The formula for successfully attracting immigrants to smaller communities

Promoting immigration to smaller provinces, cities, and towns across Canada — a process known as “regionalization” — has been the rage since the 1990s. 

The most notable tool for promoting regionalization has been the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which first launched in Manitoba in 1999 and has since been adopted by every province and territory except for Quebec and Nunavut.

As a result of this push for regionalization, the three main destinations for Canada’s immigrants historically (Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia) have seen their share of all newcomers to Canada decline from 85 per cent to around 70 per cent.

Despite this success, addressing the regionalization challenge remains a work in progress and today communities across Canada are grappling with another major issue — how to steer immigrants away from their province’s largest city.

Seven provinces see at least 80 per cent of immigrants go to one city. The only exceptions are New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, each of which has at least two main cities.

Canada does not need to reinvent the wheel to make progress on this front. Remember that while Canada worked very hard to populate its country upon its founding in 1867, it struggled to attract and retain newcomers until decades later.

Similarly, provinces such as Saskatchewan and Manitoba had very low immigrant intakes until they astutely used the PNP to turn their immigration fortunes around. Today, they enjoy some of Canada’s highest newcomer intakes per capita. All this to say that smaller jurisdictions can develop the capacity to become more successful at attracting newcomers.

The Canadian model shows there are four components to attracting newcomers, and this is the formula that Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and other successful smaller jurisdictions have used:

  • Jobs
  • Community
  • Supports
  • Infrastructure

Smaller jurisdictions need to have economic opportunity and match prospective newcomers with appropriate jobs. While these communities may be able to attract more immigrants, the retention of them will be far more challenging if the immigrants are working in jobs that do not match their skills.

It is also crucial to match the spouses of immigrants with appropriate job opportunities, otherwise, the family is more propense to leave even if one of the wife or husband is gainfully employed.

Smaller jurisdictions also need to ensure they offer immigrants a sense of community. This means having locals embrace newcomers from all corners of the globe. It also helps to have established ethnic groups (e.g., based on religion or nationality), which can serve as huge draws to newcomers. After employment opportunities, established family and ethnic networks is often the biggest reason why a newcomer will choose a particular destination in Canada.

Newcomers tend to need a wide range of supports such as language training, finding a doctor, enrolling their children in school, and opening a bank account. Canada is fortunate to have over 500 immigrant-serving organizations that offer these supports, and the presence of such organizations in smaller communities provides them with a significant advantage in attracting and keeping immigrants.

Finally, smaller jurisdictions must be physically equipped to welcome newcomers. This entails having requisite infrastructure such as public transportation, affordable housing, recreational facilities, and libraries with multilingual content. The presence of public transportation is especially key since immigrants understandably may not be able to purchase a car immediately and need to be able to get to work and pursue their other affairs.

More can be done to promote regionalization to smaller communities. For example, provinces may wish to establish regionalization quotas under their PNPs, whereby they allocate a specific number of immigrants they will select each year to live in smaller communities.

The federal government can help by promoting smaller jurisdictions to prospective newcomers. Immigrants tend to have a strong awareness of Canada’s largest cities but may not know of the opportunities and benefits that are provided by smaller jurisdictions.

Both levels of government can also award extra points to and expedite the processing of immigrants destined to these communities. To ensure immigrants are genuinely interested in building a life there, the two levels of government would see if the immigrants have a job offer, community ties, or have worked or studied in the jurisdiction.

The Canadian experience dating back to Confederation shows us that regionalization to smaller provinces, cities, and towns is in fact possible. Harnessing our formula for success — jobs, communities, supports, infrastructure — will enable these communities to reap immigration’s many rewards.

New Manitoba invitations push 2019 total over 6,000

A new draw held September 12 by the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program invited 347 skilled foreign workers and international graduates to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence.

The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, or MPNP, has now issued more than 700 Letters of Advice to Apply (LAAs) through its Skilled Worker in Manitoba and Skilled Worker Overseas categories and its International Education Stream in less than a month.

A total of 6,157 LAAs have now been issued in 2019 through these three immigration pathways.

Express Entry invitations
Of the 347 invitations issued September 12, 45 went to candidates with a profile in the federal Express Entry system.

Express Entry manages the pool of candidates for Canada’s three Federal High Skilled economic immigration categories — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool who receive a provincial nomination are awarded an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and are moved to the front of the line for an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

To be considered for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence from Manitoba, Express Entry candidates must have eligible work experience in an occupation that is listed as in-demand by the MPNP, among other requirements.

Find out if you are eligible for the Express Entry pool

Skilled Worker in Manitoba
The September 12 draw issued a total of 254 LAAs to candidates in the Skilled Worker in Manitoba Category, which provides a pathway to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers and international student graduates who are working in Manitoba and have an eligible offer of full-time, permanent employment from their employer, among other criteria.

Manitoba’s skilled worker categories operate on an Expression of Interest (EOI) basis. To be considered for a Letter of Advice to Apply, candidates must create an online profile and provide the required information on their education, work experience and proficiency in English or French, among other factors.

The profiles of eligible candidates are given a score out of 1,000 and placed in the MPNP’s EOI pool.

The lowest-ranked Skilled Worker in Manitoba candidate invited in the September 12 draw had a score of 545.

Skilled Worker Overseas
Another 53 LAAs were issued through the MPNP’s Skilled Worker Overseas Category.

All candidates were invited directly through a Strategic Recruitment Initiative, which can include overseas recruitment missions organized by the MPNP in association with Manitoba employers.

The lowest-scoring Skilled Worker Overseas candidate in this draw had an EOI score of 706.

International Education Stream
The International Education Stream (IES) is for Manitoba graduates with skills required by the province’s labour market needs.

There are three subcategories in this stream: Career Employment Pathway, Graduate Internship Pathway, and the Student Entrepreneur Pathway.

The MPNP issued 40 LAAs to International Education Stream candidates in the September 12 draw.

VIU: Post Degree Diploma in Business Program is back

Vancouver Island University (VIU) has formally announced the return of their 12 month Post Degree Diploma in Business program. The program is already open for applications for the September 2018 and January 2019 intakes. Ask your ApplyBoard representative about applying to this program.

For September 2018 and January 2019 intakes, students can opt for one of three concentrations:

  • Economics + Finance
  • General Management
  • Marketing

Admission Requirements:

  • An undergraduate degree (3-year degrees accepted) from an appropriately accredited university
  • A minimum average of 55% calculated in the last two years of the undergraduate degree, with a review of the entire degree
  • IELTS 6.0 with no band under 5.5; TOEFL iBT 80 with no section under 19; PTE overall 54 (with no section under 51)

Application Deadlines:

  • September 2018 and January 2019 intakes, until the time seats are available.
  • Admissions are open for these two intakes.

UC Berkeley: New Scholarship for BHGAP Entrepreneurship Program


The University of California, Berkeley has announced that they are offering 4 new scholarships of up to $5,000 for the Fall 2018 program (August–December 2018).

“BHGAP places students at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business to learn about innovation and entrepreneurship, including visits to Silicon Valley companies. Students interested in the scholarship must apply to both the scholarship and the program by June 3, 2018.”

Click here to learn more about how to apply for a scholarship.

Algonquin College: Requirements for Jamaican students



Please be advised that students from Jamaica to Algonquin College do not require an English test so long as we have received their examination from the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).

For students from Jamaica, Algonquin requires one of the following:

  1. Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) showing passes in 5 examinations, one of which is English, with a minimum grade of 3 in required program subjects (student was born before June 1998)
  2. Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) showing passes in 5 examinations, one of which is English, with a minimum grade of C in required program subjects