Provincial Immigration Minister Lena Diab (right) speaks with Chamber
President Andrew Lake following her presentation at a Chamber Breakfast on March 23rd.

March 23, 2015

TRURO – Nova Scotia Immigration Minister and Attorney General Lena Diab says she’s always battling with Ottawa to get more immigrants to Nova Scotia.   She says 2661 immigrants came to Nova Scotia last year, but that number needs to increase.

Her message to Chamber Members in Truro today is that business leaders need to make federal bureaucrats and political leaders aware of the need for more immigrants to grow our population and to infuse the province with new ideas and energy.

“If I had my way, Nova Scotia would have 10,000 new immigrants starting right away,” Diab told her business audience.  “Businesses can help us achieve this goal, but so can average Nova Scotians. “

The Minister says immigrants are trained for good jobs, but they also work to create good jobs for Nova Scotians who are already here.

Over the past 5 years, Nova Scotia’s retention rate for immigrants was 71%.  Diab says that shows the major changes made in Nova Scotia’s Immigration system are working.  75 new immigrants have come to Truro over the past few years, with more than 300 listing Colchester County as their destination of choice.  A new YMCA Outreach worker has just been hired to become their point of contact for Truro and Colchester County.

NSOI (Office of Immigration) Senior Policy Director Suzanne Ley says at a recent meeting of provincial labour ministers and Federal Minister Jason Kenney, Nova Scotia was singled out as the province that’s really turned things in a positive direction when it comes to immigration.

“It was great for a national audience of decision-makers,  including the federal minister to hear that,” she told the crowd.

Ley says unlike the federal system,  Nova Scotia’s most productive point of entry system can have a qualified immigrant approved within three months.

The three streams of entry used as examples in the Chamber presentation are the Express Entry-Nova Scotia Job Demand stream, the Skilled Worker stream and the Family Business Worker stream of entry.