More immigrants chose to make Nova Scotia their home last year than at any time in the last ten years. More are also staying, with the highest retention rate in recent history.
“Enhanced immigration is crucial to the future success of Nova Scotia and will help grow our economy,” said Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab.
“Immigrants help build our province and our country and help make our province a vibrant, dynamic society.”
Ms. Diab made the announcement at a breakfast meeting with the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce.
Last year, 2,661 newcomers settled in the province. This included 717 people coming through the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, the highest number yet for the program. Nominations only partially reflect the total number of immigrants who move to Nova Scotia as nominees may bring families, spouses and children.
More immigrants are also choosing to stay. The most recent Statistics Canada figures indicate a 71 per cent retention rate for immigrants who arrived in Nova Scotia between 2007-2011.
“Nova Scotia is a welcoming community and we want to ensure our province is seen by immigrants as an excellent choice,” said Ms. Diab. “On our part, government is working to make immigration to Nova Scotia more successful.”
Recent measures include:
— The Jan. 1, launch of the Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream to provide a faster route for skilled and educated immigrants in response to labour market demands
— In August 2014, Premier Stephen McNeil appointed Wadih Fares and Colin Dodds as joint chairs of the Premier’s Immigration Advisory Council
— In August 2014, Ms. Diab announced a strengthening of the partnership among government and settlement service providers to enhance services for people, families and communities
— In June 2014, the province changed the Provincial Nominee Program to ensure that international students who want to stay in Nova Scotia, have a way to do so