185 Main Street
Winkler, MB R6W 1B4
Phone: (204) 325-9758
Fax: (204) 325-8290
Introduction to Immigration
May 2013 Newsletter (2.2MB PDF)
April 2013 Newsletter (3.9MB PDF)
December 2012 Newsletter (1.7MB PDF)
November 2012 Newsletter (0.9MB PDF)
October 2012 Newsletter (0.9MB PDF)
September 2012 Newsletter (1.5MB PDF)
August 2012 Newsletter (1.3MB PDF)
July 2012 Newsletter (1.5MB PDF)
May 2012 Newsletter (0.7MB PDF)
Introduction to Immigration
Immigration into South Central Manitoba began in 1997 as a solution to a severe shortage of human resources - specifically in the skilled labour force. Now, 10 years later, immigration has contributed to making Winkler, Morden, and Altona several of the fastest growing communities in the province.
Winkler was the first community in South Central Manitoba to explore the possibility of immigration as a solution to the economic needs of the city. The City of Winkler and the Winkler and District Chamber of Commerce (WDCC) approached Citizenship and Multiculturalism, the provincial government responsible for immigration at the time, to ascertain whether there were opportunities to utilize immigration to address the community's needs.
At the same time, the province was working with the federal government to develop what was to become the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The PNP is an economic program which selects skilled workers who have the training, work experience and language ability to be employed in Manitoba and make a positive contribution to the provincial economy. The agreement that brought the PNP into being was signed in June 1998.
In what became the "Winkler Initiative," immigrants could arrive based on their meeting provincial selection criteria, with the province assuming responsibility for care after arrival. The Winkler Initiative pilot project was developed by the WDCC in collaboration with the Manitoba government.
The WDCC formed the Immigration Integration Committee after the first wave of arrivals and became the main community contact for immigration concerns. It soon became a full time operational committee involving the city, province, economic development and the WDCC.
Settlement services began out of the Winkler office in 1998 when settlement workers were hired for the Winkler Immigration Integration Program.
Immigrants to the area have exercised a right to roam, searching for the ideal place to settle with the hopes of practicing a certain rural mode of living on small acreages or finding other fits in surrounding communities.
Initially there were two settlement workers working out of their homes. With the increase and spread of immigration, the program has expanded to include additional staff and a head office in Winkler with satellite offices in Morden and Altona. Employment services were also added to the program.
In November 2004 the program was renamed South Central Settlement & Employment Services (SCSES) to reflect the regional focus.
Silvius, Ray. Manitoba Rural Immigration Community Case Studies
- Winkler. Brandon, Manitoba: RDI Brandon University, 2005.
South Central Immigrant Services
Laurie Sawatzky, Executive Director
2 - 295 Perry Street
Winkler MB R6W 4A6
Ph: (204) 325-4059
Fax: (204) 325-4158