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The RPGA Region Selected To Participate In The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot


June 14, 2019 – Today, Supporting Entrepreneurs through Economic Development (SEED) is pleased to announce that the Rhineland, Plum Coulee, Gretna, Altona (RPGA) region will be partnering with the Government of Canada to participate in the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.


“This is an exciting time for our community! Many local businesses have been dealing with employee shortages for years due to the low unemployment rates, and identify the availability of quality labour as one of the greatest obstacles to achieving business growth” – Stephanie Harris, Economic Development Officer, SEED


The immigration pilot will support economic development within the RPGA region and strengthen its capacity to develop and retain a skilled workforce to address persistent and emerging labour market needs and demographic challenges.

“In discussions with our business community, we know of the availability and variety of numerous well-paying jobs in progressive growing businesses, whose staff range in size from two (2) to six hundred (600), and are involved in retail, manufacturing, media, book printing, agriculture and professional services.” – Al Friesen, Mayor, Town of Altona

“Due to low unemployment rates in Southern Manitoba, Friesens has expanded our recruitment efforts provincially, nationally, and internationally. It is challenging to recruit internationally, this pilot project will help make the process easier and should make it even more attractive for newcomers to choose the RPGA” – Tina Barkman, VP of Human Resources, Friesens Corporation


SEED will be working closely with the federal government over the coming months to begin identifying and recommending candidates for permanent residence. This will include developing unique eligibility criteria and processes for eligible candidates to apply to the RPGA region for permanent residence. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will make all final decisions on permanent residence applications to the RPGA region.


SEED will also be partnering with the Altona & Area Immigration Coordinating Committee to identify how immigration can best support our economy, to welcome newcomers, and to help support immigrants to settle and put down roots. SEED welcomes full community participation to ensure the immigration pilot is a success.


“Rhineland and the Town of Altona have a long history of welcoming newcomers and integrating both immigrants and refugees into the social fabric of the community. It is my belief, that this immigration pilot will transform our community and business sector.” - Don Wiebe, Reeve of the Municipality of Rhineland


“This community creates opportunities to welcome everyone all year around. From conversational English sessions to beautiful fairs not only during summer with the Altona Summer Festival but also in the cold winter with the Winter Carnival and that is just to mention a few. What amazed me the most is that in Altona, neighbors volunteer many hours to develop these initiatives. It is a combined effort from its institutions and its people.” Newcomer Testimonial - Angelica Ramirez

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