The central province of Canada, lying midway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Manitoba is the fifth most populous province with more than 1.3 million people living there. In 2019, it reached the highest number of immigrants landing with almost 19,000 new residents making Manitoba their new home. Winnipeg is the province’s capital and largest city, with 54% of the province’s population, making it the highest population concentration in one city of any province in Canada.
One of the three provinces of the Prairie Region of Canada, Manitoba is bordered to the north by the Nunavut territory and the Hudson Bay, to the east by Ontario, to the west by Saskatchewan and to the south by the United States. Manitoba contains more than 100,000 lakes, including Lake Winnipeg, one of the world’s largest inland bodies of fresh water. A widely varied landscape can be found in this province, from arctic tundra in the north to dense boreal forest and farmland in the central and southern regions.
Due to the generally flat landscape, the climate in the province is very influenced by the cold air from the north in the winter and the humid air from the south in the summer. Manitoba has a moderately dry climate with sharp seasonal temperature changes. Winter temperatures around −40 °C may occasionally occur in any part of the province, and summer days of 38 °C are not unusual in the southern regions. Winnipeg has an average temperature of −13 °C in winter and 27 °C in summer.
Both English and French are official languages of the province. English is more widely spoken in Manitoba, with 82% of the population speaking only English and 3% percent speaking only French. Across the province, many public services can be accessed in both official languages. In 2010, the provincial government passed the Aboriginal Languages Recognition Act, which gives official recognition to seven indigenous languages.
The economy of Manitoba is based largely on natural resources. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the southern parts of the province, is very important to the province's economy. Other major industries are transportation, manufacturing, mining, forestry, energy, and tourism. The province has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada and the largest employer is government institutions, including services like hospitals and universities. The most demanded professionals are in the health, marketing and IT area.
The school year in Canada starts in September and ends in June, with the months of July and August being the summer break. Like many other aspects of the country, it is the responsibility of the provinces to monitor and regulate education. In Manitoba, children have access to free education and any child, as long as certain requirements are met, can register for Kindergarten to Grade 12, starting at 5 years old until they are 18 years old. French-language education is also provided by the province.
Manitoba has four major universities, three of them are located in Winnipeg: the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg and Université de Saint-Boniface, the province's only French-language university. Brandon University, in Brandon, is the province's only university not in Winnipeg.
In addition to the immigration process offered by the federal government, it is also possible to choose one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) to immigrate to Canada. Manitoba offers the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP), which nominates internationally trained and experienced workers who have the skills needed for the local labour market to apply for permanent residence. In general, recent graduates, skilled workers and entrepreneurs who meet the necessary requirements, can apply for the MPNP.
Many visitors come to Manitoba to see the beauty of the aurora borealis (northern lights) and polar bears. The principal destination is the town of Churchill, on the edge of the Hudson Bay, that it is also known as the polar bear capital of the world. Each year more than 10,000 tourists visit the region to see these attractions.
Winnipeg offers a variety of cultural and gastronomic attractions like the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg Art Gallery and The Forks. Other attractions in Manitoba are the National Riding Mountain in Onanole, the Canadian Fossil Discovery Center in Morden and the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba in Gimli.
By Janayna Sercheli
If you wish to immigrate to Manitoba, contact Klaps Immigration Consulting for more information on immigration processes.