4. Why does Canada have the PNP?
The purpose of the PNP is to promote economic growth across Canada.
Canada’s Constitution states that immigration is an area of shared federal-provincial jurisdiction, with the federal government having the final say on immigration matters.
For much of Canada’s history, the federal government managed the immigration system with little involvement from the provinces and territories.
Beginning in the 1960s, the francophone province of Quebec requested more authority from the federal government to select immigrants so that it could help to strengthen its francophone character. Today, Quebec has the most authority among all of Canada’s provinces and territories in terms of selecting and settling immigrants.
In 1998, the federal government and provinces agreed to launch the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The purpose was to help smaller provinces attract immigrants who up until that point mainly went to Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. These smaller provinces wanted a dedicated program to enable them to create selection criteria and recruit economic class skilled immigrants that met their labour market needs.
The PNP has since expanded and operates in every Canadian province and territory except Quebec and Nunavut. It is widely regarded as a success and is seen as a key driver of economic growth across the country since the arrival of PNP immigrants supports employment, investment, entrepreneurship, and spending.