Hundreds of Calgarians filled the Magnolia Banquet Hall in Northeast Calgary on Monday night to attend the launch of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Strategy.
Premier Kenney was on hand to discuss the first step towards a new immigration strategy that will help create new jobs and reignite the economy. The government plans to work with newcomers, industry experts and other stakeholders to identify and clarify issues surrounding newcomers and the impact of immigration on the province.
Consultations, led by Labour and Immigration Minister Jason Copping and Parliamentary Secretary of Immigration Muhammed Yaseen, will help develop Alberta’s first immigration strategy since 2005. They will focus on removing barriers for newcomers and proactively attracting professionals from around the world.
“Alberta is the land of opportunity, which is why we are developing a comprehensive immigration strategy that attracts talented job creators from around the world, knocks down unnecessary barriers and champions economic inclusion,” said Premier Jason Kenney.
Newcomers face many challenges when arriving in Canada, including barriers to employment and lack of access to information. Nationally, over 500,000 newcomers are currently unable to work in the fields they have trained for.
Labour and Immigration Minister Jason Copping acknowledged that “Alberta is a destination of choice for thousands of skilled and qualified professionals from around the world, and getting those people to work in the industries they are trained for, as soon as we can, is crucial to our economy.”
Consultations will focus on developing four new programs:
• Rural Entrepreneur: inviting entrepreneurs to start new businesses in smaller Alberta communities.
• Rural Renewal: prioritizing applications from foreign nationals who are committed to living and working in smaller communities throughout Alberta.
• International Graduate Entrepreneur: encouraging foreign student graduates of Alberta post-secondary institutions to start a business and stay in Alberta permanently.
• Foreign Graduate Start-Up: targeting foreign graduates of top universities in the United States to launch a start-up enterprise in Alberta.
Stakeholders will be invited to participate in consultations from Sept. 23 to Oct. 22.