On January 24, federal Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen announced The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Project (RNIPP). This new program will attract and retain skilled immigrants in Canada’s rural and northern communities, many of which are experiencing population decline, outmigration and labour shortages. The RNIPP goal is to facilitate newcomer settlement in the communities that need them most and to spread the benefits of economic immigration to those smaller communities.
In recent years, the Chamber has been actively engaged in community discussions about the need for improved immigration policy to assist in attracting skilled workers to our community to address our labour shortages and we are pleased to see the Federal Government has heard our concerns. For the past 6 weeks, we have worked closely with the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission as part of an RNIPP application development team to help to put Thunder Bay’s best foot forward in the hopes of being awarded one of the pilot opportunities.
Thunder Bay’s pilot application has now been submitted and we await the decision by the Government of Canada sometime later this spring. On behalf of all Chamber Members, I want to express my sincere thanks to the RNIPP application development team and especially the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission for their diligent work and exceptional leadership in bringing together stakeholders from across the community on this important project. Further, I would like to acknowledge the strong support received from our federal Members of Parliament, the Hon. Patty Hajdu and Don Rusnak, who were tenacious advocates in support of the development of this pilot project by the Government of Canada.