A plan to attract immigrants to small communities is now accepting applications from skilled workers who want to start a new life in Canada.
It’s designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in a participating community like North Bay.
See details about who can apply
The local five-year Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program is still a couple of months away from taking effect but is on track to begin January 1, 2020.
Local partners include the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce as well as those in settlement services, employment services, economic development and education centres. It's one of 11 projects selected across Canada.
See: North Bay part of new immigration pilot project
Chamber Vice President Patti Carr told CKAT there’s been plenty of interest with a database of 1,100.
"They must have a full-time job offer with a company in our region and an occupation that is in high demand that the employers can't seem to find employees at this time. They have to have a certain level of English skills, and income with funds to come to Canada as well as a full-time job offer.
"And we’re limited to the first 100 positions for year one,” she says.
"As the Canadian population ages and the birth rates decline, rural Canada's workforce has seen a significant decrease in available workers," says a news release from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. "This pilot will help attract people that are needed to drive economic growth and help the middle-class support jobs in these communities."
The area is a big one stretching from Temiskaming Shores and Kirkland Lake down to Burk's Falls, over to West Nipissing and east to Mattawa.
“We do have West Nipissing, a little bit south of North Bay, the smaller communities surrounding North Bay and the City of North Bay proper,” Carr says.
The project could last up to five years.
Other selected communities are:
- Sault Ste. Marie
- Thunder Bay,
- Gretna Rhineland-Altona, Plum Coulee (MB)
- Brandon (MB)
- Moose Jaw (SK)
- Claresholm (AB),
- West Kootenay (BC), and
- Vernon (BC).