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Canada largely successful in managing economic immigration: OECD study

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immigration minister

OTTAWA — A glowing international review of Canada’s economic immigration system should serve as a factual counterpoint against anti-immigration sentiment, the federal immigration minister said Tuesday.

The report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found that Canada is a world leader in how it selects and retains foreign labour, to the benefit of national and regional economies alike.

The OECD study comes as Quebec debates whether to slash the number of immigrants it accepts, and ahead of a federal election in which the immigration file is expected to be a major point of discussion.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said what he hears from employers, local governments and Canadian citizens does not reflect the anti-immigrant opinions that routinely circulate both on social media and on the streets.

Just this week, the federal Conservatives scrambled to distance themselves from a woman who was filmed in downtown Toronto yelling racial slurs while holding a sign expressing support for leader Andrew Scheer.

The federal government has a responsibility to fight misinformation about the role immigrants play in the economy, Hussen said.

“The best weapon against that is to fight fear with facts, and the fact is immigration continues to be extremely beneficial to Canada.” 

The OECD reviewed how Canada recruits foreign labour — from the Express Entry program that sees the government effectively “invite” people to come to Canada permanently, to programs geared towards temporary workers.

Their analysis is that the system functions well, despite flaws such as the fact that the screening policy leaves room for political tinkering and that too many professional credentials from outside the country are not recognized in Canada.

Some of the changes the Liberals have made to the system since it was introduced by the previous Conservative government — reducing the number of points an applicant received for having a job offer, for instance — have helped better align what the labour market requires and who is applying for entry, the report found.

The study suggests, however, that there are still mismatches. For example, what gets an applicant into the pool of potential invitees doesn’t align with what leads to an invitation to immigrate, making it harder for areas with labour shortages to get the candidates they need. 

About 85,000 economic immigrants a year settle in Canada and whether that number is too high, too low, or just right is a frequent political flashpoint, linked at times to whether newcomers integrate successfully into the country.

This week, Quebec politicians are debating an immigration proposal for that province that would see levels cut by 20 per cent this year. It was part of a campaign pledge by the Coalition Avenir Quebec which argued unemployment levels among immigrants are too high, and too few immigrants spoke French.

The idea is being fiercely contested by business groups in Quebec, among others, who say more immigrants, not fewer are what the province needs.

Hussen agrees.

“We think now is not the time to cut skilled economic immigration numbers, now is the time is to continue to grow our economy responsibly.”

The OECD report did not specifically review Quebec’s immigration program. It operates independently of the federal system and other existing provincial systems for selecting economic immigrants.

But the OECD did find in general that newcomers directly recruited and settled by the provinces often have better outcomes than those who are welcomed via federal programs.

 

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press



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Energy

Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE) promotes collaborative frameworks for renewable energy, energy efficiency, advanced energy systems and green energy infrastructure

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Indigenous communities across the country have a growing capacity to deliver energy projects that deliver clean, affordable and reliable power to their communities, and into the grid, thus generating jobs and revenue.

Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE) is the national platform for Indigenous communities to promote collaborative frameworks for renewable energy, energy efficiency, advanced energy systems and green energy infrastructure. ICE has cross-Canada relationships amongst Indigenous communities, along with a demonstrated track record of accomplishment in capacity-building, project/organizational collaboration, and clean energy cooperation.

Initiatives, such as the Indigenous Energy Across Canada Compendium demonstrates how the relationships have evolved in the last decade between industry, and the Indigenous People in Canada.

Indigenous communities are already major participants and owners of clean energy projects and businesses comprised of 184 medium-large scale projects in hydro, wind, solar, or biomass, and over 2,300 small renewable energy projects. Projects owned, or co-owned, by Indigenous communities, or with a defined financial benefit agreement represent a total of 18% of Canada’s electricity generating capacity, which is approximately one of sixth of the electrons consumed in Canada.

While the energy sector is broad and shifting towards more innovation in energy transition, there is still much to do in terms of sharing opportunities and building capacity for Indigenous communities. Capacity building programs include the award winning 20/20 Catalysts Program, which has an alumni of 82 Catalysts and has empowered First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities to drive forward clean energy projects and initiatives in their communities. Working collaboratively with the guidance of Indigenous leaders and clean energy practitioners from across the country, catalysts gain the skills and tools needed to maximize the social and economic benefits communities gain through clean energy initiatives. A result of ongoing dialogue with communities the need to act on housing and community energy efficiency to make energy more affordable, improve health conditions, and establish new and ongoing jobs. ICE has responded to this by creating a new program Bringing it Home. (BiH) The premise of BiH is that ‘Healthy Energy Living’ in Indigenous communities can be unlocked through synergy between clean energy and sustainable investment to ensure that homes: a) last longer, b) are more durable and healthier, and c) are cheaper to operate over the short and longer term.

Platforms such as the icenet.work allow the growing community of Indigenous clean energy leaders, to further collaborate with clean energy industry and governments on clean energy projects, access to financial capital for clean energy infrastructure, and share project and business experiences internationally.

Indigenous inclusion in Canada’s growing clean energy, and clean growth economy is a force for change, and partnering with First Nations, Inuit and Métis is the way forward.

By Terri Lynn Morrison, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications, Indigenous Clean Energy

 

Thanks to Todayville for helping us bring our members’ stories of collaboration and innovation to the public.

