Canada-Saskatchewan Immigration Agreement, 2005
Original signed May 7, 2005
0.1 This agreement is between Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada as Represented by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (herein after referred to as “Canada”) and THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PROVINCE OF SASKATCHEWAN, as represented by the Minister Responsible for Immigration (hereafter called “Saskatchewan”).
0.2 TAKING INTO ACCOUNT Section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867, whereby immigration is a shared responsibility.
0.3 AND WHEREAS the Parliament of Canada has enacted the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27, as amended, under this responsibility.
0.4 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.
0.5 AND WHEREAS the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the equality of status to English and French as the official languages of Canada.
0.6 AND WHEREAS Section 10(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act S.C. 2001 as amended, (hereinafter referred to as 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.
0.7 AND WHEREAS Section 8(1) of the IRPA authorizes 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.
0.8 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.
0.9 AND WHEREAS the Multiculturalism Act of Saskatchewan recognizes that it is the policy of the Government of Saskatchewan to promote awareness and understanding of the social, cultural and economic benefits of continuing immigration to Saskatchewan and to facilitate the settlement of immigrants in Saskatchewan and their adaptation to and integration into Saskatchewan society.
0.10 AND WHEREAS Saskatchewan recognizes the objectives 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 Saskatchewan;
0.11 AND WHEREAS Canada and Saskatchewan 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.
0.12 AND WHEREAS Canada’s international obligations include its commitments to the protection of refugees, as reflected in Section 3(2) of the IRPA.
0.13 AND WHEREAS Saskatchewan recognizes the importance of family reunification and shared commitment with respect to humanitarian considerations of refugees.
0.14 AND WHEREAS Canada and Saskatchewan recognize the benefits of international study in the province.
0.15 AND WHEREAS the Minister Responsible for Immigration is authorized to enter into this agreement with Canada under The Federal-Provincial Agreements Act, RSS. 1978 c. F-13, as amended, and by Order in Council under section 16 of the Executive Government Organization Act of Saskatchewan.
0.16 AND WHEREAS Canada and Saskatchewan share a mutual interest in:
- enhancing the role of immigration in addressing demographic, economic and labour market trends in Saskatchewan
- planning and coordinating their immigration activities, based on cooperation, consultation and information sharing;
- the principle that equitable federal funding be available for settlement and integration activities based upon an allocation model developed in consultation with Saskatchewan;
- 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 family reunification and a shared commitment with respect to humanitarian considerations of refugees;
- enhancing the vitality of minority official language communities in Saskatchewan;
- 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;
- consulting on the impact of national security measures; and
- recognizing the benefits of citizenship and providing supports for eligible immigrants in acquiring Canadian citizenship.
0.17 THE PARTIES HERETO agree on the following in order to determine their respective areas of activity relating to immigrants, refugees, and temporary residents in order to meet the needs of Canada and Saskatchewan:
- THAT this agreement relates to the planning of levels and composition of immigration to Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan and Canadian society, the sharing of information and cooperative efforts to ensure the integrity of the programs of Canada and Saskatchewan 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, admission and control of immigrants and temporary residents and refugee claimants. Canada will discharge these responsibilities in particular by defining classes of foreign nationals and classes of persons who are inadmissible into Canada, by establishing the conditions for the granting of citizenship, as defined in the Citizenship Act, and by ensuring the fulfillment of Canada’s international obligations with respect to refugees;
- THAT Saskatchewan will advise Canada regarding its annual immigration levels plans for provincial nominees; and
- THAT Saskatchewan 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.
1.0 Purpose, Objectives and Definitions
1.1 The purpose of this Agreement is to define the respective roles and responsibilities of Canada and Saskatchewan relating to permanent and temporary residents wishing to come to Saskatchewan under the IRPA.
1.2 The objectives of the Agreement are:
- to foster an effective partnership between Canada and Saskatchewan for the promotion, recruitment, selection, admission, control, settlement and integration of immigrants to the province;
- to establish processes for Canada and Saskatchewan to consult and cooperate on the development and implementation of policies, programs, and mechanisms to influence the levels and composition of immigrants to Saskatchewan and to Canada, including those to support and assist the development of minority official language communities in Saskatchewan.
