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News & Events

Growth for Sault Ste. Marie’s Future: A Review of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Northern Ontarians have spent most of the 21st century concerned about our region’s declining population, which due to a combination of outmigration and declining birth rates has either declined or been relatively stagnant since the late 1990s. While these declines are somewhat offset by the population growth in Indigenous communities throughout the region, if this demographic trend does not reverse itself, Northern Ontario will lack the human resources to fill local labour market needs and the regional tax base will continue to shrink, resulting in a region that is less productive, economically less active, and risks further decline.

The RNIP has two primary objectives: retaining existing immigrants and attracting new immigrants to the region. The program is an adaptation of Canada’s point-based immigration system, where an applicant will require 70 points to be eligible to apply for permanent residency

NOTE : This commentary is part of NORDIK Institute’s Sustainable North initiative. Sustainable North is a research and evidence-based policy suite investigating options to promote greater community resilience, sustainability, and improved equitable quality of life in Northern Ontario.

AUTHORS : Nusrate Aziz, Ph.D. is an economist and Assistant Professor of the School of Business and Economics at Algoma University, a Fellow of Global Labor Organization (GLO), and a Member of International Migration Research Center (IMRC). Sean Meades is the Director of Research, NORDIK Institute, and a Lecturer in Community Economic and Social Development, Algoma University.