The Government of Canada announced the launch of a pilot program to assist in growing small rural and Northern communities, enhancing their economy, society, and demography. This program is a five-year federal pilot project that involves communities and selected provincial and territorial governments. The project works to help participating communities gain access to supports in order to assist newcomers in settling into life in Canada and integrating into the local community. This program is similar in nature to the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, which was launched in March 2017 in an effort to stimulate economic growth in Atlantic Canada.
IRCC is targeting communities in Ontario, Western Canada, and the territories in order to participate in the pilot. Interested communities must meet specific eligibility criteria, submit an application, and be able to demonstrate how immigration will promote economic development in their community. Those communities that submit applications will be examined to determine their current job demands and which positions are not being filled.
The deadline to apply for this program is March 1st, 2019.
What are the eligibility requirements?
In order to participate, your community must:
Have a population of:
Be in: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Saskatchewan, or Yukon
Have job opportunities
Have an economic development plan
Have a local economic development organization that can manage the pilot for your community
Be able to settle new immigrants in the community by having or developing:
Relationships with local or regional immigrant-serving organizations as through mentoring or networking access to key services like: education, housing, transportation, and healthcare.
Opportunities to connect newcomers with established members of the community, such as through mentoring or networking, and
Access to key services, such as education, housing, transportation, and health care
Your community’s application must also have the support, shown through letters of support, of:
the municipality (local leaders) and
a local or regional immigrant-serving organization
The Government of Canada also encourages communities with French-speaking populations to apply and identify themselves in their application.
What happens if your community is selected?
If your community is selected, the economic development organization that submits the application is expected to manage the pilot for your community. This means that the organizer will need to work with community stakeholders, including employers to attract newcomers and help them integrate into their new community.
What is the role of the community?
This pilot is community-driven, which means that the communities we select to participate must be actively involved in:
Attracting new immigrants
Matching potential new immigrants to jobs
Promoting a welcoming community for immigrants
Cconnecting immigrants to established members of the community and settlement services
The economic development organization that works with the community to complete the application must:
Submit the complete application and
Manage the pilot for the community, if their community is selected.