Saskatchewan Bolsters Immigration Framework to Foster Economic Growth


Saskatchewan has taken significant strides in fortifying its immigration infrastructure with the introduction of the new Immigration Services Act.

This legislation, spearheaded by Immigration Minister Jeremy Harrison, aims to revamp oversight of foreign worker recruitment, safeguard workers against exploitation, combat immigration fraud, and expand settlement services.

Harrison emphasized the pivotal role of immigration in propelling Saskatchewan’s economic trajectory, stating, “Immigration is critical to Saskatchewan’s economic growth.”

He underscored the legislation’s commitment to nurturing newcomers, shielding their rights, and ensuring a conducive environment for both immigrants and employers.

The overarching goal is to attract and retain a skilled workforce vital for sustaining the province’s burgeoning economy and communities.

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The revamped legislation supersedes the former Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act, consolidating all immigration-related authorities under a unified legislative framework. This consolidation promises to enhance the province’s responsiveness to evolving immigration dynamics while simplifying procedures for employers seeking to address workforce demands through immigration avenues.

Key pledges outlined in the new Immigration Services Act include:

  1. Augmenting settlement services to encompass comprehensive support from pre-arrival assistance to long-term retention aid.
  2. Introducing robust safeguards for foreign workers against exploitation, coupled with stringent oversight of recruiters, immigration consultants, and non-compliant employers to uphold program integrity and safety.
  3. Bolstering investigative powers and enforcement measures to combat immigration fraud, including the imposition of higher fines for infractions and the authorization of administrative penalties for non-compliance.

This legislative overhaul aligns with Saskatchewan’s recent labor market strategy, which underscores the pivotal role of immigration in meeting employer demands and addressing workforce shortages. Saskatchewan asserts its prowess in credential recognition, boasting one of Canada’s most effective systems. With the new legislation, the province aims to further optimize its capacity to attract and retain skilled talent essential for filling critical job vacancies.

Statistical data released by Statistics Canada paints a rosy picture of Saskatchewan’s economic landscape, with robust job growth and burgeoning housing starts. The province continues to make strategic investments to bolster economic growth, with a steadfast focus on nurturing a skilled workforce and supporting employers in talent acquisition and retention efforts.

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Saskatchewan’s immigration avenues encompass various streams under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), catering to diverse categories of immigrants. These include the International Skilled Worker, Saskatchewan Experience, and Business Immigration streams, each tailored to address specific immigration needs and priorities.

In sum, Saskatchewan’s revamped Immigration Services Act signifies a proactive step towards fortifying its immigration framework, poised to underpin sustained economic growth, foster workforce diversity, and nurture vibrant communities.

Navigating Canada’s Tax Benefits and Credits for Newcomers

Moving to Canada opens up a world of opportunities, including access to various benefits and tax credits designed to support both permanent residents and temporary visa holders.

These provisions, overseen by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), aim to provide financial assistance to newcomers during their transition and settlement in the country.

Understanding Newcomer Status

Newcomer status under the CRA applies during an individual’s first year of residence in Canada. To qualify for benefits and credits, either the newcomer or their spouse/common-law partner must be considered a resident of Canada for income tax purposes.

Securing Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Before accessing benefits and credits, newcomers must obtain a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada. This unique 9-digit identifier is essential for various purposes, including receiving payments, working, and opening bank accounts. SIN applications can be completed online, in person at a Service Canada Centre, or through mail.

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In cases where Service Canada is unable to provide a SIN immediately, the CRA may issue a temporary tax number (TTN) to facilitate access to benefits and online services.

Applying for Benefits and Credits

Newcomers are eligible for benefits and credits without the requirement of filing their first tax return. Some of the key benefits include:

  • GST/HST Credit and Canada Carbon Rebate: Offset taxes paid on purchases with a tax-free quarterly payment.
  • Canada Child Benefit (CCB): Monthly tax-free payments to assist with raising children under 18 years old.

Temporary residents become eligible for the CCB after residing in Canada for 18 consecutive months and holding a valid permit on their 19th month.

