Feature: Harvest Lodge

Harvest Lodge and the Warkentin family are always close to our hearts. This American family immigrated to Canada through the MPNP-BIS Warkentin familystream and they have built a strong business in Waterhen, Manitoba. Jon and his family take extremely good care of their guests and they have a solid 5 STAR rating on Google Business as well as a 5 STAR rating on TripAdvisor. I just spoke with Jon and they are open for bookings for Summer 2020. Please be mindful of travel restrictions from your neck of the woods. Currently, folks traveling from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the territories and northwestern Ontario are free to travel to Manitoba without any quarantine period. 

 

This is an opportunity for Manitobans to have a great vacation without leaving the province. Jon and his family are excellent hosts who can guide you on hunting and fishing adventures along Waterhen River or on any of the neighbouring lakes.

I was reading the reviews from guests and they are full of praise. Here is a review published on TripAdvisor from a Texan (MAJGabe) who stayed at Harvest Lodge with his 3 buddies:

We didn’t get in until around 11pm, but John and Karissa stayed up, welcomed us, had some snacks, and got us settled in. The accommodations were just perfect, and more than what I would have imagined. 4 grown men in a 3 bedroom cabin… […] and we each harvested a large chocolate black bear within 90 minutes of each other. Clayton (the guide) did an amazing job skinning, and we brought a portable vacuum sealer, so we immediately deboned it, sealed it, and put it in the freezer. Then we fished for the rest of the week. Maybe we drank too, I don’t remember. But we caught so much walleye that we limited out every day, put enough in the freezer to take home, and had a couple fish fry’s. Their entire operation is top notch, and their family felt like our family from the first day, and even more by the last. I would definitely recommend, and I want to come back for some waterfowl (hint hint). Thanks guys for an amazing time!

Please contact Harvest Lodge for their current programs and events. Depending on the season, they offer:Harvest Lodge

  • Six day Black Bear Hunt
  • Three day Waterfowl Package
  • Six day Whitetail Deer Hunt
  • Wolf/ Coyote Hunt

For the packages above, world class fishing may be included at no additional charge and the Warkentins take care of all the proper licensing regulations. Meals are provided by the lodge as part of the packages; however, if you prefer, there is a general store with groceries, gas and liquor for guests. Free parking is available, of course.

For the family, Harvest Lodge also offers bird-watching, tubing along the Waterhen River and a playground. During the winter months, the area offers snowmobiling adventures and, if you are lucky, amazing views of the northern lights.

As an immigration law firm, we have the pleasure of working with business owners to help them realize their goals. At the same time, business owners, like the Warkentin family, help to grow Manitoba and provide jobs to residents. If you and your family are thinking about a lodge in Manitoba, please send Jon an email and consider Harvest Lodge for your vacation!

 

Success: PR for Child

Despite COVID19, we are continuing to serve our clients! A German father came to our office in 2018, in the midst of a nasty divorce. His child was afraid of their mother who suffers from mental health issues. She left her family in southern Manitoba and returned to Germany by herself. Then she went to a German court to seek child custody and our client was forced to fly to Germany to defend himself. Over the past 2 years, we worked with this German professional and we were able to secure PR status for his child – much faster than average processing times.

PR for Child

This photo is used with permission and it does not depict our clients.

In this case, the child was conferred PR status through an Application for Permanent Resident status based on Humanitarian and Compassionate considerations. Our clients have significant support in southern Manitoba, a region that was selected for regional migration by IRCC. It is important to note that this application is a path of last resort. Based on the particular circumstances of this father and his child, the H&C was the only way for the child to obtain PR status.

As part of our Services, we spoke with the IRCC Officer many times and communicated with her by email. The IRCC Officer was sympathetic to this unique situation and she accepted our legal arguments. We cannot emphasize the importance of good communication with IRCC Officers. It is important to remember that they are people who are restricted to making decisions in accordance with Canadian laws and departmental policies.

Finally, we are very happy with the fast processing time for this H&C application. Even though only approximately 50% of H&C applications are approved, Alastair Clarke has never had a refusal in 12 years of practice. It is a pleasure to serve rural Manitobans.

After hours (and hours!) of work spent on this file, we are thrilled with the positive results! We wish this family happiness and success with their community.

