21 July 2008

Alberta grows due to Canadian immigration

Workers holding Canadian skilled worker visas have been highlighted as a driving force behind the recent population growth seen in Alberta, according to new research. The study, by Statistics Canada, shows an inflow of immigrants, refugees and temporary foreign workers has turned the province into the country's fastest growing, reports the Calgary Herald.

Hubert Denism, senior analyst with Statistics Canada, revealed international migration was the main cause of Alberta's population growth in the 12 month period ending in March this year. The study also showed the population of the province swelled by 15,000 in the first quarter of this year alone.

Din Ladak, chief executive officer of Immigrant Services Calgary, told the newspaper: "It's certainly a turning point in the history of Alberta." He also suggested the Government should encourage further support Canadian immigration by supplying more English-language services and making it easier for employers to recognise foreign-earned credentials.

Fariborz Birjandian, executive director of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, also pointed to the impact of temporary foreign workers, such as those on a Canadian working holiday. He suggested more of these migrants head to smaller locations in Alberta, while permanent residents from other countries tend to head to Edmonton or Calgary.

Last month, new Canadian immigration laws came into play which aim to streamline the application system. The legislation allows some applications to bypass the formal procedures to speed up the visa process for sectors experiencing a skills shortage.

Canada needs skilled workers: anyone interested in migrating to Canada should complete an online assessment to see if they qualify for skilled migration to Canada.

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