- to cooperatively develop and implement new initiatives and projects that meet regional immigration needs;
- to coordinate the roles and responsibilities between Canada and Saskatchewan for the promotion, recruitment, selection, admission, control, settlement and integration of immigrants and temporary residents to Saskatchewan;
- to provide Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan in respect of immigration;
- to consult and co-operate on programs and initiatives to settle and integrate immigrants in Saskatchewan including appropriate, fair, and ongoing funding for settlement services provided in Saskatchewan;
- to develop cooperation in achieving humanitarian goals and family reunification;
- 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 Saskatchewan.
1.3 Along with the general provisions of this Agreement, the following annexes form part of this Agreement:
Annex A – Provincial Nominees
1.4 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;
- “immigrant”, as used in this Agreement, means permanent residents, protected persons and Convention refugees, as defined in the IRPA;
- “temporary resident” means temporary workers, students, visitors and refugee claimants, as defined in the IRPA and IRPR;
- “refugee” means a Convention refugee, a person in similar circumstances, or a protected person as defined in the IRPA to be resettled in Saskatchewan;
- “vulnerable person” means an individual in greater need of protection than other refugees due to a heightened risk to their physical safety;
- “Settlement and integration services” as referred to in section 5.0 encompass activities that are specifically designed to facilitate the early economic and social integration of newcomers to Canada. These services are: orientation, reception, adult language training, settlement counseling, community bridging, referral to other services, labour market preparation, business activity preparation, temporary or one-time interventions to facilitate service adaptations in mainstream public services in light of newcomer settlement needs, immigrant sectoral supports and activities which help to develop a more informed and welcoming environment for newcomers to Canada. Notwithstanding the terms of this or any other provision in this Agreement, live-in caregivers are not eligible for adult language training funded under this Agreement or community bridging services.
- “person in urgent need of protection” means an individual 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; and
- “special needs person” means that a person has greater need of settlement assistance than other applicants for protection abroad owing to personal circumstances, including: a large number of family members; trauma resulting from violence or torture; medical disabilities; and/or, the effects of systemic discrimination, etc.
2.0 Immigration Programs and Planning
2.1 Canada will establish Canadian immigration policy and develop an annual immigration plan in consultation with the provinces, taking into account Saskatchewan’s immigration planning including its demographic, social, and economic objectives and the particular needs of the Province.
2.2 Canada will consult in a timely manner with Saskatchewan on Canada’s immigration policy and immigration projections and respond to identified issues in shared immigration planning.
2.3 Saskatchewan will provide Canada annually with a multi-year provincial nominee plan, to be considered in Canada’s immigration projections, and provide comments on Canada’s immigration plan with respect to immigration to Saskatchewan.
2.4 Saskatchewan 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.
2.5 Canada will consult with Saskatchewan on annual refugee targets as they relate to Saskatchewan, and will develop an annual delivery plan for federal immigration targets that may include, on agreement by both parties, specific targets for Saskatchewan by immigration class including provincial nominees.
2.6 Saskatchewan will consult with immigration stakeholders on the province’s immigration policies, plans and programs.
2.7 Canada and Saskatchewan agree to consult each other with reasonable advance notice when either party is contemplating a policy, program or legislative change which could have a significant impact, fiscal or otherwise on the other Party and on the operation of this Agreement.
2.8 Saskatchewan will participate in multilateral consultation processes associated with developing or promoting national immigration initiatives or resolving conflicts.
2.9 Canada will cooperate with Saskatchewan to provide opportunities to provincial staff for training, including training at Canadian visa offices, taking into account cost and resource restraints and, if required, negotiating cost sharing approaches. It is recognized that employees of the Province of Saskatchewan will be subject to security clearances required to access federal information.
2.10 Canada will consult Saskatchewan on the development and implementation of policies that encourage reunification of family from abroad. Saskatchewan will have the opportunity to participate in the development and implementation of those policies and programs that strengthen and enforce sponsorship provisions and obligations.
2.11 Saskatchewan 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, Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan resulting from variations in the number of urgent protection, vulnerable and special needs refugees to be resettled in Saskatchewan.
3.0 Promotion and Recruitment
3.1 Canada and Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan’s intent to pursue an immigration recruitment policy to meet its demographic, social and economic objectives.
3.2 Canada and Saskatchewan will share responsibilities in public education and information regarding the benefits of immigration to Saskatchewan.
