January 28, 2019 – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, yesterday announced the creation of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, a five-year federal immigration pilot involving a small number of communities and selected provincial and territorial governments to provide newcomers, including professional truck drivers, support in settling into the local community. In media scrums, the minister expressed what the trucking industry wanted to hear about truck drivers: “(This program) is not just a temporary foreign worker program. It’s a permanent program to give permanent residency to skilled immigrants and their families.” The Minister Hussen went on to explain that immigrants will be chosen for the pilot by matching their occupational skills with the needs of their communities and could include any number of professions, from truck drivers to teachers to lab technicians. He estimated that about 3,000 people and their families could participate in the pilot. This is welcome news to address the chronic driver shortage in Canada.