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Flor Marcelino, MLA Logan
March 7, 2017

Provincial Nominee Program Fees

Madam Speaker, new immigration to Manitoba starting for over a decade has helped drive Manitoba's population to a record 1.3 million people. These immigrants and new Canadians help boost Manitoba's economy and wholesomely contribute to our province's rich diversity. We need to ensure unnecessary barriers aren't put in place to deter potential future productive Manitobans.

Recently, Madam Speaker, the Conservative government announced it will be introducing a $500 non-refundable fee for applicants to the Provincial Nominee Program. We believe this move, along with other changes to the application criteria, will reduce the number of applicants to the program. Some 130,000 people from many countries of the world have made Manitoba their new home over the past 10 years. They have contributed meaningfully to our economic and social life. To impose such a fee on the applications would surely have a devastating impact on these numbers.

Manitoba has one of the most successful provincial immigration programs in Canada. Across the country, people recognize our nomination program as the gold standard. We have a high 80‑plus per cent retention rate, and up to 98 per cent of newcomers are employed within their first year here. The Conservative government's proposed changes would hinder, not help, those who are looking for, and are hoping to contribute to, Manitoba's vibrant culture and economy.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Conservative government should withdraw their proposed changes to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.