Atlantic Canada program proving hugely successful

Canada’s Atlantic Immigration Pilot is proving a huge success, with a record number of immigrants arriving in the Atlantic region last year.

Recent government figures show that the Atlantic region – which includes Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick – welcomed 18,000 newcomers last year.

As recently 2010, Atlantic Canada welcomed only 8,000 immigrants.

The pilot was created in 2017 to address labour shortages in Atlantic Canada by allowing eligible employers to hire foreign-trained workers and international graduates.

Nearly half of last year’s newcomers to the region settled in Nova Scotia. The province welcomed a record setting 7,580 new permanent residents in 2019, easily surpassing the previous record of 5,970 set in 2018.

The province endorsed 1,208 newcomers and their families under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot in 2019 compared to 872 in 2018.

“Our immigration growth is something to celebrate. We plan, support and invest in immigration and it’s making a positive change in our province,” said Nova Scotia’s Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab. “The outreach we do to attract the labour force our employers say they need is making a difference.”.

The three other Atlantic provinces also broke their own immigration records last year.

Newfoundland and Labrador saw a 21 per cent increase in its newcomer population, welcoming nearly 1,900 immigrants, up from 1,500 the previous year.

Prince Edward Island saw a 15 per cent increase as its intake went up to nearly 2,500 compared with 2,100 in 2018.

Meanwhile, New Brunswick had the largest increase as its intake grew to 6,000 compared with about 4,600 the previous year.

So successful has the pilot been that it seems set to become a full-time program. The current federal government has stated in a mandate letter from Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino that it will make the AIP a permanent program.

Article published 13th February 2020