Tories trying to attract new class of immigrant
By MICHAEL LIGHTSTONE Business Reporter
Halifax Chronicle Herald
The MacDonald government Tuesday unveiled a new classification of immigrant in the hopes of attracting skilled labour to Nova Scotia and keeping foreign workers here.
Under the policy, the “family business worker” stream focuses on helping employers originally from other countries bring relatives to the province who have skills and experience that qualify them for work in Nova Scotia.
The new worker category was developed after consultation with immigrant employers and others in Nova Scotias ethnic communities. Its seen as a way to attract and retain more newcomers to this province and address the problem of finding skilled labourers to counteract the moves many workers have made out of the province.
New workers must have a guaranteed full-time job offer in Nova Scotia from an employer who is a close relative.
Wadih Fares, a metro businessman and honorary Lebanese consul, told a Halifax news conference the family-business worker classification should help boost Nova Scotias declining population.
He said having family in the province, which can provide a support system to relatives filling local positions, will persuade immigrants to move and stay here.
“They do have a job, they do have the family (and) they do have the social fabric” that every newcomer needs, Mr. Fares said.
He said the program will also help business operators solve staffing problems.
Family members eligible to come here under the program must be the business owners child, grandchild, sibling, niece or nephew, or aunt or uncle. Employers must own at least 33 per cent of the business, which should be under the same management for the past two years. There is no application fee.
Ron Heisler of Citizenship and Immigration Canada said the new category of immigrant is an excellent fit for Nova Scotia. He told the news conference about one family he knows in metro whose story he hopes will be repeated time and time again.
One man moved here “sort of helped by his brother-in-law,” said Mr. Heisler, which then “led to two more brothers coming, and all of their wives and children and now some of their in-laws. Its just growing.”
For more information, visit www.novascotiaimmigration.com