Canada’s western provinces, from British Columbia to Nunavut, will call on the government to lift a cap on immigration that is compounding shortages of skilled labor, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger said.
Manitoba can’t reach its goal of bringing 75,000 immigrants to the province in the next eight years because federal restrictions limit the number of newcomers who can enter under the Provincial Nominee Program, Selinger said. Western and territorial leaders set to meet in Winnipeg on June 17 want Ottawa to lift the caps so that companies can fill job vacancies as baby boomers retire, he said.
“We’ve seen some changes that have potentially put a crimp in our ability to grow our economies and have people living in our communities,” Selinger said today in a telephone interview from Winnipeg.
Leaders of the western provinces and territories plan to draft a policy statement on immigration limits and “make their case known” to the federal government, he said. The Western Premiers’ Conference includes representatives from Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Officials also will discuss disaster management programs and the need for more flexibility to help unemployed Canadians access federal programs to upgrade their skills, Selinger said.
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