Here's How Atlantic Canada Can Retain Immigrants

March 28, 2018

Atlantic Canada has always had troubles with retaining skilled immigrants but to keep with the rest of the country, and the region needs some creative and well-rounded economic and demographic programs. For most of the immigrants, Atlantic Canada is more of a stopover, where they study, work for a few months, and move onto bigger and more popular provinces including Ontario and British Columbia.


In a report called The People Imperative, which was prepared by Public Policy Forum, consists many reasons why Atlantic Canada is suffering from low immigration retention rates. Increase immigration cap isn’t going to help any of the provinces, which include Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick. According to the report, Atlantic Canada has the lowest immigration retention rates in the entire country.


Here's How Atlantic Canada Can Retain Immigrants

As per the 2011-2015 immigration retention report, Nova Scotia has the highest immigrant retention rate among all Atlantic Canada of 72 percent, Newfoundland and Labrador have 56 percent retention rate, New Brunswick has 52 percent, while Prince Edward Island only has an immigration retention rate of 18 percent. While all other provinces, i.e., those out of Atlantic Canada, have a minimum retention rate of 80 percent. Before anything else, Atlantic Canada should first tackle the issue of aging population. Population in Atlantic Canada is eight years older than the population of Alberta.

Closer to family


Frank McKenna, deputy chairman, TD Bank group and former Canadian ambassador to the US, agrees that immigrants want to stay close to their relatives who are already in Canada, most of whom are settled in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec. Atlantic Canada only received 4.6 percent of immigrants who arrived between 2013- 2017 and felt that more should be done to attract and retain them. He feels that Atlantic Canada should be branded as a region which is safe for raising the family and has safe communities. McKenna hopes that Atlantic Canada focuses its programs on international students as they are the country’s future.

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