Pembina Valley – Record Breaking Year for Immigration in Manitoba
February 25, 2020
2019 was a record-breaking year for immigration in Manitoba. Immigration levels rose just shy of 19,000 in 2019, the highest for any year in the province’s 150-year history.
Steve Reynolds Executive Director for Regional Connections says immigration numbers in the Pembina Valley last year were also very strong. “We usually have around a thousand new clients per year across the organization and those would mostly be new immigrants arriving in the region. There also continues to be some refugee sponsorship and private groups in the area sponsoring refugee families.”
The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program is the primary pathway for 65 percent of immigrants to the province. That is also true for the Pembina Valley region which has seen the majority of its newcomers arrive here through the nominee program, but Reynolds says there are a number of other programs that have been created to bring newcomers to the region. “Some are making use of municipal programs like the Morden Immigration Initiative and Altona/Rhineland has the Northern and Rural Pilot. There is also a program in Winkler that is working with businesses and trying to find newcomers to meet their needs.”
According to the provincial government, close to 75 percent of newcomers who land in Manitoba are of working age. Interestingly, within the past five years, 88 percent of the labour force growth in the province has resulted directly from immigration in response to Manitoba’s increasing demand for workers.
Reynolds says that statistic indicates the new norm in terms of how communities can expand and grow. “Moving forward, I believe all the population growth is going to be coming from first-generation immigration and from indigenous peoples. Without those demographics, we would have a declining population. Especially when we’re looking at growing communities and businesses that are looking to expand, that’s definitely the labour market resource where new employees are going to be coming from.”