John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, was in St. John’s today to sign the first bilateral framework immigration agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The new agreement establishes the same formal relationship on immigration issues that Canada already has in place with most other provinces. It sets out joint objectives and defines the roles and responsibilities of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador in relation to how we work together on immigration.
“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador supports a national vision for immigration,” said the Hon. Gerry Byrne, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. “By signing today’s agreement, we are strengthening our bilateral relationship with the Government of Canada and providing a platform to ensure that immigration policies and programs respond to the province’s economic development and labour market needs.”
The Ministers signed the new agreement at the Association for New Canadians, a settlement service provider organization, where they also had an opportunity to meet with settlement workers and recent immigrants.
“Our government is pleased to be working closely with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. This agreement will play an important role in supporting their immigration needs. Signing it here, at the Association for New Canadians, is also fitting, as organizations like this help integrate newcomers to Canada,” said Minister McCallum.
Later in the day, Minister McCallum hosted two roundtable discussions with stakeholders, including labour organizations, immigrant service organizations, multicultural groups and employers, as part of the national conversation on immigration. The feedback gathered will help determine the way forward on immigration to Canada.
Minister McCallum’s visit to Newfoundland and Labrador follows a successful meeting with Atlantic premiers and federal ministers earlier in the week where the Atlantic Growth Strategy was announced to help stimulate economic growth in the region. The first area of focus for the ministers and premiers will be immigration and skilled labour. Expected to launch in 2017, the federal and Atlantic provincial governments are in the initial stages of creating a new federal immigration pilot project to attract and retain newcomers in Atlantic Canada.