“About 100 Nepalese workers and their families who came here on work permits have no permanent home to return to after their permits expire,” said Manmeet Bhullar, MLA Calgary-Greenway. “Alberta is now the only home they have. Let’s give these hard-working families some hope right now by allowing them to stay in Alberta as permanent residents.”
Dave Rodney, MLA Calgary-Lougheed completely concurred, and stated the April earthquake and its aftermath strikes a political, professional and personal chord. “Having spent over a year of my life living and working in Nepal, I have been involved in numerous emergency situations. The current situation goes way beyond politics. This involves families who are in unbelievably difficult circumstances.”
PC Caucus members agreed high-skilled workers could be accommodated through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). However, most of these individuals are low-skilled workers, so exceptions would be needed. Individuals applying to this program would also be required to meet a number of baseline requirements to ensure the success of this initiative. Proposed requirements would include continuous employment in Alberta for a minimum of 12 months preceding the application date, family home located in an area directly affected by the Nepal earthquake and demonstrated adequate level of functional English.
“Through the AINP, Alberta will nominate 5,000 individuals for permanent residency,” said Bhullar. “Why not designate 100 of these spots for people who have nothing to go back to? These workers have already demonstrated their contribution to Alberta’s economy in trades, business, logistics, agriculture and health. Many of them work in remote parts of the province where it is difficult to recruit employees, even for above-average compensation.”
The April 25, 2015 Nepal earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, injured more than 23,000 and triggered a massive avalanche on Mount Everest. The quake and numerous aftershocks destroyed entire villages, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless.