ANTIGONISH: Federal and provincial officials were on hand for an information session on immigration programs.

Last week, the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration offered an information session detailing the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and other immigration opportunities. The event took place at StFX’s Mackay Room in Antigonish and featured Nova Scotia Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab, as well as Central Nova MP Sean Fraser.

Diab said the idea behind the information session was to let people know about the possible avenues available to them when it comes to immigrants finding employment. The event also included a number of information booths detailing the immigration program.

Diab said a few steps are involved in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot.

“The first step would be for the business and employer to come to us provincially at the immigration office to register their business so we can make sure they are a viable business,” said Diab. “Secondly, they have to let us know what they have done to insure that they have exhausted finding a suitable employee that is in Nova Scotia or a Canadian and that they found somebody else internationally so that they apply to us with a specific job as well.”

Photo by Matt Draper
Central Nova MP Sean Fraser spoke with Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher during last week’s event in Antigonish.

Diab said employers would then go to the federal immigration department to ensure the individual can come to Canada if they aren’t here already.

Fraser added employers who already used the program spoke during the session about their experience with the program.

“We’ve had tremendous growth in our immigration, both in the numbers coming to Nova Scotia and in the public perception of the good that immigrants bring to our communities,” said Fraser. “Today is a great opportunity, in collaboration with our provincial counterparts, to educate employers in the community, to let them know how they can meet their labour needs through this new immigration stream through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot.”

Diab said she is pleased businesses and employers are a part of the program.

“They have to have a settlement plan for the candidate but also the candidate’s family… so that we ensure retention, we ensure that they come to a community that wants them, that they settle, that they stay,” said Diab. “That’s what it’s all about is to ensure people will make their lives here.”