Supporting middle class jobs in rural and northern communities through immigration

Backgrounder

Rural and northern communities face specific economic and demographic challenges, including out-migration of youth, aging populations, and labour market shortages. This makes it difficult for them to meet their labour market needs, which in turn hinders economic growth. At the same time, most new immigrants settle in large urban centres, missing out on labour market opportunities and the quality of life found in smaller communities.

With this in mind, in March 2017, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) was launched to help address some of these challenges and drive economic growth in communities across Atlantic Canada. Over the past two years, the employer-driven pilot has made steady progress in helping employers and local communities attract and retain immigrants with diverse skills sets to fill their workforce needs.

Building on the success of the AIP, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot will help to spread the benefits of immigration across Canada by providing smaller communities with tools to attract and retain skilled workers in support of community economic development.

This innovative, economic pilot will test a new community-driven approach to attracting and retaining newcomers. Communities across Ontario, the Western provinces and the territories will be selected to participate. Interested communities must work with a local economic development organization to submit an application that demonstrates how they meet the eligibility criteria and their ability and willingness to take an active role in attracting and welcoming newcomers that meet their economic needs. In addition, applicants must have the support of their municipal leaders.

Working with communities, other federal government partners, and provincial and territorial governments, the pilot seeks to ensure that participating communities have access to a range of federal, provincial, territorial, and local immigration supports.

This includes supporting newcomers to stay in the community by engaging organizations and partners to promote the value and importance of immigration within the community and to help address newcomers’ settlement and integration needs. In this regard, the pilot will complement and inform other federal, provincial and territorial immigration programming to help Canada’s smaller communities reap the benefits of immigration.

The Government of Canada is focused on supporting immigration strategies that will enable smaller communities to enhance their economic, social and demographic vitality. All eligible communities are encouraged to apply, including French-speaking communities outside Quebec.


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