Click to read a foreward from JP Gladu, Chief Development and Relations Officer, Steel River Group; Former President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

JP Gladu, Chief Development and Relations Officer, Steel River Group; Former President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Click to read comments about this series from Jacob Irving, President of the Energy Council of Canada.

Jacob Irving, President of Energy Council of Canada

The Canadian Energy Compendium is an annual initiative by the Energy Council of Canada to provide an opportunity for cross-sectoral collaboration and discussion on current topics in Canada’s energy sector.  The 2020 Canadian Energy Compendium: Innovations in Energy Efficiency is due to be released November 2020.

 

Click below to read more stories from Energy Council of Canada’s Compendium series.

Read more on Todayville.

Hydro-Québec takes partnerships, environmental measures and sharing of wealth to new levels

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Business

INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION IS IMPORTANT TO THE CANADIAN WIND ENERGY INDUSTRY, WITH OVER 35 COMMUNITIES ALREADY BENEFITTING FROM WIND PROJECTS

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INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION IS IMPORTANT TO THE CANADIAN WIND ENERGY INDUSTRY, WITH OVER 35 COMMUNITIES ALREADY BENEFITTING FROM WIND PROJECTS

This article was written in 2019, prior to the July 1, 2020, creation of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, which joined CanWEA with the Canadian Solar Industries Association.

Canada’s wind energy industry has been involved with and benefited over 35 Indigenous communities in the country. As the voice of the industry, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has been a supporter of Indigenous participation in Canadian wind projects. One of the ways that CanWEA has been active is by being a “Clean Energy Collaborator” with the innovative 20/20 Catalysts Program, which supports clean energy development in Indigenous communities. An example of this collaboration has included working with Catalysts like Chantelle Cardinal (2018 cohort) on convening Indigenous leaders at CanWEA events to enable meaningful discussions about the obstacles and opportunities for Indigenous involvement in wind energy projects. This collaboration is important, since “many of Alberta’s Indigenous communities are focused on opportunities to participate in the clean energy development occurring in their Traditional Territory and to creating opportunity on Reserve and on Settlement lands,” as Ms. Cardinal told CanWEA’s 2019 Spring Forum in Banff, Alberta. In recognition of the effectiveness of the 20/20 Catalysts Program, CanWEA honoured the program with its 2018 Group Leadership Award, which recognizes visionary leaders and clean energy pioneers for their outstanding contribution to the Canadian wind industry.

Canada’s wind energy industry has been involved with and benefited over 35 Indigenous communities in the country.

As the voice of the industry, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has been a supporter of Indigenous participation in Canadian wind projects. One of the ways that CanWEA has been active is by being a “Clean Energy Collaborator” with the innovative 20/20 Catalysts Program, which supports clean energy development in Indigenous communities.

Chantelle Cardinal, a Saddle Lake Band member from Whitefish Lake #128 and a Catalyst from the 2018 cohort, is one of the Catalysts with whom CanWEA has been working on convening Indigenous leaders at CanWEA events to enable meaningful discussions about the obstacles and opportunities for Indigenous involvement in wind energy projects in Alberta. She has been working with First Nations in Alberta for over 14 years and is currently the Director of Business Development & Environment for the G4 (Stoney Nakoda-Tsuut’ina Tribal Council).

Effective Indigenous and public engagement are cornerstones for successful wind energy development. CanWEA has developed Best Practices for Indigenous and Public Engagement to help industry members consult, engage and communicate on wind energy developments.

“Many of Alberta’s Indigenous communities are focused  on  opportunities  to participate in the clean energy development occurring in their Traditional Territory and to creating opportunity on Reserve and on Settlement lands,” Ms. Cardinal told CanWEA’s 2019 Spring Forum in Banff, Alberta. “Wind energy projects across Canada have demonstrated exemplary, mutually-beneficial partnerships with Indigenous peoples. From community involvement and investment, to contracts and long-term employment, these partnerships are blazing a new trail for how to facilitate collaborative Indigenous engagement and access this country’s vast renewable resources.”          

At the Spring Forum, she led an Indigenous panel discussion on the strengths, benefits and lessons from Indigenous participation in wind energy developments. A key point was that clean energy projects can contribute to energy and economic sovereignty  for Indigenous communities.

In recognition of its successes, CanWEA awarded the 20/20 Catalysts Program with its 2018 Group Leadership Award, which recognizes visionary leaders and clean energy pioneers for their outstanding contribution to the Canadian wind industry. (This story was written in 2019, prior to the creation of Canadian Renewable Energy Association).

Thanks to Todayville for helping us bring our members’ stories of collaboration and innovation to the public.

Click to read a foreward from JP Gladu, Chief Development and Relations Officer, Steel River Group; Former President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

JP Gladu, Chief Development and Relations Officer, Steel River Group; Former President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Click to read comments about this series from Jacob Irving, President of the Energy Council of Canada.

Jacob Irving, President of Energy Council of Canada

The Canadian Energy Compendium is an annual initiative by the Energy Council of Canada to provide an opportunity for cross-sectoral collaboration and discussion on current topics in Canada’s energy sector.  The 2020 Canadian Energy Compendium: Innovations in Energy Efficiency is due to be released November 2020.

 

Click below to read more stories from Energy Council of Canada’s Compendium series.

Read more on Todayville.

INDUSTRY-INDIGENOUS RELATIONS: A TREND TOWARD DEEPER ENGAGEMENT

ECONOMIC RECONCILIATION IS A PRIORITY AT ENBRIDGE

 

 

 

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