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Move Over, Feds. It’s time for Manitoba to take the Reins on Economic Immigration

The recent announcement that Canada would be decreasing the number of job-ready economic immigrants to Canada is mind-boggling.  Although there is a benefit to increasing the number of family- and refugee-class immigrants, there is an obvious and significant benefit to increasing the number of immigrants who are willing and able to come to Canada and contribute to our economic growth.

Manitoba BOLD released suggestions on how Manitoba can take back the reigns on our economic immigration plan.  First, Manitoba needs to bring back the Employer-Direct Program that was used years ago.  This program allowed Manitoba employers to make job offers to qualified individuals outside of Canada who were looking to become Canadian permanent residents outside of the federal government’s temporary foreign worker program.  Bringing this program back would mean that Manitoba, and the other provinces and territories, would be making the decision on who they want to come to work in Manitoba. 

The second suggestion is that Manitoba should expand the criteria for who is eligible (and legally able) to recruit foreign workers to include human resources professionals.  When Manitoba introduced the laws which regulate who can recruit foreign workers in 2008, it assigned the duty to lawyers and licensed immigration consultants only.  It seems only logical that the individuals who typically do the hiring for business – the HR professionals – should be able to recruit foreign workers directly.

For more on this, check out my latest piece for the Winnipeg Free Press here.

*This blog was co-written by Leanne Verreault, immigration legal assistant.



About Reis Pagtakhan

Reis Pagtakhan is an immigration law partner with MLT Aikins LLP. His extensive experience includes assisting businesses obtain temporary entry to Canada and permanent residency for their executives, employees and contractors from all over the world. Reis has lectured on and written papers on immigration law for the Law Society of Manitoba, the Manitoba Bar Association, the Human Resources Management Association of Manitoba, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, and the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba. He has presented position papers before the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Immigration Department officials and Manitoba Labour and Immigration. He has written articles on immigration for the CBC, the Winnipeg Free Press, trade, industry and ethnic publications.


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