Success: MPNP BIS

We are thrilled to announce our business investor clients are now Permanent Residents of Canada. This family came to us in a desperate situation and they were interested in the MPNP BIS program. They are both highly accomplished professionals. He has a background in building and managing businesses in the financial section. She has a background in health management. They were seeking a better life for themselves and their five (5) children, including two (2) adopted children. One child has significant health issues.

MPNP BIS

This photo is being used with permission and it does not depict our clients.

With hard work and strong communication with the staff at the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) – Business Investor Stream (BIS), we were able to help this family navigate the Entrepreneur Pathway to PR status.

In this case, the family purchased a hunting and fishing lodge in rural Manitoba. The MPNP program, as well as IRCC, has expressed significant support for applicants who are interested in building rural communities. We have helped clients through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) and the government has announced the Municipal Nominee Program to further support the particular needs of diverse communities. We fully support this idea in principle as it recognizes the need for ground-level decision making. The one-size-fits-all approach does not work.

MPNP-BIS applicants have unique challenges and Clarke Immigration Law is known internationally for our work in this area. Alastair Clarke recently attended a meeting with senior staff at MPNP to discuss results from 2019 and plans for the future. This program is important for the development of the province and it provides mutual benefit.

We are thrilled with the MPNP BIS approval for this family and the IRCC decision to grant PR status. We wish them success with their business goals and a prosperous 2020. For more information on how we can help with your MPNP BIS application, please book a consultation. 

Success: LMIA

In late 2019, we were contacted by a large Trucking company in western Ontario for assistance with multiple Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs). The company had previously retained another law firm in Winnipeg and they were not satisfied with the quality of professionalism of that firm. (As an aside, that firm has terrible ratings on Google so this is not a surprise.) We reviewed the shoddy work of the previous representatives and prepared new LMIA applications based on our research.

We submitted the new LMIA applications to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) in January 2020 and the application was approved in February 2020. Processing time: one (1) month only – much faster than average processing time.LMIA

Needless to say, our clients were very happy with our work and the positive results. This company can now focus on building business and hiring Long Haul Truck Drivers which is where they should be spending their time & energy. The processing of LMIA applications includes strict guidelines and advertising requirements. As Alastair stated during his presentation at BCIT in Vancouver, if the LMIA is not done properly at first instance, it may be more difficult for this company to obtain a positive decision on future LMIA applications.

NOTE: LMIA applications have a high rate of refusal and we would recommend retained a competent law firm to assist. These applications are assessed based on labour market demands in specific regions and the ability of the company to find and recruit Permanent Residents or Canadian citizens. In this case, our clients could not accept further contracts and they were severely limited in its potential growth. Furthermore, these positions remained unfilled for a long period of time based on the incompetence of the previous law firm, causing unnecessary delays and expenses.

Fast Processing of LMIA Applications

We are very pleased with the work done by the Service Canada Officer with the LMIA approval. Given the previous work and the difficult immigration history, our clients were extremely happy with the fast processing time; however, we believe that if this company had retained us at first instance, it would have been faster.

The LMIA program is often plagued by long delays and onerous reporting requirements.  We were happy with the results with this corporate client and we look forward to assisting other businesses to overcome labour shortages so Canadian businesses can focus on their specialty.

RNIP – Manitoba

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is an opportunity for applicants to obtain Permanent Resident status in Canada. RNIP officially launched for applicants in November 2019 after IRCC vetted communities across Canada. We are fortunate in Manitoba that two (2) communities in our province have been selected and one (1) community in Ontario that is very close to Winnipeg. This is the result of a proven track record through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) for helping families settle and become successful citizens.

We have been receiving many (many!) requests for more information on the RNIP program. This is an exciting program for applicants and the regions that have been selected by IRCC. We can provide general information here on our website; however, I would strongly encourage you to book a consultation for more information that is specific to your circumstances.

RNIP

Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

There are three (3) communities close to Winnipeg who have been approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Each of these communities was selected by the Federal Government to encourage regional migration and to encourage applicants to consider rural communities for themselves and/or their families.

The RNIP is an opportunity for applicants who have genuine intentions of settling in these smaller communities. The purpose of the program is to provide power to these rural communities to connect and select applicants who meet their labour needs. This is done through collaboration with local businesses and statistics from the labour market.

This application has two (2) parts. First, applicants must meet the requirements by IRCC. These include minimum proficiency in English or French, at a minimum high school equivalency, and settlement funds. The minimum settlement funds for this program is the equivalent of $8,722.00 CAD. This must be shown through bank statements and/or other property/ financial documents to show IRCC the applicant(s) has the money to pay for the initial costs of moving to Canada. Please note that the minimum settlement fund requirement is not necessary for applicants working in Canada on a valid Work Permit.

