Immigration Program Useful But Flawed, Kenney Says

Provincial nominee programs are helping provinces and employers fill skilled labour shortages but the minister wants changes to reduce fraud.

By Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC News

There is an ongoing need for the provincial nominee immigration program, a report released Thursday by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says, but it has some problems that need fixing – especially when it comes to fraud.

Kenney’s department did an evaluation of the federal-provincial program that was started in 1998 to try to determine whether it is meeting its objectives.

The program, which allows participating provinces and territories to nominate potential immigrants based on their economic and labour market needs, is intended to distribute immigrants more evenly across the country and encourage the development of official language minority communities.

“As I’ve said in the past, we are excited about this program but realize that it needs improvement in key areas,” Kenney said in a statement.

The review found that the provincial nominee program is meeting the needs of the provinces by filling skilled labour shortages and by contributing to population growth and attracting investment. All of the stakeholders consulted for the report –including labour groups, employers, program staff and immigrants who were provincial nominees – said the program should continue.

The goal of using the program to settle more immigrants outside of Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, compared with other economic immigration programs operated solely by the federal government, has largely been met, the report said. Twenty-six per cent of all economic immigrants are destined for provinces other than those three, compared with 11 per cent in 1997, according to the review.

Read more here.