Marcus Powlowski – “Northern Ontario’s vitality is being renewed through these immigration efforts”


New Immigration Initiatives to Boost Rural and Francophone Communities

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Marc Miller, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), announced pivotal changes to immigration programs that will benefit rural and Northern communities.

Central to this development is the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program (RNIP), which has proven its effectiveness and will now become a permanent fixture in Canada’s immigration strategy.

Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, reflected on the crucial role of immigration in addressing the labour shortage exacerbated by an aging population. “Northern Ontario’s vitality is being renewed through these immigration efforts. Our history of diversity, with roots in Finland, Ukraine, Italy, and beyond, continues as we welcome a new generation of immigrants who are now integral to the future of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario,” Powlowski stated.

IRCC Minister Confirms Permanency of Successful Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The RNIP, established to meet the unique economic and labour needs of rural and Northern areas, has seen considerable success, filling critical employment gaps and aiding in the community and business development. By the close of 2023, a notable number of 4,595 newcomers had gained permanent residence through the program, positively impacting sectors such as health care, trades, and retail. This decision to cement RNIP’s status recognizes the substantial contribution immigrants make to the country’s diverse and evolving labour landscape.

Alongside the RNIP, IRCC is introducing two new pilot initiatives: the Rural Community Immigration Pilot and the Francophone Community Immigration Pilot. These programs are tailored to continue the momentum of supporting the growth and vibrancy of rural and Francophone minority communities across Canada. The application process for these pilots will be inaugurated this spring, with more detailed information anticipated in the subsequent months.

Thunder Bay Embraces Immigrant Contribution to Northwestern Ontario’s Growth The local business sector and the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce have expressed robust support for these immigration advancements. Ongoing consultations with communities, stakeholders, and partners will shape the finer points of the Rural and Francophone Community Immigration Pilot Programs and the permanent RNIP.

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