BRANDON

We have been in contact regarding this program. Brandon is a city that is approximately 2 hours from Winnipeg by car. Brandon is a vibrant community with a growing middle class. It is the hub for many surrounding communities in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We currently have clients a Brandon University (BU) and clients in the surrounding area. In general, this community supports newcomers who have a genuine interest in building the community. There are many opportunities for families who are interested in relocating to Brandon.

As noted on the Brandon RNIP website:

As the second largest city in Manitoba, Brandon provides services and amenities not only to its 50,000 residents but also to another 130,000 people that live outside the city. The full service city is home to two colleges, a university, a regional hospital, government offices and numerous businesses and services of all types and sizes. The community has a low crime rate, affordable housing, clean water, fresh air, free quality public education and health systems, and abundant recreational and cultural opportunities.

ALTONA, RHINELAND

This region includes the towns of Altona, Gretna and Plum Coulee. We have served many families in this area and these communities have a strong history of supporting new immigrants. Businesses in this region has a demonstrated support for the RNIP program. This community is organized and they are actively seeking applicants who have a genuine interest. There are currently employment opportunities that are published online.

We have been very impressed with the level of organization from this region. Businesses and the community are very keen to attract immigrants to build businesses. SEED (Supporting Entrepreneurs. Economic Development) has been established to vet applications and a committee is in place to help match potential applicants with businesses.

We are also impressed that SEED has been very clear that representatives cannot guarantee:

  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot approval

  • Permanent Residency Approval

  • Bringing your extended family members to Canada, expedite review of your application

  • A faster review of your application to the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot or for Permanent Residency

If you are interested, we would recommend that you watch this video and build personal connections with residents of this community.

CONSULTATION

For more information please book a consultation with Clarke Immigration Law. 

Brandon and Rural Immigration

The Government of Canada has regularly boosted rural immigration programs for communities outside the urban centres. These programs focus on communities in Manitoba that include Brandon, Altona, Morden and Portage la Prairie. We look forward to working with businesses and rural municipalities to bring skilled workers and entrepreneurs to these communities as part of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) and/or federal programs from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

In a recent speech, Minister Hussen recognized the importance of rural immigration to small communities in Canada:

So whether we find ourselves in Sault Ste. Marie or Brandon, Manitoba, or Vernon, British Columbia – I think all Canadians agree that our country would simply not be the same without the contributions and the presence of rural and northern Canada. Canada’s smaller cities and communities provide and contribute almost 30 percent of our GDP, yet most newcomers go to the big cities. Rural Canada and northern Canada are an important part of our history and key to not only our current economic growth, but our future prosperity as a country.

Indeed, here at Clarke Law, we work with entrepreneurs and skilled workers to boost the development of rural Manitoba and communities outside the Greater Capital Region (GCR).

Rural immigrationThe MPNP program recognizes the importance of these programs. As noted by Kelvin Goertzen, the MLA for Steinbach:

In 2018 we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) and the important contribution that immigration has made to the growth and vitality of our communities and our economy. Over the last two decades, the MPNP brought in more than 130,000 economic immigrants to Manitoba of whom more than 20% established themselves in regional communities throughout the province.

These programs from MPNP and IRCC have had a positive economic impact on these communities that are vital for Canada’s economy. As noted by MLA Goertzen:

Our success in attracting newcomers has been sustained by strong regional economies where unemployment rates have been as low as 3.1%, and immigration has in turn contributed to the labour force growth and business expansion of rural manufacturing and other industries. This success is also reflected in our ability to retain these newcomer families at a rate that has remained consistently between 87 and 90%. But these statistical facts are brought much closer to home for all of those communities that have been able to keep their schools open and in many cases even add additional schools and classrooms to keep up with their growing youth population.

Applicants who are interested in these communities may have a high chance of success and they may be good candidates for Permanent Resident status:

We work with applicants and leaders in the regions above to bring skilled professionals to these regions and boost Manitoba’s economy. Granting Permanent Resident status to professionals and families in smaller cities and rural communities is a win-win situation and we support Minister Hussen and his department for recognizing the importance through the Rural Immigration Pilot Program.

For more information, please contact our office and book a consultation.