N.S. government optimistic about Trudeau’s immigration plan
Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau’s promise to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year was a central theme at Pier 21 on Monday, as people gathered to share ideas about improving immigration.
The Nova Scotia government says it’s looking at ways to enhance immigration in the province by sharing ideas with business, universities, community leaders, and newcomers.
“The objective is to build on the momentum we have in this province around immigration, around growing our population,” said Lena Diab, Nova Scotia’s Immigration Minister.
Diab admits she’s encouraged by Trudeau’s stance on immigration.
In an exclusive interview with CTV’s Lisa LaFlamme, Trudeau discussed his promise to bring in 25,000 refugees before New Year’s Day.
“That’s something we’re cracking down on right away,” said Trudeau. “I know this is a surprise to certain people within the political universe, but the commitments I made in that platform, I’m going to keep.”
Colin Dodds is a co-chair of Stephen McNeil’s Immigration Advisory Council. He hopes the new Liberal government helps with the province’s immigration agenda.
“I think it’s encouraging, but there's been a good working relationship between the province and the federal government to get to the numbers that we've got right now,” said Dodds.
Minister Diab would also like to see the nomination cap eliminated, which is set at 1,350 nominations this year.
She says she plans on bringing it up with the federal government once a new cabinet is in place.
“I don't see why we need to have it in Nova Scotia,” said Diab. “I want more flexibility, and we want more control over our own program.”
The nomination cap in New Brunswick has been set at 625 for the last five years. New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant has urged Ottawa to increase it to 1,500 in 2016.
Nova Scotia also wants to make it easier for nominees to apply. It plans on moving from a paper-based application to one online.
The minister says it will be in French and English, and launched before the end of the year.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jacqueline Foster.