ARCHIVED – Agreement for Northwest Territories Co-operation on Immigration

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General Provisions


1.0 Preamble

1.1 The Canada-Northwest Territories Agreement on Provincial Nominees (hereinafter referred to as the “Agreement”) is between Her Majesty in right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (hereinafter referred to as “Canada”) and the Government of the Northwest Territories, as represented by the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (hereinafter referred to as “the Northwest Territories”)

1.2 Taking into account section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867, whereby Parliament of Canada is given jurisdiction in relation to Immigration;

1.3 AND WHEREAS the Parliament of Canada has enacted the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (hereinafter referred to as the “IRPA”);

1.4 AND WHEREAS the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees certain mobility rights to every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada and guarantees every individual equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination;

1.5 AND WHEREAS the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the equality of status to English and French as the official languages of Canada;

1.6 AND WHEREAS the Official Languages Act of the Northwest Territories recognizes 11 official languages within the Northwest Territories, which include: English, French, North Slavey, South Slavey, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, Gwichin, Cree, Dogrib, Chipewyan.

1.7 AND WHEREAS subsection 10(2) of the IRPA requires the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to consult with the provinces annually with respect to the number of foreign nationals in each class who will become permanent residents each year, their distribution in Canada taking into account regional economic and demographic requirements and the measures to be undertaken to facilitate their integration into Canadian society;

1.8 AND WHEREAS subsection 8(1) of the IRPA and subsection 5(1) of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act (DCIA) authorize the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, with approval of the Governor in Council, to enter into agreements with provinces and territories for the purposes of the IRPA;

1.9 AND WHEREAS the Northwest Territories is authorized to enter into this Agreement with Canada under the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act

1.10 AND WHEREAS the IRPA is designed, among other things, to:

  1. support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy, in which the benefits of immigration are shared across all regions of Canada; and
  2. enrich and strengthen the cultural and social fabric of Canadian society, while respecting the federal, bilingual and multicultural character of Canada;

1.11 AND WHEREAS the Northwest Territories recognizes the objective of the IRPA to support and assist the development of minority official languages communities in Canada and shares a mutual interest in enhancing the vitality of French linguistic minority communities in the Northwest Territories;

1.12 AND WHEREAS Canada and the Northwest Territories recognize the contribution that First Nations people of the Northwest Territories make to the demographic, social, humanitarian and economic objectives of the Territory and acknowledge the long-term benefits of supporting the local population of the Northwest Territories.

1.13 AND WHEREAS Canada and the Northwest Territories recognize the contribution that the Northwest Territories resident population make to the demographic, social, humanitarian and economic objectives of the Territory and acknowledge the long-term benefits of supporting the Northwest Territories resident population.

1.14 AND WHEREAS Canada and the Northwest Territories welcome immigrants, recognize their contribution to the demographic, social, humanitarian and economic objectives of the country and the Territory, and acknowledge the long-term benefits of immigration;

1.15 AND WHEREAS Canada and the Northwest Territories share a mutual interest in:

  1. enhancing the role of immigration in addressing demographic, economic and labour market trends in the Northwest Territories;
  2. planning and coordinating their immigration activities, based on cooperation, consultation and information sharing;
  3. working in partnership with stakeholders, including federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and First Nations governments, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations, ethnic organizations, communities, and employers to facilitate the attainment of immigration objectives;

Therefore Canada and the Northwest Territories agree as follows:

2.0 Definitions

2.1 For the purposes of this Agreement:

  1. except where otherwise provided in this Agreement, words used in this Agreement which are defined in the IRPA or in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (hereinafter referred to as the “IRPR”), have the same meaning as in that Act or those Regulations;
  2. a reference to the IRPA or the IRPR is a reference to that Act or those Regulations as amended from time to time;
  3. “Party” means Canada or the Northwest Territories and “Parties” means Canada and the Northwest Territories.

3.0 Shared Principles

3.1 Canada and the Northwest Territories agree to abide by and uphold the following shared principles:

  1. The Northwest Territories is best positioned to determine the specific economic and labour market needs of the Territory vis-à-vis immigration;
  2. The importance of shared planning related to immigration objectives, annual and multi year levels and use of PNP as a strategic tool for significant economic benefit in the region;
  3. The importance of encouraging the development of Canada’s minority official languages communities in the Northwest Territories;
  4. Streamlined timely efficient processing of shared clients;
  5. Cooperation to assure program integrity and quality; and
  6. Communication, cooperation related to performance measures and outcomes

4.0 Purpose and Objectives

4.1 The purpose of this Agreement is to define the roles and responsibilities of Canada and the Northwest Territories in relation to the Provincial Nominee Class as described in section 87 of the IRPR.

