Atlantic Canada covers a huge region but barely sees an increase in immigration levels. The region comprises of four Canadian provinces namely Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. While Nova Scotia has the highest retention rate of 72 percent among Atlantic Canadian provinces, it is far less than other provinces including Ontario and British Columbia. Coupled with the immigration issue is Atlantic Canada’s aging population. An average person in the region is eight years older than a person living in Alberta. In the last five years, Nova Scotia has had an immigration retention rate of 72 percent, Newfoundland and Labrador have 56 percent, New Brunswick has 52 percent, and Prince Edward has the lowest retention rate of only 18 percent. According to Frank McKenna, former Canadian ambassador to the United States, Atlantic Canada is currently on a time bomb, where the population is just not declining but aging as well. It means the region has to face a higher health care costs per capita. He says it isn’t surprising that immigrants who come to study in Atlantic Canada seek work opportunity in bigger provinces like Ontario because they have their ethnic community and friends and family there.
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