Canada-Manitoba Immigration Agreement
June 2003

General Provisions

0.0 Preamble

0.1 This agreement is between the GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, as represented by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (herein after referred to as “Canada”) and THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PROVINCE OF MANITOBA, as represented by the Minister of Labour and Immigration (hereafter called “Manitoba”).

0.2 TAKING INTO ACCOUNT Section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867, whereby immigration is a shared responsibility.

0.3 AND WHEREAS the Parliament of Canada has enacted the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27, as amended, under this responsibility.

0.4 AND WHEREAS the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees certain mobility rights to every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada and guarantees equal protection and equal benefit of the law to everyone without discrimination.

0.5 AND WHEREAS the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the equality of status to English and French as the official languages of Canada.

0.6 AND WHEREAS Section 10(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act S.C. 2001 as amended, (hereinafter referred to as the “IRPA” requires the Minister to consult with the provinces annually with respect to the number of foreign nationals in each class who will become permanent residents each year, their distribution in Canada taking into account regional economic and demographic requirements and the measures to be undertaken to facilitate their integration into Canadian society.

0.7 AND WHEREAS Section 8(1) of the IRPA authorizes the Minister, with approval of the Governor in Council, to enter into agreements with provinces for the purposes of the IRPA.

0.8 AND WHEREAS the IRPA is designed, among other things, to:

  1. Support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy in which the benefits of immigration are shared across all regions of Canada; and
  2. Enrich and strengthen the cultural and social fabric of Canadian society, while respecting the federal, bilingual and multicultural character of Canada.

0.9 AND WHEREAS Manitoba recognizes the objectives of the IRPA to support and assist the development of minority official language communities in Canada.

0.10 AND WHEREAS Canada and Manitoba welcome immigrants, recognize their contribution to the demographic, social, humanitarian and economic objectives of the country and the province, and acknowledge the long-term benefits of immigration.

0.11 AND WHEREAS Canada’s international obligations include its commitments to the protection of refugees, as reflected in Section 3 (2) of the IRPA.

0.12 AND WHEREAS Manitoba recognizes the importance of family reunification and shared commitment with respect to humanitarian considerations of refugees and persons in similar situations.

0.13 AND WHEREAS Manitoba acknowledges the value of economic immigrants, including business immigrants, skilled and other workers, to its sustainable development.

0.14 AND WHEREAS Canada and Manitoba recognize the benefits of international study in the province.

0.15 AND WHEREAS the Minister of Labour and Immigration is authorized to enter into this agreement with Canada by subsection 6(1) of the Department of Labour Act of Manitoba and by Order in Council under section 16 of the Executive Government Organization Act of Manitoba.

0.16 AND WHEREAS Canada and Manitoba share a mutual interest in:

  1. planning and coordinating their immigration activities, based on cooperation, consultation and information sharing;
  2. the principle that equitable federal funding be available for settlement and integration activities based upon an allocation determined by a model developed in consultation with Manitoba;
  3. working in partnership with stakeholders, including federal, provincial and municipal governments, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations, ethnic organizations, communities, and employers to facilitate the attainment of immigration objectives;
  4. providing effective services, while avoiding overlap and duplication;
  5. enhancing and maximizing/facilitating the social, cultural and economic contribution of immigrants;
  6. contributing to the development of minority official language communities in Manitoba and enhancing their vitality;
  7. the development of pilot initiatives to increase regional dispersion of immigrants and recognizing differing settlement requirements;
  8. ensuring that immigration and immigration-related programs meet their objectives and serve those for whom they are intended;
  9. developing shared capacities to respond in the interests of urgent protection, vulnerable, and special needs refugees;
  10. consultation on the impact of national security measures;
  11. recognizing the benefits of citizenship and providing supports for eligible immigrants in acquiring Canadian citizenship; and
  12. considering local labour market trends and the potential for greater Aboriginal participation in the labour force.

