The number of permanent residents that Nova Scotia welcomed in 2021 was tripled compared to the previous year which made it set a provincial Canada immigration record.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (1RCC) figures that was released earlier this month showed that the Nova Scotia welcomed about 9,020 new permanent residents in 2021 which was an increase of 157 percent over the 3,510 that settled in Nova Scotia in 2020 and 19 percent more than the 7,580 new permanent residents in 2019.
The politicians in Nova Scotia are smiling over the new immigration record that was set last year.
The Immigration Minister of the province, Jill Balser said “Nova Scotia is a welcoming province filled with opportunities and it has helped us become one million strong.
Hoping to Double Population in Nova Scotia by 2060
The Immigration Minister of the province said “newcomers help to fill labour needs, fuel our economy, create new businesses and jobs and enhance our quality of life. We are so glad that they have chosen Nova Scotia to be their home.”
Immigration to the province had been increasing constantly since 2015 and then the pandemic caused a temporary setback.
From the figures revealed by IRCC, it showed that the number of new permanent residents settling in Nova Scotia in 2021 was almost three times as high as the 3,045 immigrants that came seven years ago.
The province is still hoping to build on its record-setting immigration levels to double its population to two million by 2060 and for this to be accomplished; the province will have to be attracting about 25,000 new permanent residents every year.
The province just like some other provinces sees that immigration is pivotal in resolving its labour shortages especially in the healthcare sector and skilled trades.
As at December 2021, Nova Scotia approved 1,542 registered nurses and continuing care assistants, making them the top two healthcare professions approved by the immigration department of the province.
Lamis Alhassan who is a foreign trained nurse currently working as a continuing care assistant in New Glasgow said “I have been in Nova Scotia for seven months and I am loving the nature, clean environment, peace, quiet and the many recreational activities offered here in the province.”
Lams Alhassan came to Nova Scotia through the Economic Mobility Pathways pilot and she is hoping to get her foreign credentials recognized so that she can work in Canada as a registered nurse.
Retaining Immigrants with settlement services
The top five countries from where immigrants came to Nova Scotia last year were India, China, Philippines, Nigeria and South Korea. Many of these newcomers benefitted greatly from the settlement services offered by the Immigrants Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS).
Those services has helped the province retain many newcomers and it boasts of the highest retention rate in Atlantic Canada which is about 71 percent.
The CEO of ISANS, Jennifer Watts said “settlement services such as language, employment and community integration supports are key to the effective engagement of immigrants in our workplaces and our communities. Through our programs and services, we welcome new talents, perspectives and opportunities to the province.”
The most popular pathway through which immigrants settle in Nova Scotia are the economic programs and last year, they brought in about 7,600 new permanent residents to the province or almost 84.3 percent of all newcomers to Nova Scotia.
The Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) accounted for about 2,275 of the new permanent residents and another 920 got their permanent residency through the one-time temporary-to-permanent-resident program (TR2PR) that was put in place by Ottawa last year.
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) were the programs that brought in the most immigrants to Nova Scotia. About 2,670 new permanent residents came through the AIP and 1,670 came through the CEC.
About 50 new permanent residents came to the province under the Skilled Worker program and 10 under business programs. About 730 new permanent residents came through the Family Sponsorships and 625 came through the refugees or protected persons.
Nova Scotia’s immigration last year constituted about 2.2 percent of the total 405,330 new permanent residents that came to Canada in 2021.