Saskatchewan looking to reverse immigrant flow

Province wants to attract more immigrants, convince Canadians from other provinces and territories to relocate

Saskatchewan is working on a new immigration strategy in an effort to entice more immigrants to settle in the province and to lure Canadians from other jurisdictions.

Between 1991 and 2001, Saskatchewan attracted 11,365 foreign immigrants, according to Statistics Canada. That accounted for a tiny fraction of the more than 1.8 million who came to Canada during that decade.

On the home front, the province lost a total of 24,900 people between 1996 and 2001. In that time, 67,500 people moved out of Saskatchewan while 42,600 moved in.

To combat this, the provincial government has appointed MLA Pat Lorjé as legislative secretary to the premier to co-ordinate the development of an immigration strategy entitled “Your Future is Here.”

“Immigration has had a powerful impact on the economic and social fabric of Saskatchewan,” said Premier Lorne Calvert. “Just as immigrants joined First Nations and Métis people a century ago to build Saskatchewan, so too will immigration play a vital role in our next century.”

The strategy includes:

•long-term immigration goals for Saskatchewan;

•initiatives to attract people and retain them; and

•opportunities for partnerships with the federal government to achieve Saskatchewan’s immigration goals.

“The people who come to Saskatchewan will find our province to be one of the best kept secrets in North American,” said Lorjé. “People who live here know that we have a fantastic quality of life.”

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