The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration is working with post-secondary schools, the YMCA and other partners to promote immigration to Cape Breton and attract more newcomers.
Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab thanked the Cape Breton Immigration Task Force today, May 4, for their leadership.
She also announced $174,000 in funding for some new welcoming initiatives.
Cape Breton University, in partnership with the YMCA, will highlight the benefits of bringing immigrants to Cape Breton and Cape Breton to immigrants through community workshops. They will also implement the Cape Breton Immigration Task Force’s plan of action, which government helped fund.
Ms. Diab said Cape Breton has a rich history of welcoming immigrants from around the world. In recent years, the population has been declining.
“Attracting more newcomers to Cape Breton will move this beautiful, strong and vibrant region ahead,” said Ms. Diab. “We need to work together to bring more families into our communities — people to create and fill jobs, shop and keep stores open, and children to fill our schools.”
Ms. Diab also highlighted assets Cape Breton has working in its favour.
“The task force has taken the One Nova Scotia report to heart, and brought everyone together to put ideas into action,” she said. “Cape Breton is also home to more than 1,200 international students, and my office wants to work with partners to make it easier for them to stay.”
Last year, government opened a new door for international graduates who want to stay in Nova Scotia. Now, international graduates, with a job offer from a Nova Scotia employer, can apply for permanent residency through a skilled worker stream.
“Growing our workforce is critical,” said Keith Brown, vice-president, International and Aboriginal Affairs, Cape Breton University. “The future of this region, and our economy, depends on it.”
Ms. Diab praised the task force for consulting international students and other newcomers in developing its action plan. She said government is also following the advice of immigrants.
Premier Stephen McNeil appointed Wadih Fares and Colin Dodds as joint chairs of the Premier’s Immigration Advisory Council, tasked with promoting Nova Scotia’s interests in Ottawa.
While much work remains, progress is clear. More immigrants chose to make Nova Scotia home last year than any time in the past 10 years. More immigrants are also choosing to stay.
“By working together, we can build on these numbers, welcoming more people to Nova Scotia, and more to this wonderful island,” said Ms. Diab.
For more information on immigrating to Nova Scotia, visit www.novascotiaimmigration.com .