0.17 THE PARTIES HERETO agree on the following in order to determine their respective areas of activity relating to immigrants, refugees, and temporary residents in order to meet the needs of Canada and Manitoba:

  1. THAT this agreement relates to the planning of levels and composition of immigration to Manitoba annually, the promotion of immigration and the recruitment of immigrants to the province, the selection and admission of immigrants into Canada and their settlement into Manitoba and Canadian society, the sharing of information and cooperative efforts to ensure the integrity of the programs of Canada and Manitoba in relation to immigration;
  2. THAT Canada will determine national policy objectives and annual plans for the immigration program; it will be responsible for the selection, admission and control of immigrants and temporary residents and refugee claimants. Canada will discharge these responsibilities in particular by defining classes of foreign nationals and classes of persons who are inadmissible into Canada, by establishing the conditions for the granting of citizenship, as defined in the Citizenship Act, and by ensuring the fulfilment of Canada’s international obligations with respect to refugees;
  3. THAT Manitoba will advise Canada regarding its annual immigration levels plans; and
  4. THAT Manitoba will exercise its responsibilities in the development and implementation of programs; policies and legislation; facilitating promotion and recruitment of immigrants; determination of provincial nominees; and the provision of settlement and integration services as set out in this Agreement.

1.0 Purpose, Objectives and Definitions

1.1 The purpose of this Agreement is to define the respective roles and responsibilities of Canada and Manitoba relating to immigrants and temporary residents to Manitoba under the IRPA.

1.2 The objectives of the Agreement are:

  1. to foster an effective partnership between Canada and Manitoba for the promotion, recruitment, selection, admission, control settlement and integration of immigrants to the province;
  2. to foster effective cooperation between Canada and Manitoba on the development and implementation of policies, programs, including those to support and assist the development of minority official language communities in Manitoba, and mechanisms to influence the levels and composition of immigrants to Manitoba and to Canada;
  3. to cooperatively develop and implement new initiatives and projects that meet regional immigration needs;
  4. to share roles and responsibilities between Canada and Manitoba for promotion and recruitment;
  5. to provide Manitoba with the opportunity to influence its particular social, demographic, economic development and labour market priorities, including responses to skills shortages;
  6. to foster cooperation in research and evaluation and in ensuring the integrity of the programs of Canada and Manitoba in respect of immigration;
  7. to develop effective information sharing mechanisms, including personal information where appropriate;
  8. to share responsibilities between Canada and Manitoba for the settlement and integration of immigrants in Manitoba including appropriate, fair, and ongoing funding for settlement services provided by Manitoba as set out in Annex A;
  9. to develop cooperation in achieving humanitarian goals and family reunification;
  10. to collaborate in the development and implementation of strategies to address barriers to qualification recognition and integration of immigrants into the labour market; and
  11. to develop cooperation in facilitating movements of temporary workers and students to Manitoba.

1.3 Along with the general provisions of this Agreement, the following annexes form part of this Agreement:

  1. Annex A — Immigrant Settlement Services
  2. Annex B — Provincial Nominees
  3. Annex C — Provision of Data on Immigrant Landings

1.4 For the purposes of this Agreement:

  1. except where otherwise provided in this Agreement, words used in this Agreement which are defined in the IRPA or in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (hereinafter referred to as the “IRPR”), have the same meaning as in that Act or those Regulations;
  2. a reference to the IRPA or the IRPR is a reference to that Act or those Regulations as amended from time to time;
  3. “immigrant”, as used in this Agreement, means permanent residents, protected persons and Convention refugees, as defined in the IRPA;
  4. “temporary resident” means temporary workers, students, visitors and refugee claimants, as defined in the IRPA and IRPR;
  5. “refugee” means a Convention refugee or a protected person as defined in the IRPA to be resettled in Manitoba;
  6. “settlement and integration programs and services” means those programs and services to be defined in accordance with section 4.4 of this Agreement;
  7. “vulnerable persons” means any person or persons in greater need of protection than other refugees due to a heightened risk to their physical safety;
  8. “persons in urgent need of protection” means any person or persons facing an immediate threat of being killed, subjected to violence, torture, sexual assault or arbitrary imprisonment, or returned to their country of nationality or their former habitual residence; and
  9. “special needs persons” means that a person has greater need of settlement assistance than other applicants for protection abroad owing to personal circumstances, including: a large number of family members; trauma resulting from violence or torture; medical disabilities; and/or, the effects of systemic discrimination.

2.0 Immigration Programs and Planning

2.1 Canada will establish Canadian immigration policy and develop immigration projections in consultation with the provinces.

2.2 In establishing Canadian immigration policy and in developing its immigration projections, Canada will recognize shared responsibilities for immigration and take into account Manitoba’s immigration planning including its demographic, social, and economic objectives and consider the particular needs of the Province.

2.3 Canada will consult in a timely manner with Manitoba on Canada’s immigration policy and immigration projections and respond to identified issues in shared immigration planning.

