Some provinces face delayed start to Northern Immigration Pilot Program

Only three of the 11 communities taking part in Canada’s new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program have launched their scheme.

This is despite the fact that many of the communities had pledged to begin their programs by 1st January.

The Northern Immigration Pilot Program is designed to help northern and rural communities bolster their population by attracting foreign workers with skill sets that match local needs.

To date, Sault Ste. Marie (in Ontario), Brandon and Altona/Rhineland (both in Manitoba), are the only three communities to have launched their programs.

According to a Canadian Immigration newsletter, North Bay, Timmins (both in Ontario) and three other western communities were due to begin their intake on 1st January, but their programs are now delayed by at least a month. Sudbury and Thunder Bay, both communities that were to begin accepting applications late last year, are also still yet to launch their programs.

The three western communities yet to start their Northern Immigration Pilot Programs are: Claresholm (Alberta), Vernon, and West Kootenay (both in British Columbia). In addition, Sudbury, Ontario, which was supposed to commence the pilot on 1st November is still not accepting applications.

Sault Ste. Marie’s program officially kicked off late last autumn and was the very first community to begin accepting applications under the program guidelines.

A goal of establishing 100 primary candidates and their families in Sault Ste. Marie had been set for the first year of the pilot project.

Labour market shortages have been identified across Northern and rural communities across Canada, as a result of declining birth rates, an aging population and an outmigration of youth.

Communities participating in the pilot needed to have an economic development organisation to manage the program in order to qualify.

Article published 9th January 2020