By CIC News |
Smaller cities offer good job opportunities, more affordable housing, and a high quality of life
Over the past twenty years, Canada has sought to encourage more immigrants to move to its smaller cities. The main tool it has used to pursue this goal has been the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
The PNP enables provinces and territories across the country to develop their own eligibility criteria for economic class immigrants and then nominate immigrants who meet their labour market needs for Canadian permanent resident status.
The PNP has been effective in reducing the share of immigration to Canada’s three largest provinces (Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia) from 85 per cent when the program was launched in 1999 to about 70 per cent today.
Programs currently in place to promote immigration to smaller cities
On the other hand, Canada’s federal government and its provinces and territories recognize that more work can be done to promote immigration to smaller cities. This is evidenced by the fact that the federal government has launched many new programs in recent years such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP), Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), and plans to launch new programs such as the Municipal Nominee Program (MNP).
Various provinces operate PNP streams to help cities outside of their respective capitals attract more immigrants. For example, Ontario will launch a new Regional Immigration Pilot under its PNP in early 2020. Ontario is pursuing this initiative because nearly 80 per cent of its immigrants go to its capital region (the Greater Toronto Area), which means that many cities across the province struggle to attract enough immigrants to support their economies.