Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) immigration ministers today reiterated their commitment to actively recruit economic immigrants that have the skills the Canadian economy needs most.
Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Alberta’s Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk co-chaired the meeting of FPT ministers responsible for immigration. Economic immigration was a top priority for all ministers around the table.
Ministers agreed to continue collaborating on building the new active recruitment model which is known as the Expression of Interest (or EOI) system. It is intended to transform Canada’s immigration system into one that is more responsive to labour market needs.
EOI will provide governments and Canadian employers access to skilled foreign workers and expedite their entry into Canada for jobs that aren’t being filled by people already in Canada. Ministers agreed to engage jointly and intensively with employers on EOI prior to the new system launch in January 2015.
Immigration Ministers also endorsed a plan to improve settlement outcomes for newcomers across Canada. It includes improved pre-arrival services, foreign qualification recognition, language learning for newcomers who are not in the workforce and ways to encourage newcomers to become more connected to their communities.
The ministers reviewed progress to date on the FPT Vision Action Plan, reiterating the continuing need to align immigration levels with economic demand, build a fast, flexible economic immigration system focused primarily on meeting labour market needs across Canada, and improve social and economic settlement and integration outcomes for newcomers to Canada.
As immigration remains crucial to Canada’s economic future, the ministers agreed to meet again before the end of the year to continue this important work.
Under the Canada-Québec Accord relating to immigration and temporary admission of foreign nationals, Québec fully assumes sole responsibility for establishing immigration levels, and for the selection, francization and integration of immigrants. In areas under its responsibility, Québec develops its policies and programs, legislates, regulates and sets its own standards. Québec is an observer at FPT meetings.