Canada Immigration Drives Fastest First Quarter Population Growth For 30 Years

Canada’s Population Growth Sparks Calls For Balanced Immigration Policy
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Canada immigration news: Canada’s immigration fuelled population growth in the first three months of this year the likes of which it has not seen for a first quarter in more than 30 years.

“Canada’s population was estimated at 38,654,738 on Apr. 1, 2022, an increase of 127,978 people up three-tenths of one per cent from Jan. 1, 2022,” reports Statistics Canada.

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“This was the highest rate of growth in a first-quarter since 1990 and is a continuation of the higher growth following the lower levels seen in 2020, related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Two provinces and one territory hit milestones during the first three months of the year.

Ontario, New Brunswick And Nunavut Hit Population Milestones

Ontario’s population broke the 15 million mark with 15,007,816 residents and New Brunswick surpassed 800,000 people, with its population reaching 800,243.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, who has claimed that population growth is a sign the province has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever, has been quick to credit population growth there to a surge in immigration.

“In the last calendar year, we welcomed more than 8,400 newcomers from other countries,” Higgs told an audience of business people in Fredericton during his annual state of the province address on Apr. 1.

“Our teams have exceeded all immigration targets, including for skilled trades, francophone newcomers and international student nominations.”

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The premier has also claimed his province is poised for a solid economic recovery.

“Last week, the Bank of Montreal recognized our strong population growth and the speedy vaccine rollout that helped us weather the pandemic,” he said. 

“Scotiabank said we have a concrete plan to cautiously boost spending while maintaining balance. And the Royal Bank said that New Brunswick has plenty of success to build on. We certainly do.”

Among Canada’s three territories, Nunavut’s population surpassed 40,000 people in the first three months of this year.

Immigration Credited For Driving Population Growth

That population growth is directly attributable to Canada’s pro-immigration programs and strategies note Statistics Canada.

“International migration remains the main driver of growth in the country,” noted Statistics Canada. 

“Canada welcomed 113,699 immigrants in the first quarter of 2022, the highest number of immigrants in any first quarter since 1946 when quarterly data became available.

In the first quarter of this year, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Alberta saw the most rapid population growth while the Yukon territory emerged as the only region of the country to see a drop in its population.

The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shows Canada welcomed a record-breaking 406,005 new permanent residents in 2021.

In the first four months of this year, the country saw an increase of 149,820 new permanent residents, putting it on track – if the current trend continues – to welcome 449,460 new permanent residents by the end of this year.

That’s far in excess of the already-ambitious immigration target set for 2022.

Canada On Track To Surpass Record-Setting Immigration Target This Year

In its Immigration Levels Plan for 2022 to 2024, Canada is aiming to bring in 431,645 immigrants this year, 447,055 next year, and 451,000 in 2024.

“Immigration has helped shape Canada into the country it is today. From farming and fishing to manufacturing, healthcare and the transportation sector, Canada relies on immigrants,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser earlier this year.

“We are focused on economic recovery, and immigration is the key to getting there. Setting bold new immigration targets, as outlined in the 2022-2024 Levels Plan, will further help bring the immeasurable contribution of immigrants to our communities and across all sectors of the economy.”

Two big drivers of immigration to Canada this year are the one-time, temporary-to-permanent resident (TR-to-PR) program which kicked off in May last year.

Although applications for the TR to PR program closed in early November last year, not all the applications have been processed and the immigration levels plan calls for 32,000 new permanent residents under that pathway this year.

Another program fuelling immigration is the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) which had, as of June 15, received 312,548 applications, including 136,877 which had been approved.

Canada is committed to accepting an unlimited number of Ukrainian refugees under the CUAET.

The Canada Border Services Agency notes that, so far this year, 8,366 Ukrainian citizens and Canadian permanent residents of Ukrainian origin had entered the country by land and another 43,017 had arrived by air.

Established March 17 to help Ukrainians forced to flee after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the CUAET provides them and their immediate family members with temporary residency in Canada for up to three years.

CUAET Provides Ukrainians Fleeing War With Work And Study Permits For Up To Three Years

Once in Canada, they are eligible for free open work permits and study permits and so can take a job with almost any Canadian employer or enrol in any educational program in Canada.

They are also eligible for a one-time payout under the Canada-Ukraine Transitional Assistance Initiative (CUTAI) of $3,000 per adult and $1,500 per child as well as settlement services, including language training, and information about life in Canada, and help in finding jobs.

Parents and guardians can access this financial support by submitting one application for themselves, a spouse, and dependants. Payments will be made through direct deposit, so applicants will need to have a bank account with a Canadian financial institution under the same name as the adult’s temporary resident status document, that is, their work permit, study permit, temporary resident permit or visitor record.

These Ukrainians can also apply for permanent residency and any work experience they gain or studying they do while in the country will only enhance their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores should they decide to complete Express Entry profiles and apply for permanent residency.

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