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New immigration pilot program will help us fill jobs and strengthen communities

The schools in Chipman, New Brunswick were seeing declining enrollment and some grade levels were at risk of being combined or students bussed to schools in a neighbouring community. That all changed when ten newcomer families including 18 children settled in Chipman and secured the school’s future. This is the impact that immigration, employment and employer support for newcomer families can have on our communities.


J.D. Irving, Limited was proud to be part of a recent announcement that will help to ensure the Chipman success story continues to happen in other communities in New Brunswick. Provincial Minister of Immigration and Opportunities New Brunswick, Arlene Dunn and Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser announced a new immigration stream called the New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot Program which was created to attract skilled workers into occupations that are difficult to fill.

The new stream provides more flexibility by allowing participating employers, including Cooke Aquaculture, Groupe Savoie Inc., Groupe Westco, Imperial Manufacturing, McCain Foods and J.D. Irving, Limited to provide skills and language training as well as guidance and settlement support to the newcomers that are brought into the province.

JDI, like others in the pilot group, has been investing in language training, housing, education and transportation in partnership with associated settlement agencies across the province for years. All told, JDI has sponsored or hired 639 newcomers since 2017 in communities all over New Brunswick - from Saint John to St. Leonard, from Dieppe to Deersdale. These newcomers have come from all over the globe, countries as diverse as Ukraine, Brazil, Israel and India. They have, of course, brought their families with them who have helped to add vibrancy and growth to local communities.

This new pilot program recognizes these efforts, investments and partnerships with the creation of a new stream under the Provincial Nominee Program. This will allow companies to hire more newcomers to fill jobs and contribute to local communities. That’s important because over the next three years, JDI is expecting to settle more than 900 new immigrants plus their families in New Brunswick alone. 

For newcomers who dream of living and working in the region, this pilot facilitates the realization of that dream. More details on the Critical Worker Pilot program can be found here: