New Brunswick

Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey touts new immigration plan

Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey says while immigration is not a magic bullet that will solve all of the provinces economic woes, immigrants are needed to ensure prosperity and growth.

Ottawa recently announced a 3-year pilot project to bring 2,000 new immigrants to Atlantic Canada

Fredericton Liberal MP Matt DeCourcey says Ottawa needs to do a better job recognizing the professional and education credentials of newcomers. (CBC)

Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey says while immigration will not solve all of the provinces economic woes, immigrants are needed to ensure prosperity and growth.

"Without bringing in more newcomers with education, with a varied set of skills and bringing in their families to provide that support system ... we simply will not be able to grow the economy and create more jobs for more people," DeCourcey said on Information Morning Fredericton.

Last week, the federal government announced a three-year pilot project to bring 2,000 new immigrants to Atlantic Canada by 2017.

DeCourcey said while the province does have an "entrepreneurial and skilled work force" available in the region, some industries are experiencing a labour gap, from the traditional natural resource sector to technology.

The pilot project is a collaborative approach, said DeCourcey, and while Ottawa has opened the door, the provinces understand their specific needs best.

"The provinces will have the opportunity to identify exactly which skilled workers they would like to bring in. They're the ones with the knowledge on the ground," he said.

Fredericton's MP weighs in on the government's new plan to boost the economy and population in Atlantic Canada. 15:48

Competition for already scarce jobs

Addressing the issue of competition for already scarce jobs, DeCourcey said the program is about filling the gaps.

"So part of the strategy will be developing an asset map of what we have available to us, where the shortages are and ... we'll be bringing in newcomers to help address some of those gaps," he said.

DeCourcey said Ottawa needs to do a better job recognizing the professional and education credentials of newcomers as well as to ensure skilled immigrants and their families have a clear pathway to Canadian citizenship.

"That's going to take work, collaboratively, between the provinces, with the federal government, and we know that that's necessary, not just to recruit newcomers with skills, but to retain them and ensure they grow their families and live in our communities for years to come," he said.

With files from Information Morning Fredericton