Human Resources, Labour and Employment
September 5, 2008

Government of Canada and Atlantic Regional Governments Work Together to Deal with Demographic Challenge

The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and the four Atlantic provinces have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on working together to attract immigrants while retaining and expanding the regionís labour force.

The agreement involves joint investments totalling just over $4.4 million over three years to promote immigration, create more effective linkages between the current labour force and economic opportunities, and welcome Atlantic Canadians home who have been working outside the region.

"While each province has something unique to offer, there are many areas where working together can accomplish more and this initiative is a prime example," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. "While much is being done within each province, even more can be accomplished working in co-operation on a regional basis."

Specific activities will include the creation of an Atlantic immigration brand, assisting employers to adopt more innovative and inclusive human resource practices, and cultivating a better understanding of all the factors that affect population and workforce retention.

"The Government of New Brunswick is committed to making our province self-sufficient by 2026 and attracting new immigrants is central in making our goal a reality," said the Honourable Greg Byrne, Minister of the New Brunswick Population Growth Secretariat. "The signing of this MOU formalizes our continuing commitment to working with our Atlantic neighbours to raise our profile globally and encourage more immigrants to be in the Atlantic region."

"Immigration is essential to the future growth and productivity of our province," said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. "Our Provincial Government recognizes the important role of immigration strategies in relation to social and economic development. We are building a strong foundation within the immigration process to allow for a prosperous future for the province."

"Growing our population is necessary to help ensure the future prosperity of our region," said Nova Scotia Immigration Minister Len Goucher. "By working together, we can pool our resources to improve Atlantic Canadaís profile as a great place for individuals to build successful, rewarding lives for themselves and their families."

"We know that the population is declining in Atlantic Canada and that by the year 2011 more people will be leaving the workforce than entering it," said Richard Brown, Prince Edward Islandís Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning. "Addressing these issues in a joint strategy will benefit the region because we all will be able to leverage more resources than if we acted on our own."

ACOA is investing $2,010,600 in the Atlantic Population Initiative, with additional Government of Canada funding totalling $1,100,000. The four Atlantic Provinces are also investing in this Initiative: Nova Scotia $523,405, New Brunswick $421,888, Newfoundland and Labrador $296,640, and Prince Edward Island $76,467

The number of immigrants putting down roots in Atlantic Canada is growing, most notably in such urban areas as Charlottetown, Halifax and Moncton.

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Media contacts:

Chris Brooks
Acting Director of Communications
ACOA Nova Scotia
902-426-4790
Brendan Langille
General Manager
Communications New Brunswick
506-444-5070
Ronalda Walsh
Director of Communications
Newfoundland and Labrador
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753
Mary Anna Jollymore
Director of Communications
NS Office of Immigration
902-424-3742
Kim Devine
Director of Communications
PEI Department of Innovation & Advanced Learning
902-620-3774
Jon Stone
Director of Communications
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
888-242-2100

2008 09 05                                                    1:05 p.m.


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