News release

New Immigration Strategy will Help Employers, Communities

NOTE: A social media version of this release, with hi-res downloadable photos, video and audio clips will be available later today, April 29, at http://gov.ns.ca/news/smr/2011-04-29-Immigration/ .

A new strategy released today, April 29, by Premier Darrell Dexter will fulfill the province's commitment to double the number of new immigrants arriving each year by 2020.

Premier Dexter released Welcome Home to Nova Scotia at the Canadian Immigration Museum at Pier 21 in Halifax. The strategy establishes a target of 7,200 new immigrants by 2020, or double what the province had aimed to achieve. The strategy, which will be supported by $790,000 in additional funding for immigration efforts, will also target a 70 per cent retention rate.

"Welcome Home to Nova Scotia is the province's most ambitious and focused immigration plan ever, and one of the most comprehensive strategies in the country," Premier Dexter said. "It will compliment jobsHere by targeting international workers with the technical skills and international contacts the province needs to become more innovative, productive and competitive. It will ensure potential immigrants understand they are welcome and valued in Nova Scotia and that this province wants them to stay and build a life here."

Immigration Minister Marilyn More said the strategy will see government work more closely with employers, community organizations and labour to ensure the province attracts immigrants whose skills are most needed in the workforce.

"By focusing on attracting immigrants with the right skills and experience, this new strategy will make our immigration programs more responsive to employers' needs," said Ms. More. "Equally important, it will mean that new immigrants will be more likely to succeed and stay in Nova Scotia, strengthening both our economy and our communities."

The new strategy will also:

  • provide critical employment information about credential recognition and settlement information, to help immigrants plan for working and living in Nova Scotia before they arrive
  • improve settlement programs such as extending immigrant navigator services to all regions of the province
  • ensure easier and quicker recruiting of temporary foreign workers for employers
  • provide more protections for temporary foreign workers, and enhance programs that encourage them to make Nova Scotia their permanent home
  • allow for strategic marketing to attract immigrants from around the world and international graduates already here in Canada
  • establish a formal and ongoing evaluation of the nominee program to ensure accountability for immigrants, employers and taxpayers

"Hiring immigrants can help you achieve export development objectives," said Jean-Paul Deaveau, president of Acadian Seaplants Limited in Dartmouth. "Their expertise can speed up market entry and development, help you provide top-notch customer service, and improve your competitiveness. There's no doubt, hiring immigrants is good for business."

The benefits of immigration extend into communities as many new Nova Scotians and their families become volunteers, civic leaders and entrepreneurs. Welcome Home to Nova Scotia recognizes the importance of welcoming communities by providing tools that will help communities become inclusive and supportive.

"Starting a new life, it's not an easy task," said Flora Riyahi, vice-chair of the Advisory Council to Immigration. "To come here, to feel alone, it makes it more difficult. We need to keep immigrants happy. We need to be a welcoming community in order to keep and attract immigrants to Nova Scotia, and this strategy will help us to do that."

For more information, visit www.gov.ns.ca/jobshere .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

A new strategy released today (April 29th) by Premier Darrell Dexter will fulfill the province's commitment to double the number of new immigrants arriving each year by 2020.

Welcome Home to Nova Scotia sets a target of 72-hundred immigrants a year by 2020, and a 70 per cent retention rate.

The strategy includes quicker access to temporary foreign workers for employers and improved support services before and after immigrants arrive in the province.

Premier Dexter says there is a need to attract more immigrants as part of the jobsHere plan to grow the economy.

The immigration strategy promotes the importance of a welcoming province and provides tools that can help communities become inclusive and supportive.

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Media Contacts:

Janet Lynn McNeil
Premier's Office 902-424-2402 Cell: 902-237-4287 E-mail:
Tom Peck
Office of Immigration 902-424-3742 Cell: 223-2931 E-mail: