Newfoundland and Labrador’s request for an increase in its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) immigrant allocation has been granted. The Canadian government has effectively doubled Newfoundland and Labrador’s immigrant intake, shaping a promising future for this Atlantic Canadian province.
“We have achieved a doubling of our yearly immigration spaces from 1,500 to 3,050 people,” said provincial Immigration Minister Gerry Byrne in the House of Assembly last week. “This along with their families represents a capacity of 6,700 newcomers being able to be nominated annually.”
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Surge in Newfoundland and Labrador’s Newcomer Figures
Recent data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) showcases Newfoundland and Labrador’s welcoming attitude, with 3,495 new permanent residents settling in the province in 2022. This marks a substantial 70.9% increase from the 2,045 new immigrants who moved to these provinces the previous year.
Furthermore, the first few months of 2023 saw that this province welcome 1,585 new permanent residents. If this immigration rate holds steady, these provinces could potentially welcome as many as 9,510 new immigrants this year.
Reversing Demographic Decline
This significant growth in immigration marks a more than threefold increase in Newfoundland and Labrador’s immigration levels since 2015 when the province welcomed only 1,120 newcomers. This influx of immigrants is reversing a previous trend of demographic decline in these provinces.
The Province’s population hit a 20-year high of 531,948 at the start of the year, according to provincial data. Notably, the fourth quarter of 2022 saw record a net migration of 3,683 – the highest figure since the province began tracking these numbers in 1951.
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Population on the Rise
Statistics Canada data reaffirms this upward trend, with Newfoundland and Labrador’s population increasing by over 12,000 residents over seven consecutive quarters.
“For the first time in 50 years, enrolment of children in our schools is increasing, not shrinking,” said Byrne. “This fall will see more children in schools for the second consecutive year.”
He also highlighted the pivotal role of the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) in contributing to this growth, particularly within the Ukrainian community in this province.
Welcoming Refugees and Asylum Seekers
“Newfoundland and Labrador are actively welcoming talented refugee and asylum seekers from South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and anywhere systemic persecution exists,” said the provincial immigration minister.
“Newfoundland and Labrador is home to a vibrant and growing Muslim community of over 7,500 individuals. They’re our doctors, educators, entrepreneurs, and frontline workers. These people are now a crucial part of Newfoundland and Labrador’s future,” Byrne expressed.
A United Call for Immigration Reform
Last year, federal and provincial ministers convened in Saint John, New Brunswick to discuss the future of Canada’s immigration system. The provincial ministers, including Newfoundland’s representative, advocated for a more substantial say in immigrant selection, more input into the modernization of the Express Entry system, and an expansion of their PNP allocations.
“It’s time to stop constraining Canada’s progress. With unfulfilled jobs across the provinces, Ottawa needs to let provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador select more of the skilled immigrants their communities need,” tweeted Ontario Immigration Minister Monte McNaughton.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s Immigration Future Looks Bright
In response, Ottawa promptly increased several provinces’ immigration allocations, aligning with Canada’s proactive approach to immigration. As part of the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada has set a target of welcoming 465,000 new permanent residents this year, with Newfoundland and Labrador playing a key part in that vision.
By 2025, Canada is projected to welcome another 500,000 new permanent residents, amounting to a total of 1.45 million newcomers over the next three years. This forward-thinking plan is a testament to Canada’s dedication to building a diverse society, with Newfoundland and Labrador standing at the forefront of this transformative journey.