Canada welcomed the highest number of new immigrants in more than a century last year,

Canada opened its doors to 341,180 people from 175 different countries.

That annual total, which exceeded Ottawa’s target of 330,000, was topped only twice before — in 1913, when 401,000 new immigrants arrived in the country, and 1912, when 376,000 settled here. The vast majority back then came from Europe as a result of this country’s campaign for newcomers to settle in Western Canada.

Daniel Joseph, 37, explained why he and his wife came to Canada. “We’ve been to the U.S. and Australia. We love Canada’s tolerance and multiculturalism. This is a big country and we want to explore the urban, suburban and rural lifestyles. This is exciting,”

Immigrants continued to flock to major Canadian urban centres, with 117,720 or 34.5 per cent settling in the Greater Toronto Area, followed by Vancouver (40,020), Montreal (34,620), Calgary (19,625) and Edmonton (16,420).

In contrast, the number of new immigrants to Nunavut, Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland in 2019 totalled just 53,270.

Overall, economic immigrants who came as skilled workers and investors made up about 58 per cent of the 2019 newcomer cohort, while 27 per cent came under the family class, which includes spouses and parents. The remaining 15 per cent came as refugees or on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, among other reasons.

The federal government has set a target for 2020 to bring in between 340,000 and 360,000 new permanent residents.

(Source: The Star. Edited)

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