3.3 Canada will endeavour to provide Saskatchewan with overseas labour market and demographic information as available to assist in niche market recruitment.
3.4 Canada and Saskatchewan will share responsibilities to increase effective recruitment and promotional materials available for prospective immigrants overseas, including access to current and realistic information on labour markets and international qualifications recognition.
3.5 Canada and Saskatchewan will cooperate in the promotion and recruitment of provincial nominees, skilled worker and business immigrant and temporary resident movements, such as students and workers, by working together in the following areas:
- Saskatchewan will provide Canada with Saskatchewan’s annual provincial nominee levels plan and objectives and Canada will ensure that its visa officers are informed about the plan and objectives;
- Saskatchewan will endeavour to provide Canada with information regarding the province’s demographic, educational, labour market and other needs, and Canada will provide information to Saskatchewan about optimum recruitment opportunities through Canadian missions abroad, in order to meet Saskatchewan’s immigration needs;
- Saskatchewan will provide Canada with detailed information regarding the province’s needs for immigrants and temporary residents and Canada will provide to its visa offices this information and make it accessible to qualified prospective immigrants and temporary residents;
- Canada and Saskatchewan will establish mutually acceptable procedures in accordance with federal and provincial privacy legislation for providing available information related to specific applicants for permanent and temporary residence destined to the Province; and
- Canada will make all reasonable efforts to proactively manage the delivery of its program, 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 received and that can be processed by missions for immigrants destined to Saskatchewan and current processing times and priorities, to support the achievement of the Province’s provincial nominee plan pursuant to section 2.3.
3.6 This Agreement does not preclude either party from undertaking promotion and recruitment activities independently.
4.1 In accordance with the IRPA and regulations, Canada shall have responsibility for:
- establishing selection criteria and selecting immigrants, taking into account the role of Saskatchewan in nominating individuals within the provincial nominee class;
- determining refugee status;
- defining categories of immigrants; and
- defining persons who are inadmissible to Canada.
4.2 Canada will consult with Saskatchewan 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.
4.3 Canada will consult Saskatchewan regarding medical inadmissibility cases destined to Saskatchewan where Canada is considering issuance of a temporary resident permit. Saskatchewan will have the authority to 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 Saskatchewan.
5.0 Settlement and Integration
5.1 Canada and Saskatchewan recognize that full participation of newcomers in Canadian society is essential to the economic and social benefits of immigration policy and programs.
5.2 Canada and Saskatchewan will recognize the appropriate participation of other parties concerned with facilitating the integration of newcomers to Saskatchewan, including municipal governments, education, health and human service sectors, settlement and immigrant serving agencies, religious and ethnic organizations, labour and business groups, as well as individuals.
5.3 Canada and Saskatchewan agree to consult on information about the general settlement situation of immigrants and refugees, and movements of temporary residents, in order to inform policy and program development and research, in accordance with respective federal and provincial privacy laws.
5.4 Canada agrees to maintain its role in providing programs to settle and integrate immigrants in Saskatchewan, and provide income support and immediate essential services to government assisted refugees during their initial period in Canada.
5.5 Should new arrangements for realignment of settlement and integration services, including administration, delivery and funding, be agreed upon, the roles and responsibilities of Canada and Saskatchewan with respect to settlement and integration could be the subject of an Annex to this Agreement, or of a separate agreement.
5.6 Canada agrees to provide appropriate, fair, and ongoing funding for settlement services delivered in Saskatchewan under an allocation model, which will be developed in consultation with provinces and territories, and that will include the 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 like 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.
5.7 Canada will inform Saskatchewan by April 1 of each year of the amount of funding planned to be available nationally for the subsequent three fiscal years, subject to appropriations by Parliament.
5.8 Canada will inform Saskatchewan by November 1 of each year of its share of recent immigration for the purposes of calculating Saskatchewan’s allocation of federal funds available for settlement services for the next fiscal year.
5.9 Canada and Saskatchewan will continue to consult each other and other parties concerned on services and programs available to immigrants and temporary residents.
5.10 Canada and Saskatchewan agree to participate in provincial and local mechanisms for co-operation on settling and integrating immigrants.