4.2 The objectives of this Agreement are to:

  1. provide the Northwest Territories with a mechanism to nominate immigrants to the Northwest Territories;
  2. maintain and strengthen the Provincial Nominee Program as a mechanism to permit the Northwest Territories to pursue the maximum social, cultural and economic benefits of immigration based on economic priorities and labour market conditions;
  3. support the development of a strong and prosperous Northwest Territories economy, in which the benefits of immigration are shared across the Northwest Territories and Canada, while taking into account the importance of supporting and assisting the development of Canada’s minority official languages communities in the Northwest Territories.

4.3 To recognize that the Provincial Nominee Class, as described in the IRPR, is a jointly administered immigration class, where the Northwest Territories has an active role in the processing which may include promotion and nomination, and to acknowledge that both Parties have an interest in the process.

4.4 To admit Northwest Territories Provincial Nominees for permanent residence as expeditiously as possible, taking into account:

  1. The Northwest Territories’ Provincial Nominee Program levels plan;
  2. Canada’s immigration projections;
  3. Legislative requirements; and
  4. Operational and resource constraints, and service standards as developed.

5.0 Assessment and Nomination

5.1 In accordance with the IRPA and the IRPR, Canada will have responsibility for:

  1. establishing selection criteria and selecting foreign nationals, taking into account the role of the Northwest Territories in nominating individuals within the Provincial Nominee Class;
  2. determining refugee status;
  3. prescribing classes of immigrants; and
  4. defining which persons are inadmissible to Canada.

5.2 The Northwest Territories has the sole and non-transferable responsibility to assess and nominate candidates who, based on the Northwest Territories’ assessment;

  1. will be of significant benefit to the economic development of the Northwest Territories; and
  2. have a strong likelihood of becoming economically established in the Northwest Territories.

5.3 Provincial Nominee applicants will be nominated on the basis of economic benefit to the Northwest Territories. The nomination criteria of the Provincial Nominee Program categories must demonstrate the economic benefit to the Territory. Non-economic factors shall not constitute a pre-requisite of either the design of a program category or provide the basis upon which a nomination is made.

5.4 Canada recognizes the legitimate requirement for exploratory visits by potential provincial nominee immigrants to the Northwest Territories and will take into consideration the Northwest Territories’ formal representations in determining applications for temporary resident status from such foreign nationals.

5.5 In exercising its nomination authority under this Agreement, the Northwest Territories will follow the procedures and criteria for nomination established by the Northwest Territories, as amended from time to time, insofar as those procedures and criteria are consistent with federal immigration policy and legislation. The Northwest Territories will share its criteria with Canada prior to implementation and keep written records of its assessments of its nominees against those criteria.

5.6 Canada will respect nomination decisions of the North West Territories provided nominations do not contravene the criteria for the Provincial Nominee Class set out in the Regulations under IRPA or any successor Act or the eligibility criteria as set out by the Territory, and provided nominees are admissible to Canada.

5.7 The Northwest Territories will develop an annual Provincial Nominee Program levels plan based on principles established by the Northwest Territories which will forecast the number of nominations planned taking into account past trends and will share this plan with Canada on or before July 1 of every calendar year to allow for national levels planning for the following year. Canada and the Northwest Territories agree that the total number of nominations will not exceed 350 for the duration of this Agreement unless agreed to by both Parties.

5.8 Elements of the Northwest Territories’ Provincial Nominee Program levels plan shall include but are not limited to:

  1. a program description for each category of the Provincial Nominee Program;
  2. the total number of nomination certificates by category and source country that the Northwest Territories plans to issue, on a calendar year basis, over the next three (3) years;
  3. the number of individuals admitted on a temporary basis that the Northwest Territories plans to nominate in the following calendar year;
  4. description of activities that support and assist the economic development of Canada’s minority official languages communities; and
  5. identification of those countries where the Territory intends to focus promotion and recruitment activities in the following year.

5.9 Canada undertakes to incorporate the Northwest Territories’ Provincial Nominee levels objectives as outlined in the Northwest Territories’ Provincial Nominee levels plan into the national levels plan. The provincial nominee levels objectives, which must be agreed to by both Parties, may be adjusted at any time during the year upon agreement by both Parties.

