“We have increased our investment in settlement support programs this year to $12 million”
Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology
BRITISH Columbia welcomes all newcomers to our province – from highly skilled workers from abroad to refugees and international students. Not only do newcomers bring important perspectives, talent and experience, they help keep our province culturally diverse and economically vibrant, which benefits us all.
As B.C.’s minister responsible for immigration, I am proud to see people from different countries choose our province as their new home. Entrepreneurs like Samarth Mod and Rohit Boolchandani are great examples of the potential that new immigrants bring to our province. They left their homes in central India in 2012 and 2013 to seek out new opportunities and enhance their postsecondary education in B.C. In 2014, they founded FreshWorks Studio, which has quickly established itself as a leading Canadian app development firm. They did so all while pursuing their MBAs from the University of Victoria.
I met with Mod and Boolchandani at their head office in Victoria earlier this year and was struck by their humility and persistence in making their company a remarkable success story. In a short period of time, the company grew from two employees in 2016 to more than 50 today, and in February, Mod and Boolchandani won Small Business BC’s Best Immigrant Entrepreneur award.
Transitioning to a new country does not come without challenges. That is why our government is committed to easing the transition for people by providing accessible services and supports to help newcomers settle into their new community and establish connections that will allow them to thrive.
While immigration to Canada is primarily a federal responsibility, the Province of British Columbia has an important role to play. To help ensure that newcomers have a solid foundation to build a new life in British Columbia, we have increased our investment in settlement support programs this year to $12 million – the highest level since 2014 and an overall increase of more than 60 per cent. These programs will help maximize newcomers’ skills and provide them with access to information about local jobs, employment counselling, language training, improved credential assessments, assistance with work permits and help navigating the immigration system.
It is clear that immigration is a key economic driver that supports job growth, and helps B.C. businesses grow and succeed. Beyond using the skills and talent of B.C. workers, newcomers play a vital role in filling job vacancies in a thriving economy like B.C.’s, with an unemployment rate of 5.2%. British Columbia’s economic growth depends on having enough skilled and qualified people to meet labour market needs.
Immigration to B.C. contributes greatly to our social and economic growth, and gives us the means to innovate, compete and succeed in Canada and abroad. Our government strongly supports immigration and will continue to welcome newcomers to beautiful British Columbia.