Government Working to Enhance Immigration in Nova Scotia
Premier Stephen McNeil today, Aug. 26, announced joint chairs of the Premier’s Immigration Advisory Council. Wadih Fares will serve as national chair and Colin Dodds will serve as international chair.
Mr. Fares will work with government and businesses across Canada to support Nova Scotia’s efforts to increase immigration.
“I am thrilled to see government’s commitment to deal with our dwindling population, an issue that is impacting every sector of our society,” said Mr. Fares. “And I am pleased to extend my knowledge and resources to the premier as we strive to get the flexibility Nova Scotia needs to grow our immigrant population.”
Mr. Dodds will advise on attraction efforts and opportunities to retain international students.
“We need to be strategic in our attraction efforts because Nova Scotia has a lot to offer to the international community,” said Mr. Dodds. “Wadih and I will have the opportunity to expand on what is working well, tackle the challenges we are facing, and explore solutions and tangible actions we can take.”
Premier McNeil has given Mr. Fares and Mr. Dodds the flexibility to draw on additional skills and talent as their work moves forward. New Nova Scotians will help the chairs and bring a fresh perspective on the immigration system.
“A key challenge facing Nova Scotia is our population,” said Premier McNeil. “Immigration is part of the solution to that challenge. The new Premier’s Immigration Advisory Council will draw on the experiences of immigrants. Our goal is a modern immigration system, and we’re now ready to take the next steps down that path.”
Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab announced government is strengthening the partnership among government and settlement service providers in Nova Scotia.
“Immigrants and their families will stay where they feel welcome and can build a life,” said Ms. Metlege Diab. “We are so fortunate in Nova Scotia to have wonderful settlement partners who work with newcomers. I believe that we can help immigrants even more and maximize taxpayers’ investments by having government, communities and service providers working together to provide settlement supports in the places where immigrants need them.”
Immigration Settlement and Integration Services, the YMCA, the Office of Immigration, and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education will work together to deliver better services for people, families and communities. The focus of the new approach will be on employment support, inclusion and immigrant settlement.
The YMCA will receive new funding to provide welcoming services to immigrants moving to rural communities. Immigration Settlement and Integration Services will continue to deliver specialized services to immigrants in Nova Scotia and overseas, and will help immigrants across the province link with employers and potential jobs.
Government also plays a key role helping immigrants in rural communities. Careers Nova Scotia Centres are an important connection for immigrants looking to enter the job market. The centres provide employment support and job connections. By working with settlement and integration services and the YMCA, more immigrants will be aware, and can take advantage of, these services.
This year, Nova Scotia allocated $3,650,000 to a range of settlement service providers to deliver services such as employment readiness, employer training, language training, professional bridging programs and cultural links.
Following is a list of organizations receiving funding for 2014-15:
- Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services
- YMCA Halifax/Dartmouth
- African Diaspora Association of the Maritimes
- YWCA Greater Halifax
- Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse
- Nova Scotia Community College
- Halifax Regional Library
- Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse
- Language Assessment Services of Nova Scotia Ltd.
- Halifax Regional School Board
- Valley Community Learning Association