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Fewer immigrants settling in rural Manitoba

Immigration into rural Manitoba continues to fall, the province’s latest immigration figures show.

Immigration outside the Perimeter Highway has tumbled 43 per cent the last five years, from 3,500 down to 2,000, the latest immigration figures show.

Winnipeg has seen its immigration increase 1,100 since 2009, to about 11,100 last year.

Total immigration to all parts of Manitoba in 2013 was 13,092, only slightly changed from the previous year.

The Manitoba government said immigration to rural centres has been impacted by the federal government’s cap on Provincial Nominee Program applicants, and stricter English language requirements introduced by Ottawa.

However, immigration consultants also blame Bill 22, the Worker Recruitment and Protection Act, which the NDP government introduced in 2009.

WRAPA forbids immigration brokers from also finding jobs for the newcomers, something they were allowed to do up until 2009.

Immigration into Saskatchewan totalled 10,671 in 2013, but a third of its immigration was into rural areas.

bill.redekop@freepress.mb.ca

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