PRINCE GEORGE – MLA John Yap chaired the immigration task force’s first consultation meeting on Thursday with local stakeholders and industry experts in Prince George.

The 10-member group is comprised of business and community leaders who will make recommendations about how to increase the number of skilled immigrants and investors in British Columbia.

Task force members will engage with employers, industry and sector associations, settlement service providers, community associations and other relevant groups across the province as well as examine how several immigration programs can be enhanced to better respond to regional labour market and economic development needs.

It is expected immigrants will be needed to fill about one-third of the one million jobs expected to open up in B.C. by the end of the decade, to meet labour market needs and continue to fuel economic growth.

Through ‘Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan’, the B.C. government has laid out an ambitious plan to create jobs and immigrants with skills will be needed to fill some of these jobs and spur economic development.