Tuesday , 21 March 2023

Cold Lake designated under Rural Renewal Stream program

The City of Cold Lake has been designated under the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program’s Rural Renewal Stream (RRS).

The RRS is an economic immigration program that allows municipalities to offer foreign nationals a letter of nomination once they have a job offer from an eligible and approved businesses. The letter of nomination effectively supplants the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), allowing the foreign national to begin the immigration process through the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program. All other federal and provincial immigration regulations and processes remain in place.

With designation under the RSS having been achieved, the City of Cold Lake will work towards standing the program up. The process is expected to take about four to six weeks before applications can be received.

The City of Cold Lake applied for designation under the RSS program after being approached by the business community and the Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, which described the need for the program. Many businesses in the community are operating at about 70 per cent of their optimal staffing levels and many have been forced to curtail their hours of operation, close a part of their business or delay plans for expansion because of the lack of reliable staffing.

“This program effectively allows businesses to streamline the entry point into the economic immigration process,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “We were told that the LMIA process was proving to be a bottleneck that was delaying applications. Cold Lake has proven to be a welcoming community with many opportunities for people who have immigrated here for work. They have helped to grow our community and contribute greatly to the vibrancy of the city we call home. Many have put down roots, became Canadians and some have gone on to start their own businesses.”

To be eligible for the program, businesses must be located in the City of Cold Lake and have permanent, full-time positions that they have been unable to fill. Businesses must also not be in violation of any federal, provincial or municipal regulations, must complete a brief housing plan and agree to a plan that will assist newcomers hired through the program with settling into the community.

The program will be run by the City of Cold Lake’s administration from City Hall and Cold Lake and District FCSS, with the support and assistance of the Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures Lakeland.

“Our staff at FCSS are well positioned and connected to assist newcomers in our community,” Copeland said. “In fact, it’s a function that they and their partners have already been performing admirably for years. We have a welcoming city with a resourceful business community and significant growth on the horizon, and this program has arrived at the perfect time to make sure our businesses can grow to their full potential.”

Once completed, details of the City of Cold Lake’s Rural Renewal Stream application process will be advertised and made available online.

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