Alberta Immigration Proposal Could Bring 40,000 Newcomers To Rural Communities By 2024

Rural communities around Alberta could get a boost of around 40,000 newcomers over the next four years under policies being proposed by the province’s United Conservative Party.  

Albertans will vote for a new provincial government this spring and a number of polls have shown the United Conservative Party (UCP) and its leader, Jason Kenney, leading with decided voters.

Kenney, who served as Canada’s immigration minister from 2008 to 2013, said this week that Alberta needs to “use the power” of immigration to revitalize the province’s smaller, rural communities and the UCP would seek to do so through an immigration strategy centred around two key components: the Rural Renewal Program and the Rural Entrepreneurial Stream.

Combined, both pathways could channel as many as 10,000 new permanent residents to the province’s rural communities each year, or 40,000 over the UCP’s first term if it manages to defeat Alberta’s ruling New Democratic Party, Kenney said.

“The goal will be to end large backlogs, speed up processing times, proactively attract talented newcomers from overseas, welcome job-creating entrepreneurs and encourage settlement in rural Alberta, which needs population the most,” Kenney told reporters.

The Rural Renewal Program would operate through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program and prioritize economic immigration candidates who express an interest in settling in Alberta’s smaller rural communities.

Kenney said the program could bring in an estimated 32,000 new permanent residence over four years, which includes principal applicants and their accompanying spouses and dependent children.

“Participating communities would be able to recruit, screen and nominate their own candidates,” he said, noting they could either already be living in the community on a temporary work permit or be applicants living overseas.

Kenney inferred a link between the Rural Renewal Program and Canada’s federal Express Entry system, saying candidates who received a nomination through the program would benefit from “extra points” under Express Entry.

Express Entry candidates who receive a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their ranking score, which effectively guarantees an invitation from the Government of Canada to apply for permanent residence.

Source: Cic News

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