The provincial government of Saskatchewan has revealed that immigrants are viewed as an increasingly important source of workers in the Canadian province.
In its annual Throne Speech, read yesterday by the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Vaughan Solomon on behalf of the provincial government, the province said that in addition to new work-based training programmes for local workers, it would also be looking to raise the number of immigrants brought in annually through the Provincial Nominee Programme.
“Immigration is an important source of labour for our province,” the speech revealed. “My government was successful in obtaining more than 25 per cent of the new provincial immigration nominations the federal government allocated across the country this year.
“This raised the annual cap under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program to 4,450 nominations. My government will continue to press the federal government to boost the number of nominations to 6,000 a year.
The news was warmly welcomed by industry groups based in and around the province.
“The Number 1 issue facing every business owner in this province is the skills shortage,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, vice-president of Prairie and agribusiness for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). “Half of our members are turning away business because they can’t find labour. This is a critical issue for small business owners.”
Braun-Pollon also said the CFIB warmly welcomed the 1,000 new training seats and 300 new apprenticeship seats announced in the throne speech, as well as the increase in the annual cap in the province’s immigrant nominee program to 4,450.
Saskatchewan is currently home to Canada’s fastest growing economy, and a recent report by the Conference Board of Canada forecast that the cities of Saskatoon and Regina will lead the nation in economic growth in 2013.
What’s more, during the first nine months of 2013 the number of people in employment increased by nearly 20,000, putting Saskatchewan on pace for the best year of employment growth ever recorded.
The Prairie province may just be worth those looking for a new life in Canada keeping an eye on.
Article published 24th October 2013