Many of Canada’s smaller jurisdictions are stepping up their efforts to attract immigrants looking to relocate. While the larger cities easily attract new residents, many of the smaller communities have struggled. Canada’s answer to this was to create the Provincial Nominee Program in 1999.
They started the program in Manitoba, but it is now used in other parts of Canada too. The effort to regionalize the country’s smallest towns has resulted in more immigrants moving to those small towns. Before that, most immigrants coming to Canada would choose to live in Ontario, British Columbia or Quebec. The program changed all that, and 15% fewer immigrants moved to those places as a result.
It also changed the popularity of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Prior to the launch of the program, these were the areas immigrants were the least likely to move to. After the program was launched they became the two most popular choices.
These two cities served as proof that it was possible to regionalize smaller communities to make them more desirable to live in. This caused the Canadian government to focus on developing those communities in order to help them grow.