March 31, 2017 3:50 pm
Updated: March 31, 2017 4:30 pm

Federal, Atlantic governments pleased with response to immigration pilot project

WATCH ABOVE: The federal government says about 200 businesses have expressed an interest in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project. Andrew Cromwell reports.


The federal and Atlantic provincial governments seem pleased with the uptake thus far in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project.

READ MORE: Atlantic premiers aim to bring 2,000 immigrants to region with pilot program

The project, the first of its kind in Canada, looks to process up to 2,000 applications for skilled immigrants this year for the four Atlantic provinces.

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In New Brunswick, for example, lots of people are looking for work, but some employers say that’s only part of the problem.

“We have found it challenging to fill available positions,” Jodi Martell of the Day & Ross Transportation Group told a Moncton news conference Friday. “The skill sets we need are not met by the supply in New Brunswick.”

This project looks to at least partially address the issue. Employers must apply to participate and there has been considerable interest since the project launched March 6.

“We’ve had over 40 employers across New Brunswick already registered to take new immigrants into their companies,” said New Brunswick Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. “I think by continuing to talk about it many more will want to knock on the door as well.”

READ MORE: Immigration pilot project receiving criticism from N.B. opposition

The project also makes it possible for people to apply for permanent residency. That in itself will help keep people here much longer.

“It helps address the retention challenges that have faced Atlantic Canada with respect to retaining, not only attracting, but retaining skilled immigrants,” said federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.

In total, close to 200 employers across the Atlantic region have expressed interest in the program.

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