The pilot project, announced this week, will expedite the process of employing foreign workers in Alberta and British Columbia's labour-strapped industries.

A recent study by RBC and Ipsos Reid shows that 27 per cent of Canadian immigrants who have been in Canada for ten years or less feel truly established in Canada and 54 per cent feel they are in the process of getting settled. 19 per cent of respondents stated that they still feel new to Canada.

The European Commission presented a report this week that criticized Canada's lack of transparency and the delays it has caused in the negotiations over removing visa requirements for the eight most recent EU members.

A new immigration agreement has been signed between Nova Scotia and Canada to attract and retain more immigrants to meet provincial labour market needs.

Since its inception as a pilot project in 2003, the Off-Campus Work Permit Program has only been available to international students at public Canadian universities and colleges. Nationally launched in April 2006, the initiative has already benefited over 8,300 international students by giving them Canadian work experience and financial independence.

The Ontario Pilot Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) was launched this summer to help employers faced with labour shortages to bring in foreign workers and to fast-track the immigration process for their new employees.

A new Statistics Canada 2006 report reveals that the province of Manitoba has one of the highest success rates in the country with respect to immigrants finding work after they arrive. Not only do immigrants in Manitoba have among the highest employment rates and lowest unemployment rates in Canada, the positive results reflect on very recent immigrants (those who have lived in Manitoba for five years or less) as well.

A recent Fraser Institute survey named the province of Alberta as having North America's best-performing labour market over the past five years, beating out 50 American states and all other Canadian provinces and territories.

This year, the Toronto public school board's top three students are foreign-born. Likewise, the top spot in the Peel District School board is shared by four immigrant students. Jim Cummins of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education is not surprised that despite the additional challenges of starting a new life in Canada, some immigrant students are outperforming their Canadian-born peers.

Canadian Minister of Immigration Diane Finley recently announced the allocation of $1.4 million to fund a mentorship program in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge regions of Ontario.

Whether Canadian-born, landed immigrant, or soon-to-be Canadian immigrant, an individual with training in a skilled trade is highly employable in the current Canadian economy. With 50 per cent of workers in the skilled trades retiring in the next 15 years, “vocational training is a route to a sure job,” explains the principal of a technology training school in Montreal.

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) in Ottawa is spearheading a study to forecast changes in the IT labour market from now until 2015. The results of the study will help the ICTC prepare for the predicted 89,000 IT workers that the sector will need between now and 2010.

Approximately 80 per cent of Canadian immigrants have chosen to settle in Canada's five largest urban centres (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa). A Statistics Canada study cited that, for the majority of immigrants, the most important reason for choosing a particular destination in Canada is because family and/or friends are already there. Whether there are good job prospects in the area is the second most important reason. The study underlines the importance of community networks and social ties to immigrant integration and settlement.

Over the past decade, the number of adults seeking college education in Canada has swelled tremendously. In Ontario this fall, only 34 per cent of first-year college students will be coming directly from high school.