Cold Lake city council has voted to approve a letter of support for the City’s application to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program’s Rural Renewal Stream.
If approved this will allow foreign nationals to begin the immigration process with a community nomination rather than a labour market impact assessment (LIMA), provided they have a job offer from an employer who has been accepted into the program.
Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland says the council has heard the business community has expressed a strong need for this program in the community.
“Economic immigration has been shown to help our local employers fill gaps in the local labour market and as the people they bring here settle and build lives in our community, they help to make Cold Lake a vibrant, exciting place to live.”
If Cold Lake is accepted, the program will be implemented through the City of Cold Lake and its Economic Development Advisory Committee, with Cold Lake and District FCSS providing settlement support for the newcomers who are hired through the program.
“From council’s perspective, Cold Lake and District FCSS is perfectly situated to assist with settling newcomers into the community – in fact, that’s a function they are already fulfilling,” Copeland said. “Cold Lake and District FCSS has proven to be a trusted helper in our community and, where they cannot provide a certain support directly, they have strong working relationships with the social service providers who do.”
The RRS is a pilot project which will allow designated economic development organizations in communities to give the go-ahead to eligible local businesses for participation. The businesses must have permanent, full-time employment available that they have not been able to fill within Canada. The businesses must also provide welcoming workplaces, will have to complete a housing plan, an orientation plan and bring newcomers they hire into contact with FCSS for an orientation visit.
Cold Lake’s Mayor says this will help many businesses in Cold Lake in the retail, hospitality and construction sectors are reporting that they are operating with about 70 percent of their optimal staffing levels.