Federal immigration delays stall Nova Scotia population goals

October 16, 2015

By Tom Murphy, CBC News |

It’s another Sunday at the Halifax Central Library. It’s closing time and Racquel Talon has another long night’s work ahead, mop in hand, cleaning.

This is day seven of her work week — Talon doesn’t get a day off. She owns her own cleaning company. She pays taxes and has for more than eight years.

Talon is waiting for an elusive designation of permanent residency that would allow her to stay in Nova Scotia for good. She wants to bring her kids here from the Philippines. One is a trained nurse.

“Especially my nurse, she has a lot of opportunity here. Everybody says so,” Talon said.

“That’s why she does her English proficiency. ‘So I get a good job there, Mama.’ But now she’s feeling frustrated.”

Nova Scotia needs immigration, report says

But Talon’s application for residency is stalled in Canada’s bureaucracy — which is a bit hard to believe in a province where its economic survival depends on more immigrants like her.

In the past 25 years, Canada’s population has grown by just more than 25 per cent. In that same time, Nova Scotia’s population is up by a mere three per cent.

That tiny growth — combined with an aging population — has become a recipe for economic disaster for this province, says Ray Ivany, the president of Acadia University in Wolfville.

Ivany recently led a study looking how to fix Nova Scotia’s ailing economy, which said increasing immigration to Nova Scotia is crucial.

“I mean, we entitled it Now or Never: An Urgent Call for Action for Nova Scotians because we feel that we are at a point — an inflection point if you will — that, if the current trend line continues unabated, then you really are going to see a prolonged downward spiral,” Ivany said.

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