08/26/2014 11:28 EDT | Updated 10/26/2014 05:59 EDT

Nova Scotia premier appoints chairmen for immigration advisory council

HALIFAX - A Halifax businessman and a university president have been appointed to lead Nova Scotia's immigration advisory council.

Premier Stephen McNeil says Wadih (Wah-dee-ah) Fares (Fair-iss) will serve as national chairman and Colin Dodds will be the international chairman.

Fares is the owner of W.M. Fares Group development company, while Dodds is the president of Saint Mary's University and both are immigrants.

McNeil says the two will work with governments and businesses and advise the province on opportunities to retain international students and increase the number of immigrants.

He says the province is trying to build a business case to bring to the federal government to lift the cap on the Nova Scotia nominee program, currently set at 700 per year.

Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab says seven YMCAs across the province will also receive an additional $200,000 this year for a total of $470,000 to provide support for immigrants first arriving in Nova Scotia.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the nominee program cap is set at 150 per year.