If it's not broken don't fix it: Rally sends message about fee for provincial nominees
Save MPNP Coalition organized march to protest changes to provincial nominee program
About 50 people gathered at the Manitoba Legislature on Tuesday evening to send the premier a message: if it isn't broken don't fix it.
The vigil and march was organized by the Save MPNP Coalition which was formed last year after Premier Brian Pallister announced changes to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program.
"The message is simple: Premier Pallister if this program is not broken, if everything is working correctly as it's proven, why are we changing?" said organizer Zita Somakoko.
Last November, Pallister announced plans to have a backlog of provincial nominee program applications cleared by April 2017.
As part of the changes, nominees will also have to pay a new $500 fee once they have been accepted into the program. Applicants currently pay no fee.
The fee quickly drew fire with some calling it a cash grab. A suggestion made by Pallister in the Legislature that not all immigrants were able to get jobs after they arrive also left many people angry.
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"Many immigrants we own our houses, we are hard workers, we contribute, not only to the culture and diversity of Manitoba, but also to the booming economy of Manitoba," Somakoko said.
"The cultural dynamic and diversity that we now see in Manitoba is mainly due to this great program."
The updated nomination plan is expected to start in April.