Change Makes It Easier For Foreign Nationals To Sit On Corporate Boards in Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland And Labrador Sees Provincial Immigration Allocation Doubled
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Canada immigration news: A change to the Newfoundland & Labrador Corporations Act will make it easier for temporary residents in Canada to set up corporations and sit on corporate boards in the province, starting this Friday.

Under the law as it stands, corporations in that province now need to have a minimum of 25 per cent of their directors be Canadian residents, defined as being Canadian citizens, permanent residents, international entrepreneurs, or international graduate entrepreneurs.

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That definition effectively prevents temporary residents from comprising all of the members of the board of directors of a company in Newfoundland & Labrador. 

That changes Apr. 1. 

Temporary Residents To Get Opportunities To Sit On Corporate Boards

On Friday, the province will be dropping that 25 per cent Canadian residency requirement for corporate boards in Newfoundland & Labrador.

Premier Andrew Furey figures the greater openness to temporary residents on corporate boards will help grow the provincial economy.

“We already know that many newcomers share an entrepreneurial spirit so amendments to our Corporations Act offer another tool for them to access the supports they need to start businesses, create jobs, be successful and put down roots to grow their families right here in our beautiful province,” said Furey.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser agrees.

“Newcomers drive our local economies and bring rich cultures to our communities,” he said. “I applaud the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador on their commitment to support even more newcomers to do business in the province and look forward to working with them to promote economic growth and create jobs in the region.”

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With the amendment to the act, temporary residents will be able to do in Newfoundland & Labrador what they can already do in most Canadian provinces.

Chilean-Canadian Constanza Safatle founded her St. John’s-based Newfoundlander Baby Store five years ago and now employs four other immigrants. She was one of the driving forces to get the legislation amended.

“This amendment to the Corporations Act opens opportunities for temporary residents who can’t find meaningful jobs or who face barriers to entry to the labour market so they can create their own jobs and businesses and play an important role in the economy of the province,” she said.

“This is a big step in the right direction to improve retention in our province.”

Newfoundland Hope Change Will Boost Immigration Retention

In mid-December last year, Statistics Canada released a study that looked at how well each Canadian province fared in terms of hanging onto the immigrants five years after they settled in those provinces in 2014. 

That study, Longitudinal Immigration Database: Immigrants’ Mobility During The Initial Years Since Admission, revealed the Atlantic provinces had done a poor job of retaining immigrants during those five years compared to the rest of Canada.

The immigrant retention rate in Newfoundland & Labrador was reported in that study at only 46.2 per cent, far lower than the Canadian average of 85.5 per cent. Only New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had lower retention rates than Newfoundland & Labrador.

The provincial government in Newfoundland & Labrador is hoping the change to the Corporations Act is one initiative that will help boost that retention rate.

“The removal of the residency requirement makes Newfoundland & Labrador more attractive for newcomers,” said Digital Government and Service NL Minister Sarah Stoodley.

“We must position our province to become a destination of choice for people looking for a new place in which to work, settle and raise a family.” 

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