Canada’s youngest and most easterly province, Newfoundland and Labrador are all set to welcome 1,700 new immigrants by the end of 2019.
In 2017, it was announced by the Newfoundland and Labrador s provincial government that they are targeting to invite 50% more immigrants by 2022. These figures were decided on the basis of the total number of Permanent Residents i.e. 1122, which were welcomed by N&L in 2015. The provincial government of N&L admitted that they need 600 more new immigrants in the subsequent year in order to meet the labor market needs of the province.
As a result, the province has witnessed a rise in the applications with every passing year. The province s participation in the 5-year AIPP (Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program) has hugely contributed to the subsequent rise in the number of applications.
In a statement issued by Bernard Davis, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, said, “That 1,700 was, I guess, a lofty goal when we started. We anticipate by the end of this fiscal year we should be surpassing (our goal) quite substantially.”
Davis also said, “We’ve started behind the eight balls, as they say, and now we’re seeing the fruits of our investments. We can’t expect individuals to wait in a queue, we want to maintain our integrity and make sure that people feel supported the whole way through.”
If we go by the CBC news report, "On the downside, the surplus in applications means that there is a backlog in processing times. Since late May, application processing times have been double the standard."
The province has found its way to accommodate a large number of incoming applications by employing five trained Immigration Program Development Officers and have also revised its five-year strategy to face the upcoming challenge. Though, it is an initial announcement, further details about the strategy will be issued later in 2019, but the government has indicated that the foremost priority is to focus on improving immigrant retention rates.
Davis also stated that “The retention rate is really where we want to put our focus. The five-year plan was there to make sure we can accept immigrants, now the third year is really focused on trying to put supports around them, and keep them here—which is really, really important.”
Since the province is on a quest to help improve support its population growth, which is currently only 525,000 people. Without immigrants, the working-age population of the province will face a major decline of up to 10% by 2025.
According to Statistics Canada, in the first quarter of the year 2019, immigration is the key factor which can contribute to the growth. Also, there is a rise in the death rate than birth rate and more interprovincial migration out of N&L province.
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