5.11 Canada will work in cooperation with Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan.
5.12 Canada and Saskatchewan will work together to promote full participation of immigrants in Saskatchewan and Canadian society, while recognizing Canada’s responsibility for determining conditions related to the granting of Canadian citizenship.
6.0 Information Sharing and Research
6.1 In the interest of immigration levels planning, policy development, program design and evaluation, program delivery and integrity, research and reducing overlap and avoiding duplication, Canada and Saskatchewan agree to cooperate by exchanging information and sharing research.
6.2 Canada in consultation with Saskatchewan will investigate and develop a mean of providing Saskatchewan with adequate access to current and future case processing systems in support of the administration of the Provincial Nominee Program.
6.3 Canada and Saskatchewan agree to encourage immigration research, to consult annually on research priorities and planned research activities, and to cooperate on common research initiatives, as appropriate.
6.4 Canada and Saskatchewan 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.
6.5 Canada and Saskatchewan 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 policies relating to protection of privacy, access to information and security of records.
6.6 Canada and Saskatchewan will establish mutually acceptable procedures for Canada to provide statistical reports to Saskatchewan on:
- individuals destined to Saskatchewan 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; and
- temporary residence permits, work permits, and study permits issued to applicants destined to the province; and
- additional reports as agreed to by both parties.
6.7 All agreements between the parties will provide for the exchange or sharing of 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 (the said supporting guidelines, policies and directives hereinafter referred to as the “Supporting Guidelines”); provided that Saskatchewan is provided with prior written notice of the Supporting Guidelines and of any changes made from time to time to those Supporting Guidelines; or
- The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of the Province of Saskatchewan and related Regulations, directives and guidelines governing the administrative, technical and physical safeguarding of the Personal Information;whichever shall apply.
7.0 Program Integrity
7.1 Recognizing that it is in their mutual interest and benefit, Canada and Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan.
7.2 Canada and Saskatchewan will cooperate, to the extent possible, with respect to ensuring the integrity of their respective programs, including, but not limited to such immigration control and enforcement matters as: sharing information, conducting research and establishing mutual reporting arrangements; auditing, investigating matters of program abuse, enlisting the cooperation of other agencies in addressing issues of criminality and public safety, coordinating and streamlining the treatment of enforcement cases involving both jurisdictions, sharing services and facilities, such as for the purposes of detention.
7.3 The commitment to cooperation pursuant to Section 7.2 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.
7.4 Canada and Saskatchewan will consult on the development and implementation of national measures to regulate immigration representatives. Canada recognizes Saskatchewan’s right to develop and implement its own measures consistent with provincial jurisdiction.
8.1 A Joint Program Management Committee will be established with a general mandate to oversee the implementation of this Agreement, including exchanging information, 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.
8.2 The Joint Program Management Committee shall meet at least once annually and shall be co-chaired by the Regional Director for the Prairie Region, Department of Citizenship and Immigration, and the Director of Immigration, Government Relations, Government of Saskatchewan, or their designates. Members of this committee shall include, as appropriate, Citizenship and Immigration Regional and National Headquarters officials and, federal departments and provincial ministries responsible for programs and services related to immigration.
8.3 The Joint Program Management Committee may establish, by mutual agreement, adhoc groups or sub-committees, with third party participation if appropriate, for the purpose of implementing this Agreement.
9.1 Canada and Saskatchewan will take all reasonable measures necessary to implement this Agreement.
9.2 Canada and Saskatchewan, to the extent possible, will provide reasonable advance notice and opportunity for discussion of policy, program or legislative changes which could have a material effect (financial or otherwise) on immigrants and temporary residents in the province.
9.3 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 respecting immigration and Canada will provide, at Saskatchewan’s request, other federal provincial agreements made under Section 8 (1) of the IRPA, and will negotiate amendments to this Agreement, taking into consideration the different needs and circumstances of the provinces.
9.4 The French and English language versions of this agreement are equally authoritative.
9.5 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.
9.6 The Joint Program Management Committee will from time to time, and not less than every five years, review this Agreement for the purpose of determining whether any amendments pursuant to section 9.5 are desired.
9.7 Either party may terminate this Agreement at any time by providing at least 12 months notice in writing to the other party. Upon notice of termination, the Joint Program Management Committee will negotiate a transition strategy.