2.4 Manitoba will develop a multi-year immigration levels plan, including a provincial nominee plan based on the principle that immigration to Manitoba should be at least proportional to its percentage of Canada’s total population as determined by Statistics Canada on July 1st of the previous year.

2.5 Manitoba will conduct planning based on factors contributing to the social, economic and demographic growth of the province including, but not limited to, available resources, balanced growth, impact of immigration streams destined to the province, absorptive capacity, and regional development including the development of minority official language communities with the objective of achieving a proportional share of national immigration levels.

2.6 Manitoba will provide Canada with its overall immigration levels plan including its provincial nominee plan on an annual basis.

2.7 Canada will consult with Manitoba on annual refugee targets as they relate to Manitoba, and will develop an annual delivery plan for federal immigration targets that may include, on agreement by both parties, specific targets for Manitoba by immigration class including provincial nominees.

2.8 Canada will consult with Manitoba on Canada’s immigration policy and immigration projections.

2.9 Manitoba will consult broadly on the province’s immigration policies, plans and programs.

2.10 Canada and Manitoba agree to consult each other with reasonable advance notice when either party is contemplating a policy, program or legislative change which could have a significant impact, fiscal or otherwise on the other Party and on the operation of this Agreement.

2.11 Manitoba will participate in multilateral consultation processes associated with developing or promoting national immigration initiatives or resolving conflicts.

2.12 Canada will cooperate with Manitoba to provide opportunities to provincial staff for training at Canadian visa offices, taking into account cost and resource restraints and, if required, negotiating cost sharing approaches. It is recognized that employees of the Province of Manitoba will be subject to security clearances required to access federal information.

2.13 Canada will consult Manitoba on the development and implementation of policies that encourage reunification of family from abroad and Manitoba will have the opportunity to participate in the development and implementation of those policies and programs that strengthen and enforce sponsorship provisions and obligations.

2.14 Canada and Manitoba will consider the development of a project to increase family reunification by developing province-sensitive financial criteria for immigration and sponsorship.

2.15 Manitoba will plan to receive a share of refugees to be resettled in the province and, recognizing the need for flexibility in responding to emerging humanitarian needs, Manitoba will receive a proportion of refugees who have special needs, are deemed to be vulnerable or are in urgent need of protection. In assigning a share of refugees to the province, Canada will, to the extent possible, take into account, the potential financial and program impact on Manitoba resulting from variations in the number of urgent protection, vulnerable and special needs refugees to be resettled in Manitoba.

2.16 In recognition of Manitoba’s responsibilities for settlement services, Canada will work in partnership with Manitoba and other stakeholders including municipal governments on the development and implementation of policies that will encourage private refugee sponsorship and Manitoba will, in addition to its obligations under subsection 2.15, undertake to encourage private sponsorships that would include vulnerable individuals or families referred by visa offices.

3.0 Promotion and Recruitment

3.1 Canada and Manitoba will share roles and responsibilities in the planning and implementation of immigration promotion and immigrant recruitment activities abroad, recognizing Canada’s responsibility for coordinating such activities on a national level.

3.2 Canada and Manitoba will work in partnership in the development of pre-migration plans and activities that raise the profile of the province as a destination for immigration.

3.3 Canada and Manitoba will coordinate the identification of shared roles, responsibilities, resources and mechanisms to annually evaluate Manitoba-led and joint promotion and recruitment activities responsive to Manitoba priorities in all classes of foreign nationals.

3.4 Canada and Manitoba will consider the development of projects to enhance the coordination of joint promotion and recruitment activities.

3.5 Canada and Manitoba will share responsibilities in public education and information regarding the benefits of immigration to Manitoba.

3.6 Canada and Manitoba will share responsibilities to support mutual objectives for increased regional dispersion and retention.

3.7 Canada will endeavour to provide Manitoba with overseas labour market and demographic information as available to assist in niche market recruitment.

3.8 Canada and Manitoba will share responsibilities to increase effective recruitment and promotional materials available for prospective immigrants overseas, including access to current and realistic labour market information.

