PHOTO: ALICIA STRELKOV, CLARESHOLM

Claresholm: Communities in Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Parsai Immigration Services is providing an overview of 11 Canadian communities. These communities are listed under Canada’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. The ninth community we’ll be looking at is Claresholm, Alberta.

What is the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot?

In short, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a community-driven government program. This program will help rural Canadian areas attract foreign workers. These areas need more workers in order to meet economic development and labour market needs. You can find more information on the pilot program by clicking here.

What can you expect from each community?

According to the government of Canada, the communities will:

  • promote the pilot and their community to possible candidates
  • identify job opportunities in the local economy and work to match applicants to jobs
  • assess possible candidates who:
    • best fit the economic needs of the community
    • have a genuine employment opportunity
    • have the intention of staying in the community
  • recommend candidates for permanent residence to IRCC for a final decision
  • provide a welcoming community for immigrants
  • connect immigrants to official members of the community and settlement services
  • report on the results of the pilot

Now, let’s explore Claresholm.

Location

Claresholm is a town in southern Alberta, Canada. It was incorporated as a municipality in 1905, the same year Alberta was recognized as a province. The town has been part of the backbone of the Alberta economy since the beginning. Claresholm is strategically located on Highway 2 (Macleod Trail) and nestled along the porcupine hills about 125 km south of the City of Calgary and 91 km northwest of the City of Lethbridge. The town’s location provides one of a kind opportunities for investment.

Claresholm has a population of 3,780 and a service area of approximately 7,000. The immigrant population of Claresholm is 200 and of predominantly European and Asian descent (2011 National Household Survey).

Work

With the construction of the rail line from Calgary to Macleod, ranchers were able to ship their cattle from Claresholm to markets elsewhere.  Located mid-way between Calgary and Lethbridge on Highway 2 – Alberta’s most significant economic corridor – Claresholm has evolved into a service centre for health care, education and commerce.

The Claresholm economy is driven by business and community service, retail, manufacturing, public administration, transportation, and utilities. Ease of access to urban centres has contributed to local growth in the food processing and transportation industries.

Some of the major employers in Claresholm are:

  • El Molino Foods – Food Processing
  • Livingstone Range School Div. No. 68 – Education
  • Calgary Health Region – Healthcare
  • Claresholm Centre for Mental Health and Addictions – Healthcare
  • Willow Creek Continuing Care Centre – Healthcare

You can find all of the information and tools you need to begin doing business in Claresholm by clicking here.

Education

Several learning institutions service Claresholm and the surrounding area from preschool through adult learning. These institutions include new and newly renovated primary and secondary schools, as well as a satellite campus for Lethbridge College. Additional supports are available for literacy and adult learning, continuing education, personal and professional development.

West Meadow Elementary School (K‑6) and Willow Creek Composite High School (grades 7‑12) are public schools that serve the children of Claresholm under the Livingstone Range School Division.   Post‑secondary institutions in the area include the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College. There are also numerous educational options nearby in the cities of Calgary and Edmonton.

Health care

Claresholm is a hub of health and wellness for all ages. There’s the Claresholm Medical Centre and a General Hospital. For seniors, there’s a Drop-In Centre, a number of assisted living senior homes, as well as the Willow Creek Continuing Care Centre. There are special treatment facilities for mental health and addictions. A variety of local businesses also promote wellness through fitness centres, workout programs, personal trainers, retail products and support to complement your healthy lifestyle.

The Claresholm Medical Clinic is located west of the General Hospital on 43rd Avenue West and houses the offices of local doctors. The Claresholm General Hospital was opened in 1972 and is now an active treatment facility with 16 beds and a 24-hour emergency room. The facility provides an array of services including general family medicine, immunization, public health, maternity, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and seniors care.

Through the Claresholm Health Unit, a wide array of community health programs is offered by the Calgary Health Region. Some of the services and programs offered are: home visits; immunizations; public health inspections; speech pathology; senior’s wellness clinic; prenatal classes; and foot clinics.

Immigration

Claresholm invites newcomers to live and work in this high traffic, rural area where business takes root.

In 2018, a Business Visitation Program (BVP) conducted by Schnell showed results of a concerning number of employers reporting long–term difficulty in finding and retaining staff.

The BVP also showed many existing employers in the town have used and continue to use temporary foreign worker programs in order to maintain operations.

In light of recognizing this trend, the Claresholm Economic Development Committee submitted an application to the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program. This will allow Claresholm to attract skilled foreign workers and meet their market demand.

Development

In terms of economic development, according to the town’s website, Claresholm takes ownership of its own economic future and approaches economic development in a planned, structured, and strategic manner to ensure long-term prosperity and sustainability.

The Claresholm Economic Development Officer, Brady Schnell, serves to increase economic vitality and improve the opportunities available for residence.

In regards to development, the Claresholm Development Office can assist you in interpreting and understanding the land use bylaw. It can also assist you with acquiring the right permits and documentation for building, acquiring your business license, finding a developer and more. Claresholm ensures that you go through all the necessary and important steps to make sure your business, expansion or home-based business gets started on the right foot. The support will help you save time, money and frustration as you develop your project.

Primary industries in Claresholm are agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing, supported by a strong presence in the service, retail, public administration, transportation, and utilities sectors. Ease of access to urban centres has contributed to local growth in the food processing and transportation industries. Manufacture of green building systems also has prominence in the community with iLevel, a Weyerhauser company, employing 100 people (located at the airport 5 km west of Claresholm in the M.D. of Willow Creek)

Fun facts!

  • The yellow Harvard aircraft on display in Centennial Park honours Claresholm’s contribution as a military pilot training facility from 1941 to 1958.
  • Claresholm’s sandstone railway station was once half of Canadian Pacific’s downtown Calgary station. It was moved to Claresholm and opened in 1912 and is the site of the Claresholm & District Museum and Visitor Information Centre.
  • The Southern Alberta Summer Games features over 20 events for young and old.


Doha Hanno Publicist, Parsai Immigration Services

If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review the form for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licensed practitioner. Disclaimer: This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice. Do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. We cannot be held responsible for the content of these articles. If you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.

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Doha Hanno