5.10 Reporting on the Northwest Territories’ levels planning will be undertaken as follows:

  1. The Northwest Territories will provide Canada with an annual report by for the preceding calendar year by March 31st of each year, on the Northwest Territories’ levels plan and the results achieved.
  2. The annual report will demonstrate that nominations were consistent with the purpose, objectives and shared principles agreed to by the Parties in sections 3.0 and 4.0; and
  3. The annual report will include the elements outlined in Schedule A.

5.11 The Northwest Territories will issue a dated nomination certificate, valid in accordance with the Northwest Territories’ administrative requirements for each Provincial Nominee. For security reasons, the Northwest Territories will forward a copy of the certificate to the mission where the candidate will apply for admission. A nomination certificate received directly from the candidate or other parties will not be accepted as evidence pursuant to sections 5.14 and 5.16. Nominees must file an application for immigration within the time limit specified on the nomination certificate. Processing of the immigration application by the mission may exceed the validity of the nomination certificate.

5.12 Canada agrees to process economic class applicants nominated for permanent resident status by the Northwest Territories on a priority basis and as expeditiously as possible, taking into consideration legislative requirements and operational and resource constraints with a view to achieving Canada’s annual levels plan as set out by Canada and into which the Northwest Territories levels objectives have been incorporated.

5.13 Canada will communicate the terms of this Agreement to visa offices ensuring effective implementation at visa offices and inland offices.

5.14 Upon receipt of the nomination certificate from the Northwest Territories, Canada will:

  1. exercise the final selection in accordance with subsection 12(2) of the IRPA and section 87 of the IRPR or any successor thereof;
  2. determine the admissibility of the nominee and his or her dependants with respect to legislative requirements including health, criminality and security; and
  3. issue permanent resident visas to Provincial Nominees and accompanying dependants who meet the requirements of section 87 of the IRPR

5.15 Persons who are nominated by the Northwest Territories will be considered as applicants in the Provincial Nominee Class.

5.16 Canada considers a nomination certificate issued by the Northwest Territories as evidence that admission is of economic benefit to the Northwest Territories.

5.17 The Northwest Territories is responsible for conducting the due diligence to ensure that the applicant has the ability and is likely to become economically established in the Northwest Territories. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Canada retains the right to substitute its evaluation of the applicant’s ability to become economically established in Canada pursuant to subsection 87(3) of the IRPR and to request additional documentation from the nominee which supports the nominee’s ability and likelihood to become economically established in the Northwest Territories. In exercising its responsibility under section 5.13 and 5.18, Canada may also seek clarification from the Northwest Territories on its assessment, the record of which is required under section 5.5.

5.18 Processing of applications and issuance of visas may continue beyond the calendar year in which the nomination certificate was issued.

5.19 Should Canada determine that an individual nominated by the Northwest Territories is likely to be refused a permanent resident visa based on a finding that the applicant does not satisfy the requirements for membership in the Provincial Nominee Class in accordance with the provisions of section 87of the IRPR, the Northwest Territories will be notified immediately and consulted regarding the reasons for possible refusal.

5.20 The Northwest Territories may raise concerns or seek clarification from the assessing officer at the relevant mission with respect to a potential refusal, where the refusal is based on a finding that the applicant does not satisfy the requirements for membership in the Provincial Nominee Class in accordance with the provisions of section 87 of the IRPR, within ninety (90) days from the date of being advised by Canada. Further representation, if necessary, may be made to the program manager at the mission within the 90-day period.

5.21 Should Canada determine that an individual nominated by the Northwest Territories is likely to be refused a permanent resident visa based on a finding that the applicant does not satisfy the admissibility requirements of the IRPA and the IRPR, Canada will forward a copy of the refusal letter to the Northwest Territories.

5.22 Where an individual nominated by the Northwest Territories has received a job offer from a the Northwest Territories-based employer, the responsible Canadian visa officer may issue a temporary work permit pursuant to the IRPA, if the work permit application includes a letter from the Northwest Territories that:

  1. states that the nominated individual is urgently required by the employer; and
  2. determines that:
    1. the job offer is genuine and would create economic, social or cultural benefits or opportunities;
    2. the employment is not part-time or seasonal; and
    3. the wages and working conditions of the employment would be sufficient to attract and retain Canadian citizens and permanent residents; and
  3. requests the visa officer to issue a temporary work permit.