3.9 Canada and Manitoba will cooperate in the promotion and recruitment of provincial nominees, skilled worker and business immigrant and temporary resident movements, such as students and workers, by working together in the following areas:

  1. Manitoba will provide Canada with Manitoba’s annual immigration levels plan including its provincial nominee plan and objectives and Canada will ensure that its visa officers are informed about the plan and objectives;
  2. Manitoba will endeavour to provide Canada with information regarding the province’s demographic, educational, labour market and other needs, including opportunities for minority official language community immigrants in provincial communities and Canada will provide information to Manitoba about optimum recruitment opportunities through Canadian missions abroad, in order to meet Manitoba’s needs;
  3. Manitoba will provide Canada with detailed information regarding the province’s needs for immigrants and temporary residents and Canada will provide to its visa offices this information and make it accessible to qualified prospective immigrants and temporary residents;
  4. Canada and Manitoba will establish mutually acceptable procedures in accordance with federal and provincial privacy legislation for providing available information related to specific applicants for permanent and temporary residence destined to the Province; and
  5. Canada will make all reasonable efforts to proactively manage the delivery of its program, bearing in mind federal priorities with respect to overall immigration targets, the mix of economic to non-economic landings, limitations related to the number of applications received and that can be processed by missions for immigrants destined to Manitoba and current processing times and priorities, to support the achievement of the Province’s annual objective to meet its annual immigration levels plan including its provincial nominee plan pursuant to section 2.4.

3.10 This Agreement does not preclude either party from undertaking promotion and recruitment activities independently.

4.0 Integration

4.1 Canada and Manitoba recognize that full participation of newcomers in Canadian society is essential to the economic and social benefits of immigration policy and programs.

4.2 Canada and Manitoba will recognize the appropriate participation of other parties concerned with facilitating the integration of newcomers to Manitoba, including municipal governments, education, health and human service sectors, settlement and immigrant serving agencies, religious and ethnic organizations, labour and business groups, as well as individuals.

4.3 Canada and Manitoba agree to consult annually on information about the general settlement situation of immigrants and refugees, and movements of temporary residents, in order to inform policy and program development and research. Canada and Manitoba will ensure that any exchange of information, in particular “personal” information, will be conducted in accordance with applicable federal and provincial legislation and in accordance with their own policies related to protection of privacy, access to information and security of records.

4.4 Canada agrees to maintain a role in settlement services as provided for in Annex A.

4.5 Canada agrees to provide appropriate, fair, and ongoing funding for settlement services delivered in Manitoba as set out in Annex A.

4.6 Canada and Manitoba will continue to consult each other and other parties concerned on services and programs available to immigrants and temporary residents.

4.7 Canada will work in cooperation with Manitoba to secure better recognition of the foreign qualifications of permanent residents and their more rapid integration into the labour market. This does not preclude either party from taking independent action to address qualifications recognition in Manitoba.

4.8 Canada will consult with Manitoba on the admission of visitors to the province for the purposes of receiving medical care and treatment, where such purposes are known at the time of admission.

4.9 Canada will seek Manitoba’s concurrence regarding medical inadmissibility cases where Canada is considering issuance of a temporary resident permit.

4.10 Canada and Manitoba will work together to promote full participation of immigrants in Manitoba and Canadian society, while recognizing Canada’s responsibility for determining conditions related to the granting of Canadian citizenship.

5.0 Information Sharing and Research

5.1 In the interest of immigration levels planning policy development, program design and evaluation, program delivery and integrity, research and reducing overlap and avoiding duplication, Canada and Manitoba agree to cooperate by exchanging information and sharing research.

5.2 Canada in consultation with Manitoba will investigate and develop a means of providing Manitoba with adequate access to current and future case processing systems in support of the administration of the Provincial Nominee Program.

5.3 Canada and Manitoba agree to encourage immigration research, to consult annually on research priorities and planned research activities, and to cooperate on common research initiatives, as appropriate.

5.4 Canada and Manitoba agree to inform each other in a timely manner of any immigration-related information sharing and research agreements or formal negotiations with government departments, municipalities and other parties concerned under provincial jurisdiction, such as school boards, professional, occupational and similar licensing bodies, quasi-governmental organizations and provincial Crown corporations, settlement agencies, and immigrant serving agencies.

5.5 Canada and Manitoba will ensure that any exchange of information, particularly personal information, will be conducted in accordance with applicable federal and provincial legislation and in accordance with their policies relating to protection of privacy, access to information and security of records.

5.6 Canada and Manitoba will establish mutually acceptable procedures for Canada to provide statistical reports to Manitoba on:

  1. individuals destined to Manitoba whose immigration applications are being considered by Canada;
  2. the issuance of immigrant visas to persons destined to the province;
  3. landings of persons destined to the province; and
  4. temporary residence permits, work permits, and study permits issued to applicants destined to the province; and
  5. additional reports as agreed to by both parties.

