Media Release

December 19, 2019


Chatham-Kent selected for provincial immigration pilot

Chatham-Kent has been selected as one of only three provincial sites to launch a new regional immigration pilot. The provincial Ministry of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) today announced the launch of a Regional Immigration Pilot based on the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade said in an announcement today “our government is committed to growing economic immigration and connecting job creators in small and rural communities with the talent they need to expand and succeed. Through the Regional Immigration Pilot, businesses in Belleville/Quinte West, Chatham-Kent and Cornwall now have the ability to meet their employment requirements and create even more good jobs."

Chatham-Kent will launch the regional pilot in 2020 and will be able to utilize the nominee process for a two-year period (January 2020 – December 2022) with the aim of supporting local employer needs. Mayor Darrin Canniff recognized the significance of Chatham-Kent being selected as a provincial pilot site, saying, “Chatham-Kent was recognized by the federal government as Canada’s first welcoming community, so we are delighted to continue to build partnerships with our provincial government, grow our community, and to support our local businesses through being part of this new regional immigration pilot.”

The OINP offers immigration pathways for foreign workers that have the professional and /or education skills needed to succeed in and contribute to Ontario’s labour market. The OINP allows foreign workers, entrepreneurs and international students to be nominated for permanent residence in Ontario. “Having this opportunity to attract and retain residents in Chatham-Kent using innovative approaches to bringing skilled immigrants to rural and small communities is very exciting”, said April Rietdyk, General Manager of Community Human Services at the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

Chatham-Kent employers have repeatedly spoken of the challenges in finding sufficient talent for their business needs and this has been evidenced by the findings from the annual Employer One Survey. The Chatham-Kent OINP pilot will therefore present a unique opportunity for cross-sector collaboration among employers, business groups, post-secondary institutions, the settlement sector, and government with the aim of addressing Chatham-Kent’s local labour market needs and positioning the community for growth. “Chatham-Kent being selected as one of only three provincial pilot sites speaks to the strong collaborative relationships, can-do attitudes, and resulting success stories that we know thrive here”, said Rietdyk.

Chatham-Kent Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls will provide more information on the initiative during a media event at the Adult Language and Learning Centre 240 King St W, Chatham Friday, December 20 at 2 p.m.

Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff will also attend the event.


For more information:
 April Rietdyk
General Manager, Community Human Services
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
Telephone 519.360.1998
Toll free: 1-866-542-5994

 Mayor Darrin Canniff
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
Telephone 519.360.1998
Toll free: 1-866-542-5994