Immigration numbers &
Government of Manitoba policy & practice
The recently published An Evaluation of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program by Professor Tom Carter of the University of Winnipeg gave the program an overall positive assessment (Pilipino Express, November 1-15, 2010). Many readers may be lost in his detailed 162-page social science study of provincial nominee arrivals and their integration over definable time lines or trajectories. All readers, however, can look around and see for themselves that the number of newcomers to Winnipeg in roughly the last ten years has increased dramatically. The same readers should also understand that this increase did not occur by accident but can largely be attributed to the policies and practices of the Manitoba provincial government and it’s highly effective provincial nominee program (MPNP).
Immigration from the Philippines to Manitoba dates back over fifty years. Many, like my wife, will remember the time when community members went to the airport to meet the flight from Vancouver in the hope of greeting kababayanfrom back home. The Filipino community in Winnipeg grew over time but slowly before the introduction of MPNP. Local community members still make the same trip but now meet evening flights filled with relatives and friends, many of whom are landed provincial nominees.
The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program began with the June 1998 addendum to the 1996 Canada Manitoba Immigration Agreement. The Progressive Conservative (PC) Minister of Culture Heritage and Citizenship announced to the legislature: “under the terms of the agreement, Manitoba can nominate 200 principle applicants and their accompanying families annually” (Handsard XKLVIII, No. 53, May, 1998).
The original agreement was signed for four years but things changed with the election of a New Democratic Party government in the fall of 1999. The new Minister of Labour and Immigration (NDP) announced in June 2000 that she had renegotiated the 200 nominations per year upwards to 450 per year and she was pushing to raise the number to 500. Minister Becky Barrett later signed a renewal of the original immigration agreement with the federal government, the Canada-Manitoba Immigration Agreement in June 2003.
The agreement gave the province a voice in establishing Canadian immigration policy and in determining immigration projections: “Manitoba will develop a multi-year immigration levels plan, including a provincial nominee plan based on the principle that immigration to Manitoba should be at least proportional to its percentage of Canada’s total population as determined by Statistics Canada on July 1st of the previous year” (CMIA2.4). The province surpassed the 3.8% (percentage of Canada’s total population) target in 2006 with 10,047 arrivals and announced an intention to double the annual arrivals to 20,000 by 2016.
Provincial authorities continue to meet regularly with their federal counterparts to negotiate immigration levels and since 2009 have been working on a renewal of the bi-lateral agreement. In October 2010 the current Minister of Labour and Immigration announced that she had negotiated a target of 5,000 nominations for both 2010 and 2011 (News Release October 6, 2010).
The bilateral discussions on immigration levels have resulted in an expanded provincial nominee program, which has become instrumental in bringing more newcomers to the province. In the early years, you could count the number of program officers on one hand but now the program boasts over 20 officers.
What about actual immigrant arrivals? The newcomer arrival numbers to Manitoba highlight the success of the province’s immigration bilateral discussions with Canada, policies and service delivery. Immigrant arrivals to the province (proportional to its percentage of Canada’s total population) were 7,427 (3.1%) in 2004; 8,097 (3.1%) in 2005; 10,051 (4.0%) in 2006; 10,954 (4.6%) arrivals in 2007; 11,218 (4.5%) arrivals in 2008; and 13,520 (5.4%) arrivals in 2009. The majority of these arrivals came as provincial nominees (PV2): 4,048 in 2004; 4,619 in 2005; 6,661 in 2006; 7,687 in 2007; 7,968 in 2008; and 10,151 in 2009. Philippines, Germany and India* have consistently ranked as the top three source countries for newcomer arrivals:
- 2004 Philippines (20.6%) Germany (12.8%) India (7.2%)
- 2005 Philippines (22.7%) Germany (13.7%) India (8.3%)
- 2006 Philippines (25.3%) Germany (16.1%) India (8.6%)
- 2007 Philippines (29.9%) Germany (12.6%) India (9.3%)
- 2008 Philippines (23.8%) Germany (16.0%) India (11.0%)
- 2009 Philippines (31.8%) Germany (11.1%) China (10.9%)
- *In 2009 India (9.6%) fell to 4th after China
In terms of real numbers of arrivals (PV2 provincial nominees and other immigration classes) from the Philippines: 1,559 in 2004; 1,837 in 2005; 2,539 in 2006; 3,279 in 2007; 2,671 in 2008; and 4,306 in 2009 (Manitoba Immigration Facts 2006 - 2009). We can safely project that the Philippines will continue to be the number one source country for 2010. The population of the local Filipino expatriate community is growing in no small measure thanks to a provincial government that is strongly supportive of immigration.
The content of this article is intended for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Michael Scott invites all readers to contact him directly.
Michael Scott BA (Hon), MA, is a 30-year veteran of Canada Immigration and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program who works as an immigration associate with R.B. Global Immigration Consultants Ltd. He can be reached at 838 Ellice Avenue in Winnipeg, Manitoba or by telephone at: (204) 783-7326 or (204) 227-0292.