Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, has made the following statement after the federal-provincial-territorial meeting with ministers responsible for immigration:
“Canada is a welcoming country, and British Columbia is proud to support refugees and asylum seekers as they make the difficult transition to a new life in our province.
“My meeting with federal, provincial and territorial colleagues focused on how we can collaborate to make immigration pathways more responsive to the rapidly changing needs of our labour market. In addition, we will continue working together to improve Canada’s asylum system, making it more efficient for people who are integrating into our communities.
“British Columbia’s strength is its diversity, and we will continue to welcome newcomers to help build B.C.’s strong, sustainable economy. In Budget 2018, we provided up to $6 million per year to enhance settlement programs and create a centre for newcomers. This commitment represents an increase of more than 75% in annual provincial funding for settlement services – the highest level since 2014.
“Immigration is a key economic driver that supports job growth, innovation and diversity in British Columbia, and across Canada. British Columbians benefit from a richer cultural depth and stronger sense of community when we embrace people, who are choosing B.C. as their new home, with open arms.”