Alberta calls for unlimited access to immigrants

Alberta’s Jobs Minister has called on the Canadian Federal government to not impose restrictions on the number of economic immigrants the province can bring in each year through its Provincial Nominee Programme.

Ric McIver revealed yesterday that the province has sent a letter to federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander asking him to lift the lid on the number of economic immigrants it can nominate for permanent residence so it can better meet its growing labour needs.

“I would like the federal government to take the cap off of the maximum number of provincial nominees that we can appoint so that we can bring in the people that we need,” McIver said. “We think we are going to be 96,000 workers short by 2023 and most of those (are for) skilled and good-paying jobs,” he added.

This year, Alberta was only granted permission to award nomination certificates to 5,500 skilled and semi-skilled workers, a figure that McIver believes is nowhere near enough. Instead of limits, the Minister believes that the programme instead be driven by labour market need.

“The amount we need will change from year to year, depending on how good the economy is, whether it is up or down,” he explained. “Removing the cap seems like a responsible thing to do,” he added.

Article published 10th December 2014