It seems inevitable that the provinces will demand more power. Some provinces approached the federal government after the Canada-Quebec Accord was signed, requesting a comparable level of immigration power. The federal government created the PNP because of a concern that it might relinquish the control they have over the immigration process if comparable arrangements were made with the rest of the nation. From barely 400 immigrant entries in 1999 to an aim of over 80,000 immigrants in 2022 and 90,000 immigrants by 2024, the provincial and territorial governments embraced the program.

Despite the fact that Canada’s PNP targets are at all-time highs, some provinces contend that the proportion of 80,000 immigrants among the eleven provinces and territories that administer the PNP is inadequate in light of the severe labor shortages those regions currently experience and are anticipated to continue to experience as roughly nine million Canadians in the baby boomer generation reach retirement age within the next ten years.

It is impossible to overstate how important these recent advances are. All immigrants to Canada were previously chosen by the federal government before Quebec took control of its system. The tide has gradually shifted, and the two government levels currently share a fairly equal distribution of economic status immigrant selection since the advent of the PNP in 1998. The admissions process for the family and refugee classes is still under the supervision of the federal government. In essence, the provinces are expressing their desire for majority ownership over selection.

Will the federal government eventually concede?

The choice to further cede authority will ultimately be made by the federal government. It can likely raise the number of immigrants admitted through the PNP while decreasing the number of immigrants admitted through federal routes like Express Entry.

At the end of the day, the provinces taking an assertive stance brings in a new era in the country’s immigration system. The provinces will no longer be complacent with just a say, but they will define success by making the federal government a minority partner in their immigration partnership.

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