5.23 The Northwest Territories will not issue a nomination certificate to anyone whose employment will affect the settlement of any labour dispute or affect the employment of a person involved in such a dispute, or where their employment will adversely affect employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Northwest Territories.

5.24 The Northwest Territories shall not nominate, as a Provincial Nominee, any applicant who intends to enter, has agreed to enter, or has entered into an “immigration-linked investment scheme”, as described in Section 87 of the IRPR or any amendments thereto.

6.0 Promotion and Recruitment

6.1 The Northwest Territories and Canada agree to co-operate in the targeted promotion and recruitment of Provincial Nominees.

6.2 In furtherance of the objectives of this Agreement, the Northwest Territories will undertake targeted active recruitment initiatives which:

  1. may include:
    1. participation at trade fairs and other targeted missions, including those which target French speaking immigrants;
    2. development of promotional materials describing the nature and quality of life in the Northwest Territories;
    3. provision of information on a the Northwest Territories-maintained website
    4. preparation of information for staff working in Canadian missions abroad; and
    5. targeted promotion to temporary residents present in the Northwest Territories, such as international students, temporary workers and visitors; and
    6. consultation with regional and community representatives, federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and First Nations governments, stakeholders, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations, ethnic organizations, communities and employers;
  2. shall include
    1. consultation with the francophone community in the Northwest Territories, taking into account the importance of encouraging the development of Canada’s minority official languages communities in the Territories.

6.3 Canada agrees to make all practical efforts to assist the Northwest Territories to identify prospective permanent residents to fulfill the Northwest Territories’ targets in its nomination strategy subject to operational and resource constraints. This includes:

  1. directing potential applicants through Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) website, to visit the Northwest Territories website;
  2. displaying promotional materials provided by the Northwest Territories at selected missions abroad;
  3. participating in territorially initiated missions to attract permanent residents within the limits of mission resources;
  4. inviting the Northwest Territories to participate, as appropriate, in training or information sharing exercises with program managers and other mission staff to communicate the Territory’s specific needs and opportunities.
  5. inviting the Northwest Territories to participate in national initiatives that provide opportunities to identify and recruit immigrants; and
  6. sharing of labour market and demographic information.

6.4 The Northwest Territories may enter into partnership with other parties for the purposes of promotion and recruitment and in so doing will:

  1. require third parties to respect the terms and conditions of this Agreement; and
  2. advise Canada of such partnerships.

7.0 Program Evaluation and Information Exchange

7.1 Canada will develop a national evaluation framework in consultation with all jurisdictions, including the Northwest Territories, for the provincial nominee program which will include components relevant to provincial and territorial programs. The national framework will establish common definitions, performance indicators and data collection methodologies. Canada will consult the provinces and territories for all national evaluations of the Provincial Nominee Program. The national evaluation framework may be adjusted from time to time, as needed.

7.2 The Northwest Territories agrees to engage in the national evaluation process and agrees to include in its territorial evaluation framework components of the national framework that have been identified as shared. The national framework, including the shared components, will establish standards to ensure consistency and comparability within the evaluation process.

7.3 The Northwest Territories will conduct an evaluation of its pilot provincial nominee program before this Agreement expires. The Northwest Territories will provide a copy of this evaluation to CIC upon completion.

7.4 The Northwest Territories agrees to provide to CIC the data on its territorial program necessary to complete a national evaluation, on an annual basis (date to be determined).

7.5 Subject to applicable legislation and policies governing the disclosure of personal information, Canada and the Northwest Territories agree to share information on prospective and actual immigrant landings to aid in the evaluation and management of the Northwest Territories’ Provincial Nominee Program. For evaluation purposes, the Northwest Territories is to establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure the Territory’s ability to collect the data necessary to measure retention in the nominating province and economic benefit for a minimum of three (3) years after landing. In consultation with the Northwest Territories, data requirements may be adjusted from time to time, as needed.

7.6 Canada and the Northwest Territories will ensure that any exchange of information shall be conducted in accordance with applicable federal and provincial legislation and in accordance with their policies relating to protection of privacy, access to information and security of records.

7.7 In order to facilitate the exchange of information between Canada and the Northwest Territories, the Northwest Territories will obtain from each nominee and his or her dependents a signed release allowing Canada to share with the Northwest Territories information regarding the nominee’s application, including the processing thereof and for the purposes of program evaluation.

