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BC PNP Gets a Vote of Confidence from the Federal Government

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As we’ve previously noted in this blog, the federal government has been trying to shift the skilled worker category increasingly onto the provinces. There is some sound logic behind this move, as a person has to be already working in Canada in order to qualify as a provincial nominee. It is much easier to become successfully established in Canada if you’re already part of the labour force. Today’s announcement from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration confirms the trend.

The Government of Canada will continue to provide British Columbia with a record amount of space in the country’s immigration program in 2012, James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced today on behalf of Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

In 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to welcome 42,000 to 45,000 people under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), including nominees themselves, their spouses and dependants. CIC is on track to welcome a record number of provincial nominees this year and could set another milestone in 2012 if provinces submit enough nominations early on to fill their allotted space in the program. BC’s proportion of nominations was 17 percent this year. The PNP allotments for 2012 are still being finalized and will be released later.

British Columbia’s PNP has jumped more than eight-fold, from approximately 600 people admitted in 2004 to 4,900 people in 2010. Provincial nominees accounted for 16 percent of economic class admissions and 11 percent of total immigration to BC in 2010.

“The Government of Canada recognizes the valuable contributions of immigrants to British Columbia’s communities and economy,” said Minister Moore. “We are committed to working with provinces and territories to meet local labour market needs.” Today, the PNP has become the second largest source of economic immigration to Canada.

Canadian Immigration, language assessment of citizenship applicants

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Did you know that The Department of Citizenship and Immigration has issued a Notice of Intent to amend the Citizenship Regulations?

The amendment relates to the language assessment of citizenship applications. This notice was published in the Canada Gazette on October 15, 2011.

The Department is requesting comments on a proposal to require applicants who apply for Canadian citizenship to provide up-front evidence of language ability showing achievement of at least Canadian Language Benchmarklevel 4 in speaking and listening with their citizenship application. Such evidence could include third-party language tests or alternative evidence.

Any person (including citizenship lawyers, stakeholders, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, interested groups, and the general public) may, within 30 days of the publication of this notice, provide their comments on this Notice of Intent, in writing, to the person named in the Government Notice.
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Canada accepts more immigrants per capita than any other country (save Australia) and more than three-quarters of all newcomers become citizens.
In our opinion the proposed amendment is a positive step that will improve the Canadian approach. Canadians should be able to communicate in English or French in order to participate in the Canadian culture and society.

Last Tuesday, October 4th, the Globe and Mail published an article about a program that started 3 years ago in Toronto and that offers new Canadian citizens a 12-month “cultural access pass” to attractions nationwide, all of them at no charge.

The program is called CAP and managed by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and is exploding in popularity – it now has enrolment rates of 80 citizens a day, with 1,000 attractions nationwide expected to be on board by year’s end. The program is now in place at more than 600 museums, galleries, parks and discovery centres in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and the Northwest Territories.

Information about the program is handed out during every citizenship ceremony nationwide.
New citizens have the possibility to learn more about Canada, to connect with Canadian culture and to embrace the diversity and the different cultures that make up Canada.