Sprawling across the roof of Canada, the Northwest Territories (NWT) is a patchwork of treeless Arctic wilderness and boreal forest where rugged characters have created a unique Northern culture.
Home to the 52,000 square kilometres Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary, Canada’s biggest wildlife refuge. The 1,080 mile Deh Cho (Mackenzie), Canada’s longest river, the Northwest Territories has a 47.6 aboriginal population.
To boost and help build a vibrant economy, the Northwest Territories government will create up to 36,700 jobs in the next 15 years. Many of these jobs will be taken up by immigrants, through the Northwest Territories Immigration Strategy 2017-2022: Building a Skilled Workforce and a Vibrant Economy. According to information from the NWT government, 785 of these positions will require at least a post-secondary education and/or extensive work experience and seniority.
The immigration strategy seeks to attract skilled foreign workers, entrepreneurs, consolidate administrative processes and support foreign nationals to integrate and comfortably settle in the Northwest Territories.
To ensure implementation of the strategy, the NWT government has drawn up an action plan with 56 clear goals:
- Attract foreign nationals to the NWT whose skills are aligned with current workforce needs.
- Attract foreign investment through the establishment or purchase of a business by a foreign national, to benefit the economy
- Support and be responsive to settlement and integration needs
- Support the workforce by educating foreign nationals and NWT employers on workers’ rights and responsibilities.
- Consolidate administrative efforts between the departments of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE), and immigration, Tourism and Investment (ITI).
Shedding more light on the strategy, NWT Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Alfred Moses, was quoted as saying, “the strategy will serve as a blueprint for a territorial approach to optimizing immigration programs in the NWT over the next five years. Beyond the economic benefits, welcoming new people to our territory contributes to the vibrant, diverse cultural landscape that makes the North a unique place to live.”
In 2016 the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP), one of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs, nominated up to 79 foreign nationals for immigration to the region. Additionally, these nominees brought with them 46 dependents, resulting in 125 individuals coming to the NWT. More importantly, the NTNP has managed to increase the number of nominated candidates in each of the last four years.
The employer stream of the NTNP is made up of the following categories:
- Critical Impact Workers – These are intended to increase the labour pool for entry level jobs.
- Skilled Workers – Aimed at attracting qualified individuals for occupations which require a formal education and/or specialised training and experience
- Express Entry for Skilled Workers – Exclusively for skilled foreign nationals who have been accepted into Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry pool.
Furthermore, apart from the nominee program, the NWT also receives foreign nationals through federal programs.