The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador revealed on Wednesday how it will spend nearly $ 8 million to help meet an ambitious goal of attracting 5,100 immigrants per year by 2026.
The money will be spent on things like supports to help people settle in and integrate into their new homes. In addition, funds will be spent on education, inclusion initiatives and promotional campaigns to attract residents to Newfoundland and Labrador.“Today’s investments send a strong signal that in the months to come, as we work towards social and economic recovery, immigration will be a key pillar of our success,” Prime Minister Andrew Furey said during a press conference at the Confederation Building.
Furey was joined by representatives from Sharing Our Cultures, Tech NL and the Association for New Canadians.
The provincial budget released on May 31 underscored that immigration and population growth are critical to Newfoundland and Labrador’s economic future, especially as the average age of residents is steadily rising.
Furey said a “demographic crisis” in Newfoundland and Labrador is driving the change, and noted that NL. is the only province in Canada where the population is in decline.
The government hopes to attract immigrants from across Canada and around the world and plans to invest $ 2 million in marketing campaigns aimed at newcomers.
Byrne said the government will invest $ 2 million to digitize the immigration application process, which he says will reduce processing times.
While provincial immigration staff previously focused on processing applications, the province is investing $ 1 million to double the workforce. Staff will assist newcomers with the application process and will also assist employers who are trying to attract immigrant workers.
“We are going to play a much more militant role,” said Gerry Byrne, the minister responsible for Immigration and Population Growth.
Byrne also announced that $ 2.4 million will be spent annually on integration and settlement services, including employment, language training and cultural support. An additional $ 100,000 is earmarked for immigration training initiatives for government employees.
Education Minister Tom Osborne announced an investment of $ 357,000 to hire four more ESL instructors in the province’s Kindergarten to Grade 12 school system.
Furey highlighted growing industries like the tech sector as central attractions for highly skilled newcomers.
Paul Preston, CEO of Tech NL, said immigration is a key part of growing his industry, which employs 6,500 people in the province.
“Immigration not only brings the specialized skills we need, but most of all, it provides important connections for our businesses around the world,” said Preston.
Preston also highlighted a link between entrepreneurship and immigration, including businesses founded by immigrants at the Genesis Center, a hub for startups in St. John’s.
Amr Alagouza, Association for New Canadians project manager, said the investments will help the organization continue to provide resettlement and settlement services, including ESL training, programs for children and youth. , diversity programs, social enterprise programs and more.
“Our role goes beyond attracting newcomers,” said Alagouza.
“We are determined to also continue to work towards their integration, inclusion and retention in the province. “
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