9.8 Specific arrangements for duration, amendments and termination as detailed in the Annex to this Agreement take precedence over sections 9.5 and 9.7. If an Annex to this Agreement is not terminated at the time this Agreement is terminated, this Agreement remains in effect to the extent necessary to give full force and effect to the intent of the Annex.
9.9 This agreement supersedes the prior Agreement dated March 16, 1998.
9.10 This Agreement will come into force when signed by both parties.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF this Agreement has been signed by the parties on the dates written below:
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA:
The Honourable Joe Volpe
Minister, Citizenship and Immigration
Deputy Minister, Citizenship and Immigration
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF SASKATCHEWAN:
The Honourable Pat Atkinson
Minister Responsible for Immigration
Deputy Minister, Government Relations
Annex A - Provincial Nominees
1.1 Section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867 recognizes the concurrent powers of legislation of the federal and provincial governments in immigration matters;
1.2 Both parties recognize that Saskatchewan has particular labour market needs and circumstances and that these can be accommodated through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program insofar as they are not incompatible with national immigration policy;
1.3 Both parties recognize the importance of encouraging the development of the francophone community in Saskatchewan;
1.4 Section 8 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act authorizes the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, with the approval of the Governor in Council, to enter into an agreement with any province or group of provinces for the purpose of that Act;
1.5 The Federal-Provincial Agreements Act, RSS. 1978 c. F-13, as amended provides Saskatchewan with the authority to enter into this Agreement with Canada; and
1.6 Both parties intend to enter into an agreement pursuant to section 87 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations governing the appointment of Provincial Nominees;
1.7 The Annex to the Canada-Saskatchewan Immigration Agreement on the Provincial Nominees Pilot, which came into force on March 16, 1998, is replaced by this new Annex.
2.1 For the purposes of this Annex:
- except where otherwise provided in this agreement, words used in the agreement which are defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, R.S.C. 2001, as amended or in the Regulations to that Act, have the same meaning as in that Act or those Regulations; and
- a reference to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or its Regulations is a reference to that Act or those Regulations as amended from time to time.
3.0 PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
3.1 The objective of the annex is to increase the economic benefits of immigration to Saskatchewan, based on economic priorities and labour market conditions, by providing Saskatchewan with a mechanism to admit Provincial Nominees to Saskatchewan while taking into account the importance of encouraging the development of the francophone community in Saskatchewan.
3.2 To admit Saskatchewan Provincial Nominees for permanent residence as expeditiously as possible, taking into account:
- Saskatchewan’s provincial nominee levels plan;
- Canada’s immigration projections;
- Statutory requirements; and
- Operational and resource constraints, and service standards as developed.
4.0 NOMINATION AND SELECTION
4.1 Promotion of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, and recruitment of nominees will be the responsibility of Saskatchewan.
4.2 Provincial Nominees may be nominated for purposes determined to be of significant economic benefit to Saskatchewan, including but not limited to, meeting critical skills shortages, facilitating the immigration of key individuals of corporations that wish to locate in Saskatchewan, and meeting the Province’s specific economic needs, including regional needs.
4.3 Where the admission of individuals is considered by Saskatchewan to be of significant benefit to its economic development, Saskatchewan may nominate candidates for immigration as Provincial Nominees. In exercising its nomination authority under this annex, Saskatchewan will follow the procedures and criteria for nomination established by Saskatchewan, as amended from time to time. Saskatchewan will keep or cause to be kept written records of its assessments of its nominees against these criteria.
4.4 Saskatchewan’s provincial nominee levels plan will be submitted to Canada in a timely manner to allow for levels planning for the following year. Canada undertakes to incorporate Saskatchewan’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.
4.5 Saskatchewan will issue a dated nomination certificate, valid for 180 days, in respect of each person it wishes Canada to consider for immigration as a Provincial Nominee. For security reasons, Saskatchewan will deliver a copy of the certificate, or communicate the fact of issuance 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 section 4.9.
4.6 Candidates who are nominated by Saskatchewan shall be considered Provincial Nominees as described in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Regulations. Nominees must file an application for immigration within 180 days of the issuance of the nomination certificate.
4.7 Wherever possible, the admission of immigrants nominated by Saskatchewan will be expedited as much as feasible, taking into account statutory requirements with respect to admissibility on medical, criminal and security grounds, as well as other statutory requirements as they exist at the time of selection. The processing of applications will also be affected by operational and resource constraints faced by Canada, as well as by applicable service standards as they are developed.
