Newfoundland and Labrador want Canada’s federal government to double the province’s allotment of immigrants who can settle there through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
“We are turning the tide of forecasted population decline, but we need the federal government to act on our call, so our population growth will not be obstructed, newcomers will not face longer processing times, and there will not be fewer immigration spaces of which to avail,” provincial Immigration Minister Gerry Byrne reportedly told Saltwire Network.
The provincial immigration minister wants Ottawa to boost Newfoundland and Labrador’s number of immigration spots to 3,050 from 1,593.
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Newfoundland and Labrador’s latest call for a higher provincial allocation comes four months after a similar request by immigration ministers from all of Canada’s provinces and territories.
Last summer, they called on Ottawa to help businesses across the country hire more immigrants by speeding up the processing of applications and boosting provincial and territorial allocations.
“Newcomers are crucial to filling in-demand jobs, growing our economy, and building a stronger Canada,” tweeted Ontario Immigration Minister Monte McNaughton in July. “Our job sites and factory floors need more boots on the ground.
“That’s why we’re calling on the federal government for a better deal.”
The immigration minister of Canada’s most populous province met with his counterparts from other provinces and territories to discuss the future of the country’s immigration system in Saint John, New Brunswick in late July.
The provincial and territorial ministers were then demanding a greater say in the selection of immigrants, more input into any modernization of the Express Entry system, and an increase to their allotments under the PNPs.
“Across Canada, jobs are going unfilled and paycheques unclaimed. Ottawa must let provinces select more of the skilled newcomers their communities need,” tweeted McNaughton.
“It’s time to stop holding Canada back.”
The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals that 760 new permanent residents settled in Newfoundland and Labrador through the PNP in the first nine months of this year.
PNP On Track To Welcome 1,013 New Permanent Residents To Newfoundland This Year
Based on that trend, Newfoundland, as the province is often affectionately dubbed, could see 1,013 new permanent residents this year through the PNP.
That would be almost twice as many as the 570 new permanent residents under the PNP to the province in 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic.
It would also be almost exactly double the 510 new permanent residents to the province under that program last year.
Newfoundland and Labrador claim the pace of immigration to the province has ground to a halt because no more spaces are available for this year. But the province is still accepting applications. They are just being deferred to next year.
In 2015, Newfoundland welcomed 1,120 new permanent residents. Based on the trend during the first nine months of this year, the province is on track to welcome 3,213 new permanent residents this year.
That level of immigration, if the current trend continues through to the end of the year, would mean a spike in the rate of immigration of 56.7 per cent over the 2,050 new permanent residents that settled in Newfoundland and Labrador last year.
The and Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is on track to help 753 new permanent residents come to Newfoundland and Labrador this year, up 83.7 per cent from 410 in 2021.
TR-To-PR Pathway Means 293 New Permanent Residents For Newfoundland And Labrador
The biggest percentage spike in immigration programs in Newfoundland this year, though, is in the number of new permanent residents through the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (TR-to-PR) one-time pathway which is projected to welcome 293 new permanent residents, up 179.4 per cent from the 105 newcomers to the province last year.
Family sponsorship programs in Newfoundland and Labrador are expected to show growth of 25.7 per cent, with the number of new permanent residents arriving through them this year expected to hit 220.
And refugee programs are showing even greater growth, expected to end the year up 49.5 per cent with a total of 740 newcomers.
Immigration to Newfoundland and Labrador has been so strong this year as to drive the fastest rate of growth the province had seen in more than half a century during the second quarter.
“Our population is surging while employment continues to steadily increase,” said Byrne. “This speaks to the contributions our new residents are making to our economy and the work of our government to upskill and retrain workers for impactful careers in the provincial workforce.”
Statistics Canada figures show Newfoundland and Labrador’s population jumped by 2,929 people in the second quarter of this year, its fastest population increase since 1971.
That was music to Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey’s ears.
“Our government recognizes the critical importance of immigration and we continue to work hard to grow our population,” said Furey.
“Provincial population growth, by quarter, is at a 51-year high as increasing numbers of newcomers and expatriates are choosing Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Newfoundland Launched The Pathways Job Matching Program Last Year
Last year, the province launched the Pathways Job Matching program which is designed to help employers fill full-time jobs and newcomers find work more easily.
“By directly matching employers in need with people wanting to live and work here, we are helping to address the workforce needs of employers and support population growth,” said Byrne.
“Participating employers provide details on their vacant full-time jobs. Then, qualifying newcomers provide their job qualifications. Once that occurs, our staff begin matching newcomers who need jobs with employers who need workers.”
Here’s how the new program works.
Employers looking for workers visit the Pathways Job Matching program website and provide information on their full-time job openings. They can then submit details about their workforce needs on an ongoing basis and can e-mail the province to get answers to any questions they might have at [email protected].
Newfoundland and Labrador is trying to almost triple the number of new immigrants that settle in the province from its pre-Covid-19 pandemic high of 1,850 in 2019 to 5,100 new permanent residents per year in 2026 in a bid to resolve labour shortages there.