An internal memo by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) lists important details about the 2020 stakeholder consultations regarding the Municipal Nominee Program (MNP).
The purpose of the MNP is to increase the distribution of immigrants in the smaller municipalities of Canada. IRCC, as well as the Canadian provinces and territories, have been trying to attract and retain more immigrants in the smaller jurisdictions since the 1900s. This will help in supporting smaller economies to prevent labor shortages in areas where workers are set to retire soon. The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) alongside initiatives like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) has helped Canada promote regionalization.
The Liberal Party of Canada made a promise to introduce the MNP during the 2019 federal election campaign. The plan was set to come to fruition after the Liberals won the election. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlined the MNP as a key priority in two mandate letters addressed to Marco Mendicino, the Immigration Minister. However, the idea fell through because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Liberals once again promised the PNP as part of the 2021 election campaign and they have since won the election. With widespread vaccination campaigns, Canada has managed to curb the pandemic. It seems that the MNP might finally see the light of day and make smaller cities and towns attractive to immigrants. Once the program is implemented, it is likely that existing labor shortages will be used to determine which municipalities can participate initially.