Image via WikipediaManitoba experienced its highest inflow of international immigrants in nearly 40 years this spring, but the province’s immigration minister said a new cap imposed by the federal government could prevent that number from growing too much higher in the future.
New population figures released by Statistics Canada Wednesday show Manitoba had a net international migration of nearly 4,400 people between April 1 and July 1.
That’s the highest quarterly number since 1971 for the stat, which measures the difference between international migrants arriving in Manitoba and Manitobans leaving for other countries.
Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard said Ottawa recently imposed a cap of 5,000 spaces for Manitoba’s nominee program for 2010 and 5,000 more in 2011, in order to balance the influx of economic immigrants with other streams like refugees and family reunifications.
“If we’re not allowed to grow beyond that, we will see a stalling of the program,” Howard said. “We could nominate 5,600 this year.”
Howard said the province estimates 2.5 people will come to Manitoba with each one of those spots, as each space represents an immigrant and his or her immediate family.
Howard said the top source country by far for immigrants to Manitoba is the Philippines, followed by Germany, China and India.
“Most newcomers say that it’s so friendly here, that we welcome newcomers. This is also the best place to raise a family,” said Rod Cantiveros, president of the Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba, which offers a settlement program for new immigrants to help them with things like employment and education resources.
Cantiveros said Manitoba is well-known in the Philippines as a place with a vibrant Filipino community and making it an immigration destination.
Inkster MLA Kevin Lamoureux, whose office helps process about 300 Filipino immigration cases per month, said he’s recently seen an influx of cases of people getting rejected because the government is now demanding potential immigrants have at least $8,000 cash in their own names instead of in a trust account set up by a relative.
“It’s a very hot issue in the Filipino community,” he said.
Howard said there has been no such policy change. She acknowledged the federal government has become “more and more explicit that people need to have control over their own money” and there’s been a gradual tightening of existing rules, but said Manitoba has not changed its financial criteria for nominating potential immigrants.
Source: Sun Media
At a news conference here Tuesday, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Diane Finley said the government is funding a project that will make it easier for internationally trained architects to find work in their field.
The government has reached an agreement with the professional body that governs architects to develop a system to recognize the skills and experience of foreign-trained architects, Finley said.
"Newcomers need to have their credentials and their work experience recognized, and done so in a timely manner," Finley told reporters.
"That is why the government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories, and encouraging partners to work together to improve foreign credential recognition," she added.
Finley is expected to make a similar announcement Wednesday about dentists.
Finley said the acceptance of foreign credentials not only helps immigrants, it also aids employers who need their skills.
"Attracting and retaining the best international talent to address existing and future labor market challenges is critical to Canada's long-term economic success," she said. "When newcomers succeed, we strengthen the economy and improve the standard of living for all Canadians."
She said the Canadian government, under its Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, is working on rules to streamline credential recognition for eight professions, including architects, engineers, accountants, medical laboratory technicians, pharmacists, physiotherapists and registered nurses.
Another six professions will be addressed soon, government officials said. These include engineering technicians, licensed practical nurses, medical radiation technicians, physicians, and teachers.
Architecture Canada is the first professional organization to work on a project to evaluate and license foreign-trained professions. The agency will examine the training and work experience of immigrant architects, then assign them academic work at Athabaska University if they need training in Canadian methods and help learning one of Canada's official languages.
The courses will begin at the Center of Architecture at Athabasca University in Sept. 2011.
"Architecture Canada and the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities welcome the grant from the federal government to undertake this worthwhile study," said Jim McKee, Executive Director of Architecture Canada. "The architectural profession is committed to increasing the number of architects in practice to provide services to our clients in Canada and abroad."
McKee said Canada needs about 100 to 200 foreign architects each year to meet the demands of the country, and that number will grow as hundreds of architects retire in the next few years. He said many Canadian architecture graduates leave Canada for jobs in the United States.
McKee said foreign-trained architects may save up to five years of re-training. Formerly, they had to perform 5,600 hours of apprenticeship training and take academic courses before being licensed to work in Canada.