Skills shortage in Western Canada calls for immigration changes

Majority of Western provinces of Canada are finding it hard to find the workers with requisite skills. And this is compelling them to seek immediate reforms in Canada immigration.

However, a point worth considerable here is that while Western Canada is looking for skilled immigrants, Ottawa is already finding it hard to process the number of applications received for Canada immigration each year.

There is already a big immigration backlog.

Immigration a vital issue for Western Canada—According to Christy Clark, B.C. Premier, Western Canada needs to discuss the issue of immigration to keep economy of Canada growing. And this means Western provinces must have their own immigration policy to manage the skills shortage. Immigration is one of the most important issues for Western Canada, admits Ms. Clark.

The federal government must give provincial governments the authority to have their own immigration policies. Only then can the problem of skills shortages find any solution.

1 million jobs in BC by 2022– Canada’s western provinces are already finding it hard to get workers with skills in high demand. And the situation is only going to worsen in the next ten years period as the economy of British Columbia will have nearly 1 million new jobs.

Due to shortage of workforce, the province will have to rely on immigrants to fulfill around thirty percent of such jobs, Ms. Clark informed.

Western Canada needs skilled immigrants--As per current annual quota of immigration under the Canada PNP (Provincial Nominee Program), B.C. is allowed to accept 3,500 skilled immigrants or immigrant entrepreneurs to live and work here.

However, keeping in view the growing need for skilled workforce in B.C., the province wants to increase this annual immigration intake to 6,500 annually.

According to Liberal MLA John Yap, the annual cap for BC immigration must be increased and should be made to match the current immigration limit enjoyed by Quebec.

If the annual immigration limit for BC is not increased, then western provinces will invite discussions with the federal government to find an answer to the problem of shortage of skilled workers in B.C., Yap informed.