A new advisory council on immigration is being created to serve as an expert panel to recommend improvements to current immigration policies and programs, Premier Heather Stefanson and Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration Minister Jon Reyes announced today.
“As committed to in the speech from the throne, our government has a bold plan to incent investment, foster job creation, improve education and training opportunities, all to facilitate economic growth and get our economy fully on track. We know immigration and a diverse workforce contributes to a strong economy,” said Stefanson. “This new advisory council will help us look at new and innovative ways to continue to be a welcoming new home for all newcomers, including refugees and international students, a dynamic destination for immigration and business investors, and an attractive place for people to come to build a life of opportunity and prosperity for themselves and their family.”
“Immigration is an issue of great importance to the province, and we all have a common interest in an effective and efficient system. “I’m pleased to be a part of this advisory council, and eager to get to work on behalf of all Manitobans current and future.”WRMC Chair Lloyd Axworthy
The Immigration Advisory Council, to be co-chaired by the minister and World Refugee & Migration Council Chair Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, will review the entire continuum of immigration, from promotion to retention of newcomers. It will provide clear recommendations and concrete actions to the Manitoba government including strengthening the Canada-Manitoba Immigration Agreement by looking at options to include new annexes or memoranda of understanding. Additionally, the advisory council will focus on:
- building on promotion to attract and recruit more immigrants and business investors to the province;
- streamlining the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, especially with regard to setting the right balance between the province’s regional labour market, economic development and community needs; and
- fostering Manitoba’s settlement and integration programs and services, as well as foreign credential recognition programs, to encourage labour market attachment, improve foreign credential recognition and bolster immigrant retention.
“Immigration is an issue of great importance to the province, and we all have a common interest in an effective and efficient system,” said Axworthy. “I’m pleased to be a part of this advisory council, and eager to get to work on behalf of all Manitobans current and future.”
The co-chairs noted the advisory council will consist of individuals with expertise related to immigration services, governance, economic development, analysis, project management and community integration. It will represent front-line immigration service providers, ethnocultural community leaders and organizations, representatives of Manitoba’s business, industry, and academic communities, and will have urban, regional and francophone representation. Work will begin immediately to finalize the council’s membership, with a final report to be provided by the end of the year, the premier said.
The minister noted today’s announcement builds on the success of Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program, which nominated 6,275 applications in 2021, the highest number of nominees since the program was established in 1998.
“This program brings thousands of qualified skilled workers to Manitoba each year, and more than 165,000 nominees and their families have immigrated to Manitoba from all over the world since the program began,” said Reyes. “This year’s number of nominees is the highest since the program was established, and we know these new Manitobans will use their skills and training to contribute to the long-term economic recovery and growth of our province.”
- approximately 21 per cent of nominees chose to settle outside the Winnipeg capital region;
- Manitoba’s top regional immigration destinations for nominees were Brandon, Neepawa, Steinbach, Winkler, Thompson and Portage la Prairie; and
- the top occupations for nominees included transport truck drivers, food-counter attendants, food service supervisors, cooks and other customer service representatives.
Francophone immigration to Manitoba is also increasing due to strong collaboration with francophone community partners. More than 2,000 French-speaking immigrants have arrived in Manitoba since 2015, and 1,400 of these were provincial nominees.
“Manitoba was a pioneer with the provincial nominee program and has always been at the forefront of implementing innovative changes to Canada’s immigration system. While we’re very proud of these results, we know there are different areas of the labour market that need people with very specific skills to enable them to grow further,” said Stefanson. “The advisory council will be reviewing the current Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program criteria and offer suggestions to help streamline processes to get people to Manitoba and have them join the workforce and their communities as soon as possible.”
For more information on the Immigration Advisory Council mandate, visit https://manitoba.ca/openmb/infomb/departments/index.html.
For more information on the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, visit https://immigratemanitoba.com/.