A conference was organized in Yellowknife to promote pathways for Canadian businesses to hire French-speaking workers to fill vacancies and bolster diversity.

The conference – which was the joint effort of two groups, namely Conseil de développement économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (CDÉTNO) and La Communauté francophone accueillante (CFA) – featured staff from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada to answer questions about the francophone work permit offered by Ottawa.

The employment of francophone workers was called a “win-win” by Francois Afane, executive director of CDETNO, as reported by CBC. He asserted that this would help fill vacant roles and add diversity to the communities of Yellowknife and NWT.

“The need that we have, that is actually very, very desperate.”

According to Eric Neba, owner of Excel Moving and Cleaning Services, Yellowknife has difficulties in attracting employees because of many reasons – weather, housing, and a lack of high-paying jobs.

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Immigration to NWT depends on three streams – the Employer-Driven Stream, the Business Stream, and the Francophone Stream.

While the Employer-Driven Stream is for businesses who want to hire and nominate foreigners when no Canadians can do the job (with sub-streams of Skilled Worker, Entry Level/Semi-Skilled Occupations, and NWT Express Entry), the Business Stream is for foreigners wanting to start a business in Canada.

The third stream – the Francophone Stream – allows qualified bilingual foreigners with a job offer in NWT to apply to the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP).

It is designed to boost the labour pool for bilingual workers within all National Occupational Classification skill levels.

NTNP is delivered in partnership between the Government of the Northwest Territories and IRCC.

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It is delivered by two departments – the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment, which delivers the Business Stream, and the Department of Education, Culture, and Employment, which delivers Employer-Driven Streams.

The Employer-Driven Streams aids:

  • employers secure highly skilled individuals and newcomers to work and live in NWT;
  • to strengthen the economy by attracting qualified people to fill critical labour shortages in the NWT;
  • support territorial employers to fill labour shortages when no qualified Canadians are available;
  • strengthen the NWT’s ability to enhance the economic benefits of immigration to the territory; and
  • nominate eligible foreign nationals for Canada permanent residency.

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