Immigration boosts Canadian population growth
By TERESA SMITH
December 20, 2008
The population of Canada grew more in the past three months than it has in any third quarter since 1990, according to Statistics Canada.
The population hit 33,441,300, up 129,900 since July.
Every province and territory saw rising numbers, except the Northwest Territories, which saw a decline of 132 residents.
Most of the growth was recorded in Western Canada, with Alberta continuing to report the highest numbers. New Canadians and people who moved to Alberta from other provinces numbered 25,640 in the third quarter of 2008, likely due to the continuing job opportunities offered in that province, Statistics Canada said.
“Usually, people go where there are jobs, so that explains the strong tendency toward Alberta,” said Statistics Canada senior analyst Hubert Denis.
The agency said growth across the country was due mostly to immigration. Between July 1 and Oct. 1, 2008, 71,300 people entered Canada. Numbers have increased everywhere since provinces began stepping up their efforts to attract people internationally.
“Provinces are being more aggressive and it really shows in the numbers,” said Denis.
Prince Edward Island, for instance, has registered a drastic increase since it began participating in the Provincial Nominee Program, which makes it easier immigrants to come to Canada. In the third quarter alone, P.E.I. set records in immigration, welcoming 611 people. Its previous high was 420.
“For a small province like P.E.I., this represents a very big increase,” said Denis.
“Immigrants used to head mainly to Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, and they're still going there, but they're also spreading out across the country in unprecedented numbers,” said Denis.
All across Canada, similar programs have boosted immigration numbers significantly.
Manitoba, the first province to introduce the program, saw spikes in immigration almost immediately.
In 2001, the province attracted an average of 1,148 new Canadians every quarter; in 2005 it was 2,024 and the last quarter saw 2,588 people moving in from abroad.
Newcomers are starting to be lured away from “MTV” – Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, said Ben Rempel, the assistant deputy minister for Manitoba Labour and Immigration.
Net population increase – July to September Total Increase in population 3rd quarter
Canada 33,441,277 129,888
Newfoundland and Labrador 508,944 1,049
Prince Edward Island 140,750 932
Nova Scotia 939,125 815
New Brunswick 747,790 488
Quebec 7,771,854 21,350
Ontario 12,977059 48,063
Manitoba 1,210547 2,588
Saskatchewan 1,020,847 4,862
Alberta 3,610,782 25,640
British Columbia 4,405,534 23,931
Yukon 33,372 228
Northwest Territories 43,151 -132
Nunavut 31,522 44