Provincial immigration ministers pledge to collaborate for immigration benefits

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Provincial immigration ministers

On November 17, 2023, the Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI) met in Toronto to discuss Canada’s immigration future. Provincial immigration ministers agreed on a coordinated approach to address opportunities and challenges, focusing on economic immigration and support for vulnerable newcomers. 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) presented a report that emphasized a welcoming experience for immigrants and alignment with labor market needs. The ministers affirmed the importance of reducing processing times and supporting Francophone immigration. Additionally, they agreed on collaborating on a crisis response framework, improving settlement services and the International Student Program.

Details of the Provincial immigration ministers pledge

This approach is founded on the principle of shared jurisdiction and mutual respect for federal and provincial-territorial roles and responsibilities in Canadian immigration. Immigration, ministers agreed, is an important part of the country’s fabric because it contributes to its diversity, economy, and meeting labor market needs. Ministers also agreed on the importance of assisting Canada’s response to humanitarian crises as well as the needs of vulnerable newcomers.

The ministers were presented with the findings of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) recently released report, An Immigration System for Canada’s Future.

The report’s key themes include making newcomers feel more welcome, continuing to align immigration with labor market needs, and developing a comprehensive and coordinated growth plan, including collaboration with federal and provincial-territorial (FPT) partners, to best support immigrants and communities across the country. Provinces and territories discussed the future of Canada’s immigration system, as well as the challenges and opportunities that their jurisdictions face.

The 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan was discussed by ministers in the context of FPT immigration priorities and responsibilities. These include focusing on economic immigration, including through provincial nominee programs, reuniting families, and meeting Canada’s humanitarian obligations.

Provincial and territorial ministers acknowledged the recent increases to the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and called for a greater share of PNPs to be considered when planning immigration levels. Ministers discussed the importance of FPT programming in advancing economic immigration and attracting and retaining immigrants outside of major metropolitan areas.

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