VICTORIA, B.C. — British Columbia has made changes to its provincial nominee program (PNP), including making a pilot project that includes long-haul truck drivers a permanent part of the program.
The PNP provides accelerated permanent resident status to qualified workers from other parts of the world, based on labour market and economic development priorities, the province announced. Long-haul truck drivers have been included in the program on a pilot project basis under the Entry Level and Semi-Skilled category of the PNP.
The B.C. Trucking Association has been lobbying to make the inclusion of truck drivers permanent. The province announced the change is effective immediately.
B.C. also announced it will begin more aggressively marketing its PNP and regional business opportunities to immigrants internationally, with a strong focus on Latin America, Eastern Europe, Russia and India.
The province also indicated it is lobbying Ottawa to increase the maximum number of nominations it is allowed. It’s currently limited to 3,500 nominations.
“The changes announced today will significantly enhance the effectiveness of the BC PNP in promoting job creation and economic growth in B.C.’s regions,” announced Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. “The program is a vital component of our jobs plan and one that benefits every region of British Columbia through job-creating investments and by helping to meet the growing demand for workers in key sectors of our economy.”
While the BCTA lobbied for the permanent inclusion of truck drivers among the accepted occupations, not everyone was in favour. Larry Hall, head of the North American Truckers Guild lobbied against the move, arguing the province was overstating the earning potential of long-haul truck drivers and misleading potential immigrant workers.
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