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