with the purpose and scope of this Annex, Canada will be open and transparent concerning its intention to enter into agreements with other provinces respecting Provincial Nominee Programs and Canada will provide, at Prince Edward Island’s request, other federal provincial agreements made under subsection 8(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and subsection 5(1) of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, and will negotiate amendments to this Annex, taking into consideration the different needs and circumstances of the provinces.
6. 8 Prince Edward Island shall not nominate, as a Provincial Nominee, any applicant who intends to enter, has agreed to enter, or has entered into a “passive investment proposal”, as described in subsection 87(6) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or any amendments thereto.
6. 9 Prince Edward Island will advise Canada on any proposed arrangement to be entered into with another party to carry out Prince Edward Island’s nomination responsibilities under this Annex.
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