Last Updated on January 26, 2012 by Steven Meurrens

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has released its Evaluation of the Provincial Nominee Program.  The report was almost overwhelmingly positive, especially on how the program operates in British Columbia.  The report can be found here:

In brief, the report noted that:

  • The vast majority of provincial nominees are becoming established economically;
  • The majority of provincial nominees have jobs at a skill level equivalent to their intended occupations;
  • The retention rate varies from province to province, with BC and Alberta having a retention rate of over 95%; and
  • That provincial nominees generally earn more than other immigrants.
Nonetheless, under what I guess is the mantra of “if it ain’t broke we’d better fix it”, the report contains 4 recommendations.  The recommendations, and the government’s action plan on them, are below.  I have put the recommendation in bold, the government’s action plan (with assorted proposed completion dates) in a table below.  I have also provided a brief commentary below the table.


(The Report actually contains 5 recommendations.  However, as the 5th recommendation appears to relate solely to scheduling future task forces, working groups, etc.., I have not included it below.)


1. CIC should work with provinces to develop a requirement for minimum standards across Provincial Nomination Programs regarding language ability. 


Present a finalized proposal for minimum language standards and mandatory testing for low-skilled provincial nominees to provinces. September 2011
Develop guidelines / operational materials for visa officers to assist with the implementation of minimum language standards. May 2012
Implement minimum language standards and mandatory testing for low-skilled provincial nominees. July 2012
Continue discussions with provinces on minimum language requirements and mandatory testing for PNP entrepreneurs. 2012
Work together with provinces to develop a proposal for minimum language standards for other provincial nominees. Fall 2012
Table 3-7 of the Report shows that 86% of PNP nominees from 2005-2009 were either fluent in English or bilingual.  This compares with a range of 32% to 86% for the federal economic streams.  Combined with the fact that many PNP nominees in British Columbia are either investing millions of dollars or are working in specialized trades at ethnic restaurants, and have offers of employment, and I don’t see why the introduction of the IELTS is necessary.  Especially when the report notes that the number of nominees that are unable to find work and go on social assistance is statistically negligible. What this will do, however, is greatly annoyed business individuals that are fluent in English, and being told that they need to pay hundreds of dollars to attend an English test.


2. In order to strengthen linkages between the occupational profile of Provincial Nominees and provincial labour market / economic needs, CIC should work with provinces to enable more effective, evidence-based identification of their needs for provincial nominees. 
Hold a one day workshop organized by a Research Working Group to address the issue. September 2011
The Working Group will develop a research proposal on developing variables. Summer 2012
The working group will identify guidelines to support the development of the common evidence based inyour to support a Multi-Year Levels Planning process. Fall 2012
The Multi-Years Levels Planning Process will implement the common evidence base guidelines for the first plan and use the result for future plans. 2015 and ongoing

I have no idea what any of this means.  I will note the irony of the Report stating that the vast majority of nominees are becoming economically established, and then noting with dismay that only one province has a formal labour market strategy while the others rely on consultations with the private sector.  Considering that provincial nominees are integrating successfully, it seems to me that the provinces are doing fine. But hey, if its not broken, then certainly a government research group and consultation meetings and reports is what is needed. 

3. CIC should clarify the roles and responsibilities of the provinces and the visa offices. 


Update the Provincial Manual to assist officers in addressing certain aspects of economic establishment January 2012
Develop anOBon economic establishment April 2012
Hold anti-fraud training for provinces at CIC Buffalo. November 2011
Gatherinformation from the provinces on the verifications that they conduct for the PNP. December 2011
Develop a wiki to avoid duplication in validation efforts December 2011
Have PNP applications to go the CIO December 2011
Develop options for improved regulations of PNPs 2012 – 2013


4. CIC should work with provinces to strengthen the focus on the PNP objective of encouraging the development of Official Language Minority Communities 


Share results and recommendations of evaluation with provinces when available Spring 2012
Introduce inclusion of language clauses upon the establishment of new bilateral agreements on immigration. April 2012