Al Hawkins, Canadian Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, attended the Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador regional meeting on April 20, 2018, where he talked about ways to attract immigrants to the Atlantic province. He said that major areas of concern for the province are attracting and retaining immigrants. The government must make sure that communities have the resources required to welcome immigrants. At the meeting, he mentioned the welcomenl.ca, started by the provincial government to help municipal governments increase immigration in their locality.
The Newfoundland and Labrador government will be focusing on Labrador City, Corner Brook, and Happy Valley-Goose Bay for the 2018 – 19 fiscal year and Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor in the following financial year. Tony Keats, MNL president, said that according to a study done by Memorial University, the province will be losing 10 percent of its population over the next few years. He also mentioned that the government will keep updating any developments on the website regularly and urged municipalities to check it for updates regularly.
The website currently consists information about immigration terms and different ways people can come to Canada including the province. According to the government’s The Way Forward, the province aims to increase its population by 1,700 immigrants annually by 2022. Hawkins also mentioned that the immigrant population that comes to the province are already employed, breaking the myth that immigrants take away employment opportunities in the difficult labor market.
Hawkins said that rather than taking away jobs, immigrants come to the province, start businesses and provide employment to the locals. Hawkins made the announcement on the first day of the three-day long municipalities meeting. Every spring, four of these meetings are held, so that all municipalities can participate in the meeting, each of which attracts 60 to 80 meetings.