Nova Scotia not taking advantage of Atlantic Immigration Program

Nova Scotia has not attracted as many immigrants as hoped through the Atlantic Immigration Program, which launched last year.

The pilot program is designed to bring more skilled workers to Atlantic Canada by quickly identifying employers and reducing applicant processing time to six months or less.

Nova Scotia had been expected to be the main beneficiary of the Atlantic Immigration Program, with 792 of the 2,000 spaces set aside for the four eastern provinces, reserved for it.

However, in the first year only 201 people moved to the province through the program.

“”It’s common in Year 1 for low uptake for immigration programs,” explained Suzanne Ley, the executive director of the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. “It’s important to understand it can often take several years for a new immigration program to fully ramp up.”

However, other Atlantic provinces fared better. New Brunswick filled 487 of its 646 spots, while Prince Edward Island completely filled its annual allotment of 120 people last year, and has already endorsed another 15 people so far this month. There was no data for Newfoundland.

Nova Scotia’s Provincial Immigration Minister Lena Diab said yesterday that she remains optimistic the Atlantic Immigration Program will be a “wonderful tool,” and she’s confident Nova Scotia is doing the work needed to promote it.

New Brunswick has upped its target intake of immigrants through the Atlantic Immigration Program to 800 people for this year.

Any quota that was not filled last year will not be carried forward or shared with other provinces.

Article published 12th January 2018