5.7 All agreements between the parties will provide for the exchange or sharing of information in accordance with:

  1. the Privacy Act and supporting guidelines on Privacy and Data Protection and the Government of Canada Security Policy and supporting operating directives and guidelines covering the administrative, technical and physical safeguarding of any Personal Information (the said supporting guidelines, policies and directives hereinafter referred to as the “Supporting Guidelines”); provided that Manitoba is provided with prior written notice of the Supporting Guidelines and of any changes made from time to time to those Supporting Guidelines; or
  2. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of the Province of Manitoba and related Regulations, directives and guidelines governing the administrative, technical and physical safeguarding of the Personal Information;

    whichever shall apply.

6.0 Program Integrity

6.1 Recognizing that it is in their mutual interest and benefit, Canada and Manitoba will work together to ensure that their respective programs, as they relate to immigrants and temporary residents respect the program and policy interests of Canada and Manitoba.

6.2 Canada and Manitoba will cooperate, to the extent possible, with respect to ensuring the integrity of their respective programs, including, but not limited to such immigration control and enforcement matters as: sharing information, conducting research and establishing mutual reporting arrangements; auditing, investigating matters of program abuse, enlisting the cooperation of other agencies in addressing issues of criminality and public safety, coordinating and streamlining the treatment of enforcement cases involving both jurisdictions, sharing services and facilities, such as for the purposes of detention.

6.3 The commitment to cooperation pursuant to Section 6.2 shall not be interpreted by either party to impose legal, financial or other obligations beyond specific arrangements and conditions which are already in operation or are mutually agreed upon.

6.4 Canada and Manitoba will consult on the development and implementation of national measures to regulate immigration representatives. Canada recognizes Manitoba’s right to develop and implement its own measures consistent with provincial jurisdiction.

7.0 Implementation

7.1 A Joint Coordinating Committee, with two co-chairs, one to be designated by the Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and one to be designated by the Deputy Minister, Labour and Immigration, Manitoba, and consisting of Assistant Deputy Ministers representing Canada and Manitoba, will be established to oversee implementation of this Agreement. It will have responsibility for coordinating all matters encompassed in this Agreement including dispute resolution and will serve as the forum for raising new immigration issues not addressed in this Agreement.

7.2 The Joint Coordinating Committee shall meet at least once annually and may establish ad hoc groups or committees with the participation of other parties concerned, if appropriate, for the purposes of implementing this Agreement.

7.3 A Joint Working Group, co-chaired by two senior officials, one designated by the federal co-chair and one designated by the Manitoba co-chair of the Joint Coordinating Committee, and consisting of Directors with responsibilities for all subject matters covered by this Agreement and Annexes, will be established to facilitate the implementation of this Agreement and Annexes. It will meet as often as required and at least bi-annually and will have responsibility for facilitating implementation initiatives under the direction of the co-chairs of the Joint Coordinating Committee.

8.0 General

8.1 Canada and Manitoba will take all reasonable measures necessary to implement this Agreement.

8.2 Canada and Manitoba, to the extent possible, will provide reasonable advance notice and opportunity for discussion of policy, program or legislative changes which could have a material effect (financial or otherwise) on immigrants and temporary residents in the province.

8.3 In keeping with the purpose and scope of this Agreement, Canada will be open and transparent concerning its intention to enter into agreements with other provinces respecting immigration and Canada will provide, at Manitoba’s request, other federal provincial agreements made under Section 8 (1) of the IRPA, and will negotiate amendments to this Agreement, taking into consideration the different needs and circumstances of the provinces.

8.4 The French and English language versions of this agreement are equally authoritative.

8.5 This Agreement may be amended by the mutual written consent of the parties.

8.6 The Joint Coordinating Committee will from time to time, and not less than every five years, review this Agreement for the purpose of determining whether any amendments pursuant to section 8.5 are desired.

8.7 Either party may terminate this Agreement at any time by providing at least 12 months notice in writing to the other party. Upon notice of termination, the Joint Coordinating Committee will negotiate a transition strategy.

8.8 Specific arrangements for duration, amendments and termination as detailed in the Annexes to this Agreement take precedence over sections 8.5 and 8.7. If an Annex to this Agreement is not terminated at the time this Agreement is terminated, this Agreement remains in effect to the extent necessary to give full force and effect to the intent of the Annex.

8.9 This agreement supersedes the prior Agreement dated October 22, 1996.

8.10 This Agreement will come into force when signed by both parties.