Immigration is a recognized source of high-growth entrepreneurs and investment capital that can provide communities with new business ideas.As a catalyst for economic growth, immigration is key to building strong Atlantic communities, improving the region’s ability to compete in a global market and creating employment opportunities. The Government of Canada is investing $258,635, over a two-year period, in New Dawn Enterprises Limited for targeted activities to encourage the post-graduation settlement of international students. The Honourable Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for Sydney – Victoria and Rodger Cuzner, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton Canso, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). “Investing in keeping international students in our communities is vital for Cape Breton’s economic prosperity. Making international student retention efforts more efficient and successful will result in new residents and visitors coming to Cape Breton to enjoy the lifestyle and innate characteristics that the Island offers,” said Eyking.
The non-repayable assistance will support the international student population at Cape Breton University (CBU) in transitioning from student to working professional through the provision of entrepreneurship-related training, networking, workshops and business skills development. Programming will include welcoming and orientation activities, a multicultural festival, graduation events for students and their families, and employment readiness workshops. The project will increase student awareness of permanent residency and immigration streams as well as provide cultural and social integration into the community and Cape Breton workforce. “Cape Breton University’s international student population is key to the success of Cape Breton Island as a whole and so we are thrilled about this investment. Education and innovation are key to growth and as a society, we are our best when we come together and share international perspectives. This investment will allow quality support services to continue to allow our students to thrive after graduation,” said CBU President and Vice-Chancellor David C. Dingwall. This investment was allocated through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund. The Province of Nova Scotia, through the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration, has also provided $99,998 in funding to New Dawn in 2018-19 in support of settlement services and programs for newcomers to the CBRM area. “With the international student population on the rise in Cape Breton, investment in new and emerging initiatives will set a standard for future immigration efforts in Canada,” said Cuzner. Today’s announcement builds on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, which involves targeted actions to enhance the region’s capacity to develop, deploy and retain a skilled labour force, making Atlantic Canada more attractive to immigrants.