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Will Manitoba’s taxpayers continue to foot the bill for provincial immigration?

With the recent election of a new provincial government, Manitoba’s new Minister of Education and Training, Ian Wishart, will also be responsible for  provincial immigration.  One of the big questions on the table is whether Manitoba will start charging fees for the filing of provincial immigration applications.

Since the implementation of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program in the 1990s, Manitoba has opted not to charge applicants for provincial immigration fees.  Rather they have relied solely on taxpayer dollars to cover the costs of immigration officers, IT system maintenance, and general office costs.  Bearing in mind the +$1 billion deficit that our government is running, would this be a good time to change gears and hold the applicant responsible for paying the fees? Maybe.

Another question being thrown at Minister Wishart is whether provincial immigration will change to a more employer-driven system than a family reunification-driven system.

With regard to Manitoba’s business immigration program, this year’s target is for 200 business immigrants.  However, the business program leaves out many entrepreneurs since Manitoba’s system does not allow self-employed entrepreneurs who do not have a net worth of at least CAD$350,000 and a business investment amount of CAD$150,000 to successfully immigrate here under this program. Should these people be included in the immigrants we want for Manitoba?

For more information on these topics, check out my latest CBC piece here. Also, check out some of my related pieces here and 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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