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Government of Canada invests to address labour needs of Northeastern Ontario businesses

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FedNor funding for the Northern Policy Institute will help connect migrant and immigrant workers with workplaces seeking to recruit

February 12, 2021 – Sudbury, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

A skilled labour force is key to the growth of Canadian businesses and a strong economy. Well trained staff enable companies to increase productivity and efficiency, adapt quickly to challenges as they arise, respond to growth opportunities and improve profitability. The Government of Canada recognizes the challenges facing communities and businesses, particularly outside of larger urban centres, in accessing a skilled workforce to support development and growth efforts.

Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury, and Marc G. Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, today announced a Government of Canada investment of $95,000 to help the Northern Policy Institute to attract newcomers to the region and connect them with workplaces in need of their skills. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor. This strategic project is engaging multiple stakeholders, communities and businesses across Northeastern Ontario to implement a plan to address challenges such as labour shortages, outmigration and an aging population that affect economic development in the region.

Specifically, the funding is enabling the Northern Policy Institute to engage the services of two community matchmakers, based in Sudbury, to serve Northeastern Ontario, one focused on the francophone and allophone community (including international students), and the other on the anglophone community. The project, which is underway and progressing well, assists businesses in navigating and participating in immigrant and migrant settlement and attraction services, programs and administration. In addition, the project is helping to raise awareness of and facilitating access to job matching, payroll subsidy programs, and other employment supports.


“A skilled workforce is key to helping businesses boost productivity, adopt new technologies, and improve global competitiveness. That is why our government is committed to helping businesses overcome this identified barrier to growth that will in turn strengthen Northern Ontario’s economy.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

“This strategic project will lead to enhanced regional competitiveness through the implementation of a plan to attract and connect newcomers to Northeastern Ontario with employment opportunities that match their skillset. This will result in new strategic alliances with communities, regional organizations and businesses. It will also increase regional diversity, sustainable economic activity and competitiveness. That is definitely good news for Greater Sudbury.”
– Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury 

“Today’s announcement represents a big step forward in addressing the critical shortage of skilled workers that businesses across the region have identified. I am proud of our government’s efforts to enhance connections with Nickel Belt – Greater Sudbury employers and improve information services to support the recruitment and retention of skilled workers that businesses want and need.”
– Marc G. Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt

“This FedNor investment will aid us in our mission to support the growth of communities and businesses in Northern Ontario. Matchmaking will help connect those with specialized skills with employers who are seeking to fill key vacancies within their organizations. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
– Charles Cirtwill, President and CEO, Northern Policy Institute

Quick facts

  • The Northern Policy Institute exists to see better, more effective, evidence based policy developed and implemented to improve the lives and the future of all Northern Ontarians. This is achieved through the development of research, promotion of evidence, and the identification of opportunities to support the growth of sustainable Northern Ontario communities.
  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, diversification and business growth.

Additional points in Express Entry to help increase Francophone immigration outside Quebec

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News release

October 27, 2020—Ottawa—The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced that French-speaking and bilingual candidates will receive additional points under the Express Entry system. Express Entry is an online system used to manage applications for permanent residence from skilled workers. This change will help deliver on the government’s commitment to reach the target of 4.4% French-speaking immigrant admissions outside Quebec by 2023.

While French-speaking immigration to Canada outside of Quebec has been increasing, recent data indicates that existing selection tools will not be sufficient to reach the 4.4% target by 2023. Awarding additional points to candidates with strong French language skills via Express Entry could increase French-speaking immigrant admissions to the 4.4% target by 2023. Making progress towards reaching this target will be facilitated by an eventual easing of travel restrictions associated with the global pandemic.

The change announced today will see the current number of points increase from 15 to 25 for French-speaking candidates and from 30 to 50 for bilingual candidates. This comes after we initially awarded points in June 2017 to candidates with strong French language skills.


“Supporting the development of Francophone minority communities outside of Quebec is part of this government’s plan for economic growth and long-term prosperity throughout the country. It is also the right thing to do to help support Francophone communities right across Canada. We will continue to attract Francophone immigrants to make sure that Francophone minority communities flourish.”

– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • In 2019, the percentage of French-speaking immigrants admitted to Canada outside Quebec reached 2.82%, an increase from previous years. We have also seen increases in the proportion of French speakers invited to apply each year. That proportion reached 5.6% in 2019, up from 4.5% in 2018.
  • From 2003 to 2019, more than 60,000 French-speaking immigrants were admitted to Canada in communities outside Quebec, about 8,465 in 2019 alone.
  • Under the Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future, IRCC is investing $40.8 million over 5 years to support the consolidation of a Francophone integration pathway and horizontal policy development.
  • Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec establishes its own immigration levels.

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