The Canadian Maritime Provinces (Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) have witnessed a fast population growth recently. In this achievement, the immigration was a great driving force, as per the report of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. Maritime Provinces were in focus, as Canada has an aim, to attract and retain overseas workers and their families in the recent past. Immigration is a major solution for these provinces, as they suffer from the decline in population and labor force. The reasons are the low fertility rate, migration to other provinces, and the aging population.
As per the APEC report, PEI had the yearly population growth rate of two percent since 2016. Immigration played a major role in it and the province had a record number of new immigrants in the period of 2016-2018, in relation to the size of the population.
The growth rate of Nova Scotia in this same period stood at 0.8 percent, which is also fast since the mid-1980s, as per the report. Simultaneously, New Brunswick had an average annual growth rate of 0.5 percent, which is on the top since the 1990s. Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province with a report of negative growth. There was a 0.2 percent decrease per year in the population in it.
PNP Role in population growth
The report speaks of 22,000 newcomers arriving in the Atlantic Provinces by using the Provincial Nominee Programs in the period 2016 - 2018. Thus the Provincial Nominee Programs became a huge source of fresh immigrants. PNPs allow the Canadian provinces in nominating economic immigrants every year to seek permanent residence in Canada.
Apart from the PNPs, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot that began two years ago helped to bring 1600 fresh immigrants in these Atlantic Provinces. Additionally, this program helps employers to hire overseas workers to take jobs that are not filled up by local persons.
The APEC report also states that it cannot predict, if the population growth rate of these Maritime Provinces of Canada, is sustainable in the future.