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Malaya Marcelino wants to prioritize requests from people who already have family in Manitoba.

Radio-Canada

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Manitoba Labor and Immigration Minister Malaya Marcelino said the NDP government will prioritize applications from skilled workers who have family ties in the province. According to her, this will improve the retention of newcomers to Manitoba.

In recent weeks, the provincial government has held a draw only among applicants who have family in Manitoba. There will be more prints in the future.

Applicants are ranked on a scale with a scoring system based on various factors, such as a job offer (500 points) and relationship to someone living in Manitoba (200 points).

When applicants and newcomers have a close connection to family members who live in Manitoba, they are more likely to stay here. This will allow us to have greater retention, believes Malaya Marcelino.

This will be good news for us and for our economy.

A quote from Malaya Marcelino, Minister of Labor and Immigration

It is difficult to have concrete figures on the retention rates of newcomers to Manitoba. Currently, the province uses tax returns to determine the number of newcomers who stay in Manitoba over a five-year period.

According to the latest data from 2020, the immigration retention rate is 67.7% and has been declining steadily since 2014.

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We see a downward trend in the retention of immigrants. For years, we have recorded the highest rate in our province. We need to address this issue, says Malaya Marcelino.

Since 1998, the Manitoba Nominee Program has been used to attract skilled workers to the province to fill the labor gap. They can bring their spouse and dependents.

Winnipeg economic development chief Ryan Kuffner doesn't believe family reunification will be to the detriment of the economic objective of this program.

According to him, this initiative will allow the province to choose qualified candidates who have links to Manitoba

It's good to live in Manitoba and we need to be confident in our approach to touting our province to highly qualified people around the world, says -he.

Christopher Navarro says he found the opportunity to reunite with his wife and three children in Manitoba.

For years, he lived away from his family, working in Saudi Arabia while his family was in the Philippines. He came to Winnipeg in 2020 as a temporary foreign worker.

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Christopher Navarro's immigration application was supported by a job offer and the fact that he has family in Manitoba.

Christopher Navarro was subsequently allowed to stay after his application was accepted through the Manitoba Nominee Program. His wife and children joined him last year.

This is the first time we were able to celebrate Christmas and New Year together, because most of the time when I was working abroad , I had to miss every Christmas, every New Year, every birthday of my children, he says.

He adds that his application for immigration through the Manitoba Nominee Program was supported by a job offer from his sister, who owns Baker's Bowl. p>

Mr. Navarro is excited that the Manitoba Nominee Program will choose more people who have ties to Manitoba.

Jodie Byram, spokesperson for the opposition in matters of labor and Immigration, hopes, for its part, that family reunification will not become the main objective of this program.

As labor shortages in the health, education and skilled trades sectors continue to worsen in Canada, Manitoba cannot afford to abandon the economic objective of the provincial nominee program, she said by email.

With information from Ian Froese

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