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Sask. government asks Ottawa for more control over immigration
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, centre, along with fellow Premiers break away following a group photo during a meeting of Canada's Premiers in Saskatoon, Sask. Thursday, July 11, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
REGINA -- Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he wants more provincial say over immigration.
Moe says he wants control in the areas of class categories and skills to help achieve his goal of growing Saskatchewan's population by 300,000 residents to 1.4 million over the next decade.
The economic and family classes are the immigration areas Moe says he's most interested in.
He says he wants the province to have the ability to change the proportion of immigrants coming in under those categories as needed.
"The goal is not to say what the percentages would be. The goal is to have the flexibility to make the percentages work for the people and the industries in this province," he said Wednesday.
The province wants more say in immigration to be more responsive to Saskatchewan's job and population needs, he added.
"In many cases, like climate policy, the provinces are most connected with the needs of the industries that are operating in our communities across the province."
Saskatchewan is seeking immigration powers like the ones that exist in Quebec, said Moe, who added his minister of trade and immigration has put the request forward to the federal government.
Moe is also looking to Quebec as an example of how a province can collect its own taxes and said Saskatchewan is exploring a similar option.
The premier said he would be looking for ways to assert more provincial autonomy after he met recently with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa.
Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili said he's concerned about Moe using Quebec an as example for immigration because of that province's values test.
The test is to come into effect Jan. 1 and is to be administered to skilled workers, entrepreneurs and investors wanting to come to the province.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2019.