Atlantic Immigration Shows a Growing Trend in Newcomer Retention in Canada
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Atlantic Immigration Shows a Growing Trend in Newcomer Retention in Canada

Robert Cannon

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Newcomer Retention in Canada

In the latest revelation, Statistics Canada’s 2022 Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) sheds light on the shifting landscape of newcomer retention in Canada, with a notable spotlight on Atlantic immigration. Let’s delve into the data and explore the trends reshaping the choices of those who embark on a journey to call Canada home.

The Rise of Atlantic Immigration

The report underscores a compelling narrative of increasing immigrant retention rates in Atlantic Canada, encompassing the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Contrastingly, the prairie provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba witness a decline in their retention rates, setting the stage for a regional migration dynamic.

The data from the 2022 IMDB meticulously examines the provincial and territorial immigrant retention rates. This is gauged by the percentage of immigrant tax filers who align their tax filings with the province or territory indicated in their initial permanent residence application. A nuanced approach that paints a vivid picture of the evolving preferences among newcomers.

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Provincial Insights and Trends – Ontario Takes the Lead

Ontario emerges as a frontrunner in overall retention rates, standing tall alongside British Columbia and Alberta, with retention rates exceeding 84% for newcomers who landed in 2016. Ontario takes the lead with an impressive 93.1% retention rate after five years. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan and Manitoba witnessed a significant drop in retention rates for those who arrived between 2012-2016, signaling a shift in the prairie landscape.

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On the East Coast, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (PEI) showcase a positive trajectory in retaining immigrants admitted in 2016. New Brunswick reaches its pinnacle with a five-year retention rate of 56%, marking a substantial achievement. PEI, while still carrying the lowest retention rate in Canada at 30.9%, sees an upward trend, presenting a noteworthy 6% increase compared to those admitted in 2012.

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The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIP) Impact

A pivotal factor contributing to the surge in skilled worker retention in Atlantic Canada is the introduction of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIP) in 2019.

Nova Scotia particularly stands out, experiencing a remarkable increase of 42.4 percentage points in retention, soaring from 21.5% in 2016 to an impressive 63.9% in 2020. New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador also witness substantial boosts, reinforcing the program’s positive influence.

The Atlantic Immigration Program, designed to facilitate the integration of foreign nationals into Canada’s Atlantic provinces, proves instrumental in the economic landscape. Skilled workers, drawn by the program, contribute to the region’s growth, with New Brunswick boasting a 65.8% retention rate in 2020. Newfoundland and Labrador witness an 18.7 percentage point increase, signaling a growing commitment to the region.

The report also emphasizes the pivotal role of connections and settlement plans in influencing newcomers’ decisions. Immigrants sponsored by family exhibit a 91.7% retention rate within the province they initially landed in, underlining the significance of family sponsorships in the settlement process.

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Implications for Canada Labor Forces

Retaining economic immigrants assumes paramount importance in alleviating regional labor shortages. While large cities like Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta continue to attract the majority, this poses challenges for provinces and territories, particularly in rural regions. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) strive to address local workforce needs, albeit with varying success.

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The intricacies of newcomer retention and the evolving patterns underline the dynamic interplay of policies, Canada immigration programs, and human connections. Atlantic Canada, with its upward trajectory, stands as proof of the impact of targeted initiatives. In shaping the narrative of Atlantic immigration, it is the synergy of economic policies, community integration, and individual choices that paints the canvas of Canada’s diverse and welcoming landscape.

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