The federal government has agreed to increase the number of immigrants Nova Scotia can nominate for permanent residence in 2016.
Nova Scotia Immigration Minister Lena Diab told The Chronicle Herald she successfully negotiated to increase the number of economic immigrants the province can take in under its provincial nominee program from 1,050 to 1,350 during meetings with the federal government in Ottawa Monday.
“We also agreed to keep working together to increase the number of immigrants coming to Nova Scotia and continue the positive momentum,” she said in an email.
The Nova Scotia government has been calling for an increase to its provincial nominee cap for some time, citing population growth and economic benefits.
Premier Stephen McNeil said last week that the federal government had “punished” the Atlantic provinces for over a decade with very low caps, especially when compared to the west. Federal Immigration Minister John McCallum said at the time that while the provincial program had been frozen for 2016, the government was committed to increasing those targets in future years.
The province was able to get its cap increased from 700 to 1,050 in 2015 and was later given a one-time top-up to 1,350 when it had filled its quota by mid-year.
Last week the federal government announced its targets for immigration in 2016. While the overall target was increased from the previous year, the target for the economic program — the stream from which provinces get their nominees — was decreased from 180,000 to 160,000 in order to accommodate for a higher number in the refugee stream.