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Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino Leads Provincial Immigration Study, Participants Needed

Friday, October 7, 2005

The Population Secretariat of the Government of Prince Edward Island, in conjunction with the University of Prince Edward Island, today announced the launch of a major study to identify ways to help attract immigrants to the province. The study will focus on those who have immigrated (or returned) to PEI between January 1998 and December 2003, including immigrants from other countries, Canadians from other provinces and territories and returning Islanders who have been away for more than three years.

"It is important to us as a province to have relevant and qualitative information which is specific to PEI," said Hon. Mike Currie, Minister of Development and Technology . "We continue to have focus on building and growing a skilled labour force that meets the needs of all business sectors and our government has identified immigration as one component of meeting those labour needs."

Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino, Canada Research Chair in Island Studies at UPEI and himself an immigrant to the province, will head up the study. Dr Baldacchino moved with his family from Malta to PEI in 2003. The research will help provide relative information regarding why recent immigrants have selected PEI and identify the challenges they face in settling their families in the province. An information campaign has already identified over 300 individuals to willingly participate in the study and many more individuals are being encouraged to take part

"One key aim of this study is to put a human face on immigration to PEI, "said Dr Baldacchino. "Various relevant data and information on immigration exists, but none has detailed information about immigrants who moved specifically to PEI."

Elaine Noonan, Executive Director of the PEI Population Secretariat, believes this study will provide information that will benefit the province for many years to come.

"I am very much looking forward to the findings of this research," said Ms. Noonan. "The results will guide us in the development of effective strategies as we move forward in our efforts in attracting and retaining settlers to PEI."

The findings of the study will be released in February 2006. To participate, qualified respondents should contact settlers@upei.ca or phone (902)566-0909.

Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino
Island Studies
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