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Saskatchewan immigration minister meets federal counterpart: ‘We’re committed to working together’

Saskatchewan’s Immigration Minister Jeremy Harrison.
Saskatchewan’s Immigration Minister Jeremy Harrison. Dave Parsons / Global News

Saskatchewan’s immigration minister said he had a “very good talk” with his federal counterpart regarding immigration reform that aims to better support newcomers to the province.

“We’re committed to working together and working in a collaborative way going forward on how we can make the immigration system work for everyone in the province in an even more effective way than it does now,” said Jeremy Harrison.

Harrison met with Minister Marco Mendicino at the Saskatchewan Legislature Wednesday to discuss the province’s desire to have more control over immigration.

READ MORE: Sask. government will submit formal immigration plan to Ottawa in ‘next couple of weeks’: minister

“Without question, this is going to be an important part in how we grow the province. That’s why we think having additional authorities is going to be a benefit,” Harrison said.

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The Government of Saskatchewan has set a goal to grow the province to 1.4 million people within the decade while adding 10,000 jobs.

To help achieve this, the province has requested to self-govern their immigration, specifically to allow residents to sponsor family members. Right now, the federal government manages family immigration applications.

Harrison also requested that the government add more spaces to the provincial immigrant nominee programs. This would give the province control in selecting immigrants that suit provincial labour market needs.

“We just know our labour market better than the federal government does. We also know what is best for our newcomers and how we can best support them in integrating into the community and into the province,” Harrison said.

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READ MORE: Sask. government aims to make immigration easier for entrepreneurial international students

“That will be the benefit to the newcomer, and that’s ultimately what we want to do, is to make sure they are best positioned to be successful economically and socially here in Saskatchewan.

“We think provincial governments are better positioned to do that and deliver that than the federal government is.”

Harrison said more specific details will be forthcoming as more meetings take place.

“This isn’t going to be a revolution, it’s going to be an evolution process,” Harrison said.

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