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Province pushes for more newcomers

Ottawa plans to place cap on immigration

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MANITOBA'S minister of labour and immigration, Jennifer Howard, meets with her federal counterpart in Ottawa early next week to push her case for more immigrants to settle in the province.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 02/07/2011 (4175 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

MANITOBA’S minister of labour and immigration, Jennifer Howard, meets with her federal counterpart in Ottawa early next week to push her case for more immigrants to settle in the province.

Howard said her meeting with Jason Kenney, minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, is aimed at getting Ottawa to back down on its proposed cap on the number of newcomers to Canada.

Howard said in an interview the pace of immigration to the province, through its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), has been partly responsible for Manitoba’s economic and population growth over the past few years.

Statistics Canada estimates 15,705 new Manitobans came from other countries between April 2010 and April 2011, the highest 12-month level recorded since 1946. As of April 1, Manitoba’s population reached 1,246,396, representing a growth of 16,121 people in the past 12 months.

The province says the PNP accounts for more than three-quarters of all immigration to Manitoba.

Howard said the vast majority of people coming to Manitoba have found jobs and have settled here.

“We should not be penalized for our success,” she said Thursday of Ottawa’s proposed cutback on visas for relatives of immigrants already settled here.

Also with Howard will be Jim Carr of the Business Council of Manitoba, Dave Angus of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Graham Starmer of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce; and Paula Havixbeck, the acting deputy mayor of Winnipeg.

Howard said Kenney has always been reasonable, but fears federal officials may be basing their cutback plan on the numbers of immigrants settling in Quebec and Ontario rather than focusing on how immigration benefits a smaller province like Manitoba.

Last year, Manitoba was initially allotted 4,600 federal certificates to bring people to Canada through the PNP. When Manitoba complained it was less than the year before, the feds upped it to 5,000. That many certificates issued in 2010 will likely result more than 15,000 new arrivals once their family members are included.

The early indication is that Ottawa wants to cap the PNP at the same place as 2010, but Manitoba has set a goal of 5,500.

Howard, who is also minister responsible for women, said she is attending the Women’s Worlds 2011 conference in Ottawa that starts Sunday. The five-day conference features more than 1,600 academics, policy-makers, researchers and activists from around the world on women’s rights.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

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