A senior researcher with the conference board of Canada says there are more than enough jobs in Saskatchewan to meet the needs of immigrants as well as the Aboriginal community.
Michelle Parkouda says immigrants actually help stimulate economic growth by driving more trade with their home countries.
The conference board estimates that a 1% increase in the number of immigrants to Saskatchewan will result in an increase of $41 million in exports and $30 million in imports.
In 2011, Saskatchewan welcomed nearly 9,000 immigrants.
Parkouda says despite the number there is still a big labor shortage.
“It shouldn’t be a competition. You know we certainly don’t want to be bringing in people when we already have people in the province but if we look at Saskatchewan I think you can see that they desperately need their First Nations people to be in the work-force and they are also going to need immigrants on top of that. The economy is growing in such a strong way that you are going to need both people actively contributing.”
Some groups, including the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations have been critical of the government’s immigration policies saying it is taking away jobs from the aboriginal community.