The Liberal Party of Canada promised to launch the Municipal Nominee Programs (MNP) during the 2019 Federal Elections. The MNP was also a key priority highlighted in the 2 mandate letters issued by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino after the elections.
Since then, the pandemic has hindered any work on the program. During the 2021 Federal Elections, the Liberal Party once again promised to introduce the MNP. Now, an internal memo by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada revealed the highlights of the 2020 stakeholder consultations on the MNP.
As the pandemic-related restrictions are relaxed across Canada and all over the world, the path to introduce the MNP seems more clearer than ever.
Why Is the Municipal Nominee Program (MNP) Needed?
The idea behind launching the MNP is to encourage economic immigration across smaller municipalities in Canada. The IRCC along with the Canadian provinces and territories have been making larger efforts to encourage economic immigration to smaller jurisdictions since the 1990s.
The MNP will help attract and retain more workers to support and sustain economic development across Canada as more of the Canadian workforce retires. Until now, programs like the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), and Quebec’s Immigration system have done a great job at promoting economic immigration across Canada.
Every Canadian province and territory (except Quebec and Nunavut) has their PNPs to nominate eligible candidates for permanent residence, provided they have the skills and experience to contribute to the local labor market. Before the PNPs were launched in 1998, 85% of all the immigrants were settling in major provinces such as Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec.
However, after the launch of the PNPs, this figure went down to 70%. Due to the PNPs, economic immigration to provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador increased significantly. However, concentrating the immigration population from big cities in these provinces to smaller cities and towns remains the biggest challenge. Canada aims to address this challenge through the launch of the MNPs.