Provincial Issues--January-February 2016

New Business Immigration Streams Launched - On January 7, the Province launched its two new business immigration streams. The streams will attract international entrepreneurs and retain international graduates of provincial post-secondary institutions.

The Entrepreneur Stream aims to attract those who want to start or buy, and actively manage, a business in Nova Scotia. The International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream provides an immigration opportunity for students who have graduated from a Nova Scotia university or community college and have started their own business.

Both streams use a temporary to permanent residence model, considered a best practice in immigration.

For the Entrepreneur Stream, the applicant initially receives a work permit allowing them to enter Nova Scotia to start and run their business for at least one year. Candidates sign an agreement that sets out the business plan outcomes to be met before nomination for permanent residence.

For the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, students are required to have studied for a minimum of two years and then spend a year running their business on a federal post-graduation work permit.

Once the new streams are fully operational, Nova Scotia expects to nominate 40-50 applicants per year as permanent residents.

Nova Scotia's Minimum Wage Increasing April 1 - Nova Scotia's minimum wage is increasing in line with the cost of living.

Government accepted the Minimum Wage Review Committee's recommendation to increase the minimum wage by 10 cents, to $10.70 an hour on April 1.

The minimum wage for someone who has less than three months' experience will also increase by 10 cents an hour, to $10.20.

Minimum wage rates are adjusted annually, and are based on the previous year's national Consumer Price Index.

The Minimum Wage Review Committee, which includes employee and employer representatives, filed its report with the minister on Jan. 6. The report is online at


Employability Service Delivery Framework: Update January 29/16--In November we reached out to you regarding Nova Scotia’s employment service system transformation. We’ve reached an important milestone and want to provide an update.

In late November we presented the framework for a new employment services system and a go-forward process to all of the employment service providers in Nova Scotia. We asked them to work together to develop a structure that supports a consistent, quality suite of services for their communities.

The province was divided into regions to facilitate the process and encourage local collaboration in the design of an employment services structure tailored to meet regional needs. The deadline for the regional concepts was January 22. We’re pleased to tell you we received 14 collaborative community-based concepts that clearly demonstrate providers are working together to design innovative, client-centric models of delivery. (See list of partnerships to date at the end of the letter.)

Throughout the process we have been listening to our stakeholders and have been influenced by what we’ve heard. Our goal is to improve employment services for specialized and targeted populations in Nova Scotia. Right now the availability of employment services is inconsistent across the province, and these specialized and targeted populations do not have equitable access to services tailored to their needs. To improve consistency we need communities to work together to ensure service excellence for all Nova Scotians.

We are also working toward the development of the Centre of Employment Innovation and Excellence. The Centre will have a specific mandate to support diversity and inclusion throughout the system - greatly improving the availability and the quality of employment services currently available to women and other diverse populations.

It’s important to note, this transformation will not result in less funding. The same amount will be available for employment services after the transition as is available today. But, we need to change how this money is spent so that more can go directly to frontline services for all Nova Scotians. Currently, 48% of our $23 million system is being spent on administration and infrastructure.

To help us with this important transition, we’ve contracted the services of a consulting firm who will work with us as we continue to move forward. As a next step we will be working with communities who have submitted concepts to move them forward to meet the July 1st implementation date. There are four areas that did not reach consensus. The service providers in these areas will be submitting individual concept applications that will be evaluated by an independent, intergovernmental group who will bring diverse perspectives to the process.

In the meantime, the Careers NS Team are willing and available to meet with organizations at any time to explain the employment system transformation in greater detail. We would be pleased if you were able to take advantage of this opportunity.

Thank you for your interest in a matter that is important to all of us. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Careers NS Transformation Team at .

List of Partnerships (achieved to date):

Cape Breton Region

  • Employability Association and Ann Terry
  • YMCA and New Waterford Resource Centre
  • NEDAC and North Victoria

Northern East

  • Career Connections, Antigonish Career Resource Centre, Guysborough County Community Business Association and Antigonish Black Development Association

Northern Central

  • Cumberland African NS Association
  • FutureWorx in partnership with CareerWorks Nova and Open Door

Dartmouth/Sackville/Cole Harbour

  • YMCA
  • Opportunity Place


  • Job Junction and Women’s Employment Outreach
  • YMCA and Direction Emploi
  • Team Work and Work Bridge

South Shore

  • Employment Solutions, South Shore Community Services Association, Queens Employment, and Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre


  • Black Employment Resource Centre and West Nova Inclusive Employment Society

For more information, contact:

Vicki Elliott-Lopez
Executive Lead, Careers NS
Labour and Advanced Education
(902) 424-1162