January 17, 2024

Toronto Hosts Gathering of Canada’s Immigration Ministers; Four Provinces Conduct Provincial Nominee Program Draws

Canada's immigration landscape is a dynamic tapestry woven through collaboration, strategy, and continuous evolution. In a significant stride towards shaping the future of immigration, Immigration Minister Marc Miller and provincial counterparts recently convened in Toronto for a pivotal meeting of the Federation of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI). This comprehensive article unfolds the layers of discussions, strategic priorities, and the ripple effect observed in the recent Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws across four provinces.

FMRI's Agenda on November 17, 2023

The aftermath of the FMRI meeting saw Minister Marc Miller addressing the press, shedding light on the role of the Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026. The plan, designed to foster sustainable population growth, received accolades as a strategic tool to address critical shortages in sectors like healthcare and construction. The FMRI, a collaborative decision-making body, tackled key immigration priorities. These include reducing duplication among federal-provincial economic class immigration programs, supporting Francophone immigration, delivering a more responsive economic immigration system, and reducing barriers in foreign credential recognition.

Multi-Year Provincial Levels Plan

Building on discussions from the March meeting in Halifax, the FMRI endorsed a multi-year levels plan for the PNP. This strategic move allows provinces to receive immigration allocations up to three years in advance, offering better planning for settlement services, healthcare, and infrastructure.

The Halifax meeting also touched upon enhancing international education recognition, facilitating quicker integration of professionals in high-demand sectors, and expanding programs like the Atlantic Immigration Program and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program.

Canada's New Immigration Strategy

The meeting echoed the sentiments outlined in Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) new strategy, emphasizing increased consultations with provincial governments and other stakeholders. This collaborative approach seeks to adopt a whole-of-government strategy supporting sustainable levels of immigration that strengthen Canada's economy and workforce. The federal Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026, reflecting this approach, aims to admit up to 500,000 new permanent residents per year, with a substantial portion arriving through the PNP.

Immigration as a Shared Responsibility

A crucial facet of Canada's immigration framework lies in its shared responsibility. Governed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), provinces play an active role in selecting economic immigration candidates deemed vital for local economies. However, the final decision on permanent residency rests with IRCC. Notably, Quebec stands as an exception, possessing a separate agreement with the federal government, granting the province full control over economic immigration.

Recent PNP Draw Results

Coinciding with the FMRI meeting, four provinces announced the outcomes of recent PNP draws, providing a snapshot of the diverse opportunities available for prospective immigrants.

  1. British Columbia (BC): On November 16, BC invited over 219 candidates through various streams, including a targeted draw for construction occupations. This strategic approach aligns with BC's commitment to nurturing a skilled workforce.
  2. Manitoba: The province invited 301 candidates on November 16, spanning Skilled Workers, International Education, and other streams. The draws showcased Manitoba's dedication to diversity and inclusion in its immigration strategy.
  3. Prince Edward Island (PEI): On the same day, PEI extended invitations to 141 candidates, encompassing Labour, Express Entry, and Business Work Permit Entrepreneur streams. The diverse draw reflects PEI's inclusive approach to immigration.
  4. Alberta: In an earlier draw on November 9, Alberta invited 16 Express Entry candidates through the Dedicated Healthcare Pathway. This aligns with the province's focus on bolstering its healthcare sector, particularly in the wake of global challenges.


The FMRI meeting and the subsequent PNP draws offer a glimpse into the dynamic and collaborative nature of Canada's immigration framework. As provinces align with federal strategies and priorities, aspiring immigrants must stay informed to navigate the evolving landscape successfully. It's an exciting time for those considering Canada as their destination, with strategic decisions being made to ensure a robust, sustainable, and inclusive immigration system.

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