The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) has recently completed its third year of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) which will be concluded in 2024. Launched in 2019, the Pilot was supposed to be a three-year program, although last year, it was extended to 2024. The Pilot was also expanded to have other communities outside Thunder Bay Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) involved in the program.
The recent expansion was caused by the enthusiasm of these communities to register for the Pilot in order to tackle the labor shortages in the workforce. In 2022, CEDC has issued permanent residency to 281 candidates who have secured full-time permanent positions in various organizations and surrounding businesses. Some of the primary sectors that have shown interest in taking in foreign employees include food services, health care, and retail.
With the recommendation from the community issued by this Pilot, foreign individuals can easily settle in Thunder Bay along with their families. Since 2019, around 213 employers around the area have been able to recruit more than 500 skilled workers with permanent full-time jobs. This number is only going to increase with the immigration recommendations from IRCC in 2023