The Canadian province of Manitoba has decided to spend $5 million on its immigration programming in the 2022 budget. The programming, called as Recover Together, aims to attract newcomers to settle in this Prairie province and fill the vast number of job positions that lie vacant owing to the scarcity of workers. The Budget document of Manitoba says labour shortage has been identified across sectors and business of all sizes. “Immigration is an economic driver that can be used to fill labour market needs that cannot be filled domestically,” says the document.
Manitoba believes that attracting and retaining immigrants in the province is important to ensure the economic recovery of the province from the impact of the pandemic. The province is now on talks with the federal government to renegotiate the Canada-Manitoba Immigration Agreement which has been in place since 2003. Revising the immigration targets for 2022 is also under consideration as part of expanding this Agreement.
Manitoba Immigration Advisory Council
Manitoba formed an Immigration Advisory Council in February this year with an aim to devise plans for improving the immigration policies and procedures of the province. The Council is headed by World Refugee Council chair Dr. Lloyd Axworthy and Manitoba Immigration Minister Jon Reyes. It has 20 members. Besides finding ways to attract immigrants to the province, the Council also aims to streamline the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, especially with regarding reaching the right balance between the province’s regional labour market, economic development and community needs. The Council is also meant to recommend the provincial government foster the settlement and integration programs and services of Manitoba and also the foreign credential recognition programs. It also aims to encourage labour market attachment, improve foreign credential recognition and enhance the retention of immigrants. The Council will bring out its final report by the end of this year.
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program
The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program has four categories under it, which are the Skilled Worker in Manitoba Stream, Skilled Worker Overseas Stream, International Education Stream and Business Investor Stream. The MPNP regularly updates its In-Demand Occupations list in tune with the changing demands of the labour market. In 2021, the province admitted 16560 new permanent residents. Earlier, before the budget, the province had set aside another $2 million for developing community connection projects for newcomers.