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Premier Stephen McNeil announced a new Immigration Advisory Council in Nova Scotia, with hopes that as a result, immigration will improve in the province.
Co-chairing the Immigration Advisory Council are prominent immigrants Wadih Fares and Colin Dodds, the latter of which first immigrated to Canada from the United Kingdom 32 years ago. He’ll be advising the premier on ways the province can attract and hold onto international students.
Glad you asked. Dodds also happens to be president and vice-chancellor at one of the leading universities, Saint Mary’s, where one in four students have come from abroad.
Dodds stated: “Many of our students want to stay and we just have to find a way to make that happen.”
As for Fares, he happens to be a successful developer originally hailing from Lebanon, who will collaborate with the government and many other businesses throughout Canada in order to support Nova Scotia’s efforts to improve immigration there.
Well, at the moment there’s a cap of just 150 on Nova Scotia’s current nominee program; a way for immigrants to apply for permanent residency visas to Canada. Fares is hopeful that Ottawa can be convinced to increase the cap to allow more immigrants to apply for permanent resident status.
Tory leader Jamie Baillie is just one supporter of the new panel, but has also stated that he sees the developments as more of a first step, with much more to be done in terms of improving the economic growth in the province.
He said: “A competent government would recognize that a competitive job market is key to attracting new people to our province. If we’re going to finally get serious about growing our population, we need to get serious about creating jobs, too. An immigration strategy will only be successful if we have the jobs to attract and retain new Nova Scotians.
Nova Scotia also announced extra changes to other services that are used to help immigrants settle in the province, including giving $470,000 to YMCAs outside Halifax for services such as childcare for immigrants. New arrivals on the lookout for jobs in Halifax will still, however, still depend on Immigration Settlement and Integration Services (ISIS) for job training.
The province gives a grand total of $3.65 million to service providers to help immigrants settle.
According to McNeil, the stakes are on the high side. He said: “From an economic point of view, without us being able to bring more people into this province, all of the other challenges will be too daunting.”
Currently, Nova Scotia welcomes 2,500 immigrants per year, but needs to triple that in order to effectively grow its economy.
If you are in need of immigration services, contact the team at VisaPlace today, or use the online form to book an initial consultation to find out more about how our services could benefit you. We’ll be happy to help.
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