04/11/2012 12:57 EDT | Updated 06/11/2012 05:12 EDT

Language Tests To Become Mandatory For Some Immigrants Hoping To Come To Canada

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SASKATOON - Some immigrants hoping to say hello or bonjour to Canada are now going to have to prove they actually know how to say it.

Starting this July, certain people immigrating under the provincial nominee program will face language testing.

The tests will be mandatory for those applying for semi- and low-skilled jobs and will assess listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney made the announcement in Saskatchewan, which took in over 5,300 immigrants under the provincial nominee program in 2010.

The program allows provinces to cherry-pick immigrants they want to meet labour needs but Kenney says there's concern that it's also being used to unite families.

He says he intends to work more closely with provinces to ensure that stops.

The new requirement is one of a number of changes to the immigration system discussed in last month's federal budget.

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