7.8The Northwest Territories will keep and maintain all relevant records with respect to the assessment of each candidate nominated under this Agreement. Canada will be provided with access to these records for audit and monitoring purposes during the term of this Agreement and for a period of five (5) years from the date of the expiry or termination of this Agreement.

7.9 The Northwest Territories will provide monthly nomination reports to Canada.

7.10 Canada will provide monthly reports on the processing and landing of Provincial Nominees destined to the Northwest Territories as well as any other type of report provided to other provinces and territories pursuant to their Provincial Nominee Agreements.

8.0 General Provisions

8.1 The designated representatives for the purpose of communication and notification pursuant to this Agreement are:

  1. for Canada, the Director, Permanent Resident Policy and Programs, Immigration Branch; and
  2. for the Northwest Territories, the Assistant Deputy Minister, Advanced Education and Careers.

8.2 Canada’s and the Northwest Territories’ practices under this Agreement are subject to audit by the respective audit and evaluation agencies of each jurisdiction. The Parties agree to provide full cooperation and information if, when and where such audits take place.

8.3 Subject to section 8.4, the duration of this Agreement is three (3) years from the date it comes into effect.

8.4 This Agreement may be amended at any time by mutual written consent, subject to any required approval or authorization, including the approval of the Governor in Council. This Agreement may be terminated by either Party before the Agreement expires by written notice provided at least one (1) year in advance.

8.5 In the event of termination of this Agreement before the expiry date, Canada and the Northwest Territories agree that they will work together to ensure that services to clients whose applications are already being processed will not be unduly affected or interrupted by the termination.

8.6 Both Parties will take reasonable steps to reduce any costs attributable to a termination of the Agreement, and to minimize any negative impacts on clients.

8.7 The Parties undertake to give one another notice of any change in policy, regulations or legislation relating to their respective programs that is likely to affect this Agreement.

  1. Canada and the Northwest Territories agree to consult each other with reasonable advance notice when either Party is contemplating a policy, program or legislative change that could have a significant impact, fiscal or otherwise, on the other Party and on the operation of this Agreement.
  2. Canada and the Northwest Territories will provide advance notice to each other of announcements and new initiatives relevant to the Agreement and, where appropriate, explore the possibility of joint communications by the Parties.

8.8 In keeping with the purpose and scope of this Agreement, Canada will be open and transparent concerning its intention to enter into agreements with other provinces and territories respecting Provincial Nominee Programs and Canada will provide, at the Northwest Territories’ request, other federal provincial agreements made under section 8 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and will negotiate amendments to this Agreement, taking into consideration the different needs and circumstances of the provinces.

8.9 Canada and the Northwest Territories agree to meet bilaterally as necessary for the purpose of:

  1. ensuring that necessary communication for the furtherance of activities under this Agreement takes place, including the exchange of information regarding likely processing times for nominees, and ways that Canada and the Northwest Territories can cooperate to optimize these processing times; and
  2. providing a forum for the consideration and resolution of disputes between the Parties.

8.10 The Northwest Territories will advise Canada on any proposed arrangement or agreement to be entered into with another party to carry out any activity on behalf of the Northwest Territories in relation to the Provincial Nominee Program.

8.11 This Agreement will come into effect on the date signed by the last of the Parties to do so.

8.12 The French and English versions of this Agreement are equally authoritative.

Schedule A – Annual Levels Report

Part A: Objectives, Principles and Priorities

  1. Overview of PNP and Priorities
  2. Shared principles

Part B: Results Achieved

  1. Nominations issued compared to nominations forecasted
  2. Nominations issued for each category compared to nominations forecasted
  3. Nominations issued to individuals whose mother tongue or first official language to be used in Canada is French
  4. Requests made under 5.22 of this Agreement for temporary work permits for individuals nominated by the Northwest Territories who have received a job offer from a Northwest Territories-based employer
  5. Top ten occupations for which nominations were issued
  6. Outcomes of business categories, including, but not limited to, the number and types of businesses established, the years of continuous operation, failure rates, and the economic benefit to the Northwest Territories

Part C: Promotion and Recruitment

  1. Overview of promotion and recruitment activities undertaken and results of these activities
  2. Overview of promotion and recruitment activities undertaken in support of minority official languages communities.

Part D: Audit and Evaluation

  1. Audit plans and/or results
  2. Evaluation plans and/or results
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