Rural communities surrounding Alberta have a plan for the next four years of adding 40,000 newcomers. This will be the result of policies proposed by the United Conservative Party of the province. There is a vote for the provincial government in Alberta this spring. Additionally, many polls show that the United Conservative Party under the leadership of Jason Kenney is leading. He has said that there was a need for Alberta to use immigration for the revitalization of rural communities in the province.
Vision for future
Furthermore, UCP would do so by implementing an immigration strategy through the Rural Renewal Program as well as the Rural Entrepreneurial Stream. Moreover, these pathways will attract 10,000 new permanent residents in the rural communities of the province every year. There is an aim to end the backlogs, and also speed up the processing times. Additionally, it will actively attract fresh overseas talent and also welcome entrepreneurs who are interested in creating jobs. Finally, it will encourage their settlement in rural areas which need the population in a big way. The Rural Renewal Program will work through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program and gives a priority to candidates in economic immigration who have the interest to settle small rural communities in Alberta.
Kenney also stated that the program can bring in 32,000 new permanent residents in four years, including the principal applicants and their spouses/dependent children.
Participating communities can recruit, or screen and nominate candidates, either from the persons already living in the community working with temporary permits or can also be overseas applicants. Kenney spoke regarding the link between the federal EE system and the Rural Renewal Program and also said that the candidates receiving the nomination through this program will get the benefit of extra points under EE. Such candidates get 600 additional points in the ranking score, which serves as a guarantee to get the invitation from the Government to seek the permanent residence.
Nationally, six percent of immigrants live in rural communities. In Manitoba, 20 percent settle in small communities. This has helped in the process of revitalization of rural Manitoba. The immigration initiative in Morden serves as a good example he added. Here there was an increase in population in the last ten years from 5,000 to 9,000. The AINP could connect with the federal government, which has announced a community-based Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.
Rural Stream for Entrepreneurs
The reason to attract immigrant entrepreneurs to the smaller communities surrounding will encourage them to be established in these areas. Furthermore, it will create many job opportunities for local talents. The population is a major challenge for these communities. Kenney also stated that the UCP will introduce the Rural Entrepreneurial Stream with an aim to annually welcome 500 experienced entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs have to meet the minimum investment and net-worth threshold. Moreover, they must also give a commitment to manage and operate the business, actively with 51 percent ownership. If they meet these criteria, they get the invitation from Alberta. They will receive the nomination for a two-year work permit by the federal government. Also subsequently they get the permanent residence, followed by citizenship. Such businesses have the potential to create 4,000 jobs.