4.8 Notwithstanding the nomination authority of Saskatchewan, Canada is responsible for:
- determining the admissibility of the nominee and his or her dependents with respect to all legislative requirements including health, criminality, and security;
- exercising the final selection authority;
- issuing immigrant visas to provincial nominees and accompanying dependants who meet all the admissibility requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations and of this Agreement;
- providing Saskatchewan with information, on a quarterly basis, on average processing times of provincial nominees destined to Saskatchewan; and
- providing Saskatchewan with names and dates of landings of Saskatchewan-nominated provincial nominees on a quarterly basis.
4.9 Canada shall consider a nomination certificate issued by Saskatchewan as initial evidence that admission is of significant benefit to the economic development of Saskatchewan and that the nominee has the ability to become economically established in Canada.
4.10 When a refusal of a nominee is likely, Canada will notify and advise Saskatchewan of the reasons for possible refusal prior to the refusal notice being issued to the provincial nominee. Saskatchewan may raise concerns with, or seek clarification from, the assessing officer at the relevant mission or the appropriate manager, when a Provincial Nominee is likely to be refused. Where the refusal is for reasons other than health, security or criminality concerns, Saskatchewan will have 90 days to raise concerns and seek clarification before notification is given to the provincial nominee by the immigration officer.
5.0 IMPACT ON LABOUR DISPUTES
5.1 Saskatchewan will not issue a nomination certificate to anyone whose employment will affect the settlement of any labour dispute or affect the employment of a person involved in such a dispute.
6.0 PROMOTION AND RECRUITMENT
6.1 In furtherance of the objectives of this annex, Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan;
- provision of information on a Saskatchewan-maintained website to prospective immigrants on occupation certification and business requirements for working in Saskatchewan;
- preparation of information for staff working in Canadian missions abroad; and
- consultation with representatives of the francophone community in Saskatchewan.
6.2 Canada agrees to make all practical efforts to assist Saskatchewan to identify prospective immigrants to fulfill Saskatchewan’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 Saskatchewan website;
- displaying promotional materials provided by Saskatchewan at selected missions abroad;
- participating in provincially initiated missions to attract immigrants within the limits of mission resources; and
- inviting Saskatchewan 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.
7.0 PROGRAM EVALUATION AND INFORMATION EXCHANGE
7.1 Canada and Saskatchewan recognize the importance of evaluating the Provincial Nominee Program in order to determine its impacts and outcomes in Saskatchewan. Accordingly, immediately following the date of the signing of this Agreement, Canada and Saskatchewan 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.
7.2 Subject to applicable legislation and polices governing the disclosure of personal information, Canada and Saskatchewan agree to share information on prospective and actual immigrants so as to aid in the evaluation and management of Saskatchewan’s provincial nominee program. This will include information with respect to the retention of Saskatchewan’s provincial nominees within the province and the community the nominee was originally destined to.
7.3 Canada and Saskatchewan 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.
7.4 In order to facilitate the exchange of information between Canada and Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan will obtain from each nominee and his or her dependents a signed release allowing Canada to share with Saskatchewan information regarding the nominee’s application, including the processing thereof.
8.1 The official representatives for the purpose of communication and notification pursuant to this Annex are:
- for Canada, the Director, Economic Policy and Programs, Selection Branch; and
- for Saskatchewan, the Director, Immigration Branch.
8.2 The Ministers or their representatives 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 Saskatchewan 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.
8.3 Practices under this Annex are subject to audit by the respective audit and evaluation agencies of Canada and Saskatchewan. The parties agree to provide full cooperation and information if, when and where such audits take place.
8.4 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. This Annex may be terminated by either party by written notice provided at least one year in advance.
8.5 This Annex supersedes the prior Annex dated November 14, 2002.
8.6 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 Saskatchewan’s request, other federal provincial agreements made under section 8 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and will negotiate amendments to this Annex, taking into consideration the different needs and circumstances of the provinces.
8.7 Saskatchewan 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 section 87(6) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
8.8 Saskatchewan will advise Canada on any proposed arrangement to be entered into with another party to carry out Saskatchewan’s nomination responsibilities under this Annex.
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