Manitoba attracts immigrants to rural communities

The Canadian province of Manitoba is successfully attracting more immigrants to settle outside of the provincial capital, Winnipeg.

Speaking at the recent Rural Talks to Rural conference in Blyth, Naomi Finseth of Brandon University’s Rural Development Institute explained how Manitoba is outstripping many of other province when it comes to getting newcomers to settle in rural areas.

“We have been able to get 20 per cent of newcomers arriving to Manitoba to settle in rural areas. That’s everywhere outside of Winnipeg,” she said. “Most of the other provinces have only been able to get about 6 per cent to do that.”

Finseth stated that in order for newcomers to feel happy in rural areas, they need to feel part of the community. She highlighted to the annual Winter Festival in Brandon as one of several efforts to make it easier for newcomers to become part of the community.

Another speaker at the conference explained how he would like to see Ontario follow the example set by Manitoba.

Oliver Pryce, training and development co-ordinator with the Rural Employment Initiative, is working to connect immigrants in Toronto with Ontario’s rural communities.

“They think when they’re in Toronto, ‘this is big city, I should be able to get a job,” said Pryce, himself an immigrant from Jamaica. “Unfortunately, the jobs often taken by newcomers do not match their skills and potential. When people come to the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), they go into survival mode. They take any job that comes along.”

Article published 28th October 2016