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Provincial and Territorial Benefits

Beyond federal benefits, many provinces and territories offer additional support programs, including:

  • Alberta:
    • Alberta Child and Family Benefit
  • British Columbia:
    • BC Family Benefit
    • BC Climate Action Tax Credit
  • New Brunswick:
    • New Brunswick Child Tax Benefit
    • New Brunswick Working Income Supplement
    • New Brunswick Harmonized Sales Tax Credit
  • Newfoundland and Labrador:
    • Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit
    • Newfoundland and Labrador Income Supplement
    • Newfoundland and Labrador Disability Amount
    • Newfoundland and Labrador Seniors’ Benefit
  • Nova Scotia:
    • Nova Scotia Child Benefit
    • Nova Scotia Affordable Living Tax Credit
  • Northwest Territories:
    • Northwest Territories Child Benefit
    • Northwest Territories Cost of Living Offset
  • Ontario:
    • Ontario Trillium Benefit
    • Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit
    • Northern Ontario Energy Credit
    • Ontario Sales Tax Credit
    • Ontario Child Benefit
    • Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant
  • Prince Edward Island:
    • Prince Edward Island Sales Tax Credit
  • Quebec:
    • Family Allowance
  • Saskatchewan:
    • Saskatchewan Low-Income Tax Credit
  • Yukon:
    • Yukon Child Benefit
    • Yukon Government Carbon Price Rebate – Individuals

Further Benefits and Credits

After filing their first tax return, newcomers may qualify for additional benefits such as:

  • Canada Dental Benefit
  • Disability Tax Credit (DTC)
  • Canada Workers Benefit
  • Home Accessibility Tax Credit
  • Children’s Special Allowances
  • COVID-19 Benefits from the CRA

Receiving Payments

To receive benefits and credits, individuals can sign up for direct deposit into their Canadian bank accounts. It’s essential to file income tax returns annually, even with no income, and keep personal information updated with the CRA.

Navigating Canada’s tax system as a newcomer can be complex, but understanding and accessing available benefits and credits can significantly ease the transition and provide valuable financial support during settlement.

Success in Higher Education and Beyond for Immigrant Children

A recent report by Statistics Canada highlights the remarkable achievements of immigrant children in Canada.

According to the report titled “Socioeconomic Outcomes Of Immigrants Admitted To Canada As Children, 2022”, children who immigrate to Canada tend to excel in the workforce and achieve higher earnings compared to both their counterparts who arrive later in life and the average Canadian.

Statistics Canada reveals that immigrant children, defined as those who migrated to Canada before turning 14, exhibit a higher likelihood of engaging in postsecondary education during their early adulthood years.

This trend is particularly significant when compared to the overall Canadian population of the same age group.

The report emphasizes that the age at which immigrant children are admitted plays a crucial role in their educational attainment.

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Generally, those who arrive at a younger age are more likely to pursue higher education.

For instance, among 20-year-old immigrants, over three-quarters of those admitted to Canada as children aged four or younger eventually enroll in college or university, a rate significantly higher than that of non-immigrant Canadians.

Moreover, the benefits of this early education extend into the workforce. Immigrant children admitted to Canada enjoy median wages that either equal or surpass those of all tax filers by the age of 25 to 30. This indicates a tangible financial advantage for immigrants who arrived in Canada as children.

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These findings align with another report by Statistics Canada, titled “The Improvement In The Labour Market Outcomes Of Recent Immigrants Since The Mid-2010s”, which underscores the positive trajectory of immigrants’ financial prosperity in Canada. Recent immigrants, particularly those in the 25 to 54 age group, have experienced significant growth in employment rates and earnings since the early 2010s, narrowing the gap with their Canadian-born counterparts.

Despite these improvements, challenges remain in achieving complete income parity with Canadian-born workers. However, the narrowing earnings gap signifies a departure from previous stagnation and worsening trends, especially for recent immigrant women.

Looking ahead, Statistics Canada predicts continued growth in immigration, which may outpace job opportunities in the foreseeable future. This dynamic shift in labor supply and demand underscores the evolving landscape of Canada’s workforce.