The northern British Columbia community of Vernon has been named as one of 11 rural and northern communities selected as part of Canada’s new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program.
Vernon, an eclectic community located in the Okanagan Valley, has a diverse economic base, driven by agriculture, construction, tourism and manufacturing. Vernon’s experience in welcoming newcomers and their families will help facilitate the new rural pilot and help support middle-class jobs in the area.
“Rural communities like Vernon are the beating heart of our country,” said Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors. “Attracting immigrants to make the Okanagan Valley their new home will help grow the economy and create and support jobs.”
The participating rural and northern communities will have access to a range of supports to test this new innovative, community-driven model that will help fill labour gaps.
The other selected communities are: Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, North Bay (all Ontario), Gretna-Rhineland-Altona-Plum Coulee, Brandon (both Manitoba), Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan), Claresholm (Alberta) and, West Kootenay (BC).
The participating communities were selected as a representative sample of the regions across Canada to assist in laying out the blueprint for the rest of the country.
“The equation is quite simple,” explained Ahmed Hussem, Canada’s Immigration Minister. “Attracting and retaining newcomers with the needed skills equals a recipe for success for Canada’s rural and northern communities. We have tested a similar immigration pilot in Atlantic Canada and it has already shown tremendous results for both newcomers and Canadians.”
To complement the Rural and Northern Pilot, Canada is also working with the territories to address the unique immigration needs in Canada’s North.
Newcomers are expected to begin to arrive under this pilot in 2020.
Article published 8th July 2019