For the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI) will host an in-person meeting. This return to face-to-face meetings happens here in New Brunswick, at the Saint John Trade & Convention Centre on July 27 and 28.

The FMRI is a decision-making body with the goal of supporting a flexible, timely and effective immigration system for Canada.The FMRI’s mission is to “advance joint federal/provincial/territorial (FPT) immigration priorities and to enhance Canada’s immigration policies and programs.”

It is important to demonstrate the significance of immigration to the growth and economic development of both our province and Canada, and how timely and meaningful partnerships and collaboration between FPT governments is vital for a strong immigration system and the positive economic and social benefits that come with it. 

FMRI Objectives 

Next week’s meeting in Saint John is expected to focus on the FPT governments’ common objectives, which include:

  • Immigration benefits Canadian communities economically and socially.
  • Newcomers fully participate and succeed in a welcoming Canadian society.
  • Canada protects vulnerable, displaced, and persecuted persons.
  • Canadians’ value and trust the immigration system.

The Honourable Arlene Dunn, New Brunswick’s minister of Aboriginal Affairs and minister responsible for Immigration, Economic Development and Small Business, and Opportunities New Brunswick will attend the Saint John event. She is also the provincial-territorial co-chair of the FMRI.

New Brunswick Understands the Value of Immigration

Access to top talent is crucial for New Brunswick companies of every size. These businesses need easy access to qualified individuals and enough supply. The province’s Population Growth Division and its team of student integration, immigration, workforce attraction, and settlement specialists are now under the ONB umbrella. As a result, our organization is well-positioned to leverage economic immigration and meet the labour market needs of our clients.

Growing our population base is essential to addressing the workforce of the future. Along with increasing private sector investment, improving productivity, and growing our exports, immigration and repatriation will be key to the province’s long-term growth.

As our economy continues its recovery, businesses are expected to further increase employment. However, we recognize that they will face challenges from an aging population, lower retention rates, and high turnover in some sectors. These factors may exacerbate labour shortages and limit some opportunities for growth.

To maintain the positive population growth and employment momentum New Brunswick may need to rely more on immigration. Fortunately, New Brunswick is well-positioned with a rebound in immigration expected as international travel restrictions return to normalcy and the Atlantic Immigration Program’s move to permanent status.

We know many employers are looking to attract and retain skilled newcomers as talent to meet labour needs when qualified Canadians or permanent residents aren’t available. That’s why ONB supports the FMRI’s mission to advance joint immigration priorities and to enhance Canada’s immigration policies and programs, thus making it easier for our employers to find the skilled talent they need to grow and thrive in New Brunswick.

To learn more about the FMRI visit