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Press Release

Attracting Skilled Newcomers to Canada

Canada NewsWire

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments Working Together to Meet Canada's Labour Needs through Active Immigrant Recruitment

OTTAWA, March 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) immigration ministers today reiterated their commitment to actively recruit economic immigrants that have the skills the Canadian economy needs most.

Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Alberta's Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk co-chaired the meeting of FPT ministers responsible for immigration. Economic immigration was a top priority for all ministers around the table.

Ministers agreed to continue collaborating on building the new active recruitment model which is known as the Expression of Interest (or EOI) system. It is intended to transform Canada's immigration system into one that is more responsive to labour market needs.

EOI will provide governments and Canadian employers access to skilled foreign workers and expedite their entry into Canada for jobs that aren't being filled by people already in Canada. Ministers agreed to engage jointly and intensively with employers on EOI prior to the new system launch in January 2015.

Immigration Ministers also endorsed a plan to improve settlement outcomes for newcomers across Canada. It includes improved pre-arrival services, foreign qualification recognition, language learning for newcomers who are not in the workforce and ways to encourage newcomers to become more connected to their communities.

The ministers reviewed progress to date on the FPT Vision Action Plan, reiterating the continuing need to align immigration levels with economic demand, build a fast, flexible economic immigration system focused primarily on meeting labour market needs across Canada, and improve social and economic settlement and integration outcomes for newcomers to Canada.

As immigration remains crucial to Canada's economic future, the ministers agreed to meet again before the end of the year to continue this important work.

Under the Canada-Québec Accord relating to immigration and temporary admission of foreign nationals, Québec fully assumes sole responsibility for establishing immigration levels, and for the selection, francization and integration of immigrants. In areas under its responsibility, Québec develops its policies and programs, legislates, regulates and sets its own standards. Québec is an observer at FPT meetings.

Quick facts

  • EOI will complement the Provincial Nominee Program which will continue to be a key mechanism to allow provinces, territories, and employers to meet regional labour market needs. Almost 41,000 provincial nominees (including their spouses and dependants) were admitted to Canada through the PNP in 2012, up from approximately 13,500 in 2006.
  • Thanks in part to the PNP, 42 percent of all economic immigrants in 2012 intended to settle outside of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, compared to only about 20 percent in 2000.
  • In 2012, 62 percent of immigrants were in the economic stream. Governments aim to achieve a minimum of 70 percent, nationally and by jurisdiction, in the years ahead.
  • FPT governments are committed to ensuring that newcomers integrate and contribute fully to the Canadian economy, and to their communities, as soon as possible. For its part, the Government of Canada will invest almost $600 million in 2014-2015 to support newcomers' settlement needs outside of Quebec.


"The Government of Canada's number one priority remains economic growth and job creation. Immigration plays a key role in Canada's long-term prosperity and we are committed to seeing newcomers succeed across the country. With our provincial and territorial partners, we look forward to launching the Expression of Interest system together next year."

Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister

"Immigration, and selection through Provincial Nominee Programs, plays an important role in building Canada's permanent workforce and in addressing labour shortages and skill gaps across the country. Provinces and territories will continue to work with the federal government towards developing an Expression of Interest immigration system that is responsive to our regional labour market needs."

Thomas Lukaszuk, Alberta Minister for Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour

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SOURCE Citizenship and Immigration Canada

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