PEI needs to attract more francophone immigrants to meet growing labour needs


Prince Edward Island has its own provincial Nominee Program that nominates people who are interested to immigrate and settle permanently in Canada to the federal government ( Express entry). Prince Edward Island, or PEI, holds monthly draws for immigration candidates who have submitted an Expression of Interest to its immigrant nominee program, the PEI PNP for more details check-out the Eligibility for Prince Edwards PNP.

A total of 130 invitations were issued to candidates in PEI’s Express Entry, Labour Impact and Business Impact immigration categories in the April 18 draw, bringing the number of invitations issued so far this year by the PEI PNP to 570.

Prince Edward Island (PEI) has produced a series of information books aimed at attracting French-speaking immigrants.

Eight booklets containing relevant information about the economic and Francophone landscape of PEI.

PEI is experiencing problems with a growing age like the rest of Canada, and the booklet suggests that promoting francophone immigration is a possible solution.

“Many important industries in the island require bilingual (French and English) workers and there is a growing need for new entrepreneurs,” the booklet says. “In addition to economic opportunities, migrants settling on Prince Edward Island benefit from an excellent quality of life.”

A Statistics Canada table found in the booklet shows that the PEI population growth rate between 2015 and 2018 was six percent— the fastest rate in Canada during that time period.

These report that said international immigration was “the biggest contributor” to PEI’s population growth. According to the report, PEI recorded the highest number of new immigrants between 2016 and 2018 relative to the size of its population.

In recent years, PEI has not been able to attract many French-speaking immigrants, “[o] for more than 10,000 immigrants living on the island, only 225 speak French.”

While 34 percent of the population of PEI is over 55 years, more than 51 percent of Francophones living in the province are in that age group. Attracting more Francophones will help strengthen that community.

The booklet later claimed that immigrants who could speak both French and English earned an average 15 percent higher annual income than unorganized workers.

Industry and demographics

The remaining seven booklets contain demographic information and economic data from regions within the PEI as well as throughout the province.

The top five PEI industries are:

  • Health care and social assistance
  • Retail trade
  • Public administration
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing
  • Manufacturing

With 13 percent of French speaking people, PEI is the province with the third largest concentration of French speakers in Canada, behind Quebec and New Brunswick.

Within the province of PEI, the region with the highest concentration of French speakers is the Avangeline region at 52 percent.

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