Premier Danielle Smith has written a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to re-evaluate his government’s decision limiting the number of allocations for Alberta’s provincial nominee program in 2024. Last week, the federal government informed the province it would only receive 9,750 such allotments – which is the same number of allocations Alberta received in 2023 and is less than the 10,140 for 2024 the federal government had originally allocated.

As of February 2024, Alberta accounts for just under 12 per cent of Canada’s population, but it leads the nation in net employment growth, with 42.8 per cent of the country’s employment gains between January and February 2024. By not providing the requested increase to Alberta’s provincial nominee allocations, the federal government is restricting the province’s ability to keep up with its growing labour market demands, especially as it relates to integrating Ukrainian evacuees into Alberta’s job market.

“Alberta is growing and that is good news. Since January 2023, more than 100,000 new jobs have been created in our province and our employment rate has led the country even longer. At the same time, we continue to experience labour shortages that could be resolved by welcoming skilled workers from around the world, including evacuees from Ukraine, many of whom have the exact skills that our job market most needs. Alberta has long been the economic engine of Canada and we are once again requesting Ottawa respect section 95 of the Constitution and let us welcome the skilled individuals we need into our province on our terms.”

Danielle Smith, Premier

With Alberta’s population growth at levels not seen in four decades, Alberta’s Provincial Nominee Program is best placed to address the province’s unique immigration and economic goals.

Part of Alberta’s population growth has resulted from Russia’s invasion in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Since that time, Alberta has welcomed a significant number of Ukrainian evacuees to the province. While it is anticipated that many will return to Ukraine following the war, Alberta is also expecting a number of families to apply for permanent residency via the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program. An increase in the number of allocations from the federal government would assist these new Albertans to fill positions in the province’s workforce.

“Immigration is key to Alberta’s ability to address labour shortages and to grow our economy. This limitation imposed by the federal government on our provincial nominee program will be a very difficult pill to swallow, not only for businesses that need this skilled labour but also to the many Ukrainian evacuees who have the skills we need and wish to stay permanently in Alberta.”

Muhammad Yaseen, Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism

Quick facts

  • The federal government through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada sets provincial immigration nomination limits. It also approves all permanent resident applications.
  • Alberta maximized its 9,750 nomination allocations in 2023, with a total of 10,029 nominations issued within the federal government administrative buffer.

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