Prince Edward Island aims to build a resilient, diverse population of 160,000 people by the end of 2022.
The province’s new population action plan lays out a path focusing on recruiting, retaining, and repatriating, with an emphasis on growing the Island’s rural population. It is available at Recruit-Retain-Repatriate (link is external).
“Our province’s small population is our strength, allowing us to work closely together to do more things well than other larger jurisdictions,” Premier Wade MacLauchlan said. “If we hope to sustain our prosperity and quality of life, we need to square-up to our opportunities and challenges related to population.”
Together with federal and municipal partners, private businesses, community organizations, and local leaders, the population action plan charts a course to grow the population and expand the skills and opportunities of all Islanders.
The action plan includes initiatives focused on readying the province’s working-age population for job possibilities that will lead to continued economic growth and creating opportunities to repatriate skilled workers and entrepreneurs. Government will work to advance population growth in rural Prince Edward Island with communities, businesses, residents, and all levels of government.
“Prince Edward Island is a great place for people to make home, to live, and to do business. Moving home to open a business in Montague has given us the opportunity to create something positive in our community, while being close to home and making a living doing what we love together,” said Ashley Condon of Copper Bottom Brewing. “We are so excited to see our dream of opening a microbrewery in our hometown be realized, and we are delighted to contribute to the growth of our rural community through our passion for craft beer and music.”
A request for proposals will be issued in the coming months for Island agents who will work overseas to promote Prince Edward Island as a place to do business and assist qualified potential immigrants through the immigration process. Further changes to the provincial immigration process will be announced in the fall of 2017 which will allow preference for immigrants seeking to establish in rural areas.
“Changes to how we recruit immigrants to our province will help expand our population through attracting more newcomers who plan to open businesses in rural areas or have skills that are needed in our provincial workforce,” said Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Sonny Gallant. “Equally important is the retention of newcomers, and Islanders, so that our workforce is ready for the jobs and economic prospects of the future.”