On April 9 2010, Dr. Alice Wong, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, and Moira Stilwell, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development, signed the new Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement.
The signing of this agreement with British Columbia will support the integration of newcomers, helping to ensure that they’re able to contribute to our economy and succeed in Canada,” said Minister Kenney. “I am also pleased to announce the first temporary foreign worker annex to this agreement today. This will facilitate the entry of these workers to help British Columbia fill critical labour shortages.”
“The agreement will help Canada attract the skilled international workers it needs to meet the needs of the Canadian economy as we emerge from the global economic recession,” added Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. “It will certainly strengthen British Columbia’s ability to meet its labour market needs both today and in the future.”
“The renewal of this agreement strengthens our partnership with the federal government and our commitment to providing welcoming and inclusive communities and workplaces in B.C. for newcomers,” said Minister Stilwell. “Immigrants coming to our province not only enrich the social fabric of B.C., they also bring economic advantages, generate innovation, attract industries and workers, and spur economic growth.”
The agreement formalizes and builds on the existing collaborative relationship between Canada and British Columbia on immigration matters and recognizes the importance of involving community partners, including local governments, service providers and the private sector, in welcoming and integrating newcomers. This year, $114 million will be transferred to British Columbia under the agreement to support settlement and integration services and welcoming communities initiatives.
Attracting more immigrants to British Columbia and retaining and integrating them to address British Columbia’s unique economic and social needs will be to Canada’s overall social, cultural and economic benefit.
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