For Immediate Release
June 17, 2019 – North Bay, ON – North Bay is among 11 communities in Canada selected to take part in a new pilot project by the federal government to attract immigrants to fill labour gaps and support economic growth.
Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing–Timiskaming, joined representatives of key business, economic development, settlement, and employment organizations at North Bay City Hall on Monday to share details about how the initiative will be rolled out here.
The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce is the lead agency for this area. It will work with a number of partners, including the City of North Bay, the North Bay & District Multicultural Centre, the North Bay Local Immigration Partnership, and Yes Employment Services, among others, to administer the program.
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot seeks to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities to address the challenges of declining populations, meet local labour needs, and retain newcomers.
Under this innovative model, participating communities will match job opportunities with qualified immigrants and deliver services to help settle newcomers and their families. In return, immigrants are given a pathway to permanent residency.
Locally, the program will cover a broad area that includes North Bay, Nipissing District, southward to Burk’s Fall, and north to Temiskaming Shores and Kirkland Lake.
The other 10 selected Canadian communities are: Thunder Bay, Ont., Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Sudbury, Ont., Timmins, Ont., Gretna-Rhineland-Altona-Plum Coulee, Man., Brandon. Man., Moose Jaw, Sask., Claresholm, Alta., West Kootenay, B.C., and Vernon, B.C.
Participants were chosen as a representative sample of the regions across Canada to create a blueprint for the rest of the country.
Efforts to identify and recruit candidates are expected to begin as early as this fall.
“The equation is quite simple. 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.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“Immigration is vital to the social and economic vitality of North Bay, the broader Nipissing–Timiskaming region, and Northern Ontario. I’m very proud to have worked with my fellow MPs from the North to champion this pilot project. Congratulations to the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce and its partners for putting together a strong case and being selected. I look forward to seeing the positive results.”
– Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing-Timiskaming
“The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce is pleased to have been chosen as one of the successful proponents for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. We are confident we will be able to meet some needs of our employers in gaining skilled employees in in Northeastern Ontario. This collaboration of economic development offices, employment partners, settlement services and rural northern communities is a strong venture that recognizes the importance of immigration for our businesses to grow and succeed.”
– Peter Chirico, President, North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce
“We’re extremely pleased North Bay has been named a pilot site for this federal initiative and we’re looking forward to working with the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce and our partners on developing and implementing a program that will help to bring newcomers to our city and to the region. Immigration is a critical component of council’s economic growth strategy and is key to addressing our workforce needs.”
– Al McDonald, Mayor, City of North Bay
“The North Bay & District Multicultural Centre is pleased to learn that our area has been selected to participate in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. Since 2008, we have provided immigrant settlement services and worked with community partners to support the valued participation of newcomers in all aspects of community life. Through this initiative, we look forward to welcoming more newcomer talent into our communities.”
– Deborah Robertson, Executive Director, North Bay & District Multicultural Centre
“This is a great opportunity for our community. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot ensures that the benefits of immigration are shared across the country and we are excited to have been a chosen site. We are certain that this pilot will significantly benefit our community both socially and economically and both Yes Employment Services and the North Bay Local Immigration Partnership are ready to play our part to make this initiative a success.”
– LeeAnne Maillé, CEO, Yes Employment Services, and Chair of the North Bay Local Immigration Partnership
- Throughout the summer, the government will begin working with selected communities to position them to identify candidates for permanent residence as early as the fall 2019.
- Communities will be responsible for candidate recruitment and endorsement for permanent residence.
- Newcomers are expected to begin to arrive under this pilot in 2020.
- Communities worked with local economic development organizations to submit an application by March 11, 2019, which demonstrated how they met the eligibility criteria.
- The Atlantic Immigration Pilot was launched in March 2017 as part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy. The four Atlantic provinces are able to endorse up to 2,500 workers in 2019 under that pilot to meet labour market needs in the region.
- Rural communities employ over four million Canadians and account for almost 30 per cent of the national GDP.
- Rural Canada supplies food, water, and energy for urban centres, sustaining the industries that contribute to Canada’s prosperous economy.
- Between 2001 and 2016, the number of potential workers has decreased by 23 per cent, while the number of potential retirees has increased by 40 per cent.
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Office of MP Anthony Rota