It appears Canada’s youngest and easternmost province will take in over 1,700 immigrants three years earlier than expected.
In 2017 the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador said they would welcome 50 per cent more immigrants per year by 2022. Their figures were based on the 2015 immigration rate when 1,122 permanent residencies were issued— meaning they would need to attract 600 more immigrants to the province in order to meet their target.
“That 1,700 was, I guess, a lofty goal when we started,” Bernard Davis, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, told CIC News. “We anticipate by the end of this fiscal year we should be surpassing (our goal) quite substantially.”
The number of applications to Newfoundland and Labrador doubled from 2018 to 2019. The increase in applications may be a result of the Province’s five-year immigration strategy in conjunction with the federal government’s Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), as both of these initiatives were launched in 2017.
In order to accommodate the influx of immigrants, the government plans on revising their five-year strategy to address the new challenges. More details on that strategy should be released later this year, but Davis indicated that improving immigrant retention would be in the top priorities.
Statistics Canada reports that about 51 per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador immigrants stayed in the province from 2011 to 2016.
The Province is looking to immigration to help improve its declining population, which currently stands at around 525,000 people.