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MANITOBA WELCOMES HIGHEST NUMBER OF IMMIGRANTS IN MORE THAN 60 YEARS

MANITOBA NEWS RELEASE JUNE 11, 2010

More than 13,500 People chose to settle in Manitoba in 2009 under Province's Immigration Initiative:

The province's successful immigration program has attracted the highest number of new Manitobans since the start of modern record keeping in 1946, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.

"Manitoba's immigration initiative has been very successful, not only because more and more newcomers are coming to Manitoba, but because the settlement and language-training assistance being offered are helping them succeed,"said Selinger.  "Evidence consistently demonstrates that Manitoba's immigrants experience one of the highest employment rates and lowest unemployment rates in Canada."

Manitoba welcomed 13,520 immigrants in 2009, an increase of more than 20 per cent from 2008 when 11,218 people settled in the province, surpassing the previous record of 11,614 in 1957.  Prior to 1946, Canada's immigration records were not broken down by individual provinces.

Preliminary figures also show that Winnipeg received nearly 10,000 immigrants in 2009, more than Edmonton, Ottawa and Hamilton and more than Quebec City, Regina, Saksatoon, Victoria, Fredericton and Red Deer combined.  Manitoba regional communities also welcomed more immigrants in 2009.

Compared with 2008, Manitoba provincial nominees increased by 27 per cent, with more than 75 per cent of permanent residents coming through the Provincial Nominee Program.   In 2009, the majority of immigrants came from the Philippines, Germany, China, India and Israel.

Preliminary figures also show that Manitoba received 3,214 immigrants in the first three months of 2010, an increase of 11.9 per cent over the same period last year.

Today's announcement was made at the offices of the ENTRY program, an orientation and language program for newcomers.  The program was launched by the province in 2004 and is the first place for new immigrants to learn about living in Manitoba, said the premier.

Selinger also announced $ 415,546 in additional funding for ENTRY to support increased participation in the program.   Participation increased to 4,131 students in 2009 from 1,390 in 2005.  The new funding will bring total support to ENTRY to nearly $ 1.4 million in 2010-2011, a 42 per cent increase over the previous year.

"Manitoba is making temendous strides in increasing its population through immigration,"said Selinger."Looking past the numbers, you also see the real success of our immigration initiatives and the positive effects newcomers are having on our economy and communities."