A joint federal-provincial pilot project will make it easier forinternational students who graduate from Nova Scotia colleges anduniversities to work in the province for an extra year. The project was announced today, May 6, by Judy Sgro, Minister ofCitizenship and Immigration Canada, and Jamie Muir, Nova Scotia’sMinister of Education. “We are pleased to work with our federal partners to expand workexperience opportunities for international students in NovaScotia,” said Mr. Muir. “This pilot project will enable studentsto double their work experience with Nova Scotian employers, andhelp narrow the skills gap by meeting the needs of Nova Scotia’slabour market, as part of the provincial skills strategy, SkillsNova Scotia.” The pilot project, which began on May 3, will allow internationalstudents in Nova Scotia to gain an additional year of workexperience in their field of study following graduation. Currently, graduates may work for a maximum of one year in a jobrelated to their studies without having to obtain a confirmationfrom Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Under thispilot project, work permits can be renewed for a second year,making it easier for graduates to continue working in theprovince. “This pilot project will increase Canada’s appeal tointernational students and encourage immigration to Nova Scotia,”said Ms. Sgro. “It gives foreign graduates the opportunity togain Canadian work experience in their field of study that willserve them well when they return to their country of origin or ifthey choose to remain in Canada as immigrants.” For graduates who wish to apply for permanent resident status asskilled workers, an extra year of employment will provide willprovide them with additional experience points on the selectiongrid. Furthermore, they will be able to submit their applicationand continue working while awaiting a decision. For thesegraduates, additional time spent in the province is also likelyto result in stronger ties to their communities — furtherincreasing the likelihood that they will settle in Nova Scotia ifthey choose to remain in Canada. Under terms of the project, both the original work permit and itsrenewal will only apply to work in Nova Scotia for temporaryforeign workers who graduated from a publicly funded post-secondary institution in that province. The work must be relatedto the graduate’s area of study. The pilot project will be in effect for three years during whichthere will be an ongoing evaluation of the project’s impact.Citizenship and Immigration Canada has already signed similaragreements in New Brunswick and Alberta and continues to exploresuch initiatives in other regions.
TORONTO — A new condo report suggests first-time buyers, retirees and population growth will continue to fuel demand and price growth for the compact living spaces over the next few years.The study by Genworth Canada found that average condo resale prices are expected to rise next year in seven of the eight metropolitan centres studied.Prices in Toronto are projected to jump 2.5% to $312,352.For those seeking to own a home affordably in urban centres, condos remain a good optionThe highest increase however, is expected to be in Edmonton where prices could rise 3.2%.Vancouver is the only city where condo prices are expected to drop, by 2% to $348,152.The report stands in contrast to warnings from economists and officials that the condo market in some hot markets is reaching bubble territory that could soon burst.[np-related]The Bank of Canada and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty have cautioned Canadians repeatedly to moderate borrowing on real estate, declaring household debt to be the domestic economy’s number one enemy.The central bank noted certain segments of the housing market that have a persistent oversupply — such as condos in Toronto — face a higher risk of a price correction.Genworth — which earns revenue from selling mortgage insurance — notes that rising prices for single-detached homes are driving first-time buyers to condos, but retirees also continue to prop up demand.It suggests that the population is expected to grow in all eight cities studied over the next few years, while employment growth and low interest rates should also support the market.“This data corroborates our view that the demand for condos in Canada, particularly at the price-point we insure, is well supported by our economy and our population,” said Brian Hurley, chairman and CEO of Genworth Canada.“For those seeking to own a home affordably in urban centres, condos remain a good option.”The Genworth Canada report, produced with the Conference Board of Canada, reviewed trends in Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria.Census figures for 2011 released in February show multi-unit dwellings — a category that includes condominiums — making up roughly half of all new housing stock, a category traditionally led by detached homes.The numbers also indicate that Canadians are flocking to urban centres. Toronto’s population jumped more than 17% over the previous census period in 2006.A recent CMHC report said housing starts and home sales have been strong in 2012 — particularly when it comes to multiple-dwelling units such as townhouses, condos and apartments — but will soften moderately in coming months into 2013.The Canadian Press